Best Places to Visit in Southern Europe During Winter

When it is a winter wonderland of snow flurries, and the cold wind blows until you’re chilled to the bone, you may daydream of sunny skies and mild temperatures elsewhere in the world. The good news is that ideal spring temperatures await you in winter in southern europe.


Here are a few of the best places to visit in southern Europe during winter:

  • Canary Islands: These islands are off the coast of Morocco and have warm weather year-round.
  • Portugal: The average temperature is warm year round.
  • Andalusia, Spain: If you’re looking to travel to Spain in winter, Andalusia is the warmest place. 
  • Malta: This tiny island in the Mediterranean is home to warm weather and centuries-old ruins.
  • Southern Turkey: Known for its warm Mediterranean beach towns.
  • Crete, Greece: Crete is reliably warm year-round.
  • Sicily and Puglia, Italy: Sicily stays warm in the winter and has a lively culture year-round. 

Winter in southern Europe offer streets that are less crowded and comfortable weather your whole family can enjoy. Road Scholar has curated tours for adventurers and learning seekers trying to escape their winter homeland. 

Leave your winter jacket behind hanging in the closet and join Road Scholar on one of our winter learning adventures to revel in the environment where local life is more relaxed and most tourists have gone home. 

Winter in Portugal

There are five to six hours of sunshine each day and an average temperature of 61 degrees in Portugal during wintertime. With more than 300 sunny days a year, Portugal is one of the warmest places to travel in winter in Europe. In Portugal, the weather seems more like spring and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy. In fact, one of Portugal’s islands, Madeira, is fondly nicknamed the “island of eternal springtime” during the quieter winter months. 

Faro is another perfect place to visit in Portugal in the winter. Faro is the southernmost city in Portugal and will charm you with its quaint town and plenty of sunny days to golf, beach walk, bird watch, and swim. 

Road Scholar offers an 8-day tour of Madeira in the wintertime, where you will admire exotic plants, black lava pools, lush subtropical forest, and beautiful bird-of-paradise flowers await you in this peaceful paradise.  

Winter in Italy 

Puglia in winter remains a real hidden gem with its year-round sun, stunning countryside, elaborate Christmas decorations, and mild temperatures. For the warmest winter weather in Puglia, November is a good time to visit, with temperatures upwards of 62 degrees with slightly cooler temperatures in December to February. Even with lower temperatures, Puglia has regular sunshine, blue skies, and very little rainfall.

Discover the vibrant history and cuisine of Puglia on the Road Scholar’s 8-day trip to Italy’s boot heel during winter months. Puglia boasts the longest stretch of coastline of any other mainland region in the country. Brush up on your Italian during a session with your Group Leader and try your hand at creating local dishes during a hands-on cooking class. 

Discover the Baroque beauty of Lecce on an expert-led walking exploration of the Old City and learn the history of the Sassi de Matera, a troglodyte settlement and one of the oldest cities in the world. And do all of this sightseeing in the winter without fighting the crowds. 

Winter in Greece

Temperatures can reach as high as 64 degrees in November and December in the southern parts of Greece. And if you check out Greece in the winter, you will get to sample their delicious seasonal food and drink, like lahanodolmades (cabbage rolls), horta (wild greens), or fasolada (bean soup).

Experience the ancient island of Crete as the locals see it - without crowds in the mild winter months - on this 9-day exploration of the largest of the Greek islands. Crete has served as a melting pot of cultures since ancient times. Explore coastal villages and ancient sites, and unravel the history of the Minoans, Romans, Ottomans and others who have left their mark on Cretan culture. Even try your hand at creating Cretan cuisine during a hands-on cooking class.

Winter in Spain

Hundreds of thousands of people flock to Andalucia during the summer, making it difficult to see some of the famous historical sights like Granada‘s Alhambra and the Seville Cathedral. During the winter, the crowds are gone in Andalucia, making the seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites more accessible. 

Mallorca,  a cluster of islands off the east coast of Spain, is another beautiful winter travel destination considered less crazy than Ibiza. There is warm water and sunshine year round. 

Bordered by mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Southern Spain’s culture displays elaborate Moorish architecture, lush olive tree groves, fiery Flamenco, and savory Spanish cuisine. Situated on the subtropical Costa del Sol, Andalusia boasts stunning scenery and one of the mildest winters in Europe. The Road Scholar 8-day trip to Spain will lead you down the sunny path to palaces, mountains, and small towns. 

Road Scholar Winter Trips To Southern Europe

Road Scholar aims to provide immersive, educational and memorial adventure travel for those seeking a warmer climate in the cold winter months.


We have curated tours for those who want warm places to travel in winter Europe and around the world. Enroll in a warm winter adventure today with Road Scholar!