Do you catch yourself seeking out TV shows and films that are set in beachy, warm climates? Do you find yourself longing for the not-so-distant days when you could leave the house without needing a waterproof bag packed to the gills with thermals? Or perhaps you’re reading this while it’s still summer and you are already planning your escape route for when winter sets in. Either way, you’re in the right place.
We’ve got the perfect prescription to soothe those frosty fingertips and keep your spirits lifted as the longer nights draw in; some winter sun destinations in Europe. Booking a sunny holiday in December or January will not only make you the envy of all your friends and colleagues, but it will also give you a much-needed psychological boost that you can carry over into spring when you start planning your summer excursions. To make your European winter sun adventure even more wonderful, why not do it in style in a motorhome? The freedom of the open road, the ability to park up in remote natural environments, the ease of having all your creature comforts close to hand…There really is nothing like it.
This guide to finding winter sun in Europe with a motorhome offers some tempting choices for the warmest places in Europe in January. We’ve tried to include something to suit everyone’s tastes and agenda. From beaches to historic sites; natural wonders to hiking destinations we’ve got it covered.
If your idea of the perfect winter sun destination in Europe is five or six hours a day of glorious golden rays soaked in vitamin D then add Seville to your shortlist. Even between December and February, the average high temperatures in Seville range from 16–20°C. Lows come in between 6 and 10°C at night so pretty much ideal for relaxing in one of the city’s beautiful plazas with a glass of something chilled and delicious.
Seville has plenty to offer winter travellers. A visit to the Alcázar, the oldest royal palace in Europe is a must. Here you can witness the evolution of over 1,000 years of history, from Islamic Isbyllia through mediaeval Christian and Jewish Seville to the present day. Continue your journey at Seville Cathedral next door where you can marvel at the 42-metre high central nave and the 80 side chapels that make up its 11,520m2 mass (pardon the pun).
Most restaurants in Seville are open all year round though, as always in Spain, many will close late afternoon for a siesta before the evening shift begins.
Stay at: Open all year round and just half an hour's drive from Seville, Multiparking La Jabega is a great accommodation choice for your winter sun destination in Europe. Visitors have access to showers and washing facilities, grey water disposal, laundrette and electric hookup. There is also 24-hour access and security.
Prices are dependent on vehicle type, length of stay etc. Prices off-season start at €30 for a month so you can expect some great deals on shorter stays. Visit the website for more details.
Multiparking La Jabega, Hacienda Los Cabreros, Carretera SE-9024, Km 6,5, 41700 Sevilla, Spain.
Fans of history, natural beauty and glorious azure seas will doubtless fall in love with Sicily. With an average winter temperature of a minimum of 10°C and a maximum of 14°C, Sicily is a top contender for the hottest place in Europe in January. In fact, a good friend of mine sat on the 2500m high viewpoint of Mount Etna on Christmas Day wearing only a t-shirt and shorts!
To scale this volcanic beauty get a cable car to the aforementioned viewpoint where you can then attempt the hike to the authorised crater area at 2920m or book a space on the 4WD tour. If you opt for walking to the crater, make sure you leave enough time to get back for the last cable car down.
If you want to check out Sicily’s wonderful archaeological sites (and we recommend you do) head to Agrigento, a city on the southern coast. Agrigento was one of the most important cities during the golden age of Ancient Greece and is one of the best places for exploring Sicily’s cultural heritage. Don’t miss the Valley of the Temples and the Santo Spirito Monastery and try to find time for the excellent archaeological museum Pietro Griffo. When your historical thirst is satisfied head to one of Agrigento’s glorious beaches.
For more inspiration check out our guide to road trips in Sicily.
Stay at: As you can probably guess from the name Camping Valle Dei Templi is just a couple of kilometres from Agrigento’s most famous archaeological site. It is also perfectly situated to enjoy the local beaches and has a great pool and facilities including a kids’ play area, restaurant and bar.
Prices for two people on an electric touring pitch start at £17 per night in December.
Camping Valle Dei Templi, 7H9M+P7 Agrigento, Free municipal consortium of Agrigento, Italy
The Algarve, Portugal
With an average of five hours of sun a day and average highs of 16°C, the Algarve is one of the warmest places in Europe in January and a strong bet for a sunny holiday. Even the sea is pretty welcoming temperature-wise during winter, clocking in at just a few degrees lower than the ambient readings.
Most winter sun holidays in Europe are likely to include visits to golden beaches and the Algarve will not disappoint. Plus, you’re more likely to be able to get away from the crowds during winter and prices for accommodation and flights should be lower.
Attractions such as Benagil Cave or Praia do Camilo that are packed with tourists during the summer months are much easier and more pleasant to visit in winter. Due to the relatively cooler weather, restaurants serve more substantial meals including some delicious stews. Keep your eyes peeled for feijoada, dobrada, carne de porco à alentejana, rojões and caldeirada on menus.
Even the hottest places in Europe in January get a bit of rain. But non-beachy days can happily be spent in The Algarve hiking the excellent coast paths and exploring the cobbled streets and restaurants of Lagos. You could also take a trip to Monchique in the mountains or check out the various surf spots. The swell is often best during the winter months and you shouldn’t be competing for space as much.
Check out some more places to visit, including some recommendations for top surf spots in our blog on the three best campervan road trips in Portugal.
Stay at: Figueira Caravan Park couldn’t be better situated for exploring the southwest area of The Algarve and the Vicentina Coast Natural Park. It is less than half an hour’s drive from Lagos and 15 minutes from Sagres and Cabo de São Vicente, Europe’s most westerly point. Once you see the lovely secluded beach which is just a short walk from the site, you’ll be glad you chose this for your winter sun destination in Europe. With solar-powered showers and an emphasis on all things eco, you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.
Prices for the low season (October to June) start at €8 a day for two people on a small pitch (35m2). It is €2 for each extra person per day and electricity is €0.50 per kWh.
Figueira Caravan Park, R. da Fonte 6a, 8650-072 Budens, Portugal
No doubt you are now brimming with inspiration and ideas on where to find winter sun in Europe with a motorhome. Remember that even if you go to the warmest and sunniest places in Europe in January the weather might not always cooperate. Bring some cosy clothes for cooler evenings, a breathable waterproof jacket and good quality footwear, especially if you are planning on a hike or two.
Visiting the warmest places in Europe in January and other winter months can mean that some attractions are closed or operate reduced hours and some restaurants and bars might have shut up shop. Do some research in advance and ask for recommendations if you get stuck. Even though there are fewer tourists around you are bound to run into fellow sun-seekers on your travels and as any motorhome adventurer knows, some of the best itinerary tips come from those you meet on the road.
As I mentioned at the beginning, enjoying a sunny holiday in January and winter, in general, is just the ticket for cruising through the cooler months with a spring in your step until spring comes around again - and having your own motorhome for your envy-inducing excursion makes it even more enjoyable. Goboony customers in all the above destinations (and many more) are just waiting to hire their motorhomes to people like you. Head on over to the motorhome hire pages to find your perfect four-wheeled travel companion!