The best Spanish beach destinations for winter sun
You don’t have to give in to the winter blues, especially when Spain is so close by and offers numerous locations that guarantee the chance to top up your vitamin D reserves, even in the cooler months.
Short flight times, great-value accommodations and a huge number of family-friendly activities all combine to make Spain a popular choice for winter holidays – and thanks to plenty of variety between each area, there’s a perfect spot for everybody. Whether you’re looking to enjoy some winter watersports, an urban break or some traditional unspoilt culture, Spain can meet all of your needs, even in the depths of December.
Enjoying average winter temperatures of 18°C, Nerja has an abundance of sunshine to be enjoyed in winter, as well as plenty of cultural sights. It’s a little quieter than some of the more well-known Spanish tourist destinations, but every bit as enjoyable.
Found on the Costa del Sol and surrounded by Andalusian beauty, Nerja offers an enticing combination of exciting nightlife, irresistible food, Blue Flag beaches and caves ripe for exploring. Managing to retain traditional charm alongside modern attractions, Nerja is popular with holidaymakers of all ages and can be as calm or as non-stop as you want it to be.
Boasting some of the best beaches in Europe, it’s a good job that Fuerteventura still enjoys balmy 22°C days, even in December, as many holidaymakers flock here to escape the cold back at home. It’s particularly popular with families who want to get away during the school holidays.
The closest Canary Island to the African coast, Fuerteventura enjoys perfect conditions for watersports of all kinds and has a number of National Parks open to the public. A balance of nature and tourism is expertly managed here and you’ll never be far away from a fantastic restaurant, serving up the freshest catches of the day. Shopping opportunities are also excellent here, ranging from boutiques to Sunday markets and everything in between.
Once the playground for the rich and famous only, Marbella still retains its special aura of glamour while also being eminently more affordable to visit. It also benefits from a pleasant average winter temperature of 15°C, meaning that evening walks along the marina are always on the menu, as are bikinis during the day.
Chic shops, lively nightclubs, unforgettable beaches and fabulous eateries are just a few reasons why Marbella has become a favourite destination for anyone with a penchant for warm winter weather – and golfing enthusiasts can benefit, too, as there is a minimum of 20 courses all within easy reach. Essentially, there’s something for everyone, all wrapped up in year-round sunshine.
Similar to Fuerteventura in terms of location and popularity, Tenerife is the largest Canary Island and draws large crowds every year, thanks to a varied roster of activities and the perpetually gorgeous weather. Even in winter, you can enjoy 25°C days, just perfect for lazing on one of the Blue Flag beaches and forgetting the miserable weather back at home.
If you prefer to stay active, there are numerous hiking trails, plenty of watersports and even waterparks to fill your day with…and then the evenings really come alive! From highly-recommended restaurants to clubs that stay open until the dawn, Tenerife has everything to quench your holiday desires, and all ages are catered for, too.
Found just south of Marbella, Estepona is an exceptionally special Spanish holiday destination. Enjoying 300 days of sunshine throughout the year, it remains a comfortable 16°C on average in winter, but it’s not just the weather that makes this place so covetable.
One of the few locations to have truly retained its traditional charm without tourism diluting the atmosphere, Estepona is suitable for every traveller, from solo explorers to couples and families – and while it’s a quaint area, it doesn’t skimp on things to do. With eight beaches, authentic tapas eateries and beautiful boutique shops to enjoy, filling your winter days won’t be difficult. What’s more, by driving inland for just a few minutes, you can also enjoy the nightlife of Marbella.
If, when you think of Spain, you picture tourist hotspots, summer getaways and paella, you are only crediting a wonderful country with an iota of its full potential. As a winter sun destination, Spain is diverse, exceptional and exciting. Regardless of your particular tastes and interests, there’s always a Spanish haven that’s ideal for combatting winter blues and topping up your tan. Check out this travel guide for even more information about Spain’s best holiday hotspots.