15 warmest places in Europe in January (2024 guide)

Amalfi Coast in Italy

What are the warmest places in Europe in January? 

As the festive season departs and the new year sets in, people around Northern Europe find themselves wondering if there’s somewhere they can go to escape the winter blues. 

Largely, people ask if there are any warm destinations in Europe in January which offer beautiful beaches and hours of sunshine every day!

If you’re finding yourself craving some January sunshine, I have good and bad news. 

Good news? There are plenty of places in Europe that have mild weather in January. 

Bad news? Nowhere is really hot in Europe in January – you won’t get sunbathing and sea swimming weather anywhere really – but there are plenty of places you can go that are warmer than say, London or New York. 

So, where are these places? Let’s dig in! 

What’s the warmest place in Europe in January?

I’d pinpoint the warmest place in Europe in January to be Tenerife

This Canary Island is in a southerly location, surrounded by sea, which means that it stays mild throughout the cooler months. 

Spain is the warmest country in Europe in January, too. 

This isn’t just because it’s home to the Canary Islands; the southern region (Andalucia) is usually very warm and sunny. 

I adore Spain in winter because not only are parts wonderfully sunny but you can also travel to its ski slopes relatively quickly.

It’s a wonderful combination of two of the best parts of winter in Europe!

January’s the depths of the winter season – the coolest month of the year in most places – but you can still find warm weather in a smattering of locations across Southern Europe. 

Check out my other posts about the warmest places in Europe across the winter months:

1. Malaga, Spain

City of Malaga in Spain

When most of Europe is shivering, Malaga, sitting on Spain’s south coast, is home to an abundance of warmth and sunshine!

The capital of the Costa del Sol, Malaga averages a comfortable 17°C (63°F) in January.

We visited Malaga last January and loved the gentle warmth – it was balmy enough to sit on the rooftop of our hotel (Aperol spritz in hand!) and even take a quick dip in the pool. 

I also went for a swim in the Med at Malagueta Beach, but it was chilly! 

One of the city’s best things to do is the Alcazaba, an ancient fortress that looms over Malaga. It dates back to the 10th century when this area of Spain was Moorish-controlled. 

I couldn’t imagine walking up to the top fo the Alcazaba in the sweltering heat of the summer, but in January it was cool enough to walk around without working up a sweat.  

Nearby, Malagueta Beach is ideal for a picnic on the sands! 

The water may be too cool for a swim for many people (although I did go for a dip on New Year’s Day 2023!), but the beach is incredibly inviting.

Malaga’s terrace restaurants are ideal for the winter, with delicious al fresco local Andalusian cuisine. 

Delight in a plate of freshly caught seafood or traditional tapas as the Mediterranean sun shines down!

Fewer crowds in the winter months make it easier to secure a spot at popular attractions like the Picasso Museum and the Gibralfaro Castle too.

Check out my full guide to Malaga in January.

Average High Temperature18°C (64°F)
Average Low Temperature9°C (48°F)
Rainy Days5 days
Sea Temperature16°C (61°F)

2. Valletta, Malta

Looking out over Sliema on the island of Malta.

In January, Valletta, the capital city of Malta, averages a comfortable 15°C (59°F).

Right away, you’ll notice the Mediterranean Sea setting the backdrop for a city that refuses to hibernate through winter!

Want sun? You’ll get plenty.

Use those sun-soaked hours to wander the stone streets and grab a coffee at an open-air cafe, no winter coat needed!

Also, duck into St. John’s Co-Cathedral, a masterpiece of Baroque art. 

If history’s your thing, Fort St. Elmo is waiting.

Navigate its corridors and expansive walls; don’t forget to look out over the Grand Harbour. N

earby, the Upper Barrakka Gardens offer another perfect harbour view.

But don’t stay in the city; you’re on a glorious Mediterranean island, after all! 

Malta’s the perfect destination for beach hopping – visit Golden Bay where you can enjoy the bright beaches or horseriding or head to the south of the island to see beauty spots like the Blue Grotto and the ancient Hagar Qim site

Check out my full Malta winter guide.

Average High Temperature16°C (61°F)
Average Low Temperature11°C (52°F)
Rainy Days7 days
Sea Temperature16°C (61°F)

3. Lisbon, Portugal

Yellow vintage tram on the street in Lisbon, Portugal. Famous travel destination

In January, Lisbon keeps the winter blues at bay with average temperatures around 15°C (59°F).

January may be the coldest month, but there’s still sunshine to be found here – the sun often bathes the city’s historic neighbourhoods such as Alfama and Belém.

Slip into a cosy café, order a pastel de nata, and savour the sunlight streaming through the windows.

For history aficionados, the Jerónimos Monastery is a must-see. 

Walk through its intricate cloisters as you learn about its history from the 16th century. 

If you’re looking for an elevated view of the city, head to the Miradouro da Senhora do Monte viewpoint.

Snap a few photos; the panorama is spectacular.

 While the Atlantic Ocean might be too chilly (and choppy – winter is prime surf season!) there are sandy beaches just a short journey from Lisbon city centre.

Plus, you’ll find fresh seafood restaurants that deliver ocean flavours right to your plate.

I’ve visited Lisbon a few times, and my January trip was my favourite.

The capital can be far too hot in the summer season – it’s much more comfortable in the winter – and it’s less crowded too. 

It can be a bit rainier, but you’ll usually have plenty of sun, it’s just a bit cooler! 

Take a look at my full guide to visiting Lisbon in January.

Average High Temperature15°C (59°F)
Average Low Temperature9°C (48°F)
Rainy Days10 days
Sea Temperature16°C (61°F)

4. Palermo, Sicily

Aerial view of Palermo with Church of the Gesu at sunset, Sicily, Italy

Chasing warmth in January? Head to Palermo! 

The temperature hovers around 16°C (61°F); it’s a mild escape from Europe’s harsher winter climates.

Sunshine is a common site in Palermo.

Use it to your advantage to explore Palermo Cathedral, an incredible building that dates back to early Christian times and has been modified throughout the Norman, Catalan-Gothic and Neoclassical eras. 

As you walk the ancient streets, consider grabbing a quick espresso or a Sicilian pastry at one of the many cafes – plenty of them have al-fresco seating, even in January! 

In the Norman Palace, you can wander through rooms adorned with mosaic artistry – don’t miss the Palatine Chapel.

From the palace, you can catch a glimpse of the Tyrrhenian Sea!

A leisurely walk along Mondello Beach is doable, even in January.

The sea may be too chilly for swimming, but it’s a stunning site throughout the seasons. 

Hungry? Try street-side arancini or more elaborate dishes in high-end restaurant; seafood is abundant, as are traditional Sicilian dishes.

Of course, you can take a trip out to other spots in Sicily; don’t miss the Valley of the Temples and Teatro Antico di Taormina. They’ll be much quieter in January than in the peak summer months!

Average High Temperature15°C (59°F)
Average Low Temperature10°C (50°F)
Rainy Days6 days
Sea Temperature16°C (61°F)

5. Funchal, Madeira

Landscape of Madeira island - Portugal

Eyeing the charming town of Funchal for your winter trip?

Thanks to Madeira’s southern location, January temperatures average a comfy 18°C (64°F).

While November sees slightly warmer temperatures, January’s still inviting. 

It’s often sunny here, perfect for leisurely walks through the Madeira Botanical Garden.

Gaze at the exotic flora or take a cable car ride to get a bird’s-eye view of the city.

If you’re a wine enthusiast, you can’t miss a tour of a Madeira wine cellar.

Madeira’s also famous for its levada walks. “Levadas” are the island’s stone irrigation systems, many of which lead to epic viewpoints with panoramic views of Madeira’s nature.  

January’s perfect weather for hiking – it’s not too hot and not too cold!

Average High Temperature18°C (64°F)
Average Low Temperature14°C (57°F)
Rainy Days9 days
Sea Temperature20°C (68°F)

6. Ibiza, Spain

Cala d'Hort, Ibiza (Spain)

In January, the Balearic Island of Ibiza sheds its party persona to reveal a quieter, more authentic version of itself.

With warm temperatures around 15°C (59°F), you won’t be swimming, but you’ll be far from shivering.

November’s a fair bit warmer, but January’s climate is still ideal for outdoor activities!

Start with a visit to the UNESCO-listed Ibiza Town, rich in history and home to the Ibiza Cathedral.

Despite the cooler winter, you can still trek to the island’s various viewpoints.

The area around Es Vedrà offers spectacular vistas that remind you why Ibiza is more than just a party destination!

Average High Temperature15°C (59°F)
Average Low Temperature9°C (48°F)
Rainy Days6 days
Sea Temperature15°C (59°F)

7. Limassol, Cyprus

LIMASSOL CYPRUS

Welcome to Limassol, where January boasts a mild Mediterranean climate with an average temperature of 17°C (63°F).

Venture to the coastline and you’ll see that outdoor activities aren’t just reserved for summer!

The waterfront promenade is an ideal place for a brisk walk, and the local cafes keep their doors open for you to enjoy a coffee with a sea view.

Got a taste for history?

Limassol Castle is a journey back in time – and it’s even more enjoyable when you don’t have to battle the heat.

If you prefer modern spots, hang out at the Limassol Marina which is home to an array of shops and restaurants that give you a glimpse of today’s Cyprus.

Take a seat, enjoy local meze platters (including fresh halloumi cheese) and seafood straight from the Mediterranean.

Average High Temperature17°C (63°F)
Average Low Temperature10°C (50°F)
Rainy Days8 days
Sea Temperature18°C (64°F)

8. Seville, Spain

Enjoying some sunshine in Seville in November.

Seville in January is a stark contrast to the city’s sweltering summer months.

With a pleasant average temperature of around 16°C (61°F), you’re free to explore without feeling overwhelmed by heat!

January’s the coldest month in Seville personally, November’s my favourite time to visit – but January’s still comfortable. 

Whenever you visit, Seville’s a glorious city with a staggering amount of history and three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Wander through the Alcázar of Seville, where intricate Moorish designs await.

Or, explore the Jewish Quarter, a maze of narrow streets filled with history, small shops, and inviting cafes.

Plaza de Espana is open throughout the winter season; it’s a huge square with mosaics dedicated to each area of Spain. 

Finish your day by cheers-ing with a Spanish cava in a rooftop bar and basking in the warm winter sun! 

Average High Temperature16°C (61°F)
Average Low Temperature8°C (46°F)
Rainy Days6 days

9. Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

Are you looking for the warmest place in Europe in January? Tenerife beckons

Part of the Canary Island archipelago which is around 100 km from the West Coast of Africa, Tenerife is a volcanic island that basks in a subtropical climate. 

Unlike much of Europe in the winter, Tenerife is ideal for outdoor activities in winter.

Hiking trails, like those in Teide National Park, remain accessible and are the ideal setting for a winter adventure without snow boots!

If you’re into water sports, the wind conditions are excellent for kitesurfing and windsurfing.

While the Atlantic Ocean can be a bit cool for swimming, watersports are generally accessible provided you have a wetsuit. 

Then there are lava caves, which are open year-round – these were a highlight of my winter trip to Tenerife!

Gorgeous towns are abundant in Tenerife – my favourite was Icod de los Vinos in the north. 

Of course, if you just fancy spending a week in January kicking back in an all-inclusive resort, that’s an option too.  

Tenerife’s also a popular destination in December – check out my full guide.

Average High Temperature18°C (64°F)
Average Low Temperature14°C (57°F)
Rainy Days6 days
Sea Temperature20°C (68°F)

10. Sorrento, Italy

Small fishing boats at harbor Marina Grande in Sorrento, Campania, Amalfi Coast, Italy.

Winter in Sorrento is quiet and more relaxed with mild temperatures around 15°C (59°F).

Although the city is a hit in summer, in winter the lack of crowds boast an uninterrupted view of Mt. Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples!

The cooler weather is excellent for touring Sorrento’s rich historical sites.

The Cathedral of Sorrento and the Museo Correale are less crowded. 

There are a few excellent day trips from Sorrento, too. 

In winter, Sorrento’s perfect for exploring the Amalfi Coast without the hordes of tourists.

You’ll find the drive along the coast less stressful, as the usually hectic roads are more navigable.

Towns like Positano and Amalfi offer a unique, quieter charm; without so many tourists, you’ll experience local culture a lot more.

Then there’s Pompeii, an ancient city that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius.

It’s located just a short train ride from Sorrento.

The advantage here is twofold: fewer crowds and milder temperatures.

While summer visits can be overwhelmingly hot, winter’s milder weather allows for a more comfortable time seeing the ancient ruins.

Wander through the Forum, imagine life in the amphitheatre, and study the remarkably preserved frescoes in the villas, all without the distraction of throngs of visitors.

Average High Temperature16°C (61°F)
Average Low Temperature11°C (52°F)
Rainy Days14 days
Sea Temperature14°C (57°F)

11. Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

Cagliari - capital of Sardinia. Sardegna wide angle view. Roofs and houses of biggest city in Sardinia island - Cagliari, Italy.

In Cagliari, January temperatures are comfortably mild, making this Sardinian capital an appealing European winter destination.

While there’s snow up in the mountains, Cagliari is by the coast, which makes the temperatures milder. 

There are plenty of hours of sun too! 

With lighter crowds, the historic district of Castello is a perfect setting for leisurely walks. 

You’ll find open-air markets, like the Mercato di San Benedetto, less crowded and full of winter produce—think juicy Sardinian oranges and fresh seafood!

If you’re into archaeology, Cagliari offers ample opportunities.

The prehistoric site of Su Nuraxi and the Roman Amphitheatre are awash with ancient history.

Visit these sites in January to have a more personalized, less hurried experience.

Even Poetto Beach, usually bustling in the summer months, takes on a quieter mood.

You may find it too cold for swimming, but the conditions are excellent for windsurfing if you’re up for an adventure!

Average High Temperature14°C (57°F)
Average Low Temperature5°C (41°F)
Rainy Days6 days
Sea Temperature14°C (57°F)

12. Marbella, Spain

Marbella, Spain - December 21 2014: View of Plaza Altamirano, a pedestrian zone with bars and restaurants in the heart of the old town. The tower of the historic Greater Church of the Encarnacion is in the background.

The Spanish city of Marbella boasts an average temperature of 16°C (61°F) in January, setting it apart as a warm winter getaway.

Known for its high-end resorts and luxury shopping, the winter months are a more laid-back version of this usually buzzing town.

You can stroll through the Old Quarter with its narrow winding streets and traditional Andalusian architecture without jostling through crowds.

The Alameda Park and the Avenida del Mar are outdoor spaces you can enjoy year-round, but they are particularly pleasant during the mild winter.

These public spaces feature sculptures by Salvador Dalí and Eduardo Soriano, providing a touch of art as you wander.

January is a perfect month for golf enthusiasts. Marbella is home to some of the best golf courses in Europe, and winter provides optimal playing conditions with fewer players to contend with.

Plus, if you’re in Marbella at the start of January, enjoy Three King’s Day, which is the official end of Spanish Christmas. 

Average High Temperature17°C (63°F)
Average Low Temperature8°C (46°F)
Rainy Days5 days
Sea Temperature16°C (61°F)

13. Fethiye, Turkey

Scenic view of ,in the centre of Fethiye, just behind the harbour, is Telmessos' 6000-seat Roman theatre dating from the 2nd century BC.

Looking for somewhere warm but affordable to enjoy a beach vacation in January? 

Look no further than Fethiye in Turkey

In January, Fethiye boasts milder temperatures compared to much of Europe. 

The mild conditions are perfect for outdoor adventures without the oppressive heat of the summer months.

The Lycian Way, one of Turkey’s most famous hiking trails runs through Fethiye. While January’s a little rainy, it’s much quieter out of season. 

Local markets, such as the Tuesday Market, continue to operate in winter, albeit at a smaller scale.

You’ll encounter seasonal produce and traditional Turkish textiles – it feels a lot more authentic than the hectic summer months. 

The city’s ancient ruins, including the Tomb of Amyntas carved into the cliffs, are another opportunity to explore without throngs of tourists.

Although the boat tours to the nearby islands cease in winter, the quiet harborside takes on a charm of its own!

Average High Temperature15°C (59°F)
Average Low Temperature6°C (43°F)
Rainy Days5 days
Sea Temperature18°C (64°F)

14. Mykonos, Greece

Traditional windmills on the beach in night illumination. Greece. Mykonos. Chora.

In January, the Greek Island of Mykonos completely transforms. 

Gone are the packed-out beach resorts and buzzing beach clubs, and in its place are mild temperatures and a relaxed pace of life. 

The average temperature hovers around 15°C (59°F), not quite warm enough for lazing on the beach but certainly mild enough for seeing the island’s highlights! 

The renowned windmills, which are usually surrounded by tourists during the summer, stand solitary against the winter sky.

You have the unique opportunity to capture these iconic structures in your photos without having to navigate through crowds.

Delve into local history by visiting the Folklore Museum or the Archaeological Museum, which remain open during the winter.

Are you a foodie? Mykonos offers a selection of local restaurants that stay open year-round; you’ll typically find that the local joints are the ones that stay open. 

Average High Temperature12°C (54°F)
Average Low Temperature9°C (48°F)
Rainy Days6 days
Sea Temperature15°C (59°F)

15. Faro, Algarve

view of Faro is Faro Cathedral

Faro, the capital of Portugal’s Algarve region, is one of the warmest winter destinations on the continent, with temperatures around 17°C (62°F).

While it’s the gateway to the Algarve’s famed beaches, Faro itself has plenty to offer. 

The Old Town, with its cobblestone streets flanked by medieval architecture offers a subdued charm in January. 

If you venture into Arco da Vila, one of the city gates, you’ll find views that are unobstructed by the crowds common in warmer seasons.

The Ria Formosa Natural Park, a sprawling sanctuary of lagoons and islands, is ideal for a slie of nature. 

While swimming may not be on the agenda, the area becomes a haven for birdwatchers, as migratory species use the park as a resting stop.

Faro’s eateries also continue to operate.

Dishes like cataplana, a sumptuous seafood stew, or pastéis de nata, the famous custard tarts, are available without the long summer queues.

In fact, it’s often possible to walk into a restaurant and choose from the best tables, no reservation needed!

During the winter, several cultural venues, such as the Faro Jewish Heritage Centre and the Municipal Museum, become quiet spaces for absorbing local history and culture.

January’s cooler temperatures also make it an ideal time for hiking and biking around Faro, with several trails easily accessible. There’s no way you’d want to attempt these in the summer, but they’re perfect in January!

Average High Temperature16°C (61°F)
Average Low Temperature8°C (46°F)
Rainy Days5 days
Sea Temperature17°C (63°F)

Tips for visiting Europe in January

Amalfi Coast in Italy

Here are some top tips for visiting these warm winter destinations in Europe in January! 

Take advantage of cheap flights

Flights to winter sun destinations can be extremely cheap in January. 

I holidayed in Lisbon a few years ago, but I remember my flight costing me £8 ($10)! 

You could factor in where you go on the cost of the flight. But do also consider the costs when you arrive, too. 

Pack right

Don’t just pack shorts and flip flops! 

Even if you’re off the the canaries, you’ll need a light jacket for the evenings and a rain mac for possible downpours. 

Remember that while winter temperatures can be mild in the daytime, they often drop at night. 

Pre-book excursions and attraction tickets

While it’s off-peak season in most of Europe, it’s actually the Canary Islands and Madeira’s peak seasons – they’re popular with people escaping chilly winter weather in Northern Europe. 

Plus, even places like Andalucia in Southern Spain can be busy. On our January trip to Malaga, we went on a sold-out tour of the Alcazar. 

I’d recommend using Get Your Guide to pre-book your tours and tickets. 

FAQs about Europe’s warmest destinations in January

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about warm winter destinations in Europe in January!

Lisbon sunset

Where in Europe is warmest in January?

The warmest places in Europe during January are usually in southern regions.

You’ll experience the most warmth in the Canary Islands, particularly in Tenerife and Las Palmas, where temperatures average around 17-18°C (63-64°F).

What European cities are hot in January?

While “hot” might be a stretch, certain cities are milder than others.

These include Malaga in Spain, Funchal in Madeira, Portugal, and Limassol in Cyprus, all boasting temperatures above 15°C (59°F).

Which places in Europe are warm in winter?

Southern European destinations are generally warmer in winter.

Consider the Canary Islands, the Madeira archipelago, or southern coastal cities like Malaga, Spain, and Limassol, Cyprus.

These locations maintain mild temperatures often above 15°C (59°F).

Where is hot and cheap in January?

Almeria in Spain or Alicante offer more budget-friendly options compared to other warm destinations.

Both cities have January temperatures averaging around 16°C (61°F), and accommodation and dining tend to be less expensive than in more tourist-heavy spots.

Which Canary Island is hottest in January?

Tenerife usually holds the title for the warmest Canary Island in January, with average temperatures around 18°C (64°F).

It’s followed closely by Las Palmas in Gran Canaria, also averaging around 17°C (63°F).

How warm are the Canary Islands in January?

The Canary Islands maintain a mild climate in January, with temperatures ranging from 15°C to 18°C (59°F to 64°F). Tenerife and Las Palmas in Gran Canaria are among the warmest, both averaging around 17-18°C (63-64°F).

Are you ready for a warm January getaway?

These winter sun destinations are the ideal spots to kick off your new year! 

While the weather might not scream “beach holidays” with sunbathing every day, it’s the perfect time to walk around and see archaeological sites and historic towns. 

Whether you choose Tenerife or Sorrento, you’ll have a relaxing winter sun vacation in these Southern European destinations

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