This material has been composed in cooperation with Ania and Marcin, travellers, bloggers and youtubers known as Wędrowne Motyle.
Which places are warm and beautiful?
Even though it’s commonly referred to as “Malta”, the Republic of Malta actually comprises a few islands and islets. The most well-known ones are Malta, Gozo, and Comino. This can come as a fun fact to some, much like the climate and temperatures that Malta enjoys all-year-round, but its capital, La Valetta, is the sunniest city in Europe. Additionally, its mild climate makes the temperatures in winter very pleasantly warm. This is enough of a recommendation to make Malta your new destination to escape this dreadful time of year.
In February, the average temperature is around 16 degrees Celsius. and in March it’s around 17 or 18. As is usual in this time of year, there might be some rain, but it shouldn’t exceed 9 to 10 rainy days a month. This rain is actually very much needed, as it’s because of it that during the spring the islands’ flora blooms and the islands themselves become lush green.
The capital of the Republic of Malta, the aforementioned La Valetta, is a charming city, full of narrow streets and small, hidden chapels and altars. It had good reason to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Saint John’s Co-Cathedral or the Grandmaster’s Palace are only a few examples of what can be seen here. The capital of Malta can also be admired from the walls surrounding a neighbouring city, called Vittoriosa.
Another place that might prove to be a pleasant surprise is the small, albeit astonishingly beautiful town of Mdina. It’s hard to believe today, but the city used to be Malta’s first capital. It’s incredibly calm and quiet here, so you might have to watch out not to scream in joy when admiring the views from city walls, or when standing in front of the stone gate into the city that had an appearance in ‘Game of Thrones’. The voyage to the island of Gozo is a pleasure in and of itself. The second biggest island in the Maltese archipelago houses many beautiful towns and villages, among others Victoria with its famous Cittadella, but is first and foremost known for its beaches, cliffs, caves and bays.
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Catania – the city lying at the feet of the biggest active stratovolcano. The city whose fate has always depended on the whim of a far-away mountain. The city which has been destroyed by it, and rebuilt with materials coming from the same destructive force. And lastly, the city of astonishing baroque architecture. In February and March the average temperatures here are already very pleasant, varying between 16 and 18 degrees at the highest, with rain appearing only sporadically, if at all. The almond and orange trees are already blooming, giving out an unforgettable sweet scent, even though in the distance, Etna is still covered in snow. If you’re planning some trekking in the area of the volcano, remember to pack proper clothes and shoes.
The city itself is polarizing, some love it while others, not so much. It is, however, indisputable that Catania has a lot to offer, even if it’s not perfect. But then, does a perfect city exist? The Amphitheatre, the Odeon and the Theatre, the Castello Ursino, The Piazza del Duomo with its cathedral and Fontana dell’Elefante, the benedictine monastery of San Nicolò l’Arena with a courtyard full of breathtaking flora – doesn’t it sound just great? And those are only some of the sights and attractions of Catania.
The airport in Catania is located close to numerous beaches on the Sicilian coast, which allows for great photographic opportunities while your plane is landing, along with the beach, the sea, and Etna in the distance. From Catania you can easily travel to other interesting places, like Acireale, or Aci Castello, or even for a trip so Syracuse.
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Crete (Chania, Heraklion)
For most of us Crete is the synonym for the mediterranean spring – full of vibrant colours and smells. This greek island was our first destination for an early spring trip. It was a great idea, as in the summer, Crete is burnt out by the hot sun, and lush greenery might be hard to come by. In February the chance of rain is higher than in March, but the months with the highest amounts of precipitation are still December and January. The average daytime temperature in Crete during early spring is around 15 to 16 degrees – those are perfect conditions for sightseeing in some of Crete’s cities, like Chania, or Heraklion, the island’s capital.
Chania is undoubtedly the most beautiful city in Crete. The old venetian port with its lighthouse, where the water reflects the colourful buildings, shimmering slightly, is probably the most iconic thing travel agents use when presenting offers for trips to Crete.
A stroll around the jewish, venetian, and turkish quarters is absolutely mandatory when visiting Chania. Then again, so are the city gardens and the Firkas Castle, which currently hosts the Maritime Museum. Heraklion, aside from being the capital, is also Crete’s biggest port. From here you can catch a ferry to the legendary island of Santorini, go visit the ruins of Knossos, or start your trip to a kid’s favourite, the CretAquarium.
The city itself isn’t as breathtaking as Chania, but it still has some interesting sights, namely the Castello a Mare, sitting at the entrance to the venetian port, or the city’s imposing defensive walls, from which you can enjoy a marvelous view of the surroundings, and lastly the Archeological Museum. After arriving in Chania and getting to know its charms, we advise you to visit the nearby Retimno. It’s a small town located around an hour away from Chania, and it’s home to a magnificent venetian port and fortress.
Andalusia (Málaga, Seville)
Andalusia is a part of Spain to which spring comes very soon. Well, maybe aside from the mountainous part, where it can still be quite cold even in March. We recommend you visit the sunny Málaga, a city that recently has become one the favourite destinations for british pensioners to spend their autumn years. This comes as no surprise, as Málaga is one of the warmest places in Europe, with temperatures at around 16 to 17 degrees during the winter. Of course, some rain might come from time to time, but it’s not that big of a deal. We visited right in the middle of March, and save for one cloudy day, it was sunny during our whole trip.
If you count the fragrant aroma of blooming orange trees, the number of tourist attractions in the city itself, and the city’s surroundings (for example Marbella, Granada, or the El Chorro gorge) it turns out that Málaga is a perfect destination for nearly anyone. It’s also the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, so fans of his work should visit his home, as well as a museum dedicated to him and his art. Some other important landmarks in Málaga are the monumental Cathedral of Málaga, the roman theatre, the moorish Alcazaba, or the castle hill of Gibralfaro, from which you can admire the cityscape.
The capital of Andalusia, even though located quite far away from the seaside, attracts tourists all-year-round. During early spring, the temperatures here can reach even 20 degrees, and makes this time of year the perfect season for sightseeing. The summer here can be unbearably hot, enough to discourage most people from long walks around the city. It’s a shame, as there is so much to see around here. The beautiful cathedral, with its unique Giralda, the Alcazar – a moorish palace, where some scenes from “Game of Thrones” were shot, the Plaza de España, or the Metropol Parasol, which offers a great panorama of the city. Even though Seville is a great place in and of itself, it also offers a great opportunity to visit Italica, one of the best-preserved roman towns on the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the charming city of Cádiz, although that one is a bit further away.
Israel (Tel Aviv)
We’ve left Tel Aviv for last, sort of a cherry on top. Why, you might ask? Because in February and March it’s the warmest of all the places listed by us. In March, the temperature can frequently go as high as 20 degrees, although it does rain around here from time to time. All in all, the perspective of such a winter and early spring doesn’t sound so bad, does it? You can begin sightseeing in the oldest, and probably most beautiful, part of Tel Aviv, Jaffa. Lovers of architecture, especially modernist, will be delighted to hear that White City has been inducted as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Those who seek some more modern architecture won’t be disappointed either, as the city has some interesting skyscrapers to offer. Beaches, pedestrian areas and many outdoor attractions are some other things that might interest you, as well as the the city’s numerous museums, art galleries, or great bars and restaurants.