The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, rain, snow, and grey skies are back, and outdoor plans are becoming less and less attractive. If the bleak winter weather gets you down and you feel like spending some time out of your coat and gloves, here are some destinations for a sunny New Year 2023.
Some people don’t care about the cold and want to spend New Year’s Eve in a lively European capital, see 2022 out on the slopes, or are already thinking of big dinners with friends and family. Then, there are those who miss the summer, keep their suitcase always packed and ready to go, and have decided to end the year in an above-freezing location and wonder off into the sunset. So if you are lucky, you will say goodbye to 2022 with your feet in the sand!
Here are our suggestions for a cozy and warm New Year’s Eve.
New Year’s Eve in Malaga
The Andalusian city of Malaga is the perfect destination for those who seek a lively and urban atmosphere, a mild climate, and a beach to take long, relaxing walks. The gorgeous Christmas lights are the perfect backdrop to go shopping and bar hopping down calle Larios. At the port, the restaurants loved by the locals serve the best New Year’s Eve dinners, usually a fish dish. Get your tastebuds ready for the grape-eating tradition, las uvas, when the clock strikes midnight, you swallow a grape with every strike of the clock! If you are fast and concentrated (or sober) enough to succeed, your wishes for the new year will have come true, or at least that’s what they say…
The best place to wait for the campanadas and raise a toast to the new year in Malaga’s Plaza Constitución, a quick walk from beach where you can watch the fireworks.
And if you are still in the city on 5 January, you can’t miss the traditional Wise Men’s parade (Los Reyes Magos), beloved by Spaniards and a favourite for kids.
- Find low-cost flights to Malaga with Volotea
- Average temperature December-January: 13-16ºC
- What you shouldn’t miss: Picasso Museum, Malaga Cathedral, Alcazaba, Gibralfaro Castle, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Roman Theatre.
New Year’s Eve in Fuerteventura
If you decide to spend 31 December in the Canary Islands, you will feel that you are experiencing an exotic early summer just a few hours from home. Any island in this archipelago in the Atlantic ocean, across from Northwestern Africa, is perfect to enjoy the sun, sea, nature, do sport and leisure activities, or relax during your new year’s holidays. And they all have their own peculiarities that travellers love.
Today, we will tell you about an island that has become famous among young people for its fantastic beaches, ideal surfing conditions, relaxed atmosphere, and its beautiful wild landscapes. We are talking about Fuerteventura, a natural paradise that attracts so many visitors every year, drawn by its unique rhythm.
While the south of the island is the area most visited in the summer by beach lovers, the north side is home to Corralejo, a tourist resort that has retained its fishermen’s village soul. We recommend using it as your base and renting a car to explore the area once you have recovered from the New Year’s Eve dinner and drinks. Other two island towns with a high level of fun (even if you won’t find Tenerife-level excesses here) are Jandia and Puerto Rosario.
The grape-eating tradition is also sacred in Fuerteventura, so grab a bottle of sparkling wine and celebrate by the sea as the clock strikes midnight with your friends or better half.
- Find low-cost flights to Fuerteventura with Volotea
- Average temperature December-January: 14-22ºC
- Don’t miss: Puerto del Rosario, the island’s capital, the church dedicated to the Virgin of the Rosary, Unamuno’s house, the town of Antigua, the Corralejo Dunes Natural Park, the Costa Calma beaches.
New Year’s Eve in Athens
Spending New Year’s Eve in Athens is a great idea for three reasons: its unique art heritage, mild climate that is ideal for cultural visits and outdoor celebrations, and its low prices, which make it one of the most low-cost European capitals. It’s a great destination for Christmas traditions: the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates differently from Catholics, and, even though Christmas decorations are everywhere, you will experience the traditions associated with Saint Basil, whose feast is 1 January and is the most important day for the Greeks. Saint Basil is the equivalent of Santa Claus, and in New Year’s Eve Athens children go door to door signing carols (calanda) and are given Christmas sweets.
Even though many Greeks spend New Year’s Eve at home with their family, Athens is a lively metropolis which offers tonnes of entertainment to visitors. If you’d like to toast outdoors, go to Syntagma o Thisseio Square, where DJ parties and concerts are held every 31 December. If you prefer to stay indoors, no problem: you’ll find dozens of parties in discos, bars, and pubs.
- Find low-cost flights to Athens with Volotea
- Average temperature December-January: 8-15ºC
- What you shouldn’t miss: the Acropolis, the Agora, Plaka and Monastiriki districts, Filopappo and Licabetto hills, and the National Archaeological Museum.
New Year’s Eve at Palermo
Palermo is one of those destinations oozing with personality which are impossible to ignore. It’s an inspired choice for New Year’s Eve, because it combines the weather and atmosphere of the Mediterranean seaside and the stimulating, fascinating appeal of a large European city full of history, culture, and nightlife. In addition to its gorgeous Baroque and Art Nouveau wonders, visiting Palermo in New Year’s Eve is also a gold mine for the foodies, because the local gastronomy alone is worth the trip!
It’s easy to find the perfect activity to spend New Year’s Eve in the best way possible in Palermo, whose fascinating lanes, churches, theatres, and venues host concerts and all kinds of events. In particular, the four districts in the historic centre, Kalsa, Vucciria, Capo, and l’Albergheria, are full of little squares, corners, and nooks where you will find music, parties, and street food. And if you feel like enjoying the sea and fresh fish on New Year’s Day, you can always take the bus to Mondello, a few kilometres from the city, which offers a gorgeous beach and so many delicious eateries.
- Find low-cost flights to Palermo with Volotea
- Average temperature December-January: 11-16ºC
- Don’t miss: the Cathedral, Teatro Massimo, Palazzo dei Normanni, Monreale Cathedral, Quattro Canti, Palazzo Reale and Cappella Palatina, the Capuchins’ Catacombs, and Mondello beach.
We hope you have found our suggestions useful and you have a wonderful New Year’s Eve travelling. If you are looking for ideas for your Christmas trips, take a look at our top 5 European cities to visit at Christmas.