By Rachel Chang
Mar 4, 2022
NOTHING PUTS A DAMPER on a perfectly planned European getaway than a sudden change in weather. So holiday rental search engine Holidu took a look at the places with the most sun hours per month to come up with the sunniest cities in Europe.
Topping the list is Alicante, on the southeastern coast of Spain, clocking in an average of 349 hours of sun a month and an average temperature of about 19 C that can be enjoyed on the beaches of the Costa Blanca and among the colorful homes of its old town.
Coming in second is Catania on Silicy’s east coast with 347 hours of sun monthly for effortless visits to its UNESCO World Heritage Site old town and La Playa beach, as well as taking in views of the active Mt. Etna, whose soils are home to fascinating wines. Third place heads back to southeastern Spain in Murcia on the Costa Cálida with 346 sun hours, which also boasts a stunning old town and a plethora of beaches with many coves suitable for swimming.
Spain and Italy continue to dominate the list, with Spain’s Malaga and Italy’s Messina both coming in with 345 sun hours, but Malaga snagging fourth place since its average temperature is 68 F, giving it a slight edge above Messina’s average of about 19 C. Spain’s Valencia comes in sixth with 343 sun hours before France makes its debut on the list with Nice, which has 342 hours of sunlight a month. The top 10 is rounded out with a pair of Spanish cities, Las Palmas in eighth and Grenada in ninth, both with 341 monthly sun hours, but Las Palmas with a 20 C average over Granada’s 17 C F — and then Italy’s Palermo with 340 hours in 10th place.
The rest of the top 30 sunniest cities in Europe continue to mostly be dominated by Spain and Italy, with one more French appearance by Marseille in 13th place (with 339 monthly sun hours). The only other countries with cities represented are Albania, with Tirana in 16th place and 336 sun hours; Greece with its capital of Athens in 18th place with 335 sun hours; Bulgaria whose Sofia is in 24th place with 327 hours; Switzerland with Zurich in 25th place and 326 hours; and Portugal with Lisbon in 27th place with 321 hours.
To rank the cities, Holidu looked at the average number of sun hours from 2009 through 2021 in the 300 most-populated European cities using data from World Weather Online. To see the full list, check out Holiday’s sunniest cities in Europe list.