A kiss from the sun and a warm breeze stroking your cheek in the middle of winter may just be the best sensation of all. And if you’re reading this sentence somewhere where it’s snowing, then, I’m sorry. But the good news is you can experience a moment like this right now just by hopping on a flight to Greece.
In late 2023, US News and World Report released its eighth annual Best Countries ranking, a list based on the “global perceptions” of destinations around the world in terms of several qualitative characteristics. According to the report’s methodology, the 2023 analysis covered perceptions of 87 nations and surveyed more than 17,000 people, asking them to rate destinations on 73 different attributes. And one of those attributes was just how pleasant a country’s climate is perceived to be.
It’s well-known that the summers in Greece are pure perfection, with the sun shining almost every day and temperatures hovering between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius in the capital city of Athens and between 25 to 30 degrees Celsius across the islands. Athens is even reported to get more than 300 sunny days a year. However, what makes it such a pleasant spot is the fact that the temperatures are always rather mild, even in months like January, when the average temperature in Athens dips to a cool, but not freezing, 9 degrees Celsius. And it only heats up from there.
Greece also ranked highly in other aspects of the survey, including ranking second for heritage and third for adventure.
But, if you need more variety, US News and World Report also named Portugal as having the second most pleasant climate, followed by Spain in third, Brazil in fourth, and Italy in fifth. Rounding out the top 10 are New Zealand, Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Australia, so you have plenty of global options when it comes to finding a pleasant vacation destination. And really, anywhere is better than waiting out the next blizzard, right?