Where to go on holiday in December 2016 for the best weather

Thinking about where to go on holiday in December 2016 for the best weather? You're not alone. While some people delight in frosty festivities, others simply want to escape and feel the sun on their skin. The good news is that you might not have to travel as far as you thought for a touch of sunshine, although as it is the start of the dry season in the tropics, many exotic destinations are perfect in December.

Where to go on holiday in December 2016: top five destinations

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 discover five of our favourite destinations with the best hot and sunny weather at this time of year:

Where to go on holiday in December 2016 © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com

1. Barbados

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

For a taste of the Caribbean, the idyllic island of Barbados has to be top choice for those thinking about where to go on holiday 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 also be occasional cloud, but with the high heat and humidity it will still feel totally tropical.

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 cocktail and soak in the scenery. Also check out the famed Hunte's Gardens, a stunning oasis crammed with palms, lilies and so much more. Both British Airways and Virgin Atlantic fly direct to Barbados.

Find Barbados holidays with Sandals >>

Read more: Day trips for all the family in Barbados

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2. Lanzarote, Canary Islands

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

Closer to home is the much loved island of Lanzarote in the Canaries, which is popular with those looking for somewhere to go on holiday in December that's easy and quite cheap 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 is 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.

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 considering where to go on holiday in December that's hassle free and only a short flight away, Lanzarote ticks every box, just remember to pack a layer or two for evenings which are cool.

Find Lanzarote holidays with Thomas Cook >>

Read more: Lanzarote attractions & Top ways to get around Lanzarote

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3. Goa, India

  • Flight time: 10 to 12 hours
  • Daily high: 31°C
  • 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, and a great destination when deciding where to go on holiday in December. 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, and UV are high, daytime temperatures are lower in December than during the summer monsoon peaking at around 31°C.

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.

Find Goa holidays with Thomson >>

Read more: Guide to Goa beaches

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4. Dubai, UAE

  • Flight time: 7 hours
  • Daily high: 26°C
  • 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 among 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 evening time as the temperature rapidly drops after dusk.

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 seen. 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 somewhere to go on holiday in December.

Find Dubai holidays Atlantis the Palm >>

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5. Cape Town, South Africa

  • Flight time: 12 hours
  • Daily high: 25°C
  • 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 endless list of things to see and do. If you're thinking about where to go on holiday 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

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.

Find Cape Town holidays with Saga Holidays >>

Read more: Where to eat and drink in Cape Town

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Where to go in December 2016: alternative destinations

If you're still unsure about where to go on holiday in December, we have a few more tricks up our sleeve including two great far flung options. First up is Australia, which is basking in summer by December. Whether you go for a once in a lifetime trip or are simply visiting family or friends, if you're trying to decide where to go on holiday in December 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

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's a safe spot for where to go on holiday in December if you like it hot.

Hopefully you're fully inspired about where to go on holiday in December 2016 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 2016

  • Month: December
  • Daytime temperature: 22 - 30°C [remove]
  • Sunshine hours: 8 hours or more [remove]
  • Sea temperature: 25°C or warmer [remove]

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Rank Rating Score Destination
1 Weather Score for Anguilla in December is 100% 100% Anguilla
  Weather Score for Bangladesh in December is 100% 100% Bangladesh
  Weather Score for Barbados in December is 100% 100% Barbados
  Weather Score for Bonaire in December is 100% 100% Bonaire
  Weather Score for Brazil in December is 100% 100% Brazil
  Weather Score for Burma in December is 100% 100% Burma
  Weather Score for Comoros in December is 100% 100% Comoros
  Weather Score for Curacao in December is 100% 100% Curacao
  Weather Score for Djibouti in December is 100% 100% Djibouti
  Weather Score for India in December is 100% 100% India
  Weather Score for Kenya in December is 100% 100% Kenya
  Weather Score for Lombok in December is 100% 100% Lombok, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Madagascar in December is 100% 100% Madagascar
  Weather Score for Maldives in December is 100% 100% Maldives
  Weather Score for Martinique in December is 100% 100% Martinique
  Weather Score for Mauritius in December is 100% 100% Mauritius
  Weather Score for Mozambique in December is 100% 100% Mozambique
  Weather Score for New Caledonia in December is 100% 100% New Caledonia
  Weather Score for New South Wales in December is 100% 100% New South Wales, Australia
  Weather Score for Oman in December is 100% 100% Oman
  Weather Score for Pakistan in December is 100% 100% Pakistan
  Weather Score for Queensland in December is 100% 100% Queensland, Australia
  Weather Score for Saba in December is 100% 100% Saba
  Weather Score for Saudi Arabia in December is 100% 100% Saudi Arabia
  Weather Score for Sint Eustatius in December is 100% 100% Sint Eustatius
  Weather Score for Sint Maarten in December is 100% 100% Sint Maarten
  Weather Score for South Africa in December is 100% 100% South Africa
  Weather Score for St Barthelemy in December is 100% 100% St Barthelemy
  Weather Score for St Kitts & Nevis in December is 100% 100% St Kitts and Nevis
  Weather Score for St Lucia in December is 100% 100% St Lucia
  Weather Score for St Martin in December is 100% 100% St Martin
  Weather Score for St Vincent & the Grenadines in December is 100% 100% St Vincent and the Grenadines
  Weather Score for Thailand in December is 100% 100% Thailand
  Weather Score for United Arab Emirates in December is 100% 100% United Arab Emirates
35 Weather Score for Angola in December is 97% 97% Angola
  Weather Score for Antigua in December is 97% 97% Antigua
  Weather Score for Bahamas in December is 97% 97% Bahamas
  Weather Score for Bali in December is 97% 97% Bali, Indonesia
  Weather Score for British Virgin Islands in December is 97% 97% British Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Cayman Islands in December is 97% 97% Cayman Islands
  Weather Score for Colombia in December is 97% 97% Colombia
  Weather Score for Cuba in December is 97% 97% Cuba
  Weather Score for Dominica in December is 97% 97% Dominica
  Weather Score for Dominican Republic in December is 97% 97% Dominican Republic
  Weather Score for East Timor in December is 97% 97% East Timor
  Weather Score for Fiji in December is 97% 97% Fiji
  Weather Score for Florida in December is 97% 97% Florida, United States
  Weather Score for French Polynesia in December is 97% 97% French Polynesia
  Weather Score for Grenada in December is 97% 97% Grenada
  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 Jamaica in December is 97% 97% Jamaica
  Weather Score for Kerala in December is 97% 97% Kerala, India
  Weather Score for Mexico in December is 97% 97% Mexico
  Weather Score for Montserrat in December is 97% 97% Montserrat
  Weather Score for Panama in December is 97% 97% Panama
  Weather Score for Philippines in December is 97% 97% Philippines
  Weather Score for Puerto Rico in December is 97% 97% Puerto Rico
  Weather Score for Reunion in December is 97% 97% Reunion
  Weather Score for Sierra Leone in December is 97% 97% Sierra Leone
  Weather Score for Sri Lanka in December is 97% 97% Sri Lanka
  Weather Score for Sudan in December is 97% 97% Sudan
  Weather Score for Trinidad & Tobago in December is 97% 97% Trinidad and Tobago
  Weather Score for Vanuatu in December is 97% 97% Vanuatu
  Weather Score for Vietnam in December is 97% 97% Vietnam
  Weather Score for Virgin Islands in December is 97% 97% Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Wake Island in December is 97% 97% Wake Island
68 Weather Score for Egypt in December is 96% 96% Egypt
  Weather Score for El Salvador in December is 96% 96% El Salvador
  Weather Score for Gambia in December is 96% 96% Gambia
  Weather Score for Goa in December is 96% 96% Goa, India
  Weather Score for Guinea-Bissau in December is 96% 96% Guinea-Bissau
  Weather Score for Indonesia in December is 96% 96% Indonesia
  Weather Score for Mayotte in December is 96% 96% Mayotte
  Weather Score for Qatar in December is 96% 96% Qatar
  Weather Score for Senegal in December is 96% 96% Senegal
  Weather Score for Sharm el Sheikh area in December is 96% 96% Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
  Weather Score for Tanzania in December is 96% 96% Tanzania
  Weather Score for Venezuela in December is 96% 96% Venezuela
80 Weather Score for Bahrain in December is 93% 93% Bahrain
  Weather Score for Benin in December is 93% 93% Benin
  Weather Score for Brunei in December is 93% 93% Brunei
  Weather Score for Cambodia in December is 93% 93% Cambodia
  Weather Score for Costa Rica in December is 93% 93% Costa Rica
  Weather Score for Ecuador in December is 93% 93% Ecuador
  Weather Score for Ghana in December is 93% 93% Ghana
  Weather Score for Haiti in December is 93% 93% Haiti
  Weather Score for Malaysia in December is 93% 93% Malaysia
  Weather Score for Nicaragua in December is 93% 93% Nicaragua
90 Weather Score for Belize in December is 92% 92% Belize
  Weather Score for Cameroon in December is 92% 92% Cameroon
  Weather Score for Cancun & Riviera Maya in December is 92% 92% Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico
  Weather Score for Federated States of Micronesia in December is 92% 92% Federated States of Micronesia
  Weather Score for Guatemala in December is 92% 92% Guatemala
  Weather Score for Guyana in December is 92% 92% Guyana
  Weather Score for Honduras in December is 92% 92% Honduras
  Weather Score for Liberia in December is 92% 92% Liberia
  Weather Score for Marshall Islands in December is 92% 92% Marshall Islands
  Weather Score for Samoa in December is 92% 92% Samoa
  Weather Score for Seychelles in December is 92% 92% Seychelles
  Weather Score for Solomon Islands in December is 92% 92% Solomon Islands
  Weather Score for St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha in December is 92% 92% St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  Weather Score for Suriname in December is 92% 92% Suriname
  Weather Score for Turks & Caicos Islands in December is 92% 92% Turks and Caicos Islands
105 Weather Score for Guinea in December is 89% 89% Guinea
  Weather Score for Togo in December is 89% 89% Togo
107 Weather Score for Chile in December is 88% 88% Chile
108 Weather Score for Cape Verde in December is 87% 87% Cape Verde
  Weather Score for China in December is 87% 87% China
  Weather Score for Nigeria in December is 87% 87% Nigeria
  Weather Score for Palau in December is 87% 87% Palau
  Weather Score for Papua New Guinea in December is 87% 87% Papua New Guinea
113 Weather Score for American Samoa in December is 86% 86% American Samoa
  Weather Score for Congo-Brazzaville in December is 86% 86% Congo-Brazzaville
  Weather Score for Equatorial Guinea in December is 86% 86% Equatorial Guinea
  Weather Score for French Guiana in December is 86% 86% French Guiana
  Weather Score for Gabon in December is 86% 86% Gabon
  Weather Score for Guam in December is 86% 86% Guam
  Weather Score for Northern Mariana Islands in December is 86% 86% Northern Mariana Islands
120 Weather Score for Israel in December is 85% 85% Israel
121 Weather Score for Northern Territory in December is 84% 84% Northern Territory, Australia
122 Weather Score for Western Australia in December is 83% 83% Western Australia, Australia
123 Weather Score for Taiwan in December is 82% 82% Taiwan
124 Weather Score for Sao Tome & Principe in December is 81% 81% Sao Tome and Principe
  Weather Score for Singapore in December is 81% 81% Singapore
126 Weather Score for Jordan in December is 80% 80% Jordan
  Weather Score for Norfolk Island in December is 80% 80% Norfolk Island
128 Weather Score for Japan in December is 75% 75% Japan
129 Weather Score for Argentina in December is 71% 71% Argentina
  Weather Score for Uruguay in December is 71% 71% Uruguay
131 Weather Score for Peru in December is 68% 68% Peru
132 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 Victoria in December is 67% 67% Victoria, Australia
135 Weather Score for Kuwait in December is 64% 64% Kuwait
  Weather Score for New Zealand in December is 64% 64% New Zealand
  Weather Score for Western Sahara in December is 64% 64% Western Sahara
138 Weather Score for Hong Kong in December is 63% 63% Hong Kong
  Weather Score for Macau in December is 63% 63% Macau
140 Weather Score for Bermuda in December is 62% 62% Bermuda

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

Where to go on holiday for the best weather

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Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

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