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15 Warm Christmas Destinations

Fancy spending your Christmas in the warm sun, rather than hiding from the cold? These are some of our favourite warm weather Christmas destinations.

Christmas is synonymous with a winter wonderland of snow-covered landscapes, Christmas trees, and cosy fireside scenes, but many places around the world celebrate Christmas during warm and sunny weather.

These warm Christmas destinations are perfect for those who want to escape the winter chill and enjoy a sunny Christmas holiday filled with warm weather holiday cheer. From soaking up the sun on white sand beaches to sailing crystal clear waters or relaxing on a tall ship, there are many warm weather destinations where you can enjoy your Christmas vacation.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands, an archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa, are known for their diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and excellent sailing opportunities. Each island has its own distinct character, from the lunar-like terrain of Lanzarote to the lush forests of La Gomera. The warm Christmas climate makes it one of the most popular warm weather destinations for travellers looking for sunshine during the holiday season.

Sailing enthusiasts can explore the crystal-clear waters, hidden coves, and picturesque coastal towns while enjoying the consistent trade winds that grace these islands. Imagine spending Christmas on a sun-soaked beach, enjoying traditional Spanish holiday treats like turrón, and feeling the warm embrace of both the sun and the holiday spirit.

Average December temperature: 20-24°C (68-75°F)

Cape Town, South Africa

At the southern tip of South Africa lies Cape Town. The city is situated between the iconic Table Mountain and the rugged Cape Peninsula, is known for its stunning landscapes, historical significance, and vibrant cultural scene. It is one of the warm weather destinations on many people’s bucket lists. Celebrating Christmas in Cape Town means enjoying a mix of South African and Western holiday festivities and traditions, attending open-air carol concerts, walking under the Christmas lights in the city streets, and experiencing festive markets with a stunning backdrop of the city’s natural beauty.

Travellers can do a yacht charter to explore Table Bay, taking in breathtaking views of Table Mountain and the Cape of Good Hope. For those looking to spend Christmas Day relaxing, head to one of the city’s sandy beaches at the foot of majestic mountains.

Average December temperature: 25-30°C (77-86°F

British Virgin Islands (BVI)

The British Virgin Islands is a Caribbean archipelago just that offers a harmonious blend of tropical beauty, bright blue waters, and secluded anchorages. It is one of the warm weather destinations where the call of the sea shapes the island’s character and beckons travellers to explore its nautical wonders and is often referred to as the “Sailing Capital of the Caribbean”.

The warm weather climate of the Islands provides an ideal backdrop for sailing adventures, where you can charter a yacht or sailboat to navigate at your own pace. The trade winds that sweep through the islands provide perfect sailing conditions, making it accessible to both seasoned sailors and those looking to dip their toes into this captivating world. Popular sailing routes include cruising between Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, and Anegada. The protected waters of the Sir Francis Drake Channel make for smooth sailing, and the island’s beach bars and waterfront restaurants provide opportunities to mingle with fellow sailors.

Average December temperature: 28-30°C (82-86°F)

Bahamas

The Bahamas, an archipelago of over 700 islands and cays, is a paradise of powdery beaches, clear waters, and vibrant marine life. Beyond its natural beauty and a warm and welcoming atmosphere, the Bahamas offers a rich cultural experience, and history like the historic forts of Nassau, the capital city, where visitors can get a glimpse into the Bahamas’ colonial past. Sailing forms a big part of life in the Bahamas, and it is steadily gaining recognition as a sailing destination.

The warm Caribbean waters are perfect for sailing adventures, and visitors can charter sailboats or catamarans to explore the island’s diverse landscapes, from the Exumas’ pristine beaches to the Abacos’ charming settlements. Sailing in the Bahamas offers opportunities for snorkelling, diving, and beachcombing on uninhabited cays in the warm weather. The waters are teeming with marine life, and travellers might encounter playful dolphins or swim with gentle nurse sharks at Big Major Cay.

Average December temperature: 24-28°C (75-82°F)

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, Thailand‘s largest island, is renowned for its exotic beaches, vibrant markets, and lively nightlife scene in the heart of Southeast Asia. Beyond its bustling streets, Phuket is home to cultural treasures and breathtaking natural beauty. Christmas in Phuket is celebrated with a blend of Thai and Western traditions.

The island’s warm and inviting waters are ideal for water adventures. Similan Islands, with their vibrant coral reefs and diverse marine life, are a must-visit for divers and snorkelers, while visitors can charter sailboats or catamarans to explore the Andaman Sea. Setting sail to the Phi Phi Islands, a picture-perfect paradise surrounded by clear waters and dramatic limestone cliffs, is a must. Travellers can visit Krabi and its renowned Railay Beach, a rock-climbing haven accessible only by boat. As they sail through these pristine waters, they’ll be surrounded by breathtaking scenery and the soothing sounds of the sea.

Average December temperature: 31-33°C (88-91°F)

Seychelles

Seychelles, an Indian Ocean paradise, is known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and unique granite formations. The islands’ natural beauty is complemented by a vibrant cultural heritage, warm weather and a welcoming local population. Seychelles is a predominantly Christian nation, so Christmas is an important holiday and many churches are beautifully decorated for Christmas services. While not as commercialised as some other destinations, Seychelles offers a serene and culturally rich Christmas experience.

Seychelles is a sailor’s dream come true, with calm waters, beautiful anchorages, and stunning scenery. The inviting waters provide excellent opportunities for sailing, and visitors can charter yachts or sailboats to explore the inner and outer islands. As travellers navigate through the crystalline waters, they’ll encounter towering granite boulders that create otherworldly landscapes. Anse Lazio on Praslin Island is often ranked among the world’s most beautiful beaches and is a perfect stop for swimming and relaxation.

Sailing to remote atolls like Aldabra offers a chance to spot giant tortoises in their natural habitat. The vibrant coral reefs surrounding the islands provide excellent opportunities for snorkelling and diving. Seychelles’ idyllic sailing conditions and pristine surroundings ensure that every moment on the water is a magical experience.

Average December temperature: 29-31°C (84-88°F)

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Bora Bora, a jewel in the South Pacific Ocean, is synonymous with overwater bungalows, turquoise lagoons, and stunning coral reefs. The island’s natural beauty and romantic allure make it a dream destination for honeymooners and adventurers alike. As a French overseas territory, Bora Bora celebrates Christmas with a touch of French flair with some resorts offering special holiday events, dinners and decorations.

While Bora Bora is celebrated for its terrestrial charm, its iconic lagoon and crystal-clear waters also create an ideal setting for sailing adventures. Visitors can charter sailboats, catamarans, or even luxury yachts to explore the lagoon’s hidden gems. As they sail across the calm waters, they’ll enjoy the warm weather as they’re surrounded by the dramatic peaks of Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia. Snorkelling enthusiasts will delight in the opportunity to explore the coral gardens and swim with vibrant marine life.

Average December temperature: 30-32°C (86-90°F)

St. Barts (Saint-Barthélemy)

St. Barts, officially known as St. Barthélemy, offers a luxurious Caribbean escape with pristine beaches, upscale dining, and a relaxed atmosphere. The island’s blend of French and Caribbean influences creates a unique and sophisticated ambience and makes it one of the Caribbean’s most popular travel destinations.

Celebrating Christmas in St. Barts means experiencing a blend of French and Caribbean holiday traditions, enjoying gourmet dining at beachfront restaurants, and attending festive events like the Christmas Regatta. Travellers can explore the coastline by chartering crewed yachts or joining sailing tours that visit secluded beaches and offer panoramic views of the island’s dramatic hills. The capital, Gustavia, features a lively marina where you can admire luxury sailboats and superyachts from around the world.

Average December temperature: 27-29°C (80-84°F)

Corsica, France

Corsica, an island in the Mediterranean, offers a mix of dramatic landscapes, picturesque beaches, and charming villages. The island’s rich history, diverse terrain, and unique culture make it an intriguing destination for travellers. As part of France, Corsica celebrates Christmas with traditional French customs, and towns and villages are often adorned with Christmas lights and decorations and hold special Christmas markets.

Sailing is a big part of Corsican culture, with its crystal-clear waters and a multitude of anchorages. Visitors can charter sailboats or catamarans to explore the island’s dramatic coastline, from the cliffs of Bonifacio to the beautiful beaches of Palombaggia. The city of Ajaccio, where Napoleon Bonaparte was born, is a popular starting point for sailing adventures. As travellers sail along the coast, they’ll discover hidden bays, pristine beaches, and charming fishing villages.

Corsica’s inviting waters are ideal for snorkelling and diving, providing a window to vibrant underwater ecosystems. Whether sailing along the rugged Cap Corse or exploring the Gulf of Porto, Corsica offers a captivating blend of natural beauty and maritime adventure.

Average December temperature: 12-15°C (54-59°F)

Sardinia, Italy

Located in the heart of the Mediterranean, Sardinia is renowned for its rugged coastlines, ancient ruins, and delicious cuisine. The island’s unique culture, archaeological sites, and pristine beaches make it a popular destination. Celebrating Christmas in Sardinia involves participating in Italian holiday traditions, attending festive markets, and enjoying traditional holiday feasts featuring regional delicacies like the uniquely shaped malloreddus pasta and roast lamb.

Sardinia’s welcoming waters and coastal charm create an ideal setting for sailing enthusiasts. Visitors can charter sailboats, catamarans, or luxury yachts to explore the island’s emerald coastlines and turquoise waters. The Costa Smeralda, known for its luxury resorts and beautiful beaches, is a highlight of Sardinia’s sailing scene. The historic city of Cagliari offers a glimpse into the island’s past, with its Roman amphitheatre and mediaeval old town. Sailing to the Nuraghe archaeological sites, ancient stone structures dating back thousands of years provide a unique opportunity to connect with Sardinia’s history.

The island’s cuisine is a culinary delight, and visitors can anchor near beachfront restaurants to savour traditional dishes. Sardinia’s sailing experiences are an immersion in both natural beauty and cultural heritage of this magical corner of Europe.

Average December temperature: 12-15°C (54-59°F)

Grenada

Grenada is an island country located in the Caribbean Sea. It is known for its lush landscapes, stunning beaches, and vibrant culture. Often referred to as the “Spice Isle” due to its production of spices like nutmeg and cinnamon, Grenada offers a warm and sunny climate during the Christmas season, making it an attractive destination for travellers seeking a festive holiday getaway.

Christmas in Granada is a vibrant celebration infused with Caribbean traditions. Families gather for traditional Christmas Eve feasts featuring local specialities like “Oil Down” and “Black Cake.” On Christmas Day, sandy beaches host picnics, joyful gatherings and warm weather holiday activities. Sailing in the clear waters surrounding Grenada is a popular activity, with sailboats exploring the beautiful coastline and nearby islands.

Average December temperature: 29-31°C (84-88°F)

Bay of Islands, New Zealand

New Zealand’s Bay of Islands is a maritime paradise filled with natural beauty and a rich cultural history. This North Island gem offers a warm and sunny weather experience during the Christmas season. Christmas time brings a blend of Kiwi traditions like Kiwiana-themed ornaments, featuring iconic New Zealand symbols like the kiwi bird, silver fern, and Maori motifs, and gatherings at traditional meeting grounds called marae. The Pohutukawa tree, known as the “New Zealand Christmas Tree,” blooms with vibrant red flowers during December. It’s a beloved symbol of the holiday season and often decorates homes and streets, adding to the Christmas cheer.

Sailing is a very popular holiday activity in the Bay of Islands, with clear waters and lush islands dotting the horizon. Visitors can explore the stunning Hauraki Gulf, known for its pristine waters and fantastic sailing conditions.

Average December temperature: 20-24°C (68-75°F)

St. Martin

Known for its dual Dutch and French cultures, the Caribbean island of St. Martin offers a delightful blend of Caribbean charm and European elegance. At Christmas, St. Martin combines Dutch and French cultures in a unique Caribbean-European Christmas celebration. Families enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve feast that includes local dishes like conch and black cake. Beaches become the backdrop for Christmas Day, while holiday markets offer unique gifts like handmade crafts and island-inspired art. The island’s warm and sunny weather during the Christmas season makes it a popular destination for those seeking a Christmas getaway.

As with so many Caribbean islands, sailing is a big part of local culture and sailing in the turquoise waters of St. Martin is a must, with options for both leisurely cruises and adventurous charters.

Average December temperature: 27-29°C (80-84°F)

Azores, Portugal

The Azores, an archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is a hidden gem known for its dramatic landscapes, lush greenery, and a unique blend of Portuguese and island cultures. These islands offer a warm Christmas vacation with mild temperatures and a welcoming atmosphere. Christmas in the Azores is a delightful fusion of Portuguese traditions and island charm. Colourful decorations and festive lights adorn the streets and families come together for cherished Christmas Eve dinners featuring local delicacies such as “Bolo Rei,” a traditional Portuguese Christmas cake, and “Massa Sovada,” a sweet bread.

The Azores provide a picturesque setting for sailing adventures. Sailboats glide through crystal-clear waters, surrounded by volcanic landscapes and vibrant marine life. Exploring the Azores by sailboat offers a unique perspective, from the dramatic cliffs of São Miguel to the secluded coves of Terceira.

Average December temperature: 15-18°C (59-64°F)

Hobart, Australia

Hobart, the capital city of Tasmania, is a captivating destination with a rich maritime history and a unique blend of heritage and modernity. Located on the southeastern coast of Australia, Hobart enjoys a mild climate during the Christmas season, making it an attractive option for those seeking a warm and sunny Christmas vacation. This picturesque city is surrounded by the stunning waters of the Derwent River and is known for its vibrant waterfront, historic architecture, and cultural attractions.

Sailing in the waters around Hobart offers a fantastic way to explore the region’s natural beauty. The nearby D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island provide excellent opportunities for sailing adventures, where travellers can navigate coastal waters and encounter local wildlife.

Over the Christmas holidays, Hobart’s iconic waterfront and historical sites are adorned with Christmas lights, creating a magical setting in the warm weather. Families gather for Christmas Eve barbecues featuring Tasmanian seafood and glazed ham. Pavlova, a beloved dessert, takes centre stage with fresh fruits. Cherries, mangoes, and stone fruits abound, and picnicking on Christmas Day in scenic spots is a cherished tradition.

Average December temperature: 20-22°C (68-72°F)

Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or a mix of both, these Christmas getaway destinations offer a unique way to celebrate the holiday season, with markets, delicious food, cultural events and holiday attractions. So, pack your bags, escape the winter cold, and say “Merry Christmas” in these idyllic paradises. Your warm and sunny Christmas adventure awaits!