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:
- 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.
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.
Read more: Day trips for all the family in Barbados
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read more: Guide to Goa beaches
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read more: Where to eat and drink in Cape Town
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.
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]
Metric (°C / mm) | Imperial (°F / inches)
Where to go on holiday for the best weather
Get FREE travel offers
Sign up to receive the latest deals and exclusive discounts on holidays, flights, hotels and more, plus inspiration on where to go when
We promise not to share your details