Written by
Louis Dhont

Published on: August 16th, 2017

Last modified: November 2nd, 2023

Taking a trip in January is one of the best ways to look forward to the year ahead, hopefully one full of incredible travel adventures. Coincidentally, January is also one of the best times of year to enjoy some of our favourite spots across the world.

We’ve asked our expert travel designers to share their top January travel destinations, from the lush rainforests of Colombia and the incredible wildlife of Tanzania to the serene snowscapes of Iceland and Antarctica. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, family fun, cultural immersion or simply sunny skies, here are the best places to go in January.

1. India

All across the captivating country of India, January brings cooler temperatures and clear skies. This is the perfect time of year to visit Rajasthan, which boasts not only bustling cities like Udaipur and Jodhpur, but also a rural landscape of majestic mountains and desert dunes. Outside the cities explore the Thar Desert, discover ancient temples and go on exciting expeditions to spot leopards and tigers.

 

Our travel designer Leanne has travelled extensively throughout the country. She recommends staying at JAWAI, a secluded safari camp in Rajasthan, or at Sher Bagh, which stands out for its nostalgic luxury and conservation efforts in Ranthambore.

Need to know: Visit Jaipur on 14th January for the annual Kite Festival, which inundates the Pink City’s skies with colour.

2. Antarctica

January is the middle of summer in the Southern Hemisphere, which makes it one of the best times to visit Antarctica. The conditions are optimum for enjoying this one-of-a-kind environment on a Cape Horn cruise or doing a fly-in cruise from Chile. While in Antarctica you can try camping out on the ice, kayaking or, for the brave, an ice swim. 

Wildlife expert and travel designer Lily has visited this polar paradise more than once, and highly recommends a luxury Antarctica cruise. Book a cabin on the Sylvia Earle or Greg Mortimer, both purpose-built vessels that combine comfort with state-of-the-art navigation. 

Need to know: January is when the White Continent has the longest days, less wind and relatively warm temperatures – around 1ºC (34ºF). It’s also the prime time for spotting adorable penguin chicks and seal pups.

3. Spain

Spain has long been a favourite choice for summer holidays, but it’s arguably even more charming in the winter. Although the country’s beach resorts will be closed for the season, the southern region of Andalusia is particularly pleasant in January, with iconic cities like Córdoba, Granada and Seville offering mild weather and fewer crowds.

 

The grand Hotel Alfonso XIII is among our favourite properties in Seville’s historic centre, with emblematic architecture and a Michelin-starred tapas bar. The superbly elegant Mercer Sevilla is also a top choice, with a decidedly more minimalist feel and only a dozen rooms.

Need to know: January is one of the best times to visit Spain if you’re primarily interested in culture and sightseeing. Here the holiday season also spills over into early January, with Three Kings Day celebrated on the 6th.

Tapas and Pintxo in Spain

4. Colombia

Colombia is relatively warm all year round, but January falls right in the middle of its dry season. This month brings fantastic weather for enjoying the country’s gorgeous beaches, incredible mountains, buzzing cities and charming small towns. 

The coastal city of Cartagena is among the best places to travel in January, along with Barichara. Here, stay at Casa Barichara and take advantage of the lovely weather to enjoy some thrilling outdoor adventures nearby. Or settle into the cosy Casa Oropéndola, nestled high in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta with amazing views of the sea.

Need to know: Our favourite museums are the Museuo do Oro (Gold Museum) and Botero Museum in Bogota 

colonial-architecture-cartagena

5. Iceland

If you’re wondering where to travel in January, Iceland might not have crossed your mind. But in the colder months this country turns into a real winter wonderland, complete with pristine snow, magnificent ice caves and natural hot springs where you can warm up and wind down.

Our travel designers can’t get enough of Deplar Farm, where traditional Icelandic style merges with modern luxury in a delightfully remote location. Then there’s the unparalleled wellness experience of The Retreat at Blue Lagoon, with its legendary geothermal spa.  Pack your warmest clothes and prepare for a truly magical experience in the Land of Fire and Ice.

Need to Know: January brings clear skies and long nights with as little as three hours of daylight. It’s also one of the best times to see the northern lights in Iceland.

6. Tanzania

Tanzania is world-famous for the breathtaking drama of the Great Migration – but January offers its own stunning spectacle. This is calving season in the southern Serengeti, which means you’ll get to see newborn wildebeest before the herds begin their annual journey. Although it’s part of the wet season, this is still a great time to visit Tanzania for wildlife viewing. 

Our travel designer Jamey is one of our Tanzania experts, and can confirm that it’s well worth the trip. If you’re still deciding where to travel in January, consider heading to Mwiba Lodge or the mobile Wilderness Usawa Camp to start your year with an unforgettable adventure.

Need to know: January promises excellent birdwatching across the country, including flamingos at Lake Manyara.

 

Trip Inspiration

Get inspired with our example trips and then get in touch to plan your January adventure

Where to Stay

There are many incredible places around the world in January. Here are some of our favourites, handpicked by our travel designers:

Ready to plan your adventure?
Whatever you want from your January tour, our team of expert travel designers are ready to help.