Top 5 Sunny Islands in Europe for Winter Getaway


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Where to go in the midst of winter or early spring in Europe? The best places for relaxation and travel in winter and spring.

All these places are just a few hours’ flight from any European city. And let me tell you, it’s warm there, inexpensive, with sea-ocean, delicious food, wine, cultural programs, comfortable and affordable hotels, all for the pleasure of just a few hundred Euros per week with a flight when organizing the trip independently.

Winter and spring are the traditional times for beautiful islands in our family history, and it doesn’t have to be Southeast Asia or Africa. In Europe, there are at least five cool places that can successfully replace Egypt or Turkey.

How to organize everything yourself:

  1. Find and buy a flight on Aviasales, the site also searches among low-cost airlines.
  2. Book a hotel on Booking.
  3. Find and rent a car on LocalRent.

Even if you’ve decided to organize everything yourself for the first time, it’s unbelievably simple. Give it a try!

Madeira, Portugal

Madeira is an island in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa, an autonomous region of Portugal. It is considered that Madeira has the best landscapes in Europe. And it’s better to see all these picturesque shores and the incredibly beautiful mountains, blooming gardens, and levadas (a network of artificial channels) for yourself at least once.

In the capital, Funchal, there is a guaranteed luxurious nightlife and cool architecture. Madeira is warm; it’s called the island of eternal spring. The air temperature is around +19-21. In winter, it’s the low season, so everything is cheaper, including the flight. So, what’s the catch? There is no catch. Simply, Europe traditionally rests in the summer. Also, in winter, there may be a short rain on Madeira, but it won’t spoil the mood.

Portugal, Madeira
Scenic of Monte Palace Tropical Garden. Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal


Sicily is Italy, although its inhabitants consider themselves Sicilians, not Italians. It’s also a year-round destination, as it’s located in the Mediterranean Sea. The temperature in winter is guaranteed to be in the range of 16-20 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January, and the best time to visit is February-April.

By the way, in February, there’s the season of sea urchins in Sicily. It’s a local delicacy – ricci di mare, be sure to try it in local restaurants. Winter is the low season; everything is cheaper than at any other time of the year, including accommodation and food, as well as the flight.

You won’t be able to swim, but in winter, people come to this island for a cultural program. Sicily has incredible ancient cities and architecture that you can admire without the crowds of tourists.

Sicily, Italy
Sicily, Italy


Cyprus has always been our winter getaway, if I may express it that way. For more than 10 years, we’ve been there annually, and most often it’s winter or early spring. In February, almond trees start to bloom, and the island, which in summer sometimes resembles a yellow scorched desert, turns into a blooming garden.

Cyprus is 300 sunny days a year, a booster dose of vitamin D is guaranteed. In winter, swimming is cool; the water temperature is about 15–16, but the air warms up to a comfortable 20-21. Cyprus is a year-round destination. In winter, it’s walks along the sea, delicious food, trips to wineries, ancient monuments, hikes in the mountains, and authentic villages.

Cyprus is not a small island, and there are several centers of attraction. In summer, it’s Ayia Napa with its beautiful beaches, and in winter, it’s better to focus on Paphos with its sea caves, sunken ships, wineries, and trips to the mountains. For nightlife, head to Limassol, and for tasty food in winter – to the capital, Nicosia, although many taverns work year-round in all corners of the island.

North Cyprus
North Cyprus

Canary Islands

There are only five islands, a remote region of Spain in the Atlantic. Like Madeira, the Canary Islands are located near the coast of North Africa. Nearby flows the warm Gulf Stream, which, along with the Sahara Desert, influences the climate of the Canary Archipelago.

The most popular islands are Tenerife and Gran Canaria; if you want to be original, choose Lanzarote or Fuerteventura. If it’s your first time, I recommend Tenerife. In my personal chart, it ranks in the top 3 best islands in the world for both living and vacationing.

On Tenerife, it’s better to rent a car, but you can also get around by local buses. There are so many places to visit that a month won’t be enough – we know, we’ve checked. The island has over a dozen climatic zones, and you can even swim in winter – water temperature is 19-20, air during the day is 20-22.

Both Tenerife and Gran Canaria don’t quiet down in winter, and there are enough tourists, but their number isn’t overwhelming. There are no distinct seasons on the island, but it’s a bit calmer in winter.

Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife, Spain


Malta is an island in the Mediterranean Sea. If we talk about Malta as a country, there are only three islands – Malta, Gozo, and Comino. Malta is definitely not about beaches; people come here for a cultural program because the small island has three UNESCO World Heritage sites, and seven more are in the list of candidates for inclusion in this honorary list.

But even without all these antiquities, Malta has many harbors and bays, picturesque cliffs, and fishing villages worthy of your attention. Malta is a bit cooler than Cyprus, about 16-18 degrees Celsius, it might rain, but there’s nothing critically bad from a weather perspective.

Boats in a harbor of Birgu town, Malta

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