Fri, September 17th, 2010 - By

Three great European Winter Sun destinations

If I could only go on holiday once a year, I’d choose to go on a Winter sun holiday to break up the long, dismal Winter in the UK.  If you want to increase your chances of warm, sunny weather, the further south in Europe you travel, the better.

Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

If you want to spend time on beautiful sandy beaches, then Fuerteventura is ideal.   You need to head for the east coast for sandy beaches, as the west coast beaches are mainly full of pebbles.  We visited in November and it was 28 degrees on a couple of days.  However, the island can be quite windy, so you might not realise the intensity of the sun until you’re burnt. We stayed in Costa Calma on the east coast. I went swimming in the sea every day, partly because the pool at the apartment was pretty small.  It was a bit chilly at first but you just have to decide to take the plunge and start swimming – then it’s really enjoyable.

Costa Calma


We stayed in Paphos on the south coast of the island of Cyprus one February. It was really wet on the day of our arrival but the weather was pretty good after that with day time temperatures reaching the mid 20s.  I didn’t go swimming in the sea in Cyprus, although there were plenty of beaches close to Paphos such as Coral Bay. We had a hire car, so drove up to Trodos Mountains, where there was some snow on the roads.  The town of Polis makes a for a good day trip.  The seafront in the town of Laranca is very attractive and had plenty of cafes with outdoor terraces.


The Portugese island of Madeira is probably my favourite Winter sun destination. We were there in early December and there were still flowers everywhere.  It was a pleasant temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius and party cloudy during most of our stay. There was a large sea-water pool at our hotel, which usually had it to ourselves in the early evening.  However, swimming in the natural pools mainly formed by volcanic lava at Porto Moniz on the north coast of Madeira was amazing.  We also did several levada walks, alongside the narrow irrigation channels with many panoramic views.

Pools Porto Moniz

What’s your favourite European Winter sun destination?

Image credits: hisgett, mrs_logic, hueneborg, goforchris

Karen Bryan

Karen Bryan is the founding editor of the UK based, multi author Europe a la Carte Blog which features Europe travel tips about the best places to visit in Europe.

Posted : Friday, September 17th, 2010 at 11:53
Category : Holiday Tips
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2 Responses to “Three great European Winter Sun destinations”

  1. claire says:

    I was in Fuerteventura (Coralejo) this February half-term. It was windy, cloudy and rained every day! I was desperate to be on the beach but it was very chilly and the sea was icy! Even so, I had a good time, it’s a lovely place and the sun did come out occasionally!

  2. Karen Bryan says:

    Claire – oh dear you were very unlucky, we’ve been to the Canaries several times on Winter Sun holidays during the period November to February and it’s usually been too hot for me.

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