It’s already December and most parts of Europe may be wrapped in heavy woolens. Down south, life is blooming. Far away from the snow-strewn roads, images of reindeer and sledges, there is a sunny and warm Europe that’s equally elegant and desirable. From nature’s prowess in Capri Island to historical richness in Crete, there is lot you can explore as you spend some warm winter days in Southern Europe.
These five places in Europe should be in your itinerary this winter.
#1. Capri, Italy
Even if you haven’t read Somerset Maugham’s ‘Lotus Eater’, you would turn into one when you land on this famous island in Italy. Tell yourself to relax because you have come to probably the best place in Europe to spend winter. It’s where nature-crafted cliffs and monuments stand tall over dreamy blue waters. Mellow sun and warm waters accompany you whether you visit the Blue Grotto (the most famous sight in the island) or spend a day in the seaside village of Pizzolungo. Make the most of the weather by walking along the Gardens of Augustus. And you must spend some thoughtful moments at Villa Jovis – an island residence of Emperior Tiberius that dates back to 1st century B.C. Your search for La Dolce Vita ends here!
#2. Crete, Greece
As November calls it an end and December takes over the baton, people of Crete get busy in gathering olives and oranges. The largest island in Greece never runs out of warmth even during the height of winter. If you are a Northerner, you would appreciate the calm Mediterranean Sea and the uninterrupted days of golden sun. Before you settle down at village taverns, get a perspective of the place by visiting the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion that houses collections spanning 5500 years. It doesn’t take a history buff to admire Hania Old Town, purely for its architectural diversity. Like conjoined twins, the Venetian and Ottoman architecture have blended for the better. The warm winter is the perfect setting for delving into earliest history of Europe. That’s one of the many reasons why a trip to the Palace of Knossos is must.
Travelers get carried away in Cyprus. But isn’t it inevitable in a place where sun shines 340 days a year, winter temperature hardly dips below 60 °F, and wineries vie for your attention? Spending an European winter in this Mediterranean island is not just about scaling mountains, watching birds, and soaking up the sun in blue-flag beaches. You ought to enjoy a Christmas dinner with stuffed turkey and roast lamb and take part in parties on New Year’s Eve in downtown Limassol. When you have such a lovely weather by your side, you won’t mind wandering into the trails of history by visiting the Katos Pafos Archaeological Park and the Baths of Aphrodite. During winter, Cyprus goes easy on your pocket.
When you have sunshine and a blue sky above, your heart would lead you to the beaches of Gozo, the island of Comino, and the old fortified town of Mdina. The tepid Mediterranean winter is a major upside for those who come here to escape the snow and shiver. From colorful houses in Popeye’s Village to fine Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, there are attractions strewn all around this unassuming piece of Europe. A place that charms travelers with its 7000-year-old history, is home to three World Heritage Sites: Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, Valletta, and Megalithic Temples.
There are better reasons to visit Monaco than getting a glimpse of the rich and famous. Its winter may be mild, but its offerings are overwhelming. While the French Riviera is stunning, Monaco Dance Forum in December is enriching. In fact, the Monaco Cathedral is an enduring masterpiece that deserves admiration. If you are not in for gambling away your time in the famous Monte Carlo Casino, make the most of a sunny day and spend time at the Exotic Gardens or the renowned Oceanographic Museum.
AS20151203Published On: Monday, January 2nd, 2017