Fancy some winter sun? Here are the 5 hottest countries to visit in Europe

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It may seem unusually warm for this time of year in Europe, but winter is just around the corner.

And if the thought of colder nights makes you run for your suitcase, then sunnier climates will definitely be a top priority.

A Portuguese travel agency analyzed the numbers to find out which hot destinations are really pushing the mercury up in November and December. Any of these places would be perfect for a short winter break – maybe even Christmas.

Visit Cascais – which reports that more than 8,000 Britons are currently searching for “winter sun” on Google – also identified the beaches closest to each town, so you can enjoy the warmer weather in a bathing suit.

Heating up as you go, here are the top picks for sun lovers looking for a quick Euro getaway this winter. Each destination displays temperatures above and below the water.

5. Tirana, Albania

The capital of Albania, Tirana, is famous for its colorful architecture, including monuments from its Ottoman and Soviet eras. It also has an incredible vertical forest from the architect Stefano Boeri.

So there are plenty of reasons to visit beyond its mild climate, which reaches average highs of 17 degrees in November and 15 ° C in December.

Although this is a longer trip from Northern Europe, you are virtually guaranteed a spot in the sun.

Average maximum outdoor temperatures in November and December: 15 degrees Celsius

Average maximum seawater temperatures: 15 degrees Celsius

Best beach nearby: Durrës Beach, Durrësit

4. Rome, Italy

Rome, like Paris, is always a good idea. Although we tend to think of it as a very urban destination, it takes less than an hour to reach the coast from the Italian capital.

There are many beautiful local beaches to choose from, and you will be happy to swim with the average water temperatures of 21 ° C even in December.

In fact, local sea temperatures are expected to be warmer than outside temperatures, so if you are looking for a city break with swimming, Rome is a great option.

Average maximum outdoor temperatures in November and December: 15 degrees Celsius

Average maximum seawater temperatures: 21 degrees Celsius

Best beach nearby: Tibidabo Beach, Rome

3. Athens, Greece

Another classic city break, Athens also benefits from warmer temperatures in the water.

While most travelers will think of historical sites and Greek ruins when considering Athens, there are a number of public beaches just outside the city that are perfect additions to a city trip itinerary.

The city also has the sunniest days on record of the five capitals here, with 268 sunny days in 2020 (that’s almost 75 percent sunshine).

Average maximum outdoor temperatures in November and December: 17 degrees Celsius

Average maximum seawater temperatures: 20 degrees Celsius

Best Beach Nearby: Glyfada Beach, Glifada

2. Lisbon (and Cascais), Portugal

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon, and the surrounding region of Cascais bask in the sun all year round, with temperatures averaging 17 degrees Celsius through the end of the year.

Bernardo Barros, President of Visit Cascais, said: “With 226 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures approaching 20 degrees at the end of the year, Portugal is the ideal destination for people looking to escape their gloomy weather and to bathe in the rest of our Southern European Sun.

He describes Cascais as Portugal’s hidden treasure, with sunshine, great food, pristine beaches and lots of culture.

Average maximum outdoor temperatures in November and December: 17 degrees Celsius

Average maximum seawater temperatures: 19 degrees Celsius

Best beach nearby: Praia do Tamariz, Cascais

1. Valletta, Malta

But if the sun is truly your number one priority, then Malta’s small capital, Valletta, is your best bet.

With average maximum sea temperatures between 20 and December, Malta is the perfect destination for those who want to enjoy swimming in the sea until New Years.

Malta has over 230 sunny days a year (making it sunny over 63% of the year) and average maximum outdoor temperatures of 19 degrees Celsius throughout the months of November and December.

Average maximum outdoor temperatures in November and December: 19 degrees Celsius

Average maximum seawater temperatures: 22 degrees Celsius

Best Beach Nearby: St Elmo Bay, Valletta


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