9 European Winter Walking Holidays

Active winter sun holidays in Europe | John Millen
Active winter sun holidays in Europe | John Millen

Active winter sun holidays in Europe allow you to experience a destination in a different light, literally. Although the days may be shorter, southern Europe still typically enjoys very mild weather in the November, December, January & February months, so it's a unique time of the year for an active holiday in Europe. This winter, walk, or cycle, in places like the Canary Islands, Portugal, Cyprus, Spain, Madeira & more. Find below the 9 best European winter sun walking holidays - and if you want even more choice, check out this complete overview of active winter sun holidays in Europe.

If you’re in Spain, swap your standard coffee for a hot choc with churros on your morning break. On a winter walk in Cyprus, enjoy pleasant temperatures and seven hours of sunshine every day. While more towards the west, a selection of traditional towns can be found along the Portuguese Camino. Here, at the end of your walking day, warm up by an open fireplace – glass of vinho quente (mulled wine) in your one hand and scrumptious, local almonds in the other!

Mild weather for a Cyprus winter holiday, Akamas Peninsula |  <i>Antigoni Karakoulli</i>

1. Cyprus Winter Walking Holiday

Enjoy the best of Cyprus' stunning Akamas Peninsula during the cooler months. The Cypriot people extend a warm and friendly welcome and their hospitality will add greatly to the enjoyment of your winter walking tour on the island of Cyprus.

> Plan your Cyprus winter sun walking holiday today

Pilgrims walking the Camino in Spain |  <i>Sue Finn</i>

2. Camino Guided Walking Holidays in December & January

Provided you have the right gear, winter is a magical time to experience the Camino de Santiago pilgirmage route without the crowds. Along the route, benefit from cosy cafes and comforting Galician cuisine. Choose a guided departure in December and January - or choose from a range of self guided Camino walking holidays in Spain and Portugal with daily departures year round.  

> View all Spanish Camino walking & cycling holidays with winter departures

Typical Portuguese azulejo depicting a pilgrim |  <i>Miguel Da Santa</i>

3. The Portuguese Camino - Tui to Santiago

Experience the humble beauty of the final stage of the Portuguese Camino from Tui to the cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. Qualify from the Compostela Certificate when you arrive in Santiago and celebrate with a glass of Portuguese vinho quente (mulled wine). 

> View all Portugues Camino walking & cycling holidays with winter departures

Walk through whitewashed villages in the Alpujarras |  <i>Erin Williams</i>

4. Granada & the Alpujarras Walking Holiday

An exhilarating walk in the Alpujarras Mountains with ample time to visit the Alhambra in Granada. The beautiful Alpujarras still reflects its Moorish origins, recalling times when groups of Moors inhabited these hills resisting the Christian Reconquest. In this fascinating historical context, the Alpujarras' high elevation makes for an ideal alpine walking experience with the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada as a backdrop. 

> See the Alhambra in winter & walk in the Alpujarras Mountains

Narrow levada  on the way to Ginjas |  <i>John Millen</i>

5. Madeira Island Walking in Winter

Follow on foot the levadas of Madeira to discover the dramatic and rugged mountain scenery on the island in the Atlantic Ocean where the Gulf Stream affords it a mild and equable year round climate. We have devised an itinerary that exemplifies the best walking that Madeira Island has to offer. On your walks follow levadas through a peaceful pastoral countryside or traverse terraced hillsides. Spend extra time in Funchal and the Botanical Gardens.

> Book your winter walking holiday in Madeira now

Alberobello, Italy

6. Puglia Guided Walking Holiday in December

Discover Italy's 'Gateway to the Orient' on this guided walking holiday from Lecce to Matera in winter. This guided walking trip in Puglia combines time discovering archeological and architectural treasures with hiking through valleys and along coastal paths surrounded by landscapes of red earth, olive groves and vineyards. Soak up the sun during the day and the cosy, winter atmosphere at night when you stay in a traditional trullo in Alberobello.

> Join a winter walking holiday in Puglia

A hiker walking through Benchijigua in Gomera

7. La Gomera Walking Holiday in Winter

Experience La Gomera's lush plantations, mountains and whitewashed villages on a winter sun walking holiday. La Gomera Island is a relaxed, unsophisticated island and if you want the feeling of being alone with nature this winter, then this is the place to be. Due to its volcanic origins, the island’s scenery is dramatic, mountainous and different from anywhere in mainland Europe. 

> View all La Gomera walking holidays with winter departures

Hiker on the Rota Vicentina in western Portugal

8. Rota Vicentina: Walking in the Algarve in Winter

The Algarve is in the south end of Portugal and and is world famous for its rugged beaches, sandy coves, whitewashed towns and yearround mild climate. Explore this region on an unforgettable walking holiday by hiking the Rota Vicentina. This is a long distance footpath that shows you a relatively untouched region of Portugal. 

> View Rota Vicentina winter walking holidays

Sobradelo, Carballeda de Valdeorras, on the Camino de Invierno (Winter Way). |  <i>Adolfo Enríquez</i>

9. Camino de Invierno

The Camino de Invierno (or the Winter Way) is the newest pilgrimage route in Spain and follows in the footsteps of the pilgrims who were walking to Santiago during the winter months. They wanted to bypass O Cebreiro village with an elevation of 1300m, and that attracts heavy snowfall. The Winter Way is the only Camino route to pass through all 4 provinces of Galicia, so you get to experience special winter dishes of A Coruña, Lugo, Pontevedra, and Ourense regions.

> View Camino Winter Way holidays

Organise your next active winter sun holiday in Europe with World Expeditions, talk to our team at the office nearest to you for tailored advice. 
Winter Walking in Europe, Winter, Europe, Walking, Off-Season, Active Europe, Winter Sun Holidays

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