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Compare the best December holidays

Looking for a hot beach holiday in December? With the Med considerably cooler than in the summer months, you'll have to head to destinations further afield. We've picked out some sizzling holiday locations that might tempt you if you're keen to escape.

The Red Sea

Fly to the Red Sea this December and enjoy superb winter sun, great temperatures and fantastic watersports including world-class diving and snorkeling...

Sharm is situated on the Sinai Peninsula and comprises a number of interlocking resorts with golden sands and a backdrop of mountains and cliffs leading to the Sinai Desert and historic locations such as Saint Catherine's Monastery. North of these resorts you will find the quieter areas of Dahab and Taba both offering excellent hotel choices and hospitality.

Hurghada lies on the Egyptian mainland and is the gateway to resorts such as Soma Bay, Safaga, Makadi Bay and El Gouna.

Further south you'll also find Marsa Alam with its quieter hotels and peaceful beaches.

Average December temperature: 27°C

Average December rainfall: 2mm

Average December sunshine: 9 hrs

The Canary Islands

Searching for heat? The Canary Islands may just be what you're looking for. Easily accessible from the UK, they make a great holiday choice for winter sun...

Just off the west coast of Africa, the Canary Islands enjoy a pleasant climate and plenty of sunshine all year round making them the perfect location for a hot winter sun holiday. With average December temperatures hovering around a very mild 21°C, sunbathing by the pool or relaxing on one of the many beaches should be a possibility every day.

Tenerife, the largest of the Canary Islands, has some stunning beach resorts, with Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos being two of the most popular. It is also an excellent place to see a spectacular volcano as Mount Teide looms over the central part of the island.

Gran Canaria is also home to some beautiful beaches - in particular, Maspalomas, with its white beach and huge sand dunes which provide a spectacular backdrop.

Other islands such as Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Gomera also enjoy pleasant winter sun temperatures, and, as the peak season has long since passed, you'll be able to pick up some bargain package deals.

Average December temperature: 21°C

Average December rainfall: 11mm

Average December sunshine: 7 hrs

Dubai

The hot, arid desert climate of Dubai ensures warm and sunny weather all year round. And in December the temperature is just right...

The weather in December is sublime in Dubai and you'll be able to enjoy long sunny days on the city's beaches with no rainfall to speak of.

Beautiful beaches line Dubai's coastline such as Jumeirah Beach, home to Dubai's best holiday clubs and hotels. For shopaholics there's a spice souk, gold souk, perfume souk and fish souk which are well worth a visit. The Dubai Mall should also be a destination of choice as it boasts more than 1,000 shops in air-conditioned bliss.

If you're after an adrenaline rush, try a 4X4 desert safari on which you'll be able to take a tour of the awe-inspiring dunes and even stop at local Arabian settlements or try your hand at sandboarding.

Average December temperature: 31°C

Average December rainfall: 2mm

Average December sunshine: 9 hrs

Where else do we recommend?

Excellent alternatives in December are Morocco, Cyprus, Cancun and Florida, which all offer great weather and plenty to do...

Morocco

Like Dubai, Morocco is a destination worth visiting once the intensity of the summer heat has died down. Temperatures still average around the mid-20s in December and you can still enjoy around seven hours of sunshine a day.

Average December temperature: 23°C (Agadir)
Average December rainfall: 48mm (Agadir)
Average hours of sunshine in December: 7 (Agadir)

December is a great time to visit Morocco and the coastal resort of Agadir still enjoys pleasant sea temperatures. However, remember that if you plan to visit the High Atlas Mountain region it can be bitterly cold here in winter.
Excellent hotels line Agadir's boulevard complete with swimming pools, tennis courts and wellness suites. And outside of the complexes there are two main daily markets in Agadir and plenty of traditional restaurants serving authentic Moroccan cuisine.

Cyprus

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus, also known as Aphrodite's Island, receives plenty of sunshine all year round. It is the perfect location for winter sun as you'll still enjoy between six and seven hours of sunshine a day.

Average December temperature: 21°C
Average December rainfall: 53mm
Average hours of sunshine in December: 7

Strewn with long sandy beaches and quaint villages, parts of Cyprus can feel like a world away from the stress of life back home. In particular the resort of Paphos caters for a wide variety of holidaymakers. Families will enjoy the Coral Bay area 12km away from Paphos Town, with a relaxed atmosphere and plenty of bars and restaurants lining a beautiful sandy beach.

With a four-and-a-half-hour flight time from the UK and a wide range of accommodation options to suit all budgets, Cyprus could be the December getaway you're looking for.

Cancun

Famed for its nightlife and white sandy beaches, Cancun is a top holiday destination all year round. Despite a 10-hour flight time from the UK, Cancun is well worth the effort to enjoy a great party atmosphere and a fantastic tan even in the depths of December.

Average December temperature: 29°C
Average December rainfall: 85mm
Average hours of sunshine in December: 6

It's worth bearing in mind that the beaches of Cancun are split between the north and the east of the resort. To the north, Playa Las Perlas and Playa Linda are superb for watersports.

The eastern side of Cancun, meanwhile, is home to Playa Ballenas, Gaviota Azul, San Miguelito and Playa Delfines. These are quieter beaches and ideal if you're looking for a peaceful December escape. However, be aware that they are susceptible to stronger winds.
Away from the beaches, Chichen Itza is an amazing Mayan site well worth a day trip to see the pyramids and stunning temples.

Florida

Florida comes into its own in our winter months with long sunny days, a huge range of holiday options and plenty of accommodation to choose from. 

Average December temperature: 31°C (Orlando)
Average December rainfall: 308mm (Orlando)
Average hours of sunshine in December: 7 (Orlando)

If you are looking for non-stop entertainment that is ideal for all ages then head to central Florida and the Orlando area. With theme parks galore, extensive shopping and more places to eat out and get entertained than probably any other US holiday area, it's packed full of fun.

The coastal areas offer a different type of holiday. Miami and its Art Deco South Beach area are fantastic for posing in the right bars, restaurants, clubs and shops as the glitterati descend on this fashionable area. The city is also one of the major departure points for cruises along with Fort Lauderdale just north.

Alternatively, go south to the Keys for laid-back vibes and a more bohemian atmosphere with the party people, or head west to the Gulf for long wide sandy beaches in resorts such as Clearwater and St Petersburg with their beach-side hotels and villas.