Where to go on holiday in December 2020/2021 for the best weather

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 2020 © BlueOrange Studio - Fotolia.com
Where to go on holiday in December 2020 © 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.

Find Barbados holidays with Sandals >>

Read more: 10 unmissable things to see & do in Barbados, 8 reasons to break away from the beach in Barbados, Barbados day trips & Discover the real Barbados

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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.

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

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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.

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
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 TUI >>

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

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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.

Find Dubai holidays Atlantis the Palm >>

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

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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.

Find Cape Town holidays with Saga Holidays >>

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

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Alternative destinations to visit in December 2020/2021

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 2020

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

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Rank Rating Score Destination
1 Weather Score for Angola in December is 100% 100% Angola
  Weather Score for Bahamas in December is 100% 100% Bahamas
  Weather Score for Bangladesh in December is 100% 100% Bangladesh
  Weather Score for Belize in December is 100% 100% Belize
  Weather Score for Brazil in December is 100% 100% Brazil
  Weather Score for British Virgin Islands in December is 100% 100% British Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Burma in December is 100% 100% Burma
  Weather Score for Cancun & Riviera Maya in December is 100% 100% Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico
  Weather Score for Cape Verde in December is 100% 100% Cape Verde
  Weather Score for Comoros in December is 100% 100% Comoros
  Weather Score for Cook Islands in December is 100% 100% Cook Islands
  Weather Score for Costa Rica in December is 100% 100% Costa Rica
  Weather Score for Cuba in December is 100% 100% Cuba
  Weather Score for Dominican Republic in December is 100% 100% Dominican Republic
  Weather Score for Ecuador in December is 100% 100% Ecuador
  Weather Score for Equatorial Guinea in December is 100% 100% Equatorial Guinea
  Weather Score for Fiji in December is 100% 100% Fiji
  Weather Score for Florida in December is 100% 100% Florida, United States
  Weather Score for French Polynesia in December is 100% 100% French Polynesia
  Weather Score for Gabon in December is 100% 100% Gabon
  Weather Score for Guadeloupe in December is 100% 100% Guadeloupe
  Weather Score for Hawaii in December is 100% 100% Hawaii, United States
  Weather Score for Honduras in December is 100% 100% Honduras
  Weather Score for India in December is 100% 100% India
  Weather Score for Indonesia in December is 100% 100% Indonesia
  Weather Score for Jamaica in December is 100% 100% Jamaica
  Weather Score for Malaysia in December is 100% 100% Malaysia
  Weather Score for Martinique in December is 100% 100% Martinique
  Weather Score for Mauritius in December is 100% 100% Mauritius
  Weather Score for Mayotte in December is 100% 100% Mayotte
  Weather Score for Mexico in December is 100% 100% Mexico
  Weather Score for Montserrat in December is 100% 100% Montserrat
  Weather Score for New Caledonia in December is 100% 100% New Caledonia
  Weather Score for Nicaragua in December is 100% 100% Nicaragua
  Weather Score for Niue in December is 100% 100% Niue
  Weather Score for Oman in December is 100% 100% Oman
  Weather Score for Panama in December is 100% 100% Panama
  Weather Score for Philippines in December is 100% 100% Philippines
  Weather Score for Pitcairn Island in December is 100% 100% Pitcairn Island
  Weather Score for Puerto Rico in December is 100% 100% Puerto Rico
  Weather Score for Queensland in December is 100% 100% Queensland, Australia
  Weather Score for Reunion in December is 100% 100% Reunion
  Weather Score for Sao Tome & Principe in December is 100% 100% Sao Tome and Principe
  Weather Score for Saudi Arabia in December is 100% 100% Saudi Arabia
  Weather Score for Sharm el Sheikh area in December is 100% 100% Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt
  Weather Score for South Africa in December is 100% 100% South Africa
  Weather Score for Sri Lanka in December is 100% 100% Sri Lanka
  Weather Score for St Helena & Islands in December is 100% 100% St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  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 Taiwan in December is 100% 100% Taiwan
  Weather Score for Tonga in December is 100% 100% Tonga
  Weather Score for Turks & Caicos in December is 100% 100% Turks and Caicos
  Weather Score for UAE in December is 100% 100% UAE
  Weather Score for Vanuatu in December is 100% 100% Vanuatu
  Weather Score for Vietnam in December is 100% 100% Vietnam
  Weather Score for Virgin Islands in December is 100% 100% Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Wake Island in December is 100% 100% Wake Island
59 Weather Score for China in December is 94% 94% China
  Weather Score for Egypt in December is 94% 94% Egypt
  Weather Score for Japan in December is 94% 94% Japan
  Weather Score for New South Wales in December is 94% 94% New South Wales, Australia
  Weather Score for Pakistan in December is 94% 94% Pakistan
64 Weather Score for Anguilla in December is 92% 92% Anguilla
  Weather Score for Antigua in December is 92% 92% Antigua
  Weather Score for Barbados in December is 92% 92% Barbados
  Weather Score for Cameroon in December is 92% 92% Cameroon
  Weather Score for Cayman Islands in December is 92% 92% Cayman Islands
  Weather Score for Cocos (Keeling) Islands in December is 92% 92% Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  Weather Score for Colombia in December is 92% 92% Colombia
  Weather Score for Congo-Brazzaville in December is 92% 92% Congo-Brazzaville
  Weather Score for Curacao in December is 92% 92% Curacao
  Weather Score for Dominica in December is 92% 92% Dominica
  Weather Score for East Timor in December is 92% 92% East Timor
  Weather Score for Grenada in December is 92% 92% Grenada
  Weather Score for Guyana in December is 92% 92% Guyana
  Weather Score for Haiti in December is 92% 92% Haiti
  Weather Score for Liberia in December is 92% 92% Liberia
  Weather Score for Madagascar in December is 92% 92% Madagascar
  Weather Score for Saba in December is 92% 92% Saba
  Weather Score for Seychelles in December is 92% 92% Seychelles
  Weather Score for Sierra Leone in December is 92% 92% Sierra Leone
  Weather Score for Singapore in December is 92% 92% Singapore
  Weather Score for Sint Eustatius in December is 92% 92% Sint Eustatius
  Weather Score for Sint Maarten in December is 92% 92% Sint Maarten
  Weather Score for St Barthelemy in December is 92% 92% St Barthelemy
  Weather Score for St Kitts & Nevis in December is 92% 92% St Kitts and Nevis
  Weather Score for St Martin in December is 92% 92% St Martin
  Weather Score for Sudan in December is 92% 92% Sudan
  Weather Score for Thailand in December is 92% 92% Thailand
  Weather Score for Trinidad & Tobago in December is 92% 92% Trinidad and Tobago
92 Weather Score for American Samoa in December is 84% 84% American Samoa
  Weather Score for Bali in December is 84% 84% Bali, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Bonaire in December is 84% 84% Bonaire
  Weather Score for British Indian Ocean Territory in December is 84% 84% British Indian Ocean Territory
  Weather Score for Cambodia in December is 84% 84% Cambodia
  Weather Score for Djibouti in December is 84% 84% Djibouti
  Weather Score for Federated States of Micronesia in December is 84% 84% Federated States of Micronesia
  Weather Score for French Guiana in December is 84% 84% French Guiana
  Weather Score for Ghana in December is 84% 84% Ghana
  Weather Score for Guam in December is 84% 84% Guam
  Weather Score for Lombok in December is 84% 84% Lombok, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Maldives in December is 84% 84% Maldives
  Weather Score for Marshall Islands in December is 84% 84% Marshall Islands
  Weather Score for Mozambique in December is 84% 84% Mozambique
  Weather Score for Northern Mariana Islands in December is 84% 84% Northern Mariana Islands
  Weather Score for Papua New Guinea in December is 84% 84% Papua New Guinea
  Weather Score for Samoa in December is 84% 84% Samoa
  Weather Score for Solomon Islands in December is 84% 84% Solomon Islands
  Weather Score for Suriname in December is 84% 84% Suriname
  Weather Score for Venezuela in December is 84% 84% Venezuela
112 Weather Score for Argentina in December is 82% 82% Argentina
  Weather Score for Chile in December is 82% 82% Chile
  Weather Score for Qatar in December is 82% 82% Qatar
  Weather Score for Senegal in December is 82% 82% Senegal
  Weather Score for Uruguay in December is 82% 82% Uruguay
117 Weather Score for Benin in December is 75% 75% Benin
  Weather Score for Brunei in December is 75% 75% Brunei
  Weather Score for Christmas Island in December is 75% 75% Christmas Island
  Weather Score for Guinea in December is 75% 75% Guinea
  Weather Score for Guinea-Bissau in December is 75% 75% Guinea-Bissau
  Weather Score for Kenya in December is 75% 75% Kenya
  Weather Score for Kerala in December is 75% 75% Kerala, India
  Weather Score for Kiribati in December is 75% 75% Kiribati
  Weather Score for Nauru in December is 75% 75% Nauru
  Weather Score for Nigeria in December is 75% 75% Nigeria
  Weather Score for Palau in December is 75% 75% Palau
  Weather Score for Tanzania in December is 75% 75% Tanzania
  Weather Score for Togo in December is 75% 75% Togo
  Weather Score for Tokelau in December is 75% 75% Tokelau
  Weather Score for Tuvalu in December is 75% 75% Tuvalu
  Weather Score for Wallis & Futuna in December is 75% 75% Wallis and Futuna
133 Weather Score for Bahrain in December is 70% 70% Bahrain
  Weather Score for Bermuda in December is 70% 70% Bermuda
  Weather Score for Midway Island in December is 70% 70% Midway Island
  Weather Score for Norfolk Island in December is 70% 70% Norfolk Island
  Weather Score for Peru in December is 70% 70% Peru
138 Weather Score for Gambia in December is 69% 69% Gambia
139 Weather Score for Aruba in December is 66% 66% Aruba
  Weather Score for Goa in December is 66% 66% Goa, India
141 Weather Score for Israel in December is 65% 65% Israel
142 Weather Score for Western Australia in December is 60% 60% Western Australia, Australia

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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