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Nan_j2011 Jun 21st, 2011 09:46 PM

Europe in Winter(January 2012)
Hi All!

I am from India and I am plannning my first trip to Europe(also my honey moon) in January 2012. We really want to go to Italy. But we would like to combine that with one other country . So please can you help in suggesting options - preferrably some place warm, beautiful and with lots of culture( we are not club hopping party animals)?

So far this is what we have finalised on:
1. Its a two week trip(8th to 23rd)
2. We will be flying into Milan then we plan to take the trains to Venice(3days), Florence(2 days) and Rome(3days).
3. From Rome we can fly to either the south of France(Nice) or South of Spain( Malaga) - Need suggestions for this leg of the trip.

Thanks a ton for all your help!

KayF Jun 22nd, 2011 02:09 AM

Hi, I hope you have a wonderful honeymoon but do you realise that nowhere is warm in Europe in January? It will be very cold, you'll need warm coats, waterproof shoes, scarves and hats every day when you are out.

We had a week in Nice at Christmas a few years ago and really enjoyed it but the top temperature was about 14 degrees (celsius) though most days it was sunny. We wore coats every day and it rained a bit too.

If you decide on an apartment in Nice, we rented through this company and were very happy -
There are also a lot of day trips you can do by bus or train.

The further south you go, the better the weather should be but just expect it to very cold, especially as you come from a warm climate. If you want warm and beautiful, how about Australia instead? January is our summer time!


adrienne Jun 22nd, 2011 03:46 AM

You need to define what "warm" means to you. Do you mean hot, such as 30 degrees, or warm for winter which would definitely be 14 degrees, as KayF describes.

And is warm your main criterion or are cultural and beautiful more important.

Nan_j2011 Jun 22nd, 2011 03:50 AM

Hi Kay,

Thank you for your wishes:)

Sorry maybe i wasn't clear enough earlier. By warm i mean relative to the northern part of Europe: 10-20 degree celsius maybe?.. We are actually looking forward to a cold Winter experience since thats something we are not used to. But just not too cold, like sub zero temperatures!

Which do you think is a better bet - south of France or South of Spain? And any specific places in this area that you think we should do?

I have actually been to Australia in the winter and its absolutely stunning! :) But it's just that we have just been wanting to do Europe for the longest time!!

Thanks again!


mamcalice Jun 22nd, 2011 05:05 AM

As noted above, you are not likely to find warm weather in Europe in January. We seldom travel in the winter but when we do, we like to visit cities so that there is plenty to do indoors on bad weather days. And your wish for lots of culture is more likely to be met in larger cities than resort areas such as southern Spain (Malaga) or the south of France.

You might consider Seville and Granada which are not near the coast or Barcelona. Perhaps you could add a day or two to Italy (your stays are very short) and then go to Barcelona for 3 or 4 days.

Have a wonderful honeymoon.

Nan_j2011 Jun 22nd, 2011 08:34 PM

Hi guys..

Just to clarify I mean:

Priority 1: warm(as in 10 - 20 degrees).
And then priority 2 is places that are either cultural or have very beautiful scenery that we must witness...

Thanks for your suggestions I think I will start researching on Barcelona/Seville/Granada!

janisj Jun 22nd, 2011 09:10 PM

"<i>Priority 1: warm(as in 10 - 20 degrees).</i>"

I think you really don't understand the weather in Europe.

Even in Barcelona it will be cool-cold in January. Barcelona's <u>average</u> low temp in Jan is 2C - meaning just as many days are colder than that as warmer. Average high is 12C

In Florence, January's average low is 2C and average high is 9C

Plus the days are quite short. I would stick to Italy and settle in a couple of nice apartments -- maybe in Rome and Florence.

Jan. is not really the best time to visit Venice IMO.

KayF Jun 23rd, 2011 02:01 AM

Hi Nancy,

I haven't seen a lot of Spain and didn't like Granada much but would recommend Nice. Maximum temperatures when we were there at Christmas were between 10-20, as you say. Average would have been about 13 celsius and a fair bit of sun, though the sun is not really warm at that time of year.

Day trip ideas by bus or train - Villefranche, Beaulieu-sur-Mer to see the Rothschild mansion, Eze, St Paul de Vence, Vence, Cannes, Antibes, Monaco. Ventimiglia is just over the border in Italy, they have a big market.

I would still visit Venice unless you think you'll be back another time soon. Venice is magical and can be very romantic. We had 6 days there in March one year, it was very cold but quite atmospheric and not as crowded as it gets in summer.


kimhe Jun 23rd, 2011 03:00 AM

I think the Málaga region would be just perfect, the warmest climate on the European continent at this time of year and culture and history in tons. Past 15 years statistics for your dates says an average of daily highs from 15 to 19°C, five hours sun pr day and three days with some rainfalll in two weeks.

Málaga city itself is fabulous. Within 300 meters in the city center, you'll find the newly excavated Roman Theater, the 8th to 11th century Moorish Alcazaba, the huge 16th century Cathedral, as well as Picasso's childhood home and the Picasso museum. Great tapas bars, restaurants, cafés, shopping etc. Genuine Andalucian atmosphere, and perhaps the most easy-going people in all of the region.
Photos of the Alcazaba in Málaga:

You are also quite close to Granada with the world famous Alhambra, to Córdoba with the almost equally famous Mosque-Cathedral (La Mezquita) and to the queen of all the cities in the South, Sevilla. With public transport it's 1 hour to Córdoba, 2 hours to Granada and 2,5 hours to Sevilla.

You can stay in Málaga city itself, or perhaps, in the small seaside town Nerja some 50 km east of Málaga (in between Málaga and Granada). Nerja is perhaps best known for its prehistoric caves, but it's also a charming place popular with tourists that has retained much of its Andalusian character.

Photo of Nerja:

kimhe Jun 23rd, 2011 03:13 AM

Here's a bit more about Málaga, candidate to be the European Capital of Culture in 2016:

"Málaga: Authentic charm of an overlooked treasure":

Nan_j2011 Jun 23rd, 2011 04:12 AM


I agree that I am not very familiar with the weather in Europe. This will be my first trip.. Thats exactly why I am asking for help in such a forum! :)

I understand that the temperatures at night(average low temp) will be much lower.. I was referring to 10-20 degrees during the day...

We really want to visit Italy so I guess I will just have to live with the colder weather.. But for the second leg of the trip I was hoping to find some place warmer

Thanks for all your sugestions..

uhoh_busted Jun 23rd, 2011 04:19 AM

It really wouldn't be a terrible thing to make this an "all Italy" trip -- consider Sicily for your last stop.

qwovadis Jun 23rd, 2011 04:41 AM

Congrats! Climate guides

Fly to Istanbul do Athens Rome maybe some

Islands like Crete will be warmest.

my fav that time of year for beach is Sharm on the red sea

Awesome diving like the resort there

Find best hotel deals

Caeful research yields better experience.

qwovadis Jun 23rd, 2011 04:44 AM

From Milan regional train is cheapest up to very cold but pretty

Then down to Florence Rome Sorrento

Will be chilly not beachy everywhere lots colder than most of India

qwovadis Jun 23rd, 2011 04:47 AM 2 great budget sites for u

Might pick up and Portofino

Area on your way back up to Milan my fav

Nice pretty far away not as touristic beaches are jus big rocks

janisj Jun 23rd, 2011 07:32 AM

"<i>I was referring to 10-20 degrees during the day...</i>"

Very few places will be that warm in the day time - did you see my post about the average <u>high</u> in Florence being 9C?

Per kimhe -- Malaga seems to fall w/i your temp range so that might be an idea. I'm not trying to discourage you-- you can have a wonderful trip in the winter. But just be prepared-- it will likely be a lot colder than you imagine.

nytraveler Jun 23rd, 2011 09:45 AM

Th eonly place in europe that will be warmish in January will e southern Spain (and the mountains there still have skiing).

There is no place with beach weather - but in southern Spain you have a chance of an average temp of about 10. You're not going to find warmer than that any plce in europe. (20 is not a winter temp - it's a summer one in much of europe.)

Anyplace else you are likely to have chilly and rainy weather - ifn ot actual winter weather - yes temps well below zero and snow. (Rome gets snow in the winter - not a lot -but some.)

Essentailly all of europe is a temperate climate - not a ttropical one.

kimhe Jun 23rd, 2011 11:36 AM

Some confusion about winter temperatures on this thread. No guarantee, of course, but here's the past 15 years statistics for Málaga showing average highs two weeks from the 8th of January between 15 and 19°C and five hours sun pr. day. Average night lows between 6 and 11°C.

PalenQ Jun 23rd, 2011 11:43 AM

Very few places will be that warm in the day time - did you see my post about the average high in Florence being 9C?>

that is no doubt the average IF janis says it is but having been in Florence during Dec and jan a lot it can get much warmer and it can also get much colder - even at 10 degrees if sunny it is very pleasant.

nytraveler Jun 23rd, 2011 05:53 PM

10 isn't pleasant if you're expecting 20. And going anyplace in europe without proper winter clothing is foolhardy.

Yes, you may get temps that are above average - but you may also get below.

I wouldn't expect Venice of Florence or Rome to have a true winter like NY - with zero (farenheit not centrigrade) temps and wind chills way below on some nights. But I remember seeing pix last winter of all of Italy from Rome north being covered in snow.

And I know colder temps can be a shock if you're used to nothing but heat. We had a neice visit from FL and she started putting on sweaters as soon as temp hit 70. And asked that we turn on the heat. (In NY there is NO heat indoors in the summer - if you get a very rare chilly evening you put on more clothes.)

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