If you’re looking for some warm places to go on your winter break, this list includes the best destinations to soak up some December sunshine.
1. Miami, Florida
Average temperature: 22° C.
Miami boasts year-round warm weather, including December! If you like the nightlife, you’ll find plenty of beach parties all over Miami Beach. But this Floridian city offers much more than the beach. If you are looking for calmer wibes, you can see Miami’s street art in Wynwood, explore the Cuban culture in Little Havana or the historic houses in the Art Deco District. As in any other month of the year, even in December there is always something happening in this buzzling city. For example, you can watch NBA basketball and NFL football games. Or, if you visit on December 31, you’ll be able to enjoy the Orange Bowl live at the Hard Rock Stadium. This college football playoff semifinal game has been held in Miami since 1935! December in Miami is also famous for Art Basel, an art exhibition connecting local galleries, collectors, and art lovers. The 2021 exhibition will be held between December 2 and December 4, and will display artworks from over 4,000 artists, ranging from pieces by young artists to masterpieces.
2. Dubai, UAE
Average temperature: 26° C
Over the past few decades, Dubai has become an international hub of business and tourism. This desert paradise is known for its extremely modern landmarks, including the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – and for its luxury districts with award-winning restaurants, mega-malls, and luxurious resorts. December is one of the best months of the year to visit Dubai. The temperature is warm, but it doesn’t reach extreme peaks as during the summer months. This desert city in the Middle East is the perfect Christmas getaway not only because of the hot temperatures and the dry desert climate, but also thanks to the impressive festive lights and Christmas trees that adorn the entire city, from mega-malls to skyscraping hotels. Additionally, there are various festivals and events that are held during this time of the year, including fireworks shows, and the Burj Khalifa Christmas light show.
3. Madeira, Portugal
Average temperature: 20° C
Madeira, a volcanic island in the North Atlantic belonging to Portugal, is located 935 km west of Morocco and 500 km north of the Canary Islands. Thanks to its advantageous position, the weather is warm even in December, making this island one of the top destinations for winter’s sunseekers. With average maximum temperatures of 21° C and plenty of sunshine, in Madeira it will definitely be warm enough to walk around wearing a t-shirt during the daytime, while the evenings might require some extra layers. Although December is one of the wetter months, there are also plenty of dry days to enjoy your stay on this beautiful island. During the winter holiday season there’s much happening on the island. If you are lucky, temperatures might even allow you to visit the beach. But if not, you will still be able to enjoy the beautiful Christmas decorations all around Funchal city, visit the Christmas market, drink the famous Poncha alcoholic drink, try traditional Christmas sweets and taste the carne vinha d’alhos.
Average temperature: 25° C
Situated in the northeastern Caribbean Sea, the island of Saint Martin (also Sint Maarten in Dutch) extends about 19 km from north to south and about the same distance from east to west. The southern part of the island is historically and administratively tied with the Netherlands, while the northern part with France. The island is known to be home to busy resort beaches, as well as secluded coves, and it’s also popular among tourists for its vibrant nightlife. December is the island’s dry season. During that month, there will be warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine during the day, while evenings and nights are pleasantly fresh. However, since December is the peak season, prices are quite high and you might find some traffic.
Average temperature: 27° C
Curaçao is a Caribbean island that, together with Aruba and Bonaire, have a Dutch colonial history and West Indian heritage. These three islands are collectively known as “ABC islands” and are the three western-most islands of the Leeward Antilles in the South Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. Located only 12 degrees north of the Equator, Curaçao boasts a year-round warm climate. But the weather is at its best between December and April, which is also why hotels and airlines prices are higher. Besides discovering secluded beaches and swimming in azure waters, there are many other activities and places to explore. The most famous attractions are the Dutch colonial facades framing the harbor of Willemstad, which is the capital of Curaçao and also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
6. Galápagos Islands
Average temperature: 24.5° C
The Galápagos are the top choice for wildlife enthusiasts and adventure seekers. Since the Islands are located in the southern hemisphere, December over there is a special time characterized by warm temperatures and calm waters. Additionally, December is when the wet season has just begun, meaning that the land has become green and flowers are beginning to bud. But the sky is still clear most of the days, and the average temperature ranges from 22°C to 27°C: Warm enough to comfortably enjoy the natural beauty of the Islands. The water temperature is on average 22.5° C, which is perfect for snorkeling and swimming. December is also the breeding season for many animals, meaning that you’ll have more chances to encounter giant tortoise eggs and flamingos nesting.