Is wintering in the south of Europe a good idea? If you are interested not only in a pleasant climate, but also in European comfort with an overwhelming number of beautiful places per square meter, then definitely yes. In our review, we will describe in detail three countries in this region — most likely, there you can spend your winter in a really fabulous and not very expensive way.

We have chosen 3 top destinations in the south of Europe — Spain, Italy, Cyprus — and found out what these countries are good for living in winter and how expensive it would be to spend 3 months there. We will give average figures for the countries, based on the largest database on the cost of living Numbeo. Also, each block dedicated to one of the countries contains useful information for Ukrainians and lists budget accommodation options.

It is important to note that you can live in any EU country for up to 90 days without additional registration. Non-EU foreigners will need a Schengen visa for this. In order to get to these countries on a budget, you can use the services of low-cost airlines.

Spain

Winter is good for living, why?

In winter, the low season starts in Spain, which means that there will be fewer tourists, and you can safely walk the local streets.

Spain has a mild and very comfortable climate. The average winter temperature in the country is +13 °C (about +18 °C in the south and +10 °C in the north and center).

The warmest place in Spain in winter is the Canary Islands — the temperature often reaches +25 degrees and does not fall below +18 degrees. It is also quite warm during this period in Malaga (+18) and Valencia (15-20 °C). And for fans of skiing will suit the mountain systems of the Pyrenees, Sierra Nevada and Meseta.

But there is a significant nuance. In winter in Spain, it gets cold in the apartments (most of them have no central heating), so it is worth coming here if you are going to spend more time outdoors.

Cost of living (per month)

Rent. One-bedroom apartment in the city center — €735, not in the center — €606. In small towns, rent will cost on average €300-450.

Utility bills. Basic services (electricity, heating, water, garbage) will cost on average €122, plus internet (about €36).

Groceries. A few examples: milk (1 liter) costs €0.82, chicken fillet (1 kg) — €6.33, eggs €2.08.

Transportation. Public transport (monthly subscription) is €40, a cab ride costs at least €3.50, 1 liter of gasoline is €1.65.

It is most expensive to live in Barcelona.

Useful information for Ukrainians

To cross the border with Spain by land, it is sufficient to have a Ukrainian internal passport, and for children — a birth certificate. If you decide to fly (from Poland, for example), it is necessary to clarify all the details with the airline company.

In Spain, Ukrainians are given free train tickets with the ability to get to the desired city. If you travel by car, you will need a green card (if you don’t have one, you can buy it online).

Ukrainians in Spain receive documents with temporary protection status (not refugee status). It allows them to stay on the territory of the country and receive social assistance.

If you want to find a job, you can register on the platform UA Talents, or look for information in social networks, for example, in the thematic Facebook-communities.

Help for Ukrainians in Spain — ucranianos.es.

Budget housing options 

 

 

 

Italy

Winter is good for living, why?

Winter in Italy is quite mild compared to other European countries. Of course, this is more true in the southern part of the country (especially warm in Rome and Naples). It may be humid and damp in the south, too, but daytime temperatures rarely fall below 10°C (in general, the temperature norm here is 10-15°C). In general, the weather in Italy is quite changeable: it can rain one minute and then be sunny the next, so you should wear several layers of clothing that can be easily removed if necessary.

There is a problem with central heating here, as in Spain: in older buildings there is no heating at all, and where there is, the tenants turn it on very rarely.

From a tourist point of view, winter in Italy is a great period. You can enjoy the local attractions at lower prices, and there will be far fewer people around. And February in Italy is filled with color and carnival fun.

In northern Italy it will be much colder, so go here in winter is worth it only if you are an incredible fan of winter sports: the Italian Alps are known for their slopes and literally attract skiers, snowboarders and mountain climbers.

Cost of living (per month)

Rent. One-bedroom apartment in the city center — €664, not in the center — €511. In small towns, rent will cost on average €300-400.

Utility bills. Basic services (electricity, heating, water, garbage) will cost on average €175, plus internet (about €28).

Groceries. A few examples: milk (1 liter) costs €1.19, chicken fillet (1 kg) — €8.87, eggs €2.86.

Transportation. Public transport (monthly subscription) is €35, a cab ride costs at least €5, 1 liter of gasoline costs €2.07.

It is most expensive to live in Milan.

Useful information for Ukrainians

Ukrainians arriving in Italy are granted temporary protection for a year. Thanks to this, they can work in the country, use national medicine, and their children can study in local schools.

Ukrainians can also count on financial assistance. Payments are calculated for three months: €300 per adult and €150 per child per month. However, only those who found housing themselves (from relatives, friends, etc.) can receive these sums; those who live in state-provided housing are not affected.

Help for Ukrainians in Italy — useful links with the necessary information here and here.

Budget housing options 

 

 

Cyprus

Winter is good for living, why?

The most important advantage of Cyprus in winter is, of course, a comfortable climate and 300 days of sunshine a year (in winter the sun shines here about six hours a day). The air temperature averages 18 degrees. 

It rains in Cyprus in winter, too, but the positive thing is that after it all around is in bloom. And in principle, spring on the island begins to show itself in January: the first orchids bloom, the hills and plains of Cyprus begin to be green, the almond trees are in full bloom.

The disadvantage of living in Cyprus in winter is also associated with central heating, or rather the lack of it. Therefore, you can fully enjoy the warmth on the island only outside the apartments.

Cost of living (per month)

Rent. One-bedroom apartment in the city center — €750, not in the center — €603. In small towns, rent will cost on average €250-350.

Utility bills. Basic services (electricity, heating, water, garbage) will cost on average €164, plus internet (about €34).

Groceries. A few examples: milk (1 liter) costs €1.46, chicken fillet (1 kg) — €7.09, eggs €2.84.

Transportation. Public transport (monthly subscription) is €40, a cab ride costs at least €5, 1 liter of gasoline costs €1.53.

It is most expensive to live in Larnaca.

Useful information for Ukrainians

To enter Cyprus, Ukrainians need a biometric passport, or a standard passport with a visa. If you have a child without a passport, you need to contact the Consular Section of the Embassy — they will enter information about the child in the passport of one of the parents.

Cyprus grants temporary protection status to Ukrainians for at least 1 year — after that everything will depend on the situation in Ukraine. This protection allows Ukrainians to live, work and receive medical care on the island. You can apply for temporary protection at any department of the Cyprus Immigration Police.

Help for Ukrainians in Cyprus — cy4ua.com, Facebook, Telegram.

Budget housing options

Kyrenia/Girne, Cyprus
€ 94,751
2 Number of rooms 3/12 Floor
 

Karavas, Cyprus
€ 90,762
1 bath
 

Lapithos, Cyprus
€ 69,406
1 bath 95 m²