Best holiday destinations in December

Check the latest travel advice and current Covid-19 rules and restrictions by country.

Do you delight in frosty festivities or prefer warming rays on a far-flung beach in December? If it's the latter, we have just the thing for you!

Even though it's winter, you don't necessarily have to travel as far as you might think for a touch of sunshine. However, as it's also the start of the dry season in the tropics, many exotic destinations are perfect at this time.

Top five destinations to visit in December

Whether you fancy a long haul flight to paradisiacal shores or a simple hop, skip and jump to some seasonal sun, there's still plenty of choice when deciding where to go on holiday in December.

Read on to see five of our favourite destinations with the best hot and sunny weather at this time of year:

Where to go on holiday in December 2021/2022 © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com
Where to go on holiday in December 2021/2022 © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com

1. Barbados

  • Flight time from London: 10.5 hours
  • Daily high: 29°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 27°C

For a taste of the Caribbean, the idyllic island of Barbados is hard to beat in December. This period marks the beginning of the dry season, which means temperatures start to cool down but overall conditions become more settled and enjoyable for holidaymakers.

In December, Barbados is nice and hot with plenty of sunshine and just a small risk of a passing shower. There can be some occasional cloud but with the high heat and humidity it will still feel totally tropical.

Bottom Bay, Barbados © misterlong - Fotolia.com
Bottom Bay, Barbados © misterlong - Fotolia.com

Head to one of the island's best beaches at Bottom Bay where it's all about the postcard-worthy views, as it's not ideal for swimming thanks to strong waves.

Instead, sup on freshly made coconut cocktails and soak in the scenery. Also check out the famed Hunte's Gardens, a stunning oasis crammed with palms, lilies and so much more.

Recommended for Barbados

Back to top

2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

  • Flight time from London: 4.5 hours
  • Daily high: 21°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 6
  • Sea temperature: 20°C

Closer to home is the much-loved island of Lanzarote in the Canaries, which is popular as it's both easy and affordable to get to, whether booked in advance or with a late deal.

It's fair to say Lanzarote definitely isn't a beach destination at this time of year, as the sea is positively chilly.

However, blessed with warm, generally dry, conditions and not even a hint of heat and humidity, it's especially loved by those keen to experience everything the island has to offer.

From inland hikes and cycling to seaside strolls, fine dining, and the tax-free shopping, there's a Lanzarote for everyone.

Winter sun in Lanzarote © Kevin Eaves - Fotolia.com
Winter sun in Lanzarote © Kevin Eaves - Fotolia.com

Although December is technically the island's wettest month, the chance of seeing rain is still incredibly low.

There's plenty of sunshine about and, even when it does get a bit cloudy, temperatures remain pleasant. If you're after somewhere in December that's hassle-free and only a short flight away, Lanzarote ticks the box.

Just remember to pack a layer or two for evenings, which are cool.

Recommended for Lanzarote

Read more: 9 reasons to visit Lanzarote, Places to visit in Lanzarote, Lanzarote nightlife, 7 reasons Lanzarote is the coolest island in the Canaries & Lanzarote festivals

Back to top

3. Goa, India

  • Flight time from London: 10 to 12 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 9.5
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

They say good things come in small packages, and Goa is a prime example. It may be India's smallest state, but it is, without doubt, one of its most endearing in December.

Quiet beach in South Goa © Ivan Nakonechnyy - Fotolia.com
Quiet beach in South Goa © Ivan Nakonechnyy - Fotolia.com

Located on the subcontinent's west coast, Goa has long attracted those after some tropical sun, sea, and sand, and December is a truly fabulous time to visit.

As it's the beginning of the dry season, you can expect cloud-free skies, and calm, warm, waters, ideal for swimming and making the most of the activities on offer.

Although heat and humidity is still high, daytime temperatures are lower in December than during the summer monsoon so it's a much more manageable and enjoyable heat. However UV is high, so remember the sunscreen.

Recommended for Goa

Read more: Guide to Goa beaches, Why Goa is still India's hippest beach destination & Things to do in & around Goa

Back to top

4. Dubai, UAE

  • Flight time from London: 7 hours
  • Daily high: 26°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 25°C

December is a great time to visit Dubai, not to mention a big hit with locals keen to put the memory of scorching summer days behind them.

December is when you can really enjoy Dubai, getting out and about in its green spaces, relaxing on its beaches, and sitting back on the many rooftop terraces.

While days are lovely and warm with plenty of sunshine, and the sea is perfect for swimming in, you might want to bring an extra layer for evenings as the temperature rapidly drops after dusk.

Atlantis the Palm Hotel Dubai, December evening ©  Armin Rodler - Flickr Creative Commons
Atlantis the Palm Hotel Dubai, December evening © Armin Rodler - Flickr Creative Commons

Heat and humidity is low in December ensuring that the trademark sweaty feeling, which can make Dubai so unbearable in the hottest months, is nowhere to be felt.

UV level is moderate, so you will certainly still want some good suncream whether you're working on a tan or simply walking around the old town, visiting museums, malls, or theme parks.

There's a slim chance of seeing some rain but it's unlikely to be anything that lingers. Overall, Dubai is delicious at this time of year, and hard to fault as a holiday destination in December.

Recommended for the UAE

Read more: 7 reasons to leave the beach in Dubai, Shopping guide to Dubai, Excursions from Dubai & Ultimate Dubai day trips

Back to top

5. Cape Town, South Africa

  • Flight time from London: 12 hours
  • Daily high: 25°C
  • Daily hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 18°C

Cape Town is a diverse and cosmopolitan city that attracts many winter sun-seekers with its warm temperatures, natural beauty and an endless list of things to see and do.

As a destination in December, Cape Town is a real treat; it's easy to get to with numerous direct flights from the UK and, best of all, affordable.

Camps Bay, Cape Town - photo courtesy of South African Tourism
Camps Bay, Cape Town - photo courtesy of South African Tourism

Cape Town's weather in December is best compared to the Algarve in June: expect long sunny days, with perhaps just a pinch of cloud every now and then.

There's no heat and humidity, and while daytime temperatures are encouraging, don't forget to take an extra layer for evenings as it can dip to around 15°C. Rule out swimming here, at least in the sea. If you fancy a splash about, definitely book a hotel with a heated or internal pool.

With the onset of summer in December, Cape Town comes alive with events and festivals. As well as major sites and must-see attractions, you can experience a host of exciting seasonal activities: head to Kenilworth Racecourse for a flutter, try the open-air cinema or explore the summertime markets.

Recommended for South Africa

Read more: Cape Town without a car & Where to eat and drink in Cape Town

Back to top

Alternative destinations to visit in December 2021/2022

If you're still unsure about where to go on holiday in December, we have a few more places worth mentioning including two great long haul options.

First up is Australia, which is basking in summer sun by December. Whether you go for a once in a lifetime trip or are simply visiting family or friends, this is the time to make the most of great conditions in the likes of Sydney or Melbourne.

The Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne - photo courtesy of www.puffingbilly.com.au
The Puffing Billy Railway, Melbourne - photo courtesy of www.puffingbilly.com.au

In Melbourne, daytimes are warm touching 24°C with no heat and humidity but extreme UV. There's a good day's worth of sunshine with eight hours, although evenings are cool at 12°C.

There is a chance of seeing some rain but nothing significant that would dampen the spirit of your holiday. For something different, head into the southern Dandenong mountains, and take a ride on Puffing Billy for a taste of the historic steam railway.

For something with a more tropical flavour, consider Acapulco on Mexico's Pacific coast. You'll find delightfully hot weather with temperatures reaching 31°C, perfect for sprawling on the white sandy beaches.

The sea is also invitingly warm at 29°C, and the fact that there's loads of sunshine, hardly any rain and very high heat and humidity guarantee it'll be hot.

December may be cool (ok, cold) across Europe but there are destinations you can go for anything from warming sunshine (within five hours) to wonderfully hot and sunny weather (starting from a 10-hour flight away) - the choice is yours!

Hopefully you're now full of December destination inspo, however, if you'd like to read more don't miss our weather in December section for even more detailed breakdown of the conditions in popular holiday spots worldwide.

You can also check out all the latest travel deals and discounts to ensure you get the best price on your slice of winter sun.

Destination ideas for December 2022

  • Month: December
  • Daytime temperature: 22 - 28°C [remove]
  • Sunshine hours: 8 hours or more [remove]
  • Sea temperature: 25°C or warmer [remove]

Search again Clear search

Rank Rating Score Destination
1 Weather Score for India in December is 100% 100% India
  Weather Score for Martinique in December is 100% 100% Martinique
  Weather Score for Mauritius in December is 100% 100% Mauritius
  Weather Score for Oman in December is 100% 100% Oman
  Weather Score for Queensland in December is 100% 100% Queensland, Australia
  Weather Score for Red Sea in December is 100% 100% Red Sea, Egypt
  Weather Score for South Africa in December is 100% 100% South Africa
  Weather Score for St Lucia in December is 100% 100% St Lucia
  Weather Score for St Vincent & the Grenadines in December is 100% 100% St Vincent and the Grenadines
  Weather Score for UAE in December is 100% 100% UAE
11 Weather Score for Bahamas in December is 97% 97% Bahamas
  Weather Score for British Virgin Islands in December is 97% 97% British Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Cuba in December is 97% 97% Cuba
  Weather Score for Florida in December is 97% 97% Florida, United States
  Weather Score for Guadeloupe in December is 97% 97% Guadeloupe
  Weather Score for Hawaii in December is 97% 97% Hawaii, United States
  Weather Score for Panama in December is 97% 97% Panama
  Weather Score for Puerto Rico in December is 97% 97% Puerto Rico
  Weather Score for Virgin Islands in December is 97% 97% Virgin Islands
20 Weather Score for New South Wales in December is 96% 96% New South Wales, Australia
  Weather Score for Pakistan in December is 96% 96% Pakistan
22 Weather Score for Anguilla in December is 94% 94% Anguilla
  Weather Score for Barbados in December is 94% 94% Barbados
  Weather Score for Curacao in December is 94% 94% Curacao
  Weather Score for Madagascar in December is 94% 94% Madagascar
  Weather Score for St Barthelemy in December is 94% 94% St Barthelemy
  Weather Score for St Kitts & Nevis in December is 94% 94% St Kitts and Nevis
  Weather Score for Thailand in December is 94% 94% Thailand
29 Weather Score for Mexico in December is 93% 93% Mexico
  Weather Score for Vietnam in December is 93% 93% Vietnam
31 Weather Score for Antigua in December is 92% 92% Antigua
  Weather Score for Brazil in December is 92% 92% Brazil
  Weather Score for Cayman Islands in December is 92% 92% Cayman Islands
  Weather Score for Costa Rica in December is 92% 92% Costa Rica
  Weather Score for Dominican Republic in December is 92% 92% Dominican Republic
  Weather Score for Fiji in December is 92% 92% Fiji
  Weather Score for French Polynesia in December is 92% 92% French Polynesia
  Weather Score for Grenada in December is 92% 92% Grenada
  Weather Score for Indonesia in December is 92% 92% Indonesia
  Weather Score for Jamaica in December is 92% 92% Jamaica
  Weather Score for Mexico's Caribbean Coast in December is 92% 92% Caribbean Coast, Mexico
  Weather Score for Philippines in December is 92% 92% Philippines
  Weather Score for Sri Lanka in December is 92% 92% Sri Lanka
  Weather Score for Trinidad & Tobago in December is 92% 92% Trinidad and Tobago
  Weather Score for Turks & Caicos in December is 92% 92% Turks and Caicos
46 Weather Score for Bali in December is 89% 89% Bali, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Lombok in December is 89% 89% Lombok, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Mozambique in December is 89% 89% Mozambique
49 Weather Score for Argentina in December is 88% 88% Argentina
  Weather Score for Cape Verde in December is 88% 88% Cape Verde
  Weather Score for China in December is 88% 88% China
52 Weather Score for Cambodia in December is 86% 86% Cambodia
  Weather Score for Dominica in December is 86% 86% Dominica
  Weather Score for Malaysia in December is 86% 86% Malaysia
  Weather Score for Maldives in December is 86% 86% Maldives
  Weather Score for Seychelles in December is 86% 86% Seychelles
57 Weather Score for Ecuador in December is 85% 85% Ecuador
58 Weather Score for Kenya in December is 83% 83% Kenya
  Weather Score for Tanzania in December is 83% 83% Tanzania
  Weather Score for Venezuela in December is 83% 83% Venezuela
61 Weather Score for Kerala in December is 81% 81% Kerala, India
  Weather Score for Papua New Guinea in December is 81% 81% Papua New Guinea
  Weather Score for Samoa in December is 81% 81% Samoa
64 Weather Score for Gambia in December is 79% 79% Gambia
65 Weather Score for Goa in December is 78% 78% Goa, India
66 Weather Score for Peru in December is 77% 77% Peru
67 Weather Score for Aruba in December is 75% 75% Aruba
  Weather Score for Palau in December is 75% 75% Palau
  Weather Score for Singapore in December is 75% 75% Singapore
70 Weather Score for Israel in December is 74% 74% Israel
  Weather Score for Western Australia in December is 74% 74% Western Australia, Australia
72 Weather Score for El Salvador in December is 72% 72% El Salvador
73 Weather Score for Japan in December is 71% 71% Japan
74 Weather Score for Jordan in December is 68% 68% Jordan
75 Weather Score for Cook Islands in December is 67% 67% Cook Islands
  Weather Score for Namibia in December is 67% 67% Namibia
  Weather Score for South Australia in December is 67% 67% South Australia, Australia
  Weather Score for Tonga in December is 67% 67% Tonga
  Weather Score for Victoria in December is 67% 67% Victoria, Australia
80 Weather Score for New Zealand in December is 64% 64% New Zealand
81 Weather Score for Bermuda in December is 61% 61% Bermuda

Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

Where to go on holiday for the best weather

Back to top

Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

Back to Holidays Top ^

*affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use.