We are sure visiting Europe in winter does not sound too appealing to most, as it's the coldest period across the continent, and in a majority of countries, sunshine hours are severely limited, not to mention the fact that it normally gets dark before you have time to finish your post-lunch siesta.
Luckily for you who have yet to take a Transatlantic trip following Europe's reopening for tourism, not all of it will be plunged into darkness come winter.
This one region along Spain‘s Southern coast will likely remain sunny and relatively warm still throughout the season, and for you culture enthusiasts out there, you are in for a treat:
The Perfect Off-Season Sunny Getaway
Costa del Sol literally translates from Spanish as ‘Sunny Coast‘, and it couldn't have been more appropriately named.
Located in Southwestern Spain, near the border with Portugal, and at the closest point between Europe and Africa, it has pretty mild winters compared to other regions in Europe.
For starters, due to its geographical location near the African tectonic plate, its seasons are not nearly as defined as in Central or Northern Europe, where spring and summer are warm, autumns are rainy, and winters are typically extremely cold.
The best way to describe the weather in the Sunny Coast is ‘eternal spring‘, with a seasonal spike in temperatures starting from May and lasting as late as October.
In fact, we wouldn't actually recommend you visit during the hotter months unless sunburns and sleeping under 95°F don't faze you.
The coldest month on the Sunny Coast is January, and even then, temperatures still average 64.4°F during the day and only drop to a maximum low of 46.4°F late at night.
Rainy days are infrequent, and though the Mediterranean is off-limits for swimming this time of year unless you're used to colder waters, you can still wear shorts and lightweight jackets when stepping out for some sightseeing.
It may sound like an odd statement to make, but the off-season, particularly winter, is when the Sunny Coast is best enjoyed.
What To See Around Costa Del Sol
The Sunny Coast is part of the Andalusia autonomous region of Spain, and extends from the province of Granada, to the East, all the way to the Gibraltar Peninsula, near Cádiz.
It is bounded by the Mediterranean Sea, and interspersed with traditional Andalusian villages, luxurious beachfront hotels and golden sands.
One of the largest cities is Malaga, a coastal resort spot that enjoys a year-round warm climate and a plethora of cultural attractions, from the House of Picasso, where the artist was born and spent his early years, to a medieval hilltop Moorish fort offering sweeping views of the coastline.
Other Malagueto icons are the Plaza de Toros, a historical bullring, Malaga Cathedral, a Reinassance effort built following the Christian Reconquista, and the Atarazanas Central Market, where visitors will find a variety of food items and Andalusian delicacies.
Outside Malaga, some unmissable gems include Estepona, famous for its palm-lined boardwalk; Fuengirola, where the liveliness of the social scene is not conditioned on the season; Marbella, the unofficial seafood and yachting capital, and Frigiliana, a whitewashed, cobbled village straight out of a fairytale.
Tourists are particularly fond of Torremolinos, a coastal resort town within short driving distance of naturist-friendly beaches and boasting a high concentration of LGBT-friendly venues, and Benalmádena, where hiking trails, a cable car ride, and a charming Old Town await them.
The Sunny Coast Is Affordable To Visit This Winter
One of our favorite things about traveling down the Sunny Coast of Spain in summer is how affordable it is.
Granted, it is far from being one of Europe's most expensive destinations, and it's been a go-to budget-friendly getaway for years, but it gets particularly cheap over winter due to the seasonal tourism drought, which helps bring prices down.
This January, you can book a hotel room in Hotel Zeus in central Malaga for only $78 per night, down from $87.
The four-star Room Mate Valeria, a chic accommodation a short 10-minute walk to Malagueta, the city's main sandy beach, is also $128 this season, down 40% from the usual rate of $213.
For those who don't mind sharing a room, we strongly recommend Chinitas Urban Hostel, in the heart of the Old Town, where they will have access to a rooftop bar with privileged views over the ocher-colored cityscape and of Malaga Cathedral for only $26.
If it's an all-inclusive vacation you're after, the Melia Marbella Banus is a great pick, located on a quieter coastal section near Puerto Banus, only 150 meters from the beach, with prices starting from $228 for a Premium room.
Over in Estepona, the Elba Estepona Gran Hotel & Thalasso Spa is a favorite among wellness seekers, with all meals included and access to state-of-the-art spa facilities for $208 per night.
How To Get To The Sunny Coast From America
If you're flying in from America, the easiest way to reach the Sunny Coast is flying first into Madrid, Barcelona, or any other European destination offering winter flights to Málaga-Costa del Sol Airport, the main international hub serving the coastal provinces.
These would be a majority of Northern European and non-coastal destinations in Central Europe.
Some intra-Europe flights to Malaga can be as cheap as $25 one-way.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.