Need to chase away the winter blues and book something to look forward to after Christmas? We have you covered with a list of all the best places to travel in January.
Prices are often much more budget-friendly in January. Once the kids are back at school many resorts are quieter, so this can be the perfect time of year to travel.
From winter sun or British staycations, to far-flung adventures, these are eight of the best destinations to visit in January…
Dates to be aware of:
In the UK, most schools start again on the 6 January 2020, so the first week of the month might be more expensive to travel.
The 29 January is apparently one of the cheapest dates of the year to fly worldwide, so bear the end of the month in mind if you’re looking for a getaway that won’t break the bank!
For a Staycation:
Scotland celebrates Burns Night on the 25 January in honour of poet Robert Burns. Burns was born in the small town of Alloway in Ayrshire, and the locals go all out for the birthday of their most famous son. There’s live music, a special town centre celebration, and of course the iconic Burns Supper of haggis with neeps and tatties (swede and potatoes).
While in the area you can also visit the cottage where Robert Burns was born, or head out to nearby Galloway Forest Park for some hiking. Scotland’s dramatic landscapes are beautiful at any time of year, but be sure to wrap up against the elements!
Need to chase away the cobwebs and warm up during the winter months? You can’t go wrong with a trip to England’s best spa city. Bath has it all; a gorgeous Georgian skyline, a great food scene, a rich and fascinating history, and, of course, the baths! This has been a city for pampering and relaxation since the Ancient Romans first discovered the area’s natural thermal springs.
Visit the ruins of the Roman Baths to discover the city’s origins, then head to a modern spa for your own bathing experience. While there’s plenty to choose from, Thermae Bath Spa is the only spa in the city to use the natural thermal waters – and the rooftop pool has some incredible views.
For Winter Sun:
If you want warmer weather in January, you’re generally facing a fairly long-haul flight. But with a four-hour flight time and highs of 21°C, Lanzarote is a great short-haul break for some winter sunshine. Beyond the beaches, discover the volcanoes of Timanfaya National Park, or soak up some culture at the home of local architect César Manrique – a dwelling built into a sea of solidified lava!
January is the start of the dry season in Barbados, making this the ideal destination for some winter sun. With powdery white-sand beaches, a lush jungle-drenched interior, and that enticing Caribbean culture, there are plenty of reasons to plan a trip to Barbados.
If it’s relaxation you’re after, head to the West Coast for glamorous five-star luxury. But be sure to travel a little further south to seek out some more authentic local experiences; the lively Oistins’ Friday Night Fish Fry street party is a must!
For Wildlife and Nature:
Argentina is considered one of the best fly-fishing destinations in the world, and January is the best time to enjoy the sport.
At this time of year in the Lake District of Patagonia, weather is warmer and you can fish all waters. This is also prime hiking season, and with walks to suit all fitness levels you can’t miss a chance to trek through the stunning mountains of Patagonia.
Further north, January is the greenest time of year to visit Mendoza, in Argentina’s Malbec country. The vineyards are green, the weather is warm (30°C) and there are plenty of amazing wines to try.
Move over, Costa Rica! Once the playground of adventurous backpackers, Nicaragua is growing up and attracting a new kind of tourist.
The central American country has all the same attractions as Costa Rica – incredible wildlife, gorgeous beaches on both coasts, volcanoes, and that intoxicating Latin spirit, but with fewer crowds and generally much lower prices.
Central America in general is at its best in January, with comfortable weather and minimal rainfall, so book yourself into one of Nicaragua’s new luxury eco-lodges and discover a paradise of tropical rainforests and up-close wildlife encounters.
For Culture and Festivals:
In 2020, Chinese New Year falls on the 25 January. So this is the perfect time of year to visit the Land of the Dragon if you want a glimpse into its colourful culture. Bear in mind that travel prices go up at this time of year, and accommodation books up far in advance, so plan early.
Beijing is one of the most iconic places to witness the Lunar New Year. The Forbidden City is decked in lights, and there are parades and performances across the city. However, Beijing recently imposed a New Year fireworks ban due to fears over China’s air pollution problem. So, if it’s New Year fireworks you’re after, Hong Kong has one of the most impressive displays over Victoria Harbour.
If you want to visit Morocco but don’t fancy the heat, January is the perfect time to visit.
The average temperature sits at a comfortable 13°C, with highs of 19°C, but nights can be chilly so take a few layers. This is an ideal time to explore the busy streets of Marrakesh and dive into the local culture without overheating.
Take a tour of the souqs; a warren-like labyrinth of shop-lined passageways, where you can buy everything from spices to carpets! After sundown, head to the Djemaa el Fna, the huge central plaza, to feast on local delicacies at the nightly market, while watching snake charmers and listening to the calls to prayer wafting over the city.