January is a wonderful time to go on vacation. Why you may ask? If you prefer warmer climates and struggle with the cold, dark days of Winter, then you can head somewhere tropical for a fraction of the price that it would be in the peak season of December. On the other hand, if you love snow, then it’s the perfect time of year to hit the slopes and go skiing without all the Christmas crowds. Of course, those aren’t the only two options, the world is a big place afterall! We’ve compiled our latest guide to bring you best places to vacation in January, with suggestions to suit every taste and budget! From warm sandy beaches to snow covered mountains, city trips and thermal spas to chilly castles and warm taverns, we’ve got it all in our compact January vacations guide!
Best Vacation Spots in January: Beaches
1. Goa, India
January is considered one of the coldest months of the year in Goa, so you may wonder why it would make its way on your our best places to vacation in January list. Well, despite the fact that it is cold compared to much of the rest of the year, the temperature is still very warm by Western standards. The average temperature sits around 25.5°C in the month of January, reaching highs of around 31°C during the day and going down to f 20°C at night. Goa is famous for its beautiful beaches and relaxed pace of life. Popular beaches with nightlife include Baga and Palolem, but there are also more quiet fishing villages for those who don’t fancy too much fo a party.
2. Ambergris Caye, Belize
One of the best places to vacation in January if you’re a sun worshipper looking to completely unwind, is without a doubt, the island of Ambergris Caye in Belize. There you can find secluded resorts to unplug from the world, only accessible by boat. Perfect white sandy beaches, and clear blue waters teeming with an abundance of marine life are on your doorstep. The people are relaxed and friendly, the food is delicious, and the scenery unparalleled. You always have the option to explore further inland, such as the ancient scared cave networks and crumbling ruins of the Mayans.
3. Boa Vista, Cape Verde
Cape Verde consists of small picturesque volcanic islands, perched off the coast of Senegal. It’s a stunning and underrated destination, with perfect white sandy beaches and azure ocean water. Whilst Cape Verde enjoys glorious weather all year round, January is one of the better times to go, as it won’t get too hot. For January vacations that aren't just your average all inclusive holiday, head to the perfect beaches of Boa Vista in Cape Verde. The 9 km stretch of Santa Monica beach is considered the most beautiful by locals and visitors alike.
Best Vacation Spots in January: Mountains
1. The Dolomites, Italy
As far as January vacations go, if you’re into skiing then The Dolomites is pretty much the bees knees of Europe. A jagged mountain range in northeastern Italy, the dramatic background and surrounding nature is sure to appeal to fans of the outdoors. After a day out on the slopes, relax in a spa and enjoy a hearty meal of local cuisine and wine, which let’s face it, coming from Italy is bound to be utterly delicious!
2. Banff, Canada
If you don’t want to stray as far as Europe for the best vacation spots in January, then look no further than the Banff National Park in Canada, nestled in the Rocky Mountains. There are few spots more breathtaking than glacial Lake Louise. Her stunning turquoise water are beautiful at any time of year, but in winter she becomes much more special than just something to gaze at - an ice skating rink!
3. Hakuba, Japan
Japan may not exactly be the first thing that springs to mind when considering the best places to vacation in January, but it has a pleasant surprise in store for those who love winter sports. Hakuba is a village located in Japanese Alps, a short distance from the city of Nagano, where the winter olympics of 1998 were hosted. Hakuba offers a winter wonderland perfect for skiing, snowboarding and hiking. It also boasts hot springs traditional Japanese onsen to soothe your muscles and warm you up after! Perhaps washed down with some traditional sake.
Best Vacation Spots in January: City Breaks
1. Budapest, Hungary
When it comes to dreamy city breaks, Europe makes for some of the best vacation spots in January. From snow covered cobbled streets and public ice skating rinks, to the famous geothermal baths, the city of Budapest is a wonderful option. Enjoy warm spiced mulled wine from the winter markets, try local seasonal cakes, and snack on roasted chestnuts. You can stroll along the banks of the Danube, head to the opera house, or watch a ballet. There’s plenty of things to keep you occupied!
2. Hohenschwangau, Germany
Hohenschwangau - ever heard of it? Perhaps you don’t recognize the name, but this is where the famous fairytale-esque Neuschwanstein Castle is located. The castle perches on a hill high above the town, and if you’re looking for romantic setting this winter, well then you’re in for a treat. It looks particularly lovely with the surrounding hillside covered in snow, the castle turrets reaching up to pierce the cold blue sky. Supposedly this is the very castle that inspired Walt Disney to create his legendary logo.
3. Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Whilst many tourists flock to Bulgaria during the summer for Sunny Beach and cheap beer, or sometimes for skiing in Sofia, Bulgaria is vastly overlooked for cultural or cities breaks. Plovdiv, located in the southern region of the country, is an ancient city with an intriguing history. Habitation can be traced back in Plovdiv to the ancient Romans in 600 BC, so naturally there are museums with ancient relics and artefacts to explore for those interested in history. It also has a rather beautiful old town and Roman theatre and has been nominated as the European city of culture for 2019.
We hope that our post on best places to vacation in January has inspired you to travel more and given you some fantastic ideas of where you can go at this time of year. We always aim to include options to suit every taste and budget! If you are interested in coming to stay with us and discovering the beautiful country of Belize for yourself, do not hesitate to get in contact with a member of our friendly staff who will be happy to assist you with any enquiries that you may have!