Where to go in January

The festive season with its attendant feasting, family and friends has come and gone – how about a holiday to re-invigorate you for the New Year?

January is a great time to take a break, whether it be in search of sun or snow-sports. There are numerous options for hot weather not too far away if you live in Europe – north Africa, the Canary Islands, or the Middle East. The Mediterranean coasts of African countries like Morocco, and Tunisia enjoy mild and pleasant holiday weather with plenty of sunshine in January, similar to a European spring. You can also get the jump on the seasons in the Canary Islands, which have consistently warm weather in January, particularly on Lanzarote and Tenerife – and the sunshine waits just a short flight from home. It may be a little cloudy in Dubai and the other glitzy, ritzy capitals of the United Arab Emirates in January, but it is relatively cool in these desert states and perfect for shopping and living the high life.

For snow it’s even easier for Europeans, with the traditional ski resorts of Switzerland, France and Austria beckoning, or more budget options like Andorra in northern Spain, or the eastern European resorts of Borovets and Bankso in Bulgaria, Jasna is Slovakia or Kopaonik in Serbia.

In the Americas there are  great options for a sunny beach holiday – Mexico is just across the border of the USA, Brazil is beautiful, and the Caribbean islands are enjoying peak season with ideal weather . For a white holiday, the USA offers great value for money in January and you are spoilt for choice – the Rocky Mountains in Colorado with its renowned resorts like Breckenridge, Vail and Aspen, or how about the challenging ski terrain of Jackson Hole, Wyoming? You can even ski in California in January at resorts like Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Mammoth.

Islands and countries spanning the tropics enjoy their best weather in January, which is the heart of the dry, mild season, and visitors to countries like Thailand escape the rain of the monsoon season and relish lower humidity and hot sunshine. There is also no danger of tropical storms or hurricanes in the tropics in January. Rajasthan in Northern India is a great place to visit in January with weather warm but not too hot, you can combine this with a holiday to Goa or go to the Maldives where you can enjoy a luxurious beach holiday. 

In the southern hemisphere January is the height of the summer season. Down in southern Africa it is the ideal time to go on safari, or soak up the sun in Cape Town – don’t forget to enjoy a tour of the winelands! For serious bare-foot luxury head to Vamizi in up-and-coming Mozambique where you'll find world-class beaches, diving and big game fishing. In the Antipodes Australia and New Zealand have a myriad attractions to offer visitors, and extremely hot weather. The Queensland coast of Australia can, however, be subject to flash flooding this time of year with occasional heavy rains, but Western Australia is simply glorious – particularly if you enjoy baking in super-high temperatures. In New Zealand the temperatures are more moderated, but the north Island has a tropical ambience that will appeal to any beach bunny, and the wild and wonderful southern Island is perfect for scenic nature treks in the sunshine in January.

All in all, January is a superb month for a holiday – so why stay at home?