December weather: where's hot?
What better way to round off the year than with a break somewhere hot and sunny, but where can you go with great weather in December 2020?
While most Europeans are busy wrapping themselves up in colourful scarves and bobble hats, there are destinations around the globe, largely near the equator or in the depths of the southern hemisphere, which guarantee a very warm welcome in every sense.
Where is hot in December for 2020/2021?
Below are average maximum temperatures at popular holiday destinations in December. Select a destination to see more weather parameters.
- Kenyan Coast
- Sri Lanka
- Dominican Republic
- Chiang Mai
- Cape Verde
- Marsa Alam
- Cape Town
- Gran Canaria
Destinations by world areas
- Antarctica & Southern Ocean
- Central America
- Central Asia
- Far East
- Indian Ocean
- Middle East
- North Africa
- North America
- Russian Federation
- South America
- South East Asia
- Southern Asia
Places to go with the best weather
For beach lovers, this is the beginning of the best time to experience exotic destinations from southeast Asia to the Indian Ocean, and across to the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, city slickers can make the most of places such as Marrakech, Cape Town, and Sydney for some respite from the winter chill. Read on to discover more about our pick of destinations with great holiday weather in December:
Short haul: Luxor, Gambia & Marrakech
The trick to finding a holiday destination with the right weather for you is to know what you want. For truly hot and sunny conditions you're inevitably going to have travel that bit further.
However, if it's just a hint of winter sunshine to warm your face, then you may be able to stay closer to home.
For delightfully sunny weather in December, the nearest destination is Egypt. Consider heading inland to the Nile region where Luxor enjoys temperatures up to 25°C and nine hours of sunshine per day, although you will most likely want a hotel with a heated pool.
If you have your heart set on the Red Sea, however, make for Marsa Alam on the west coast, which is a few degrees warmer than Sharm el Sheikh with temperatures up to 25°C, just over eight hours of sunshine per day, and sea temperatures reaching 24°C.
The much loved resort of Sharm el Sheikh is still an option for some, but again it depends what you want. As the sea temperature dips to around 23°C, it's not the best time to be swimming, although you may prefer the cooler conditions (when compared to summer) and make do with a heated pool.
Turning up the heat, we head southwest to Gambia where you'll find fantastic beach weather in December. With up to eight hours of sunshine each day, temperatures reaching 31°C, and high heat and humidity, Gambia ticks all the boxes.
The sea is a pleasant 25°C, and although this isn't as balmy as you'd find further afield in December (you can thank the cold Atlantic current), it's still warm enough for many to have a good splash about, and there are plenty of water sports on offer here.
Meanwhile, for an easy city break in December, you can't beat Marrakech. Temperatures peak at around 19°C, so it's not weather for lying out in.
However, it's glorious for wandering around the souks, visiting the many historic sites, and even heading into the Atlas Mountains for a hike - just remember to take your layers as it gets chilly in the evening when temperatures sink to around 6°C.
You may be considering the Canary Islands, which are renowned for their welcoming weather all year. For daily highs around 20°C and at least six hours of sunshine per day, the likes of Tenerife and Gran Canaria are delightful, and December is a good time to experience their quieter sides.
It's definitely not a destination for water babes though, as the weather sees the sea drop to around 20°C, which is positively bracing.
Long haul - up to 10 hours: Barbados, St Lucia & Miami
There's great news for those willing to fly a little further is that many destinations in this bracket have idyllic weather in December. We're talking picture-perfect paradise conditions, which can only mean one thing: the Caribbean.
From the end of November the region is not only out of its hurricane season, but also entering its driest time, which typically means it's cooler than the summer months (read: more comfortable heat), but crucially, much drier and less humid.
The islands of Barbados and St Lucia are big hits, with lovely weather. Barbados is a few degrees cooler than Gambia with temperatures reaching 29°C, however, the sea temperature is very inviting at 27°C.
You'll find up to nine hours of sunshine per day, and warm evenings, and although there's a high level of heat and humidity, it's still lower than during the summer months.
The weather in St Lucia is very similar to Barbados, with just a little less sunshine (up to eight hours) and only moderate heat and humidity.
Further north into the USA, Miami is surprisingly superb with weather that rivals that of Sydney.
Temperatures in the sunshine state's main city can surpass 24°C, with no heat and humidity (unlike further south in the Caribbean), and sea temperatures which reach an agreeable 25°C - that's two degrees warmer than Sydney whose waters are just starting to warm up.
Generally speaking, you can find excellent holiday weather in December within 10 hours of the UK if you stick to those northern hemisphere countries with dry seasons at this time.
You'll be able to relax in hot and sunny conditions without travelling quite as far as you might have thought necessary for truly enjoyable conditions.
Long haul - 10 hours or more: Goa, Cape Town, Malindi & Sydney
If a long haul flight is no obstacle, then your options for finding great weather open up even more. Consider heading south to the scenic sites of South Africa.
Cape Town blossoms at this time, with long sunny days, temperatures up to 24°C, and no less than 10 and a half hours of sunshine, although there is likely to be some passing cloud thanks to its coastal location.
Cape Town is a fabulous choice for those after comfortable weather somewhere with a bit of everything, from cosmopolitan bars and restaurants to historic sites and stunning landscapes.
It's not, however, one for swimmers, as the sea here is terribly cold at around 18°C. Instead, head inland to the winelands of beautiful Stellenbosch, less than one hour from the city, and with an added extra 30 minutes of sunshine each day.
For comparison, the weather in Cape Town equates to something like Majorca or the Algarve in June, without the inviting sea temperatures.
Looking northeast to the Kenyan coast, you'll find the white sandy shores and crystal clear waters of Malindi. Sitting just south of the equator, Malindi has a true summer vibe, with temperatures hitting 31°C, high heat and humidity, and warm Indian Ocean waters at 28°C.
Unlike some of the other destinations mentioned, Malindi also remains relatively warm during the night, rarely dipping below 23°C.
You may catch a brief shower here, but it'll be the tropical, likely to pass quickly, type. It really is a spectacular option for those after terrific holiday weather in December and is the epitome of a luxurious beach break.
Going further northeast still to the eastern edge of the Arabian Sea, Goa is also a pleasing contender, with very similar weather to Malindi.
Known for its variety of beach resorts, be it flash and simple, India's leading holiday destination promises around nine hours of sunshine per day with largely cloud-free skies, high heat and humidity, and temperatures up to 32°C.
The biggest selling point for both Malindi and Goa, however, has to be the sea temperatures, which are by far the warmest on our list at 28°C.
Finally, we skip to the land down under, where Sydney is gearing up for summertime. Here you'll find long, fairly sunny days, with highs of 25°C, and low heat and humidity.
As it's early on in the season, the sea temperatures haven't yet had time to store any real heat, so it can be nippy for swimming at 22°C. However, there is a world of attractions, bars, restaurants, galleries and so much more to see and do in the popular Australian city.
If you're still weighing up your options regarding the weather in December 2020, you can read more over in our article where to go on holiday in December feature.
Once you've made up your mind up, head on over to our travel deals and discounts section to ensure you get there for a great price.
Get your weekly fix of holiday inspiration from some of the world's best travel writers plus save on your next trip with the latest exclusive offers
We promise not to share your details
Popular travel offers
*affiliate links: find out how we are funded and why this helps us remain free to use.