Dreaming of warm places in Europe during winter when the weather can be dark and cold? Missing summertime where you could lounge on the beach and feel the beaming sun on your skin? Then this post is for you! You may not think of Europe as the place to go for a warm winter getaway but you’d be surprised by the number of cities with decent weather you can experience on this continent. Not only that, you get to benefit from the cheaper prices to travel during winter and even better fewer crowds! Read on for the warmest places in Europe in January.
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|Destination||High||Low||Top Hotel Pick|
|1. Gran Canaria, Spain||69°F (21°C)||59°F (15°C)||Hotel Faro|
|2. Lanzarote, Spain||69°F (21°C)||57°F (14°C)||La Isla y el Mar|
|3. Tenerife, Spain||67°F (20°C)||57°F (14°C)||Villa Suite Hotel Maria|
|4. Madeira Island||64°F (18°C)||57°F (14°C)||TURIM Santa Maria Hotel|
|5. Cyprus||63°F (17°C)||46°F (8°C)||Anassa Hotel|
|6. Almeria, Spain||63°F (17°C)||46°F (8°C)||Murallas de Jayrán Hotel|
|7. Gibraltar||61°F (16°C)||52°F (11°C)||Sunborn Gibraltar|
|8. Crete, Greece||61°F (16°C)||46°F (8°C)||The Blossom Collection|
|9. Valencia, Spain||61°F (16°C)||46°F (8°C)||Melia Valencia|
|10. The Algarve||61°F (16°C)||43°F (6°C)||Luna Solaqua Hotel|
|11. Valletta, Malta||59°F (15°C)||50°F (10°C)||The Hilton|
|12. Ericeira, Portugal||59°F (15°C)||47°F (8°C)||Omassim Guesthouse|
|13. Lisbon, Portugal||59°F (15°C)||47°F (8°C)||Wine & Books Lisboa Hotel|
|14. Marbella, Spain||59°F (15°C)||43°F (6°C)||Linda Boutique Hotel|
|15. Catania, Italy||59°F (15°C)||43°F (6°C)||Bastiò Private Suites|
|16. Nice, France||56°F (13°C)||41°F (5°C)||La Negresco|
|17. Rome, Italy||55°F (13°C)||37°F (3°C)||Hotel Fontana|
|18. Tirana, Albania||53°F (11°C)||34°F (1°C)||Rooftop Tirana|
Warmest Places in Europe in January
1. Gran Canaria, Canary Islands (Spain)
Explored by Alya of Stingy Nomads
Gran Canaria Island is the hottest place to visit in Europe in January. It is one of the seven islands of the archipelago, an offshore territory of Spain situated 1300 km south of mainland Europe.
It’s a volcanic island famous for its beautiful beaches, impressive mountains, and stunning sunsets. There are many outdoor things to do in Gran Canaria from hiking and surfing to observing wildlife and visiting water and amusement parks. There are many hiking trails, most of them in the central part of Gran Canaria. If you want to explore the island on foot, hiking the Camino de Gran Canaria is the best way to do so.
The beaches in Las Palmas are good for learning to surf while the beaches on the north coast of Gran Canaria are suitable for more experienced surfers. This is especially true in winter when there is a big swell coming from the Atlantic Ocean.
Aqualand Maspalomas and Palmito Maspalomas are the most popular parks to visit on the island, especially for travelers with children. Maspalomas Beach is the best spot to watch the sunset on Gran Canaria. There are many beach bars where you can enjoy a sundowner drink with a spectacular view.
January is a great time to visit Gran Canaria Island if you want to enjoy warm and sunny weather by the beach without leaving Europe. It’s not a very busy time for the island which means affordable accommodation prices and cheaper flights.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 69°F / 21°C, Low: 59°F / 15°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 3 days
📍 How to get there: You can fly to Gran Canaria from mainland Europe. There are many direct flights to the island from several Spanish and European cities. To get to Gran Canaria from one of the Canary Islands you can fly or take a ferry.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: Hotel Faro, a Lopesan Collection Hotel at Maspalomas Beach is a great place to stay on Gran Canaria Island. The hotel is right at Maspalomas Beach close to the bus terminal, restaurants, and shops.
2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain)
Explored by Inês Nunes of Randomtrip
Welcome to Lanzarote, one of the most interesting of the Canary Islands, eight Spanish pieces of paradise. Declared a Biosphere Reserve by Unesco, this island hides more than 100 volcanoes in its Timanfaya National Park where it’s possible to do some trekking and walk amongst living volcanic land! It holds similar temperatures to Gran Canaria and is one of the hottest places to go in Europe in January.
Some of the best things to do include sunbathing in pristine waters like Papagayo Beach, surfing in the breathtaking Famara, or chilling amongst natural pools in Arrieta and Punta Mujeres. The best part is that all of these plans are enjoyable throughout the year. Both the outside and the water temperature in Lanzarote remain quite stable from January to December at around 63ºF/17ºC. This is perfect to enjoy the water even during the winter months.
You can also visit some architectural gems of the most international artist from Lanzarote, Cesar Manrique’s Cactus’s Garden or Jameos del Agua. Walking through the beautiful old town of Teguise is something you can’t miss. Watch out foodies, the island’s cheese is unmissable and the famous Canarian mojo verde and mojo picón accompanied by papas arrugás (wrinkled potatoes) are a must. All washed down with a delicious Malvasia volcánica wine from the island, directly from one of its wineries that can be visited in La Geria.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 69°F / 21°C, Low: 57°F / 14°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 4 days
📍 How to get there: The best way to get to Lanzarote is from one of many flights from mainland Spain or several European cities, some with excellent prices with low-cost companies like Ryanair and Easyjet. You can also arrive by boat from the neighboring island of Fuerteventura.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Lanzarote is La Isla y el Mar, because of its amazing reviews and sea view rooms.
3. Tenerife, Canary Islands (Spain)
Explored by Adriana of Wanderlicious
Tenerife is a beautiful Spanish island in the Canaries off the west coast of Africa. The vibrant culture and breathtaking landscape are just asking to be visited and photographed. It is covered by dense, ancient forests that are reminiscent of Jurassic Park, rugged mountains with jagged peaks, and jet-black sand beaches. There are also many flourishing farms and banana and papaya plantations.
Tenerife also boasts a miniature grand canyon, azure blue coastlines, and, of course, a majestic volcano right in the center. The Spanish heritage adds another layer of spice to the island with its Hispanic cuisine and captivating architecture.
The island is incredibly varied from north to south, east, and west. The north side of the island is said to have a different climate from the south. The north tends to be a little more cloudy and cooler; this is due to the mountainous landscape. As you drive from the north to the South, you’ll drive through the clouds to the top of the mountain, and back down again to a tropical, palm tree balmy area of Costa Adeje. If you get a chance, visit both areas as they are unique in their landscape.
One of the best spots is Masca Valley, a tiny little village with incredible rock formations. There’s not a huge amount to do here other than taking photos. However, do also go for lunch or a coffee, shop at the local souvenir shops, and bask in the warm sun.
In January, you can also catch the Carnival in Santa Cruz de Tenerife from the 12th of January onwards. It is one of the biggest celebrations of the year!
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 67°F / 20°C, Low: 57°F / 14°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 5 days
📍 How to get there: Fly to Tenerife North or Tenerife South Airport. The Tenerife South Airport is close to the tourist hotspot on Costa Adeje, just a 20-minute taxi ride away.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: Villa Suite Hotel Maria This hotel has an outstanding sea view, villas with private pools, and is in a perfect location for accessing the main strip. You’ll be in close proximity to souvenir shops, hundreds of restaurants, and ice cream parlors.
4. Madeira Island, Portugal
Explored by Jurga of Full Suitcase
Located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 1000 km from mainland Portugal, Madeira Island is a year-round destination. With a mild subtropical climate, Madeira is also a perfect choice for those looking for a warm place to visit in Europe in winter. After the New Year’s crowds disappear, January is one of the quietest months to visit Madeira.
It’s a great time to visit Madeira if you are looking for mild weather, a local atmosphere, and no crowds. Flights and accommodations are much cheaper at this time of the year and winter weather is perfect for hiking. In addition, it’s also a good time to see whales in Madeira. Although, there are usually dolphins and various types of whales around the island throughout the year.
It can still be busy in Madeira in the first week of January, just after New Year. Plus, for a few days toward the end of the month, when Funchal Marathon takes place. But it’s nothing compared to the summer crowds.
Keep in mind, however, that January is one of the wettest months in Madeira. But the good thing is that the clouds tend to concentrate around the highest peaks while it can be nice and sunny on the coast. If you keep your plans flexible, it’s often possible to avoid the rain altogether.
Some of the must-see places in Madeira include the capital city Funchal, Cabo Girão viewpoint, the incredible coastal scenery at Ponta de São Lourenço, and Pico do Arieiro, one of the highest peaks on the island. There are lots of traditional villages, stunning botanical gardens, and countless hidden gems scattered around the island. Here you can find more inspiration for the best places to see and things to do in Madeira.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 64°F / 18°C, Low: 57°F / 14°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 13 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Funchal (FNC).
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: TURIM Santa Maria Hotel is a great mid-budget accommodation choice in the center of Funchal.
Explored by Lavina D’Souza of Continent Hop
Cyprus is a charming island country in the eastern Mediterranean known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality. While Europe may be cold in January, Cyprus stands out as one of the warmest destinations, providing a welcome respite from the cold.
It has a fascinating history dating back thousands of years, influenced by civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, and Ottomans. This rich heritage is reflected in its archaeological sites, medieval castles, and charming old towns, making it a history and culture enthusiast’s dream.
Why should you visit Cyprus in January? Aside from escaping the cold, this is an excellent time to explore the island without crowds. Mild temperatures, beautiful sunny days, and breathtaking views of the Mediterranean Sea are all possible. Indulge in traditional Cypriot cuisine at local tavernas, where you can savor dishes like souvlaki, halloumi cheese, and moussaka. For a sweet treat, try local wines and delicacies like loukoumades (honey-soaked dough balls).
Visit picturesque locations such as Aphrodite’s Rock, Paphos Harbour, and the Troodos Mountains to capture stunning images of the island’s scenic beauty. The warm winter light and vibrant landscapes provide excellent photographic opportunities.
Cape Greco, a stunning coastal area with dramatic cliffs and azure waters, is the place to go for panoramic views. Another must-see viewpoint is Kyrenia Castle, which offers breathtaking views of the harbor and surrounding mountains.
So, pack your bags, escape the winter chill, and embrace the warmth and beauty of Cyprus in January.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 63°F / 17°C, Low: 46°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 10 days
📍 How to get there: The closest international airport is Larnaca International Airport, with direct flights from major European cities. Alternatively, you can fly to Paphos International Airport.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: Consider the luxurious Anassa Hotel in Polis, offering elegant accommodations, beautiful views, and excellent amenities to enhance your winter esca
6. Almeria, Spain
Explored by Sonia of Happy Little Traveler
Almeria is a beautiful Spanish city located in Andalucia, on a very sunny and warm Costa de Almeria. Actually, it’s the capital of one of the driest regions in Europe! Sadly, this charming city is often overlooked in favor of other big ones located nearby like Malaga, Seville, or Granada. And it definitely shouldn’t be, as Almeria is a great destination for both beach holidays and short weekend getaways.
Over 3000 hours of sun per year, very little rain, and warm temperatures make Almeria a great destination in January for those seeking warmth and sun in the winter. Also, during that time of the year, you won’t find too many tourists and you’ll be able to enjoy its charms in peace.
Almeria offers the mix of a big city with many attractions combined with the chilled vibe of smaller Spanish towns. While there, don’t miss visiting the impressive Alcazaba that is overlooking the city and offers countless spectacular viewpoints. Other places you should add to your Almeria list: a unique-looking cathedral, colorful old town streets, tranquil beaches with crystal clear waters, and San Cristobal Hill with even more great city views. When you get hungry head to Jovellanos 16 for classic Spanish tapas.
☀️ Temperature in January: 63°F / 17°C, Low: 46°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 7 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is located in Almeria and from it you can quickly get to the city by bus or taxi. From some places like Granada or Malaga, you can also get to the city by train.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Almeria is Murallas de Jayrán Hotel Boutique – it’s located in a great spot, just minutes from the center and beach.
Explored by Michael Turtle from Time Travel Turtle
Right on the southern tip of Spain, you can see Africa from Gibraltar on a sunny day. And, if you believe the rumours, there’s even a secret tunnel under the water that connects the two! With monkeys, no sales tax, and an airport runway that cuts across the main road into the territory, this Gibraltar is no ordinary place.
As part of the UK, it uses the pound as its currency and the phone booths are even painted red. Yet its location means it has the glorious southern Spanish weather and the food is influenced by Mediterranean cuisines. The national dish, called calentita is actually quite a plain food made from chickpea flour (reflecting the fact Gibraltar doesn’t have much agricultural land) but thankfully the restaurants offer a more interesting selection.
For a small territory of just 6.8 square kilometers in size (and with a population of about 30,000 people), there are a lot of things to do. The highlight is visiting the Rock of Gibraltar, the huge limestone promontory that defines the landscape. There are hiking trails, old tunnels, natural caves, and the remains of battlements.
Beyond the rock, Gibraltar has about six sandy beaches that are still pleasant in winter, while January also sees the annual Three King’s Cavalcade festival that includes a parade through the town. The temperature is perfect for some of the steep walks up to the rock, and then to recover by the water at the marina with an afternoon drink.
☀️ Temperature in January: 61°F / 16°C, Low: 52°F / 11°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 12 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Gibraltar International Airport, from where you can even walk to town! There is no train station but there are direct bus links from Spanish cities like Malaga.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: For something a bit different, the Sunborn Gibraltar is a permanently moored cruise ship that offers the most luxurious accommodation in Gibraltar.
8. Crete, Greece
Explored by Simon of Backpack Moment
Ever wondered where the first advanced civilization in Europe was? The Minoans built impressive palaces complete with plumbing systems, frescoes, and gates on the 5th biggest island in the Mediterranean – Crete.
The civilization prospered between 3000 BC and 1100 BC when a devastating earthquake and volcano eruption. After that, the island was consecutively part of Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, Venice, the Ottoman Empire, and since 1821 – part of Greece.
Located in the southeast Mediterranean Sea, Crete is a wonderful destination year-round. However, with the crowds disappearing in the winter, you’ll have all the history and nature for yourself!
Start by exploring the old towns of Chania, Rethymno, and Heraklion (don’t forget to visit Knossos – Europe’s oldest city!). Then challenge yourself by hiking at Samaria or Imbros Gorges which present outstanding scenery. Top it all off by relaxing at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world – Elafonisi, Balos, and Preveli.
Even in January, the temperatures don’t drop too low, so sunbathing is not entirely out of the question. Uniquely, it’s one of the few places in Europe where in January you can ski in the mountains in the morning and relax at the beach in the afternoon.
Top that! If you go in the first week of January, the holiday spirit will still be in the air on Crete. Greek Orthodox Christians celebrate Epiphany on the 6th of January putting an official end to the holiday season.
☀️ Temperature in January: 61°F / 16°C, Low: 46°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 14 days
📍 How to get there: Crete has two international airports – Chania and Heraklion. Both have regular daily flights from Greece’s capital Athens as well as many flights to and from Europe.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The Blossom Collection in Heraklion City Center is the best place to stay on Crete because of the incredible views, the awesome location, and the top-notch amenities.
9. Valencia, Spain
Explored by Teresa Gomez of Brogan Abroad
Valencia is located on Spain’s eastern coast, which gives the city a pleasant Mediterranean climate, mild temperatures, and abundant sunshine. It is the ideal destination for a December getaway, with temperatures ranging between 5°C (41F) and 15°C (59F), offering pleasant conditions to explore.
Founded in 138 B.C. by the Romans, the city boasts over 2,000 years of history, and it’s an important center for history and culture. Roman ruins, medieval city gates, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Silk Exchange showcase its cultural influences.
Valencia also boasts a diverse culinary scene. Make sure to sample the authentic Valencian paella, a renowned dish originating from this region. Explore the bustling Central Market, where you can immerse yourself in the local food culture and discover fresh produce, one of the best things to do in Valencia.
Photography enthusiasts will find endless inspiration here too. Capture the breathtaking architecture, from modernist gems to Gothic structures. Don’t miss the opportunity to wander through the expansive Turia Gardens, providing stunning landscapes and cityscape views.
In January, Valencia hosts the Cabalgata de Reyes, also known as the Three Kings Parade. Celebrating the arrival of the Three Wise Men, the event features colorful floats, marching bands, and performers, where sweets and small presents are thrown to the crowds.
For incredible viewpoints, head to the iconic City of Arts and Sciences and to the historic Old Town where you can climb the Miguelete and Santa Catalina Church Towers.
☀️ Temperature in January: 61°F / 16°C, Low: 46°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 8 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Valencia Airport (VLC). Alternatively, take the train to Estación del Norte or the bus to Estación de Autobuses de Valencia.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay is the Melia Valencia. It has spacious rooms, great pools, and it’s in a great location.
10. Algarve, Portugal
Explored by Natali of She’s Abroad Again
Located in the south of Portugal, the sunny Algarve is one of the best places to visit in Europe in January. With average daytime temperatures around 16C and plenty of sunny days, it is a perfect destination for those looking for winter sun in Europe. Algarve is one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in Europe.
Those who want to explore the stunning coves and majestic rock formations along the Algarve coast away from the crowds will love it in January.
The most common way to get around Algarve is on a road trip, but you can also visit Algarve without a car. If you don’t have a car, the best way to explore the region is to base yourself in two cities to avoid long travel days. If you’re traveling by car (rental car options here), Albufeira is the best choice for a base. It is in the middle of the coastline, and as a popular summer destination, it offers numerous affordable accommodation options in January.
Start your trip by exploring Faro and its unique Ria Formosa Nature Park. Between Albufeira and Carvoeiro you’ll find one of the most beautiful hiking trails in the region – Seven Hanging Valleys Trail, which passes by the famous Benagil Cave.
Watching the sunset from Sagres, the westernmost point of Algavre is a must-do! Algarve is more than just its coast, so make sure to visit the hilltop town of Silves and the vineyards in the hills of Algarve.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 16C/61F Low: 6C/43F
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 9 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Faro Airport and you can drive to wherever you base yourself from there.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Algarve is Luna Solaqua Hotel in Albufeira because it is great value for money and perfectly located in the middle of the region.
Explored by Joanna of The World in My Pocket
Malta makes a great destination to visit in January. Being located in the Mediterranean Sea, Malta offers plenty of sunshine during the coldest month of winter. Whilst it may not be warm enough to sunbathe or swim, there are plenty of sunny days to enjoy. Malta is a small island but with plenty of tourist attractions that will keep your holiday busy.
The capital, Valletta, is the smallest in the European Union. However, there are plenty of things to do here, from exploring the 16th-century buildings built by the Knights of Malta, to indulging in the delicious traditional Maltese dishes at one of the typical restaurants in the area.
Just across the Grand Harbour, you will find three cities: Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua, which can easily take an entire day to visit. The best way to reach them is by ferry, from Valletta. If you want to explore the island, don’t miss the fishing harbor of Marsaxlokk. The best time to come here is on a Saturday when the weekly fish market takes place.
You can also hop on a boat and go on a ride to see the famous St Peter’s Pool from the water. Whilst in summer people jump from the cliffs in the water, in winter it is much more peaceful, and you can admire the rock formations better. The north of the island is pretty spectacular as well. For a unique experience, go hiking on the cliffs surrounding Riviera Beach.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 69°F / 21°C, Low: 50°F / 10°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 8 days
📍 How to get there: Malta has one airport, in the south of the island. Alternatively, you can take the ferry from Sicily to get here.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The Hilton is a great choice. In January the prices are much lower than in summer, and you can enjoy the five stars experience for less. The rooms at the Hilton have sea views.
12. Ericeira, Portugal
Explored by Annelies De Gelas of Travelers & Dreamers
Ericeira is a great place in Europe to visit in January. Not only is the weather still fab in winter with lots of hours of sun but this time of the year is also the best time to visit for advanced surfers who are looking for some great breaks. Ericeira is a hotspot for surfing and is known to be the only World Surfing Reserve in Europe, attracting surfers from all over the world.
Ericeira is located about half an hour’s drive from Lisbon. It is very easy to reach the town from the capital city and Lisbon Airport by either renting a car or by public transport. The bus is the most economical and ecological way to get from Lisbon to Ericeira but renting a car is a better option if you want to have the freedom to explore Ericeira and the surrounding area.
The top thing to do in Ericiera is surfing but there are many other things to do in Ericeira if you like to spend your time in another manner. Ericeira is a hotspot when it comes to wellness and you can find a variety of yoga retreats and wellness centers in the region.
Furthermore, the restaurants and beaches in Ericeira are simply amazing with Ribeira d’Ilhas being an excellent choice for both the beach as well as the onsite restaurant. Ericeira is also an excellent base for day trips in the area to famous sights like Sintra and the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park.
☀️ Temperature in January: 59°F / 15°C, Low: 47°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 10 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Humberto Delgado Airport in Lisbon. The best way to get from Lisbon to Ericeira is by renting a car. Alternatively, you can also take the subway and a bus but this will restrict your freedom in Ericeira as beaches, surf breaks, and attractions are too far from one another to reach by foot.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Ericeira is Omassim Guesthouse because they offer great packages including surfing and yoga and they also offer a wide range of wellness therapies like massages and a sweat lodge.
13. Lisbon, Portugal
Explored by Claire Martin from Europe in Winter
Lisbon, the capital and largest city of Portugal, is a wonderful place to visit in January. The weather is also relatively warm throughout the year – even in January. The thermometer stays toasty throughout the winter season, with some days being as hot as 20°C. Plus, it’s usually pretty sunny too! In the summer season, the barometer in Lisbon soars to 40°C or more – and walking around these sweltering conditions can be intense!
There are tons of things to do in Lisbon in winter. The perfect weather will allow you to enjoy the capital’s many al fresco restaurants, sipping on a cool glass of Vinho Verde (a slightly sparkling wine) and enjoying views of the River Tagus. For the most amazing views of the city, walk along the walls of Castelo de São Jorge and soak in the picturesque landscapes. Then head over to the most famous tram in Lisbon located at Rua da Conceicao. It is the perfect photo spot to capture the essence of Lisbon.
Don’t miss heading to Pasteis de Belem and trying their fresh custard tarts. They created the original Pastels de Nata which are now eaten throughout Portugal. And if you’re up for a day trip, you can easily get to Sintra, a fairytale castle situated a short train ride away.
☀️ Temperature in January: 59°F / 15°C, Low: 47°F / 8°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 15 days
📍 How to get there: Lisbon has a large international airport with connections all over Europe. The main station, with connections to the rest of Portugal, is the Gare do Oriente station.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay is Wine & Books Lisboa Hotel because it’s a fantastic boutique hotel in Belem, offering unique rooms with a welcoming atmosphere.
14. Marbella, Spain
Explored by Cristina Reina of My Little World of Travelling
Marbella, located one hour drive from Malaga in Southern Spain, is one of the most popular destinations to visit in summer. However, it is also the perfect winter sun getaway. Marbella in winter enjoys warm temperatures, is less crowded, and has many fantastic things to do.
One of the best things to do in Marbella is to discover its historic center, home to pretty white-painted buildings with flower pots hanging down the walls, churches, and monuments. You can easily spend over an hour taking photos in its cobblestone streets.
If you love nature, winter is the perfect time to hike. La Concha hike is a challenging hiking trail but offers incredible views of the coast, and you can even see Gibraltar. However, if you prefer a more accessible trail, the one in Cabopino Beach is the one.
Traveling to Marbella at the beginning of January is also a good idea if you love all Christmas-related things. Spanish Christmas doesn’t end until the 7th of January, so you can still see the Christmas lights in Marbella and attend the impressive Three Kings Parade.
Lastly, Marbella is a fantastic place to visit for foodies. The city has several Michelin-star restaurants like SKINA and many good Andalusian tapas bars like Casa Blanca.
☀️ Temperature in January: 59°F / 15°C, Low: 43°F / 6°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 5 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Malaga-Costa del Sol Airport (AGP). You can take a bus to Marbella from the airport. The bus leaves you at the top of the town, so you can walk 20 minutes to the historic center or take a taxi.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Marbella is Linda Boutique Hotel because of its beautifully decorated rooms, delicious breakfast, and amazing rooftop terrace. It is in the picturesque old town of Marbella and a few minutes walk from the beach.
15. Catania, Sicily
Explored by Kelsea O’Donnell of Out of Office Mindset
Catania, Sicily is a perfect place to travel in January. Located on the east coast of the island, it is the second-largest city in Sicily behind Palermo. It has a unique Mediterranean feel that makes it ideal for those looking to escape the winter chill and enjoy some sun-filled days.
In January, Catania has large celebrations for the Epiphany, a Catholic holiday celebrated on January 6th. A special pistachio and nut candy can be sampled from street vendors.
Catania is full of history and culture. Taking a walking tour is a fantastic way to learn about the city, with highlights such as the fish market and the castle. Many of the churches, monasteries, and palaces in Catania are also worth a visit.
There are many excellent wineries around Mount Etna, located just outside of Catania. A great January activity would be to visit a couple of these wineries, taste the delicious Sicilian food and exceptional wine, and enjoy the breathtaking view of Mount Etna.
Catania is renowned for its excellent cuisine, with many charming restaurants serving authentic Sicilian dishes. Be sure to look for one of the many rooftop restaurants as well. They have fantastic views of Mount Etna.
With its ancient architecture, lava-strewn streets, and stunning mountaintop views, Catania is a picturesque trip.
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 59°F / 15°C, Low: 43°F / 6°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 13 days
📍 How to get there: Catania has an international airport located just 10 minutes outside the city. There is also a bus and train station by the port which is a 15-minute walk from the town center.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Catania is Bastiò Private Suites for the prime location and hammam spa!
16. Nice, France
Explored by Kristin of Global Travel Escapades
Another destination that’s warm and worth visiting during the wintertime is Nice, France. Located along the Cote d’Azur of the Mediterranean Sea, Nice enjoys a relatively mild climate compared to much of Europe during January.
And with plenty of things to do, you can always find things to do to fill your time in the city! For example, you can explore the vibrant city streets in Old Town, which are lined with shops and restaurants offering visitors a taste of the local specialties, such as Pissaladiere!
Afterward, you can take an afternoon stroll along the Promenade des Anglais. Here, you’ll be able to admire the gorgeous views of the coast, without having to deal with the throngs of people the city normally sees during the summer.
Or, if you’re looking to get some exercise in during your stay, consider taking a hike up Castle Hill to witness some stunning views. This is undoubtedly the best spot to catch panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. And directly below Castle Hill, you’ll find the giant #IloveNice sign, which is another great spot to capture some pictures!
So, if you’re looking for a warmer destination in Europe to visit during January, consider visiting Nice!
☀️ Temperature in January: 56°F / 13°C, Low: 41°F / 5°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 5 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport. Alternatively, you can get there from the Nice-Ville train station.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Nice is La Negresco because of its famous history and prime location along the Promenade des Anglais.
17. Rome, Italy
Explored by Jackie of Jou Jou Travels
Visiting Rome in January will allow you to enjoy relatively warm temperatures compared to other destinations in Europe. While Rome might not be as warm as some southern European cities, it still offers a pleasant climate with average high temperatures of around 55°F (13°C) during this time.
One of the advantages of visiting Rome in January is the reduced tourist crowds. The popular attractions, such as the Colosseum, Vatican City, and the Roman Forum, are generally less crowded, allowing for a more enjoyable experience. You can explore the ancient ruins, marvel at the stunning art and architecture, and soak in the rich history and culture of this beautiful city at a more relaxed pace.
In addition to the iconic landmarks, Rome also offers many indoor attractions that provide an escape from the occasional rain or cooler temperatures. Explore world-class museums like the Vatican Museums and the Galleria Borghese, which house magnificent art collections.
Indulge in the city’s renowned culinary scene by savoring authentic Italian cuisine in cozy trattorias. Some local favorites include Rimessa Roscioli or Testaccio Il Bucatino. You can also explore the Trastevere and take a hidden food tour – an amazing option for all the foodies out there! (Book the food tour).
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 55°F / 13°C, Low: 37°F / 3°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 7 days
📍 How to get there: Rome is easily accessible by one of the 2 airports. Leonardo da Vinci Airport is used by major airlines, while Ciampino Airport is used by budget airlines such as Easyjet or Ryanair. You can take public transport into the city or hop in a cab.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: If you love a good view, you have to stay at Hotel Fontana where you’ll have the Trevi Fountain right out your window!
18. Tirana, Albania
Explored by Brenda Mejia of Traveleira
Although an off-the-beaten-path destination, Tirana is slowly becoming one of the trendiest cities to visit in Europe. After years of being closed to the world due to the political situation and a bloody story, Albania welcomes tourists and travelers from around the world.
This Southern European destination, although a world-famous beach spot, offers many things to do in January. The first reason why you should visit Tirana in January is because Albania is not crowded in winter. While it may not be the warmest place in Europe, it is still mild compared to other parts.
If you want to immerse in its history, explore local bars and restaurants at a slow pace, then visiting it in January will work for you. If you visit, one of the first things to do in Tirana is to explore the famous Bunk’Art 1 and 2, which are two bunkers built by the dictatorship to protect the country from foreign threats and they were turned into museums to commemorate the victims.
Make sure you take a ride on the Dajti Ekspress, the cable car that will take you to the top of Mount Dajti to see the best views from the city of Tirana from above, even if you are visiting on a Winter’s day.
Do not miss the opportunity to try local food! Some of the best spots to visit are Ceren Ismet Shehu and Oda Garden. You will get Albanian Food for reasonable prices and get to visit
☀️ Temperature in January: High: 53°F / 11°C, Low: 34°F / 1°C
🌧️ Rainfall days in January: 10 days
📍 How to get there: The closest airport is Tirana-Rinas Airport. Alternatively, you can get there from most of the major cities around such as Athens, Skopje, Pristina, and even Belgrade on a bus.
🏨 Top Hotel Pick: The best place to stay in Tirana is Rooftop Tirana because it provides you the vibe of an apartment with a great view and close to the city center.
Map of the warmest places in Europe in January
You can click this link for a Google Map view straight on your mobile phone so you can easily see where all of the hottest places in Europe are in January.