Where to travel in December
December is a time for festivities, whether it’s celebrating New Year’s Eve in Sydney and Rio, or taking in the Christmas markets of Germany, Copenhagen and Gothenburg. Further north, Swedish and Finnish Lapland are given over to sled rides and visits to Santa’s Grotto, while the likes of Norway’s Tromso wow with Northern Lights spectaculars. New Year’s in Iceland is also particularly popular, combining Reykjavik’s buzzy nightlife with the country’s spectacular natural world. Alternatively, head to Alaska to embrace the cold and see the Arctic as it's meant to be, all glaciers and giant bears.
If all this winter weather leaves you cold, head instead to the Caribbean and the islands of Barbados or Antigua. Or, swing down to South America, where Brazil is sultry and swinging in the run up to New Year and trekking around the Torres del Paine in Chile affords you clear, crisp skies. Staying in the Southern Hemisphere, the beaches and wineries of New Zealand come into their own in December. Waiheke and Marlborough are highlights, while the whole country opens up to postcard-perfect hikes.
As the monsoon rains die away, India again becomes popular, with Kerala a special delight. It’s a similar story in much of South-East Asia; Cambodia’s Angkor Wat, Mekong River cruises, and Thailand’s elephant-dotted national parks and west-coast island beaches are all at their best.
Across in the Americas, Costa Rica offers a delightful combination of superb weather and off-peak crowds, while Mexico impresses with similarly delightful temperatures, the whites sands of the Yucatán Peninsula, and the Lady of the Guadalupe Feast Day, celebrated on the 12th of the month. But, if you’re looking towards the USA, Florida offers America’s finest weather – December is among the state's driest months.
Lastly, it's worth bearing in mind that you can find excellent deals on beach destinations for the first 10 days of December, beating the Christmas rush for the Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Thailand and Malaysia.
Save up to £2,610pp on advance bookings
Book your holiday to the USA or Canada at least six months before travel and enjoy huge savings when in Club World. Sample saving: up to £2,610 pp to San Francisco
Our most popular Northern Lights break, this city stay in Tromso, which includes an aurora safari, is the ideal introduction to Norway's Arctic delights. Expect wonderful restaurants and bars and easy access to a host of winter adventures.
A haven of peace and tranquillity, Colony Club's rooms and suites look out to verdant gardens or the sparkling sea as outdoor dining makes the most of stunning sunsets and a cooling offshore breeze. It's all tied together with spa treatments, water sports, yoga classes and island sightseeing tours.
This tailor-made holiday combines the very best of Brazil's cities, beaches and natural world. Begin in Rio – the home of Carnival – before swapping the golden sands of Ilha Grande for the historic treasures of Paraty and the crashing torrents of Iguau Falls.
Cpenhagen, Denmark's picturesque capital city plays host to one of Europe's most iconic Christmas markets, at the world-famous Tivoli Gardens from mid-November until the end of December each year.
From the middle of November into early January, the beautiful Swedish city of Gothenburg is transformed into a winter wonderland of festive fun. Millions of colourful Christmas lights illuminate traditional markets packed with handicrafts and delicious yuletide treats.