Top 10 sunniest cities in Europe
Europe is full of cities with a great historical heritage, with a varied cultural offer and where it is good to stroll for hours between two museums, two visits of unmissable sites, without forgetting the bars and restaurants where you can enjoy the local gastronomy. For some of us, taking a city trip in the sun is non-negotiable, to make sure we don't get stuck in the hotel room and make the most of the outdoors. Even though the weather is something we humans have no control over, there are plenty of sunny cities in Europe. Fancy a European getaway under the blue sky? The Little Wise Guy has selected for you 10 cities where the most beautiful stars shine in abundance
1- Alicante, the pearl of the Costa Blanca
With 349 hours of sunshine per month and an average annual temperature of 19 degrees, Alicante is not only the sunniest city in Spain, but it also offers many opportunities to leave the coat at the hotel, even in winter. Ideal conditions to discover the colorful houses of El Barrio, the old quarter. The Santa Barbara Castle, a fortress of Arab origin, dominates the Spanish Esplanade, a charming place to stroll and fill up on vitamin D. Alicante also has beautiful Mediterranean beaches such as La Albufereta and Saladar, where you can swim and enjoy water sports. For those who love the mild evening after a sunny day, Alicante's nightlife is one of the most dynamic in Spain.
2- Catania, an exceptional baroque city in Sicily
A beautiful Italian island, Sicily is a delight for sun lovers. In the beautiful baroque city of Catania, the sun shines 347 hours a month. It is ideal to go for a walk along the Via Etnea, full of shops, and to contemplate the numerous historical buildings that can be found in the inevitable Piazza del Duomo. Or you may prefer to enjoy the pleasant temperatures in the city in the gardens of Villa Bellini, the city's green lung. After visiting the beautiful Roman theater, the beach of San Giovanni li Cuti with its volcanic accents awaits visitors for a swim on the hottest days. Of course, the most courageous ones will gladly take advantage of the clear skies to go to the slopes of Mount Etna, a volcano with legendary anger.
3- Murcia, still a secret city
It is not necessarily the city of Spain that we hear the most about, and yet, how beautiful Murcia is! The most important city of the eponymous region in the south-eastern part of Spain, Murcia has remained preserved from mass tourism. And since it enjoys 346 hours of sunshine a month, that's two good reasons to go and discover the monuments of Plaza Santo Domingo, before going shopping in the dynamic streets of Trapería and Platería. The city is full of religious monuments and palaces, a feast for the eyes. And for those with a sweet tooth, there is a generous local gastronomy, with, among other specialties, Pasteles del Carne, a meat and egg pie. You can also enjoy a walk under the blue sky in the green and flowery spaces of the Paseo del Malecón. The hottest days are often spent in the seaside resorts of the Costa Cálida, right on the Mediterranean.
4- Nice, star of the French Riviera
Located at the gateway to Italy in the extreme southeast of France, Nice enjoys an average of 342 hours of sunshine per month. Known for its majestic Promenade des Anglais offering breathtaking views of the sea with its incredible turquoise reflections, the city also has an old town with colorful facades, where it is good to get lost and open your eyes wide. Among the must-sees, a visit to the Saint-Nicolas cathedral, the first Russian Orthodox church built in France, as well as the museum dedicated to Henri Matisse. A stay in Nice under the sign of the sun also means going for a walk in the charming park of the castle hill, swimming in the sunny days directly in the city center, without forgetting to try the good products of the attractive market of theCours Saleya
5- Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, sun all year round
In the Spanish archipelago of the Canaries, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria enjoys 340 hours of sunshine per month. However, it has an advantage over its competitors, as the temperatures are extremely mild all year round, attracting travelers in search of warmth when winter reigns on the Old Continent. The conditions are just right for discovering the architecture of the old quarter of Vegueta, rich in monuments and narrow, cobbled streets. Later on, you can go to the Mayor de Triana street and its adjacent streets for a shopping session, before stopping for lunch or a drink on the terrace. In the heart of the city, the beach of Las Canteras awaits the bathers and good news, the surroundings are also animated in the evening for the most festive among us
6- Palermo, a journey through history
The city of Palermo is one of the oldest in Europe. It is also one of the sunniest, with 340 hours of sunshine per year. How can you miss monuments such as the Norman Palace with its various influences, the Palermo Cathedral with its medieval look and its countless churches and palaces? Palermo is a concentration of historical monuments that is matched only by the charm of its squares, such as the Quattro Canti. You can also take advantage of the sun and the mild temperatures in Palermo to discover its markets, places of life with colorful stalls located at the foot of buildings sometimes in ruins. For those who love the sea, it is advisable to rent a car to reach the beach of Mondello, 30 minutes away. The Mediterranean Sea is superb there and there are even deckchairs for rent, restaurants and snack bars
7- Tirana, the surprising of Albania
Tirana is a city in full revival and a real favorite in Europe. And the 336 hours of sunshine per month are a precious help to discover the city and its rich and tumultuous history. The first place to go is the New Bazaar, a market with modern architecture where you can find a lot of good local products in a friendly atmosphere. Bunk'Art 1 and Bunk'Art 2 are places to spend time to better understand the history of the city, from the rise of fascism to the communist dictatorship. It is also advisable during the trip to move away from the city center and take the cable car to Mount Dajti, which offers an incredible view of the city. In the evening, it's in the Blok district that you can have a drink and even dance in a 100% bohemian atmosphere.
8- Athens, for its exceptional sites
335 hours of sunshine per month is a good omen to discover the Greek capital. Athens is famous for its incredible monuments such as theAcropolis and the Parthenon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but also for its Roman Agora and the Olympia, the temple of Zeus. If the city is rich in museums, with, among others, the National Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Cycladic Art, one cannot fail to take advantage of the outdoors by going, for example, to the Hill of the Muses and its monument of Philopappos, a poetic place that offers an incredible panoramic view of the Acropolis and its sunsets. And then, there is nothing like the light that falls in the evening to stroll in the district of Pláka, old district of Athens rich in stores and small labyrinthine streets
9- Lisbon, the captivating Portuguese capital
The 321 hours of sunshine per month that illuminate Lisbon reinforce the desire to explore one of the most beautiful European capitals. The beauty of its heritage is a reason in itself to visit the city, with monuments such as St. George's Castle, whose shaded terraces offer a beautiful view of the city and the Tagus River. The Tower of Belém, the Hieronymites' Monastery and the triumphal arch of Rua Augusta are other buildings where you can appreciate every architectural detail. A tip: take the mythical streetcar no. 28 to make sure you don't miss any of Lisbon's most beautiful places. And then, there is the soul of its historic districts. Alfama, Baixa, Bairro Alto, are all places to visit to take in the sights, under the sun of course!
10- Valletta, the Hollywood of Malta
Malta is a destination of the European Union that also enjoys an average of more than 300 hours of sunshine per month. This is a good opportunity to discover the charms of the city that attracts many film directors, seduced by its many facets and its architectural wealth. From the co-cathedral of St. John to the Casa Roca Piccola and passing by the Palace of the Grand Masters and Fort St. Elmo, one is immediately charmed by the beauty of its historical monuments. Valletta, a city surrounded by the sea, offers endless walks in the narrow streets with honey-colored facades and large colored balconies. You can also spot the heritage of the English period, with red telephone booths, mailboxes and other stores with English names. The abundance of sunshine is one of the countless reasons to explore one of Europe's smallest, yet most charming capitals.