15th January 2017

10 of Europe’s Sunniest Cities

Grey skies getting you down? Pack your shades and escape to sunnier shores – these 10 cities are just what the doctor ordered…

1. Valletta, Malta




Topping our list of sun-drenched cities is the Maltese capital, Valetta. While you’re there, don’t miss out on the beautiful Baroque architecture and stunning natural attractions such as The Blue Lagoon.  For more about this gorgeous Mediterranean island, read 5 Good Reasons to Fly to Malta.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2,957


2. Seville




With its fiery flamenco,  mouth-watering tapas bars and orange-laden trees, sizzling Seville provides the perfect pick-me-up at any time of the year. To experience the city’s traditional culture at its best, visit in spring for the annual Semana Santa processions (week before Easter) and the colourful Feria de Abril festival (two weeks after Semana Santa).

Hours of sunshine per year: 2898



3. Marseille




France’s second city may lack the sparkle and polish of the French Riviera, but this Mediterranean gem is filled with enough sunny beaches and interesting restaurants and bars to banish the blues whatever time of year you visit.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2858


4. Alicante




Located on Spain’s busy Costa Blanca, Alicante has long been the destination of choice for sun-starved Europeans. And rightly so. This Mediterranean city is home to all the sandy beaches, seafront promenades and non-stop nightlife you could want from a sunshine getaway. Visit in June for the famous Las Hogueras de San Juan festival or fly in for Carnival in February or March when spectacular parades take over the streets.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2864


5. Lisbon




Wave bye-bye to miserable weather at home, party-loving Lisbon has turned up the heat, the volume and the sunshine – all that’s left for you to do is turn that frown upside down. Read more about the Portuguese capital in 10 Things Things You Need to Know About Lisbon.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2799


6. Athens




Get your fix of vitamin D while you cross the city’s ancient wonders off your bucket list.  To get a real sense of the Greek capital, explore the city by foot and don’t miss these  7 Must Sees on a Walking Tour of Athens.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2771


7. Madrid




Madrid’s mild climate and sunny disposition makes it a sight for sore eyes, winter, spring, summer or autumn. Kick back with a coffee on the light-filled plazas, stroll the beautiful El Retiro Park and when culture calls, wander indoors to see colourful masterpieces by Picasso, Miro and Dali in the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia.

Hours of sunshine per year:  2769


8. Nice



Nice has been pulling in sun-seekers for centuries. With a location on the turquoise shores of the Bay of Angels, it’s easy to see why. Soak up some rays on the palm-fringed Promenade des Anglais, explore the picturesque streets of the Old Town and whatever you do, don’t leave without treating yourself to an ice-cream at the famous Fenochio Glacier.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2724


9. Valencia


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


Beautiful beaches, spectacular architecture and sunshine on tap…Valencia is a city that appears to have it all.  Cameras at the ready for the magnificent futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences and the equally stunning Oceanogràfic aquarium. When it comes to eating out, the home of paella certainly doesn’t disappoint. For tips on how to eat your way around the city, read The Foodie’s Guide to Valencia.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2660


10. Barcelona



Bright, bold and buzzing, Barcelona is a feast for the senses. The beachside city’s mix of bohemian charm, eclectic nightlife and surreal Gaudi-designed buildings will have a smile on your face in no time. Get your bearings before you go – read Neighbourhood Watch: Barcelona’s Coolest Barrios and How to Eat Like Royalty in Barcelona in 3 Easy Steps.

Hours of sunshine per year: 2524


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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.


  • Pavel

    Let’s make it 11 this year with Burgas /Bulgaria /. On the Black Sea coast. Beautiful beaches and lot of history. There are also so many people here eager for travelling

    16th January 2017 at 12:58 pm
    • Junter

      Burgas has 2,400 hrs a year.

      16th August 2017 at 11:25 pm
  • fulvio

    This seems an advertise for Spain… it seems you have forgotten Italy…. and especially the south…..

    18th January 2017 at 10:53 am
    • Ricky G

      Perhaps Fulvio should revise his geography. Since when has Athens, Valletta, Lisbon, Nice and Marseilles been in Spain.

      20th January 2017 at 4:28 pm
    • Alessia

      Exactly my thoughts…it happens often, and Italy besides offering lots of sunshine it’s the nation in the WORLD that has the bigger number of Unesco sites. Shall I add the amazingly varied cuisine? Com on Ryanair surely you can do better than this

      20th January 2017 at 8:15 pm
  • Phytos

    Cyprus 330+ sunny days per year

    18th January 2017 at 11:27 am
    • Adam

      Cyprus is officially a part of Asia

      18th January 2017 at 5:53 pm
      • george

        officially a part of Asia? neither historically nor in the map: http://www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/eu.htm

        20th January 2017 at 4:27 pm
      • Sonia

        Cyprus is officially a European country!

        20th January 2017 at 6:59 pm
      • Stelian

        Really ??!!! Are you kidding me ???!!! Go home man !!!!Are you Eve’s husband or what!!! Where did you from man ???!!

        21st January 2017 at 3:03 am
      • Paul

        It’s part of the European Union. So definitely in Europe

        19th February 2017 at 8:57 pm
    • Pat

      Yes, why miss out Cyprus?

      21st January 2017 at 4:05 pm
  • Arvydas korsakovas

    Very good

    19th January 2017 at 9:30 pm
  • Teresa

    What about Calabria ? It should be right up at the top !

    20th January 2017 at 4:07 pm
  • Az

    How about Marrakech in Morocco I had best weather sunny and delicious food plus people are very friendly and helpful. For sure I will go back again.

    20th January 2017 at 4:26 pm
    • Zak

      Go figure… It says 10 of Europe’s most sunniest cities

      23rd January 2017 at 1:52 am
  • David Lith

    When will Ryanair fly direct from Dublin to Lamezia,in southern Italy,

    20th January 2017 at 7:24 pm
  • Cos

    Adam you have to learn geography….

    20th January 2017 at 8:18 pm
  • Jacqueline

    Valletta is not in spain it is in malta and top of the list were it should be. It is a city full of culture and friendly people. It is worth a visit.

    21st January 2017 at 7:55 am
  • John

    I can only assume Rhodes, the island of sun God Helios, is not in Europe any more with more than 330 days without a cloud …

    21st January 2017 at 8:02 am
    • Junter

      But not the sunniest, besides this is listing cities.

      16th August 2017 at 11:18 pm
      • Marios

        Junter Rhodes is the sunniset place in Greece, kjas 3291 hours of sunshine much more than ever…. Cyprus and South Turkey only has more sunshine than Rhodes….

        7th November 2017 at 5:10 pm
        • Junter

          Wrong. The Hellenic National Meteorology Service do not even have any sunshine averages for Rhodes. Any quoted of the internet do not come from any official source. Also Cyprus records do not go back far enough for any mean data.

          23rd November 2017 at 9:53 pm
    • Marios

      Rhodes is a Greek place… John.. Is Europe and will be….

      7th November 2017 at 5:09 pm
  • Alsvid

    Huelva, Spain: +3000 hours per year.

    21st January 2017 at 12:34 pm
    • Junter

      This is incorrect Huelva not has over 3000 hrs

      23rd November 2017 at 10:02 pm
      • Junterr

        Yes, Huelva has above 3000 hrs of sunshine. 😉

        19th February 2018 at 7:11 am
  • Pat

    Cyprus is not part of Asia. IT IS AN EU member state.

    21st January 2017 at 4:04 pm
  • David

    How about Preveza (PVK) gateway to Greek Ionian Islands and best sailing area in the world.

    22nd January 2017 at 10:34 am
  • Mne

    Also Bar, Montenegro

    22nd January 2017 at 2:31 pm
  • rita brehony

    do you have cheap flights to Carcassonne in late May

    22nd January 2017 at 11:52 pm
  • Denise

    I visited 9 of these 10 cities. In two of these cities I have had LOTS of rain, but normally it was not like that. I even posted a blog about citytrips by rain. 😉 But I definitely will go back to these two cities.

    10th February 2017 at 11:31 am
  • Ella Richter

    Canary Islands ! The best place in ” Europe “.

    The paradise in the earth.

    12th February 2017 at 12:29 am

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