- Canary Islands
- Where to stay
- Things To Do
- Best Tours
Spain is a popular holiday destination for people from all over the world and it is constantly among the most visited countries in the world because it has a multitude of attractions and beautiful cities, great food, incredible beaches, friendly people and good weather.
Most people who come to Spain for city breaks to visit Barcelona or Madrid usually come between the spring and autumn months, when the weather is great for walking outside and visiting places.
Holidaymakers who come to Spain for beach holidays usually come in summer, when the Spanish costas, meaning Spain's coasts, get really crowded with locals and international tourists as well.
But how about winter? Is Spain a good destination to catch some winter sun?
The honest answer is that it depends on where you're planning to go and what your expectations are.
Compared to its European neighbors, peninsular Spain has mild winters, especially in the south, meaning Andalucia and along the coasts like in the regions of Valencia, Murcia, and Almeria.
But the warmest places to visit in winter in Spain are definitely the islands, especially the Canary Islands, which are also our top recommendation when it comes to hot places to visit in winter in Europe.
With a bit of luck, you can spend a sunny and warm holiday in Spain even in December, January or February, when the rest of Europe is dealing with cold weather and sometimes snow.
We'll first show you the warmest places in continental Spain during winter and at the end, you can find our recommendations for the absolute hottest winter destinations in Spain, which are the 4 largest of the Canary Islands.
Malaga is a beautiful and vibrant city on Spain's Costa del Sol.
Costa del Sol is an extremely popular tourist destination during the summer months, but less so during winter. Although you can't expect proper summer temperatures in winter, you can expect the weather to resemble springtime, with mild temperatures and some sunny days mixed with rainy days.
If you're lucky and you visit Malaga in December you might even be able to catch some sun on the beach, but it's also possible to experience a few days of continuous rain. In winter in Malaga, you can usually expect maximum temperatures during the day to range between 11°C and 22°C, which is a big difference.
Still, Malaga is a nice place to visit in Spain even in winter, if you want to escape the tourist crowds and simply enjoy Spain's tapas bars and visit museums and palaces.
Malaga weather in winter
Valencia is one of our favorite cities in Spain.
It's a big city, it has amazing paella and tasty Sangria, the people are friendly, the city looks green compared to other Spanish cities and you also have easy access to a huge beach.
Valencia is also a good base if you want to explore several other places in the Valencian community like Parc Natural de l'Albufera, Gandia, Denia, Javea, or Castellon de la Plana.
Valencia weather in winter
Also part of the Valencian Community, Alicante is located a bit further south from Valencia and it's yet another lovely city to visit in winter. Alicante has a beautiful urban beach Playa del Postiguet where you can take walks even on winter days, especially if it's sunny.
You can also climb up to Santa Barbara Castle and admire the view from up top and in the afternoon you can try several of the nice bars and restaurants in town.
Alicante is well connected with several other towns on the coast and you can use the long-distance Alicante Tram to travel to places like Villajoyosa, Playa San Juan, or the popular resort Benidorm.
Alicante weather in winter
Murcia is located a little further south than Alicante and it is less touristy than Valencia, Malaga, or Alicante. The winter weather in Murcia is mild, with fewer rainy days than Malaga but very similar temperatures.
Murcia is very quiet and relaxed during the winter months, as it's not a coastal town and it gets very few visitors during the low season. However, Murcia can be a good place to stay during winter for remote workers who are just looking for a city with mild temperatures, good internet and a chilled atmosphere. From Murcia, you can easily visit other places like Cartagena, Orihuela or Torrevieja.
Murcia weather in winter
Located in the Andalusia region, Almeria is not as popular from a tourist perspective as Sevilla, Cordoba, Granada, or Malaga. But Almeria still has a few interesting places to visit like the Alcazaba (medieval fortress) or the cathedral, which can easily be seen during the winter months, when Almeria is among the best places to visit in Spain for some winter sun.
Almeria is located on the coast within the Gulf of Almeria and it enjoys lovely warm winter days, with much less rain than most of the other cities in continental Spain. Except for the Canary Islands, Almeria might be one of the warmest places to visit in Spain in winter, with a bit of luck, since rainy days can occur here as well.
Almeria weather in winter
Benidorm is one of the most well-known tourist destinations in Spain, especially during the summer months when the hotels get full, the beaches get crowded and the bars get noisy.
Did you know that Benidorm is the city with the most skyscrapers in Spain? The city is quite atypical for Spain and although winter is not considered high-season here, there are still tourists who visit especially during the Christmas holidays and New Year's Eve.
If it's sunny and warm you can still walk on the beach, grab a coffee at one of the cafes or bars on the promenade or visit other places along the coastline like Altea or Calp.
Benidorm weather in winter
All of the previous destinations presented in this article were located in peninsular Spain, but the Canary Islands archipelago is the Spanish region with the best winter weather and also the hottest place to visit in Europe in winter.
There are 8 Canary Islands, all similar and at the same time different from each other, but for the winter months, we can recommend you to visit one of these 4, which are the most popular: Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote or Fuerteventura.
Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands and also the island that is most popular and gets the most visitors annually.
If you want to visit Tenerife during the season, you should stay in the south of the island in places like Playa de Las Americas, Los Cristianos, or Costa Adeje. Remember that winter is considered the high season in Tenerife, as the Canary Islands are the best destination for winter sun in Spain and Europe as well.
Tenerife South weather in winter
Check out the detailed articles about the winter weather in Tenerife
Gran Canaria is yet another popular choice when it comes to warm beach holidays in Spain during the winter season, from December and until March.
For the best weather possible, we recommend you to stay in resorts located in the south like Maspalomas, Playa del Ingles, Puerto Rico, or Meloneras. Las Palmas, the island's capital, is also a popular destination in winter, especially for remote workers, but the weather is not quite as warm as in the south of Gran Canaria.
Gran Canaria weather in winter
Check out the detailed articles about the winter weather in Gran Canaria
Fuerteventura is the Canary Islands where you should go if you're looking for a relaxed and chilled atmosphere. With sunny and warm weather even during the winter season, Fuerteventura is a good place to be if you want to escape the harsh winters in continental Europe or the UK.
All of the island's main resorts are good options for winter holidays: Corralejo, Caleta de Fuste, Costa Calma, or Morro Jable.
Fuerteventura weather in winter
Check out the detailed articles about the winter weather in Fuerteventura
If you want to visit Lanzarote in winter we would recommend you to stay in Playa Blanca, as it tends to be a bit warmer because it's less windy than the other resorts. Puerto del Carmen is also a good option since it's the largest and busiest resort and Costa Teguise can be windier, which makes it a favorite among visitors looking to practice water sports.
Lanzarote weather in winter
Check out the detailed articles about the winter weather in Lanzarote
How hot are the Canary Islands in winter? Can you sunbathe?
Yes, you can definitely sunbathe and even swim in the Canaries even in winter.
When the sun is out the "real feel" temperature will be higher than what you would expect by looking at the thermometer. This is because of the UV index, so you should still use a high SPF sun cream even in winter.
The Canary Islands are a good destination for a warm winter holiday in Spain but don't expect tropical weather with overly high temperatures or high humidity, because the climate in the Canaries is sub-tropical, which means that the weather is just right all year round.
Planning a winter holiday to Spain and you're thinking to visit one of the Canary Islands?
Below you can check out some articles to help you decide where to go: