Forget the typical New Year’s Resolutions of dieting, exercising and saving money – and kick the New Year off with a holiday instead! After all, it’s cold and you’ve probably spent far too much time indoors, wondering where to put all your Christmas presents.
In the tropics, you’ll find perfect weather and the southern hemisphere is in sun-filled party mode for the entire month. If you’re not aching for the sun, but can’t wait to hit the slopes instead, Europe’s best ski resorts are absolutely in full, snowy swing.
Here’s a look at where to go on holidays in January.
Winter Sun Holidays
There’s no need to look longingly at your flip flops and sunhats in January, when you can simply pack them and head off to the warmth of pristine beaches and tropical sunsets!
Montego Bay, Jamaica
With perfect weather, palm-fringed beaches, reggae and historic plantations, “MoBay” offers everything you want in a fun long-haul trip. The vibrant port city is packed full of adventure activities to enjoy in the sun, including horseback riding, zip lining, golf and fishing.
Divers and snorkelers are in for a treat, with colourful coral reefs and abundant marine life. Gloucester Avenue is the trendy hub of restaurants, shops and art galleries. Visit working plantations, to sample the fresh produce and head to Rocklands Bird Sanctuary to photograph and hand-feed exotic birds.
Fuerteventura, The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands offer the warmest holiday temperatures for Europe in January, so they’re understandably popular with UK travellers. Fuerteventura is the domain of surfers, hikers and beach-goers looking to find endless stretches of sand. The Parque Natural de Corralejo is one such beach, with dunes covering 11km.
Explore pretty, traditional villages, such as Betancuria, savour seafood at waterfront restaurants, climb the heights of Montana de Tindaya for panoramic holiday pics, sample the local Majorero cheese and take a glass bottomed boat to discover some underwater magic.
Cape Town, South Africa
Warms seas and dry weather in January means Cape Town shoots to the top of our list for a winter sun destination. This is a city that blends scenic landscapes, sea views and a bustling vibe in town. Climb or take the cable car to the top of iconic Table Mountain, as the most popular tourist attraction.
Visit the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront for history, colonial architecture and sunset cruises. You can hire a car and venture along the coast to see the penguins of Boulders Beach, or head to the Cape Winelands to sample the local wines at spectacular vineyards.
Your search for pristine white sand and turquoise water is over, in Boracay. This paradise island is the place to kick back at your beachfront hotel with a good book, take a dip in the ocean, stroll along the sand and join in with the nightly parties at bars along the beach.
Fun in the sun continues with banana boat rides, horseback riding, sailing, island hopping, zip lining, snorkelling and paragliding. Gorgeous White Beach is the centre of the action and, in January, the temps are sheer perfection to get into the island vibe.
Gold Coast, Australia
There’s no better time to visit Australia’s Queensland coast, than January. Though virtually the whole country lives at the beach during summer, there’s so many you’ll always find your own perfect patch of sand. Stretching along a whopping 57kms, the Gold Coast’s beaches sparkle with frothy waves lapping glaring white sand.
Resorts offer spectacular coastal views, theme parks keep the kids happy and the vibrant nightlife strips of Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Coolangatta are in full party mode, with alfresco dining, nightclubs and holiday entertainment. When you want a break from the sun, hit the mountains of the Hinterland for vineyards, waterfalls and refreshing hikes through shady rainforests.
Zermatt sits at the base of the majestic Matterhorn – a car-free resort in which to base yourself for unrivalled outdoor adventures. The training ground of many national ski teams, the area combines mountain railways, lifts and ski runs over three areas. When you’re not carving up the snow, you can visit the Matterhorn Museum and the Village of FindeIn, an original Valais settlement.
Val Thorens, France
If you want to ski out of your hotel straight onto the slopes, Val Thorens is the place for you. The highest altitude resort in Europe is located in the Tarentaise Valley in the French Alps and it’s open from November until May. Different ski pass combinations ensure that everyone is catered for, from beginners to experienced skiers. Best of all, the resort is renowned for excellent conditions, so it could be the perfect choice for a January break.
Baqueira Beret, Spain
Spain’s biggest winter resort offers consistently good snow, varied terrain and pistes for skiers of all levels, many of which criss-cross through the forest. The three main areas of Baqueira, Beret and Bonaigua in the Pyrenees are connected and visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing, horse sleighs, hiking, shopping, restaurants and snowmobiles.
While it may be a tad too chilly to jump in the ocean, January is one of the best times to explore the delights of Barcelona. You won’t have to fight the crowds, the temps are still comfortable and the sun will likely shine. Apart from exploring the popular sites, including the Sagrada Familia, Park Güell, the Gothic Quarter, La Rambla and the Picasso Museum, you’ll find the city’s event calendar bursting with entertainment to keep you in the holiday spirit.
You can be pretty much assured of warm weather at any time of year in Bangkok, the only problem is, it’s often too hot to enjoy the hours of shopping you’re likely to do! In January, the sun shines all day, but you’ll love the cooler temperatures. The city is a fantastic stop-over on your way to or from the beaches of Phuket or Koh Samui. Discover fascinating markets, take a Tuk Tuk tour around town, climb to the temple of Golden Mount and indulge all your senses with wonderful Thai food.
Are you convinced to jet off in January? Make sure you keep checking your inbox for our weekly deals. As the month is just out of the Christmas season, you’re sure to find an incredible bargain!
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