Although winter in Europe holds a unique charm with its cold, rainy, and snowy weather, there are times when a break and a rendezvous with the sun become essential. If you find yourself yearning for sunshine during the winter months, Spain welcomes you with open arms. It not only promises pleasant weather but also boasts a plethora of charming destinations that come alive in December. Join us on happylife.es as we explore the sunniest places to visit in Spain for your perfect mid-winter getaway.
Alicante - A Hidden Gem on the Costa Blanca
Adding to our list is Alicante, a hidden gem on the Costa Blanca. Renowned for its stunning beaches, historic sites, and vibrant culture, Alicante is a fantastic winter destination. With temperatures ranging from 15-24°C, it provides a comfortable escape from the winter chill.
The city features a picturesque old town adorned with colorful houses, charming squares, and cozy cafes. Santa Bárbara Castle, perched on a hill, offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean. Alicante's beautiful beaches, including Postiguet Beach and San Juan Beach, are perfect for leisurely walks or sunbathing.
What to Explore in Alicante:
Santa Bárbara Castle: Ascend to Santa Bárbara Castle, perched on a hill, for panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean. Immerse yourself in the castle's history and enjoy breathtaking vistas.
Old Town: Wander through Alicante's picturesque old town with colorful houses, charming squares, and cozy cafes. Immerse yourself in the city's rich culture and history.
Beaches: Alicante's beautiful beaches, including Postiguet Beach and San Juan Beach, are perfect for leisurely walks, sunbathing, or water sports.
Exquisite Dining: Indulge in delectable Mediterranean cuisine at local restaurants. Try traditional dishes such as paella and seafood specialties.
The Canary Islands - A Tropical Escape
Tenerife, part of the Canary Islands, offers a tropical paradise just a stone's throw from the equator. It has been a haven for winter sun-seekers since the 1960s. While the Canary Islands aren't in the Mediterranean, their proximity to the equator ensures a warm and welcoming climate.
In addition to sunbathing on pristine beaches, you can embark on marine life explorations with boat trips to spot whales and dolphins. Mount Teide and the national park offer a different kind of adventure, and each of the seven Canary Islands has its unique charm, easily accessible by ferry.
What to Experience in the Canary Islands:
Mount Teide: Begin your adventure with a trip to Mount Teide, Spain's highest peak. The Teide National Park surrounding it boasts lunar-like landscapes and breathtaking views. Take a cable car ride to get closer to the summit.
Marine Life: Set sail on boat trips around the islands for the chance to spot magnificent marine life. Whales and dolphins are frequent companions, making for a memorable experience.
Island Hopping: Each of the seven Canary Islands has its unique charm. Explore Gran Canaria's diverse landscapes, hike through La Gomera's lush forests, or discover the tranquil beauty of El Hierro. The islands are well-connected by ferry, allowing you to create your island-hopping adventure.
Beaches: While in Tenerife, enjoy the beautiful beaches such as Playa de las Teresitas with its golden sands. The Canary Islands' coastlines offer an array of options for sunbathing and water sports.
Local Cuisine: Savor the local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood, traditional stews, and tropical fruits. Don't miss the opportunity to try papas arrugadas (wrinkled potatoes) with mojo sauce.
Almeria - Europe's Only Desert
Almeria, another gem in Andalucia, boasts Europe's only desert, The Tabernas. With temperatures consistently above 20°C in winter, it offers a taste of desert life in a comfortable setting. The beaches, adorned with white sands, are relatively secluded, making it perfect for a peaceful getaway.
The province is also a haven for cycling enthusiasts who explore small towns and enjoy the perfect climate for two-wheeling adventures. Almeria offers an experience that's a unique blend of desert landscapes, warm weather, and delightful cuisine.
What to Discover in Almeria:
The Tabernas Desert: Explore Europe's only desert, The Tabernas, where arid landscapes and rugged terrain provide an otherworldly experience. The desert has served as a backdrop for numerous famous western movies.
Cabo de Gata-Níjar Natural Park: Discover the beauty of this coastal natural park, featuring dramatic cliffs, hidden coves, and pristine beaches. It's a paradise for nature enthusiasts and hikers.
Almeria City: Immerse yourself in the charm of Almeria City, where you can explore historic sites like the Alcazaba, a medieval fortress, and the Gothic-style Cathedral of Almeria.
Cycling Adventures: Almeria is a haven for cycling enthusiasts. The province's perfect climate and varied terrain offer fantastic opportunities for two-wheeling adventures. Cycle through small towns, coastal paths, and scenic routes.
Cuisine: Sample the delightful local cuisine, which includes fresh seafood, tapas, and traditional dishes like gazpacho and paella. Pair your meal with local wines and enjoy the flavors of Almeria.
Murcia & Cartagena - Old World Charm
Murcia, founded in 831 AD, is a captivating old town near the coast, just 30 minutes from Cartagena. Its Mediterranean location ensures mild winters, making it an ideal destination for history buffs. Nearby Cartagena, an ancient port city, offers a beautiful beach and the opportunity to explore well-preserved Roman relics.
In Cartagena, you can visit an excavated Roman theatre and other ancient sites, including a Roman Domus and a Moorish palace. The Playa de Calblanque, a 30-minute drive from Cartagena, is a pristine and isolated beach that's perfect for a day trip.
What to See in Murcia and Cartagena:
Murcia Cathedral: Begin your exploration in Murcia with a visit to the impressive Murcia Cathedral, a magnificent example of Spanish architecture.
Cartagena's Roman Theatre: In Cartagena, delve into history at the Roman Theatre, an excavated site that provides insights into the city's ancient past. Explore the well-preserved Roman relics, including a Roman Domus and a Moorish palace.
Playa de Calblanque: For a serene beach escape, head to Playa de Calblanque, a pristine and isolated beach just a 30-minute drive from Cartagena. Its untouched beauty is perfect for a day trip.
Local Cuisine: Savor the local flavors of Murcia and Cartagena, including regional specialties like rice dishes and seafood. Don't forget to pair your meal with a glass of Spanish wine.
With a blend of historical charm, archaeological wonders, and scenic beaches, Murcia and Cartagena offer a delightful winter getaway for those who appreciate old-world allure and seaside relaxation.
Málaga - The Jewel of Costa del Sol
Málaga, the capital of the Costa del Sol, is a sun-soaked paradise that feels nothing like winter. Its iconic white villages, including Mijas, Ronda, and Frigiliana, dot the landscape, adding to the allure of this region. With mild temperatures and abundant sunshine, it's the ideal destination for beach lovers and culture enthusiasts alike.
The city itself is a treasure trove of history and architecture. The stunning Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga, a Renaissance-era masterpiece, is a must-visit. The beaches in Málaga are perfect for picnics or simply lounging in the sun, and during December, they are blissfully uncrowded.
What to See in Málaga:
Catedral de la Encarnación de Málaga: Begin your journey with a visit to this stunning Renaissance-era cathedral. Its intricate architecture and rich history make it a must-visit landmark.
Alcazaba: Explore the Alcazaba, a historic Moorish fortress, and immerse yourself in its intricate gardens and breathtaking views of the city.
Roman Theatre: Discover Málaga's Roman heritage at the ancient Roman Theatre, a beautifully preserved archaeological site.
Picasso Museum: Art enthusiasts shouldn't miss the Picasso Museum, which houses a remarkable collection of the famed artist's works.
Málaga Old Town: Stroll through the charming streets of Málaga's Old Town, where you'll encounter vibrant squares, cozy cafes, and boutique shops.
Beaches: Málaga's beaches, including Playa de la Malagueta, offer a perfect setting for a leisurely picnic or simply lounging in the sun. In December, these beaches are blissfully uncrowded, allowing you to unwind in tranquility.
In conclusion, Spain offers a diverse range of warm and inviting destinations for a sunny winter escape. While the temperatures may not soar to scorching heights, the clear skies and pleasant weather make these regions the perfect antidote to the winter blues. Whether you're drawn to the beaches, historic sites, or vibrant culture, Spain welcomes you to experience its warm embrace during December. So, pack your bags, leave your heavy coats behind, and embark on a sun-soaked adventure in Spain!