Ahh, Christmas is done for another year, you have just about shaken off that fuzzy head after what can only be described as "the best New Years party EVER", the photos have all been posted on insta-face and twitter-book and yes, you have had to answer for some of them already. So, onward and upward! Where are we going this year. There are lots of choices and Moethus Travel can help with them all, but if you are looking for a last minute deal then perhaps it would be worth finding out where is best to go in... January.
So for all those that are looking to get their New Years dose of sun & fun, for all those that are looking to put off the new diet and are still "ok" with not giving up the drink for another week, perhaps you just want a getaway as a "pre-valentines gift" thing... (any excuse really), please see our top 10 Best Places to visit in January.
1. LANZAROTE, CANARY ISLANDS
Temperature: 20°C high / 13°C low Season: Winter Travel time from UK: 4 hours 15 minutes Time difference: GMT +0
The Canary Islands offer reliable winter sun, it's no secret. However, what is a secret is that you have to skip past the islands east coast, miss the mega-resorts and you’ll discover a very different and very cool Canary indeed.
The island it's self is an art piece no less inspiring than any other. The volcanic landscape presents a ravishing, craggy, beautifully harsh patchwork of soil and rock that presents an array of different colours, each representing a period of time that the earth was literally unfolding. Volcano exploration can be done best in Lanzarote in the Timanfaya National park.
If wandering up a volcano isn't your style then not to worry. Get wet! Snorkeling and diving here is fantastic. It's so good in fact that they commissioned an art park to be viewed underwater at the Museo Atlantico. Alternatively, you can always go surfing on the local favorite known as Famara Beach on the north of the island.
2. THAILAND, ASIA
Temperature: 32°C high; 22°C low Season: dry Travel time from UK: 12 hours Time difference: GMT +7
January in Thailand is just perfect. Not too hot, not too humid, in fact there is even a nice breeze that comes in during the winter months (November - March). It is quite the tourist spot, however. It will be busy with peak season, but the buzz and bustle will have subsided with the Christmas and NYE parties.
Bangkok is about as nice as it gets during January and the islands on the south to south western coast (Andaman Sea) are fantastic. Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, Koh Lanta are the best and most popular islands to visit. If it's east coast that you are interested in then head to Koh Samui, Phangan and Tao, but know that they might see a little bit more rain in this month.
Temperature: 23°C high; 8°C low Season: dry Travel time from UK: 11 hours 10 minutes Time difference: GMT -6
So you are at home in the UK during the winter season. Now try and imagine the exact opposite of what you can see out the window. Think - warm weather, spicy food, colourful people, bright sunshine, parties on the beach, yoga under a swaying palm, perhaps a quick dip in the plunge pool of your private beach villa. Ok, we'll stop there but you get the picture right?
Great places to visit in Mexico include, Cozumel, Tulum and the Yucatan Peninsula. If you are looking for the best resorts then head towards the Riviera Maya. Either the Atlantic or the Pacific coast will deliver dry weather that is not too hot, but is still hot enough to get your tan on!
4. AUSTRALIA'S GOLD COAST
Temperature: 29°C high; 21°C low Season: summer Travel time from UK: 24 hours 40 minutes Time difference: GMT +10
New Years eve is a blast, but Sydney may just throw the best New Years day parties in the world. Once that is done, head up the Gold Coast towards Byron Bay or the Whitsundays or the Great Barrier Ref or... in fact, anywhere along the east coats is going to be great!
Food, drink, beaches, private parties, sounds terrible, right? But then it's warm and sunny too so, yup this is securely on our list.
5. Myanmar, Burma
Temperature: 32°C high; 17°C low Season: dry Travel time from UK: 15 hours 35 minutes Time difference: GMT +6.30
Our Managing Director, Gordon Tole-Moir spent a lot of his childhood growing up in Southeast Asia and then when he was all grown up he went and worked out there too. Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam were his upbringing and his playground, but one of his favourite countires was Myanmar!
The photo above is of a place called Bagan and it is spectacular. As you fly into the airport you are treated with the sight of 3000 temples below you, beautiful landscapes and a warm friendly people that you truly have to meet to understand.
Yangon with it's gold and precious stone encrusted temples, Mandalay and the Ayerwaddie River delivering sights that you will not have seen anywhere else - yup, visit Myanmar!
6. THE COAST OF BRAZIL, SOUTH AMERICA
Temperature: 30°C high; 24°C low Season: summer Travel time from UK: 12 hours 40 minutes Time difference: GMT -3
South America is a destination that is close to our heart... another of our directors is from Argentina, but Brazil has something else. Is it a destination that could make you want to give up all your annual leave for, to stay for the full month of January? Oh yeah!
Spend NYE in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo and then for the next few extra weeks continue up the coast to any one of the many, many, many preposterously gorgeous, barefoot-n-bikini-chic beach havens.
Thousands of miles of empty, golden sand beaches, with only a few shadows cast over them from the nearby palm trees, and then there is the beautiful light blue waters that lap gently at the shores. The beach parties, with the fantastically friendly and good looking people, oh and the never ending caipirinhas to wash it all down with.
Visit Trancoso in Bahia, Fernando de Noronha, Surfy Itacare, Canavierias, Bara Grande and the no-car island of Boipeba and Tinhare. Also Sao Luis, Jericoacoara on the north east coast.
7. BARBADOS, CARIBBEAN
Temperature: 29°C high; 23°C low Season: dry Travel time from UK: 8 hours 45 minutes Time difference: GMT -4
“Beach, eat, drink, dance, repeat,” is what Rihanna told us she did in Barbados. Certainly it sounds like a strong plan.
The glamorous west coast might be all five-star luxury, but travel slightly south and the scene quickly skews more local life. Lively Oistins’ Friday Night Fish Fry brings the community out for an open-air party, with fresh-caught fish on the barbecue and booming reggae.
Or, you can hit St Lawrence Gap, a strip of rambunctious rum bars.
The weather... if you fancy it, then you'll find a pretty constant 9 hours of sunshine per day.
8. CAPE VERDE
Temperature: 24°C high; 19°C low Season: dry Travel time from UK: 8 hours Time difference: GMT -1
Cast out into the Atlantic, 350 miles off the shores of Africa, Cape Verde seems like it's lonely. However, this is exactly why it has become a top fly-and-flop destination for so many recently.
Pristine white sand that stretches for miles, great surf, a landscape that looks like the surface of the moon, volcanic tundra and sun - sun - sun!
Yup, you can stay at the big hotels if you want to but there is also a great eco alternative. Run entirely on renewable energy, Spinguera is a restored fishing village with its own private beach on the north coast of Boa Vista island (“good view”). Think charming, stone-hewn villas with bright-yellow shutters, fresh, white bedrooms and lantern-lit sunset dinners. You could just stay in this peaceful paradise forever.
9. VAL D'ISERE
Temperature: -1°C high; -10°C low Season: winter Travel time from UK: 1 hour 40 minutes Time difference: GMT +1
We had to put in one cooler destination, but don't worry there is still plenty of sun.
Now that the NYE parties are over and the schools are all back in term, Val D'Isere presents a great destination option. Consistent powder snow and a high society reputation to go with it.
With a planned 5 year upgrade for the town in full swing that includes converting a summit cable car station into an ultra-luxe hotel. Le Refuge de Solaise opened at the end of 2018, with unbeatable 360-degree views, spa, restaurant and sprawling sun terrace.
Fans of the Chalet will have more options than ever: seven-room Chalet Husky has a climbing wall, infinity waterfall and space for rifle shooting and archery – not to be attempted after a night at Dick’s Tea Bar. And if Olympic downhills and Michelin-starred restaurants aren’t doing it, then there are plenty more ways to get your thrills. BMW’s ice track anyone?
10. PORTO, PORTUGAL
Temperature: 14°C high; 6°C low Season: winter Travel time from UK: 2 hours 20 minutes Time difference: GMT +0
Portugal is a hot topic destination indeed and one that has seen an influx of tourists in recent years. 20 million in 2017!
Now, winters are not scorching hot, but they are less busy and prices are also really good in Porto. Medieval streets have a buzz about them that come from the kerbside bars and cafes and retooled townhouses that have now been transformed into stylish hotels by local designers.
The food scene is tasty too! Oh and the Port vineyards. And the luxury hotels. Great, just great!
Other destinations that were on our list but didn't make the write up were:
- Silver Lake, Los Angeles, USA
- Montreal, Canada
- Sydney, Australia
- Nicaragua, Central America
- South Africa
- Bruges, Belgium
For more information about any of the above destinations or for more ideas of where to go in January, contact Moethus Travel.
Our February list will be released on Friday, 31st January 2020. Check back soon.