Playa Papagayo, Lanzarote, Canary Islands, Spain. Photo by Lviatour.
Europe in winter frequently features dull grey skies with chilly drizzle so tourism focuses on winter sports in France, Italy, Austria and Germany or cultural visits to the classic cities of London, Paris, Rome, Florence, Barcelona and Seville where the climate is not quite as traumatising as further north.
Many European cities tend to have colourful Christmas lights dispelling the gloom, firework shows on New Year’s Eve and sales for bargain hunters. London’s stunning museums are still free in spite of political demands otherwise.
Germany’s brilliant Xmas markets are extensive, frequently family-friendly and run for most of December, sometimes starting in November.
Beach holidays? Nope, though there is always the Spanish Canary Islands, located on a North African latitude in the Atlantic and enjoying pretty good weather all year round with warm winter temperatures around 18C (64F), lows about 15C (59F) and water temp of 18C (64F) so book a place with heated pool, preferably on an easterly island on the south-east coast (such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura (especially if you like board sailing) or Gran Canaria (Las Palmas is the capital and has the best climate in the world according to some US climatologists) for best chance of a warm, dry holiday.