01 OCT 2014 - BY LUKE WYATT
The ancient harbour town of Paphos in south west Cyprus, with average temperatures from December to February of around 20°C is surrounded by sleepy villages and long stretches of unspoilt coastline dotted with gorges, nature trails and fun outdoors activities. The jewel in the crown of the area is the large horseshoe cove of Coral Bay, backed with steep limestone cliffs and a blue flag rated beach, no Cypriot winter sunshine escape would be complete without a relaxing day enjoying its charms.
Beaches, beaches and more beaches! The sunny sand expanses of Lanzarote are the big draw here, with a young European crowd heading for Puerto del Carmen for sun, sea and endless nightlife. However there's also incredible scenery and fun adventures, like the Mountains of Fire in volcanic Timanfaya National Park offering not only a stunning landscape but also something a bit different in lunch cooked on a geothermal grill at El Diablo restaurant or artist Cesar Manrique's house built on huge volcanic 'bubbles'.
Ok, so we're cheating a little bit with this one as it's obviously not in Europe. But with a selection of low cost flights to the capital of Marrakech, Essaouira on the coast, with its exciting mix of African & European influences is a vibrant and exotic alternative to more traditional European winter sunshine escapes. With temperatures hovering around 20°C throughout November and December, Essaourira may not have the endless and sometimes charmless beaches of Agadir, but instead blends ancient seaside charm and the exotic smells and sights of its stalls and souks.
Beautifully nestled in the heart of the Mediterranean and with beaches galore, plenty of sunshine, great food, culture and history in abundance, the ancient city of Valletta - known locally by its nickname Superbissima (most proud) is more than just a winter sunshine hotspot. The city's rich history, with the Knights of Malta (the oldest living order of chivalry are integral part of Maltese history), coupled with its great scuba diving, tranquil beaches and vibrant nightlife offer a winter sunshine holiday to remember.
With temperatures in the 20's throughout November and December 'The Island Eternal Spring' has always been a popular choice with British tourists looking to escape the winter blues. Simply sail south to Tenerife's beautiful white beaches, elegant parks, bustling markets, great restaurants and dramatic volcanic landscapes. But it's also more than just a beachside resort, once thoroughly relaxed why not go whale and dolphin watching from Puerto Colon or explore the verdant banana plantations in the Orotava valley. A winter sunshine holiday in Tenerife is the perfect escape from the British winter weather!