With the passing of the winter solstice this morning in Europe (but last night in the western hemisphere), we can all look forward to lighter days even though the worst of winter is still to come. That’s true even here in southern Spain, where Lisa and I now live, in an area that is said to enjoy the best climate ln Europe.
So let’s look at that in a bit more detail. We live about 8km/5miles outside Cuevas del Almanzora in the province of Almeria – all of which is included in the region known as Andalucía (Spanish spelling).
The Almanzora climate has more than one unique quality. Indeed, together they ensure that there is nowhere else like it in the whole of Europe. The area has:
- The most sunshine in all Andalucía;
- The least rainfall in the whole of Spain;
- The warmest and driest winter in all Europe.
In fact, the area in which we live has Europe’s only desert climate but, at the same time, is busy agriculturally with very many fields of crops.
It boasts a year round average of a full nine hours of sunshine a day and a total rainfall of less than seven and a half inches. In winter, the average maximum daily temperature is 19°C/67°F from October to March.
We enjoy mainly clear sunny days and star-filled night skies when the temperature drops considerably. The days have so much sun that Europe’s only solar power station is located here, while the clear night skies and lack of light pollution has led to one of Europe’s most important space observatories being established here.
There is nowhere else in all Europe that can equal this area’s enviable record of sun and rain. In summer, it is hot and dry inland but cooler down on the coast at places such as the fishing village of Villaricos, while the plateau above the Almanzora, is cooled by pleasant sea breezes. Even during the winter months, it remains the continent’s warmest and driest place to be.
Some of our outdoor furniture arrived yesterday, so it’s time to soak up some sunshine and healthy vitamin D. Have to be a bit careful though as, even in December, it does register on the tanning index. Don’t want to get sunburnt!