Top 12 destinations for a December getaway

Winter is here, which means Christmas is just around the corner, as does the chill. If you can’t stand the winter chill and want to visit sunny beaches, or if you prefer the chill but want to visit places with a lot of Christmas decorations, we’ve got you covered. ILLUME has compiled a list of the top 12 destinations for a December getaway for you this year, check them out.

  1. Maldives

Photo by: Agoda

With temperatures ranging from 30oC to 25oC, Maldives is heaven for tourists who wish to escape the chilly weather and seek lovely warm sunny weather on the beach. Moreover, the islands begin their dry season in December, which includes many gifts from nature such as low rainfall, low humidity, pleasant dry heat, lots of sunshine, and so on. Swimming with whale sharks and manta rays is also available at South Ari and the western edges of the atolls.

For those living in the UK, December has an offer for you: a direct flight from the UK to Malé with British Airways, taking you from cold, dark Britain to the warm and sunny Indian Ocean in just 10 hours, and offering you up to an extra day of beach time.

  1. Madagascar, Indian Ocean

Photo by: Vita Brevis

Madagascar, with temperatures ranging from 30oC to 24oC, is another perfect destination for this December holiday. The primeval island is most renowned for its lemurs, brightly colored chameleons, and bizarre species like the giraffe weevil. But Madagascar’s otherworldliness extends beyond its magnificent rainforests. Don’t miss the spiny woodlands of the southern deserts or the near-impenetrable limestone karst warren of Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve.

Early December is an excellent off-season time to visit before the heavy rains arrive later in the month. Miavana, a private island on the east coast’s Nosy Ankao, boasts an ambitious collection of mid-century-modern, stone-cut villas and could be the world’s smartest castaway vacation spot.

  1. Goa, India

Photo by: Shutterstock

Goa is associated with numerous things that are indicative of a carefree way of life. Goa, which faces the Arabian Sea, has a warm and pleasant climate almost all year: if you are planning a tour of India, possibly in the renowned Golden Triangle, consider extending your trip with a stay on the lovely southern beaches!

In December, Goa is a hotspot for romance. The palm of the tree, the breezy wind, and the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline all together are just perfect for loving couples. The weather is ideal, and the parties are at a fever pitch. Make sure to book ahead of time since it could get crowded. If you are not a party person, you could travel to a quieter place such as Arambol, Mandrem, or Palolem and enjoy different kinds of sunrise.

  1. St Barth’s, Caribbean

Photo by: Karen Hastings

The weather here is warm, with temperatures ranging from 300C to 24oC, making it the ideal spot for a December getaway. In December, almost everyone will choose to visit St. Barth’s. Partly because it is the original discreet-A-sunny lister’s paradise of choice, with the world’s most exquisite beaches, restaurants, hotels, and villas, and partly because everyone else is. The super-rich, super-famous, attractive, and blessed. Book your ticket now, before everyone else, or you’ll be stuck in the cold, dark, and freezing weather this December.

  1. Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico’s rich history, culture, cuisine, beaches, mountains, rainforest, and pleasant weather are just a few of the reasons to come. The Holiday season continues into January with the Fiestas de la Calle San Sebastián, which takes place from January 13 to 16, and features music, dancing, and parties throughout Old San Juan.

Visit the 500-year-old city’s cobblestone streets, travel up to the mountains, explore the rainforest in the east and surfing beaches in the west, and learn about Puerto Rico’s diverse regions. Stay in the historic Caribe Hilton, birthplace of the Pina Colada, the adults-only boutique Condado Ocean Club, the Embassy Suites San Juan Hotel & Casino, or the Fairmont El San Juan. The Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve Puerto Rico is a family-friendly resort with golf and a lagoon-style pool. La Concha Resort is located in the trendy Condado District, and there’s the luxurious Condado Vanderbilt with spacious rooms and suites.

  1. Miami, USA

Photo by: This Wanderlust Heart

Now let’s take you to a cooler place – Miami, USA. Although it is winter, December is Miami’s driest month, with daytime temperatures reaching a beach-ready 24oC. December is also party season, and here is a city that knows how to have a good time. Art Basel Miami Beach, which means parties, debuts, exhibits, and events all over the place – art has never been sexier – is swiftly followed by Art Gaysel, the world’s Queerest Art Fair. Even those who know nothing about art may join in on the thrill of the Miami Design District. You should not miss murals and music at Basel House.

  1. Sao Paulo, Brazil

Photo by: Global Base Camps

With temperatures ranging from 27oC to 18oC, this is a much more ideal option for those who enjoy cooler weather.

While showgirl Rio captures the spotlight and the visitors, Sao Paulo’s style capital has a more sophisticated, insider vibe. Its dynamic residents are creating waves in art and architecture, food and fashion – here is the place to shop for swimwear and homeware and dining at some of Brazil’s most unique restaurants. December offers sunny, dry spring days with rising temperatures, and there’s a real buzz about the city with events going on (including the So Paulo Art Biennial every other year) before many go to Trancoso or Buzios for the Christmas beach parties.

  1. Strasbourg, France

Photo by: Soul Woman

On this below half of the list, we will introduce you to places that are cold but bright for those who enjoy chilly weather. To begin with, Strasbourg, France is an ideal spot for this December holiday.

Strasbourg is famous for its Christmas market. In the 16th century, the first-ever Market of the Infant Christ was held here. The metropolis of hearty-eating, wine-drinking Alsace also claims to be The Capital of Christmas. In its ancient Grande Ile – the entire historic city, with its astonishingly lovely half-timbered houses, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site – rosy-cheeked Alsatians glide around an ice rink, surrounded by market stalls offering toys and souvenirs, mulled wine, and hot sausage.

  1. Venice, Italy

Photo by: Patricija

Next on the list is Venice, Italy with temperatures ranging from 7oC to 0oC. Summer may seem like the perfect season to visit Venice, but those with a creative mind will believe otherwise.

The Floating City is perhaps the most stunning place in Italy, but it’s difficult to say for sure because its exquisite appearance is often swarmed by tourists. Except in December, when hardly one thinks of going. You could think the lagoons are greatest when they sparkle in the summer sun, but that, my friend, is a lack of imagination: witnessing an ice fog curl spookily from the water’s surface is truly amazing. You could even be very fortunate and see snow. Even better, you can go around St Mark’s without getting poked in the eye with a selfie stick. Celebrate your luck by staying at Aman Venice, one of our favorite hotels in the world.

  1. Kyoto, Japan

Photo by: Live Japan

New Year’s is Japan’s favorite holiday (or Oshogatsu). And what better place to celebrate than its former imperial capital and keeper of historical traditions? In December, Kyoto is filled with markets and festivals: The Kobo-san and Tenjin-san flea markets, hosted around the temples of the same names and crowded with Japanese antiques, kimonos, and food carts. Arashiyama Hanatouro, held in early December, is a lovely lantern festival that brightens the renowned Arashiyama bamboo forest. Don’t miss the nightly temple illuminations, and if you’re lucky enough, there might be snow during the event.

  1. Krakow, Poland

Photo by: Telegraph

Krakow in December looks like something out of a Christmas card. Rynek Gówny, the historic main square of the Old Town, is all cobblestones, horse-drawn carriage rides, and Christmas markets serving dumplings and pork knuckles. Load up on handmade trinkets from the vendors, then head to one of the district’s cozy cellar bars for a rejuvenating sip of flavored vodka (the ubiquitous cherry is fantastic). In contrast to many stag-do-ravaged parts of Eastern Europe, Poland’s second city has a refined nightlife vibe. Tytano, a former tobacco factory, is now a complex of trendy bars and restaurants (try the craft cocktails at Lastriko), while Kazimierz, the Jewish area, has seen its decrepit tenement buildings given new life by a slew of shabby-chic bars.

  1. Prague

Photo by: Claire

For the final stop on the list, we’ll take you to Prague, a fairy-tale wonderland. With the temperatures ranging from 4oC to 0oC, it is surely chilled to the bone, but the scenery and culture there will make it up for you.

Winter is a magical time in Prague. Of course, it’s freezing, but if you come prepared for the weather, you can enjoy the greatest things to do in Prague in winter without the crowds. Prague is undoubtedly more beautiful in the snow. Those brilliantly preserved historic streets, like something out of a dream (along with a real castle!); those cinnamon-scented Christmas markets where mulled wine drives us to buy bizarre gifts and way too many Christmas decorations. The winter weather makes its beautifully patterned restaurants even cozier and justifies its extremely rich and hearty cuisine. Warm yourself with roast game and liquor in its Art Nouveau gilded interiors or underground bars.

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