Where’s Hot In December? A Guide on Where to Go For Your Pre-Christmas Escape

Don’t waste your chance at winter sun. The cold months are long enough as it is without settling for a sub-optimal escape too. Find out where’s hot in December and start planning a proper sunny escape today.

The big man in the shiny red suit might be knocking the dust off his best sledding boots, but there is still time to get an awesome escape on the calendar. So why don’t we tell you about where’s hot in December

Being from the UK, it’s difficult to think of anywhere being hot in December. However, for some areas of the world, there’s never a better time to visit than St Nick’s big month. 

Let’s give you a whistle-stop tour of some of the top sun spots in the festive month. Starting with our pick of the bunch. 

shot of a beach in Barbados
Let us outline where’s hot in December, so you know which beaches to hit up this month. Image by digitalskennedy from Pixabay

Best place to go on holiday in December: our choice

Barbados. Typically, most places in the Caribbean are at their best in December. But you will see beautiful Barbados in all its glory in the final month of the year

The white-sand beaches are being warmed by balmy late 20s temperates and the bustling street markets are full of super sweet, freshly-ripened island fruits.

You can get used to that warmth too, because December is the start of the Bajan dry season. All that sunshine also makes it the best time to go snorkelling and diving in Barbados

Because the rains have gone, the water is much clearer and warmer leaving you with excellent visibility for spotting some of the most incredible marine life in the world. If you prefer chilling to swimming, how about seeing more of the island without exerting as much energy? Sounds good right? An island safari is perfect for touring the country’s top spots without breaking a sweat. 

Where to stay in Barbados in December?

There are a host of top resorts in Barbados. But if you’re looking for the most opulent, then you need look no further than Sandals Resorts

On the other hand, if you’re looking to go more budget-friendly (this is the festive month after all) then you can pick up a stay in all the below resorts for under £1,000pp with Blue Bay. 

Ocean facing pool area at Butterfly Beach Hotel Barbados
Butterfly Beach in Barbados is ideal for families searching for a Caribbean getaway this December

Grab a Barbados bargain on Black Friday

However, if you’ve got your eyes on a bargain, we have the sensational, adults-only, 4.5-star, Abidah by Accra available now at £1,119pp. That’s with an ocean-view room and private Jacuzzi balcony too!

Where’s hot in December mid-haul?

Don’t want to commit to the 8-hour Barbados flight time? That’s no problem, there are a couple of other incredibly beautiful (but completely different) sunspots available a little closer to home.

Marrakech and Cape Verde are two mid-haul marvels for your December escape consideration. 

Why is Marrakech so good in December?

If you fancy a complete sense shift in December, then the bustling streets of Morocco’s capital are perfect. There are a whole world of incredible things to do in Marrakech, from wandering the colourful bazaars to tasting the most mind-blowing street food you’ve ever tried. Better still is the fact that you can experience Morocco as a budget-friendly option too. 

Alternatively, if you just want a quick hit of the culture without derailing your Christmas plans, why not think about jetting over to Morocco for a long weekend in the sun? Plus, while we’re on the subject of sun, the average daily temperature of just 20 degrees means you won’t be baking on the streets. 

Why is Cape Verde good in December?

Although Cape Verde is actually in Africa, the 6-hour flight time pulls it more into the category of a mid-haul holiday destination. The great thing about Cape Verde in December is the balmy 11 hours of sunshine and warming average temperatures of 25 degrees. 

Plus, because it’s made up of 11 individual flat islands higher winds help keep the humidity in popular destinations like Sal or Boa Vista to a more manageable level. Great for some thrilling water sports too!

People relaxing in the sun on the beach in Sal, Cape Verde
December is one of the best times to discover the magic of Cape Verde. Photo by Victor Svistunov on Unsplash

Best long-haul destination in December

If you’re thinking of completely getting away from it all in December, then Thailand and the UAE offer some of the best options for long-haul luxury. Sure, stretching out on the white beaches of Australia is the cliched alt-Christmas view. But we think these spots are better for culture and kicking back. 

But they are pretty big places, so where should you go?

Where to go in Thailand in December?

Southern Thailand is perfect in December. Dreamy locations like Koh Samui and Phuket come into their own in the winter months. Plus, if you head out early, most of the backpacking tourists have gone home to spend Christmas washing their festering undies with their families.

However, the later in the month you go the busier the locations will get. Closer to Christmas and New Year, places like Koh Samui hit peak season. So, if you’re looking for sunshine and relaxation (and don’t mind the odd shower) book Thailand earlier rather than later

If you’re thinking of decamping to Phuket in December then prepare yourselves for warm weather. Daily temperatures regularly nudge 32 and, because it’s the dry season, the greenery is in full bloom, the beaches are still and diving is perfect.

December in Koh Samui is the end of the rainy season, so you could still stand to catch a shower or two. Time your trip towards the end of the month and you’ll coincide with the reopening of Angthong Marine Park. 

Aerial shot of the coast in Koh Samui Thailand
Uncover the unending beauty of South Thailand and Koh Samui in December. Photo by Yavor Punchev on Unsplash

Travelling to the UAE in December

If there’s one place where you can guarantee the weather, then it has to be the United Arab Emirates. The home of opulent year-round sunshine. And Dubai makes for a pretty special option in December. Although this is, of course, a mainly Muslim country, the UAE does put on some bells and whistles in December. 

But, there is more to the UAE in December than just Dubai. The host of wonderful things to do in Fujairah suggests that you can have a whale of a time in the smaller Emirates.

Additionally, you could choose to save some money by staying at luxury hotels in Fujairah like InterContinental Fujairah Resort, and treating Dubai as a day trip option. 

Is December a good time to visit the Caribbean?

December is (probably) the best time to visit the Caribbean. Some of the best locations are coming into their own. The 6 best destinations to try in the Caribbean in December are:

  1. Mexico
  2. Cuba
  3. Costa Rica
  4. Barbados
  5. St Lucia
  6. Dominican Republic

Obviously, Barbados is in there too. But we have already covered that earlier on, so there’s no point going back over trodden ground, right?

Couple kayaking in the Caribbean Sea around St Lucia
December is one of the best times to get out and explore the Caribbean with your travel partner.

Why visit Mexico in December?

December – April is pretty much peak time to discover the best things to do in Mexico. The Yucatan Peninsula is soaked in sunshine at this time of year and there’s minimal rainfall to put a dampener on your escape too. 

Temperatures range from 24-30°C during December in Mexico. The sea temperature is also warm, making it perfect for swimming and other water activities. However, if you prefer is slightly cooler and breezier, you could head over to the east coast where Puerto Vallarta in Jalisco promises a gorgeous escape on the country’s Pacific Coast

Why go to Cuba in December?

Just like in Mexico, December in Cuba marks the start of the peak season. This is because the temperatures are slightly lower than in the scorching summer months. However, don’t think that you’ll be shivering as you’ll still be feeling 28-30°C and the sea is equally balmy too. 

The cooler temps also make for superb sightseeing conditions. So get out into infamous locations like Havana. 

People talking and walking around a street in Havana, Cuba
Experience the bustling and vibrant streets of Havana Cuba in December. Photo by JF Martin on Unsplash

What’s so good about Costa Rica in December?

There’s actually no better time to visit Costa Rica than in December. The warming temperatures and the fresh growth after the rainy season make it the ideal time to explore Arenal National Park

If you’re searching for a couples escape that takes you back to nature, then Costa Rica is perfect. Twitchers will love spotting some of the 900+ bird species that call this Eden-like locale home. 

Gushing waterfall in Costa Rica
Or choose to discover a greener Caribbean adventure in Costa Rica. Photo by sterlinglanier Lanier on Unsplash

Why visit St Lucia in December?

Want to dial up the romance ahead of the festive period? Or maybe you’re thinking of making this Christmas the most memorable yet by popping the question? Then nowhere could be more perfect than St Lucia in December

Known as the most romantic Caribbean island. St Lucia, and its volcanic backdrop, is made for iconic romantic gestures. 

Alternatively, if you just want a scenic couples escape, this island can deliver that too. Take a dip in the rejuvenating mud of Sulphur Springs or get your pulse racing with a stomp up the Pitons. While you’re at the famous twin peaks, you might want to travel to their base to catch some of the best snorkelling conditions in the Caribbean. 

Should you visit the Dominican Republic in December?

December in the Dominican Republic is perfect for sun-seekers, with daily temperatures barely dipping below the 26°C-mark. But you won’t be alone is discovering this dreamy location in December. 

This is also the best time to spot humpback whales coming to the island waters in search of warmer conditions which make the perfect environment for their developing calves. 

On the other hand, if you choose to hold your holiday, January is also a great time to visit as the country comes to life for the festival season. 

People sunbathing on a beach in the Dominican Republic
Spend some time on the pristine beaches of Dominican Republic in December

What about Europe?

If you prefer your December holiday a little closer to home, then Europe still offers one or two awesome sunny spots through winter. Two of the best destinations for sun in Europe during December are the Canary Islands and Cyprus.

But what makes those destinations so good?

What are the best Canary Islands to visit in December?

To be honest, it doesn’t really matter which Canary Island you choose in December- they’re all awesome.

For example, if you’re looking to turn up the heat, here’s what the December temperatures in the Canary Islands are looking like: 

  • Lanzarote – 22°C
  • Tenerife – 22°C
  • Gran Canaria – 21°C
  • Fuerteventura – 20°C
  • La Gomera – 20°C

Having said that, you can be guaranteed the best of the best weather on islands like Lanzarote, Tenerife and Gran Canaria. Sitting just off the North African coast, the Canary Islands are the perfect option for families searching for an affordable escape in the run-up to Christmas – if you can get time off school that is!

Why go to Cyprus in December?

Cyprus is a fabulous destination for you and your partner to indulge in a luxurious mid-haul holiday getaway! This island nation is brimming with exquisite beaches, historical and mythological sites, as well as culinary delights that will satisfy any appetite.

Imagine strolling hand-in-hand along the golden sands of Blue Flag Nissi Beach, indulging in the luxurious amenities of a high-end resort (like Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos), or embarking on an archaeological adventure to discover the legendary Tomb of Kings and Aphrodite’s Rock. With its year-round sunny climate, Cyprus is the perfect place to escape the winter blues and create unforgettable memories.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous cultural getaway, Cyprus has something for everyone.

Aerial shot of the pool area at Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos
Discover sun-soaked 5-star luxury (not far from home) at Olympic Lagoon Resort Paphos

Where are the hottest places in December?

Temperatures in the early 30s mean Cancun is one of the hottest places to decamp in December. So, there’s never been a better time to get out and start exploring the sparkling Caribbean coast in Mexico. 

If you’re wondering what to get up to during your stay, we’ve created an incredible Riviera Maya itinerary. This will take you through all the biggest and best sights like Chichen Itza, Playa Del Carmen and, of course, some spectacular cenotes. 

Aerial shot of the Hotel Zone in Cancun
December is perfect for exploring the Hotel Zone in Cancun

Hot and cheap locations in December – don’t eat into the Xmas budget

Go affordable in December with a getaway to either Egypt or Gran Canaria. The great thing about these 2 locations (other than the modest prices) is the incredible year-round sunshine. We already know that Gran Canaria enjoys temperatures in the early-mid 20s through December.

But the weather in Egypt in December is equally clement with highs getting up as far as 25°C. That’s probably why we also recommended it for holidays in October and September!

Go for an affordable escape in Egypt

Whether you’re thinking of decamping to popular places like Hurghada or Sharm el Sheikh, you should still be able to feel the sun on your face and savings in your pocket.

Having said that, while the warming daily temperatures are great, you should also think about packing a jacket as the mercury can dip in the evenings. 

The whole Red Sea Riviera is perfect in December, although you might also like to check out the best things to do in Makadi Bay. Mainly because you can bag a five-star resort from as little as £334pp here. 

Sunset on the Red Sea coast in Makadi Bay, Egypt
Put yourself in this picture on the Makadi Bay coast from just over £330pp this Black Friday

If Makadi Bay’s not your vibe, check out our 3 picks for affordable family & couples escapes in Hurghada

How about choosing a cheap December holiday in Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria is another one of those cheap winter sun staples. The low rainfall and promise of sun-soaked beaches give the impression of a perpetual summer – which is just dandy if you’re trying to escape the frigid UK December temperatures. 

Its location near the Sahara Desert and resulting microclimates contribute to Gran Canaria’s warm and dry weather, especially in the southern parts of the island. Those balmy temps and calm Mediterranean Sea waters mean swimming and snorkelling are on the menu too.

Plus, a top resort here won’t cost the earth no matter when you book – but the last month of the year is one of the cheapest times to go. 

Book your sun-soaked December retreat today

Kiss goodbye to those winter chills and choose a better life than mindlessly skipping from one Christmas advert to another. Instead, you could be feeling the sun on your face and relaxing at a high-end resort that’s left enough in the budget to allow for some last-minute Xmas shopping. 

Or how about this… your present to the family this year could be a tanned, chilled-out you. Just what they’ve always wanted. 

Our Black Friday offers are the perfect way to start working on that present with an affordable resort of your choice. 

Prev Post

Things To Do On Honeymoon In The Maldives: 10 Activities To Spark Romance In Paradise

November 16, 2023

Next Post

3 Monster All-Inclusive Maldives Black Friday Deals: Book Now & Save Enough For Another Break

November 24, 2023