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Where's Hot in December?

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.

From short-haul escapes to far-flung adventures, here’s where to find a dose of sunshine in December.

Morocco

Average temperature: 16°C

Flight time: 3.5 hours

Marrakech, Morocco

With an average temperature of 16°C, Morocco isn’t the hottest place on the list, but with around 15 hours of sunshine a day you still stand a great chance of coming home with a tan! Besides, there’s so much to do on a holiday in Morocco you’ll be grateful for the mild temperature – heat would just slow you down!

If you’re looking to fuel your adventurous side there are plenty of trekking options in the Atlas Mountains, while in the south, you can explore the Sahara Desert by camel or 4WD safari tours. For a less adrenalin-pumped pastime, spend your days haggling at the open-air souks in Marrakech, which sell jewellery, ceramics and carpets, and finish the day with some delicious Moroccan cuisine.

Madeira

Average temperature: 18°C

Flight time: 4 hours

Coastline in Madeira

This beautiful island lying just south of the Portuguese mainland boasts warm temperatures year-round, making it a perfect winter hideaway. The lush countryside is perfect for hiking, but the island has such a relaxed feel you could easily be lulled into spending your whole holiday on the beach.

As the evening turns chilly, you can migrate to one of the seaside restaurants to dine on fresh seafood caught that day, then experience Madeira’s lively nightlife with a few drinks. Christmas is a particularly lovely time for a Madeira holiday as the towns are decked out with lights and Funchal hosts a festive market from 1 December. Visit over New Year to see the amazing firework display.

Gambia

Average temperature: 25°C

Flight time: 6 hours

Beach coastline in Gambia

While many of us wouldn’t immediately think of a holiday in Gambia, it’s actually among the best short-haul options for Brits seeking winter sun. Temperatures average around 25°C, making it a hotspot for beach holidays and it’s laidback vibe is hard to resist.

Be prepared to experience a true sense of hospitality; residents are known to be extremely friendly and tourists are widely welcomed.

For a fun day out, visit one of the country’s seven national parks and nature reserves where you can often see crocodiles, lions, hyenas and monkeys, and even join in with crocodile feeding time if you dare! Return home with batik print textiles and wood carvings from the local markets, and a beautiful tan.

Jamaica

Average temperature: 26°C

Flight time: 9-10 hours

Tropical beach in Jamaica

Jamaica is the ultimate Caribbean haven. Full of white sandy beaches, easy-going locals and reggae music, it’s the perfect place to unwind and forget your troubles.

There’s no lack of accommodation for those seeking a luxury location – many hotels in Jamaica are located in prime positions along the beaches, and there are plenty of spas if you need a bit of pampering. The warm Caribbean Sea makes it a popular location for watersports; wind-surfing, sailing and water-skiing are all on the cards, and the water is wonderfully clear for scuba diving and snorkelling.

A must-visit attraction to get the adrenalin pumping is the bobsled rollercoaster in Ocho Rios, inspired by the Jamaican Olympic team and made famous by the film Cool Runnings.

Goa, India

Average temperature: 27°C

Flight time: 9 hours

Beach in Goa, India

Craving a week of winter sun in gorgeous surroundings? India's most popular beach resort is a tropical paradise. December is a great time to visit too – the temperatures are consistently in the high 20s with around 10 hours of sunshine a day and barely any rainfall.

South Goa is a hub of upmarket hotels and secluded beaches, while North Goa is where you can find bustling markets and a clubbing scene that stays up all night.

Both have their fair share of good food – although the north of the island leans towards casual street vendors whereas you can take your pick of gourmet restaurants and all-inclusive hotels in the south.


Do you have a favourite December hotspot? Drop us a tweet @icelollyholiday and let us know!


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