Christmas is over, the New Year’s hangover is lingering and workdays and school hours are back on. From 1 January, reality kicks in, so why not book a new year getaway and escape the January blues? Post-Christmas and pre-Valentines, it’s cheap – snap up an off-peak season deal across the globe, from a Caribbean island to the sunny neighbourhoods of Sydney and LA. Here, we round up the 25 best places to go on holiday in January 2022. 

For more inspiration of where to go throughout the year, check out our holiday calendar: 




  • Rwanda
    Getty Images Rwanda, AfricaTemperature: 24°C high; 9°C low
    Season: First dry period
    Travel time from UK: 10 hours 40 minutes (indirect with Rwandair or Egyptair)
    Time difference: GMT +2There are many reasons to go to Rwanda. Its vibrant Kigali exudes an air of positivity from its extraordinarily resilient people. In Akagera National Park, still off-radar on the safari scene, lion and black rhino have been reintroduced, and you’ll spot elephants, giraffes and zebras roaming the savannah – but no other safari tourists. Trek through ancient rainforests, babble with monkeys – colobus, baboon, chimpanzee. But it’s Rwanda’s mountain gorillas that are the blockbuster draw. Not even 100 people a day are permitted to trek, accompanied by trackers, into the Virunga cloud forest of Volcanoes National Park, for a close encounter with the critically endangered creatures – a moving, once-in-a-lifetime experience. It’s possible any time of year – whenever you can get a coveted permit – but as the first dry period, January is one of the best months for trekking.Sustainable travel tip: The income from carefully monitored responsible tourism funds the conservation of Rwanda’s mountain gorillas.Where to stay: Two of Africa’s most sensational lodges are found not far from Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park and the gorillas: Bisate, Wilderness Safaris’ thatched, curvaceous and exquisitely designed eco-lodge and One&Only Gorilla’s Nest.Find out more with our travel guide to Rwanda.
  • North Island of New Zealand
    Getty Images North Island, New ZealandTemperature: 22°C high; 14°C low
    Season: Summer
    Travel time from UK: 23 hours
    Time difference: GMT +13Down at the southernmost tip of North Island, Wellington is New Zealand’s pocket-sized capital that fizzes with culture: music, theatre, food and drink. But no one travels 11,400 miles for a comedy night, even if it’s the local Conchords boys; Wellington is also a brilliant jumping-off point for the Winelands and natural wonders of New Zealand’s North Island.Take a road trip northwards, hotel-hopping around some of New Zealand’s remote and super-exclusive lodges. Locations are knockout: Eagles Nest on a peninsula above the blue waters of the Bay of Islands; Wharekauhau with its own 5,000 acres of coast and countryside in Wairarapa wine country (the Cambridges put up in the house); the superlative Farm at Cape Kidnappers, surrounded by the vineyards of Hawke’s Bay. January is the warmest, sunniest, driest month, and it gets warmer and sunnier the further north you go – almost sub-tropical by the time you reach Auckland and the Coromandel Peninsula, with its rainforested volcanic interior and white-sand coastline.Sustainable travel tipJucy rents out electric campervans, the Jucy EV, to make a road trip more sustainable; you can pick up in Wellington and drop in Auckland.Where to stay: Eagles NestWharekauhauThe Farm at Cape Kidnappers.
  • The Japanese Alps
    Getty ImagesThe Japanese AlpsTemperature: 3°C high; –5°C low
    Season: Winter
    Travel time from UK: 11 hours 50 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +9Most tourists miss Honshu’s mountainous Nagano Prefecture, which rewards the more intrepid traveller with unique experiences in this eternally surprising land. It is home to the drama and forested beauty of the Japanese Alps; the Nakasendo Way winding through the Kiso Valley and Kiso Mountain peaks which, in January, are white with snow. In Joshinetsu National Park, the ski resort of Shiga Kogen is massive – 51 lifts and dozens of hotels – but still little-known to overseas visitors, its slopes uncluttered. Apres-ski here is all about sushi feasts and restorative bathing in the natural onsen baths… perhaps even, in Jigokudani Snow Monkey Park, surrounded by scarlet-faced macaques who wallow in the steaming pools to keep warm.Where to stay: In Nagano’s Kiso forest – where forest bathing is said to have originated – Zenagi is a 300-year-old Kominka house, its traditional architecture offset by the exquisite modern restoration and furniture locally made by craftsfolk.Sustainable travel tip: Stays at Zenagi support Nagano’s rural communities and the restaurant uses ingredients grown by local suppliers.

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    Getty Images Andaman IslandsTemperature: 29°C high; 21°C low
    Season: Dry and cool
    Travel time from UK: 9 hours 50 minutes to Chennai; 2 hours to Havelock
    Time difference: GMT +5.5A castaway fantasy of white-sand cays and lagoons of tropical blue, the Andamans are the Indian Ocean archipelago on which few have set barefoot. Surfers and backpackers seeking next-level undiscovered make the 60-hour voyage by basic boat from Kolkata or Chennai, to stay in shacks along its pristine shores. In the past decade or so, more luxurious digs have been set up: primarily the Taj Exotica, in five-star splendour on Havelock island; and the more boutique Jalakara, set up by an Englishman and his wife.Sustainable travel tip: Experiences here are all-natural: swimming, snorkelling, surfing, nature trails and bird walks.Where to stay: As well as Taj Exotica and Jalakara, Barefoot at Havelock is a rustic delight. Greaves India can arrange holidays for all three.Find out more about The Andaman Islands: a far-faraway place of shipwrecks and electric-blue seas
  • Jamaica
    Getty Images JamaicaTemperature: 30°C high; 19°C low
    Season: Winter
    Travel time from UK: 9 hours 45 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -5Winter in Jamaica – when temperatures dip to a cool 30ºC by day – is a bright and balmy affair. This vibrant island dances to its own rhythms throughout January with music festivals from reggae (St Ann’s Rebel Salute) to rock’n’roll (Peter’s Players Winterfest). Jamaica’s music scene has always been world-leading, and never more so than right now. January is also one of the loveliest times to go for peak beach weather, the sea deliciously warm for swimming; and also for hiking – to waterfalls along the One Love Trail, or up through coffee plantations to the peak of the Blue Mountains.Sustainable travel tip: Eco-forward Stush in the Bush serves delicious, homegrown plant-based Rastafari-Ital dishes – as well as gathering rainwater for the local community and generating solar power.Where to stay: Ian Fleming’s former home GoldenEye is now one of several Jamaica boltholes owned by Island Records boss Chris Blackwell – and remains a legend. Its history is richly storied; Island Records brought Bob Marley to the world, and GoldenEye, in turn, has brought a string of musicians to the island, who have written songs in its waterside huts.
  • Temperature 20°C high 13°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 4 hours 15 minutes   Time difference GMT 0  Its no...
    Getty ImagesLanzarote, Canary IslandsTemperature: 20°C high; 13°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 4 hours 15 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +0It’s no secret the Canary Islands offer reliable winter sun – but it may surprise that there’s another side to Lanzarote. Skip the east coast’s gaudy mega-hotels and you’ll discover a very cool Canary. Much of the built landscape owes a debt to local architect César Manrique, who designed many of the islands must-see architectural feats: Jardín de Cactus, his magical cactus amphitheatre; or the home he designed for himself, where cave-like rooms are carved into lava bubbles (now home to the Fundacíon César Manrique). Speaking of which, the island’s volcanic landscape is its own art project. Timanfaya National Park presents a ravishing patchwork of rainbow-hued earth. If climbing a volcano doesn’t do it for you, get wet: dive underwater through the art park Museo Atlántico, or surf local favourite Famara beach, a dramatic stretch to the north.Sustainable travel tip: There’s no slow boat to Lanzarote, but lots of budget airlines fly here – and a few are genuinely attempting to reduce emissions. EasyJet, in fact, is rather progressive as carbon-gushing corporations go.Where to stay: Finca Malvasia is a four-apartment hotel in Lanzarote’s central La Geria wine region that’s packed with funky touches such as volcanic-stone walls and cactus gardens.Book nowFind out more with our travel guide to Lanzarote.
  • Temperature 20°C high 10°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 11 hours 15 minutes   Time difference GMT 8  Now...
    Getty ImagesSilver Lake, Los AngelesTemperature: 20°C high; 10°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 11 hours 15 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -8Now Venice has officially made the transition from edgy to upscale, where do you go in LA for more boho, less bling? Head east to Silver Lake. There might not be a beach, but the chilled neighbourhood vibe more than compensates. Houses spill down jungly hills to palm-lined boulevards jammed with vintage T-shirts and vinyl. Behold the surf shops and farmers’ markets, street murals and food trucks, plus indie clubs that launched Foo Fighters and Foster The People. Think of it as an unending summer of hip, young cool – even in January. And, as with any self-respecting creative hub, it’s where food trends are born: see Trois Familia’s French-Mexican brunch, with beet-tartare tostada and churro French toastSustainable travel tip: LA traffic is notorious, and its subpar public transportation even more so, but you can do your bit by renting a hybrid car.Where to stay: The Palihouse Santa Monica boutique beach lodge is in a Spanish Colonial Revival-style building, a range of suites with a home-from-home philosophy.Book nowCheck out the Los Angeles insider guide.

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  • Temperature 29°C high 23°C low Season dry Travel time from UK 8 hours 45 minutes Time difference GMT 4  Its the...
    Getty ImagesBarbados, CaribbeanTemperature: 29°C high; 23°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 8 hours 45 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -4It’s the Caribbean island’s good-time vibes that keep regulars coming. Well, that and the pirate’s bounty of bleached-white, powdery beaches. The glam west coast might be all five-star luxury, but travel slightly south and the scene quickly skews more local. Lively town Oistins’ Friday Night Fish Fry brings the community out for an open-air party, with fresh-caught fish on the barbecue and booming reggae. Or, closer still, hit St Lawrence Gap, a strip of rambunctious rum bars. On the quieter east coast, pounding Atlantic waves draw surfers: Bathsheba is the closest Barbados gets to boho, with pro boarders and tattooed artists. In January, the dawn of dry season, it’s all appealing – drenched only in a daily average nine hours of sunshine.Sustainable travel tip: The best way to benefit the Barbados community is to leave your hotel. Give back to the community by spending tourist dollars at Oistins Fish Fry, which benefits local businesses.Where to stay: Cobblers Cove prides itself on being quietly elegant – an intimate, stylish country-house hotel situated on a white sand beach, with 40 spacious rooms which all open on to the luscious gardens.Book nowDon’t miss the travel guide to Barbados.
  • Temperature 24°C high 19°C low Season dry Travel time from UK 8 hours Time difference GMT 1  A smattering of volcanic...
    Getty ImagesCape VerdeTemperature: 24°C high; 19°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 8 hours
    Time difference: GMT -1A smattering of volcanic islands 350 miles off the coast of Senegal, Cape Verdeseems a lonely prospect at first look, out in the mid-Atlantic. But there’s a reason it’s fast become a fly-and-flop favourite: miles of uninterrupted ivory beaches, impossibly pure surf and an intriguing lunar landscape. Not to mention its consistently sunny disposition: January’s average temperature is 25˚C. And finally, there’s a lovely little eco lodge to rival the big hotels and budget guesthouses. Run entirely on renewable energy, Spinguera is a restored fishing village with its own private beach on the north coast of Boa Vista island (translation: good view). Think charming, stone-hewn villas with bright yellow shutters, fresh, white bedrooms and lantern-lit sunset suppers. You could while away every day right here. Or go island-hopping to explore more of Cape Verde’s craggy beauty: from Sal’s red deserts and salt pans to São Vicente, the heart of its colourful Afro-Portuguese culture.Sustainable travel tip: Try exploring the islands by ferry. Some routes are more regular and reliable than others, such as São Vicente to lush and mountainous Santo Antão, and Santiago to rugged Fogo (where there’s a vineyard in a volcanic crater).Where to stay: At Odjo d’Agua Hotel, a small, locally owned hotel with a garden, a pool, anachronistically decorated rooms (antiques and curios, fishing equipment and so on) and an open-air restaurant-bar jutting out into the sea, where you can dine as the Atlantic rollers crash past.Book nowDiscover the best way to enjoy your time in Cape Verde.
  • Temperature 4°C high 12°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 7 hours 20 minutes   Time difference GMT 5  If a...
    Getty ImagesMontreal, CanadaTemperature: -4°C high; -12°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 7 hours 20 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -5If a rave in sub-zero temperatures sounds appealing, Montréal is for you. The city’s annual January Igloofest tempts parka-clad party people outside with a line-up of world-class EDM acts. Elsewhere, the French château architecture looks fabulous with frosting, and you can go snowshoeing up Mount Royal for excellent city views (it’s more of a hill, really, right in the middle of town). Mile End’s hipsters have been replaced by good-looking young families, but its food institutions remain: warm up with classic smoked-meat sandwiches at Schwartz’s Deli, or St-Viateur’s hot-out-the-oven, hand-rolled bagels (thinner and sweeter than New York’s). For a comforting treat in the cold, poutine is considered a delicacy – try it at Au Pied de Cochon or Garnde Manger. If you need to come in from the cold, there’s the Underground City – a network of shops, museums and restaurants below downtown’s core.Sustainable travel tip: In hip warehouse district Griffintown the Hôtel Alt Montréal, from Canadian-owned Groupe Germain, has been designed with sustainability in mind: think geothermal heating and energy-saving lighting.Where to stay: Auberge du Vieux-Port, located on the riverfront in Vieux Montreal, has a restaurant and a rooftop terrace with views of the St-Lawrence River and the Old Port.Book nowFind out how to spend 24 hours in Montreal. 
  • Temperature 5°C high 5°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 10 hours 30 minutes   Time difference GMT 8  Bitter...
    Getty ImagesChinaTemperature: 5°C high; -5°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 10 hours 30 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +8Bitter winter winds whip through China in January – but you can bet that means less of a circus at major sights such as the Terracotta Warriors and the Great Wall. The latter looks particularly magical under a dusting of snow. Lower hotel rates also make a great excuse for a grand tour; Shanghai’s famous xiao long baorestaurants – serving delicious dumplings filled with soup – are the perfect foil for the chill. The main event, of course, should be the Harbin International Ice and Snow Sculpture Festival, a Guinness World Record breaker that debuted in 1963. Thousands of people descend on this temporary city every year, where major landmarks – Beijing’s Forbidden City, Moscow’s St Basil’s Cathedral – are recreated, life-size, in ice. Come nightfall, the sculptures are lit up with bright lights – worth wrapping up for, as after-dusk temperatures can plunge to -24˚C.Sustainable travel tip: Take advantage of China’s excellent train network, with comfortable sleeper cabins to boot. The overnight train from Beijing to Xi’an for the Terracotta Warriors takes about 12 hours, and there’s a bullet train between Beijing and Harbin that covers the almost 800-mile journey in a zippy eight hours.Where to stay: The Opposite House is in the heart of Sanlitun shopping and nightlife district, within walking distance of Beijing’s hottest bars and restaurants. A lime-green glass cube, contemporary interiors have been fused with traditional Chinese elements such as the palatial, courtyard-style lobby.Book nowTake a look at China’s new beach scene. 

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  • Temperature 32°C high 24°C low   Season dry   Travel time from UK from 12 hours 50 minutes   Time difference GMT 5 ...
    Getty ImagesPanamaTemperature: 32°C high; 24°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: from 12 hours 50 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -5Finding a photograph-worthy beach in Panama – a compact country with two long coasts – is easy. Finding a suitably chic stay to match is more of a challenge. Maybe that’s why this gem gets overshadowed by its rowdy neighbours, Colombia and Costa Rica. But that’s all starting to change, now, thanks to the Islas Secas. On a remote, private archipelago of the same name, just 20 miles off Panama’s Pacific shore, this spanking-new retreat leaves you marooned in luxury: nine casitas, some with pools and ocean views; expert-led excursions to uninhabited islands and jungles; and complete silence come nightfall. Changing gears, the Panama Jazz Festival makes January the best time to visit for a musical party. Hole up in Central America’s first W hotel, or head for the Casco Viejo. Once controlled by gangs, the capital’s old quarter is now flooded with cool new outfits revitalising crumbling colonial buildings, including romantic boutique bolthole La Concordia.Sustainable travel tip: Billionaire conservation philanthropist Louis Bacon bought the Islas Secas archipelago on the condition that 13 of its 14 islands would remain undeveloped. The whole retreat runs on solar energy, plus all water used gets recycled. Alternatively, choose a completely untouched beach getaway: the Caribbean coast’s San Blas Islands are protected by an indigenous Panamanian tribe, the Guna. No hotels, no big-name restaurants: just simple huts and hammocks on deserted sands. Pass on flying here – you can catch a speedboat just outside Panama City.Where to stay: A pretty retreat on a coffee farm in the mountain area of Boquete, Los Establos has spacious suites, great views and plenty of activities on offer.Book nowRead more about where to eat, drink and stay in Panama. 
  • Temperature 1°C high 10°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 1 hour 40 minutes   Time difference GMT 1  With New...
    Getty ImagesVal d’IsereTemperature: -1°C high; -10°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 1 hour 40 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +1With New Year crowds gone and no school holidays on the horizon, January is a fine time for a European ski holiday. And not only does Val present the most reliable powder on the continent, but this St-Tropez-on-snow is only getting splashier. Le Refuge de Solaise, a converted cable-car station, is the highest hotel in France, offering unbeatable mountain views, early access to the slopes and complete seclusion in the evenings when the lifts close. Chalet fans, meanwhile, have more slick picks than ever: seven-room Chalet Husky has a climbing wall, infinity waterfall and space for rifle shooting and archery – perhaps not so wise after a night at Dick’s Tea Bar. And if Olympic downhills and Michelin-starred restaurants aren’t doing it, there are plenty more inventive ways to get your kicks. Who’s up for a circuit of BMW’s ice track?Sustainable travel tip: Looking to offset all that Val d’Isère excess? Eurostar runs direct trains from London St Pancras to Bourg St Maurice during ski season; local buses then make the 45-minute trip from the station to Val.Where to stay: Le Yule. The best thing about this hotel is its location, right on the edge of the front de neige and the nursery slope. The rooms are decorated in minimalist Scandinavian style with natural colours, and have balconies overlooking the piste.Book nowFind the best slopes with our guide to Val d’Isere.
  • Temperature 14°C high 6°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 2 hours 20 minutes   Time difference GMT 0  No doubt...
    Getty ImagesPorto, PortugalTemperature: 14°C high; 6°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 2 hours 20 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +0No doubt about it, Portugal is booming. A record 20 million visitors landed in 2017. While the country’s mild winters might not be scorching, they are quieter – and prices lower than usual, in a destination already beloved for being very affordable. Porto, Lisbon’s little sister, has undergone its own creative renewal. Once-decaying medieval streets buzz with kerbside cafés and retooled townhouses, transformed into stylish hotels by local designers. The food scene is fizzing, but still a steal: a 10-course tasting menu at intimate Pedro Limaõ gives change from €50. And then there’s the terraced port vineyards of the Douro Valley, 100km inland: so serene, Six Senses opened its first European retreat here in 2015.Sustainable travel tip: Taking the train to Portugal is a much better idea than it might sound – and it only takes 24 hours. First, catch the Eurostar from London to Paris, then the high-speed TGV to Irun in Spain’s Basque Country, followed by the overnight Sud Express to Lisbon, which has sleeper cabins with private showers, and a cafe/bar. After a sophisticated night on the rails, there’s no shortage of direct trains to Porto. Felicidades!Where to stay: Sheraton Porto Hotel and Spa, a gleaming paean to full-frontal modernism. The design is impressive – check out the startling all-glass lift, with its silvery innards exposed.Book nowRead more about Portugal’s coolest city, Porto.
  • Temperature 27°C high 20°C low   Season summer   Travel time from UK 22 hours 30 minutes   Time difference GMT 10  If...
    Getty ImagesPaddington, Sydney, AustraliaTemperature: 27°C high; 20°C low
    Season: summer
    Travel time from UK: 22 hours 30 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +10If Sydney is urban done right – laid-back, cosmopolitan and perpetually beachy – then Paddington is suburban perfection. Fashionable and well-heeled, it’s got all the buzz of a central district, but with the charm of a village. Colourful Victorian terrace rows flaunting wrought-iron balconies could be Notting Hill. Main promenade Oxford Street bustles with cafés, pubs and boutiques, while back alleys are home to cool galleries, design studios and cute bars. Nicky Zimmermannstarted out selling her designs at Paddington’s famous Saturday markets; find her spacious store on Glenmore Road. Or join the ‘Paddo’ foodies at Fred’s, where chef Danielle Alvarez’s kitchen cooks farm-to-table comfort food. January is quintessential Sydney summer, with balmy temperatures, and the Sydney Festival packing the city with music and art.Sustainable travel tip: Though Qantas conducted a successful nonstop London to Sydney research flight in late 2019 – clocking in at 19 hours and 19 minutes – it isn’t yet commercially available. Which means getting to Oz still entails a carbon-heavy indirect route. But you can choose to eat and shop sustainably while you’re there. Sydney, in fact, offers a lot of innovative ways to leave a lighter footprint, from Paddington’s zero-waste fashion boutique EkoLuv, to ‘rescued food’ market Oz Harvest, and sustainable seafood restaurant Love Fish, in the waterfront Barangaroo development, designed to be Australia’s first carbon-neutral precinct.Where to stay: The Dive Hotel, a groovy family-run guesthouse in Coogee, is about 8km southeast of central Sydney. A cursory glance at the crisp cotton sheets, polished floorboards and blue-tiled bathrooms reveals that this hotel doesn’t live up (or down) to its name.Book nowTake a look at René Redzepi’s favourite restaurants in Australia.

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  • Temperature 30°C high 23°C low   Season dry   Travel time from UK 13 hours    Time difference GMT 6  Warning a youthful...
    Getty ImagesNicaragua, Central AmericaTemperature: 30°C high; 23°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 13 hours
    Time difference: GMT -6Warning: a youthful wanderlust may return when you read this feature about Nicaragua. Quite possibly the Central American country that has it all: tropical rainforests and untouched beaches, fringed with palms, distant cloud-capped volcanoes, and recently some extraordinarily special eco-lodges (see our sustainable travel tip). January has the double blessing of being the month with the best temperatures everywhere, and also the least rainfall (barely any at all) on Nicaragua’s Pacific Coast.Sustainable travel tip: Half the appeal of going to Nicaragua is losing yourself in the wild, and there are plenty of smart yet eco ways to do it. On the coast, Totoco Eco-Lodge is made up of private casitas, a pool and bougainvillaea-filled gardens but also has compost loos and works with solar power and recycled water; even your morning coffee is sourced from a neighbouring finca. Jungle-clad Jicaro Island Lodge is built from reclaimed mahogany and cedar wood, while idyllic seaside farmhouse Morgan’s Rock grows all its own food.Where to stay: Los Patios Hotel, a five-bedroom gem with an indoor-outdoor approach to living, with scrubbed, Scandi-style interiors and open-air spaces designed for chilling out.Book nowRead more about where to stay in Nicaragua.
  • Temperature 30°C high 24°C low   Season summer   Travel time from UK 12 hours 40 minutes   Time difference GMT 3  Worth...
    Getty ImagesThe coast of Brazil, South AmericaTemperature: 30°C high; 24°C low
    Season: summer
    Travel time from UK: 12 hours 40 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -3Worth splurging all your annual leave in January for. Spend your New Year’s Eve in Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo and then stay on for a couple more weeks and head up the coast to any number of preposterously gorgeous, barefoot-n-bikini-chic beach havens. So many thousands of miles of empty, golden sand, and beautiful people drinking caipirinhas at the coolest beach parties. The kind of places that really get our travel clichés rolling. Trancoso, in Bahia, is the original and still one of the best. Surfy Itacaré, the no-car islands of Boipeba and Tinharé. Or Sao Luís and Jericoacoara, on the wild and stunning north-east coast.Sustainable travel tip: Brazil doesn’t need any help bringing forth environmental disaster, thanks to president Jair Bolsonaro’s controversial policies and those devastating Amazon fires. Flying on a massive Boeing 787 Dreamliner is the most fuel-efficient way to do the long-haul journey: Norwegian Air operates a fleet from London Gatwick to Rio.Where to stay: Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa. A ramshackle façade disguises this utterly fabulous hotel. Ten beautiful houses are set among high-growing gardens. Bathrooms have living walls of ferns, orchids and jasmine, and there’s a spa and a pool lined with green aventurine stones.Book nowFind out more about the best beach hotels in Bahia.
  • Temperature 32°C high 17°C low   Season dry   Travel time from UK 15 hours 35 minutes   Time difference GMT 6.30  Out of...
    iStockBurma, AsiaTemperature: 32°C high; 17°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 15 hours 35 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +6.30Out of this world any time of the year – but January is the best month of all (little rain, lots of sunshine, nice kind of heat) in Burma, or Myanmar, from its pagodas and temples in the misty mountains, where the Himalayas begin, to its blissful, never-knew-existed tropical islands.Sustainable travel tip: In a country that endured decades of brutal military rule and, today, reportedly ongoing genocide, it’s crucial that tourist dollars are spent with independent rather than state-run enterprises. Given Burma’s infrastructure is a little on the tricky side, a group tour might not only be the easiest but the most sustainable way to visit – choosing an operator such as Responsible Travel means family-run guesthouses, independent guides and public transport will be prioritised.Here are 10 of the best things to do in Burma.
  • Temperature 29°C high 21°C low Season summer Travel time from UK 24 hours 40 minutes Time difference GMT 10  Start the...
    Alicia TaylorAustralia’s Gold CoastTemperature: 29°C high; 21°C low
    Season: summer
    Travel time from UK: 24 hours 40 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +10Start the new year with several bangs: Sydney throws possibly the best New Year’s Day parties in the world (how like Australians not to waste the day in bed with hangovers). Then head on up the Gold Coast to Byron Bay, or the Whitsundays, or the Great Barrier Reef, or indeed anywhere else along the east coast – the good times just keep rolling. January is the best month to go, after the crowds of December and when the weather’s hot but not too hot. Food, drink, beaches, private islands… They do everything big and bold and in style. Kick off your year like this and zing off the endorphins right through winter.Sustainable travel tip: The havoc global warming is wreaking on the Great Barrier Reef is well documented: a whopping half of its coral was destroyed between 2016 and 2018, owing to waves of dangerously hot water. Most visitors pile in from two locations – Cairns and the Whitsundays – but choosing a quieter corner ensures not only a more peaceful experience but a more environmentally friendly one, too. At the opposite end of the reef from Cairns, the Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort runs mostly on solar power, is eliminating single-use plastic and offsets 100 per cent of carbon generated from connecting flights.Where to stay: Design-led motel The Sunseeker near Byron Bay has a lo-fi feelgood factor.Book nowGet inspired by these Byron Bay Instagrammers.

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  • Temperature 28°C high 20°C low   Season dry   Travel time from UK 16 hours 20 minutes   Time difference GMT 6  It is hot...
    Martin MorrellBelize, Central AmericaTemperature: 28°C high; 20°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 16 hours 20 minutes
    Time difference: GMT -6It is hot and humid and it rains a lot in Belize, beset as it is by tropical storms and hurricanes. But don’t let that put you off. It is the perfect Caribbean escape for those who like it rough and palm-fringed around the edges, with tropical jungly highlands, Mayan ruins and the most astoundingly beautiful beaches, just a handful of hippies and beach bums to share them with. January and February are the best months, only pleasantly hot and not too wet.Sustainable travel tip: Those who sign up to a five-day diving trip with Much Better Adventures can be part of the conservation effort to protect the Belize Barrier Reef, spearing invasive lionfish, training in conservation work and helping with research.Where to stay: Itz’ana, a hotel with a beautiful rattan- and plant-decorated restaurant and a bar with a great pool.Book nowRead about one of the best spa holidays in Belize.
  • Temperature 32°C high 22°C low Season dry Travel time from UK 12 hours Time difference GMT 7  Thailand is heavenly in...
    Getty ImagesThailand, AsiaTemperature: 32°C high; 22°C low
    Season: dry
    Travel time from UK: 12 hours
    Time difference: GMT +7Thailand is heavenly in January. Yes, it’s peak season, but the mayhem of the Christmas and New Year parties are over; Bangkok is just about as pleasant as it’s ever going to get, and the islands on the south-western, Andaman Coast are just lovely: Koh Phi Phi, Phuket, Koh Lanta. Over on the east side, the islands of Koh Samui, Phangan and Tao are wetter – if you’re heading here, best to wait a couple of months til March; but still, those monsoon-like rains blow in, pour themselves out, then an hour later everyone’s back on the beach.Sustainable travel tip: Thai sleeper trains are modern and comfortable, so consider an overnight rail adventure between destinations rather than internal flights. Similarly, when visiting islands, more often than not there’s a ferry option, so don’t head for the airport as a matter of course.Where to stay: Roukh Kiri in Khao Yai is one of Thailand’s smartest properties. Spread out over a hill surrounded by mango trees, it’s made up of 12 villas that riff on barn houses – all have semi-outdoor bathtubs under stargazing windows.Book nowExplore the best islands in Thailand.
  • Temperature 26°C high 16°C low   Season summer   Travel time from UK 10 hours 45 minutes   Time difference GMT 2  So so...
    David CrookesSouth AfricaTemperature: 26°C high; 16°C low
    Season: summer
    Travel time from UK: 10 hours 45 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +2So, so many reasons to go, but briefly: amazing food and wine, beaches, hotels. Sensational scenery, from the Garden Route and Western Cape to the Little Karoo. Completely thrilling wildlife encounters on safari, staying at the most incredible lodges; or along the coastline, in knock-out villas. January is one of the best months for all those things. Wine can be drunk all year round. And because it’s in the same time zone, you don’t even get jet lag once you’re home again. Shame we can’t say the same about hangovers.Sustainable travel tip: When choosing a safari, make sure your money is poured back into supporting the park. The likes of Kruger and Hluhluwe-iMfolozi, where rhino poaching is rife, need these funds for anti-poaching schemes.Where to stay: At Silo Hotel, the best hotel in Cape Town for eclectic design and wraparound views. Its compact footprint packs a punch and includes the best rooftop bar and pool in the city.Book nowRead our review of Pyrnnsberg Estate, South Africa.
  • Temperature 6°C high 2°C low   Season winter   Travel time from UK 1 hours 10 minutes   Time difference GMT 1  For snow...
    Bruges, BelgiumTemperature: 6°C high; 2°C low
    Season: winter
    Travel time from UK: 1 hours 10 minutes
    Time difference: GMT +1For snow, beer and chips. The beautiful little Belgian city is one of those rare places that is just as enticing in the bleak midwinter as in summer: pretty in the snow, ‘beautiful f**king fairytale stuff’, to quote the film In Bruges (which is all the research you need). And the snow is an excellent excuse for holing up somewhere, because this city also has some of the most inviting reasons to stay indoors: interesting interiors, welcoming taverns full of good cheer and much Belgian beer, antiques and junk shops to poke around, gorgeous old guesthouses on the canals, candlelit bars and restaurants, moules-frites and cream-and-kirsch-laden puddings. A long weekend is enough time to see everything and put on a stone in weight.Sustainable travel tip: Our friends in the north have an advantage when it comes to getting to Bruges sustainably – the overnight ferry from Hull. The good news for southerners: the Eurostar travels direct from London to Brussels in just two hours, and from Brussels there are trains to Bruges every 30 minutes that take just over an hour.Where to stay: Number 11, three 17th-century gable houses containing four wooden-floored bedrooms which combine antique and contemporary furniture, tactile fabrics, interesting prints and fresh flowers. Go for the deluxe suite, a ground-floor apartment with its own entrance, Champagne-stocked fridge and a bathtub for two.Book nowThese are the best things to do in Bruges, Belgium.

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  • Temperature 23°C high 8°C low   Season dry   Travel time from UK 11 hours 10 minutes   Time difference GMT 6  The coast...
    • Jon AttenboroughMexicoTemperature: 23°C high; 8°C low
      Season: dry
      Travel time from UK: 11 hours 10 minutes
      Time difference: GMT -6The coast of Mexico is everything the British winter is not: light, colour, exoticism; warm and spicy and exuberant. Parties on the beach, yoga under the trees, a dip in dappled-light cenotes. We fell for the cosmic vibes of Tulum, and the little barefoot island of Isla Holbox, off the tip of the Yucatán Peninsula. For the haciendas and smart resorts on the Riviera Maya; for colonial Mérida. And over on the west coast, sunny, surfy Sayulita. The weather on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts is wonderful in January: hot but not-too-hot, with barely any rain at all. Required holiday reading: The Lacuna, by Poisonwood Bible author Barbara Kingsolver.**Sustainable travel tip:**Where Tulum’s not-so-green practices have made headlines, and the Riviera Maya’s resorts are all about opulence, Isla Holbox’s modus operandi is small-scale and local. The lack of paved roads all but mandates getting around by bicycle; the most convenient way to arrive is by 30-minute ferry from the mainland; restaurants, bars and stores are owned by islanders; and single-use plastics have been banned since 2018.Where to stay: Octavia Casa in Mexico City, a seven-room retreat in the chi-chi area of La Condesa. Rooms are decorated in neutral tones and each is named after a natural material, from walnut (nogal) and linen (lino) to earth (tierra) and bronze (bronce).Book nowUncover Mexico City’s design hotspots.
  • Temperature 24°C high 8°C low Season winter Travel time from UK 14 hours 25 minutes Time difference GMT 5.30  India's...
    • Rajasthan, IndiaTemperature: 24°C high; 8°C low
      Season: winter
      Travel time from UK: 14 hours 25 minutes
      Time difference: GMT +5.30India’s state of princes is spectacular in January. It’s pleasantly warm, the holiday crowds have vanished and you can dance through its palaces as if on your own private Bollywood set. Don’t miss the jewels in its crown – pastel-hued Jaipur, turquoise-speckled Jodhpur and romantically golden Udaipur – but leave room in your itinerary for a few forgotten treasures: serene Jal Mahal or the lost city of Bhangarh. January also provides the perfect weather for an Arabian Nights-style safari in Jaisalmer, where you can traverse the desert on the back of a camel and sleep under the stars.Sustainable travel tip: Rajasthan’s train network is excellent and largely runs on time. But reserve well in advance to secure the more comfortable cabin classes – 1AC and 2AC provide bunks with privacy curtains, towels and bedding – because they get snapped up fast. You can book through the Indian Railways site, which requires a frustrating registration process but is doable if you’re the patient type, or else use the quick and easy online agency to stay: Lakshaman Sagar was originally constructed in the 19th-century as a hunting lodge, and has since been converted into a luxury getaway set over 32 acres of land in Raipur. The resort features 12 villas, private dining and lounging spaces, a spa, and swimming pool.Book nowCheck out these beautiful pictures of Rajasthan, India.