15 warmest places in December in Europe (2024 guide)

Aerial view with Puerto de la Cruz, in background Teide volcano, Tenerife island, Spain

Are you searching for the warmest places in December in Europe?

Who said winter holidays always had to be about woolly mittens and numb toes?

Brush off the winter chill, slip on your sunnies and swap snow boots for flip-flops; I’ve put together a list of Europe’s warmest destinations in December.

These sun-drenched corners are a well-kept secret, steeped in history that reaches back to ancient times.

They transform the European map into a series of sunny spots, charming both locals and visitors with their balmy climate, vivacious cultures and tantalising culinary landscapes.

I’ve visited many of these Mediterranean spots throughout the years, and loved the fact that they’re a short flight from where I live in the UK, but the weather is totally different in the winter season.

If you’re looking for the warmest places for Christmas in Europe, read on!

What’s the weather like in Europe in December?

palm trees in sunny day on blue sea and sky background

So, the question on everyone’s lips – where is hot in Europe in December – and does a warm destination over Christmas actually exist? 

Northern Europe may well embrace winter’s icy atmosphere but don’t fret if you’re looking for a warm place in Europe in December.

Head south, and the weather’s completely different.

Southern Europe, thanks to the Mediterranean’s influence, offers pleasant and occasionally even warm and sunny temperatures! 

Places on the Med defy winter’s chill, providing a sanctuary for those seeking sunshine during the frosty months.

None of Europe is scorching hot during the winter months – if you’re looking for reliably warm countries in December, you’ll need to head to Africa, Asia, Australia or Latin America – but the South European destinations we describe in this article are temperate – and you’ll have a good chance of finding some sunshine. 

So, if you long for rays of sun rather than blankets of snow this December, check out these sunny places in Europe in December!

I often book package holidays in Europe with Jet2 holidays, who offer a range of winter sun deals. Click here to check out some of their top picks.

The warmest places in December in Europe

The warmest places in December in Europe include: 

  • Malaga
  • Sicily
  • Madeira
  • Cyprus
  • Tenerife
  • Lanzarote
  • Malta
  • Seville
  • Lisbon
  • Antalya
  • Crete
  • Algarve
  • Mallorca
  • Monaco
  • Marseille

Take a look at my posts about warm destinations in other winter months!

Let’s go into why each location should be on your festive season Europe bucket list!

1. Malaga, Spain

Historic buildings in Malaga city centre.

Warm sunshine, a merry atmosphere, and sandy beaches in December?

Malaga indeed pulls this all off.

Positioned along the sun-kissed Costa del Sol, this Andalusian gem is a haven for those who dream of swapping frosty winds for gentle sunlight. 

Drenched in about 320 days of sunshine each year and nearly no snow, Malaga maintains pleasant temperatures even in December, making it an attractive getaway.

This city is brimming with history, boasting an intriguing blend of Moorish and Roman architecture.

From the imposing Alcazaba fortress to the Roman theatre and the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, there’s plenty to do in Malaga in winter. 

But let’s not forget about the pleasures of leisurely beach walks, vibrant flamenco performances, or relishing tantalising tapas dishes at cosy local bars.

And, if a Christmas day dip in the sea tempts you, Malaga’s beaches are just the ticket.

It’s perfect for visiting all winter long – there are plenty of reasons to visit Malaga in February – but there’s something special about the city when its adorned in festive decorations. You could head down the road and visit Marbella too.

I had a wonderful trip to Malaga over New Years’ a couple of years ago, and it was a solace compared to the freezing UK.

Check out my full guide to visiting Malaga in winter!

We visited Malaga last winter with Jet2 Holidays. They offer three-night breaks with flights and hotels at great value – there’s £50 off at the moment too! Check them out here.

Average high temperature17°C/ 63°F
Average low temperature8°C/ 46°F
Days of rainfall6
How to get thereMalaga has an international airport with flights from major cities. You can also reach Malaga by train or bus from other Spanish cities.
Best things to do in Decemberexplore the historic city center
visit the Picasso Museum
enjoy the Christmas lights and decorations along Calle Larios
Hotel recommendationHotel Barcelo Malaga is right by the train station and offers stylish rooms, excellent breakfast and even has a slide leading from the first floor down to the ground floor. This is where we stayed on our December trip last year!
Unique travel tipTake part in a food and wine tour (we did this one) to see some of the city’s hidden spots that you won’t discover on your own! Click here to see the tour that we did.

2. Sicily, Italy

Aerial top view of sandy beach of Tyrrhenian sea bay gulf coast shore of beautiful seaside town village Scilla with green hill and Sicily island background, Calabria, Southern Italy

As one of the Mediterranean’s most enchanting islands, Sicily certainly doesn’t lose its charm with the changing seasons.

The sunny winter climate lures visitors who yearn for a milder European December. In fact, it’s one of the best winter sun destinations on the continent.

Sicily’s beauty is deeply rooted in its history, culture, and undying traditions.

Wander around the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, where ancient Greek relics stand solemn under the winter sun.

Or explore Palermo, the island’s vibrant capital, where you can admire a unique blend of Arab, Norman, and Baroque architecture.

The bustling markets here emit a symphony of sights, sounds, and scents that beautifully captures the essence of Sicilian life.

And let’s not forget the island’s culinary prowess.

Picture tucking into a sweet cannoli or a hearty pasta alla Norma in a charming street-side cafe, the December sun warming your face – surely, this beats a snowy, shivery Christmas?

Average high15°C / 59°F
Average low8°C / 46°F
Rainfall8 days
How to get thereBy air: Direct flights to Palermo and Catania
By ferry: Available from mainland Italy
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the ancient ruins of Agrigento, Visit the historic city of Syracuse, Enjoy the festive atmosphere of Christmas markets in Palermo
Hotel recommendationGrand Hotel Piazza Borsa in Palermo (elegant accommodations and central location)
Unique travel tipTake a tour of Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano. Dress warmly for colder temperatures at higher altitudes. Here’s an excellent jeep tour.

3. Madeira, Portugal

Landscape of Madeira island - Portugal

Known affectionately as the ‘Island of Eternal Spring’, Madeira provides a warm and colourful escape from the dreariness of winter.

Even in December, this jewel of the Atlantic boasts a climate that encourages its diverse flora to flourish.

Madeira’s capital, Funchal, is a charming city filled with colourful buildings, delightful markets, and beautiful gardens.

Venture into its historic heart to find quaint cobbled streets lined with cafes and shops.

For the adventurous, the island offers hiking trails through the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Laurisilva forest.

And of course, a visit to Madeira wouldn’t be complete without tasting its namesake wine.

As the year draws to a close, the island dresses up for the festive season, with Funchal’s harbour becoming a stage for one of the world’s most spectacular New Year’s Eve firework displays.

Now, isn’t that a warm and radiant way to welcome the New Year?

Average high19°C / 66°F
Average low13°C / 55°F
Rainfall9 days
How to get thereMadeira has an international airport with connections to major European cities. Flights are also available from Lisbon and Porto in mainland Portugal.
Best things to do in DecemberExperience the stunning landscapes of Madeira by hiking the Levada trails, visit the charming town of Funchal and its Christmas market, take a cable car ride to Monte for panoramic views
Hotel recommendationQuinta Jardins do Lago, a luxurious hotel surrounded by beautiful gardens in Funchal
Unique travel tipDon’t miss the opportunity to try Madeira wine, a fortified wine produced on the island, and visit one of the local wineries for a tasting. Try this tour!

Jet2 offers winter breaks to Madeira, offering a range of hotels, some by the beach and others in the heart of Funchal. All breaks include flights and accommodation. Browse them here.

4. Cyprus

Beautiful natural rock arch near of Ayia Napa, Cavo Greco and Protaras on Cyprus island, Mediterranean Sea. Legendary bridge lovers.

If you’re looking for warmer places in Europe in December, Cyprus is just the ticket. 

Basking in the gentle warmth of the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers a delightful escape from December’s traditional cold climes.

This sun-kissed island country boasts a unique blend of cultures, ancient archaeological sites, and delightful cuisine.

Start your trip in Nicosia, the capital city.

Here, the old city’s sandstone walls hold a treasure trove of history.

From the grand Venetian columns of the Famagusta Gate to the Selimiye Mosque’s fusion architecture, Nicosia is a vibrant mix of old and new.

Don’t forget the coastal city of Paphos, home to the mesmerising Paphos Archaeological Park.

As you walk amid the Roman ruins and mosaic-filled villas under the warm winter sun, you’ll appreciate the slower pace of winter tourism – it’s much quieter than the heaving (and scorching) summer months!

And of course, there’s the food.

Be it a warming bowl of moussaka or a platter of fresh halloumi and olives, the Cypriot cuisine is a feast for the senses – whenever you’re visiting in the year!

Average high17°C / 63°F
Average low9°C / 48°F
Rainfall7 days
How to get thereCyprus has two international airports, Larnaca and Paphos, with flights from major European cities. Ferries are also available from Greece and other neighboring countries.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the ancient city of Paphos and its archaeological sites, visit the Troodos Mountains for winter sports activities, and enjoy the festive atmosphere of the Christmas markets in Nicosia.
Hotel recommendationAmathus Beach Hotel Limassol, a luxurious beachfront resort offering excellent amenities and services.
Unique travel tipTake a day trip to the divided city of Nicosia and explore both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides to experience the cultural and historical richness of the island. This is best experienced on a tour, like this one.

5. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Tenerife, the largest of Spain’s Canary Islands, is a veritable December paradise, with warm weather and plenty to do.

Off Africa’s northwest coast, this volcanic island is potentially the warmest place in Europe in December. 

Tenerife’s diversity is enchanting – from the trenbolone acetate for sale golden and black sand beaches to the dramatic lunar landscapes of Teide National Park (a personal favourite). 

Stroll along the vibrant promenades of Playa de las Americas, explore the quaint Canarian architecture in La Orotava, or gaze at the star-studded skies in the Teide National Park, home to Spain’s highest peak.

Just a note – because Teide is so high, it does get cold here – so make sure you pack some layers if you’re planning on visiting the park on your Tenerife winter trip!

The island’s cuisine is an adventure in itself.

Feast on local dishes like papas arrugadas and fresh seafood, ideally paired with a glass of island-produced wine, while enjoying the scenic ocean views.

Average high21°C / 70°F
Average low15°C / 59°F
Rainfall4 days
How to get thereTenerife has two international airports, Tenerife North and Tenerife South, with flights from major European cities. Ferries are also available from mainland Spain and other Canary Islands.
Best things to do in DecemberRelax on the beautiful beaches of Costa Adeje, explore the volcanic landscapes of Mount Teide National Park, and celebrate New Year’s Eve with the spectacular fireworks display in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Hotel recommendationHotel Botanico & The Oriental Spa Garden in Puerto de la Cruz, a luxurious hotel known for its beautiful gardens and wellness facilities. Or, if you want to opt for a package deal, I LOVE the look of this package at Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife. Just look at that swimming pool!
Unique travel tipTake a whale and dolphin-watching excursion to observe the impressive marine life around the island. Here’s a tour that we did – we saw so many creatures!

Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife has to be one of the best places in Europe to enjoy some winter sunshine in December – and you can easily book it with Jet2! Imagine sunset by that swimming pool, cold beer in hand… (I’m thinking about booking it myself!). Click here to see what I mean!!

6. Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain

Central square with old church Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe in Teguise village on the sunset on lanzarote island

Neighbouring Lanzarote is another fantastic sunny place in Europe in December.

This island’s unique beauty is born from volcanic activities, and no trip’s complete without exploring the Timanfaya National Park’s moon-like terrain.

Lanzarote’s potentially the warmest place in EU in December, so you can explore comfortably (and maybe even enjoy some beach time). 

Explore the white-washed homes and green landscape of the island’s former capital, Teguise, or discover the inspiring works of artist César Manrique, deeply woven into the island’s fabric.

Take a leisurely walk through the La Geria wine region, where vines grow in unique volcanic pits.

End your day by savouring fresh seafood by the sea in El Golfo, as the setting sun bathes the island in warm hues.

Lanzarote in winter is truly a delight!

Average high21°C / 70°F
Average low15°C / 59°F
Rainfall3 days
How to get thereLanzarote has an international airport, Arrecife Airport, with direct flights from major European cities. It is also accessible by ferry from other Canary Islands and mainland Spain.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the Timanfaya National Park and explore its unique volcanic landscapes, relax on the beautiful beaches of Playa Blanca, and discover the artistic works of César Manrique at his foundation in Tahíche.
Hotel recommendationPrincesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort in Playa Blanca, offering luxurious accommodations and a range of amenities.
Unique travel tipDon’t miss the opportunity to taste the local specialty “papas arrugadas” (wrinkled potatoes) served with “mojo” sauce, a traditional Canarian dish.

7. Malta

Sunny weather in Malta in March, overlooking the Sliema area

A group of sun-soaked islands nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean, where the sun shines brightly even in the depth of winter, Malta’s well known for its beaches. 

You can still enjoy them throughout the winter – Malta’s weather generally stays warm, and it almost never drops close to freezing.

However, the island also boasts a history spanning over 7,000 years, balmy December temperatures, and a vibrant culture that infuses life into every street and alleyway.

The capital city, Valletta, is a living museum – its grand palaces, ancient forts, and charming cobbled streets are drenched in history. 

The imposing St. John’s Co-Cathedral, the magnificent Grand Master’s Palace, and the stunning views from the Upper Barrakka Gardens are just a few of the highlights.

Head to the north of the island, to places like the Blue Grotto and Dingli Cliffs or venture to Golden Bay to see one of Europe’s most idyllic stretches of coastline. 

Gozo, Malta’s sister island, offers serene countryside, pristine beaches, and a more laid-back style of life. 

And in between all the sightseeing, be sure to indulge in some Maltese pastizzi, a warm and flaky local pastry – perfect for a sunny winter’s day!

Average high17°C / 63°F
Average low11°C / 52°F
Rainfall7 days
How to get thereMalta has an international airport, Malta International Airport, with flights from major European cities. Ferries are also available from Italy and other Mediterranean countries.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the fortified city of Valletta and its historic landmarks, visit the ancient temples of Ħaġar Qim and Mnajdra, and experience the festive atmosphere of the Malta Christmas Village in Mdina.
Hotel recommendationThe Phoenicia Malta is a luxurious hotel located within the historic city walls of Valletta.
Unique travel tipTake a boat tour to the Blue Grotto and marvel at the stunning natural caves and crystal-clear waters. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking views.

Do you live in the north? There are some fantastic deals from Manchester Airport to Malta (for a 7-night stay) throughout December. Check them out here!

8. Seville, Spain

Spain Square or Plaza de Espana in Seville in the sunny summer day, Andalusia, Spain. Flower beds, bridges and channel in the foreground

In December, Aundulusian Seville sheds the scorching summer heat but keeps its warm charm intact. 

Seville is steeped in rich Moorish history and brimming with flamenco’s fiery passion – Sevillians say that the originated in their city, although Granadans disagree! 

Wander around the city’s heart, exploring the grandeur of Seville Cathedral, the lush gardens of Alcázar, and the bustling Plaza de España

As the sun sets, find a local tablao and immerse yourself in a passionate flamenco performance.

And let’s not forget the food. 

Seville’s tapas scene is a dream come true for food lovers – I especially loved the tapas at La Bartola, which had a few excellent veggie/ vegan options. 

Picture a warm December evening, enjoying al fresco dining, a glass of vino in hand, and an array of tapas to choose from – doesn’t it sound like the perfect Spanish winter escape?

Average high16°C / 61°F
Average low6°C / 43°F
Rainfall6 days
How to get thereSeville has an international airport, Seville Airport, with flights from major European cities. It is also accessible by train and bus from other Spanish cities.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the Royal Alcázar, a stunning palace with beautiful gardens, witness the lively Flamenco performances, and indulge in the delicious local cuisine at the tapas bars in Triana.
Hotel recommendationHotel Alfonso XIII, a luxurious hotel located in the heart of Seville’s historic center.
Unique travel tipDon’t miss the opportunity to visit the Plaza de España, a magnificent square with impressive architecture and beautiful tilework.

9. Lisbon, Portugal

tram on line 28 in lisbon, portugal

Lisbon, Portugal’s sun-dappled capital, shines even brighter in December’s mild climate. 

With its charming trams, grand squares, and picturesque waterfront, Lisbon combines old-world charm with a vibrant, contemporary vibe.

Venture through Lisbon’s distinct neighbourhoods, each with its own unique flavour. 

The Alfama district, with its narrow winding streets and historic Fado houses, is a delightful contrast to the modern riverside area of Parque das Nações.

A trip to Lisbon isn’t complete without tasting the iconic pastel de nata.

This custard tart, crisp on the outside and creamy within, is the perfect companion for a warm December stroll through the city.

It originated in Belem, a suburb of Lisbon, but their tarts are actually called pastels de Belem.

You can head to the bakery with the same name to try one of the originals, although I must say that I found their tarts too eggy, while I prefer the sweeter versions that you can find in the city. 

The weather’s usually sunny in Lisbon in the winter season, but if you do have a few rainy days, the capital’s brimming with museums where you can learn about its unique culture and maritime history.

I love the Museu do Fado, which depicts Portugal’s famous dance and Belem Tower where you can learn about expeditions leaving the capital throughout its history. 

I’ve been to Lisbon a few times, and consider it the perfect winter city break, with great weather and plenty of things to do!

Average high15°C / 59°F
Average low8°C / 46°F
Rainfall11 days
How to get thereLisbon has an international airport, Lisbon Portela Airport, with flights from major cities worldwide. It is also accessible by train from other Portuguese cities and by bus from various European destinations.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the historic neighborhoods of Alfama and Bairro Alto, visit the iconic Belém Tower and Jerónimos Monastery, and enjoy panoramic views from the São Jorge Castle.
Hotel recommendationHotel Avenida Palace, a charming hotel located in the heart of Lisbon.
Unique travel tipLisbon is known for its steep hills and cobblestone streets. Wear comfortable footwear and be prepared for uphill walks and staircases while exploring the city.

10. Antalya, Turkey

Famous Konyaalti beach, scenic panoramic view from a cliif top. Travel destinations of Turkey and Antalya and mediterranean riviera

Perched on Turkey’s southwest coast, Antalya offers a warm winter escape with its splendid blend of sun-soaked beaches, ancient history, and vibrant bazaars. 

Even in December, Antalya usually remains pleasantly warm, making it an ideal spot to escape the cold.

The city’s old town, Kaleiçi, is a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets lined with Ottoman-era houses, rustic cafes, and charming shops. 

Explore the imposing Hadrian’s Gate, visit the picturesque marina, or admire the views from Hidirlik Tower.

For a dose of retail therapy, the local bazaars offer a colourful array of Turkish rugs, pottery, and spices. 

And when hunger strikes, find a cosy eatery and indulge in the region’s rich, flavourful cuisine – from the hearty kebabs to the delicate baklava. 

You might not be able to spend all day at the beach or go swimming in the sea, but a winter’s day in Antalya is sure to delight!

One of the best things about Antalya is how easy it is to get to from most major UK cities (and places all over Europe). Jet2 fly to Antalya from London Stanstead, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Bristol, East Midlands and Newcastle. Check out their deals!

Average high16°C / 61°F
Average low7°C / 45°F
Rainfall7 days
How to get thereAntalya has an international airport, Antalya Airport, with flights from major European cities, including most major UK cities (check out Jet2 flights here). It is also accessible by bus from other Turkish cities and by ferry from some Mediterranean destinations.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the ancient ruins of Perge and Aspendos, visit the Antalya Museum to learn about the region’s history, and experience traditional Turkish hospitality in the Kaleiçi district.
Hotel recommendationRixos Downtown Antalya, a luxurious hotel located near the city center and offering stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea.
Unique travel tipBargaining is common in local markets and shops. Don’t hesitate to negotiate prices to get a better deal, especially in the open-air markets like the Antalya Bazaar.

11. Crete, Greece

Agios Nikolaos. Agios Nikolaos is a picturesque town in the eastern part of the island Crete built on northwest side of the peaceful bay of Mirabello. Lake Vouliagmeni, Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece

Crete, Greece’s largest island, is a Mediterranean paradise that enjoys an enviable climate, even in December. 

This beautiful island promises stunning landscapes, rich history, and hearty cuisine to make your winter escape memorable.

Wander around the historic city of Chania, with its Venetian Harbour, old town, and colourful markets. 

Or drive to Heraklion to explore the Palace of Knossos, a fascinating Minoan archaeological site. 

The southern town of Rethymno, with its beautiful Venetian fortress and charming old town, is another must-visit.

In between sightseeing, make sure to sample local delicacies such as moussaka, souvlaki, and dolmades. 

The warm Cretan sun, matched with the equally warm local hospitality, makes Crete a perfect December getaway.

Average high16°C / 61°F
Average low10°C / 50°F
Rainfall9 days
How to get thereCrete has several airports, including Heraklion Airport and Chania Airport, with flights from major European cities. Ferries are also available from Athens and other Greek islands.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the Palace of Knossos and explore the ancient Minoan civilization, hike through the Samaria Gorge, and discover the charming old towns of Chania and Rethymno.
Hotel recommendationGDM Megaron Hotel in Heraklion, a modern and stylish hotel with a central location.
Unique travel tipWhile exploring Crete’s beaches, be cautious of the sea conditions. Some beaches may have strong currents, so it’s important to pay attention to any warning signs and swim only in designated areas.

12. Algarve, Portugal

Algarve region in south of Portugal is very popular tourist destination

The Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost region, is known for its beautiful beaches, golf resorts, and delightful seafood cuisine. 

The region’s mild winter climate allows for outdoor activities, even in December, making it a favourite among winter sun seekers.

In fact, outdoor activities like hiking, cycling and golf are much more pleasant in the gentle winter heat compared to the harsh summer! 

Discover the town of Lagos, with its fortified walls, the historic church of St. Anthony, and the stunning Ponta da Piedade. 

Or visit Faro, the region’s capital, for its well-preserved old town, scenic marina, and lively nightlife.

Algarve’s culinary scene is a delight, with an array of seafood restaurants serving dishes featuring fresh local produce. 

A bowl of cataplana (seafood stew) or a plate of grilled sardines by the sea is the ideal way to bask in the Algarve’s winter warmth.

Average high17°C (63°F)
Average low10°C (50°F)
Rainfall8 days
How to get thereFaro Airport is the main international airport in the Algarve region, with flights from major European cities (check out Jet2’s offerings). The region is well-connected by train and bus services from Lisbon and other Portuguese cities.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the picturesque towns of Lagos and Tavira, enjoy the stunning cliffs and sandy beaches along the coast, and visit the charming fishing village of Alvor.
Hotel recommendationVila Vita Parc Resort & Spa in Porches, a luxurious resort offering beautiful ocean views and excellent amenities.
Unique travel tipThe Algarve is known for its dramatic sunsets. Find a scenic spot along the coast and watch as the sun dips below the horizon, painting the sky in vibrant colors.

13. Mallorca, Spain

Cathedral La Seu at sunet time, Palma de Mallorca islands, Spain

As the largest of Spain’s Balearic Islands, Mallorca offers a mix of stunning coastlines, mountains, and a wealth of historical landmarks. 

The mild Mediterranean climate persists even in December. 

Palma, the island’s capital, boasts a magnificent Gothic cathedral, a labyrinth of cobbled streets, and an abundance of chic bars and restaurants. 

Don’t miss a visit to the beautiful town of Sóller – you can take a charming vintage train from Palma – and head to its port that’s filled with yachts and sandy beaches.

For food lovers, Mallorcan cuisine offers a warm respite from the winter cold. 

From the hearty sopas Mallorquinas to the sweet Ensaimada pastries, there’s plenty to indulge in!

Average high16°C / 61°F
Average low7°C / 45°F
Rainfall7 days
How to get thereMallorca has an international airport, Palma de Mallorca Airport, with flights from major European cities. Ferries are also available from mainland Spain and other Balearic Islands.
Best things to do in DecemberVisit the historic Palma Cathedral, explore the charming towns of Valldemossa and Sóller, and enjoy hiking or cycling in the Tramuntana Mountains.
Hotel recommendationHospes Maricel & Spa in Cas Català, a luxurious hotel overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Unique travel tipWhen visiting popular tourist sites in Mallorca, such as Palma Cathedral or the Serra de Tramuntana, consider visiting early in the morning or during weekdays to avoid crowds and enjoy a more tranquil experience.

14. Monaco

Despite its compact size, the French Riviera’s Monaco is a beacon of glamour and luxury that also enjoys a pleasantly warm December. 

The world’s second-smallest country is known for its Casino de Monte-Carlo, the annual Grand Prix, and the stunning Prince’s Palace.

Monaco-Ville, the old town, offers narrow medieval lanes, vibrant houses, and the splendid Saint Nicholas Cathedral. 

The Oceanographic Museum, with its rich collection of marine life, is another must-visit.

Dining in Monaco can be as simple as a warm croissant at a cafe or as lavish as a multi-course meal at a Michelin-starred restaurant

With its combination of sunny weather, breathtaking views, and the glitz and glamour of the high life, Monaco is an intriguing winter destination.

Average high14°C / 57°F
Average low9°C / 48°F
Rainfall9 days
How to get thereThe nearest international airport is Nice Côte d’Azur Airport in France, which is well-connected to major cities worldwide. From there, you can reach Monaco by train or bus.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the glamorous Monte Carlo district, visit the Prince’s Palace and the Oceanographic Museum, and try your luck at the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo.
Hotel recommendationHôtel Hermitage Monte-Carlo, a prestigious hotel with a prime location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Unique travel tipMonaco is known for its luxury lifestyle and high-end shopping. If you’re interested in designer brands, take advantage of the tax-free shopping in Monaco and explore the elegant boutiques along the Avenue des Beaux-Arts.

15. Marseille, France

Yachts reflecting in the still water of the old Vieux Port of Marseilles beneath Cathedral of Notre Dame, France, on sunrise

Marseille, France’s oldest city, offers an invigorating mix of history, vibrant culture, and Mediterranean warmth. 

It’s not the hottest place in Europe in December, but it still basks in pleasantly mild temperatures – especially when you consider destinations further north!

From the bustling Old Port to the historic Le Panier neighbourhood, there’s a lot to explore in this coastal city.

Visit the iconic Basilique Notre-Dame de la Garde, which offers panoramic views of the city, or explore the picturesque Calanques National Park

The lively markets of Marseille are perfect for hunting local products and regional delicacies.

Don’t leave without trying a bowl of bouillabaisse, the city’s traditional fish stew, ideally paired with local wine. 

Average high12°C / 54°F
Average low4°C / 39°F
Rainfall12 days
How to get thereMarseille has an international airport, Marseille Provence Airport, with flights from major European cities. The city is also well-connected by train from other French cities.
Best things to do in DecemberExplore the historic Vieux-Port (Old Port), visit the iconic Notre-Dame de la Garde basilica, and discover the vibrant Le Panier neighborhood.
Hotel recommendationInterContinental Marseille – Hotel Dieu, a luxury hotel situated in a historic building with panoramic views of the city and the Old Port.
Unique travel tipMarseille has a diverse culinary scene. Don’t miss the opportunity to try the local specialty, “bouillabaisse,” a traditional Provençal fish stew. Look for authentic restaurants that serve this iconic dish for an unforgettable gastronomic experience.

How to book these winter sun holidays to Europe

I’ve spoke a lot about Jet2 Holidays in this post, and I truly believe that if you’re looking for a package holiday from the UK to some of Europe’s best winter sun destinations, they’re the best company to go with.

Their packages all include flights with hold luggage, hotel and breakfast at a minimum, and they’re fully ATOL Protected.

Plus, you can nab some excellent deals in the winter season.

Book now and enjoy £50 off!

Click here or on the banner for more details.

FAQs about visiting Europe in December

Beach of Puerto Banus with the mountains of Sierra Blanca at background, Marbella, Costa del Sol, Malaga province, Spain

Where is the warmest place in Europe for December?

Madeira, Portugal, stands out as one of the warmest places in Europe in December, with average high temperatures reaching 20°C (68°F).

Its subtropical climate ensures a pleasant and mild winter, making it an excellent choice for those seeking warmth and sunshine.

The warmest countries in Europe in December include Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus and Malta. 

Where is the warmest place in Europe for a winter holiday?

The hottest place in Europe in December is probably the Canary Islands.

For a warm winter holiday in Europe, the Canary Islands in Spain offer a haven of sunshine and warmth.

Tenerife and Lanzarote are particularly popular choices, with average high temperatures ranging from 21°C to 22°C (70°F to 72°F) in December.

Where is hot in Europe in December for holidays?

In December, many destinations in Southern Europe offer a welcome respite from the winter cold.

Popular hotspots include Madeira, Sicily, Cyprus, and the Canary Islands (Tenerife, Lanzarote, and Gran Canaria).

These locations provide pleasant temperatures and plenty of sunshine for a delightful holiday escape.

What is the hottest part of Spain in December?

In December, the Canary Islands, located off the northwest coast of Africa, experience the hottest temperatures in Spain.

Tenerife and Lanzarote, among the Canary Islands, offer warm and sunny conditions with average high temperatures of 21°C to 22°C (70°F to 72°F).

How hot is Greece in December?

Greece experiences milder temperatures in December compared to its scorching summer days.

Average high temperatures range from 15°C to 16°C (59°F to 61°F) in popular destinations such as Athens and Crete.

It’s still pleasantly warm and suitable for exploring historical sites and enjoying Greek hospitality.

Is Portugal hot in December?

While Portugal cools down in December, it still enjoys relatively mild temperatures.

The southern region, including the Algarve, experiences average high temperatures of around 17°C (63°F), providing a comfortable climate for outdoor activities and sightseeing during the winter months.

Is Turkey hot in December?

In December, Turkey experiences cooler temperatures compared to the summer months.

Coastal areas such as Antalya still offer relatively mild weather, with average high temperatures around 16°C (61°F).

While it might not be scorching hot, it’s still a pleasant destination to explore historical sites and enjoy the local culture.

Is Tenerife hot in December?

Yes, Tenerife, one of Spain’s Canary Islands, maintains a delightful warmth even in December.

With average high temperatures of around 21°C (70°F) and plenty of sunshine, Tenerife offers an inviting escape from the winter cold.

Its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and vibrant culture make it an excellent choice for a warm December getaway.

How hot is Gran Canaria in December?

Gran Canaria, another one of Spain’s Canary Islands, experiences pleasant temperatures in December.

The average high temperatures hover around 22°C (72°F), offering a warm and inviting environment for a winter holiday.

Whether you seek relaxation on the golden beaches or adventure in the island’s diverse landscapes, Gran Canaria has much to offer.

Is Cyprus or Gran Canaria hotter in December?

In December, Gran Canaria tends to be slightly hotter than Cyprus.

While both destinations offer pleasant temperatures, Gran Canaria experiences average high temperatures of around 22°C (72°F), while Cyprus ranges between 16°C and 19°C (61°F to 66°F).

Both destinations provide warm winter climates, but Gran Canaria tends to be a touch warmer during this time of the year.

Is Tenerife or Gran Canaria hotter in December?

Tenerife and Gran Canaria, both located in Spain’s Canary Islands, are both warm places to visit in December in Europe.

On average, Gran Canaria tends to be slightly hotter than Tenerife during this month.

Gran Canaria experiences average high temperatures of around 22°C (72°F), while Tenerife boasts average high temperatures of about 21°C (70°F).

Both islands provide delightful winter warmth for visitors to enjoy.

Which Canary Island is hottest over Christmas?

In terms of temperatures, Lanzarote tends to be the hottest Canary Island over Christmas.

With average high temperatures reaching 21°C (70°F) in December, Lanzarote offers a warm and enjoyable winter holiday destination.

Its volcanic landscapes, stunning beaches, and unique attractions make it a fantastic place to soak up the sun during the Christmas season.

What’s the warmest city in Europe in December? 

One of the capitals of the Canaries, such as Arrecife or Santa Cruz de Tenerife, is probably the warmest city in Europe in the festive month.

But on mainland Europe, Malaga stays warm throughout December – I visited just before New Year’s Eve last year and sat outside in the sunshine! 

Are you ready to visit the warmest places in Europe in December? 

December holidays in Europe don’t have to be synonymous with freezing temperatures and snow-covered landscapes!

From the picturesque island of Madeira in Portugal to the vibrant Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria, there’s a place for every sun-seeker.  

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