For those who fancy spending Christmas somewhere hot and sunny (or even just fancy a break from the pre-Christmas chaos), there are plenty of places where you can swap your winter woollies and wet-weather wellies for shorts, sleeveless tops and sandals. Here are just a few suggestions:
Gran Canaria and Tenerife boast 5-6 hours of sunshine per day in December. Average daily temperatures of 20-25 Celsius in December mean the islands are comfortably warm without being oppressively hot, and they are still much warmer than a British winter. Flying time from the UK is around four hours.
Madeira is a volcanic island situated just off the west coast of north Africa, and is a firm favourite with British holidaymakers. Stunning scenery, chic hotels and purpose-built lidos combine with December average daily temperatures of around 20-25o Celsius and a very creditable 5-6 hours of sunshine per day. Flights from the UK take about four hours, and the time zone is exactly the same so there’s no jet-lag!
A little further south than Madeira, the Cape Verde Islands are situated just off the coast of Senegal in West Africa. The islands share the same latitude as the Caribbean but can be reached in a little over six hours’ flying time from the UK. With a daily average of seven hours of sunshine in December and daily temperatures of around 26o Celsius, this makes an ideal winter sun destination.
Thailand is often used by travellers as a stopover en route to the Far East and Australasia, but it is also a very worthwhile holiday destination in its own right, boasting 8-9 hours of sunshine per day in December, combined with average temperatures of around 30o Celsius. Flying time from the UK is around 11 hours.
The vast continent of Africa offers travellers plenty of opportunity for winter sunshine. December is the height of summer in South Africa, with average daily temperatures in the mid to high 20s in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, and up to eleven hours of sunshine per day. Kenya, in equatorial Africa, offers temperatures of around 25o Celsius in Nairobi and 32o Celsius in Mombasa. For those who don’t relish the idea of a very long flight, it is well worth considering the Gambia. This West African country, which can be reached from the UK in about six and a half hours, enjoys temperatures of around 30o Celsius in December, with a daily average of nine hours’ sunshine. And One big advantage to all African destinations is because the time difference from the UK is minimal (usually not more than two hours), so too is the jet-lag!