When the days become shorter and temperatures start to drop, you know that winter is on its way. Although some people like to wrap up warm and get cosy in front of an open fire, the rest of us get impatient for the return of hot weather and glorious sunshine.
But rather than waiting months on end for summer to return, why not take a trip to more sultry climes instead? In Europe for example, there are several places where you can wear shorts and t-shirt all-year round. Here are five suggestions.
Thanks to its geographic location just off the northwest coast of Africa, the island of Tenerife boasts a constantly balmy climate. When you combine this with sandy shores, excellent food, a laid-back lifestyle and affordable prices, it becomes a more cost-effective alternative to the Caribbean. What’s more, the opportunity to go hiking, cycling and scuba diving means Tenerife is perfect for adventure-seeking tourists too.
One of Tenerife’s neighbours is Lanzarote, a smaller yet equally appealing island that has given greater precedence to sustainable development. Therefore, many of the attractions and activities on offer are deep-rooted in nature, such as the Jardin de Cactus (Cactus Garden), Cuevas de los Verdes caves, and the green lagoon of El Golfo. Even so, you can still take full advantage of Lanzarote’s sweeping sandy beaches for some much needed rest and relaxation.
Diminutive yet dynamic, what Malta lacks in size it more than makes up for in personality. The island’s history dates back some 7,000 years, during which time it has been ruled by Greeks, Romans, Normans and more. But in addition to important archaeological sites, baroque churches and medieval walled citadels, you can also capitalise on superb Mediterranean cuisine and pleasant temperatures throughout the year.
Perhaps most famous as the birthplace of Picasso, the Spanish city of Malaga is often overlooked by travellers heading to the Costa del Sol. But with some excellent beaches as well as historic fortresses, fascinating museums, lively bars and a booming tapas scene, there is quite literally plenty to get your teeth stuck into. The surreal architecture of Malaga’s promenade and the revived neighbourhood of Soho give this city lots of alternative appeal, too.
Seeing as Greece has 227 inhabited islands to choose from, visiting just one can be quite tricky. However, beautiful Santorini has it all. Along with its cobbled streets packed full of chic hotels, traditional tavernas and local boutiques, the capital, Fira, also offers unforgettable sunsets over the Med. Don’t forget to sample Santorini white wine either – some of the best Greece has to offer.
So, while the upcoming festive season and prospect of New Year’s Eve provides ample excitement for many, there is a continent bursting at the seams with superbly sunny destinations just waiting to be explored this winter.