For the hottest European winter destinations, consider visiting 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, touring, and warm weather that can be easily enjoyed with a campervan or motorhome.

What is the Best Way to Reach These Winter Destinations and Travel with a Campervan or Motorhome?

Here is a list of the top three ways to reach your winter destination 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.” (Greg Anderson). Not only do you save on hotels, but you get to experience the scenery from the beginning to the end of your journey.
  • Rent Upon Arriving: Cut out the costs of hiring someone to drive (and possibly even ferry, depending on the destination) your vehicle, and simply arrange to have a camper or motorhome  ready for you to pick up once you reach your 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. 

What Are the Top Sights to See in Dubrovnik, Croatia?

Here are some of the top sights to see in Dubrovnik:

  • Lokrum: An island 600 metres from the city with gardens and a monastery, reported on Google reviews as being full of “[cute] peacocks and bunnies,” and with “epic swimming.”
  • Lovrijenac: A historic fortress with beautiful views.
  • Banje Beach Restaurant and NightClub: A beachfront restaurant with great dining, drinks and music.
European Winter Destinations

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 is a few hours drive away from Palermo and is known for its 12th-century cathedral, traditional, winding Sicily streets, unique hotels and beautiful beaches.

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.

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.

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 average temperatures of 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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Conclusion

The best winter destinations depend on a few things, such as your preferred vacation type (lounging on beaches or touring historic or natural areas), and what the weather is like during the winter months. We’ve looked at the top places to visit and catch some winter sun, making your motorhome vacations more enjoyable and memorable in the winter times.

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