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Hottest islands in the Mediterranean

Hottest islands in the Mediterranean

By Alison Spencer

The islands of the Mediterranean offer long hot summer days, beaches, great food and historic culture. Which which are the hottest? In summer you may crave blistering heat – or want to avoid the hottest islands. In the spring, autumn and maybe even winter you’ll want to find the islands with the warmest temperatures.

Kos, Greece

Average August Temperature: 32ºC
Average January Temperature: 14ºC
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

If you’re looking for the warmest island, Kos is your destination. Summer temperatures can reach up to 35ºC, particularly when the Meltemi, a wind from the north-west, is not blowing. You can also expect little to no rainfall and high levels of humidity, a climate perfect for those seeking heat or interested in spending time at the one of the island’s many beaches. Winter months bring more rain, with January proving the wettest.

Holiday recommendation: the five-star all-inclusive IKOS Aria is very good value.

Corfu, Greece

Average August Temperature: 31ºC
Average January Temperature: 13ºC
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

One of the hottest islands in August and chilliest in January, Corfu sees the largest swing between seasons. Rainier than other Greek Isles, it has high humidity throughout the summer months and temperatures can reach 35, 36 or even 40ºC. Thankfully, a sea breeze can make visiting sites like the Old Fortress more manageable. The sea temperature hovers around 24ºC from July through September, dropping to 15ºC in the winter months.

Holiday recommendation: Traveling with your family? Stay at one of these upmarket villas in Corfu.

Cyprus

Average August Temperature: 30ºC
Average January Temperature: 16ºC
Flying time from UK: 4 hours 45 minutes

A fairly dry island, Cyprus sees temperatures fluctuate greatly depending on your location. Inland, around the Mesaoria Plain and the capital of Nicosia, temperatures can exceed 40ºC. Along the coast, towns like Larnaca can reach 32ºC. But you can follow your explorations of Tombs of the Kings or Kato Paphos Archaeological Park with a dip in the comfortably warm sea. Perhaps consider a January getaway, as Cyprus is the hottest Mediterranean island during winter.

Holiday recommendation: Sunvil has a great range of ideas. Away from the heat of summer, try one of these fly-drive holidays or self-guided walking holidays.

Gozo

Average August Temperature: 30ºC
Average January Temperature: 15ºC
Flying time from UK: 3 hour flight, 40 minute drive, 25 minute ferry

Less rain means more sunshine on the island of Gozo, which enjoys more than 300 days of sun a year. With only one month of high humidity and sea temperatures of 26ºC, you can spend all day enjoying the island’s outdoor activities, whether relaxing at Ramla Bay or exploring the Citadel. Even when hot, the north-westerly Majjistral and the northerly Tramontana are the two winds that bring welcome freshness.

Holiday recommendation: Take advantage of the beautiful weather with a cycling tour.

Malta

Average August Temperature: 30ºC
Average January Temperature: 15ºC
Flying time from UK: 3 hours

Summer in Malta means high humidity and temperatures that can, at times, reach 31ºC. The sea will be a very pleasant 25ºC. Autumn and spring in Malta are warmer than most other Mediterranean islands thanks to the Sirocco winds, which originate in the Sahara Desert. While it might bring dust or sand, it also creates a long season for basking in the sun.

Holiday recommendation: Despite being small in size, Malta offers visitors plenty of wonderful hotels. See the latest offers.

Sardinia, Italy

Average August Temperature: 29ºC
Average January Temperature: 14ºC
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes

Sardinia is very busy in August with Italian tourists, but far more relaxing and uncrowded across the rest of spring and summer. Humidity rarely reaches uncomfortable levels, even in summer and due to the Maestrale, a northwest wind, the island is breezier than others. When originating in Africa, these winds can lead to temperatures surpassing 40ºC inland. Sea temperatures are around 23ºC – not the hottest in the Med – dropping to 13ºC in February.

Holiday recommendation: Sardinia has some of the Mediterranean’s best beaches, so be sure to stay beside the sea.

Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Ibiza)

Average August Temperature: 29ºC
Average January Temperature: 14ºC
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 15 minutes

The islands of Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza, while warm, won’t often pass 30ºC, even in peak summer months. Humidity remains moderate throughout the season and, while seeing only a handful of cloudy days, you’re likely to find a bit more rain. Sea temperatures remain around 25ºC throughout summer, dropping to 14ºC in late winter/early spring. Due to its proximity to the continent, Mallorca experiences a bit more wind and will also feel a bit colder in winter and warmer in summer.

Holiday recommendation: Oliver’s Travels offers visitors more than 200 villas in Mallorca. i-escape.com has some great accommodation in Menorca and Ibiza.

Crete, Greece

Average August Temperature: 28ºC
Average January Temperature: 14ºC 
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 45 minutes

Despite an August average of 28ºC, during heat waves, Crete can see temperatures reach 35ºC on the coast and 40ºC inland. The Meltemi winds, which blow from May through September do make these waves more bearable however. The southern coast is more sheltered and likely to feel hotter. Sea temperatures will reach 25ºC in August and very little rain falls during the summer.

Holiday recommendation: Enjoy the diverse Cretian activities, from wandering olive groves to hiking snow capped mountains, from the comfort of a beautiful villa.

Sicily, Italy

Average August Temperature: 28ºC
Average January Temperature: 13ºC
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes

If you’re looking for hot sun and warm seas, Sicily offers both, with sea temperatures reaching 27ºC in summer. Also subject to the Sirocco, hot winds from Africa, Sicily’s temperatures can top 20ºC in winter and 40ºC in summer, even in the coastal towns of Palermo, Messina and Catania. These months also bring sunshine and high humidity, which tapers off into autumn.

Holiday recommendation: Check out these gorgeous places to stay from a working olive farm to these chic apartments.

Last updated: 20 January 2020

 

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