Lonely Planet Writer

Where to find the most sunshine for the best price in Europe

If you want your next holiday to involve soaking up a lot of sun without spending a fortune, then a new ranking of European destinations that offer the most sunshine for your money may come in handy.

Afternoon sun on historic main square in Old Town of Rhodes City. Image by ©Matt Munro/Lonely Planet

Travel insurance provider Compare the Market has launched the European Sunshine Index, to break down about how much travellers spend for each hour of sunshine in 25 different popular European holiday spots. The research looked at the average cost for flights, a week of accommodation at a three-star hotel for a family of four and the historical daily average of sunshine to find out where to get the best value for sunny days.

Crete is one of the sunniest destinations in Europe. Image by arturasker/Getty Images

Obviously, certain destinations have an undeniable advantage when it comes to getting precious daylight hours free from pesky cloud cover. Overall, Istanbul and Crete led the way for offering the best value in the summertime. In July, an hour of sun costs an average of only £12 per hour in Crete, while Istanbul costs £11 in June and £14 in August. If you want the absolute best deal on sunshine, the cheapest rate is for travellers heading to Crete in May for only £7. If you’re happy soaking up the sun at home for the summer, then start planning a winter holiday to Rhodes, Greece. It provides the best deal for the months of November, December and January.

The Blue Mosque Istanbul, Turkey. Sultanahmet Camii. Image by ©muratart/Shutterstock

But – if too much heat and the prospect of a sunburn is not your idea of the perfect holiday, then there are some other destinations to consider. Famously rainy Dublin was the most expensive city to get an hour of sun for eight months of the year, from March until the end of October. Saint Petersburg took over for the winter months of November through January, with the most expensive hour of sun at £282 in December, while Krakow holds the title for February.

If you want to find out how much sun you’ll get for your money at your favourite holiday spot, check out the full breakdown here.