Where to Travel in January

January blues? We’ve got your back. Whether you’re craving a sun-soaked trip or seeking a snow-powdered escape, these are the best destinations to kick-start 2022.

It's that time of year again. The decorations have been tucked back into their hiding places, we're trading evening tipples for herbal teas and the fitness regime is all systems go. Let's be real: there's no better time to hit refresh than when the festive season comes to an end - resolutions and goals, we're looking at you. With that in mind, we can't help but start planning our first getaway for 2022.

Okay, January doesn't exactly scream poolside lounging or off-grid adventuring, but we're ranking it as the best time of year to take a trip, so hear us out. Aside from sating your wanderlust, holidaying in the new year means avoiding both peak-season crowds and price inflations. So, grab your favourite carry-on and head straight to one of these lesser-trodden landscapes to start the new year in style.

Beat the blues: must-visit destinations for January 2022

ko surin beach thailand

Thailand

Dreaming of summer? What better way to escape the cold than by spending the first weeks of the year on an unspoilt island, overlooking the beach from a thatched bungalow. Yes, we're talking about a Thailand that doesn't feature full-moon parties and too many teenagers - you just have to know where to go. Heard about the islands of Ko Surin and Ko Kood? If not, go now, before everyone else finds out about them.

kitzbhuehel asutria snow fall january

Kitzbühel

Austria

This postcard-worthy town is a ski destination suited to all levels. And those who'd rather avoid the slopes entirely can happily potter around the boutiques, get stuck in at charming alpine restaurants and join the buzzy but not-too-flash après-ski scene.

perito moreno galcier patagonia january

Patagonia

Argentina and Chile

Patagonia's spectacular scenery is a bucket-list worthy travel experience. Be it a visit to the mammoth Perito Moreno glacier, travelling to Ushuaia, aka "the end of the world", or spending the day whale-watching, this is a trip that'll stick with you forever. Insider tip: it also makes for a fantastic alternative honeymoon destination.

bansko bulgaria january snow fall

Bansko

Bulgaria

If you're after an off-the-beaten-track alternative to Austria, look no further than Bansko, Bulgaria, a dream combination of high peaks and low prices. While the town itself is still undergoing an aesthetic transformation, the slopes have become the destination du jour for skiers looking for fresh snow and a lively, up-for-anything vibe.

nicaragua colourful streetscape january

Nicaragua

Nicaragua is not as crowded as its neighbouring Central American countries. Immerse yourself in the azure tranquillity of the Caribbean Sea on the east coast, or the crashing waves of the Pacific on the west. Be sure to leave room in your luggage to take home some of the country's world-famous coffee and chocolate products.

Amsterdam

Netherlands

If Amsterdam hasn't been popping up left, right and centre in your social feed all winter, we're assuming you're on a digital detox. Yes, this place is hardly off the beaten track, and can attract more than its fair share of teenage visitors, but it remains one of Europe's most magical destinations - and for good reason. To get to grips with the city and discover some of its best-kept secrets, we'd recommend hiring a bicycle and peddling the length of its three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht. Be sure to make pit stops at the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House.

sheep on track in kinsale ireland

Kinsale

Ireland

After weeks of festive feasting, we're well and truly ready to recharge and reset. Enter, Kinsale. This lesser-trodden Irish harbour town is home to artisan boutiques and rustic restaurants serving farm-to-table menus. There's no better feeling than gulping lungfuls of fresh country air, so we suggest dusting off your walking boots and exploring on foot. For a proper ramble, we'd recommend going a little further afield. Just outside of town you'll find spectacular green spaces, where you'll be able to stomp to your heart's content.

oaxaca city mexico colourful bunting

Oaxaca City

Mexico

Head to this magical Mexican city to watch artisans craft fantastical creatures out of a single piece of wood, as well as the ancient craft of mezcal distillation being brought bang up to date for contemporary cocktails. Those choosing not to participate in Dry January will feel at home here: there's plenty of opportunity to sample the agave-derived spirit.

temple in dubai

Dubai

UAE

January can be a cold and gloomy month, but it doesn't have to be. Get a much-needed vitamin-D boost and cheer yourself up with some shopping on a weekend getaway to Dubai. The emerging art scene and its accompanying café culture is also worth checking out, or you can easily hop over to Abu Dhabi to visit the newly opened Louvre. While you're there, be sure to check out our selection of best restaurants.

house street los angeles january

Los Angeles

US

After December, a health kick might be just what you need, so head to LA for green juice, gluten-free food and long hikes. While Malibu Beach might be the jewel in this sprawling city's crown, don't miss out on neighbouring Santa Monica, which boasts a wellness culture all of its own. Back in Tinsel Town, hit up Downtown LA and Koreatown, where you'll find a young creative community and 24-hour K-town vibe.

tromso norway january

Tromsø

Norway

If you consider yourself a thrill-seeker, Tromsø is the place for you. Fill the short daylight hours with husky safaris, ice kicksledding and fishing. If you're lucky, come night, you'll curl up under the Northern Lights and, if not, thousands (and we mean thousands) of stars will be on standby.

bath city somerset january

Bath

United Kingdom

When considering a city break, Bath isn't necessarily the obvious choice, but its slow-paced charm makes it one of the most popular escapes for Londoners. Just a 90-minute train-ride from London Paddington, this Unesco World Heritage site draws visitors from across the globe. Highlights include the verdant Botanical Gardens, world-famous Roman Baths and the Bath Abbey Tower. Fun fact: scenes from the likes of Bridgerton and Poldark have been filmed here.

philippines january beach

Philippines

Looking to get your hands on a diving licence? With an underwater world that counts more Nemo-like fish species than viewers of the namesake film, it's hard to choose which reef surrounding the Philippines' more than 7,000 islands to choose from. If you're more Tarzan than Ariel, this tropical getaway also comes with world-class jungle waterfalls.

vietnam january beach

Vietnam

While you're spoilt for choice when it comes to outdoor activities on Vietnam's mainland, nothing beats the southern islands' beaches in January. Visit Phu Quoc or Con Dao for secluded sands largely untouched by tourists, or spend days riding a motorbike through vast national parks and sleepy fishing villages.

sayulita palm trees mexico

Sayulita

Mexico

For a unique take on a Mexican winter holiday, head to Sayulita, the country's retreat for international creative types and surf stars alike. Set on the Pacific coast, it's the ideal place to get your fill of sunshine, mojitos and surf lessons while straying away from the all-inclusive resorts of Puerto Vallarta and into the arms of your new artsy best friends.

nightfall at the dolomites italy

The Dolomites

Italy

Nestled in the heart of Northwest Italy, The Dolomites is famed for its dreamy yet dramatic landscape - think lakeside lodgings against a backdrop of jagged-tooth mountain peaks. Though it would hardly be a new year's extravaganza without a day or two on the slopes, we're heading here largely for its thriving cultural scene. Between ski runs, be sure to refuel in one of the area's many romantic restaurants or bars. To soak up 360-degree views of the fairy-tale-like surrounds, bed down in a cosy cabin. Chalet Dolomite is our personal favourite. FYI: at just over a two-hour drive away, Vienna makes for the perfect day trip.

greenery in gabon central africa

Gabon

Central Africa

On the west coast of Central Africa, Gabon is a country of vast, wildlife-filled parkland framed by sandy beaches on one side and thick rainforests on the other. Just over 10 per cent of the country is dedicated to protected parkland. Loango National Park is the most popular, known as "Africa's last Eden" for its patches of dense forests interspersed with lagoons and white-sand beaches. Visit the colourful city of Libreville to enjoy vibrant street markets, modern restaurants and buzzy bars, and take a boat to spend the day on nearby Pointe-Denis, a sandy peninsula perfect for sunbathing and watersports. Go in January for some winter sun, and to catch a glimpse of sea turtles - they nest between November and January.

bruges belgium christmas market

Bruges

Belgium

Fitness bunnies look away: this place is Belgium's answer to Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, making it a dream destination for chocaholics. With twinkly light-plastered streets, jewel-coloured facades and medieval architecture galore, there's plenty to fall in love with here. It's the city's tasty gastronomic boutiques, however, that we'll be making a beeline for. We're talking chocolate in flavours you didn't even know existed, in all kinds of intricate shapes and styles. If you weren't already keen, syrup-drizzled waffles and extra-large mugs of hot chocolate are pretty much the Bruges equivalent of a green juice and acai bowl.

strasbourg france river view

Strasbourg

France

Itching for a weekend getaway? Look no further than the crossroads of culture that is the serene city of Strasbourg. Thanks to its charming blend of French and German heritage, we're ranking this as the most romantic retreat France has to offer - outside of the obvious Paris. Picture a landscape peppered by medieval houses overlooking the Rhine River - it hardly comes as a surprise that Beauty and the Beast was set here. Stroll the snow-dusted streets and be sure to take time to browse the many gift shops stocking local sweet treats. Top tip: stay at Régent Contades, a hotel spa that makes braving the frosty air worthwhile.

golden hour in guildford surrey hills

Guildford

United Kingdom

A bustling town that's somehow plonked in the middle of vast, open green fields? Visit Guildford and you'll feel like you've been transported to the depths of the English countryside, despite, in actual fact, being just an hour's drive from central London. Days should be spent trekking across the rolling hills, while evenings should look like a second serving of roasted spuds in a convivial local pub.

A map of all the signs of the zodiac
Discover More
Where to Travel This Summer According to Your Star Sign