The Best Places to Visit in December


With winter firmly underway, you have two choices – escape it or embrace it with the best places to visit in December. If searching for winter sun, you can’t go wrong with the laidback Caribbean island of Antigua or the rugged mountains and rolling dunes of Oman. Take your pick of seaside escapes or warm cultural delights.

For those wanting to embrace the chill, our top picks are the winter wonderland Swedish Lapland and the endless allure of the French Alps. In Sweden, seek out the Northern Lights as the long dark nights provide the ultimate viewing platform, and in France, ski the perfect peaks.

Below are our top picks for where to go on holiday in December.

Best Hot Holidays in December

Whether you’re looking for a Christmas beach holiday or just warm holidays in December to chase away the unending cold, these are the perfect hot countries in December to get your sunny fill.

Diani Beach, Kenya

Undoubtedly one of the key places for safari, Kenya is an incredible wildlife destination from August to October. But come December, Kenya is one of the best places to go on holiday in December for sun. Head to Diani Beach on the Kenyan Coast for idyllic beach escapes. With the cool Indian Ocean and palm-lined shores, take your pick of boutique hotels, beachfront villas and island hideaways as you’re transported to paradise.

Equinox at Chichen Itza, Mexico

The Yucatan peninsula is the hottest region of Mexico during December, with its dry season in full swing. Expect warm sunny days, low humidity, and mild evenings - so do bring a light jacket. An ideal destination for all travellers, take your pick of languid beach days, exploring ancient Mayan ruins, hiking through rainforests and snorkelling amongst vibrant marine life. No matter what type of hot holiday in December you’re after, there’s an activity here for you.

Franschhoek Wine
South Africa

December is the time to explore the best of sunny South Africa. This is the opportune moment to visit its vibrant capital, Cape Town, which has something for everyone: beaches, fabulous restaurants and inspiring views from the top of Table Mountain. If you need any more of an excuse to visit, it’s wine-crushing time in Franschhoek; so head to the Winelands for lazy days sipping wine and indulging in stunning food.

Best Places to Visit in Europe in December

Europe feels like it was made for winter with its fantastical architecture, winding alleys and warmly lit shops coming to life in the long nights and snowy mornings. Experience the cold season at its finest with these wintry wonderlands, whether that’s skiing with the whole family in tow, searching for the Northern Lights or strolling the festive Christmas markets.

These are the best holiday destinations in December in Europe.

Val D'Isere
Val d’Isère, France

There are few places we would rather spend the winter holidays than in the Alps. Imagine hitting the slopes in one of Europe's most iconic ski resorts and stopping up the mountain for a warming hot chocolate or a steaming cup of Vin Chaud with a never-ending view. After an action-packed day, curl up in front of a roaring fire while looking out at the snow piled up outside your window. We love skiing all season, but the French Alps have an extra sense of magic during the holidays.

Waterfalls in Iceland

Iceland is one of the best holiday destinations in December as it's not as cold as you might think - temperatures rarely dip below 0 degrees - yet, people don't seem to realise as you will find that this country's otherworldly landscapes are relatively under-crowded. And then there's New Year's Eve, Icelanders celebrate with fireworks and parties long into the night and at this time of year, there is a good chance of seeing the Northern Lights.

St Anton village, Austria

Step into the snow-capped storybook villages of Austria on your December holiday. Take advantage of the plentiful snow in St. Anton for skiing and its incredible apres-ski scene. Be mesmerised in Salzburg, with its hilltop castle and baroque architecture in the picturesque old town. The best part is the traditional Christmas markets that will have you grinning ear to ear as you walk through the stalls of local makers and crafters, warm drink in hand.

Best Places to Visit in December for Couples

Take time as a couple this festive season and explore these incredible holiday destinations in December. Whether you’re after city lights, bucket list holidays or warm and welcoming cultural experiences, these are the best places to visit in December.

Rockefeller Centre ice skating in winter in Manhattan, New York, USA
New York, USA

Explore the magic of New York over Christmas when snowflakes are projected onto towering skyscrapers, fairy lights wind up icy trees and roasted chestnuts are sold on street corners. December sees New York's iconic landmarks transformed, making them all the more impressive. So jet out to New York, go ice-skating in Rockefeller Center where the city's show-stopping Christmas tree towers above you and see the new year in style in Times Square.

Swedish Lapland

Welcome to Swedish Lapland, where reindeer roam the wilderness and people traverse the snow on husky-drawn sledges. Expect thick forests cloaked with snow, peaceful lakeside villages and the utter magic of the Northern Lights, whose fleeting presence dances overhead like something out of a fairy tale. Plunge into nature in its purest form, where adults can unwind and soak up the utter serenity. Never is this winter wonderland more enchanting than at Christmastime – so travel to Swedish Lapland as one of the best places to go on holiday in December for the ultimate festive escape.

Salalah coastline, Oman

From the wind-blown desert with its rolling dunes to expansive mountain ranges dotted with traditional villages and golden swathes of beach on the Arabian Peninsula, Oman is blessed with vast amounts of wide-open space. Whether you are in search of memorable adventures or a romantic couple’s retreat, Oman has a humble charm, which gives it a unique edge quite unlike other Middle Eastern destinations. The winter months bring cooler, more manageable temperatures, but the sun is ever-present, making Oman one of the best places to go on holiday in December for sun. Pack extra layers as the mornings and evenings can get cold in the desert and mountains.

Best Places to Visit in December with Family

Make winter an adventure this year by taking the family on a trip. Enjoy a holiday during the school break or take a quick getaway before seeing all the family with Europe at your doorstep.

Here’s where is hot in December as well as close by.

Antigua, The Caribbean

Relax into the slower-paced Caribbean lifestyle in Antigua, home to startling blue waters, picturesque coves and candy-coloured villages. But for us, it’s the island’s burgeoning foodie scene which is really putting Antigua on the map for luxury travellers. An excellent choice for hot holidays in December now is a wonderful time to visit Antigua, when the island has been refreshed by the rains and the weather is dry and warm. Direct flights from the UK and a lot of child-friendly resorts make it a popular choice for families looking to travel at Christmas.

Christmas chalet in Finnish Lapland

Go searching for Father Christmas in Finland on our 3-night family tour. Stay in a cosy chalet with a private chef, and enjoy interactions with elves, huskies, reindeer and more while you sledge and visit Santa’s house. You might even see the Northern Lights while in Finnish Lapland. You can also extend your trip to see more of this stunning country, visiting its snow-dusted local towns.

Thai Beach

An eclectic mix of legendary white sand beaches, warm people, gilded temples, chaotic cities and deliciously fresh Thai food. Thailand is famed for its beaches and with good reason; the east and west coast are lined with perfect white sands and there is some of the best scuba diving in the world. If you're looking for where is hot in December, this destination ticks all the boxes!

Best Places to Visit in December for Bucket List Experiences

What better way to end the year than with a far-flung holiday to a bucket list destination? Soak up the sun in Australia and New Zealand while embarking on outdoor adventures, and spend time reflecting on the year behind.

Opera House in Sydney Harbour at New Years Eve

Escape the winter chill with the best holiday weather in December on a trip Down Under; witnessing one of the world's most famous New Year's Eve firework displays as an added bonus. Our winter is Australia’s summer so visiting Australia is generally best between September and April, particularly when visiting the South. For those who are tight on time, we recommend just sticking with Sydney and The Blue Mountains, or for some unwind time and relaxation, head to Byron Bay.

Te Whanganui-A-Hei (Cathedral Cove) in the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand
New Zealand

December is the start of summer in New Zealand, covering the land in sunny warmth and excited locals taking advantage of the season. The North Islands are in their dry season, with places like Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula prime for travel. Enjoy the festive atmosphere, the tropical climate on the beaches, and hiking the stunning scenery. One of the best hot countries in December for travel, it’s the perfect time to enjoy all the country has to offer.

Explore the Best Places to Visit in December with Scott Dunn

Long-haul or short-haul, beach or culture, Scott Dunn can make the perfect December holiday for you. These incredible destinations matched with our expert travel specialists guarantee an unforgettable tailor-made holiday.

Regardless if you know where to go or if you’re just getting started, get in touch by calling us on the number below or filling out our online enquiry form.

Call us on 020 3993 4933 to start planning your holiday

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