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25mnb's blog Winter in Europe arrives wearing conflicting veils, depending on the location.

In countries like Sweden, Finland, and Norway in the north, it is clad in heaps of snow and weeks without sunlight. Moving a tad south to the United Kingdom, France, and Ukraine and you will find it uncomfortably grey and dripping with rain. Further down south, however, in countries like Italy, Cyprus, and Portugal, it wears a lingering smile of sunshine on its face.

Winter can stir such discomfort that people in Northern Europe and other extremely cold parts of the world can’t help but seek warmer destinations where they can wait the chilly season out and, perhaps, add a bit of fun and luxury to the wait.

If you are one of such people, then here are four sunny winter locations in Europe with affordable off-season accommodation prices and plenty of leisure activities that will ensure you relish this coming winter.

Puglia

Residing in the Mediterranean region, Puglia enjoys winters that are short and mild. In fact, if you are looking for a hot dry location in Italy to spend your winter, Puglia is the ideal destination. With January temperature averages about 8°C and about 17 days without rain during each winter month, the region is a haven compared to northern Europe and its persistent harsh winter.

Puglia is not at all lacking in beautiful sights that will lighten up your winter. Think about the trulli only found in Alberobello, the ancient ruins of Locorotondo, the beautiful resorts in Egnazia, and the majestic Adriatic Sea. This is the place to have that warm Italian winter.

Canary Islands

Situated in the Atlantic Ocean, right off the north-western African coast, the Canary Islands will offer you one of the warmest winters you can enjoy in the whole of Europe. With each winter month in the islands averaging up to 190 hours of sunshine, the temperatures are warm enough to keep the tips of your fingers from tingling.

You can enjoy a fair amount of sunbathing while sightseeing the islands’ spectacular scenery. Plus, there are plenty of activities to enjoy—like hang-gliding and snorkelling in Lanzarote, photographing the coloured beaches of Tenerife, or lying down on one of Gran Canaria’s white-sand beaches and enjoying your ‘sunny’ winter.

Learn more about the Canary Islands here.

Algarve

This is another perfect winter destination in the Mediterranean region of Europe. Located in the south of Portugal, Algarve experiences winter with a sunny smile. Through each major winter month, the location receives around 5hours of sunshine per day, an average temperate of 12°C, and about 21days of no rain per month.

When you now consider Algarve’s sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs, resorts like Pine Cliffs, old castles, and great golf courses, you begin to see why you can’t afford to miss the location this coming winter.

Madeira

Also nestling in the Atlantic Ocean, off the northwest coast of Africa, Madeira is a sanctuary for many people looking to escape the harsh winter months of northern Europe or the other chilly parts of the world. With its subtropical climate, which translates to up to ten hours of sunshine per day in January, it’s perfect for winter visits and sunbaths, especially when you consider that at that time of year it’s very affordable and less crowded.

A trip on its cable car network will give you spectacular sights of its steep expansive hillside and houses with white walls and red roofs. Madeira is also home to the world’s largest laurel forest and enchanting black sand beaches.

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