As the cold winter months approach, many long for the warmth of the sun and the promise of adventure.
That’s where the Top 16 Best European Winter Sun Destinations While Travelling with a Motorhome come into play.
In this blog post, we’ll give you some travel tips and guide you through Europe’s most captivating sun-soaked locations that provide the perfect escape from the chill.
From pristine Mediterranean beaches to vibrant cultural cities with mild climates, our comprehensive guide will help you uncover the ideal spots for soaking up the sun while enjoying the comfort of your motorhome.
So put on your sunglasses, rev up your engine, and let’s embark on a sun-filled journey touring Europe through the best winter destinations Europe!
For the hottest European winter destinations, consider taking a campervan trip to Sal, Cape Verde (20-23 degrees Celsius), The Canary Islands, Spain (16-22 degrees Celsius), and Algarve, Portugal (14-20 degrees Celsius.)
This article will dive deep into the best winter destinations in Europe, with the best of sightseeing, camper van and motorhome wild camping, touring, and warm weather that can be easily enjoyed whilst travelling Europe in a campervan or motorhome.
What is the Best Way to Reach These Winter Destinations and Travel with a Campervan or Motorhome?
- Drive Yourself: Taking your camper or motorhome and manually driving to your destination is the essence of joy being found in the journey, not the destination. Not only do you save on hotels, but you get to experience the scenery from the beginning to the end of your journey touring Europe.
- Rent Upon Arriving: Arrange to have a camper or motorhome ready for you to pick up from a rental company once you reach your destination so that you can get out and explore Europe and make the most of these amazing destinations.
The best way to reach these European winter sun destinations and travel with a campervan or motorhome involves a combination of careful planning, practical route selection, and taking advantage of available resources.
Begin by mapping out your desired itinerary and carry out some motorhome route planning, taking into consideration the accessibility of each destination, ferry connections, and the availability of campsites or overnight parking areas.
Make use of online forums, motorhome travel apps, and guidebooks to gather valuable information on route planning, border crossing requirements, and local regulations.
Booking ferries in advance is essential, particularly during peak travel seasons, to ensure a smooth journey between mainland Europe and island destinations.
While on the road, embrace the flexibility and freedom that motorhome Europe travel offers, allowing for spontaneous detours and stops to fully immerse yourself in the unique beauty and charm of each winter sun destination.
What Are the Top 16 Best European Winter Destinations, from Coolest to Warmest?
What Makes Dubrovnik, Croatia One of the Best European Winter Destinations?
Weather Range in January:
7 to 12°C, more often mild and sunny as compared to cloudy or rainy.
Dubrovnik, Croatia, affectionately known as the “Pearl of the Adriatic,” undoubtedly ranks among the best European winter destinations.
This enchanting coastal city boasts a captivating combination of well-preserved medieval architecture, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a temperate Mediterranean climate.
Winter in Dubrovnik offers visitors the unique opportunity to explore its UNESCO-listed Old Town without the usual tourist crowds that you get in the Summer months, allowing for a more intimate and authentic experience.
The ancient city walls, majestic fortresses, and stunning monasteries create an unparalleled historic atmosphere, while the city’s vibrant culture comes to life through its bustling outdoor cafes, charming shops, and lively festivals.
Moreover, Dubrovnik’s mild winters provide the perfect backdrop for leisurely strolls along the picturesque harbour or cosy alfresco dining experiences with mesmerising views of the Adriatic Sea.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Dubrovnik, Croatia?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Dubrovnik:
- The Walls of Dubrovnik: Built in the 13th Century, 1940 meters long with 6 fortresses, the walls are a series of defensive stone walls surrounding the city of Dubrovnik. For more information check out – Walls of Dubrovnik Tours •
- Lovrijenac: A historic fortress with beautiful views.
- Dubrovnik Old Town: Lots of shops, restaurants and beautiful architecture
What Makes Nice, France a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
7 to 16°C, the weather is always mild with temperatures in between a maximum of 12 to 16 degrees Celsius and a minimum of 7 to 11 degrees Celsius from November to February, on the edge of the Mediterranean Sea and located in the French Riviera, Southern France.
Nice, France, situated along the breath-taking French Riviera, is a truly exceptional winter destination.
This glamorous coastal city offers an alluring combination of stunning natural beauty, rich history, and a vibrant cultural scene.
During the winter months, Nice boasts a pleasant Mediterranean climate, with mild temperatures and ample sunshine, providing the perfect setting for leisurely walks along the iconic Promenade des Anglais or exploring the city’s colourful Old Town.
The seasonal charm of Nice is further enhanced by its delightful Christmas market, where visitors can indulge in festive treats, shop for unique gifts, and revel in the twinkling holiday lights.
Winter also presents the opportunity to partake in the city’s thriving arts scene, with world-class museums such as the Musée Matisse and Musée Marc Chagall, showcasing the works of renowned artists.
With its captivating blend of natural splendour, cultural richness, and winter warmth, Nice, France, undoubtedly stands out as the perfect destination for winter van life in Europe.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Nice, France?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Nice:
- Promenade des Anglais: Nice’s iconic seaside promenade.
- Musée Matisse: A large collection of Matisse artworks.
- Marc Chagall National Museum: Museum filled with biblically inspired paintings with a garden.
What Makes Rome, Italy a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
10 to 13°C, with warm temperatures during daylight hours to allow for outside exploring and sightseeing. Rome is quiet during the off-season, so it is a great destination to visit during the wintertime.
Rome, Italy, the Eternal City, is a captivating winter destination steeped in history, art, and culture.
During the cooler months, Rome’s typically bustling streets and iconic landmarks become less crowded, offering visitors a more relaxed and intimate experience.
The city’s pleasant winter climate, with its mild temperatures and crisp, sunny days, provides the perfect backdrop for exploring Rome’s rich architectural heritage, including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Vatican City.
Winter in Rome also presents a unique opportunity to indulge in the city’s world-famous culinary scene, with cosy trattorias serving mouth-watering pasta, pizzas, and traditional Roman dishes.
Additionally, Rome’s vibrant Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, featuring beautiful Christmas markets, Christmas lights, nativity displays, and vibrant fireworks, add a touch of winter wonderland magic to the city’s already enchanting atmosphere.
With its unparalleled historical allure, delectable cuisine, and festive charm, Rome stands as truly one of the best winter destinations in Europe.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Rome, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Rome:
- Colosseum: The iconic ancient Roman gladiatorial arena.
- Pantheon: The landmark Roman church with special, historic tombs.
- Trevi Fountain: An iconic, large, 18th-century sculpted fountain.
What Makes Menorca, Spain a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
11 to 14°C, with a Mediterranean climate with days that linger in the mid-teens, bright skies and long daylight hours. It is a natural paradise with pristine beaches that dot the island’s coast that can be reached by the Cami de Cavalls walking trail.
Menorca, Spain, is a true gem among winter destinations, offering a serene and tranquil escape from the bustling mainland and is most definitely worth a winter visit.
As the most unspoiled of the Balearic Islands, Menorca boasts pristine beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and a picturesque landscape dotted with charming whitewashed villages.
During the winter months, the island enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate with pleasant temperatures, making it an ideal setting for leisurely coastal walks, hiking, and cycling.
The slower pace of life in Menorca allows visitors to immerse themselves in the island’s rich cultural heritage, which includes exploring ancient Talayotic ruins, historic fortresses, and the UNESCO-listed capital city of Mahón.
The island’s gastronomic scene also flourishes during the winter, with local restaurants offering mouth-watering seafood dishes and traditional Menorcan cuisine.
With its natural beauty, rich history, and tranquil ambiance, Menorca is a truly enchanting winter vacation for those seeking a peaceful and rejuvenating retreat.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Menorca, Spain?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Menorca:
- Macarelleta: A rustic cove with a small, quaint beach, reported by Google reviews as easily “reached by foot or bus” with “green waters and pines growing on the sand.”
- Cala Galdana: A lively beach stretch with an option for water sports.
- Cavalleria Beaches: A popular beach in a cove with the slender shape of a crescent.
What Makes Taormina, Sicily, Italy a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
11 to 15°C, with weather that is mild, soft and rainy, situated along the east coast of Sicily with dramatic cliffs on the sea edge.
Taormina, a picturesque town perched on the eastern coast of Sicily, Italy, is an enchanting winter destination that captivates visitors with its idyllic setting, historic charm, and warm hospitality.
The town’s elevated position offers breath-taking panoramic views of the Ionian Sea and the iconic Mount Etna, while its mild Mediterranean climate makes exploring the narrow cobblestone streets and lush public gardens a delightful experience during the winter months.
Taormina is home to a wealth of ancient and medieval architectural treasures, including the stunning Greek Theatre, which hosts cultural events throughout the year.
The town’s vibrant culinary scene invites visitors to indulge in authentic Sicilian cuisine, featuring mouth-watering seafood dishes, locally-produced wines, and delectable pastries.
Furthermore, Taormina’s convenient location makes it an ideal base for exploring the broader Sicilian region, including the nearby Alcantara Gorge and the enchanting towns of Syracuse and Catania.
With its unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and gentle winter warmth, Taormina is a truly irresistible destination for those seeking a memorable European winter getaway.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Taormina, Sicily, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Taormina:
- Teatro Antico di Taormina: An ancient Greek theatre with breath-taking coastal views.
- Isola Bella: A small and rocky island in a nature reserve, untouched and pristine.
- Piazza IX Aprile: A large, festive plaza with cafes and a sea vista.
What Makes Cefalù, Sicily, Italy a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
11 to 17°C, with a Mediterranean coastline and balmy temperatures all year long, Sicily enjoys the warm African winds, making it a popular destination during the wintertime.
Cefalù, a charming coastal town nestled on the northern shores of Sicily, Italy, is a delightful winter destination that entices travellers with its picturesque beauty, rich history, and warm Mediterranean ambiance.
The town’s relatively mild winter climate provides an inviting atmosphere for leisurely strolls along the quaint narrow streets, where visitors can admire the harmonious blend of medieval and Baroque architectural styles.
Cefalù’s stunning Norman Cathedral, with its intricate mosaics and commanding presence, serves as a testament to the town’s storied past.
The vibrant culinary scene in Cefalù offers visitors the opportunity to savour delectable Sicilian dishes, featuring fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and sumptuous desserts.
Winter in Cefalù also allows for quieter, more intimate experiences at its golden sandy beaches and the mesmerising Rocca di Cefalù, a towering limestone rock formation that provides panoramic views of the town and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
With its enchanting charm, rich cultural heritage, and pleasant winter weather, Cefalù is an irresistible destination for those seeking an unforgettable European winter escape.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Cefalù, Sicily, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Cefalù:
- Cefalù Cathedral: A landmark cathedral with high towers.
- Museo Mandralisca: An art and local heritage museum.
- Rocca di Cefalù: A popular hiking area with coastal views and ruins.
- Cefalù Beach: A sandy stretch of pale beach at a rustic village.
What Makes Rhodes, Greece a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
13 to 15°C, one of the most stunning Greek islands and home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World (the Colossus), winter here is mild with daytime temperatures at 15 to 17 °C, frequent rains, but also sunny days.
Rhodes, Greece, the largest of the Dodecanese Islands, is a captivating winter destination that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, ancient history, and vibrant local culture.
During the winter months, the island enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, with pleasant temperatures and fewer tourists, allowing for a more authentic and immersive travel experience.
Rhodes’ well-preserved medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, invites visitors to meander through its maze of cobblestone streets, exploring the magnificent Palace of the Grand Master, the Street of the Knights, and the many hidden treasures tucked away in the city’s nooks and crannies.
The island’s diverse landscape, encompassing sandy beaches, verdant valleys, and rugged mountains, provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, cycling, and birdwatching.
Rhodes’ rich culinary scene also thrives during the winter months, with traditional tavernas serving delectable Greek dishes, including fresh seafood, flavourful mezes, and locally produced wines.
With its winning combination of historical allure, natural splendour, and warm hospitality, Rhodes is an ideal European winter destination for those seeking adventure, relaxation, and cultural enrichment.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Rhodes, Greece?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Rhodes:
- Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes: A rebuilt 14th-century castle and museum, reported by Google reviews as a “beautiful place with… floor mosaics,” of “good value” with a “brilliant mediaeval atmosphere.”
- Archaeological Museum of Rhodes: A historic Rhodian archaeological museum housed in the building that was originally intended to be the hospital of the Knights of Saint John.
- The Colossus of Rhodes: One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, this colossus is fashioned after the sun god Helios and made of bronze with a height of over 100 feet.
What Makes Bari, Italy a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
13 to 15°C, located in the heel of Italy’s ‘boot’, this area enjoys the occasional windy and partly cloudy weather.
Bari, a bustling port city situated on the sun-kissed coast of southern Italy, is a captivating winter destination that offers visitors a vibrant blend of history, culture, and authentic Italian charm.
With its mild Mediterranean climate and fewer crowds during the winter months, Bari provides the perfect backdrop for exploring its rich architectural heritage, including the impressive Basilica di San Nicola, the Norman-Swabian Castle, and the Romanesque Bari Cathedral.
The city’s historic Old Town, Bari Vecchia, invites travellers to wander through its maze of narrow cobblestone streets, where they can discover hidden courtyards, quaint shops, and friendly locals going about their daily lives.
Bari’s culinary scene flourishes during the winter, with traditional osterias and bakeries serving up mouth-watering Pugliese dishes such as orecchiette pasta, focaccia Barese, and freshly caught seafood.
The city’s strategic location also makes it an ideal base for exploring the broader Puglia region, with its picturesque countryside, charming trulli houses, and stunning coastline.
With its delightful combination of historical intrigue, gastronomic delights, and warm winter ambiance, Bari is a truly inviting European winter destination.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Bari, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Bari:
- Basilica San Nicola: An iconic church and pilgrimage destination, holding religious significance in Europe and the Christian world.
- Direzione Regionale Musei: A 13th-century castle and exhibition centre, known by several names such as the Hohenstaufen Castle, was built around 1132 by Norman King Roger II.
- Teatro Petruzzelli: An opera and ballet performance area in a historic theatre, being the largest theatre in Bari and the fourth largest Italian theatre, regarding the size.
What Makes Athens, Greece a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
13 to 17°C, Athens is a great place to catch some winter sun and enjoy a diversity of culture, being one of Europe’s warmest winter city areas. The weather is mild with temperatures of around 15° C.
It typically rains five days out of a month, so the climate is dry and full of sunshine, making it ideal for sightseeing.
Athens, Greece, the cradle of Western civilisation, is a fascinating winter destination that offers a mesmerising blend of ancient history, vibrant culture, and warm Mediterranean hospitality.
During the winter months, this historic city experiences mild temperatures and fewer tourists, providing an ideal atmosphere for exploring the city’s wealth of archaeological treasures and tourist attractions, including the iconic Acropolis, the ancient Agora, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The city’s renowned museums, such as the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum, showcase the rich heritage of Greece and allow visitors to delve deeper into its illustrious past.
Athens’ thriving culinary scene comes alive in the winter, with cosy tavernas and lively markets offering a diverse array of Greek dishes, from mouth-watering souvlaki to delectable baklava.
The city’s bustling neighbourhoods, such as Plaka, Monastiraki, and Psiri, invite travellers to wander their narrow streets, discovering hidden gems, lively bars, and local artisan shops.
With its unparalleled historical legacy, enticing gastronomy, and inviting winter atmosphere, Athens stands as a truly exceptional European winter destination.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Athens, Greece?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Athens:
- Acropolis of Athens: A 5th-century B.C. hilltop temple monument, consisting of several ancient buildings with amazing architectural significance, the most well-known building being the Parthenon.
- Parthenon: An iconic Athenian temple ruins regarded as a symbol of Ancient Greece and the beginnings of democracy.
- Acropolis Museum: A museum holding ancient treasures in a contemporary venue designed to house every artefact found amongst the ruins, with findings from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.
- Panathenaic Stadium: The only white marble stadium in the entire world, rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus and had a capacity of 50,000 seats.
What Makes Palermo, Sicily, Italy a Great Winter Destination
Weather Range in January:
13 to 17°C, with weather that is mild throughout the winter season with windy and partly cloudy days.
Palermo, the vibrant capital of Sicily, Italy, is a captivating winter destination that entices travellers with its rich history, diverse cultural influences, and enticing culinary scene.
During the winter months, Palermo enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, providing an ideal setting for exploring the city’s unique blend of architectural styles, ranging from Byzantine and Arab-Norman to Baroque and Art Nouveau.
Iconic landmarks, such as the Palermo Cathedral, the Palatine Chapel, and the Teatro Massimo, serve as a testament to the city’s storied past and artistic heritage.
The bustling markets of Palermo, including the lively Ballarò and Vucciria, offer a sensory feast of sights, sounds, and flavours, where visitors can savour traditional Sicilian street food and shop for local crafts.
The city’s winter calendar also features numerous cultural events and performances, celebrating the arts, music, and regional traditions.
With its fascinating blend of history, culture, and gastronomy, Palermo provides a truly immersive and memorable European winter experience.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Palermo, Sicily, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Palermo:
- Cattedrale di Palermo: A 12th-century structure with royal tombs, architecturally characterised by different styles due to a history of changes and alterations.
- Massimo Theater: An opera house dedicated to King Victor Emanuel II, being the biggest opera house in Italy, and is also applauded for its perfect acoustics.
- Norman Palace: Being an ornate 9th-century palace and museum, this palace was the seat of the Kings of Sicily with the Hauteville dynasty, afterwards becoming the main seat of power for the following rulers of Sicily.
- Cattedrale di Monreale: A 1100s Catholic church with vibrant mosaics, being one of the greatest existent examples of Norman architecture.
- Quattro Canti: A grand square with symmetrical fountains, being octagonal in shape with four sides being the streets and the other four sides being Baroque-style buildings with statues depicting the four seasons, the four kings of Sicily, and the patronesses of Palermo.
What Makes Crete, Greece a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
14 to 16°C, with warmer weather due to its southern location, enjoying higher temperatures than most anywhere else on the continent.
Crete, the largest and southernmost Greek island, is a beguiling winter destination that offers a unique blend of stunning natural beauty, ancient history, and a rich cultural tapestry.
During the winter months, Crete’s mild Mediterranean climate and serene atmosphere provide an ideal environment for exploring the island’s diverse landscape, which encompasses picturesque beaches, rugged mountains, and verdant valleys.
The island’s wealth of archaeological sites, such as the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos and the Roman ruins of Gortyn, allows visitors to delve deep into the region’s illustrious past.
The island’s charming villages and bustling towns, like Chania and Rethymno, showcase a vibrant mix of Venetian, Ottoman, and traditional Cretan architecture, inviting travellers to wander through their narrow streets and discover local crafts, cafes, and tavernas.
Crete’s renowned gastronomy takes centre stage in the winter, with an array of mouth-watering dishes featuring local produce, fresh seafood, and world-famous olive oil.
With its enchanting blend of natural splendour, historical intrigue, and warm hospitality, Crete stands as a truly exceptional European winter destination.
It is possible to get around the busy beaches of summertime, instead opting to head to Falassarna and Elafonisi during the winter months. Falassarna is 90 minutes from Chania, and the pink sandy beach at Elafonissi is a two-hour drive away.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Crete, Greece?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Crete:
- Elafonisi: It is possible to walk to the island when the weather is calm as the surrounding water is shallow. Being a protected nature reserve, this island is known for its pink-sand beaches that are created by deposits of pigmented microorganisms.
- Heraklion Archaeological Museum: A museum for Cretan prehistory and history, considered the best in the world for Minoan art, containing the most complete collection of artefacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete.
- Minoan Palace of Knossos: A rebuilt ancient palace of King Minos, likely the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete, and was likely the political centre of the Minoan civilization.
- The old Venetian port of Chania: A port city with sights and historic monuments.
- Monastery of Arkadi: A historic monastery with a church, the architecture inspired by the influence of the Renaissance as it has both Roman and baroque styles. In the 16th century, this place was used for science and art.
What Makes Lecce, Italy a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
14 to 17°C, with weather months receiving a little more rainfall, but enjoying an average temperature in the 15 to 19°C during the sunshine, making this area a great winter destination.
Lecce, a captivating city nestled in the heart of Italy’s sun-soaked Puglia region, is an alluring winter destination that dazzles visitors with its stunning Baroque architecture, rich history, and vibrant local culture.
During the winter months, Lecce enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate, providing an inviting atmosphere for exploring the city’s enchanting historic centre, with its ornate churches, elegant palaces, and charming piazzas.
Notable landmarks, such as the Basilica di Santa Croce, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the Piazza del Duomo, showcase Lecce’s unique blend of Roman and Baroque architectural styles, earning the city its nickname, “The Florence of the South.”
The thriving culinary scene in Lecce offers visitors the opportunity to savour traditional Pugliese dishes, including the famous orecchiette pasta, rustic breads, and luscious pasticciotti pastries.
The city’s lively arts scene and numerous winter festivals add to its enchanting ambiance, celebrating music, theatre, and regional traditions. With its mesmerising beauty, delectable cuisine, and warm winter charm, Lecce is a truly captivating European winter destination.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Lecce, Italy?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Lecce:
- Basilica di Santa Croce: A 1600s church with an elaborate facade in the Baroque style that was completed in 1695.
- Catedral de la Asunción de Santa María: A grand cathedral with many chapels, dedicated to the Virgin Mary and is the Archbishop of Lecce’s seat.
- Anfiteatro: An ancient Roman amphitheatre that is open to the air.
- Castello Carlo V: A castle from the Middle Ages that occasionally hosts events, it is currently Leece’s townships’ seat of the Cultural Affairs, a setting for many cultural initiatives.
What Makes Lisbon, Portugal a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
14 to 19°C, boasting temperatures that could be considered the warmest country in Europe during January. Lisbon has 290 days of sunshine per year with average winter temperatures in the high teens.
Lisbon, the vibrant and charismatic capital of Portugal, is a delightful winter destination that enchants visitors with its picturesque beauty, rich cultural heritage, and warm hospitality.
During the winter months, Lisbon enjoys a mild Atlantic climate, with pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine, making it the perfect setting for exploring the city’s charming neighbourhoods, such as Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Belém.
The city’s iconic trams provide a unique way to discover Lisbon’s architectural gems, including the historic Belém Tower, the ornate Jerónimos Monastery, and the modern MAAT museum.
The thriving culinary scene in Lisbon invites visitors to indulge in mouth-watering Portuguese dishes, such as pasteis de nata, bacalhau, and caldo verde, while local wine bars and Fado music venues offer memorable nightlife experiences.
The city’s bustling winter calendar features a variety of cultural events, including art exhibitions, concerts, and film festivals, adding to the lively atmosphere.
With its captivating blend of history, gastronomy, and scenic allure, Lisbon is a charming city and an irresistible Europe road trip destination.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Lisbon, Portugal?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Lisbon:
- Belém Tower: A landmark mediaeval defensive tower that served as a point of embarking on journeys for Portuguese explorers and as a gateway to Lisbon.
- Castelo de S. Jorge: A hilltop castle and palace ruins with the occupation of the castle hill dating to 8th century BC and first strong structures dating from the 1st century BC.
- Jerónimos Monastery: A world heritage monastery that nowadays is a museum. Joo de Castilho designed the Chapter House and Cloister, and Rodrigo Afonso assisted him in 1517.
What Makes Algarve, Portugal a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
14 to 20°C, with pleasant weather outside due to its western position on the continent. In the off-season, hotels are more affordable and the popular places to visit are much less crowded.
The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is a captivating winter destination that entices travellers with its stunning coastline, picturesque villages, and mild climate.
With its pleasant winter temperatures and abundance of sunshine, the Algarve provides an idyllic setting for a variety of outdoor activities for the winter sports enthusiasts, such as golfing on world-class courses, hiking along the scenic Rota Vicentina trail, and exploring the region’s dramatic cliffs and secluded coves.
The charming towns of Lagos, Tavira, and Faro offer visitors a glimpse into the Algarve’s rich history and cultural heritage, featuring a delightful mix of Moorish, Gothic, and Renaissance architecture.
The region’s thriving gastronomic scene showcases the best of Portuguese cuisine, with an emphasis on fresh seafood, locally grown produce, and traditional dishes like cataplana and piri-piri chicken.
The Algarve’s bustling winter calendar is filled with cultural events, music festivals, and local celebrations that add to its lively and welcoming atmosphere.
With its beautiful landscapes, engaging cultural experiences, and inviting winter warmth, the Algarve is a truly enchanting European winter destination for a campervan road trip.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Algarve, Portugal?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Algarve.
- Hotel Quinta do Lago: An upscale resort with its own private beach.
- Marinha Beach: A must-see beach nominated by the Michelin Guide as one of the ten most beautiful beaches in Europe.
- Praia da Rocha: A beautiful beach near hotels and restaurants, known for the limestone rock formations that are along the water.
What Makes the Canary Islands, Spain a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
16 to 22°C, taking one of the top places in being the warmest in Europe during the winter season, with average temperatures in the high teens. The islands are temperate enough to allow for swimming all year round, and the sunshine is longer with less rain than other places in Spain and Portugal.
The Canary Islands, an enchanting Spanish archipelago located off the coast of north-western Africa, is a splendid winter destination that offers visitors a diverse range of experiences, breath-taking natural beauty, and a welcoming subtropical climate.
With year-round sunshine and pleasantly warm temperatures, the Canary Islands provide the perfect setting for a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking in the volcanic landscapes of Lanzarote and Tenerife, windsurfing in Fuerteventura, or relaxing on the golden beaches of Gran Canaria.
The islands boast a rich cultural heritage, influenced by Spanish, African, and indigenous Guanche traditions, which is reflected in their vibrant music, dance, and gastronomy.
Each island offers its own unique charm and attractions, such as La Gomera’s lush Garajonay National Park, La Palma’s dramatic Caldera de Taburiente, and the lively carnivals and festivals that take place throughout the winter months.
With their captivating blend of natural wonders, cultural richness, and idyllic weather, the Canary Islands stand as an exceptional European winter destination that caters to a wide array of interests and preferences.
What Are the Top Sights to See in The Canary Islands?
Here are some of the top sights to see in The Canary Islands:
- Mount Teide: A tall, active volcano with cable car access, its summit is the highest point in Spain.
- Siam Park: A Thai-themed adventure water park with a Siamese theme and opened by the Princess of Thailand Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
- Timanfaya National Park: A park made up of volcanic soil, representing a sign of recent and historical volcanism.
What Makes Sal, Cape Verde a Great Winter Destination?
Weather Range in January:
20 to 23°C with clear skies and pleasant average temperatures.
Although it is considered part of the African continent, Sal has ties with Europe due to its colonial history with Portugal.
Sal, one of the captivating islands of Cape Verde, is a remarkable winter destination that delights visitors with its stunning beaches, azure waters, and warm, sunny climate.
During the winter months, Sal enjoys a consistently pleasant weather, offering an ideal environment for a variety of water-based activities such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing, and diving, as well as for simply relaxing on the island’s pristine white-sand beaches.
The vibrant town of Santa Maria, with its colourful markets, lively music scene, and welcoming atmosphere, serves as a gateway to the island’s rich Creole culture and history.
The local culinary scene combines African, Portuguese, and Brazilian influences, creating a unique fusion of flavours that can be savoured in Sal’s numerous restaurants and beachside bars.
The island’s stunning natural landscapes, including the dramatic Pedra de Lume salt flats and the striking Buracona lagoon, offer ample opportunities for exploration and photography.
With its irresistible combination of natural beauty, cultural richness, and idyllic winter warmth, Sal, Cape Verde is an enchanting European winter destination and welcoming city that truly stands out.
What Are the Top Sights to See in Sal, Cape Verde?
Here are some of the top sights to see in Sal:
- Buracona – Blue Eye Cave: A rocky lagoon and unique blue cave.
- Salinas de Pedra de Lume: An expansive salt crater located just below sea level.
Are motorhomes and campervans suitable for winter travel?
Yes, motorhomes and campervans are suitable for winter travel, provided they are well-insulated, have a reliable heating system, and are equipped with winter tyres if necessary. It is important to check the specific requirements and features of your motorhome or campervan before embarking on your winter journey.
How do I find campsites or overnight parking areas during the winter months?
Many campsites and overnight parking areas remain open during the winter months. To find suitable locations, make use of motorhome travel apps, guidebooks, and online forums. Additionally, some countries like France offer dedicated motorhome parking areas called “aires” that may be available for overnight stays.
What are some essential items to pack for a winter motorhome trip in Europe?
Some essential items for a winter motorhome trip include warm clothing, blankets, a first-aid kit, a portable heater, snow chains, a shovel, de-icing equipment, and a reliable navigation system or map. It’s also important to carry extra water, food, and fuel in case of unexpected delays or detours.
Do I need any special permits or documents to travel with a motorhome in Europe during the winter?
Generally, a valid UK driving licence, vehicle registration, and motorhome insurance documents are required for motorhome travel in Europe. However, it’s crucial to check each country’s specific requirements, as additional permits or documents may be necessary, such as an International Driving Permit or a vignette for toll roads.
What precautions should I take when driving a motorhome in winter conditions?
When driving a motorhome in winter conditions, exercise caution by reducing your speed, maintaining a safe distance from other vehicles, and avoiding sudden manoeuvres. Ensure that your vehicle is equipped with winter tyres or snow chains if required, and monitor local weather forecasts and road conditions to plan your journey accordingly.
Can I bring my pet along on a European winter motorhome trip?
Yes, you can bring your pet along on your motorhome trip, provided that you comply with each country’s pet travel regulations, which may include vaccinations, microchipping, and a pet passport or an animal health certificate.
It’s also really important to make sure that you have suitable travel insurance for your pet that covers the country that you are travelling to when you tour Europe.
It’s important to plan ahead and research pet-friendly campsites or overnight parking areas so as to ensure the comfort and safety of your pet during winter travel.
In conclusion, the allure of European winter sun destinations is undeniable, offering a diverse range of experiences, breath-taking scenery, and rich cultural heritage for those seeking a unique and memorable motorhome road trip.
From the captivating coastlines of the Canary Islands and the Algarve to the fascinating history and vibrant urban landscapes of Athens and Lisbon, each destination holds its own distinct charm that caters to a variety of tastes and preferences.
Whether you’re exploring ancient ruins, indulging in delectable local cuisine, or simply basking in the warmth of the winter sun, these 16 exceptional destinations promise to create unforgettable memories and inspire a newfound love for European winter getaways.
So, pack your bags, rev up your motorhome, get ready to tour Europe and embark on the journey of a lifetime, discovering the true beauty and magic of Europe’s most captivating winter sun destinations.
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I love everything about travel, from seeing new places, learning about new cultures and trying new foods! I believe that travel is one of the best forms of education you can get, I have learnt so much about myself and about the world from travelling all over. Travel is something I feel so passionately about, and I love the fact that we are now lucky enough to have this opportunity to do what we love as much as we can, it’s a dream come true.
Before we started travelling, I worked in local government in administration. I had been in this job for several years and had reached a complete brick wall where I was so fed up, but didn’t know what else to do. The only thing I knew that I wanted to do was to travel, and had wanted to do that for many years.
There were hundreds and hundreds of places on my wishlist that I wanted to go to, and I knew that going on a weeks holiday maybe twice a year if we were lucky wasn’t going to cut it.
After being in lockdown due to the Covid pandemic, and working from home staring at the same 4 walls every day, 2021 seemed like the perfect time for us to take the risk to finally do what we had dreamed of for so long.
It was a hard decision to completely change our lives, but so far it has been the best decision we have ever made!