If you’re looking for a little winter sun, you could do worse than exploring these 4 holiday “hotspots” of Europe.

The largest of the Greek Islands, the average temperature in Crete is between 17 °C in January, and around 30°C in the shade in July and August. But these are just averages – some days it can get as stifling as 38°C – 40°C.

With generous temperatures of the surrounding Mediterranean Sea reaching a generous 25°C, the beach season lasts from early April to late November. The city of Lerapetra on the island’s Southern coast is widely accepted as one of the warmest cities in Europe during the winter.

This small European country which lies 300km off the coast of Africa has its proximity to the equator and the Sahara desert to thank for its warmer climes. Average temperatures during a summer’s afternoon in Malta can be 32°C in the shade, but heights of 40°C are known.

With 300-330 sunny days throughout the year, Malta is definitely the place to top up on the 1888 hours of sunshine you can expect in the UK, based on the best spot in terms of rays, Eastbourne.

The Island of Aphrodite is, from a geographical point of view only, part of Asia, which would explain its temperate climate. In Cyprus, you’d be not mad to enjoy a dip in the sea even in December, when the country experiences spring-like weather while the rest of Europe could see snow.

The average temperature exceeds those of Crete and Malta, and its summer season often lasts days or weeks longer than other holiday destinations.

Without the natural barriers of mountains, the southern-most province of Spain experiences waves of warmer weather from Africa, leading to some of the highest temperatures in Europe.

Andalusia’s microclimate is unlike any other in Europe, with temperatures easily hopping up to 40°C during the summer, which lasts from March to November.

Expect a climate with a strong tropical influence, and don’t be surprised to see people sunbathing in January.

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