As the cold takes hold in Europe and northern America, the promise of sunshine and soaring temperatures has never sounded sweeter. Eyeing up far-flung locations for a last-minute dose of vitamin D? We’ve cherry-picked seven hot destinations in December to lend a helping hand.
Seven of the best hot destinations in December
1. Bali, Indonesia
Offering the ultimate fantasy desert island escape, Bali is idyllic all year round but never more than when you’re travelling from somewhere particularly grey and drizzly. Temperatures in Bali linger in the high 20s Celsius (low 80s Fahrenheit) during the day and stay balmy throughout the evening. The wet season begins in October and lasts until April, but in December rains don’t tend to last very long and usually make way for bright blue skies. You’ll find the hottest temperatures in Kuta, at around 31C (88F) while the mountainous inland tends to be the wettest. Oh, and there’s around eight hours of sunshine every day. Have you started packing yet?
Average temperature: 31C/88F
2. Brisbane, Australia
Fancy spending Christmas down under? With temperatures lurking around 29C (84F), it’s hard to see why not. Brisbane’s subtropical climate makes for a hot and humid December, with around eight hours of sunshine each day. You might not be able to avoid the rain, which averages 127 mm per month, but showers tend to come in short, sharp bursts which aren’t altogether unwelcome in the blistering heat. There’s plenty to keep you occupied too, from dolphin-feeding to New Years’ Eve parties.
(Thinking about spending Christmas in Australia? Brush up on some of these Australian Christmas traditions before you head off)
Average temperature: 28C/ 82F
3. Cancun, Mexico
Mexico’s blockbuster holiday destination is most popular in December, for good reason. Holidaymakers can expect hot days and balmy evenings by the sea, with bathwater temperature swimming too. Temperatures tend to sit at around 31C (88F), making it a much more comfortable month to visit than May and June. It’s typically dry too, with an average rainfall of 38 mm over the month. Those northeast trade winds keep the temperatures toasty, but never overbearing.
Average temperature: 31 C/88F
For a true tropical winter escape, Barbados in December is hard to beat. As well as swaying palm trees, endless white sand beaches and lots of rum, December offers around nine hours of sunshine every day. Temperatures linger around 29.5C (85F) and humidity is at its lowest, with an average of 75%. UV levels tend to be high, so don’t forget your sunscreen.
Average temperature: 30C (88F)
December is one of Mozambique’s hottest months, but it’s also one of the rainiest. The rainy season kicks off at the start of December on the southern coasts and moves inland by January. Temperatures reach a toasty 30C (86F) on most days and stay warm well into the evening, rarely dropping below 20C (68F). December is particularly popular with divers on the lookout for more exotic marine life. It’s one of the best places on the planet to see whale sharks and manta rays in December too.
Average temperature: 30C/ 88F
6. Cape Verde
With eight hours of sunshine guaranteed per day and average temperatures reaching 30C (86F), Cape Verde is an excellent winter sun destination, particularly for those travelling from Europe. The archipelago is made up of ten islands, floating in the Atlantic Ocean just off the west coast of Africa. It’s still relatively off-the-beaten-track too, perfect for those looking for long sandy stretches, lively surf and lovely hotels without the crowds. August and September fall into the rainy season, so by December, the island is looking its most verdant too.
Average temperature: 30C/ 86F
7. Goa, India
December marks the start of high season and the beginning of winter in India, with dry and sunny weather across the country. You’ll find the hottest temperatures on the southwest coast, in and around Goa. Temperatures reach highs of 33C (91F) in the middle of the day and dip to a mild and balmy 21C (70F) after dark. It’s least likely to rain in December too, with an average of just 1 mm of rainfall in the month – perfect for sunbathing.
Average temperature: 29C/ 84F