January is a wonderful month to escape the cold Northern winter and there are plenty of fantastic options. We have hand picked a number of ideas to inspire and excite you.
Enjoy Sunshine & Warmth in...Maldives
The Maldives normally sits on everyone’s list of places to go for a tropical getaway and Jan is an ideal time to make this a reality. While it is hot and sunny all year round, January is a great month to go as it is in the dry season. This means the best chance of clear skies and no rain.
With the Northern hemisphere deep into winter, we think a warm island getaway is a perfect way to start the new year. Many people have the perception that all there is to do in the Maldives is sit on a beach, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Each resort offers something different. Choose from diving, kayaking, snorkelling, stand up paddle boarding, surfing, parasailing, tubing and that’s just the water activities. For those looking for a more active getaway, we can recommend resorts with fitness programs, tennis, yoga, volleyball and more. If food is your passion, many of the resorts have world class chefs, Michelin star guest chefs, incredible cuisine and hands-on cooking classes to keep your palate entertained.
The Maldives also ticks the boxes for just about any trip type from a fun family holiday to a secluded romantic escape. There is something for everyone as you can choose from private islands, standalone villas, large resorts, small resorts, overwater rooms, beach villas, resorts with slides, resorts without slides and plenty of other options too.
Experience the History & Culture of...Cambodia
Often overshadowed by neighbours Thailand and Vietnam, Cambodia offers plenty for those with an interest in history and culture. And January is a perfect time to visit. It’s in the middle of the dry season, so no worry’s about rain and the added bonus of a warm escape.
For those with an interest in history and culture, the obvious highlight is the temple complex at Angkor, which is the ruined capital of a historic Cambodian empire. 100s of buildings lie hidden in the jungle which has grown over them. Give yourself time to really explore this fascinating ancient wonder and let us help you explore it in different ways to escape the crowds. But that is not the only temple, there are a number of other ones like the 10th century capital of Koh Ker. It has over 200 temples, however only 96 have been discovered so far. Very few visitors go to this site, so there is a good chance you will have it practically to yourself.
If you want a mix of activities and not just temples and monasteries, then don’t worry, Cambodia has you covered. , lounge on picture perfect beaches, indulge on a private island, cruise the Mekong delta, cycle around Angkor Wat, treat your tastebuds with delicious food and so much more.
To get a glimpse of a more modern Cambodia, we recommend a few nights in the bustling city of Phnom Penh. Filled with restaurants, galleries, local artisans and coffee shops it is a vibrant and energetic city.
Finally, while not exactly a cultural activity, Cambodia does have many picture perfect beaches which offer a warm break in the cold months of January.
Reconnect with Family in...South Africa
South Africa during its summer is one of the best countries in the world. And it is an ideal destination for families. It doesn’t offer big resorts with kids clubs, this is a family trip that will engage, connect and inspire you. Discover the beautiful outdoor playground on offer as you walk, cycle, paddle, swim, slide and jump around the mountains, coast and gardens. Don’t forget about the magic of a safari, with many lodges catering to kids of all ages.
While most hotels don’t have specific kids clubs, they do have programs and amenities to keep the little ones entertained. Plus everyone in South Africa loves children, you may find the staff more than happy to entertain the little ones. Leaving you to enjoy the country’s fabulous food and world class wine for an afternoon or two.
Another plus for South Africa as a family destination is that the internal travel is pretty simple and easy. No long car drives, short flights and more time spent on activities and experiences.
January is hot and sunny in the Western Cape making it prime time to explore Cape Town, the iconic winelands and lovely coastal towns which will enchant you. The safari areas will also be hot but it is the rainy season. No need to worry though, as just means an afternoon shower to cool things down (you will be thankful, trust us).
Access is very easy with direct flights out of the UK and US into Johannesburg and Cape Town almost daily.
Get off the Beaten Path in...Nicaragua
Quite possibly the Central American country that has it all: tropical rainforests and untouched beaches, fringed with palms, distant cloud-capped volcanoes, and recently some extraordinarily special eco-lodges. January has the extra benefit of being the month with the best temperatures everywhere, and also the least rainfall (barely any at all) on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.
With all those habitats and climates to explore, variety is a key theme of travelling in Nicaragua. The lack of knowledge and unfair negative press for the region have kept visitor numbers relatively low but it is starting to open up and gain notice.
Half the appeal of going to Nicaragua is losing yourself in the wild. It has one of the largest rainforests outside of the Amazon, six active volcanoes and plenty of coastline with sandy beaches. A number of exciting eco lodges have opened up recently too. Places like Totoco Eco-Lodge is made up of private casitas, a pool and bougainvillaea-filled gardens, Jungle-clad Jicaro Island Lodge is built from reclaimed mahogany and cedar wood, while idyllic seaside farmhouse Morgan’s Rock grows all its own food.
Take a Quick City Break in...Amsterdam
One of the most iconic cities in the world, with its canals and quaint buildings. It offers a fascinating blend of historic and contemporary. It has shed its cheap party image to emerge as a more sophisticated, cultural experience. Michelin starred restaurants, marvelous museums and amazing art galleries all available to enjoy. The city looks straight out of a fairytale as the trees and roofs are dusted with snow, making for a very romantic backdrop.
Yes, January might not immediately spring to mind as the best time to do a European city visit, but for a quick escape Amsterdam is a wonderful option. Easy access from most major cities, great transport and characterful and charming hotels all combine to provide an enjoyable weekend getaway.
The city comes alive with light! The annual Amsterdam Light Festival starts in Nov and runs until mid Jan. The whole city is adorned with colourful lights as artists create amazing installations along a specific route that is best viewed on a canal boat cruise.
January 18th is national Tulip Day in the Netherlands, so make sure to head over to Dam Square where you can pick up a tulip for yourself. The colours of the 200,000 planted around the city add a magical element over this period. For those more interested in food and drink, the annual Whisky Weekend takes place over the same dates, which in our opinion is a good way to say warm.
January is also when you have the best chance of the conditions being right to the skate the canals. It is a quieter period in Amsterdam meaning wonderful sights like Anne Frank’s House, the Van Gogh museum, Rijksmuseum, Rembrandt House Museum and many more are less busy, giving you easier access and more time to enjoy them all.