7 Winter Sun Destinations in January

In the wake of festive markets, Christmas parties and New Years’ fireworks, it’s hard to remember what you chose to live somewhere so cold. So why not beat those blues and hotfoot to some far-flung destination where toasty temperatures are guaranteed? To help you decide, we’ve cherry-picked seven of the best winter sun destinations in January.

Seven of the best winter sun destinations in January

1. St. Lucia, Caribbean Islands

For the ultimate desert island fantasy getaway in January, it’s hard to do better than St. Lucia. Just looking at its swaying palm-fringed beaches is an antidote to January blues. It also boasts green good looks, with 80 % of the island covered by rainforests. It’s wet, yes, but it’s also hot, hot hot, with temperatures lingering around 28 C. Peak season kicks off in February too, so you can make the most of those more affordable prices.

(You can brush up on your knowledge with these seven interesting facts about St. Lucia too)

Average temperature: 28 C/ 82 F

2. Abu Dhabi, UAE

For sizzling temperatures and dazzling hotels, there’s Abu Dhabi. It’s not as busy as neighbouring Dubai, but there’s just as much to do, from world-class restaurants and shopping to lazy days on the beach and quad biking through the desert. Chances of rain are practically non-existent too.

Average temperature: 25 C/ 77 F

hottest destinations in January

3. Fraser Island, Australia

Christmas down under might be a little too extreme for you, but how about making it the setting for your New Years’ resolutions? Fraser Island boasts a sub-tropical climate and is the largest sand island on the planet. It’s also the only place in the world where rainforests grow on sand dunes. There are only a handful of places to stay on the island, which makes it all the more special too.

Average temperature: 29 C / 84 F

hottest destinations in January

4. Cancun, Mexico

Mexico’s blockbuster holiday destination is perenially popular, but January is one of the best times of year to visit Cancun. Holidaymakers flock here for guaranteed sunshine, with average highs of 28C. Expect barefoot, balmy evenings too, with temperatures only dropping to around 19C. It’s also dry season, another incentive if you’re travelling from somewhere particularly grey and drizzly.

Average temperature: 28 C/82F

5. The Canary Islands, Spain

The Canary Islands are particularly popular with travellers from Europe, but visitors still flock here from further afield. There ar four islands to choose from  – Tenerife, Lanzarote, Gran Canaria and Fuerteventura. Each has its own distinctive character and charms too. For party resorts and world-class volcanic hiking, there’s Tenerife. Lanzarote and Gran Canaria are the most family-friendly islands, with the warmest temperatures. If it’s big waves and brilliant swells you’re after, Fuerteventura has you covered.

Average temperature: 24C (75F)


6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Why not inject some technicolour into your days with a trip to Rio de Janeiro? Brazil’s cultural capital boasts a hot climate all year round, but it’s particularly pleasant at the start of the year. Even after the New Years’ festivities have died down, it’s still vibrant as the country gears up for the Carnaval the following month. Expect at least six hours of sunshine every day and a good suntan.

Average January temperature: 29 °C / 84 F


7. Serengeti, Tanzania

Most people head to Tanzania for the long dry season between June and September, but there’s also a short dry season that starts in January and ends in March. It’s cheaper, with the added bonus of being particularly lush thanks to all that rain in the months before. It’s also the best time of year to catch animals on the move as it’s a migratory season, plus you’ll get to see the biggest herds of wildebeests. Days and evenings are pleasantly hot too, lingering around 29 C.

Average January temperature: 29 °C / 84 F

Allie D'Almo

Allie is a passionate traveller with a hearty interest in great food and stories. She likes to travel slowly, particularly to underrated and underloved places. She’s lived in Italy and is now based in London, where she spends most of her time either plotting her next trip or writing about her last one.

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