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The pretty little European city that will still be 20C days before Christmas | Travel News | Travel

While Britain continues to be dreary, wet, and cold throughout the winter months, many may find themselves looking for a nearby escape in Europe where the temperatures remain warm all year round.

Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, is one of the top winter destinations where you can still get plenty of sun on your bones – even in December and January.

Only a 90-minute flight from mainland Europe, Fuchal is one of the most southern cities in the continent, being around 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Morocco in Africa despite being a part of Portugal.

Its ambient year-round temperatures mean Madeira has earned itself the moniker “Island of Eternal Spring”, making it the perfect escape from the dreariness of winter in more northern climates.

The average temperature over the winter months comes in at a remarkable 19C during the daytime hours, according to Europe in Winter – positively tropical in comparison to Britain’s low average temperatures.

Perfect for a weekend break, Funchal, the main metropolitan area of the island, is filled with everything you might expect from a European city.

From charming architecture to authentic markets, its streets are lined with restaurants and cafes serving traditional European food.

During December, the city gets well into the festive spirit in a variety of ways.

Streets and plazas are filled with impressive Christmas lights, live performers and festive worshops for kids and adults alike.

What’s more, the city’s New Year’s Eve party starts all day and goes on well into the night, with a huge fireworks display and countdown to bring in the new year.

Even if visiting outside of the festive season, there’s plenty to do in and around the city and wider island.

The city’s harbour is one of the most famous in Europe, with luxury boats and cruise liners regularly stopping in its warm waters.

Funchal is also known for its lush gardens and parks dotted around the city, offering a break from the bustling busy streets.


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