Whether it is Seville, Sorrento or Sicily, it’s worth having a look at the Winter options right now.
Many flights are on sale for destinations all over Europe right through the winter months, so I’d advise people to look further ahead than their summer holiday and start considering winter or early spring breaks right now! If it’s a little bit of winter warmth and sunshine that you enjoy, combined with some fascinating places to explore, then the following three destinations might just be right up your street. Temperatures won’t be very high – you’d have to travel further afield to find those – but if you travel in the month of November which can be pretty dreary in the UK you’re likely to find it will be pleasantly warm and, hopefully, mostly sunny too.
One of the most attractive and historically interesting cities in Spain, Seville is a perfect destination for a winter short break. The city is easily explored on foot and has some spectacular architecture with Moorish, Renaissance and Baroque buildings all offering glimpses of the city’s illustrious past. It was the former capital of the Moorish empire and the most important Spanish port for the New World in the 15th and 16th centuries. Seville’s historical centre lies on the eastern side of the Guadalquivir River, with the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary and its Giralda Tower at the heart. Another sight in Seville you just cannot afford to miss is the Alcazar. The gardens around the palace are absolutely stunning at any time of year. It would also be almost criminal to talk about Seville and not mention the tapas bars for which the city is famous. Having visited some of these myself I can highly recommend an evening spent eating delicious tapas.
With its mild climate and beautiful location on the scenic Amalfi peninsula, Sorrento enjoys one of the Mediterranean’s longest tourist seasons. If you visit in the early spring when temperatures are generally warm rather than hot you can enjoy the profusion of Mediterranean flora including wisteria, mimosa, jasmine and vivid blue agapanthus. Whatever the weather, you can join the locals in the Via San Cesareo which is the main street of the old town and is the place to go to enjoy the lively evening “passegiata”. Sorrento makes a superb base for excursions to Pompeii and the nearby former Roman town of Herculaneum. Both are famous for their tragic fate when they were destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. They’re very popular with tourists so a visit during the quieter months (when the weather is also more bearable) is strongly recommended.
The island offers something for everyone – some wonderful mountain and coastal scenery, ancient ruins and charming tourist resorts, of which the most long established and well known is the town of Taormina. Perched on a slope high above the Ionian Sea on the eastern coast of Sicily. Taormina can be an expensive destination in the main holiday season, but in the winter months the town will be quieter and you’re likely to find some better prices on offer.
A good starting point is to head to the Piazza IX Aprile, the town’s main square, built as a terrace with stunning views of the sea and surrounding villages. From here you can also marvel at the rose-tinted exterior of the 17th-century baroque church of San Giuseppe while you sip a glass of Sicilian wine at one of the many cafés and restaurants lining the square. Heading out of town, visit the well-preserved ruins of the Teatro Antico, a Greek theatre dating back to the 3rd Century BC.
If you’re hoping to find a bit or warmth combined with fascinating history and culture, look no further than these three destinations – I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.