It’s such a dream to take time off in January! We break routines, starting the year in the best possible way while leaving the cold European weather behind. Yes, you got it, today’s talk is about enjoyable holidays in the heat. Perfect to inject warmth into your bones after the typical disappointing cold December. And in addition to being full of sun, we will also be selecting those packed with beauty. Because there are numerous hot destinations in January and each is more beautiful than the other. If you’ve landed on this article typing on Google “best destinations for the winter sun in January“, read on. I will provide you with a cute list of postcard-perfect places for a summer holiday … in the middle of winter!
From the closest destinations to the most distant places, we’ve got something for everyone. Because you needn’t travel afar overseas to drop into dream scenarios, au contraire. Some hot countries in January are really just around the corner! I won’t waste any more time. I’ll set off right away with my list, so you can meticulously evaluate which trip best suits your needs, pocket and passions. In the meantime, start packing, because you’ll immediately want to leave! But first, a little recommendation: don’t forget your swimsuit!
What are the best winter sun destinations in January? If you don’t dream of the tropical sun, Tenerife is right at your fingertips. Here you live an eternal spring, quite warm and definitely pleasant. It is the perfect destination for anyone who doesn’t have many holidays or does not want to travel too far. As long as you have not decreed to take a dip. Because although it is certainly hot in Tenerife in January, surely only the bravest will dare to dive into the sea! But those seeking sunshine and pleasant temperatures can find a perfect island, such as the Canaries in January! Before moving on to places to see, a tip for anyone who has convinced themselves to leave: book in the island’s southern part. It’s less windy and rainier than in the north.
- Trekking to the Teide National Park: a UNESCO-protected site. This park has unparalleled colours and landscapes thanks to the homonymous volcano that dominates the territory. You can reach Pico del Teide, the highest peak, on foot or by cable car for a breathtaking view. Before starting, request a permit that will allow you to access the site.
- Whale Watching: Do you know that the waters around Tenerife are home to many animal species? Among these, there are wonderful pilot whales, with a dedicated large sanctuary, where more than 500 specimens live. A boat trip is enough to see them up close: a truly incredible show!
- The Pyramids of Güímar: the genesis of Tenerife’s pyramids is still obscure, but their beauty is known to everyone! They are definitely worth a visit. The most reckless can also take a peek at the Poisonous Garden. It houses some of the most lethal plants on the planet!
And after taking a look at the nature of Tenerife, move on to its wonderful cities! From Santa Cruz to San Cristóbal de La Laguna, with its incredible old town, you can also visit Orotava and Puerto de la Cruz. You won’t regret it.
Where to spend January in the heat on a low budget? For anyone who does not want to go too far, Morocco in January is an ideal destination. Not to mention that, if you don’t have too many demands, seven days is more than enough to pull the plug and enjoy the beauties of the country. The climate is undoubtedly pleasant, especially compared to the extreme heat of summer!
January is also packed with events. If you’re a runner, head to Marrakech towards the end of the month to join the International Marathon of Marrakech, which welcomes more than 14 thousand runners from all over the world! Also in January, there is the Yennayer celebration, the Amazigh New Year! The date varies every year because it follows the lunar calendar: check before leaving and participate in the city celebrations!
If you want a more classic trip, I recommend you visit one or more imperial cities in Morocco, choosing Marrakech as an essential stopover. There are several things to see here, so stop for at least three days. Take a look at the largest souk in the whole country, enjoy the beauty of the city palaces (among which Palais de la Bahia and Palais El Badi stand out), linger in Jamaa el Fna Square, the beating heart of the city and the ideal place to dive to discover the Medina, and take a trip to the Garden of Majorelle. As for the overnight stay, choose a riad (a large traditional house built around a central courtyard) without delay. Besides, they cost much less in January!
Other appealing cities certainly include Casablanca, with its scenic Mosque of Hassan II, the largest in the country, and Rabat, which has a beautiful Medina, UNESCO heritage since 2002. If you want to have a tremendous experience, participate in one of the countless organised excursions in the Sahara, the most famous desert in the world. If you have let yourself be convinced, do not miss our express tour from Marrakech to Essaouira, which also passes through the desert!
It may be slightly blatant to include them in this list, but if you’re wondering where the best winter sun destinations are in January, the Maldives is heaven on earth! The sun is guaranteed, the sea is a dream and relaxation will be absolute. If you want to completely pull the plug, this trip is perfect for you. You can get away from everything and everyone and experience the ecstasy of being lost in the middle of the Ocean!
So land in Malé, leave that behind you (it’s super chaotic!) and discover the most beautiful atolls in the world! Here are a few ideas.
- Ari Atoll – This is the most famous atoll in the Maldives and a paradise for snorkelling enthusiasts. It consists of 60 islands, which will give you a notion of how wonderful nature is. Being the most famous, this atoll is also the most frequented, but you can easily reach it by plane!
- Lhaviyani – From the most touristy to the least frequented. This atoll can only be reached by sea and, out of its 54 islands, only 4 are inhabited. Can’t you hear heaven’s bells ringing? Here the atmosphere is more authentic and, in addition to the sea and white beaches, you can make a total immersion in the place’s culture.
- Baa Atoll – If you are looking for nature at its best, then head on over to this atoll. And the reason is quickly discovered: UNESCO has declared it a World Biosphere Reserve. Welcome to the place to be!
- Raa Atoll – Separated from the previous one by a natural canal, it is less known to the public but contains a priceless treasure. It is the richest coral reef in the Maldives!
Bali is green, very green. And when you get home, you’ll be amazed at how anonymous and insignificant the cement that pervades our sad Western lives is! Needless to say, it is the perfect destination to find summer even in winter. On this Indonesian island, the climate is tropical and hot all year round. If you visit Bali in January, you’ll find temperatures as high as 31°C, and perhaps you’ll miss the cold weather of old Europe!
Jokes aside, this is one of the most popular destinations in the country, and therefore very touristy. But if you are careful, you can avoid the classic tourist traps and enjoy the island’s very special atmosphere, which is mostly Hindu, unlike the rest of Indonesia.
Before landing on Bali’s heavenly beaches, let’s take a look at some of the island’s many temples. There are about 20,000 of them, so you’ll have to rationalise your itinerary. The most significant on the island is the Pura Baskin, which is also the largest. The more unusual is the Padangtegal Great Temple of Death in the Monkey Forest, where you will be literally escorted by a troop of monkeys. The most picturesque is the Tena Lot Temple, located on an island near Beraban. Taking a photo at sunset here is practically mandatory, and no Instagram filters are needed. By now, you’ll have gathered that it is impossible to list all the temples to see or say which is the most beautiful on the island. This is a great way to let go and set off on an adventure, building your itinerary day by day.
Because Bali also means endless beaches, sea, snorkelling, countless waterfalls, jungles and rice fields, plus two volcanoes and wagons of local food. The island is lush from every point of view and is the perfect place if you want to reconnect with yourself. If you want to experience this with others, the Bali 360° trip is just what you are looking for!
Do you dream of Africa but also seek paradise? The perfect compromise is represented by Zanzibar, the island of Tanzania ideal for a beach holiday in January. How can you summarise it into a couple of words? White beaches, crystal clear sea, coral reef and unrivalled snorkelling. Okay, so I’ve used more than two words, but don’t hassle me; this island is practically synonymous with relaxation.
It is the ideal destination for anyone who wants to spend a leisurely holiday without doing anything but enjoying the sun’s warmth and the place’s beauty. Because in Zanzibar in January the average temperature is around 32°, and your cold European bones will thank you.
Relaxation, snorkelling and coconuts aside, even in paradise you can indulge in certain activities other than lounging in the sun. For example, you can admire the sunrise from one of the beaches on the island’s east coast, or take a trip to the Jozani Forest where strictly accompanied by a guide, you can admire closely the red monkeys, which you cannot find anywhere else in the world! Moreover, treat yourself to a boat trip to Prison Island and get to know wonderful giant turtles. You can discover Stone Town, the old part of the island’s capital, and visit the picturesque town market.
And if you want to combine all these things, maybe you might be interested in joining our trip to Tanzania!
Are you looking for hot spots in January, then Thailand replies with fervent enthusiasm. And since Thailand is so vast, we will focus on its southern coast and, in particular, on two perfect places for a beach holiday in January: Phuket and Phi Phi Island!
To say that Phuket is a wonderful island is obvious, but it is also a great starting point for trips and excursions that you will always carry in your heart. Its beaches will remain imprinted in your mind giving you incredible sunsets, dream tones and tropical atmospheres that you will long for once you return home.
Depart from Mai Khao Beach, the longest beach on the island, set in the wonderful setting of Sirinat National Park. If you are looking for something more collected, Banana Beach is perfect: only 150 metres long and the sea is so beautiful that you will discover the true definition of relaxation. If you don’t want to give up the most tourist services, head to Bang Thao Beach, full of restaurants and shops. Among the lesser-known beaches of Phuket, take Laem Sing Beach, small and rich in lush tropical vegetation.
But if you go to Phuket, as anticipated, you can not miss an excursion. The destination? The famous and stunning Phi Phi Island. It’s no coincidence that The Beach with Leonardo di Caprio was filmed here! Rent a boat driven by a local. Let yourself be lulled by the waves: what you see will be etched in your memories forever!
What about the rest? You can hike in the jungle, watch an incredible starry sky from your favourite beach, enjoy local specialities (if you don’t like coriander, declare it on departure!) and relax on the beach to get plenty of sun before returning home. Did we convince you that Thailand is one of the best destinations to visit in January for the winter sun? Alright! If you don’t want to be twiddling your thumbs take a look at the Thailand Beach life tour!
Are you looking for other winter sun destinations in January? Then fly with us to the other side of the world to land in Cuba, a favourite destination for those looking for warm excursions in January. A wonderful Caribbean island whose tropical beauty is combined with a truly unique cultural ferment. Beautiful with its city palaces and wonderful in its contradictions. Cuba is an island that breaks stereotypes and you need to have been there to grasp what I’m talking about. Because even if many choose it as a destination, there is still no mass tourism here. And this is a point that many will appreciate.
Then there are so many things to see, and it is impossible to list them all here. You will have to wander Havana far and wide to discover its history and decadent beauty. You can take advantage of the incredible beaches that overlook the island’s coast and (re)learn how to enjoy the slowness of time. Because there is no haste in Cuba and, whether willingly or unwillingly, you need to get used to this!
As for the rest of the island, take a nature walk in the Viñales Valley where, if you wish, you can also visit a tobacco plantation. Do not miss Trinidad, because time seems to have literally stopped here: the typical colonial houses will leave you breathless. If you want to learn more about the revolutionary past of the island, Santa Clara is a must with its mausoleum of Che Guevara. If your trip lasts long enough, don’t leave Santiago De Cuba behind. It’s a really lively city where there is also a museum dedicated to the carnival! If you are already daydreaming, you could take advantage of the Cuba 360° trip that will take you from Havana to Trinidad!
Want to know the best time to go to Cuba? Read our article!
If you are looking for one of the most extraordinary winter sun destinations in January, Miami could fill you with joy. An iconic city in the southern United States, it attracts thousands of tourists every year from all over the world. Its festive soul and beaches are so vast that when you start walking you almost can’t see the shore, luxury at your fingertips. Also its surroundings, which offer very unusual landscapes and are different from what we European tourists are used to.
Of course, those who visit Miami in January shouldn’t miss at least one day in the sun. South Beach is the most famous beach in the city. White sand, beach turrets and turquoise sea form the backdrop to the most famous coastline in the USA! And if you get tired of basking in the sun, you can always refresh yourself. There are many restaurants and bars overlooking Ocean Drive.
As for the neighbourhoods, then, there are plenty of choices. Starting from Little Havana, the Latin heart of the city, you go to the Miami Art Deco District and Coconut grove, one of the most particular areas of Miami. And if you’ve had enough of city life, get in the car and drive to Key West, the southernmost island in the continental United States. Yes, you can get there by car! Or try to spot some alligators on an airboat excursion to the Everglades – it’s certainly thrilling! If you’ve been intrigued enough, perhaps the Miami Beachlife trip is just right for you!
I mean, if you’re wondering where the best winter sun destinations are in January, I hope I’ve given you some useful advice and travel ideas. Between us, I still do not know which destination to pick!