There’s nothing like the dull, grey days of January to make you crave some sun and 101 Holidays tells us where to head to.

Fortunately there’s warmth to be found whatever your travel style and budget - Cathy Winston of 101 Holidays picks the best destinations if you’re wondering where’s hot in January.

Low-cost sun

If your bank balance is still recovering from Christmas, you can find some January sun without too high a price tag. Stick to short-haul flights – in the Canary Islands, for example, the average temperature is around 20C with four hour flights from a wide choice of UK airports.

Enjoy the six hours of daily sunshine on the beaches of Tenerife: the Gran Hotel Bahia del Duque has its own spa and nine restaurants, while golfers will love the Abama Golf & Spa resort – book with Classic Collection.

Or venture off the beaten tourist track and head to La Palma or La Gomera, both ideal for walkers with lush scenery and volcanic landscapes. Book with Cachet Travel who offer accommodation for all budgets ranging from cottages with private pools to a luxurious Parador.

Marrakech is another good option – warm rather than hot, it’s only less than four hours from the UK and you can find some bargain escapes, as well as beautiful riads to stay in. Book with the appropriately named Fleewinter.

Mid-haul escape

If you want somewhere hotter without a long-haul flight, there’s great winter sun if you fly just a little further. The Gambia in West Africa is the same time zone as the UK, so there’s no jetlag after the 6 and a ½ hour flight – and temperatures can soar into the 30s, perfect beach weather. The hotels from Gambia Experience include stylish adults-only Ngala Lodge as well as more along the beaches of Kotu, Kololi and Cape Point and unique riverfront hotels.

Or for desert heat with some added luxury, head to the Middle East – the Arabian Gulf is around seven hours away with temperatures in the mid 20s. Oman combines luxury hotels with an authentic taste of Arabia: explore its historic forts, head out into the dunes and wander through the souks of old Muscat. Book with Inspiring Travel Company.

You could team Oman with Dubai. Consider Abu Dhabi too, with its own branch of the Louvre as well as the world’s faster rollercoaster alongside Ferrari World on Yas Island. Book with Etihad Holidays.

If you can’t face more than five hours on a plane, southern Egypt is wonderfully warm too – cruise down the Nile or stay in a hotel on its banks. Abercrombie & Kent offers both, as well as an escorted tour led by an Egyptologist.

Beach bliss

Sometimes only a beach break will do: ideally tropical and palm fringed, but with enough sun to make winter feel like a distant memory.

Head to the southern Caribbean where January is one of the best months to visit – Cuba and the Cayman Islands have highs in the mid 20s. Or in Antigua, St Lucia and Barbados, the mercury is closer to 30C. Tropical Sky has a wide range of hotels, with some special offers, or check out the luxurious villas from CV Villas.

The Indian Ocean is equally inviting with around eight hours of sun in Mauritius and nine in the Maldives, plus temperatures hitting 30C. An overwater villa is the ultimate indulgence – Turquoise Holidays has some seriously enticing options.

Mauritius is ideal if you want sun, sand and snorkelling but also some exploring. Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa sits right on the La Morne peninsula and makes a perfect base to discover the island, as well having several pools, eight restaurants, a spa and access to four golf courses. Book with Beachcomber Tours.

Sun and sights

If you want more from your January escape than sunbathing, there are plenty of places to soak up the sun and see some unique sights at the same time.

Southern and central Vietnam will be deliciously warm: Selective Asia has some tempting itineraries teaming some of the glorious coast with the cities, plus history, fabulous food and culture along the way.

Or discover Malaysia – head to the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Malacca, the Cameron highlands and the west coast islands including Langkawi and Penang, although it’s best to avoid the east coast this month. Experience Travel Group creates unique itineraries with off-the-beaten-track options.

There are few countries more fascinating than India. January’s temperatures in the north are perfect for sightseeing, at around 20C in Delhi – warm enough to enjoy but not too hot as you marvel at the Taj Mahal and glories of Rajasthan. Check out the Golden Triangle itineraries from Transindus.

If it’s natural wonders you’re looking for, there’s nowhere like Costa Rica – discover the Arenal volcano, Tortuguero Jungle Reserve, Monteverde Cloud Forest and have time to enjoy the sun on the country’s beaches on a Costa Rica Highlights holiday with Rainbow Tours.

Solo sun

If you’re desperate to get away but none of your friends want to travel – or you’re looking for some time to yourself – there are some great January sunshine breaks for single travellers too.

Short-haul options include Malta and Cyprus where good weather is almost guaranteed, and Mercury Holidays has a string of hotels with no single supplements in January. Lounge by the beach or explore historic towns, ancient ruins and some captivating fishing villages.

If you’re tempted by the Caribbean, try a cruise with Norwegian Epic, one of the first ships to cater to solo cruisers with single staterooms, a separate lounge for those cruising alone and routes stopping at a variety of Caribbean islands. Book with IgluCruise.

Or discover the astonishing ancient temples of Angkor in Cambodia, along with the stilt village of Tonle Sap lake and capital Phnom Penh, discovering its glories and darker recent history. On The Go Tours has a Classic Cambodia small group tour with no single supplement on your own room in January.

For more ideas, see 101 Holidays.

December 2019