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Visiting the Mediterranean in winter

Winter across Europe takes many forms; in Scandinavia and the Alps, you find snowdrifts and skiers, while in parts of the Mediterranean it’s common to see people still enjoying the sunny weather! The UK, however, finds a way to combine the worst of both, encouraging many people to pick a winter holiday destination outside of the British Isles.

Choosing to fly out to a villa is the easy part; the tough decision is choosing which out of the many options to go for. While you might not find sunbathing weather everywhere you go, the comparatively reduced levels of rainfall and the all-round warmer weather means you can’t really go wrong but different locations come into their own at different times of the year.

We’ve curated a list of locations for each of the colder months to help you whittle down where to go.

Where’s warm in November?

Technically late autumn, but nearly cold enough to be winter in Britain, there are plenty of places to visit in the Mediterranean that still reach 20C. Many places in the Mediterranean feature glorious sunshine and warm days, a stark difference from the UK!

Sicily

The big island off the toe of Italy, Sicily, is still warm in November, with the coast offering the highest temperatures, and it’s not unheard of for visitors to take a dip in the sea on warmer days. In November, Sicily celebrates two religious festivals, All Saints’ Day and St. Martin’s Day, with events held across the island in most big towns and cities.

Overlooking Taormina beach, Sicily
Taormina, Sicily

Closer to Greece’s climate than Italy’s, but with increased levels of pasta, you can find a healthy mix of things to do when enjoying Sicily. With opportunities to get out and enjoy the scenery while the sun shines, there are plenty of great dining options and cultural opportunities if you want to head indoors too.

Cyprus

As one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations year on year, making the most of Cyprus as it heads into the winter is a great way to avoid the crowds and enjoy the sights without any of the queues or seasonal prices.

As a part of Europe that’s still warm in November, Cyprus in November is an average of 23 degrees. Despite it being the start of the rainy season, that amounts to roughly 3-6 days of wet weather, better than August in the UK.

Where’s warm in December?

A special time of year, where almost all of the Mediterranean prepares for Christmas and the festivities it brings, December allows any holiday goer the opportunity to experience the regional celebrations that come with the period, all the while in warmer weather than you’d find in the UK.

Crete

With early December seeing temperatures that can rise above 25C, it’s a wonder why tourism drops off in October. If you’re looking for somewhere warm in December in the Mediterranean, Crete may provide what you’re looking for.

With many of the main attractions closed down for the season, most of what remains are the spots visited by the local people, offering up an authentic experience rarely found any other time of year. 

Rethymno, Crete, Gree
Rethymno, Crete, Greece

Turkey

With St Nicholas coming from Turkey, it’s only fitting to include this country on the list. Much like many countries surrounding the Mediterranean, if you’re looking for somewhere warm in December, the destinations on the coast, such as Bodrum and Dalaman, will offer better weather than the more inland parts.

If you always go for turkey at Christmas, why not give this destination a try.  

Where’s warm in January?

January is one of the coldest months in the Northern hemisphere, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a destination that offers blue skies and warmer weather. Leaving the central Mediterranean to visit European islands off the west coast of Africa, you can find warm weather all year round without technically leaving Europe.

Madeira

While you may see some clouds, if you’re missing the sun in January, Madeira has a few extra hours of daylight compared to the UK. Coupled with temperatures that can reach 19 or so degrees, you may even get away with wearing just a t-shirt!

Warm January weather aside, Madeira has a lot to offer in terms of attractions; from bustling town squares filled with restaurants and shops to incredible landscapes, this island offers a fantastic holiday no matter the time of year.

Camara de Lobos, Funchal, Madeira
Camara de Lobos, Funchal, Madeira

Lanzarote

As part of the Canary Islands, the coldest it gets in Lanzarote is in January at night where the temperature can drop to 14 degrees. However, during the day, you can expect to find temperatures reaching 24 degrees, the equivalent of British beach weather.

Without any well defined seasons, you’re able to do the same activities in both summer and winter. As it’s slightly cooler in January, it’s a great time to get off the beaten track and explore the island on foot, taking in the sights and enjoying the ambient temperatures.

If you’re looking for some warm weather escapes as a part of a romantic getaway or to enjoy some time with friends and family, Europe still has a lot to offer. Coupled with our wide selection of villas in a range of destinations, you don’t have to limit your holidays to one or two seasons and can find your perfect destination 365 days of the year.

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