Popular places to spend the winter in Spain
2021-04-22 - News in the spotlight Back to overview

Popular places to spend the winter in Spain

Spending the winter in Spain is very popular, and with good reason of course. Spain has something to offer everyone, such as culture, gastronomy, monuments, large cities, beaches and wonderful temperatures ... even in the winter months. Exactly the latter ensures that every year tens of thousands of northern Europeans travel to Spain to forget the cold and dark days in their own country and enjoy better weather, more light and simply a nicer life.


Now there are many places in Spain where you can spend the winter, but by no means all the areas known from the summer are also excellent places to spend the winter. Think, for example, of the Costa Brava, Costa Dorada or Balearic Islands, where it's good to stay in the summer but where it can be awfully cold in the winter. This does not mean that you cannot go there in winter, but it will not be really warm. Therefore, below is a list (from north to south Spain) of the areas where you can spend the winter well in Spain.

Dénia, Jávea, Moraira and Calpe (Costa Blanca, Valencian Community)

Dénia, Jávea, Moraira and Calpe (Costa Blanca, Valencian Community)

For the sake of convenience, we call it the "northern corner" of the Costa Blanca with four towns and villages in between that are worth spending the winter in. These are also places where many Dutch and Belgians go year after year during the warm summer months and also like to stay during the slightly less warm winter months. In addition, this region is also home to many compatriots with whom you will undoubtedly come into contact.

There are more than enough facilities to find, shops, bars and restaurants are open all year round and there is always something to do, terraces are full on sunny (and not sunny) days and if you want to eat or cook Dutch, there are enough possibilities with Dutch/Belgian restaurants and supermarkets. In addition, there is more than enough to see in the area for those nice excursions.

Benidorm (Costa Blanca, Comunidad Valenciana)

Well, what should we write about Benidorm? Benidorm, the Manhattan of Spain, has always been the place where the Dutch went to spend the winter and actually still go nowadays. The promenade of Benidorm is never empty and there is always something going on. Bars and restaurants are full, terraces are packed and all facilities have been thought of. In fact, Benidorm has everything that a real hibernator is looking for, depending on the type of person, of course.

There are people who love Benidorm but there are also plenty who think that Benidorm is probably the ugliest coastal town in all of Spain. There is something for everyone. Are you looking for more peace and quiet than is the south located Villajoyosa something. A cosy and colourful coastal town at a short distance from Benidorm but not nearly as busy and hectic and also much more authentic.

Alicante (Costa Blanca, Comunidad Valenciana)

Alicante (Costa Blanca, Comunidad Valenciana)

The city of Alicante is not only the airport for the Costa Blanca, it is also the provincial capital. Alicante has around 325,000 inhabitants, making it a medium-sized city in Spain. This does not mean that the city is not large and can be seen as a real city. It is the administrative centre for the Costa Blanca region and has plenty to offer winter visitors.

It will be busy here with Dutch and Belgian day trippers but not with winter visitors so you're in a more Spanish part, shall we say. It is nice if you speak and understand a little Spanish to make your stay in Alicante more pleasant.

Torrevieja en Orihuela (Costa Blanca, Comunidad Valenciana)

The coastal town of Torrevieja is visited by many compatriots in the summer and winter months and is an excellent place to spend the winter. Not only the city of Torrevieja itself offers many facilities to the visitor, but also the surrounding villages and coastal towns have much to offer to the winter visitor.

This also applies to the town of Orihuela further inland. Many foreigners live here too, including Dutch and Belgians, but if you like the coast, Torrevieja is the best choice.

Region Murcia (Murcia)

Perhaps not the best known region for the Dutch and Belgians, but Murcia with the Costa Cálida is not inferior to the much more popular but also much busier Costa Blanca when it comes to temperatures. There are several interesting coastal towns in the state of Murcia where there is also some activity in winter, but to a lesser extent than in other parts of Spain.

These include San Javier, La Manga del Mar Menor, Cabo de Palos, the city of Cartagena and surroundings or Mazarrón with Puerto de Mazarrón and Águilas to name but a few. The city of Murcia also has all the amenities you can think of, such as several shopping centres and even an Ikea, something that Alicante does not have.

Costa de Almería (Almería, Andalusië)

The Costa de Almería is known as the part of Spain where the highest temperatures are recorded on the mainland during the winter months. In itself, the coast of the province of Almería is not the most touristic part of Spain, which makes it interesting to spend the winter. Popular coastal towns here are Vera, Mojácar and Carboneras and in between several smaller coastal towns or residential areas.

Apart from reasonable quiet villages on the coast, there are enough places of interest and this region is very popular with nature lovers who can walk or cycle in the Cabo De Gata nature park where, by the way, there are also some nice little places to spend the winter, especially if you like the quiet.

Costa Tropical (Granada, Andalusië)

At the Costa Tropical the sun always shines, or so they say. It is not called the Tropical Coast for nothing and is considered one of the most pleasant in terms of temperatures. The Costa Tropical is conveniently located for visits to the city of Granada, the Sierra Nevada ski resort and the Costa del Sol.

The best known coastal town is the large Almuñecar, a very busy seaside resort in the summer with mainly Spaniards but in the winter a place where many Dutch and Belgians come to spend the winter. Nearby are Salobreña and La Herradura, also nice places to stay in winter.

Nerja (Costa del Sol, Andalusia)

Nerja is one of those places where it is good to stay in summer and winter. Enjoy the views from the Balcony of Europe or make an excursion to the famous caves and the nearby white mountain village of Frigiliana or a little further away the winter colder Cómpeta, Sayalonga or other small places worth seeing.

There is plenty to do in Nerja itself and the surrounding area also offers more than enough for the winter visitor. There are also many Dutch and Belgians who have chosen Nerja as a place to live, so you are never alone.

Málaga (Andalusia)

Strangely enough, a few years ago, the city of Málaga would not appear in this kind of list because it was only seen as an airport for the Costa del Sol. However, an enormous facelift has ensured that the city of Málaga is now hot and can be seen as a new city trip destination.

Málaga city is also great for spending the winter and you will lack absolutely nothing. Shops, restaurants, tapas bars, flamenco, festivals, culture, museums, sightseeing, theatre etc. etc. You name it, Málaga is the place to be. You name it, Málaga has it. Temperatures are generally pleasant all year round although sometimes a little more humid than other places along the Costa del Sol.

Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola (Costa del Sol, Andalusia)

Who has not heard of Torremolinos? You could compare this tourist town with an authentic old centre to Benidorm but with less or almost no skyscrapers. You have to love it but for the winter visitor there is nothing missing here. The same applies to the coastal towns of Benalmádena and Fuengirola, which are also on the Costa del Sol and are very popular during the winter months.

The advantage of these popular coastal resorts is that they lack nothing. There are plenty of shopping centres, weekly markets, places of interest such as nearby Málaga and Mijas, and Ronda a little further away.

Marbella, Estepona (Costa del Sol, Andalucia)

Marbella is well known among winter visitors but those with a little more money to spend. Marbella and the surrounding villages such as Puerto Banus or Benahavís are also not exactly the cheapest places to spend the winter, but that does not mean that these areas are not popular with the Dutch and Belgians.

Spending the winter in Marbella sounds a little more exclusive than Torremolinos or Benidorm, because it is here where you can sit quietly on a terrace with a Hollywood star, a well-known Dutchman or some Sheikh. The surroundings of these popular coastal towns also have plenty to offer, so you will certainly not be bored here.

Sotogrande (Cadiz, Andalucia)

If you thought Marbella was exclusive, then don't forget Sotogrande as a list of winter resorts for the more affluent. Sotogrande is actually not a village but a suburb of the municipality of San Roque but what they wanted to achieve here was to create a European Hollywood, something that has partly succeeded. Many Spanish celebrities have a second home here or in the more popular Marbella and more and more wealthy winter visitors are looking for these places.

Costa de la Luz (Cadiz, Andalusia)

The coast of light or Costa de la Luz is probably not very well known to the Dutch and Belgians but that is a pity. It is a very versatile coast with vast and virgin beaches, nature reserves such as the National Park Doñana and Parque Natural Bahía de Cádiz and of course the famous white mountain villages in the interior.

The main towns, villages and tourist attractions on the Costa de la Luz are: Ayamonte, Isla Cristina, Lepe, El Portil, Huelva, Punta Umbría, Matalascañas, Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Chipiona, Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María, Cadiz, Chiclana de la Frontera, Conil de la Frontera, Vejer de la Frontera, Los Caños de Meca, Zahara de los Atunes, Bolonia and Tarifa. However, not all of these are suitable for a good winter stay.

Tenerife, Gran Canaria (Canary Islands)

Finally, we have come to the areas of Spain that can probably best be described as the ultimate places to spend the winter: the Canary Islands. This does not apply to everyone, however, as it can sometimes be very warm here in winter, but that is exactly what other hibernators are looking for.

The two largest islands, Tenerife and Gran Canaria, are also the most popular places to spend the winter because all facilities are available here, the connections with other countries are better and because most Dutch and Belgians go there. If you want more peace and quiet, however, the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura may be options, but bear in mind that it is much quieter here.