Europe isn’t usually the first option for travelers looking for warm beaches during winter. However, there are fascinating sunny destinations that attract many visitors. These cozy beaches are a paradise for northern Europeans, and Americans can definitely understand why when they visit.
From Portugal to Greece, there are breathtaking coasts with pristine water and white sand to enjoy, without the stressful summer crowds, that could add warmth and freshness to your upcoming Eurotrip. Here’s a list of the top 6 beaches in Europe that are actually warm during winter, based on data provided by Holidu:
1. Los Cristianos, Tenerife, Spain
When it comes to warm weather and beaches in Europe, Spain usually has the best offer. It will probably require an extra flight to visit the warmest ones since these are in the spectacular Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands.
The best and warmest beach is Los Cristianos, with an average winter temperature of 20.6 ºC —around 69 ºF— and many sunny hours. There are other nearby beaches with very similar temperatures, like Adeje, Las Galletas, El Medano, Granadilla De Abona, Los Gigantes, and Guia De Isora. No wonder why Tenerife is one of the top destinations for digital nomads this winter.
2. Gzira, Malta
The beautiful coastal town of Gzira has great swimming spots, restaurants, hotels, beautiful architecture to explore—tourists can even take a Game of Thrones tour— and plenty of things to do!
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Near Gzira, travelers can also visit beaches like Stone Beach to admire the great views or enjoy the incredibly clear blue water at Fond Għadir Beach. The average temperature during winter is 18ºC—around 64.4 ºF—, and the coldest month is February.
3. Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
When it comes to traveling to Europe, Italy is always a wise option. Now that new high-speed trains are connecting more cities, moving around this country is getting easier for travelers. When it comes to warm destinations, of course, going south is always wise.
In Syracuse, Sicily, travelers will find the coziest spots on the Italian coast. This destination offers fascinating historical buildings, beautiful public beaches like Oasi Gelsomineto with clean water and nice sand, and nice weather above 16ºC —61ºF— with sunny days.
4. Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece
Crete is perfect to visit all year round, and there are extraordinary beach destinations like Agios Nikolaos that are also wonderful to visit during winter. This resort town has a beautiful lake, vibrant nightlife, and gorgeous beaches like Ammoudi B, Kitroplatia B, Ammos B, and Gardoros B.
If you are looking for a special mix of glamour, history, and great beaches, this is the perfect spot! The mild climate makes it extra enjoyable during winter —average temperatures around 16.4 ºC or 61.5ºF— with multiple activities, events, and places to explore.
5. Luz, Algarve, Portugal
Those taking advantage of the cheap winter tickets to Lisbon can go a little more to the south and reach the spectacular Praia da Luz. This quaint fishing village has great beaches with calm and clear blue waters and sand, very pleasant in December and January.
It’s perfect to enjoy the ocean views, the gorgeous sunsets, and the sunny hours. The average winter temperature in this location is 15.8 ºC —60.4ºF— and the local atmosphere is perfect for a calm and relaxing vacation.
6. Malaga, Spain
Malaga, another great winter destination in Spain, has all the ingredients for a perfect vacation. While the average winter temperature is 16ºC —60.8ºF— there are many winter days where the temperature can go above 20ºC or 68ºF.
This fascinating coastal city is extremely popular during the summer but also has a lot to offer during winter. Some of its main attractions are sunny days with clear blue skies—rainy days aren’t common during winter— and, of course, beaches like the famous Playa la malagueta. There are also fascinating places to visit, like the Picasso museum, stunning castles, and delicious restaurants.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com