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10 Sunniest Christmas Vacations

Plan to skip the clouds, sleet, hail and snow of the Christmas season? Explore our list of the world’s warmest, sunniest, sweetest holiday escapes.

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Top 10 Warm-Weather Christmas Vacations

Top 10 Warm-Weather Christmas Vacations

Planning a trip to prevent a blue Christmas? Revitalize your festive spirit with an exciting Yuletide adventure. These 10 sun-soaked tourist destinations are the perfect way to leave winter behind and shed the seasonal blahs.

Besides, why should Santa have all the fun flying the friendly skies?

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1. Canary Islands

1. Canary Islands

With over 1,500 kilometres of glorious coastline, Spain’s Canary Islands have an abundance of inviting sandy beaches waiting just for you. Say farewell to your seasonal depression and hello to boundless sunshine and picture postcard vistas. Unwind by the water with a taste of one of the unique wines indigenous to the region, or for visitors with a thirst for adventure, check out the islands’ imposing volcanoes. The warm weather and hospitality will make you forget all about the Canadian chill back home.

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2. Australia

2. Australia

Flip your Yuletide season on its head with a Christmas trip down under. Australia is immersed in the lazy heat of summer when we’re stuck knee-deep in winter. Celebrate the season with koalas and kangaroos instead of reindeer and snowmen. Spend Christmas morning at the beach, savour an Aussie barbecue or picnic, and delight in the 30 degree Celsius temperatures – a Christmas miracle for travellers accustomed to snow on December 25.

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3. Dubai

3. Dubai

Shopaholics, forget Santa. Treat yourself to all the gifts that you desire this Christmas. Dubai is a shopper’s paradise. Ranked second in the world – to the United States – as the world’s most popular shopping destination, Dubai has something for every budget and taste. Snap up bargains at a souk, or give your credit card a full workout in Dubai’s many designer shops. And when you’re looking to relax after a busy day of retail therapy, indulge and be pampered in your hotel’s spa, or by the pool.

 

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4. Thailand

4. Thailand

If you’re seeking a destination that offers delicious food, unique culture and gorgeous beaches, try Thailand. The “land of smiles” welcomes visitors to explore its Buddhist temples, picturesque islands and diverse wildlife. Trade your Christmas turkey for a holiday feast of Pad Thai and satays on a sunny beach. Afterwards, hire a kayak and leisurely paddle along the coastline.

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5. South Africa

5. South Africa

Come December, South Africa is basking in the full bloom of summer. Become reacquainted with hot temperatures and endless sunshine as you create new holiday memories. Spot giraffes, elephants and zebra on an aerial safari in a hot air balloon. Go shipwreck diving in the Knysna lagoon, fly over South Africa’s stunning scenery via zip line, or play with lion cubs at Ukutula lion park. Ghost tours, sun-kissed beaches and whale-watching make South Africa an intriguing alternative to a Christmas spent at home.

 

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6. Barbados

6. Barbados

What’s your idea of Christmas nirvana – frozen waist-high snow banks, or an endless turquoise-hued sea? Sorry Santa, but Barbados has the gift of warmth, relaxation and pure beauty. Exchange your cumbersome winter boots, scarf and parka for a reunion with your summer wardrobe. Barbados welcomes its visitors with plenty to see and do. Check out the island’s many historic homes, go underground in its mysterious caves, or just relax on the beach.

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7. Brazil

7. Brazil

If Christmas is losing its luster at home, a trip to Brazil can spice up the holiday season. This South American country is as warm and inviting as its temperatures. Prepare to be awestruck by the sheer size of the Christ the Redeemer statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro. Indulge in the famous beaches and vibrant nightlife at Búzios, and visit the breathtaking Amazon rainforest. Brazil’s lively atmosphere will keep your spirit merry and bright this Christmas season.

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8. Hawaii

8. Hawaii

A dream destination year round, Hawaii is even more special at Christmas. Visitors get the best of both worlds – 26 degree Celsius temperatures and merry Christmas celebrations. Instead of hauling your gifts through bitter winds and whirling snow, you can comfortably exchange presents on the beach in your bathing suit. Hawaii hosts magical tree lighting ceremonies, Christmas parades and holiday craft fairs – and best of all, you can cap off all the festivities with a little surfing, volcano exploring or a luau. You can’t do that in Canada.

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9. Cyprus

9. Cyprus

Nestled in the warmth of the Mediterranean, Cyprus offers more than just spectacular beaches. The island nation boasts many activities for thrill seekers including snorkelling, bungee jumping, sailing and deep-water fishing. And history aficionados, prepare to be spoiled. Cyprus is home to many cultural and religious monuments – relics of a sacred past. But if all you want for Christmas is a white, sandy beach and the sparkling blue waters of the Mediterranean under your feet, Cyprus delivers with gusto.

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10. Egypt

10. Egypt

A trip to Egypt’s Giza Plateau – home to the Great Pyramids – is a Christmas present you’ll never forget. This once-in-a-lifetime experience introduces you to one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Forget being back home counting through the 12 days of Christmas, you’ll be racking up pyramid sightings instead. Enjoy a camel ride in the North African sun and become acquainted with the mysterious Sphinx.

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Explore the world with Reader’s Digest Canada.