Seek Out Europe’s Top 10 Sunny Destinations

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Sunny days are here again! Vacationers worldwide are flocking to sun-soaked locales. Data unveiled by Travel Lingual, a leading travel blog, reveals Europe’s top 10 sunny destinations. Based on historical weather data from World Weather Online, the list aims to assist travelers in planning their perfect European getaway.

The appeal of the Mediterranean Sea is real. As a travel writer, I can attest that some of these are the sunniest places I have visited in the last few years. Without further ado, here are the top 10 sunniest cities in Europe, ranked by annual sunshine hours and total hours per year:

Alicante, Spain

Alicante Spain Photo Credit © The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA
Alicante Spain Photo Credit: The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA

Alicante, Spain, known for its sunny climate with an impressive 349 hours of sunshine per month and 4,188 hours per year, is also home to the magnificent Castle of Santa Barbara. Situated atop Mount Benacantil, this historic castle offers panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea, enticing visitors to immerse themselves in its rich history, culinary delights and stunning vistas.

Catania, Italy

Catania Italy Photo Credit ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos
Catania Italy Photo Credit: ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos

Catania, Italy, basks in abundant sunshine with an average of 347 hours per month and 4,164 hours per year. The city’s famous highlight is the majestic Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano. Offering a dramatic backdrop to Catania, it invites adventurous explorers to witness its awe-inspiring eruptions and explore its unique volcanic landscapes.

Murcia, Spain

Murcia Spain Photo Credit © The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA
Murcia Spain Photo Credit: The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA

Nestled in the southeastern region of Spain, Murcia boasts an impressive 346 hours of sunshine per month and 4,152 hours per year. This hidden gem is famous for its stunning Cathedral of Murcia. With its ornate Baroque façade and majestic bell tower, the cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s rich architectural heritage, attracting visitors with its timeless beauty and intricate details.

Malaga, Spain

Malaga Spain Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Malaga Spain Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

Malaga, Spain, bathes in the sunshine with an average of 345 hours per month and 4,140 hours per year. One of its most famous highlights is the Alcazaba, a striking Moorish fortress overlooking the city. With its intricate architecture, stunning gardens, and panoramic views of Malaga’s coastline, it offers a captivating glimpse into the city’s rich history and cultural heritage.

Messina, Italy

Messina Italy Photo Credit ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos
Messina Italy Photo Credit: ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos

Messina, Italy enjoys a sun-soaked climate, boasting an average of 345 hours of sunshine per month and 4,140 hours per year. One of its notable highlights is the iconic Messina Cathedral. With its intricate architectural details and a mesmerizing astronomical clock, the cathedral stands as a testament to the city’s historical and artistic significance, inviting visitors to admire its beauty and explore its cultural treasures.

Valencia, Spain

Valencia Spain Photo Credit © The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA
Valencia Spain Photo Credit: The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA.

Valencia, Spain, revels in its abundant sunshine, offering 343 hours per month and 4,116 hours per year. The city’s standout attraction is the City of Arts and Sciences, a futuristic architectural marvel. This sprawling complex houses a planetarium, an opera house, an interactive science museum, and more, captivating visitors with its innovative design and engaging educational experiences.

Nice, France

Nice France Photo Credit gevision via Depositphotos
Nice, France Photo Credit: gevision via Depositphotos

Nice, France, basks in the Mediterranean sunshine, boasting an impressive 342 hours of sunshine per month and 4,104 hours per year. The city is famed for its stunning Promenade des Anglais. This iconic waterfront promenade offers breathtaking views of the azure sea, lined with palm trees and vibrant pebble beaches, creating an idyllic setting for leisurely walks and sun-soaked relaxation.


Las Palmas, Spain

Las Palmas Spain Photo Credit The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA
Las Palmas, Spain Photo Credit: The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA

Las Palmas, Spain, enjoys a sun-drenched climate, with an average of 341 hours of sunshine per month and 4,092 hours per year. One of its standout attractions is the stunning Las Canteras Beach. With its golden sands, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant promenade, it beckons visitors to soak up the sun, indulge in water activities, and experience the lively beach culture that epitomizes the city’s coastal charm.

Granada, Spain

Granada Spain Photo Credit © The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA
Granada Spain Photo Credit: The Tourism Institute of Spain TURESPANA

Granada, Spain, revels in its radiant climate, boasting 341 hours of sunshine per month and 4,092 hours per year. The city’s crown jewel is the magnificent Alhambra, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This architectural marvel showcases stunning Islamic artistry and breathtaking gardens, captivating visitors with its intricate palaces, mesmerizing courtyards, and panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

Palermo, Italy

Palermo Italy Photo Credit ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos
Palermo, Italy Photo Credit: ingus.kruklitis via Depositphotos

Palermo, Italy, basks in abundant sunshine with an average of 340 hours per month and 4,080 hours per year. One of its notable highlights is the historic Palermo Cathedral. With its impressive mix of architectural styles, including Norman, Gothic, and Baroque, the cathedral stands as a testament to Palermo’s rich cultural heritage, inviting visitors to marvel at its ornate details and immerse themselves in the city’s fascinating history.

Sunset in Spain

Marbella Spain Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Sunset on the hills of Marbella Spain Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO.

With the abundance of sunshine in these top 10 European cities, vacationers can look forward to memorable experiences, whether they seek relaxation on the beach, explore historical sites, culinary delights, or engage in outdoor activities. The combination of ample sunshine, warm temperatures, and the unique charm of each destination makes them irresistible choices for travellers searching for an unforgettable European getaway.

Data was compiled by Travel Lingual from historical weather data dating back to 2009 from World Weather Online. The data study looked at cities in Europe and took the average number of sun hours per month from each month of the year.

More from Spain

Photo Credit Granada Spain DownshiftingPRO
Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO.

Spain features on the list, taking 6 of the top 10 spots for good reason. Surrounded by water, the proximity of these cities to the Mediterranean Sea makes these destinations irresistible. You may also want to consider these other destinations in Spain:

Ronda, Spain

Ronda Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO
Ronda Spain Photo Credit: DownshiftingPRO

A 45-minute drive to the beach should not keep you away from historic Ronda, which has cobblestone streets, a bull ring, and an amazing museum. Best Things to Do in Ronda, Spain

Valencia’s Wacky Festival

Valencia Spain Photo Credit Valencia Tourism
Valencia Spain Photo Credit_ Valencia Tourism

Discover the magical spring festival in Valencia – Las Fallas Festival Guide to the Spectacular Las Fallas Festival in València

Mijas a Pueblo Blanco

Mijas Spain Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO 1
Mijas Spain Photo Credit DownshiftingPRO

Find the beauty (and sunny skies) in Mijas, Spain a Pueblo Blanco in Spain’s southern region of Andalusia. Quaint Pueblos Blancos in Southern Spain – Visiting Mijas

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.