One of our favourite things about January is having a shiny new year stretching ahead of us that’s filled with the promise of fresh adventures and amazing travel experiences. To get you started on your list of New Year’s travel resolutions, we’ve rounded up eight of our favourite places to visit in January:
If you’re in search of a truly unique and remote destination, Antarctica should be at the top of your list. January brings milder temperatures, settled weather and longer daylight hours, with penguin colonies bustling with adorable chicks and seals playing in the pristine, navy-blue water. The mesmerising play of light on towering icebergs, the serene silence, and the opportunity to partake in activities like kayaking and Zodiac cruising ensure you’ll have an unforgettable adventure in one of the most remote and pristine corners of our planet.
Australia is blessed with some of the world’s most incredible beaches, but Barbados, the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, is renowned for its pristine white sandy beaches, crystal-clear turquoise waters. January falls during its dry season so you’ll be blessed with a warm, settled weather conditions for enjoying the vibrant culture, lush botanical gardens, and bustling local markets. A road trip around the island makes for a fun, scenic day trip: go snorkelling at Crane Beach, explore the island’s rich history at St. Nicholas Abbey and the Barbados Museum, and feast on authentic Barbadian dishes like cou-cou and steamed flying fish.
Whether you’re wandering through the ancient ruins of UNESCO World Heritage site, Chichen Itza, savouring delicious street food in Mexico City, or lounging on the pristine beaches of the Riviera Maya, the weather in January allows you to make the most of your visit. January is the heart of the dry season in most parts of the country, ensuring that you’ll have clear skies and comfortable temperatures for the variety of outdoor adventures on offer. It’s also a great time to visit if you want to experience a taste of Mexico’s rich cultural heritage: the Day of the Three Wise Men (Dia de los Reyes) is celebrated on 6 January every year.
January brings clear blue skies and comfortable temperatures to the desert landscapes and historic cities of Rajasthan. Explore the pink-hued architectural marvels of Jaipur, roam the bustling bazaars of Jodhpur, and marvel at the heritage of the ‘Golden City’ of Jaisalmer. Rajasthan’s traditions and hospitality are on display during January with vibrant festivals like the colourful Kite Festival of Makar Sankranti. Whether you’re taking a camel safari in the Thar Desert or feasting on delectable Rajasthani cuisine, a visit to this historic corner of India promises an unforgettable journey through history, culture and natural beauty.
This compact island nation enjoys some of its most idyllic weather during January, with abundant sunshine highlighting the country’s diverse landscapes. Head to the south coast to laze on pristine beaches overlooking the Indian Ocean, or venture inland, where you’ll be entranced by the lush greenery and nature reserves of the central highlands and the cultural treasures of ancient cities like Kandy. While the coastal cities like Galle bask in warm temperatures, the hill country is pleasantly cool, providing a perfect escape from the heat. January also marks the peak of the whale-watching season at Mirissa on the southern coast, so be sure to seize the opportunity to see magnificent blue whales in their natural habitat.
Nestled in the heart of the French Alps, this charming ski resort is a snowy wonderland of pristine slopes. Chamonix is renowned for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, with fresh powder providing excellent conditions for every level of expertise. You don’t have to be a mountaineer to ascend Western Europe’s highest peak – instead, a cable car ride will transport you effortlessly up Mont Blanc for spectacular views across the snowy peaks. The village offers a range of accommodation options, from cosy alpine chalets to luxury hotels, as well as a vibrant après-ski scene where you can savour traditional Alpine cuisine and hot mulled wine.
From skiing and snowboarding in waist-deep powder to soaking in enchanting onsen hot springs, Japan’s snow-clad landscapes provide another incredible option for anyone seeking a winter adventure holiday in January. The beautiful parks, temples and shrines seem even more magical beneath a light dusting of snow, and you can ward of the chill with endless bowls of steaming ramen. You’ll also be able to take part in traditional New Year’s customs, from Hatsumode temple visits to the lively festivities of Setsubun, which add further layers of interest to this fascinating destination.
January is typically the coldest winter month for much of North America, and Niagara’s average temperature sits just below the freezing mark. As a result, the famous falls and surrounding landscape are transformed into a mesmerising spectacle of natural artistry, with frozen mist creating stunning ice formations along the surrounding cliffs and trees. The annual Winter Festival of Lights extends into January, with more than 75 spectacular installations illuminating the area with over three million lights. Wrap up in your warmest woollies to experience the thrill of a moonlight dog-sledding adventure – you may even be lucky enough to spot the jaw-dropping Northern Lights if the sky is clear. Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the pretty town of Niagara-on-the-Lake and sample local vintages paired with fabulous food at the town’s annual Niagara Icewine Festival.
Each of these destinations offers a different but equally captivating holiday experience to start the new year. Whether you’re seeking a northern hemisphere winter adventure or a sun-soaked Caribbean beach break, your personal travel manager can recommend experiences and destinations for your ultimate January escape.