Are you searching for the best places to travel in January? We all know this time of year can be tough when you live in the northern hemisphere. On the one hand, the festivities of the Christmas season are over and on the other, sunlight is in short supply! Therefore, one of the best ways to banish the winter blues is to jet off to somewhere exotic! Whether you’re in search of paradise beaches or something a little different, January is a great time to head south or east. While the southern hemisphere can guarantee warmer temperatures, January is also the perfect time to travel to Asia. So, if you’re searching for a mid-winter escape, here are the best places to travel in January.
A favourite sightseeing destination, a trip to China in January offers a whole different experience. If you’re looking for warmer climes, this might not be the choice for you. But, there’s an array of unique seasonal things to see in China if you travel at this time of year. As the coldest month of the year, visiting China in January is an incredible chance to see the Forbidden City and Great Wall covered with a dusting of snow. Furthermore, there will be visibly fewer visitors in the winter, so you can enjoy fewer queues and fewer crowds at the country’s most important attractions.
As long as you wrap up warm, you’ll relish the chance to visit the Terracotta Warriors or Shanghai’s brilliant museums without the usual tour groups and busy crowds. On the other hand, the famous International Ice & Snow Sculpture Festival takes place in Harbin every January and February. The largest festival of its kind, its record-breaking sculptures are a must-see! For wintery scenes, fewer crowds and brilliant cultural events, China is one of the best places to travel in January.
Sometimes overlooked in favour of neighbours such as Costa Rica, Panama is a delight to explore. It’s also one of the best warm places to visit in January. Home to tropical rainforests and dynamic cities, Panama in January is dry and pleasantly warm. Furthermore, the lush foliage of the Highlands is particularly spectacular at this time of year. Whilst Panama City gets ready to host the Panama Jazz Festival in January, the popular rainforest town of Boquete holds the annual Coffee and Flower Fair, one of the greatest attractions in the country’s calendar. With dry weather, perfect for enjoying the Pacific and Atlantic beaches, Panama is one of the best places to travel in January.
Lisbon’s ‘little sister’, Porto has grown to be one of Portugal’s most sought-after destinations. Bursting with authentic cultural treasures and a cutting-edge food and drinks scene, Porto is the perfect winter escape. On the one hand, the mild weather is ideal for sightseeing, with temperatures hovering about 14 degrees celsius in the daytime. On the other, you’ll find fewer crowds than in the peak months, making dining, sightseeing and exploring much more enjoyable. Plus, if you do get a little winter rain, you can seek refuge inside one of the port wine cellars on the banks of the Douro River and sample Porto’s most famous products!
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Undoubtedly, one of the most exciting warm places to visit in January, a trip to Rio is sure to beat the winter blues. From vibrant New Year’s Eve celebrations to the sun-kissed beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema, Rio makes for an unforgettable winter escape. Furthermore, January is the warmest month of the year in Brazil. Expect a carefree summer atmosphere to permeate the capital and its coastline. Stop off at a beach bar for a bite to eat or take in the sweeping views of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado Mountain. The possibilities are endless. If you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the capital, the nearby coastal towns of Paratay and laid-back Arraial do Cabo are also spectacular at this time of year.
A firm favourite for a winter escape, Thailand is one of the best places to visit in January. Emerging from the busy Christmas season, January is the best time to enjoy the idyllic Thai islands. For the best weather, head to Koh Phi Phi, Phuket or Koh Lanta. One of the driest times of year to visit, January is an ideal month to visit for both winter sun or cultural sightseeing. The weather is near perfect, and if the Lunar New Year falls in January you’ll be treated to an array of festive spectacles. Be prepared to encounter crowds in the major cities, such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Everyone wants to enjoy Thailand when the weather is pleasant, but this only adds to the buzzing atmosphere of this time of year!
Cool and dry, January is one of the best times to travel to India. Of course, temperatures are still warm in comparison to back home (mid-20°C ), but moderate enough to really enjoy sightseeing. Tours through the historic state of Rajasthan or the vibrant backwaters of Kerala are perfect during the winter. Alternatively, a train-hopping tour is another popular option. The bright winter days are ideal for sightseeing the historic monuments, temples and palaces of Agra, Delhi and Jaipur or even lounging on the beach in Goa. One of the best warm places to visit in January, a trip to India is sure to be a winter warmer for mind, body and soul!
If you’re planning a tour of Vietnam, January is one of the best months to visit. Long and thin, the weather can be a challenge to pin down due to varying climates throughout the country. Despite this, January is considered one the driest times of year for the whole of Vietnam. A perfect choice for an exotic winter getaway! Famed for its ancient traditions, incredible scenery and friendly culture, Vietnam is a delight to discover. From idyllic beaches to dynamic cities such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam offers the best of both worlds. Furthermore, the Vietnamese celebrate the 6-day long New Year festival of Tet between mid-January and mid-February.
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