This is a guest post.
Tired of watching the rain cascade in fat droplets onto the window or snow pile up in the streets? Then head to where the sun rarely hides in the wintertime. Here are three sublime and sunny spots in Europe.
Head to the island of Lanzarote in mid-February and treat yourself to a tropical paradise while everybody else languishes in bad weather. Playa Blanca on the southern part of the island features a drier clime and quiet beaches with a family atmosphere. The weather at this time is akin to the British summer, so while there will be occasional showers, expect at least six hours of sun in the mid-twenties. Although the sea will be too chilly for a swim at this time of year, travellers can opt for a luxe hotel with a pool.
Winter is the prime time to pack up and see the marvellous capital of Malta. Valletta has been selected as the European Capital of Culture in 2018. It’s not hard to see why, with its magnificent baroque architecture and 16th century buildings, it oozes charm and romance. Also expect Mediterranean food worthy of worship. While you’re there, check out some Neolithic Temples that are older than the Great Pyramids.
Built on a peninsula and surrounded on three sides by sea, Valletta is normally teeming with tourists during the summer time. However, during winter visitors can expect to have this little charmer pretty much to themselves. The temperature is mild with occasional rain and tops at about 20°C during January. For a romantic and historic day trip, take a Maltese ‘daisa’ or fishing boat to the historic Fort St. Angelo and pass by pretty gardens and terraces along the way.
Douro Valley, Portugal
Portugal no longer lingers in the shadows of its more touristy neighbour Spain. Whilst the country has experienced a boom in popularity in recent years, the prices are still comparatively reasonable. A little off the beaten track and well-worth a visit is the Douro Valley, a wine-growing region in northern Portugal with bucket-loads of rustic charm.
Get ready for lush green brown mountains, terraced vineyards sweeping through valleys and the glass blue Douro River. People here have been practising viticulture for hundreds of years. Wine and port enthusiasts can sample a great number of world-class wines for sale direct from the vineyard. Take home an extra suitcase full of exquisite port from the region such as Sandeman, Quinta do Seixo.
As the region is mostly agrarian – expect ranches, farm stays and other low-key venues. Although Quinto Nova is a posh option, with an infinity pool that overlooks the magnificent valley scenery.
The best time to go is in February, for a taste of early springtime and beautiful mild weather. Winter is the best time for bargain holidays in Europe, so etch out a winter adventure today.
Author bio: Robyn Duprey is a freelance travel writer and lover of all things Spanish. She has visited over 50 countries and plans to explore a lot more in the future!