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Top 10 countries - The World's Best Climates

Dear Reader,

For many people, an important consideration when moving overseas is the weather. Usually we yearn to escape harsh winters, snow, rain…and dream of living in a place where the sun shines every day and you don’t have to worry about scraping ice from your car before heading out to buy some milk!

Where is the best climate in the world?

If climate is a major factor for you when deciding where to retire/buy a second home/start a new life overseas, then we are here to give a little help.

Each year, we compile a list of the best places in the world to retire. We rate countries according to categories like cost of living, infrastructure and climate.

In this report, we’re going to share with you the top 10 countries according to climate. The list is varied and diverse (you may be surprised when we tell you what country came out on top in this category…I know I was!)…some of these places will appeal to you, others may not.

Read on and discover the countries we think have the world’s best climate.

10.New Zealand



Don’t be embarrassed if you can’t pinpoint Malta on a map. It’s not on everyone’s radar, and mostly unheard of by Americans. Malta is anchored almost in the center of the Mediterranean Sea, 60 miles from the Italian island of Sicily, which is linked to Malta by regular 90-minute ferry service. There is a modern airport at Luqa (on Malta) with flights to numerous other European countries. Rome is but one hour away by plane.

Malta averages 5.2 hours of sunshine a day—even in December.

Right into November, daytime temperatures often nudge 21° C.

Spring comes early, around late February. Frost and snow are mostly unknown. There is winter rainfall, but it tends to come in heavy bursts for short periods. And, while the islands boast few sandy beaches, there are compensations: Summertime brings a round of colorful village festivals complete with fireworks.

Diving and sailing are excellent. You can play golf, go horseback riding, and attend trotting races. The second-oldest theater in Europe is the Manoel Theatre, in the capital of Malta, Valletta. In the cooler months, October through May, you can see opera, theater, music, and ballet there.



Mexico’s climate varies depending on altitude, winds, and the Pacific Ocean currents. The coastal region experiences a tropical climate, especially along the Yucatan Peninsula and the lower areas of southern Mexico, while areas with an elevation higher than 900 meters experience a temperate climate.

The average rainfall is 40 inches. During summer and autumn, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific and Caribbean coasts are subject to hurricanes. Some parts of the Baja and northern Mexico receive hardly any rain at all—any time of year.


Ecuador lies directly on the equator, so the entire country enjoys 12 hours of direct equatorial sunlight, 365 days a year. However, since Ecuador also has three distinct geographical areas—the Sierras (mountains), the Oriente (eastern rainforests), and the Costa (Pacific coastal plains)—climate depends largely on where you are in relation to the mountains.

For example, Ecuador’s capital, Quito, lies in the Central Valley between the Andean Mountain’s eastern and western ridges. The equator line lies just 20 miles north of town, yet at an altitude of 9,350 feet, Quito’s climate is spring-like year around— mid-21° C during the day and an agreeable 12*C at night, so you can build a fire for ambiance…but you rarely need it for warmth.

The air is dry, and you won’t badgered by mosquitoes. The sun makes the difference—you can stroll out on a glorious Quito afternoon in shorts and a T-shirt, but take your wool sweater in case the clouds roll in—the equatorial sun is intense, even when it’s obscured by cloud cover, and you realize how high in the Andes you really are!

On the coast, the weather is warmer, of course, but not as hot and humid as a Florida beach during the summer.



Uruguay’s climate is subtropical, partly humid, and subject to occasional rainfall; there are no major climatic variations from one region to another but they do exist between seasons. The lack of mountains allows for the free circulation of different winds.

September to April are the most desirable months with respect to climate. Uruguay is not subject to snow, hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, or extreme cold. The moderate climate of the country means that visitors can go there at any time of the year.

Don’t forget to bring light clothing for summer (average temperature in Jan and Feb is 22° C) and mild winter (with an average of 11° C in July and Aug) clothes for the June to September months.


Argentina’s climate ranges from subtropical in the north to humid and steamy in the center, and cold in the temperate south. The Andes region has erratic rainfall, flash floods in summer, searing heat, snow at higher elevations, and the Zonda—a hot, dry wind.

The lowlands receive sufficient rainfall to support swampy forests and upland savanna, but rainfall decreases from east to west; shallow summer flooding is common in the east. The winter dry season is pronounced, and the summer heat can be brutal. The flat Pampas areas are also vulnerable to flooding. Patagonia is mild year-round in the east and glacial in the south.

“The Short San Juan Summer”: This is an unusual meteorological phenomena that occurs in June, the middle of Argentina’s winter. The inhabitants of Buenos Aires gave it this name because it reaches the area by June 24, date when San Juan el Bautista was born. This weather rarity, that can last between three and seven days, sometimes goes up to 75 ºF (24º C), and that is why it is common to see people lying in the sun at city’s squares in the middle of winter.

Remember, when it is summer in North America, it is winter in South America.



If you had to sum up Portugal’s climate in one word, it would be sunny. Its one of the many reasons this country is such a popular tourist destination.

In general Portugal is a country of long, hot summers and mild winters. Temperatures in the summer reach the mid 26°C throughout most of the country and in winter temperatures range from the 40s to low 16°C, depending on where in the country you are.

Southern Portugal, which includes the famous Algarve, has a Mediterranean climate with hot, dry summers and mild winters. Summer temperatures are high, but moderated by sea breezes. In the north the weather is wetter, particularly in winter, and cooler, temperatures influenced by Atlantic currents and the Spanish Meseta.

The best time to travel to Portugal is during spring and autumn when days are pleasantly sunny and warm but tourist areas are relatively quiet.



Because of Colombia’s close proximity to the equator, its climate is generally tropical and isothermal (without any real change of seasons). Temperatures vary little throughout the year and the only real variable climatic element is the amount of rainfall.

Temperatures range from very hot at sea level to relatively cold at higher elevations but vary little with the season.

Generally, the climate is wet and tropical. Summer is the principal rainy season although there is no specific dry season. The eastern Caribbean and Pacific coastal lowlands experience an equatorial climate with high temperatures and high humidity all year round, with rainfall averaging 40 inches (1,000mm) a year. In the mountainous parts conditions are cooler and can be changeable depending on prevailing winds, altitude and topography.

The capital Bogotá, lies 8,660 feet (2,640 meters) above sea level and has an average of 223 days of precipitation. The city’s average temperature is 14° C. The average annual temperature here is 16° C.



France has a mostly temperate climate, though there are many regional variations. Average winter temperatures range from 0° C to 8° C and average summer temperatures from 16° C to 24° C.

For the most warmth and sunshine, look to the Midi, the term the French themselves use for the deep south of the country. The Provence and Languedoc regions are characterized by mild winters and blisteringly hot summers.

Along with the north and central regions, Paris has cool and fairly rainy winters, though summers here are usually hot. Winters are a lot colder in the eastern regions of Alsace-Lorraine and in the mountainous regions of the Alps, the Pyrénées, and the Massif Central.



When it comes to the weather, Italy really is a land of contrasts. In general, it has one of the best climates in Europe, but conditions can be quite varied. In winter, the Italian Alps are likely to be cold with crisp blue skies and enough snow to keep skiers satisfied. On the other hand, Milan is often fog-bound and the Po Valley can be quite cold and damp, too. In fact winter fog can be a problem throughout the whole of central and northern Italy.

For the best winter weather, look to the Italian Riviera, the Amalfi Coast, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia. All enjoy a mild winter climate and rainfall isn’t too heavy either.

Obviously the farther south you go during the summertime, the hotter it will get…and the deep south can be very warm indeed. In Apulia, the heel of Italy, even the sea temperature averages 28º C in August.


New Zealand

Home to 4.3 million people, New Zealand and its awesome landscapes is admittedly a long way from North America. But as our winter is their summer, you could consider retiring here part-time. Imagine being able to barbecue on the beach for Christmas when all of your family is buried in the snow back in the States!

New Zealand has a largely temperate climate. While the far North Island has subtropical weather during summer, and inland alpine areas of the South Island can be as cold as -10° C in winter, most of the country lies close to the coast, which means mild temperatures.

The average New Zealand temperature decreases as you travel south. January and February are the warmest months, and July is the coldest month of the year. In summer, the average maximum temperature ranges between mid 16º C and mid 27º C and in winter between 10 -16º C.

The pleasant climate here means that the Kiwis like their “outdoors lifestyle”. The most popular activities are walking and hiking. Surveys suggest that 64 % of adults go “tramping.” Many families own a small boat, and fishing and swimming opportunities abound. And no matter where you live, nowhere is more than a 90-minute drive from the ocean.


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