A-to-Z of hot winter holiday destinations

We’ve chosen 26 places from across the world that expect some sizzling weather in December, January or February.

We’ve chosen 26 places from across the world that expect some sizzling weather in December, January or February.

Josh Daniels
From the Travel team
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Posted 22 NOVEMBER 2019

Hoping to escape the UK’s chilliest months?

Good weather is never guaranteed, but our list of winter destinations gives you a great chance to find the sun during winter – all temperatures are quoted in centigrade.


The travel traffic light system currently states that trips to green and amber listed countries are legally permitted if you live in England and Scotland. If you live in Wales and Northern Ireland, you still need to follow the rules for your relevant government.

Please note: from 4am on 4 October 2021, the current traffic light system will be replaced by a single red list of countries.

Currently, if your destination of choice is on the green or amber list, you still need to check the latest travel advice and entry requirements for each country you visit or transit through. This is to ensure you are aware of any specific requirements relating to entry and ensure travellers from the UK are permitted. Countries can have their traffic light status changed with short notice and you should take this into consideration when looking to travel. Please check the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) for the latest information.

The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to red list countries. Most insurance policies purchased to cover a trip to a destination where the FCDO has instructed citizens not to travel to won’t be valid, however, some insurance providers may offer reduced cover if you’re travelling for essential purposes. Should you have any queries, please check the policy wording, or contact your chosen provider before purchasing, to ensure the cover meets your needs.

Travel within England, Scotland and Wales is permitted under the current guidelines. However, public health rules and lockdown restrictions continue to vary, including entry restrictions for Northern Ireland. Check the latest guidance from the official tourism boards for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively.

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Hot places in December

Australia - You won’t struggle to find hot, sun-kissed weather down under at Christmas time. This vast country is home to more than 10,000 beaches – the most in the world.

Barbados - Once the wet season’s out of the way, typically early in December, hot and sunny conditions are the norm at this hugely popular destination.

Cyprus - More than 1.25m UK nationals went to this Mediterranean island on holiday in 2018. Despite being the off-season, you can still expect seven hours of sunshine a day and a very pleasant 21 degrees on average.

Dominican Republic - This northern Caribbean island boasts an average sea temperature of around 27 degrees in December, helped by its tropical climate that brings high temperatures all year round.

Egypt - How does 23 degrees and eight hours of sunshine sound in December? That’s what you might expect at Sharm el-Sheikh, the buzzing Egyptian resort town.

Florida, USA - Expect daily highs of about 24 degrees and 10 hours of rays. Remember that medical care in USA can be expensive, so always check you’re insured to meet the high cost of medical expenses before you travel.

Ghana - With an average monthly temperature of 27 degrees, a trip to this West African Republic is a great option for those chasing winter sunshine. The pristine beaches around Accra, the country’s capital city, are drawing ever-increasing numbers of holidaymakers.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam - A visit to the Asian country’s glorious south east coast in December might bring a daily average temperature of 26 degrees.

Hot places in January

Indonesia – the tourist hot-spot of Bali, with its gorgeous beaches and hot spring retreats, enjoys a huge 13 hours of sunshine on average in December.

Jamaica – to give you a flavour, in Montego Bay on the north of the island, the average temperature is around 25°C in January with highs of 28°C.

Kenya – if you’re after some big game spotting in January, this popular African country has an average temperature of 24 degrees throughout the month.

Laos - This backpacker in Southeast Asia enjoys pleasant temperatures if you visit in the middle of the country’s high season. The thermostat averages 24 degrees in Vientiane, the capital, with plenty of sunny days.

Maldives - Tropical islands, white sandy beaches, diving among dolphins – there’s plenty to admire about this archipelago of 1,192 coral islands in the Indian Ocean. In January, rain is rare and average daytime temperatures are about 27 degrees.

Nicaragua - A Central American gem just north of the Equator, this country has a tropical climate and is hot all year round. Enjoy the jagged land of lakes, wildlife and volcanoes along with average highs of around 27 degrees.

Oman - Thanks to its dry desert setting, Oman enjoys warm weather all year round.

Philippines - With more than 7,000 islands and it's amazing capital, Manila, the Philippines offers plenty of opportunity for holidaymakers. The dry season, of which January is a part, is more bearable than other times of the year: temperatures tend to be around 26 degrees.

Qatar - This fascinating country in the Middle East has a subtropical desert climate where you’ll find about eight hours of sunshine each day in January. Expect temperatures in the 20s, and the sun tends to shine all year round.

Hot places in February

Rio de Janeiro - With an average monthly temperature of 27 degrees, the weather tends to be ideal to hit the famous beaches or Rio Carnival. 

South Africa - A decent 12 hours of daylight matched with a daily average temperature of 19 degrees help to make February a great month to visit the majestic landscapes and buzzy cities of South Africa.

Thailand - High temperatures and lots of sun are typical in February. Koh Samui, one of Thailand’s most renowned islands, has an average high of about 29 degrees in February.

Uruguay - You can expect a warm welcome when you land at the South American country’s capital of Montevideo: it’s an average of 23 degrees at this time of year.

(British) Virgin Islands - The crystal-clear seas of this British overseas territory, which is part of a volcanic archipelago in the Caribbean, has an average sea temperature of 26 degrees.

Wellington, New Zealand - It’s still summer in February in this picturesque part of the world, which promises ideal conditions of around 21 degrees.

MeXico - Tourists are flocking in high numbers to Mexico today. With an average temperature of 29 degrees in Cancún in February, it’s easy to see why…

Yangon, Myanmar - Another one for the more intrepid traveller, a trip to Myanmar (Burma) at this time of year comes with an average temperatures of 27 degrees.

Zambia – if you can put up with the latter part of rainy season during a safari trip, then this vast African country will allow you to bask in afternoon temperatures of around 26 degrees.

The UK government’s website has information on safety and security in each of these destinations.

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