The seven most attractive direct flight destinations for sun-seeking winter holidaymakers from Berlin
Escape from winter
In October at the latest, it gets cold and wet in Germany, the days are short and dark. Many Germans pack their bags now to escape the German winter. They want to spend their Christmas holiday or even the whole winter in a warmer region quickly, easily and without any stopovers. The travel experts at McParking present the seven most attractive direct flight destinations that you can reach from Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
Our travel tip for those who want to escape winter in the Mediterranean and Atlantic. In Barcelona in Spain and Athens in Greece, temperatures still reach around 20 degrees even in November. If you want to soak up the sun in December and January, you'll have to travel a little further. Marakesh in Morocco, Hurghada in Egypt and Doha in Qatar are our holiday tips. The hotspot for all sun-seekers in the German winter are the Canary Islands, above all Teneriffe and Gran Canaria. And finally, we go once again to the Mediterranean, to Tel Aviv, the city of joie de vivre.
Tourist magnet Barcelona
November to February is low season, so flights and accommodation in Barcelona are correspondingly cheap. During the day, temperatures here are still around 20 degrees, with lows of no more than 13 degrees. These are the ideal temperatures for exploring the city. There is no shortage of accommodation in Barcelona. In addition to around 75,000 hotel beds, the city offers around 50,000 overnight accommodations in legal private rental properties.
Famous buildings such as the Sagrada Familia, Gaudi's world-famous cathedral or La Rambla, the city's promenade with Miró's remarkable mosaic and the Font de Canaletes fountain, a popular meeting place, invite you to linger. An insider tip among Barcelona connoisseurs is Gràcia, still one of Barcelona's original districts. Here the locals meet in the bars and cafés, enjoy their coffee and tapas, the popular Mediterranean appetisers.
Park Güell is well worth a visit. The famous architect Antonio Gaudi created an incomparable homage to nature here. Pure culture can be found in the Moco Museum. Works by Banksy and Andy Warhol, contemporary art and pop culture attract visitors who don't usually go to museums. If you are travelling with the whole family, you should plan a visit to the aquarium. There are 11,000 fish to admire in the tanks of the Aquarium Barcelona.
Our tip: Get the Barcelona Card online or directly at the airport in Barcelona, with which you can visit over twenty museums for free. The card also includes two tickets for the Sagrada Familia and the Güell Park with audio guide as well as a ten percent discount on many attractions.
Our documentary recommendation: Barcelona: the mountain of spies. City Land Art: https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/103136-005-A/barcelona-der-berg-der-spione/
Athens, centre of antiquity
If you want to breathe the breath of history in Athens and relax for a few days at the same time, November is the preferred time to travel. At temperatures of around 20 degrees, the mountain leading up to the Acropolis, the city's landmark with its ancient temples, is much easier to climb than in the heat of high summer.
The historic district of Plaka borders directly on the Acropolis. The picturesque old town of Athens is one of the most popular tourist districts. The narrow streets are lined with small but fine shops, tavernas and cafés. Culture vultures will also get their money's worth in Athens with its numerous museums. The Constitution Square with the parliament building and the royal palace are worth a visit. A special spectacle is the hourly changing of the guard by the Greek President's Guard of Honour. Athens does not have a city beach, but the sea is only about an hour away and easy to reach by public transport.
The central market in Plaka has the flair of an oriental bazaar in the early morning and the famous Monastiraki flea market has everything a collector's heart could desire. Spend the evening in one of the typical tavernas with fish specialities, moussaka or antipasti and finish off with a traditionally made Greek coffee. Greek cuisine is known to be among the best in the world and is a paradise for gourmets.
Hotels, holiday flats and small guesthouses are available in all price ranges. From November to April, accommodation is naturally cheaper than in the main tourist seasons. The historical sights in the old town are all within easy walking distance, but Athens is large. If you want to see more of the city and the surrounding area, you should book a rental car, which you can pick up directly at the airport.
Our tip: Most of the streets in Athens and the surrounding villages are very narrow. Therefore, it is better to rent a small, manoeuvrable car, which will allow you to get through everywhere and also make it easier to find a parking space.
Our documentary recommendation: Athens, the long road to democracy: https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/104279-003-A/athen-der-lange-weg-zur-demokratie/
For Barcelona and Athens, holidaymakers from the EU need neither a visa nor a passport. An identity card is sufficient as a travel document. If you want to rent a car, remember your driving licence, which must also be valid in the destination country.
The German winter is the best time to travel to get to know Morocco's former capital. From November to February, temperatures in Marrakech are consistently around 20 degrees, the air is dry and the climate thus well tolerable. In summer, on the other hand, it gets oppressively hot here with temperatures around 40 degrees.
Today, Marrakech is the fourth largest city and also the economic centre of the African state. It is called the "Red City" because most of the buildings are made of red sandstone. Popular tourist destinations are the mosques and palaces, of which there are several. But Marrakech is famous for its parks, especially the Menara olive grove. A stay in Marrakech is only perfect with a visit to a hammam and the oriental markets with exotic spices and fabrics. In the world-famous marketplace of Marrakech, snake charmers, magicians and jugglers offer an incomparable spectacle every day. In the vernacular, the square is also called "jugglers' square". However, the square has a rather inglorious history: in the past, felons were publicly executed here.
Marrakech is also a culinary adventure. The city is filled with the exotic smells spreading from the food stalls all over the city. You must have tasted the vegetables cooked in the clay pot with meat and local spices. For dessert, there is date cake with the typical mint tea. If you have enough time, you can discover the secrets of Moroccan cuisine in a cooking class. It's definitely worth it. And after dinner, plunge into the colourful nightlife of Marrakech, preferably at the Jugglers' Square. In the evening, all kinds of artists provide the best entertainment, including storytellers and, of course, musicians.
Overnight stays in Marrakech are in the so-called riad hotels. These are houses with courtyards in which orange trees grow. The word "riad" means garden. Behind the walls of a riad is often hidden all the splendour of the Orient. But there are also large hotels with all the comforts. To enter the country, you need a valid passport, which must be valid for at least the duration of your stay in Morocco. You cannot leave the country with an expired passport! A visa is not required for a tourist stay.
Our tip: In smaller shops and hotels you can only pay with cash in Morocco. Therefore, before you leave, check with your bank whether you can actually withdraw money with your credit and debit cards at the ATMs in Marrakech.
Our travel guide recommendation: Dorling Kinderley: The TOP 10 Travel Guide Marrakech with extra map and culinary phrasebook to take out.
Hurghada on the Red Sea
The best time to travel to Egypt is between October and May, because in winter it is still a pleasant 20 to 25 degrees, as opposed to the summery 40 degrees. Hurghada is one of Egypt's tourist strongholds and attracts visitors with summer temperatures all year round. Hurghada is particularly popular with divers because of its fascinating underwater world. Fantastic beaches create a Caribbean feeling. But Hurghada has much more to offer than the typical beach holiday in a hotel complex or water sports in the Red Sea. Adventurers go on quad-bike excursions into the desert or safari tours on camels to a Bedouin village.
However, long walks on the beach tend not to be possible, as most hotels have their own sections of beach that holidaymakers are not allowed to enter without further ado. Otherwise, you can move around freely in Egypt. The classic excursion destinations are secured by the police. Nevertheless, it is better not to travel alone and to limit yourself to the tourist areas. The Foreign Office expressly warns against excursions to remote desert areas. Excursions into the desert should therefore only be undertaken with local guides.
To enter Egypt, you need a visa and a passport valid for at least six months. The visa can be applied for as an e-visa via the Visa2Egypt platform. If you want to rent a car, you must present an international driving licence, but this is only valid in conjunction with the German driving licence.
Our tip: Take out travel health and repatriation insurance for the duration of your trip to Egypt and find out in good time about the recommended vaccination cover.
Our recommended reading: Anita Bauer: Learning to love Hurghada: The perfect travel guide for an unforgettable stay in Hurghada including insider tips.
Doha, between hypermodern and medieval
The direct flight from BER to Doha, the capital of the Arab Emirate of Qatar, takes just under five hours. Here, even in December, temperatures rarely drop below 25 degrees with high humidity, which is, however, somewhat mitigated by the trade winds. Qatar is one of the driest regions on earth, so temperatures can easily reach 50 degrees in summer.
Around 60 kilometres south of the lively capital, desert and sea meet. The Persian Gulf between Saudi Arabia and Qatar flows a good ten kilometres inland and invites you to a perfect beach holiday on dreamy sandy beaches in the middle of the German winter. Doha offers spectacular skyscrapers, ultra-modern shopping malls on one side and oriental medievalism on the other. Workers in Turkish trousers like from the Arabian Nights transport goods in wooden carts pulled by donkeys, while at the same time men in white robes stroll through the alleys. Here, tradition and modernity meet hard. This also applies to the food. Famous chefs from abroad cook in the restaurants, while traditional Arabic cuisine dominates among the population.
Art lovers in particular are at the right address in Doha. In an architecturally unusual building, the Museum of Islamic Art offers an impressive collection of ceramics, glass and textile works of art from different eras on several floors. The heart of Doha beats in the commercial centre Souq Waqif, the well-known market near the kilometre-long beach promenade. It is one of Doha's top sights.
When it comes to hotels in Doha, there is something to suit every taste. Besides noble luxury hotels, there are fine boutique hotels and typical beach resorts. Almost all hotels have a pool and fitness centre and, of course, several restaurants.
Our tip: Take time to eat at the market with the Qatari women. They cook themselves and sell their typical Arabic dishes while stocks last.
To enter Qatar, you need a passport that is still valid for at least six months, with which you can apply for a visa waiver. With a temporary passport, on the other hand, it is mandatory to apply for a visa at the responsible Qatari mission abroad.
Our documentation recommendation: Unknown Arabia: The small neighbours Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait. https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/063605-005-K/unbekanntes-arabien/
Wintering in the Canary Islands
The Canary Islands are known for their mild winter weather. Not only pensioners and long-term holidaymakers spend the winter here. The Canary Islands are also the ideal destination for a normal autumn or Christmas holiday. The average temperature is 20 degrees and the risk of rain is very low.
The largest island is Tenerife with the dormant volcano Teide, which is located in a national park. At 3,718 metres high, the Teide volcano is the third largest island volcano in the world. The summit can be reached by car, you only have to walk the last bit or take the cable car. Tenerife offers a variety of hiking trails, but also great beaches and historic old towns with numerous sights.
Best known among German holidaymakers is Gran Canaria, the third largest island of the Canaries. The island is famous for the sand dunes of Maspalomas and the mountainous regions. Gran Canaria has a lot to offer, especially for families. Long beaches invite you to a relaxing beach holiday. There are also zoos, water and adventure parks and many playgrounds.
True insider tips on the Canary Islands are the authentic villages and unspoilt beaches away from the tourist strongholds. To reach these, it is worth hiring a car. To drive a car in Spain, you only need a German driving licence.
Geographically, the Canary Islands belong to Africa, but geopolitically they belong to Spain. An identity card is therefore sufficient for entry, but a biometric passport is better and safer. You will find accommodation in all price categories in hotels, holiday flats and guesthouses. There are no limits to your wishes here.
Our tip: There is a 500-year-old dragon tree on Tenerife that you should definitely see. It is located in the northwest of the island and is considered a landmark of Tenerife.
Our documentary recommendation: The Canary Islands. In the realm of the fire mountains: https://www.sciencevision.at/de/produktionen/im-reich-der-feuerberge/
Tel Aviv, the city of joie de vivre
The best time to travel to the Israeli metropolis of Tel Aviv is also between November and February. Temperatures are consistently around 20 degrees. The Mediterranean coast has a subtropical climate with a consistently mild winter. Therefore, Tel Aviv is ideal for a winter holiday in the warming sun, especially as the city on the coast is a centre of joie de vivre. "People pray in Jerusalem, work in Haifa and live in Tel Aviv," they say.
Tel Aviv is colourful and young, a mixture of lifestyle and serenity. Nevertheless, culture is not neglected. The Museum of Arts houses a collection of famous and important artists from all over the world. Other sights include the old, converted railway station and the harbour. A wonderful panoramic view can be enjoyed from the viewing platform on the 49th floor of the Azrieli Center.
Israel is a melting pot of cultures and the cuisine is correspondingly diverse. On the menus you will find dishes from all over the world, but also typical Israeli specialities. There are countless restaurants in the city with international chefs and a street food scene that is known far beyond the borders of Tel Aviv.
Tel Aviv is also known for its dream beaches. The beach promenade is 14 kilometres long and the water is turquoise blue. All kinds of water sports are possible here. Most of the sports equipment along the beach promenade is even free of charge. You don't need a car in Tel Aviv. You can easily explore the city on foot or with a rented bicycle. There are rental stations on almost every corner. The city also has everything your heart desires in terms of accommodation, from luxury hotels to hostels. Entry into the country is also very easy: German citizens only need a passport that is valid for at least another six months.
Our tip: When you enter the country, you will receive a blue slip, the entry card, which you must show again when you leave in order to receive the red exit card. The Israeli authorities register every entry and exit electronically. So keep the blue slip in a safe place when you enter the country.
Our documentation recommendation: Tel Aviv - where Israel dances. https://www.filmquadrat.de/filme/544/Tel-Aviv/
If you don't fancy winter, you can fly from Berlin-Brandenburg Airport to sunnier climes, without detours and non-stop. The advantages of a direct flight are obvious: there are no stopovers where you have to leave the plane and perhaps miss your connecting flight. You also don't have to worry about travel documents for transit countries. In addition, the risk of your luggage getting lost en route is much lower. And the destinations in warmer, not too distant regions that can be reached directly from Berlin are guaranteed to leave nothing to be desired.