Dreaming of a sunny Christmas? Get ready to put your feet up and bask in the warm sun with these top picks from around the world. From Australia’s golden beaches to the laidback vibes of the Caribbean, you’ll be sure to unlock your dream Christmas. Escape the winter chill while still embracing the holiday spirit with these paradise destinations, some of which you can even explore on a Trafalgar tour.
We think you’ll also like: Why winter is the perfect time to set your travel goals
Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is a great destination for a sunny Christmas. Summer is in full swing, with stunning beaches, picturesque landscapes, and a vibrant culture welcoming you in. You could spend Christmas day relaxing on the beautiful beaches of Camps Bay or Clifton, soaking up the sun and enjoying the refreshing ocean breeze. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain for breathtaking panoramic views of the city and coastline.
Unlock this beautiful city on Cape Town Explorer
For an idyllic Christmas, look no further than the Maldives. On this archipelago of breathtaking coral islands you’ll find pristine white sand beaches, crystal-clear waters teeming with marine life, and luxurious resorts that cater to every need. With highs of 84°F (29°C), you’ll swap bitter Christmas cold for snorkeling, diving, or simply lounging on the beach. December is also a great month to see the famous bioluminescent plankton beaches – when there is more plankton in the sea and less moonlight, making the waves light up bright in all their bioluminescent glory.
Down under, you’ll find highs of 79°F – 84°F (26°C – 29°C), which sets the perfect scene for this cheerful time of year. Christmas lies at the beginning of the Australian summer holiday, meaning the country’s buzzing with optimistic energy. For a truly tropical Christmas, go to the aptly-named Gold Coast with its miles of golden beaches, thriving nightlife, and energetic atmosphere. Christmas on the Gold Coast means sunshine, blue skies, endless activities like swimming, hiking and watersports that’ll provide plenty of festive fun.
Unlock the Gold Coast and more on Australian Highlights
The Seychelles is an enchanting cluster of islands off the eastern coast of Africa. Here, you’ll find an incredible backdrop for a sunny Christmas escape. With its stunning beaches, lush forests, and vibrant marine life, the Seychelles offer a picture-perfect slice of the good life. Explore nature reserves, enjoy water sports, and indulge in the local Creole cuisine. At Christmas, you have to check out the many beach parties taking place during the festive period, as well as the barbecues and beach picnics that replace typical Christmas dinners.
We think you’ll also like: These 7 Trafalgar tours are absolute retirement travel goals
No list of sunny Christmas destinations would be complete without mentioning Hawaii. With its enchanting islands, iconic beachfront resorts, legendary surf spots, and captivating cultural experiences, Hawaii offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Embark on thrilling water activities like snorkeling, surfing, or paddleboarding, explore lush rainforests and majestic waterfalls on hiking trails, or just sit back on some of the world’s most famous beaches. Celebrate a sunny Christmas with hula dances amidst a vibrant Polynesian culture, and prepare for a unique holiday experience where golden shores and tropical bliss await.
Unlock a Hawaiian Christmas on Hawaii Discovery
We think you’ll also like: Can we learn from the Hawaiian mindset of ‘Mālama’?
Barbados, the easternmost island in the Caribbean, is an idyllic destination with the perfect combination of sun, sand, and Caribbean charm. With its pristine white sandy beaches and turquoise waters, Barbados is famous for its guaranteed Christmas sun, making it extremely popular during the festive break. Immerse yourself in the friendly local culture, savor mouthwatering Caribbean cuisine, and celebrate the holiday season with lively festivals and events. For a really authentic Bajan experience, head to Queen’s Park on Christmas morning, where all the locals get suited and booted in their best clothing. Marvel at the outfits and join in the festive fun as you all sing and dance to Christmas songs with Caribbean cheer.
We think you’ll also like: We asked, you answered: This is where our community most want to travel in 2023
While much of the Caribbean guarantees a sun-kissed Christmas, we’re currently big fans of the lowkey Colombian Caribbean coast. With beautiful peninsulas like Baru and archipelagos surrounded by pale blue waters, laidback vibes and golden sun-filled days, you’ll be experiencing authentic Caribbean culture – at a fraction of the price. This corner of the Caribbean is arguably even more laidback as the rest of the islands, as it’s still somewhat of an undiscovered gem. No busy beaches or crowded hotspots. You can base out from Cartagena and do day trips out to these gorgeous islands to the west, or travel all along the coast to the east.
Unlock Colombia’s Caribbean coast on Best of Colombia
Somewhat of an outlier, Namibia is not so much of a tropical beach paradise like other options on this list. Yes, the country has its Atlantic coast, but it’s famed for its rugged beauty and wild energy rather than being a traditional sandy beach to chill on. However, that doesn’t rule out this unique and captivating destination for a wonderful sunny Christmas. This desert country and has an incredibly distinct landscape, and if you feel like an adventurous vacation, then this is your best place to go during the festive break. Drive through picturesque sand dunes on 4x4s, meet Himba tribal people, and see amazing animals like flamingos, zebras and lions.
Unlock an adventurous Christmas on Namibia Adventure