9th October 2015

Winter Sun: Ten Hotter-than-Home Getaways


Cold? Miserable? Can’t wait for next summer? The good news is you don’t have to hang around here in your thermals. Swap winter blues for sunny skies with these ten hotter-than-home getaways…



paphos cyprus

Paphos, Cyprus: Wish you were here?


Cyprus has a lot in common with this part of the world. The cars drive on the left.  The plug sockets are the same.  But right now there’s one MAJOR difference: it’s still t-shirt weather in sunny Cyprus.

Winter Highs: 22C

Daily hours of sunshine: 9


Gran Canaria



Winter…what winter?


Forget icy chills and long, dark nights and look forward to lazing on the sandy beaches of Puerto Rico and partying into the early hours of the morning in the bars and clubs of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.  Summer is still alive and well on this sizzling Canary Island.

Winter Highs: 24C

Daily hours of sunshine: 7





Go on, make them jealous!


Expect sun, sand and sangria, as well as spectacular volcanic peaks and sparkling turquoise seas of Tenerife. Chill out with a cocktail, kick back on the beaches, take a few instagram snaps and be the envy of all those huddled around a heater back home.

Winter Highs: 22C

Daily hours of sunshine: 6.5





Endless beaches await


Prepare for that welcome blast of heat as you step off the plane and get ready to claim your spot on Fuerteventura’s 32 km stretch of coastline. Grab your surfboard and catch some waves or simply sit back, forget your troubles and soak up some rays on the beach.

Winter Highs: 22C

Daily hours of sunshine: 7




Landscape with the famous Papagayo Beach on the Lanzarote Island in the Canary Islands Archipelago, Spain at sunset time.

Papagayo Beach, Lanzarote


Reliably sunny, Lanzarote has a climate that’s as impressive as its rugged volcanic landscapes. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re mostly greeted with blue, cloudless skies and sunshine on tap. Stunning scenery and glorious heat makes Lanzarote the perfect destination to top up on your Vitamin D this winter.

Winter Highs: 25C

Daily hours of sunshine: 8




Fall for Marrakech’s exotic charms


Spice up your winter plans with a sunshine break in Marrakesh.  Shop in the souks, chill out in the hammam and fall for the exotic charms of the Medina at dusk.

Winter Highs: 21C

Daily hours of sunshine: 7





Malta’s got it all


Inject a little bit of culture into your winter break with a trip to sunny Malta.  The island is home to three amazing UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the island’s capital, Valetta.  Once you’ve ticked ancient temples and city sights off your list, let your hair down in the lively bars and nightclubs of St Julian’s Bay, take a bike tour around the coastal towns, or go for a dip in the Blue Lagoon.

Winter Highs: 23C

Daily hours of sunshine: 8




There’s no time like the present to pay Seville a visit


With its fiery flamenco performances, colourful fiestas and mouth-watering tapas, Seville is the quintessential Spanish city. In the summer months, temperatures are sweltering (almost oppressively so), but locals will tell you that now is the perfect time to experience its spectacular architecture and culture.

Winter Highs: 23C

Daily hours of sunshine: 6



Square of Saint Mary's and Valencia Cathedral Temple in old town.Spain .

Enjoy the best of the city and the beach


Fly into Valencia and combine a city break with a beach holiday.  Mild temperatures mean you can check out the city’s Gothic sights and palaces at your leisure before heading to the coast to feel the sun on your back and the sand between your toes as you stroll the beaches of Malvarrosa and Pobla de Farnals.

Winter Highs: 19C

Daily hours of sunshine: 9


The Azores


swimming with dolphins

Live the dream


Get ready to cross a few experiences-of-a-lifetime off your bucket list. If you’ve ever fancied hiking up a volcano or swimming with wild dolphins, it’s time to pack those bags for a winter break with a difference.

Winter Highs: 20C

Daily hours of sunshine: 6

Fiona Hilliard

Fiona Hilliard

A love of new cultures is what drives Dublin travel writer Fiona Hilliard to explore the cities of Europe and beyond.


  • Pat Fitzpatrick

    Regarding Lanzarote, to say cloudless blue skies will greet you any time of year is just not true. We have visited several of the Canary Islands on many many occasions and at different times of year, you have as much a chance of being greeted by cloud as you have sun. Let’s keep it real here please and no leading up the garden path.

    2nd November 2015 at 10:54 pm
    • Fiona Hilliard
      Fiona Hilliard

      Thanks Pat, we’ve amended the piece 🙂

      3rd November 2015 at 8:18 am
    • Liam Mack

      The inclusion of the word “mostly” is hardly leading people up the garden path.

      3rd September 2016 at 3:20 pm
      • Ana

        Clouds with an average temp of 23 degrees in winter i think it is better than freezing cold, icy roads and snow. It’s a good article

        3rd September 2016 at 4:13 pm
    • J.G.

      January in the Canaries…….you can be lucky….or……the Atlantic Sea is cold by then, the residual heat has reduced and if it’s cloudy and windy, it’s downright chilly. Think “Donegal with palm trees”, as some unlucky friend said!!! Pre Christmas is certainly better than post Christmas.

      25th December 2016 at 5:07 pm
      • Josephine

        Spent last January In Fuerteventura. Swam in warm sea every day. Needed sweater at night. But great weather. Would love to be going this year

        29th December 2016 at 12:51 pm
    • Bob Chadwick

      Yes, I went one winter, snow on the mountain &
      crossing the road water came over my shoes. Did not like the place, never again.

      25th December 2016 at 6:41 pm
      • Nurse C

        Wet shoes Bob, what an absolute disaster….. although it could have been worse ! your best socks and sandals.

        27th December 2016 at 4:25 pm
  • Ali

    Well. If you trust statistics, canary islands have 3 time probability of sun vs clouds.

    27th August 2016 at 3:37 pm
  • Lorna Ketley

    Even when its cloudy in Tenerife the sun still beats down through the clouds and gives you a lovely tan without being hot and bothered.

    3rd September 2016 at 4:41 pm
  • Gerard Kane

    My family enjoyed Christmas 2013 in Tenerife with daily temperature of 22C. It surely beats a miserable cold wet time at home. Santa even made a visit! Imagine spending Christmas Day on the beach and then Christmas dinner in the hotel! Highly recommended ?

    4th September 2016 at 8:19 am
    • Coleen Dowd

      Lovely article and just what I was searching for as we plan a winter holiday break. Gerald Kane, my husband, young daughters and I would like to spend this Christmas in the Canary Islands. Would you mind sharing the name of your hotel?

      19th November 2016 at 1:35 am
  • Cornelius m. lucey.

    we have visited all the canary islands over 40 years generally twice a year end of feb. and end of November, and the articles were spot on .I feel no apology was required Fiona.

    4th September 2016 at 9:33 pm
  • chris

    tenerife for me ..best of the caaries

    4th September 2016 at 11:14 pm
  • Lynn

    Everywhere gets freak weather, I have been to Tenerife in the winter and have had really good weather. But I have been in December and have had rain water up to the car door, February, the Sirocco, where you can’t sit outside, cos of the sand particles everywhere

    Lanzarote may be warmer but the wind can be a misery when you are on the beach

    10th September 2016 at 8:54 am
  • Arnold

    Tenneriffe North Coast was sunny first week in February on the North Coast and pool was warm enough to swim in.

    17th September 2016 at 12:50 pm
  • Kim Taylor

    What about Luxor or Hurghada in Egypt

    11th November 2016 at 7:54 pm
  • mark

    I travel to the canaries a lot around December and January . i have had cold winds and rain . but its worth the gamble and it is better than the weather in England by far.

    16th November 2016 at 9:39 pm
  • Hugh storrie

    I’ve lived in Fuenteventura Lanzarote and gran Canaria but the latter is the best for winter son it does rain but it’s clear in a matter of hours and you would not know it’s rained

    17th November 2016 at 12:15 pm
  • Hugh storrie

    Winter sun

    17th November 2016 at 12:16 pm
  • Lynne

    Malta is a sure guarantee of sunshine in winter,even when it rains it’s never for longer than a few hours at most, and its got something for every age…history, culture, nightlife …etc…

    18th November 2016 at 12:42 pm
  • Isabella Appleton

    Need to get well and become a traveler I’m 64 on my own what would be best place to start ,lwant it all

    20th November 2016 at 10:17 am
    • Helen

      Hi Isabella, Playa Blanca is a small resort in the south of Lanzarote. I have visited here for years it feels very safe and the friendly staff at most cafes/restaurants etc speak English. There is a lot of choice of accommodation both hotels and self catering. The weather is fabulous I am here at the moment, yes we have had a few warm rain showers but the last 10 days have been gorgeous averaging about 24 degrees ?

      13th December 2016 at 4:04 pm
      • Patricia

        I was in Playa Blanca for Christmas a couple of years ago and the weather and location was terrific. I hired a car and visited all of the island. Driving there was a treat compared to city driving in the UK. I would highly recommend this Island.

        25th December 2016 at 6:41 pm
    • John

      Agree on Costa Blanca for starters for Isabella. Have just come back. Cloudless skies and sun every day. You can also easily nip across to Fuerteventura on the fast ferry and explore a very different island.

      25th December 2016 at 2:01 pm
    • Alan

      Malta !

      26th December 2016 at 12:04 am
    • Liz downey

      Hi a cruise would be a great start, Cunard has solo cabins now , do a week on the sea with lots to do on this ship , great for meeting new people too. Am 74 and holiday on my own mostly and love it , malta does a few weeks board for winter pax , third week usually free and so much to see,

      31st December 2016 at 5:55 pm
  • Wendy

    I’ve just arrived back to UK from Lanzarote and we had fabulous weather all week. Hot and sunny and swimming in the sea every day. I would highly recommend it and we are going to make it a yearly trip!

    21st November 2016 at 10:05 am
  • Suzzanne Jones

    We have just come back from a six week winter break in Lanzarote. The weather perfect , we could count on one hand the mostly cloudy days. The heat was always there, never cold . Laying on the beach on the 5th Dec at 25c beats sitting back in the UK in the rain any day. If it does rain its not all day and the sun burns the clouds away. I’m would recommend this place to anyone, we’ve booked two months next winter.

    13th December 2016 at 3:14 pm
    • James Cook

      Sounds Great

      What type of place do u rent, stay in?


      James Cook

      25th December 2016 at 2:01 pm
  • Rena

    We are now on Fueetaventura.
    A few days weather was really good,but today is cold and windy…

    23rd December 2016 at 12:12 pm
  • Trevor Wray

    Loved going to Gran Canaria this summer. Lovely and warm.

    25th December 2016 at 3:49 pm
  • David Cooper

    What you talking about Trevor? We’re all discussing a Winter break!

    25th December 2016 at 3:51 pm
  • Tina Adams

    I have just came back from Azores Sao Miguel island .
    Perfect weather with a lot to see from the beautiful landscape with the craters lakes to wonderful good food and very friendly people.
    I do recommend Azores for a winter break.

    25th December 2016 at 4:52 pm
  • Roy

    Having been to all the larger canaria islands in the winter months sometimes for a month at a time I found the weather mostly good ,and come home with a tan ,there are times days when it’s windy and getting to the beach is a no no ,I found Tenerife to be the best island to be on,I was on the beach in Los Christianos black clouds covered Mount Teide though rain looked to be a possibility of never rained down on the beach it was still 20 ,it is said Tenerife is protected by Mount Teide and this I believe is correct

    25th December 2016 at 4:55 pm
  • Stella

    I’m just back from mainland Spain having spent 6 weeks there. Except for the last 3 days (dreadful rain, etc.) it was glorious weather.

    29th December 2016 at 4:42 pm
  • Ricky

    Playa Blanca Lanzarote forever !?

    2nd January 2017 at 9:05 am
  • Ben Elias

    Thank you Ryanair 🙂

    16th January 2017 at 3:11 pm
  • Joan Flynn

    Sunny Cyprus that’s what we though just arrived back on the 11th after three weeks in Paphos only had three complete days without wind and rain. As the locals said they need the rain but I think they are getting worried they may get to much. Hope this is only going to happen this winter.

    16th January 2017 at 6:38 pm
    • Robyn Smith

      I have lived in Cyprus for 5 years, yes it may be warm and sunny for holiday makers at times but also long spells of heavy rain and also cold at night.

      22nd January 2017 at 11:41 am
  • Jaz

    As beautiful as malta is,it most certainly does not get to temperatures warm enough to swim in the blue lagoon. In fact,during the winter, Dec through to Mar, April, you would be lucky to get a boat to take you there! It is bitterly cold in Jan, due to the humidity, and more rain falls in Feb, than it does in the UK! However,it is still a stunning island,and wonderfulet out of season. It’s a must place to visit,but be prepared to wrap up warm in the winter.

    17th January 2017 at 5:58 pm
  • Chris Johnson

    We took a very cheap Ryanair flight from Newcastle to Tenerife S in January. Sunny every day and 18-20C. A great apartment at Suites of Beverley Hills. Pools a bit cool but stylish hotel and free bus to centre. Reasonable flight back to Norway where we live. Spanish crew did a good job but did not agree with fanfare when 5 mins late!!

    27th January 2017 at 5:52 pm
  • Ken

    I have had a villa in Fuerteventura for 15years. Have had many winter holidays and have enjoyed the weather. In. January great sunny day’s might need a jumper in the evenings.

    24th February 2017 at 2:59 pm

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