If you’re heading off for a motorhome winter sun tour of Europe or you’re a full-timer chasing the sun, we have all the information you need to find the best destinations for motorhome winter sun in Europe.
The Best Motorhome Winter Sun in Europe
This map, courtesy of mapdeplanet.com shows the average winter temperatures across Europe in January. But it’s not all about temperatures; it’s about predictability, air currents, wind, sunshine hours and sometimes, a bit of luck!
If you like the look of the blue and green areas and fancy a bit of snow instead, head across to this post about motorhome winter destinations!
Where to Go for the Best Motorhome Winter Sun in Europe
The first choice for many, Spain offers some of the best motorhome winter sun in Europe.
For the best sun, head for the Costa del Sol, the stretch of coast between Estepona and Malaga. With stunning beaches and vibrant towns and cities, this is a dream motorhome winter sun destination. There is a pay-off though; sites are few with small pitches and expensive. Wild camping is difficult as the coast is already over-developed and finding a decent place for more than a few nights can be a challenge. The whole area is busy, busy, busy year round with loads to do if you’re a party animal! We stayed at both Camping Cabopino and Camping La Bella Vista. Both are sites where lots of motorhomers spend the whole winter, so there is limited availability for drop-in pitches. If your intention is to remain static you will need to book well in advance.
Head just a few miles inland and you will enjoy the same sunshine but much colder temperatures at night as you gain elevation. However, you will find ample wild camping opportunities, great hiking, cycling and stunning cities such as Granada, Seville and Cordoba to visit.
Also consider the Costa Blanca south of Denia, another beautiful stretch of coast, but also built up and full of expats enjoying all that Spain has to offer. It will be a few degrees cooler here and not all sites will be open year round, those that are tend to offer slightly better value for money than those on the Costa del Sol.
In between the two lies Almeria and the beautiful Cabo de Gata Natural Park. It rains on average one day a year here and feels very arid all year round. We found great sites with good size pitches at reasonable rates. Check out Camping Los Escullos, they do a good fish and chip supper once a week!
If you like activity, think about spending some time (or the whole winter) in Tarifa. It may be windy but you will get lots of sun and if the winds are blowing from the south, the warm African air will come along along with it. There is hiking aplenty, with lots of water activities such as kite and wind surfing (you will need a wet suit), climbing and mountain biking. Tarifa is a slightly hippy, laid-back sort of place; we spent a month here at Camping Valdevaqueros (basic but acceptably basic!) for €10 a night including EHU!
Read about how to visit Spain in the winter, with routes and tips included here.
Another hugely popular motorhome winter sun destination in Europe. In fact, too popular for us!
westerlyWe spent several weeks along the fabulous Atlantic coast of the Algarve, enjoying the climate, great coastal hiking along the Rota Vicentina and awesome beaches with incredible waves. At Sagres, the most south-westerly point in Portugal, it changed from being remote and unspoilt to a motorhome car park! Yes, the weather was fabulous in December; shorts and t-shirts all the way. Yes, the beaches are fantastic and arguably more accessible than those along the Spanish Costas. But the sheer number of motorhomes on the road was jaw-dropping. I read that something like 180,000 motorhomes descend on the small patch of Portugal that is the Algarve every winter! Finding a wild camping spot was impossible, people literally park up and camp for months on end.
We spent three weeks on the Yelloh Campsite outside Lagos, spending over €30 a night as their ACSI pitches were full. The facilities were great and there was a heated pool but to us, it felt soulless. Yep, the Algarve really was not for us! However, if you want to meet other motorhomers, enjoy site life and don’t want to move around much then you may well love it there.
Sicily is right at the bottom of Italy’s boot and enjoys pretty good weather year round. It looks good on the average temperature map but the winter weather can be inconsistent. It’s a small island, close to lots of bigger mainlands and this does have an effect. If the winds are coming from the south with the warm African air, you will enjoy temperatures in the low 20’s. Otherwise, you may well encounter rain and storms along the coasts and cold temperatures inland.
However, to compensate for this unpredictability, Sicily offers masses of culture, stunning landscapes, natural wonders and great activities. You can hike and kite-surf here all year round, the lagoon at Marsala is one of the best kite-surfing spots in the world. Whilst there will be other motorhomers doing the same as you, wild camping will be accessible and the roads won’t be full of motorhomes.
As a motorhome winter sun destination, Sicily offers a lot. For us, it is not somewhere we would stay for more than 6-8 weeks. That is the perfect length of stay to tour the islands coastline from getting off the ferry, to getting back on again!
Read about our motorhome tour of Sicily here.
Greece is a stunning and quiet destination in winter. As a general rule though, the further east you go, the more unpredictable the winter weather. We know of people who have sun-bathed every day through January and February (bliss!) and others who have actually moved on as the weather has been so bad for weeks on end.
If you do head for Greece, make for the Peloponnese, the furthest south connected to the Greek mainland you can go. You will find charming towns and villages, endless beaches and azure blue seas, too cold for swimming in sadly!
There aren’t many blogs about winter in Greece in a motorhome so do some research on Google or Facebook for information about sites and how to get there. Let us know how you get on so we can include the information here!
OK, so they’re Spanish! An archipelago off the coast of northwestern Africa, the Canaries are rugged volcanic isles known for their black and white sandy beaches, of which Tenerife is the largest.
We don’t know much about the Canary Islands except what we gleaned from a random meeting with a couple of Canary Islanders in a motorhome in France! So here goes; it’s warm enough to swim in the sea all year round; the average January temperature is in the mid 20’s and they have less rainfall than Spain and Portugal. Oh and it costs over £800 to get there with a motorhome…one-way!
Unsurprisingly, there’s not a lot of info about motorhome winter sun in the Canary Islands but according to our friends, it is absolute paradise with campsites open year round. So, if you go there or know anyone who has, please let us know so we can add the information here.
Ok, so it’s not Europe but it’s pretty close! Definitely the warmest and driest motorhome winter sun in Europe (ish!) and becoming more popular every year. Head to Morocco by ferry from Algeciras or Tarifa for around €150 for an open return. There are ferries regularly and no need to book or buy on-line, in fact its probably cheaper to do so at the port.
Once on-board, make sure you take your immigration document, which they will give you when you buy a ticket, to the desk on the boat to be stamped. It’s not clear that you need to do this, but you will be denied entry and hold up all the other passengers when you try to enter Morocco if you don’t (we speak from embarrassing experience!). Once in Morocco, you need to sort importing your vehicle and insurance, if you don’t already have it. This is all catered for at your port of entry and pretty straightforward.
Fully comprehensive motorhome insurance for Morocco is becoming harder to find. Saga say they ‘may’ issue a green card if you are already insured by them. When questioned about what that might depend on, they cited political issues, cost and risk as factors. Comfort will also issue a free card if you are insured with them. Safeguard stopped all cover for Morocco in 2018 as did many other smaller insurers. You can buy third party insurance at both exit and entry ports for around €65 a month but prices do vary considerably and it’s not easy to shop around. Whether you are comfortable travelling with only third party insurance in Morocco is entirely up to you; for us we have made the decision to go with third party insurance only in January 2020; we see this as very much a touring trip so don’t expect to be away from the van much and if we are, we will use a campsite.
Morocco is a large country, so although motorhoming is becoming more popular, especially across the winter months, you may well not see another motorhome for days. Head for the coast and you will find the motorhome surfers, catching the wind and waves in Essaouira and Moulay, where there are also lots of campsites and wild camping opportunities. There is a great road trip (see map below) which takes in Fez, Marrakesh and Casablanca but don’t forget to get off the beaten track a little and find the real Morocco; but remember, it will still be cold in the mountains!