Top 5 sunniest European cities you won't want to miss

Top 5 sunniest European cities you won't want to miss

Beat the sizzling summer and embrace the cooler climes of Europe's brightest destinations - some with direct flights from Saudi
05 June 24
شاطئ بلدة نيرجا الساحلية في محافظة ملقة في إسبانيا، المصدر: Unsplash

Europe has always been a strong contender for residents of the Middle East seeking refuge from the searing heat and rising humidity of the region, especially during the summer months.

We all love the warmth of summer, but the extreme heat can sometimes be too much to handle. So if you're making plans to embrace the cooler, yet still pleasantly warm, summer temperatures of Europe, this is the list you need.

According to data research and an investigative project actioned by Holidu, a vacation rental portal, these are the top ten sunniest destinations in Europe that make for perfect escape and a refreshing, enjoyable summer getaway.

1. Malaga, Spain

Topping the list as Europe's sunniest city is the southern Spanish city of Malaga. Home of Pablo Picasso, the sun shines for more than 280 hours a month in the Spanish city, and temperatures sit at a comfortably warm 18.8 degrees Celsius on average.

Travel from Saudi: Saudia will launch a direct flight to Malaga from June 10. Departing twice weekly from King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh, the flight is a comfortable 7 hours. Several airlines such as KLM, Qatar Airways and Lufthansa also offer weekly flights from the Kingdom, however a layover is required on these routes.

2. Alicante, Spain

Coming in in second place is Alicante. Sitting on Spain's Costa Blanca, the port city is loved for its bustling waterfront promenade, welcoming and warm community spirit and offers visitors a perfect blend of relaxation and cultural exploration. With on average 280 hours of uninterrupted sunshine every month, and average temperatures of 18.5 degree Celcius, its unsurprising that Alicante is a go-to destination for Europeans and Spaniards during the summer months.

Travel from Saudi: There are no direct flights to Alicante from Saudi, however numerous airlines offer flights from the Kingdom (with layovers) to the Spanish city. Should you opt for the direct Riyadh to Malaga flight with Saudia, Alicante is just 1 hour 40 minutes by plane from the city.

3. Murcia, Spain

Another Spanish city rounds out the top three sunniest destinations in Europe. Murcia experiences more than 277 hours of sunshine every month, and boasts average temperatures of 18.4 degrees Celsius. The southeastern Spanish city is also the capital of a region also named Murcia, the region has its own Spanish dialect known as Panocho, which reflects Arab, Catalan, and Aragonese influences. The Murcia region is also well known for its food production, particularly fruit.

Travel from Saudi: Although there are no direct flights from Saudi, Murcia is just 200 miles / 323 km or 4 hours by car from Malaga, or for those looking for connecting flights, Murcia is just a 1 hour flight from Barcelona. There are 2 direct flights between Jeddah and Barcelona every week, making the Murcia region relatively accessible to Saudi visitors.

4. Catania, Sicily, Italy

The Mediterranean island of Sicily sits at the boot of Italy, and Catania sits on the island's eastern coastline. With average temperatures of 18.6 degrees Celsius and almost 275 undisrupted hours of sunshine a month, Catania comes in fourth on this list. Often overlooked in favour of the popular destination of Palermo, Catania offers visitors a peek into true Sicilian life: from cafes to culture, and protected Arabesque architecture, Catania is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Travel from Saudi: With five weekly direct flights now connecting Riyadh to Rome, getting to Sicily is easier than ever: Sicily is just a quick a one hour flight from Italy's capital.

5. Seville, Spain

Basking in sunshine most of the year (on average 274.9 hours per month), Seville offers visitors the perfect blend of cultural immersion and outdoor exploration along the Guadalquivir River. With its vibrant flamenco culture, intricate Moorish architecture like the Alcazar palace, and lively tapas locations, Seville enjoys average temperatures of 19 degrees.

Travel from Saudi: A number of different airlines provide flights to Seville from Saudi, however there are currently no direct flights to the city, and each journey will require at least one layover.

Honourable Mentions with Direct Flights from Saudi

Athens, Greece

Number 10

Coming it at number 10 on the list of Europe's sunniest cities is the Greek capital city of Athens. With more than 262 hours of sunshine every month, and enjoyable average temperatures of 18.4 degree, the ancient city should be on the must-visit list for any heliophiles. A much-loved destination for history buffs also, Athens is home to landmark, historic locations such as the ancient site of the Acropolis, and is now easily accessible to Jeddah residents.

Direct Flight From Saudi: From May 17, Saudia are operating weekly flights to and from the Greek capital. Connecting Jeddah and Athens with a quick 3 hours and 40 minute flight, visiting is now easier than ever.

Nice, France

Number 12

Sitting on the edges of the French Riviera, its unsurprising that the popular southern French city of Nice experiences almost 255 hours of perfect sunshine each month. Positioned at number 12 on this list, with average temperatures of a cool 15 degrees Celsius, the seaside city of Nice is loved for its luxurious, yet laid back ambiance and is known to be the chosen vacation destination of celebrities from around the world.

Direct Flight From Saudi: From June 7, Saudia will operate weekly direct flights from Riyadh to Nice, with the flight time coming in at a relatively cool 6 hours.

Rome, Italy

Number 13

Number 13 on this list of Europe's sunniest cities is the ancient city of Rome. The heart of the ancient Roman Empire, the Italian capital gets 250 hours of blissful sunshine every month and temperatures sit at a nice 17 degrees Celsius.

Direct Flight From Saudi: Taking off in August, Italian Airways (ITA) will operate five weekly flights connecting both Riyadh and Jeddah, with Rome. With an estimated flight time of just 5 hours and 20 minutes, from Riyadh and just five hours from Jeddah, this would be an easy escape for Saudi residents.

Check out the full list of Europe's sunniest cities below -