Where To Head In January
With a brand new year ahead, January is a time of fresh beginnings and exciting possibilities, but it’s also a time of recovery after the busy festive period. Plus it’s cold, it’s dark, so you need some light in your life, right? So all roads point to the airport for a much-deserved holiday.
Whether you feel the buzz of optimism for the new year or need something to look forward to after Christmas, January is a perfect time to travel. And because it’s off peak, you can bag a bargain in many destinations. To get you started, here are our favourite places to head to in January.
With temperatures around 27C, it’s easy to see why Australia’s recently reopened cultural capital is an excellent choice for getting away from a dreary January in Britain. But Sydney has more than just pleasant weather to offer at the start of the year. The Sydney Festival spans three weeks in January and brings the city to life with music, dance, and art. Family attractions sit side by side with burlesque acts and circus performances, while art installations bring some quiet reflection. When you want to get away from the busy festival streets, duck down the back alleys and discover small art galleries and cool bars and restaurants. Cricket season also kicks off in January in Sydney and it’s a great place to start if you’re new to the sport. Catch some of the loud Twenty20 matches at Sydney Cricket Ground for a fun flavour of a match.
Belize, Central America
January is surely the best time to visit Belize. This small tropical country sees its fair share of hurricanes and tropical storms, but in January there’s a break in the drama: it’s dry, it’s sunny, and temperatures are around 28C. This does make Belize a popular choice in January, and while it never gets too crowded, it’s when you’re most likely to bump into other tourists on the beach. The calm weather also makes this a great time to discover Belize’s underwater wonderland. It’s home to the second largest barrier reef in the world, which includes the famous Great Blue Hole: a massive marine sinkhole that’s a bucket list excursion for snorkelers and divers. While you can visit Belize’s Mayan ruins any time, the calm weather means this underwater odyssey is at its most alluring.
Mekong Delta, Vietnam
If you want to observe real Vietnamese life, there’s no better way to do it than from the Mekong River, and there’s no better time to do it than January. This is Vietnam’s driest month, it’s less humid than February onwards, and with temperatures around 33C, it’s the perfect time to explore. Known as ‘the rice bowl of Vietnam’, Mekong Delta is like Vietnam’s Venice. You can lazily float along the river, discovering the floating markets and watching life go by in the pretty villages.
For most destinations in Europe in January, you have a pretty good idea of what the weather will be like. It’s going to be chilly and not much brighter than Britain. But in Florence, this month sees locals take back their city, and there are some fascinating events that put you right in the centre of Florentine life. For starters, you can enjoy the farmer’s markets and antique fairs that pop up at the weekends. Throughout January, the Pitti Palace holds various fashion events and exhibitions, including Pitti Immagine Uomo, the world’s most prominent show of men’s fashion, held annually. Finally, 6 January is The Epiphany, when the city is lit up in colourful lights, and the three wise men parade through the streets – a sight to behold.
Ayia Napa, Cyprus
We all know what Ayia Napa is famous for: partying hard. But if you visit in January, you get to discover the real Ayia Napa without the clubbing tourists. Temperatures are cool at around 15C, so while it’s still warm enough to wander around town, it’s best to have a jumper or coat to hand. Many north European tourists come in January, and you’ll find there’s an older crowd of people compared to those who arrive in summer. Although many of the bars are closed and the clubs are silent, there are still a few restaurants open – you’ll find mostly locals are out and about dining and enjoying a gentler pace to the area. For entertainment, Greek dancing and Cypriot music concerts are held in the Ayia Napa Municipal Conference Hall throughout this winter month.
If you’re heading away on a trip, whether it’s to enjoy the winter sun or the thrill of the slopes don’t forget to pack Switched On Travel Insurance. Find out more here.