It was not only the restoration workers working on Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris but the whole city that perspired in late July with temperatures in the city touching a record 42.6 degree Celsius. Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands with 41.8, 41.5 and 40.7 degree Celsius followed closely. With such a European summer, could the winters be more bearable? Enough for you to plan a trip?
In December, Girish and his wife Anu would be celebrating their first marriage anniversary and he wanted to plan something special. He knew Anu would get a runny nose even with the slightest change in weather, so he started eliminating places in Europe which get really cold in winters. He did not want their vacation to be spent nursing a cold! He was also wondering if winter travel in Europe was possible while escaping from the chill that comes with it. If yes, it would be just perfect!
If you too are planning a European winter trip but are wary of the drop in temperature, here are a few winter destinations that might just be perfect for travelers like you:
1. Faro, Portugal:
This is one of the hottest places on earth! Before you start sweating in anticipation and shelve your plans, thinking hot and sunny is not what you had in mind, relax! Faro’s winters resemble the pleasant spring season and you will want them to last forever. Walk down cobbled pedestrian streets as you take in the sights of museums, churches and al fresco cafes in the capital of Algarve on your European winter trip. The 13th century Faro Cathedral and the Municipal Museum, built in the 16th century are some of the other attractions.
2. Funchal, Madeira:
Warmer than the Mediterranean and cooler than the Canary islands, Funchal, turned out to be the perfect place for Girish and Anu’s winter travel in Europe. They went for long walks in the parks and gardens dotting this urban city admiring the colorful and exotic springlike flora. What Anu would remember the most was the enthralling experience in the cable car and a surprise dinner by the harbour as they both watched it twinkling like diamonds. You can also wander into the old town for a glimpse into its history. Or visit the centuries-old Funchal Cathedral, a mix of Gothic and Romanesque styles famous for its carved wooden ceiling.
3. Lerapetra, Greece:
This is one of the winter destinations in Greece, described as the warmest considering the cold and gray weather of the country during that time. With temperatures close to 18 degree Celsius, savour a low-key Cretan experience in this city backed with tavernas and cafes with a busy nightlife. Visit Napoleon’s house, the fortress of Kales or just take a quiet walk in its narrow cobblestone streets as they lead you towards the beach.
4. Catania, Italy:
Though you might have to give swimming a miss on your European winter trip to this coastal city, its warm climate is sure to entice you. Catania lies south of Mount Etna, the highest volcano in Europe, which protects it from northerly winds during the winter months. Soak into Catanese baroque architecture at Palazzo Biscari or simply take a sip of “sciampagna” or the “completo”, a traditional drink made with freshly squeezed lemon juice. What a way to enjoy summer in the thick of winter!
5. Marbella, Spain:
If you are looking to sunbathe in one of the winter destinations in Europe, you might just spot the season’s first sun in Marbella during the months of December and January. Whether it is the sandy beaches of Costa Del Sol in the east or a leisurely walk into the sunset at Paseo Maritimo’ in the West, this coastal town will not disappoint the sea-lover in you.Enjoy a cruise on a luxury yacht or do some shopping at the La Canada complex, up north of Marbella.
Winter travel in Europe can be a pleasant experience if you plan well in advance, just like Anu and Girish. Travel insurance like the one available on Finserv MARKETS is the first step. Have you ever thought what would happen if your airline misplaces your baggage? That too in a foreign country? Or if your flight/train gets cancelled?
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