These Are the 5 Sunniest Winter Destinations in Europe
Sunny destinations are currently high on the bucket list. Fortunately, Europe's sunniest destinations are just a stone's throw away.
February 6, 2023
Vitamin D comes close to magic. The vitamin is responsible for a strong immune system, healthy bones and even a good mood. It is produced by the body itself, but it needs sunlight to do so. Therefore, especially during the cold season it is vital to expose the skin to pleasant sun rays. The booking portal "Holidu" has now determined in which of the 300 most populous cities in Europe the sun shines the longest per month. The study determined as particularly sunny destinations in winter:
Rank 5: Messina, Italy
Sunshine hours: 345 per month
View from the port of Messina, © Shutterstock
The third largest city in Sicily is easily accessible from mainland Italy via car ferry. In addition to the grandiose Birra Messina, here you can also enjoy a daily twelve-minute show in the square in front of the Duomo di Messina. That is where the largest mechanical clock in the world strikes the noon hour. Also worth seeing are the port, the Fountain of Neptune and the church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani.
Rank 4: Málaga, Spain
Sunshine hours: 345 per month
Bullring and port of Málaga, © Shutterstock
Málaga is located on the Costa del Sol. And it's not called that for no reason. Because the "coast of the sun" is indeed spoiled by light. There are 345 hours of sunshine per month. That makes sightseeing even more relaxing. A visit to the old town of Málaga, for example, is well worth it. And its cathedral. From the roof of the church, you can enjoy fantastic views. In the artists' quarter, the "Soho of Andalusia", street art at its best awaits you. In the Center for Contemporary Art (CAC Málaga) you can lose yourself in art. Charming boutiques and small tapas bars make Malaga a worthwhile destination.
Rank 3: Murcia, Spain
Sunshine hours: 346 per month
View from the Cathedral of Santa Maria, © Shutterstock
When it comes to "sunny destinations in winter," Spain is leading the way. A Spanish city is also in third place. Murcia doesn't just have sunshine, however. Thanks to its special microclimate, the water on the coast is particularly warm all year round. This has earned it the name "Costa Cálida" (warm coast). Thanks to its long history, one can admire numerous culturally and architecturally important buildings in the city. For example, the Plaza Cardenal Belluga. The cathedral Santa Iglesia Catedral de Santa María should not be left unvisited. Foodies in Murcia should definitely try Zarangollo. The dish of scrambled eggs, zucchini and onions is a tradition.
Place 2: Catania, Italy
Sunshine hours: 347 per month
Catania with Mount Etna in the background, © Shutterstock
The city in Sicily is located at the foot of Mount Etna. It is therefore the best starting point for excursions to the active volcano. In the old town, on the other hand, you stroll through a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sights such as the Fontana dell'Elefante, the Palazzo Biscari or the Cattedrale di Sant'Agata are popular photo motifs. The best view over the city is from the balcony of the Chiesa della Badia di Sant'Agata. By the way, there are about 100 churches in Catania for only 60,000 inhabitants - that's almost a record. If you want, take a trip to the locals' favorite beach: La Playa.
Place 1: Alicante, Spain
Sunshine hours: 349 per month
Full sun in Alicante, © Shutterstock
There are more than one sunny winter destination. But none beat Alicante. The colorful city, called the "City of Light" by the Romans, is located on the Costa Blanca. It scores with extensive beaches, numerous activities and, of course, Spanish joy of life. Small cafés invite you to relax in the sun. In the stores you can stock up on souvenirs, in the restaurants you can enjoy local delicacies. Stroll into the sunset along the Explanada de España, while enjoying the urban panorama from the Castillo de Santa Barbara.