About Southern Europe

The southern parts of Spain, Portugal, France and Italy hug the Mediterranean coast, along with Greece and Croatia. These make up the European side of the Mediterranean.The way of life here is distinct and different than up north, and the pace is certainly more laidback.

The beach is life. And the food is hearty.

Some of the best places to visit in Southern Europe are:

Places to Visit in Portugal:

Lisbon, Porto, The Algarve, Lagos, Benagil Caves, Praia de Marinha, Sintra, Madeira Island

Places to Visit in Southern and Mediterranean Spain:

Madrid, Barcelona, Granada, Palma, Malaga, Ibiza, Alicante, Valencia, Marbella

Popular South of France Destinations:

The French Riviera (Côte d’Azur)Nice, Provence, Cannes, Villefrance-Sur-Mer, Peillon, Antibes

Best Cities in Southern Italy:

Italian Riviera – Tuscany, Florence, Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Sardinia, Manarola, Positano

Best time to Visit Mediterranean Europe

Top destinations: Barcelona, Granada, Nice, Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, Amalfi Coast, Lisbon

Key: How to Use the Table

Peak Tourism Months:

High Season Shoulder Low Season


Header: Months of the year

First row: Season of the year

Second row: Average weather pattern

Third row: Range of average lowest to highest temperatures


Peak: Dates and Events in the year that draw big crowds and festivities


*All weather, info and event dates are estimates, serving as a general guide based on historical patterns. Events and conditions can vary year to year — Mother nature makes her own rules!

Tips: Picking the Best Month to Travel Southern Europe

Amidst the relaxed life-loving vibe of the South, everything starts later and ends late. Including restaurants and bars.

Locals love holidaying here. if you want to avoid crowds, avoid local holidays, school holidays and especially summer.

Summer is the high season. It gets very busy, especially the Mediterranean beaches. It’s not uncommon for Europeans to spend their entire summer break here.

Late Aug- early Sept is a good time to catch the tail end of summer minus the crowds, as locals start returning to work.

Mediterranean cruises are also popular. Best time for a Mediterranean cruise is in spring.

Weather and Seasons in the Mediterranean

The weather is generally hot in the Mediterranean countries, with mild winters. The summer sun burns hot and dry – so sunscreen is essential. It might surprise you that you could easily (or accidentally) get a deeper tan (or sunburn) in Europe than in Asia during these months!

Summer is the high season in the Mediterranean. The beaches get especially crowded, but for good reason. The summer sun is very inviting on the beautiful beaches all along the coast.

Note that the temperatures can vary quite a bit from country to country, especially during the cooler months.

Spring: March – May

Summer: June – August

Autumn: September – November

Winter: December – February

Peak Season vs Low Season – What is the Best Time to Go?

It depends what makes your ideal holiday.

High Season and Low Season Months for Visiting Mediterranean Europe

High Season Shoulder Low Season
Nov – Mar Apr May – Aug
Sept – Oct

The off season travel months are generally the cheapest time to visit Southern Europe. There’s a good chance that hotels and attractions offer discounted prices.

In contrast, the best month to experience each city also tends to the busiest, so you have to contend with longer queues at attractions. But peak season is the peak for a reason, so there’s usually still lots to enjoy. Such as a sightseeing-friendly weather, attractions at their best and open for longer hours, and it’s probably the time of year when its easy to get time off work or the kids are free on school holidays.

If time is pretty flexible, then the shoulder season is a great time to visit.