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February Mediterranean Getaways: Explore These 3 Warm European Gems

Lisbon, Portugal; Palermo, Sicily; and Málaga, Spain are unique Mediterranean destinations that offer distinct travel experiences—all perfect for a warm winter vacation.

Lisbon, with its laid-back vibe and picturesque landscapes, is a favored European retreat.

Palermo distinguishes itself with its rich cultural heritage, varied landscapes, and lively food scene.

Málaga captivates with its blend of historic charm, artistic flair, and beach culture.

These destinations are perfect for a February getaway, offering mild weather, fewer tourists, and affordable accommodations and tours. Each location promises a unique and memorable vacation experience, providing an ideal escape from the winter blues for a relaxing, sun-kissed holiday.

Travel Tip: No matter which destination is the best fit for you, you’ll need to be sure you have a valid passport that has an expiration date at least 6 months past your departure date.

Need to get a passport fast? Check out our guides to expediting a new passport application or expediting a passport renewal.

Table of Contents

Lisbon, Portugal: Sunshine & Sea

aerial view of Lisbon, Portugal's rooftops, horizon, and Mediterranean Sea

Lisbon, a city renowned for its relaxed vibe and abundant sunshine, has emerged as a fashionable European getaway spot. Perched atop seven hills, the city’s landscape is breathtakingly beautiful and romantic. Its unique coastal location offers easy access to numerous sandy beaches right from the heart of the city. Lisbon provides a blend of historical attractions and beachside fun at affordable prices, setting it apart from other European cities. Its charm is such that it leaves visitors longing for more.

Top Accommodations in Lisbon

Lisbon has exceptional lodging options, from hotels and holiday rentals to boutique bed and breakfasts. No matter your budget, you’ll be able to find a place to stay in a location with the amenities that suit your needs.

Casa do Barao

  • Location: Rua da Emenda 84, Misericordia, 1200-170 Lisbon, Portugal
  • Close to: Camoes Square, Adamastor, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, and Santa Catarina Viewpoint.
  • Rating: 9.5 
  • Best Amenities: Adults only, Airport shuttle available, free wifi, outdoor swimming pool, sun terrace, excellent continental breakfast served daily, lounge and library, some rooms have balconies, a city view. 
  • Check room availability at Casa do Barao

Meliá Lisboa Aeroporto

  • Location: Rua C, Aeroporto Internacional de Lisboa, Olivais, 1700-008 Lisbon, Portugal
  • Close to: Lisbon International Airport, Olivais Norte, Praça Cidade de São Salvador, Bela Vista Park, Lisbon Oceanarium, and Quinta das Conchas.
  • Rating: 9.0
  • Best Amenities: Free airport shuttle, free wifi, parking on site, 24-hour front desk, family rooms available, fitness center and spa, two swimming pools, sun terrace, superb continental breakfast served daily, restaurant and bar on the premises, pets allowed, babysitting and child services available, some rooms have balconies
  • Check rates at Meliá Lisboa Aeroporto

Pousada Alfama

  • Location: Rua de São Tomé 76, Santa Maria Maior, 1100-563 Lisbon, Portugal
  • Close to: Portas do Sol Belvedere, Praça Júlio de Castilho, Santa Luzia Belvedere, and Fado Museum.
  • Rating: 9.3
  • Best Amenities: Free wifi, facilities for disabled guests, 24-hour front desk, an exceptional continental breakfast served daily
  • Book your stay at Pousada Alfama

The Felix 10

  • Location: 10 Rua de São Félix, Estrela, 1200-840 Lisbon, Portugal
  • : Parque da Bela Vista, Estrela Garden, Parque ou área de lazer, Sao Pedro de Alcantara Belvedere, and 10 minutes from the 28 tram stop.
  • Rating: 9.6
  • Best Amenities: Free wifi, family rooms available, private parking, fitness center and spa, sun terrace, exceptional continental breakfast served daily, some rooms have balconies and views of the river.
  • Check room availability at The Felix 10

Lisbon’s Top Attractions

Lisbon, Europe’s second-oldest capital, offers a balmy climate, picturesque hillside views from numerous viewpoints, and pristine beaches along its gorgeous coastline. Rebuilt after a 1755 earthquake, the city’s historic neighborhoods and iconic landmarks showcase its rich history. Vintage trams, decorative tiles, and vibrant street art contribute to Lisbon’s unique charm. Lisbon’s distinctive musical style, Fado, can be enjoyed in various “Casas de Fado.” 

Some of Lisbon’s most notable attractions are:

Rossio Square 

Located in the heart of Lisbon and officially named Dom Pedro IV Square, Rossio Square is a historic and central plaza known for its distinctive wave-patterned mosaic pavements and statue of Dom Pedro IV.

Commerce Square

Commerce Square, also known as Praça do Comércio, is one of the largest squares in Europe. It is surrounded by colorful buildings, the iconic Triumphal Arch, and offers panoramic views of the beautiful Tagus River.

Lisbon Botanical Garden

Established in the 19th century, the Lisbon Botanical Garden is a peaceful oasis located within the city. It features a diverse collection of plants, trees, and greenhouses, providing a serene environment for visitors to enjoy.

St. George’s Castle

Also known as Castelo de São Jorge, St. George’s Castle is a historic fortress with roots dating back to Roman times. The castle, perched on a hill overlooking the city of Lisbon, offers breathtaking views of the city and the Tagus River. Its grounds include gardens and archaeological sites for visitors to explore.

Praia da Ponta dos Corvos 

Praia da Ponta dos Corvos is a beautiful beach known for its natural beauty and tranquility. This hidden gem offers a peaceful atmosphere of sparkling waters and pristine sands, cliffs, and dunes that welcome travelers to relax and unwind. 

Some other notable attractions to check out are Lisbon’s Belém Tower and the Jerónimos Monastery—both World Heritage Sites—and some of the best viewpoints in Lisbon: Portas do Sol, Santa Luzia, Senhora do Monte, Santa Catarina, Santa Justa Elevator, and São Pedro de Alcântara.

Lisbon’s Best Tours

Lisbon Sunset Cruise

A two-hour sightseeing trip along the Tagus River on a traditional Portuguese boat. The sunset cruise includes views of Commerce Square, São Jorge Castle, Alfama, National Pantheon, Santa Apolónia Station, Cacilhas, Tower of Belem, Discoveries Monument, and the Palace of Ajuda as well as white wine tasting and traditional Fado music.

Book your tour for the Lisbon Sunset Cruise.

Lisbon City Center Tour – The Unmissable Lisbon

See Lisbon’s most important sites on this 2-hour and 30-minute tour around Lisbon’s center. This walking tour provides 3,000 years of Lisbon’s history, offers tourists local stories and travel tips, and introduces Lisbon’s most notable attractions.

Check out the Lisbon City Center Tour – The Unmissable Lisbon.

Sintra and Cascais Small-group Day Tour

This full-day tour walks visitors along the historic streets of the beautiful mountain village of Sintra and then to the gorgeous coastal town of Cascais. This trip includes a visit to Pena Palace and Gardens in Sintra—a UNESCO heritage site and the last residence of the Portuguese royal family as well as the famous Hell’s Mouth caves of Cascais and Cabo da Roca, the westernmost tip of Europe.

Get tickets to the Sintra and Cascais Small-group Day Tour.

These popular attractions and tours showcase the diverse offerings of Lisbon, from historic squares and castles to botanical gardens and picturesque beaches.

For more destinations and attractions in Lisbon, Portugal, be sure to check out Lisbon’s official tourism guide.

Lisbon’s Culinary Delights

The culinary scene in Lisbon is rich and flavorful; from authentic Portuguese cuisine to modern twists on traditional dishes with international influences, Lisbon offers a truly diverse blend of culinary delights.

Bono Lisboa

  • Location: Calçada Ferragial, 9, Lisbon 1200-181 Portugal
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Fine dining with a contemporary take on Mediterranean and Portuguese cuisines in a cozy setting. 
  • Foodie Favorites: Visitors highly recommend the Ceviche, seafood rice, Thai grilled prawn, grilled sea bass, grilled octopus, grilled oysters, Beef Tartare, Tiramisu, and cheesecake.

Floresta Das Escadinhas

  • Location: Rua de Santa Justa 3, Lisbon 1100-483 Portugal
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A small local eatery with a relaxed vibe and indoor and outdoor seating available.
  • Foodie Favorites: Patrons suggest trying the sardines, mixed fish platter, Bacahlau, octopus, Calamari, Caramel Crème, and cheesecake

Come Prima Restaurante Italiano

  • Location: Rua do Olival 256, Lisbon 1200-744 Portugal
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A two-story, dine-in restaurant with a warm and cozy atmosphere serving traditional Italian dishes with a Portuguese flair; reservations are required.
  • Foodie Favorites: Diners are raving about the Filetto al Gorgonzola, black truffle pizza, veal tenderloin with mushrooms and truffle sauce, Carpaccio, bruschetta, Caprese pizza with burrata and Gorgonzola, tiramisu cake, and the freshly baked bread.

STŌ Mercearia

  • Location: Rua dos Fanqueiros, 85, Lisbon 1100-227 Portugal
  • Rating: 4.9 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A small, laid-back local spot offering freshly prepared authentic Portuguese food made from locally sourced products.
  • Foodie Favorites: Visitors highly recommend the Portuguese brunch, roasted pork sandwich, octopus salad with sourdough bread, white meat croquette, “Camel Spit” dessert, cinnamon rolls, and double cappuccino. 

Mercado Da Ribeira

  • Location: Av. 24 de Julho 49, 1200-479 Lisboa, Portugal
  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Lisbon’s main food market and very popular food hall, the Mercado Da Ribeira offers fresh food from 28 food stalls run by some of Lisbon’s most famous chefs. Authentic Portuguese cuisine is served throughout the day canteen-style with communal tables in a lively atmosphere.
  • Foodie Favorites: Diners suggest trying fresh-caught seafood, tapas, and the variety of desserts offered from the assortment of food stalls.   

Best Time to Travel to Lisbon, Portugal

Visiting Lisbon, Portugal in February offers a unique and enjoyable experience for a variety of reasons:

  • Mild Climate. Lisbon’s weather in February is typically mild with temperatures ranging between a high of 62°F and a low of 52°F, providing a comfortable environment for city exploration without the intense summer heat.
  • Fewer Tourists. As February is considered a low tourist season, visitors can experience the city in a more relaxed and genuine manner.
  • Affordability. Given that February is an off-peak season, most activities and accommodations are likely to be more affordable.
  • February Activities and Festivities. Lisbon offers a plethora of activities in February. You can plan a day trip to the enchanting city of Sintra, enjoy a boat cruise on the Tejo River, or experience an opera performance at Teatro São Carlos. The Torres Vedras Carnival is a highly anticipated event in February, known for its deep-rooted traditions, it’s one of the country’s most popular events.

Important Dates and Events to Remember:

Keep in mind that these events can change annually, so it’s recommended to check dates as you get closer to your trip.

  • Torres Vedras Carnival: Regarded as the epitome of Portuguese Carnivals, the Torres Vedras Carnival is a highly awaited and popular event in Torres Vedras, a town situated in the district of Lisbon. The carnival is celebrated with exceptional flair and creativity, drawing in crowds of tens of thousands each year.
  • Entrudo Carnival: This vibrant event, celebrated in February, features concerts, exhibitions, masks, and parades. While it has a strong Brazilian influence, it remains a Portuguese tradition.
  • Pet Festival: This event spans three days in early February and includes exhibitions and competitions for pets.
  • Valentine’s Day: On February 14th, Valentine’s Day is celebrated in Lisbon with numerous restaurants and hotels offering special packages and romantic dinners. Lisbon’s romantic atmosphere: charming narrow streets, historic neighborhoods, romantic squares, and picturesque views offer couples the perfect destination to celebrate life and love. Moreover, there are numerous places to stay that are adults only, like Casa do Barao, with plenty of accommodations for couples to enjoy.

Lisbon, Portugal stands out as a perfect getaway. Seamlessly blending its rich historical attractions with the allure of its tranquil sandy beaches, it’s an ideal destination to beat those winter blues. The city’s top accommodations cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable place to stay. Lisbon’s diverse attractions, from iconic squares like Rossio to hidden gems like Praia da Ponta dos Corvos, offer a delightful mix of history and natural beauty. Lisbon’s culinary scene adds a flavorful dimension to an already memorable experience. February is an ideal time to visit, with mild weather, fewer tourists, and a range of festive events, making Lisbon an excellent retreat from the cold winter weather.

Palermo, Sicily: A Mediterranean Gem

Coastal view of a beach and harbor in Palermo, Italy with a mountain

Palermo, Sicily, outshines most Mediterranean destinations. A melting pot of rich cultural influences: Phoenician, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, and Spanish heritage, Palermo’s unique blend is evident in the city’s architectural marvels, vibrant street markets, and diverse and delectable street food culture. The city’s gorgeous landscapes and picturesque beaches contribute to its allure. Palermo’s historical significance, warm local lifestyle, and proximity to mountains and sea create a multifaceted destination that captures the heart of every traveler seeking a unique Mediterranean experience.

Top Accommodations in Palermo

Palermo offers a diverse range of accommodations catering to various budgets, ensuring that travelers can find suitable options for their preferences. Here are some of Palermo’s top accommodations:

Rocco Forte Villa Igiea

  • Location: Salita Belmonte 43, 90142, Palermo, Sicily Italy
  • Close to: Mount Pellegrino, the Gulf of Palermo, Santuario Santa Rosalia, Palazzina dei Quattro Pizzi, Palazzo De Gregorio, and  Curioseety Palermo.
  • Rating: 9.3
  • Best Amenities: Private parking available; airport transportation available; free wifi; spa; fitness center with gym, workout room, and tennis court; outdoor pool; bar and lounge on premises; exceptional breakfast served daily; family rooms available; bridal suite available; babysitting and child care services available; some rooms have ocean views.
  • Check room availability at Rocco Forte Villa Igiea

Palazzo Natoli Boutique Hotel

  • Location: Via Santissimo Salvatore 6, 8, 10, 90134, Palermo, Sicily Italy
  • Close to: the center of Palermo, Palermo Cathedral, Fontana Pretoria, Quattro Canti, Palazzo Conte Federico, Chiesa Del Gesu, Palazzo Drago Airoldi di Santa Colomba, and Spiaggia dell’Arenella.
  • Rating: 9.5
  • Best Amenities: Shuttle service available, 24-hour front desk, free wifi, family rooms available, exceptional breakfast served daily, kid-friendly buffet on the premises, activities available through the hotel (e.g., bike tours, walking tours, hiking tours), some rooms have views of historic Palermo
  • Book your stay at Palazzo Natoli Boutique Hotel

Artemisia Palace Hotel

  • Location: Via Roma 499, 90139 Palermo, Italy
  • Close to: Politeama Theater, Piazza Castelnuovo, Giardino Inglese, Spiaggia dell’Arenella, Spiaggia Vergine Maria, Fontana Pretoria, Quattro Canti, and Il Museo internazionale delle marionette.
  • Rating: 8.3
  • Best Amenities: Airport shuttle available; private parking available; 24-hour front desk; free wifi; family rooms available; cafe, bar, and lounge on the premises; delicious breakfast served daily; activities available through the hotel (e.g., bike rentals and tours, walking tours, bar crawls, and water activities); pets allowed on request
  • Check rates at Artemisia Palace Hotel

Mori’s b&b

  • Location: 43 Piazza Giovanni Amendola, 90141 Palermo, Italy
  • Close to: Palermo Cathedral, Fontana Pretoria, Piazza Castelnuovo, Palermo Archeological Museum, La Zisa, Quattro Canti, Giardino Inglese Palermo,  La Cuba Palace, and Palazzo Ajutamicristo.
  • Rating: 9.7
  • Best Amenities: 
  • Book your room at Mori’s b&b

Palermo’s Top Attractions

Palermo, the vibrant capital of Sicily, invites travelers to explore its unique and captivating attractions. From serene beaches and architectural wonders to cultural havens and historic landmarks, Palermo offers a diverse array of experiences that promise an authentic Sicilian experience.

Some of Palermo’s most popular attractions are:

Mondello Beach

Mondello Beach invites travelers to bask in the sunshine with stunning white sands that reflect the full spectrum of colors from the sea, sun, and sky creating unforgettable hues from turquoise to emerald green. A stroll along the seafront promenade, lined with tall maritime pines, palm trees, and occasional Art Nouveau houses, offers visitors a chance to escape and simply enjoy the sea air all in the quiet atmosphere that is characteristic of winter in Sicily.

The Kalsa District

This historic area is steeped in culture and art. It’s home to the Palazzo Abatellis, which houses the Sicilian Regional Gallery, a treasure trove of masterpieces, including works by Antonello da Messina and Francesco Laurana. The district also features the stately Palazzo Mirto, adorned with Murano chandeliers and Chinese lacquered panels. The intriguing tale of the Moorish Heads, a local artistic tradition, adds to the district’s charm. Tourists visiting the Kalsa District can immerse themselves in history, art, and the unique ambiance of this Sicilian gem. It’s a must-visit for art lovers and history buffs alike.

Quattro Canti

Also known as Piazza Vigliena, Quattro Canti is a central Baroque square in Palermo where two main roads intersect. Known for its unique octagonal design and four symmetrical Baroque facades, it’s adorned with statues symbolizing seasons, Spanish monarchs, and local patron saints. It’s a must-see for tourists, offering rich history, architectural beauty, and proximity to other attractions like Palazzo Abatellis and Palazzo Mirto. It’s an ideal spot for architecture lovers, history enthusiasts, or anyone looking to soak up Palermo’s special charm.

Chiesa del Gesù

Also called Casa Professa, this well-preserved Baroque-style Roman Catholic church boasts a rich history dating back to 884. Originally a Basilian monastic church, it was transformed into an impressive ecclesiastical complex by the Jesuits in 1553. Its interior is a true masterpiece, adorned with intricate decorations, ornamental stuccoes, and marble. It also features stunning artworks like marble bas-reliefs and frescoes. A perfect site for art enthusiasts.

Catacombs of the Capuchins

A unique and macabre historical site, the Capuchin Catacombs are a fascinating and somewhat chilling historical landmark. Initially a burial site for friars, it became a status symbol, preserving the remains of thousands, including nobles and dignitaries. Originating in the 16th century, it houses the body of a friar, Silvestro da Gubbio, from 1599. The most recent internment was Rosalia Lombardo, a two-year-old girl in 1920, known as “Sleeping Beauty” due to her well-preserved state. Visitors can navigate the maze-like corridors lined with mummified bodies, offering a unique glimpse into the past.

Some other sites to see in Palermo include: Villa Garibaldi in Piazza Marina; Zisa Castle, Vucciria, Ballarò, il Capo, and Borgo Vecchio; the Sanlorenzo Market; Museo dell’Acciuga; and the Opera dei Pupi—a UNESCO Heritage site.

Palermo’s Top-Rated Tours

Street Food Tour

A 3-hour and 30-minute walking tour to some of Palermo’s most popular street food eateries escorted by a local food expert. Palermo’s authentic Sicilian street food has been greatly influenced by African, Greek, Spanish, Jewish, and Arab cuisine to create a diverse and delicious culinary experience. The tour includes 5 food tastings and a wide variety of Sicilian dishes.

Join one of the Palermo Street Food Tours.

Erice, Trapani, and Segesta Tour

A full-day walking tour of western Sicily’s most popular destinations and sites. From Venus Castle in Erice and the ancient traditional harvesting of sea salt in Trapani to the hilltop Doric temple in the city of Segestra, founded by the indigenous Elymians, visitors will enjoy learning about Sicily’s ancient history.

Book your tickets to the Erice, Trapani, and Segesta Tour.

Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Excursion

An 8 to 10-hour, adults-only tour that takes visitors to two Greco-Roman art centers. The first art center is the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento to view the well-preserved Doric temples of the Hellenic period, which include the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Heracles, and the Temple of Concordia. The second art center is the Villa Romana del Casale in the small town of Piazza Armerina where visitors can view the well-preserved mosaics of the ancient Roman villa.

Check out the Agrigento and Piazza Armerina Excursion.

The sites and tours of Palermo give visitors an authentic look at the rich history and culture of western Sicily, from sun-kissed beaches and historical sites to its famous street food and Palermo’s art and culture scene. For more sites and experiences in Palermo, Sicily, visit Palermo’s tourism guide

Palermo’s Culinary Delights

Palermo is known for its diverse food scene, deeply influenced by its rich cultural heritage. The city’s cuisine, famous for its street food, is a fusion of flavors from various cultures that have shaped Sicily. Palermo offers a variety of dining experiences, from traditional Sicilian restaurants to innovative eateries. Whether you’re a food lover or a culture-seeking traveler, Palermo promises a unique gastronomic journey.

GustOriana

  • Location: Via Mondello, 13 b, Palermo PA, Italy
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Quiet and cozy friendly atmosphere removed from the busy streets of Mondello, offering diners live piano music and the perfect spot to enjoy delicious authentic Sicilian cuisine and cocktails
  • Foodie Favorites: Visitors recommend the homemade pasta with pistachio and Burrata, lasagna, Sicilian patatas, Insalta Orientale, Piato Grande di Salmi and Formagi, and the cocktails.

Biga Genio e Farina

  • Location: Via Maqueda, 284-286, 90134 Palermo PA, Italy
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A local pizza place with a relaxing atmosphere. A few small tables inside and outside with counter and table service for eat-in and dine-out options.
  • Foodie Favorites: Locals and tourists highly recommend their homemade pizza with fresh, local ingredients.

MadoniEAT – Butera Palace

  • Location: Via Butera, 20, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy
  • Rating: 4.6 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A small deli & bistro with indoor and outdoor dining described as “quiet” and located “off the beaten path.” Visitors can dine on traditional Sicilian dishes and also shop for locally-made goodies in their grocery section.
  • Foodie Favorites: Diners enjoy the Mortadella with mozzarella, Lasagna, Tris Di Formaggi, Lasagne Vegetariane Con Zucca Rossa, Siciliana salad, Mandarin Granita, Mortadella Di Asina Con Granella Di Pistacchio, Pistachio tart, Cheesecake Con Ricotta E Composta Di Pesche, and Cannolo Siciliano Preparato Al Momento.

DOC Cucuna & Griglia

  • Location: Via Generale Cantore Antonino, 9, 90141 Palermo PA, Italy
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: An Italian steak house that serves more than just steak. A friendly and inviting atmosphere for travelers to relax and enjoy good food and wine.
  • Foodie Favorites: Visitors recommend the Angus meatballs, Fillet Steak, Uruguayan Ribeye, Vegan burgers, Mushroom pie, Provoleta with spare ribs, Sirloin steak with vegetable pie, Fillet Mignon, Chorizo steak, Fiorentina, Tagliere Per Due Con Salumi Hashbrown Palline Di Formaggio Piccanti Panelle Con Curcuma Salumi, Pistachio Fondant cake, Cheesecake, and Tiramisu. 

CuFu

  • Location: Via Bottai, 6, 90133 Palermo PA, Italy
  • Rating: 4.8 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Located in Palermo’s historical center, but tucked away from the busy streets, this local outdoor small plates lounge pub offers diners an exceptional dining experience to partake in traditional Sicilian cuisine
  • Foodie Favorites: Patrons suggest trying the Arancini, pasta with homemade Pesto, Tagliere, Apericena, Vegetarian Apericena, Coccodè, Cannolo, and cocktails—both alcoholic and nonalcoholic.

Best Time to Travel to Palermo, Sicily

Traveling to Palermo, Sicily in February is an excellent way to escape those winter blues for several reasons:

  • Mild Weather: Palermo’s climate in February is mildly cool and windy, with temperatures hovering between 48—56°F, making it ideal for outdoor explorations like strolls along the waterfront, visits to historic sites, and exploring the city’s architecture.
  • Food & Wine Tours: Palermo is renowned for its street food. A culinary tour in the gentle February weather is an excellent opportunity to taste some of the city’s finest dishes. Additionally, a wine tour in the Province of Palermo is a must-do.
  • Fewer Tourists & Lower Prices: February is regarded as the off-peak travel season, resulting in fewer visitors and reduced costs for airfare, care hire, lodging, tickets to attractions and tours.
  • February Festivals: Palermo embraces the festive mood around Lent and Carnivale, heralding the arrival of spring with nationwide Mardi Gras festivities during February.

Important Dates to Remember:

While Palermo, Sicily, may not have major events or festivals during February comparable to its peak tourist season, there are still some considerations for visitors:

  • Teatro Massimo Opera: Experience the grandeur of the opera season’s opening in February at Teatro Massimo, one of Europe’s most esteemed opera houses.
  • Cultural Events: Palermo is rich in cultural history, so check for any local art exhibitions, theater performances, or concerts taking place in February. Cultural venues may host special events.
  • Carnival: Palermo celebrates Carnival, which often occurs in February. While the exact dates can vary, some cities in Sicily may have Carnival festivities with parades, costumes, and street celebrations.
  • Valentine’s Day: Many hotels, restaurants, and tours offer special listings for romantic dinners and activities. Some popular tours, like the Street Food Tour, and attractions allow you to book excursions for just two as well. Be sure to check for these special offerings when you’re booking your February stay.

Remember to check local event calendars, Palermo’s tourism guide, or inquire at the local tourist information center for specific events happening in Palermo during your visit in February.

Palermo, Sicily is a Mediterranean gem with a unique blend of cultural influences seen in its architecture, markets, and diverse street food. Its varied landscapes, beautiful beaches, and historical significance make it a multifaceted destination. Palermo offers a range of accommodations to suit different budgets and a variety of attractions, promising a genuine Sicilian experience. The city’s cuisine is a fusion of flavors reflecting its rich heritage. Events like the Teatro Massimo Opera opening, Carnival celebrations, and Valentine’s Day offerings enhance the cultural experience. Whether indulging in local cuisine, exploring historical sites, or enjoying the city’s vibrant atmosphere, Palermo in February offers a charming and culturally rich experience.

Málaga, Spain: Sun-Kissed Beaches and Rich History

aerial view of Malaga, Spain including seascape, rooftops, and harbor

Málaga, Spain is a vibrant city nestled into the Costa del Sol, known for its old-world charm, art scene, historic landmarks, and architectural wonders. Málaga embraces the energetic Costa del So beach culture, inviting visitors to indulge in the pristine, sun-drenched beaches and breathtaking coastal views. The city’s welcoming atmosphere, cultural festivals, and diverse culinary scene create an experience that captivates the senses. 

Top Accommodations in Málaga

Málaga boasts a variety of exceptional lodging choices that include both hotels and private holiday vacation rentals. Regardless of your budget, you’ll discover accommodation options that align with your preferences, providing a comfortable stay with amenities tailored to your needs.

Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina

  • Location: Ramos Carrión, 38, Este, 29016 Málaga, Spain
  • Close to: Parque Forestal El Morlaco, El Morlaco Park, Gibralfaro Castle, Pompidou Centre, La Caleta Beach, and Pablo Ruiz Picasso Foundation.
  • Rating: 9.2
  • Best Amenities: Adults only; free parking and wifi; outdoor swimming pool; sundeck; restaurant, coffee house, and bar on the premises; wonderful breakfast served in the room daily, many rooms offer sea views
  • Check room availability at Soho Boutique Castillo de Santa Catalina.

7-Bedroom Holiday Vacation Home

  • Location: Este, 29018 Málaga, Spain
  • Close to: Gibralfaro Viewpoint, Málaga Park, El Morlaco Park, El Palo Beach, Las Acacias Beach, Pedregalejo Beach, El Chanquete Beach, Pompidou Centre, and Gibralfaro Castle.
  • Rating: 10
  • Best Amenities: Entire, private home; 7 bedrooms; 6 full bathrooms; 2 living rooms; fully-equipped kitchen; BBQ facilities; free parking and wifi; washing machine; private, heated outdoor swimming pool; ocean view
  • Book your stay at this 7-Bedroom Holiday Vacation Home.

Gran Hotel Miramar GL

  • Location: Paseo de Reding, 22, Málaga Centro, 29016 Málaga, Spain
  • Close to: La Malagueta Beach, Alcazaba, Pompidou Centre, Gibralfaro Castle, La Caleta Beach, Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen Museum, and Jardines de Pedro Luis Alonso. 
  • Rating: 9.2
  • Best Amenities: Beachfront, airport shuttle available, 24-hour front desk, private parking, free wifi, outdoor swimming pool, sun deck, pool bar, rooftop terrace, spa, family rooms available, restaurant with extensive buffet and bar on the premises, indoor and outdoor play areas for children, babysitting and childcare services available, 
  • Check rates at Gran Hotel Miramar GL.

Vincci Selección Posada del Patio

  • Location: Pasillo de Santa Isabel, 7, Málaga Centro, 29005 Málaga, Spain
  • Close to: the center of Málaga, Carmen Thyssen Museum, Parque la Negrita, Plaza de la Constitución, Palmeral de las Sorpresas, Jorge Rando Museum, La Malagueta Beach, and San Andres Beach.
  • Rating: 9.0
  • Best Amenities: Private parking, free wifi, 24-hour front desk, outdoor swimming pool, pool bar, sun deck, terrace, fitness center, facilities for disabled guests, family rooms available, restaurant and bar on the premises, babysitting and child services available, city views
  • Check room availability at Vincci Selección Posada del Patio.

Málaga’s Top Attractions

Málaga, Spain, is a vibrant and culturally rich city known for its historical landmarks, interesting architecture, impressive collections of art, beautiful parks, peaceful botanical gardens, pristine beaches, and gorgeous coastline. Málaga hosts various attractions and experiences that cater to every type of traveler. A few of Málaga’s best attractions include:

Costa del Sol

Málaga is a gateway to the Costa del Sol, a famous stretch of coastline known for its beautiful beaches, resorts, and lively atmosphere. Visitors can relax, unwind, and enjoy sunbathing, water sports, and the vibrant beach culture.

The Alcazaba of Málaga

A historic palatial fortress built during Muslim rule in the 8th century. It has two walled enclosures with towers and palaces and is one of Spain’s best-preserved Moorish structures. The Alcazaba is connected to the Castle of Gibralfaro and nearby, visitors can also find remnants of a Roman theatre that dates back to the 1st century AD. Located on a hillside, the Alcazaba offers gorgeous panoramic port views.

The Picasso Museum

The Picasso Museum, situated in the Renaissance-style Buenavista Palace, was established to fulfill renowned artist Pablo Picasso’s desire to have his work displayed in his birth city. The museum showcases over 200 works from the private collections of Picasso’s relatives, Christine and Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, reflecting the artist’s diverse styles and techniques. It also hosts temporary exhibits and educational activities related to Picasso.

Málaga Cathedral

The Cathedral of the Encarnación, also known as La Manquita, is a significant monument in the town’s historic center. The cathedral blends Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque architectural styles, built on a former mosque site by the Catholic Monarchs in the 16th century. Despite its unfinished south tower and main façade, it boasts beautiful gardens, a courtyard, and notable interior features like the 17th-century choir stalls and Pedro de Mena’s sculptures

Parque de Málaga

The park is a beautifully designed landscape with a variety of features. It has curved lines that create different-sized islands, making the rectangular space feel natural. Highlights include kiosks, the bandstand, and the Renaissance-style Fountain of Swans in La Cascada garden. The park also houses a variety of beautiful statues dedicated to Málaga’s most notable historical figures. The lush vegetation adds to the park’s natural beauty.

A few more attractions to check out are the Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, La Concepcion Historic-Botanic Garden, the Museum Of Glass And Crystal, and the Malagueta Bullring

Málaga’s Top-Rated Tours

Málaga also has some fantastic tours you’ll want to be sure to check out:

Málaga Bay Catamaran Cruise

For one hour, visitors can experience the unforgettable views of Málaga from the Alborean Sea while relaxing on the deck of a catamaran.

Check out the Málaga Bay Catamaran Cruise.

Guided Tour of Alcazaba and Roman Theatre

A 1-hour and 30-minute guided walking tour offers visitors a chance to visit and learn about some of Málaga’s oldest monuments, Alcazaba of Málaga, Spain’s best-preserved fortress, and the ancient Roman Theatre.

Book your tickets to the Guided Tour of Alcazaba and Roman Theatre.

Guided Visit to a pretty Vineyard & Cellar – 5 wines tasting & tapas

This four to five-hour, adult-only tour starts in Málaga’s Plaza de la Marina and over the picturesque Malaguenian mountains where visitors stop at a small, local vineyard with views of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains of Africa. Visitors will learn how the wine has been made in this region for thousands of years and partake in the tasting of five wines and tapas.

Book your Guided Visit to a pretty Vineyard & Cellar – 5 wines tasting & tapas.

Málaga offers a wide variety of sites and tours for travelers to experience, from historic palatial fortresses and cathedrals to traditional wine and food pairings and beautiful coastal views. For more information on Málaga’s best attractions and tours, visit Málaga’s official tourism website

Málaga’s Culinary Delights

Málaga has a diverse culinary scene with traditional Andalusian dishes and seafood specialties. Visitors can explore local markets, cafes, and restaurants to experience the region’s unique flavors.

Spago’s

  • Location: Calle Caldereria 11 Centro, 29008 Málaga, Spain
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Small and quaint, with four tables outside and high-top seating inside, this hidden gem has a very intimate atmosphere for visitors to enjoy authentic Andalusian dishes, homemade pasta, and homemade sauces.
  • Foodie Favorites: Patrons recommend the Pasticciata and Pesto Alla Genovese, Pesto Pomodoro, seafood pasta, vegetarian dishes, Bolognese with cream, Pasta with Pork Cheek, and Tiramisu.

Mar de Verum

  • Location: Calle de los Olmos 43 Cerrado de Calderón, 29018 Málaga Spain
  • Rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Ambiance: Elegant indoor and outdoor fine dining offers the perfect backdrop for delicious authentic Mediterranean dishes.
  • Foodie Favorites: Diners enjoy the Paella and Tartar de Cigala, Betanzos omelette with txangurro, Jowl croquettes, Carabinero croquettes, Marennes-olerón’s Oysters, Chistorra with Gratin cheese, Espeto de Sardinas, Beef Tartare, rice with sealed Iberian pork, cheesecake, mini puff pastry with Torrelavega cream, and cholate Coulant.

Taberna La Manuela

  • Location: C. Maestro Tomás Bretón, 5, Churriana, 29140 Churriana, Málaga, Spain
  • Rating: 4.4 out of 5
  • Ambiance: This local eatery dishes out simple, homemade regional cuisine in a relaxing, low-key atmosphere.
  • Foodie Favorites: Visitors suggest trying the Tapas, Rollitos, Paella, Ensaladilla Rusa, Tartar Do Salmón Y Aguacate, Flamenquín Cordobés de Rabo Do Toro O de Manitas de Cerdo, Carrillada de Cerdo Al Vino, La Manuela, Croquetas Caseras, Huevos Rotos Con Jamón, and Tarta Comadre. 

L’expérience

  • Location: Plaza Obispo 4, 29015 Málaga Spain
  • Rating: 4.2 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A breathtakingly beautiful outdoor setting with a perfect view of the Catedral de Málaga and the piazza for travelers to relax, take in the views, and enjoy traditional Mediterranean cuisine.
  • Foodie Favorites: Diners warn that there are simply too many delicious food options to choose from in just one visit; in particular, they highly recommend the Flamenquines, Tapas, Home-Made Croquettes with Iberian Cured Ham, Home-Made Croquettes with Spinach and Pine Nuts and Tinto De Verano, Spicy ‘Brava’ Potatoes, Mixed Seafood and Meat Paella, vegetarian dishes, and cheesecake.

La Barra de Zapata

  • Location: Calle Salinas 10 Local 1, 29015 Málaga Spain
  • Rating: 4.7 out of 5
  • Ambiance: A small, relaxing local tapas bar and restaurant in the heart of Málaga, but tucked back from the busy streets, this local eatery serves up amazing culinary creations of Spanish/Mediterranean flavors with a modern twist.
  • Foodie Favorites: Fans of La Barra de Zapata suggest trying the Soft Shell Crab Salad, Mushroom Risotto, Carpaccio de Ternera, Momo, Ensalada de Cangrejo, Arroz Meloso, Bao, and Postres.

Best Time to Travel to Málaga, Spain

February is considered a favorable time to travel to Málaga, Spain, for several reasons:

  • Mild Climate: While February is part of the winter season, Málaga tends to experience relatively mild temperatures. Daytime temperatures typically range from around 50 to 64°F, offering a comfortable environment for outdoor activities without the intense summer heat.
  • Fewer Tourists: February is a low tourist season in Málaga. With fewer tourists, visitors can explore the city’s attractions, landmarks, and beaches in a more relaxed and genuine manner, avoiding the crowds that are common during the peak summer months.
  • Affordability: As February is an off-peak season, activities and accommodations in Málaga are likely to be more affordable in February with many hotels and tours offering off-season rates.
  • Cultural and Festive Events: Málaga hosts various heritage events and festivities in February, adding to Málaga’s cultural interest and special charm for travelers to experience.
  • Outdoor Activities: The mild weather in February allows for enjoyable outdoor activities. Visitors can explore the city’s historic sites, visit the beaches, and take in the scenic beauty of the Costa del Sol without the intensity of the summer sun.

Important Dates to Remember:

In February, Málaga, Spain, hosts several holidays and festivals, adding cultural richness and vibrancy to the city. Here are some notable events that typically take place during this month:

  • Málaga Carnival: Carnival is a lively and colorful celebration featuring parades, traditional music played by murga (street bands), dancing, and vibrant costumes. Participants often engage in various festivities leading up to Lent, the period before Easter. Málaga Carnival occurs during late February and early March
  • Valentine’s Day: If you are looking for a romantic getaway to celebrate Valentine’s Day, Málaga celebrates Valentine’s Day on February 14th with tours, packages, and romantic dinners offered by restaurants and hotels. The city’s romantic ambiance and coastal views can create a memorable experience for couples.
  • Día de Andalucía (Andalusia Day): Día de Andalucía is the regional holiday of Andalusia, the autonomous community to which Málaga belongs. Celebrated on February 28th, it commemorates the day in 1980 when Andalusians voted for their independence. The day may involve cultural events, concerts, and regional celebrations.

Please note that the specific dates and events may vary, and it’s recommended to check local event calendars or official tourism websites for the most accurate and up-to-date information on festivals and holidays in Málaga for February 2024. Local sources will provide the latest details on specific celebrations during your visit.

Málaga, Spain is a captivating destination that offers history, culture, and nature. The city provides a diverse range of experiences for every traveler, from historic landmarks like the Alcazaba and Málaga Cathedral to the beautiful beaches of Costa del Sol. Accommodations in Málaga cater to various preferences and budgets, ensuring a comfortable stay for visitors. The city’s attractions, including the Picasso Museum, Málaga Cathedral, and Parque de Málaga, showcase its rich history and cultural heritage. Málaga’s culinary scene further enhances the travel experience, with a diverse range of restaurants serving authentic Andalusian dishes and Mediterranean specialties. February is an ideal time to visit Málaga, as the month offers a favorable climate with mild temperatures, fewer tourists, and affordability in accommodations and activities. 

The Mediterranean’s Hidden Gems Await

Lisbon, Portugal; Palermo, Sicily; and Málaga, Spain each offer visitors unique travel experiences. Lisbon’s relaxed atmosphere and scenic landscapes make it a popular European destination. Palermo stands out with its rich cultural influences, diverse landscapes, and vibrant food scene. Málaga offers a blend of old-world charm, art, historic landmarks, and beach culture.

These February Mediterranean getaways are all ideal destination to escape February’s winter blues. The mild weather, fewer tourists, and affordable accommodations and tours make these Mediterranean locations even more desirable to visit this time of year. Each locale provides its own unique experiences for an unforgettable vacation that will leave you feeling sun kissed and relaxed.

Remember: You will need a passport to travel abroad. Check out our guides to expediting a new passport application or expediting a passport renewal to be sure you are ready to get on your way to your warm European retreat this winter!

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About the Author: For over 20 years, the U.S. Passport Service Guide team has helped hundreds of thousands of travelers with their travel document questions and shared advice about how to make traveling abroad simpler, safer, and more enjoyable.

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