January – New Year – New Destinations
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January is the best time to visit some places and the worst time to visit others. Thankfully, the curious traveler has a ton of options to choose from, and we are going to have a look at just a few of the best places to go visit and explore during the month of January.
1.Dubai, United Arab Emirates
The most famous city in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai has sweltering temperatures during summer, but milder temperatures in the winter season. January is ideal to explore this vibrant city and its surrounding countryside.
This time of the year is also an ideal time to indulge in the many activities of the desert, such as camel rides, desert safaris, sandboarding, and outdoor walking tours.
Dubai is known as a mecca for shopping, and it helps to go at a time of the year when you don’t have to run from store to store to escape the heat.
Being an international flight transfer hub, you could even fit in a short visit on your way to some of the other destinations on this list.
The sun-baked island of Cyprus in the Meditteranean is a popular summer destination for European travelers in January.
Cyprus has comfortable temperatures during winter and is one of the warmest countries in Europe during the January-February period.
The island has many ruins from the Hellenic period for travelers to explore, but also boasts incredible natural beauty and serene beaches.
Try horse rides, wine tastings, historical tours, beach outings and exploring the cozy villages.
3. Florida, US
Florida may not be the warmest place to visit in January, but it is definitely a worthwhile escape from the winter snows of the northern states.
The Sunshine State has a variety of things to see and places to visit. Explore Miami’s famous beach, and take a drive down Ocean Drive. The city is also a cultural and economic hub, with many shopping and art deco districts.
The rest of the state also offers plenty to do. You can take a trip to the Everglades wetland region and drive over the long bridges connecting the Florida Keys islands.
4. Cape Town, South Africa
Located on the southern tip of Africa, Cape Town is one of the best attractions South Africa has to offer.
The ‘Mother City’ has excellent summer weather in January and a large variety of outdoor and indoor attractions for tourists.
Ascend the iconic Table Mountain or lounge on the beautiful Clifton beach. Cape Town is surrounded by majestic mountain ranges, offering some of the best hiking trails in the southern hemisphere.
The January-February period is also harvest season in the famous Cape Winelands, which has about 280 wine farms worth exploring.
Take a day trip to the beautiful Franschhoek area and enjoy world-class wines and hospitality.
5. Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
January is the beginning of summer in Rio, which means it is one of the perfect tropical holiday destinations.
Rio is a vibrant city with beautiful tropical beaches and is brimming with cultural activities to entertain visitors.
Ascend Corcovado Peak and see the famous Christo Redentor statue keeping vigil over the city, or enjoy the breathtaking views from Sugarloaf Mountain.
Copacabana beach is a definite must-see and visitors can enjoy a walk along the promenade, or a dip in the warm waters.
Rio has many colorful neighborhoods to explore, such as Lagoa and Lapa. Interact with the locals and enjoy the delicious Brazilian cuisine.
6. Sydney, Australia
Australia, being in the southern hemisphere, also offers pleasant temperatures for those looking to escape the wintry extremes of the northern countries.
Sydney is no exception. Explore the famous landmarks such as the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor Bridge.
This cosmopolitan city offers a plethora of activities in January, from kayaking in the harbor to browsing the lively markets, variety is definitely on offer.
There are plenty of tours to be enjoyed in the city, with a well-established tourist network and many varied attractions both in the city and the surrounding countryside.
If you are wanting to see wildlife and nature unrestrained, Kenya is definitely worth adding to your bucket list for January.
The weather is better in January in terms of rainfall, and perfect for safaris.
You are able to spot the Big 5 and hundreds of other species in the wilds of Kenya. Be sure to visit the Maasai Mara Reserve for an unforgettable African experience.
For more adventurous travelers, a hike up Kilimanjaro is quite an achievement but requires enough preparation and stamina.
8. Costa Rica
A popular January destination in Central America, Costa Rica offers unrivaled tropical beauty and natural sights.
The country is home to lush tropical forests, pristine waterfalls and winding hiking trails for those seeking a break from the hustle of the world.
Visitors should definitely consider a visit to Rincon de la Vieja and Arenal National Parks to view some of the best biodiversity in the country. Costa Rica has several volcanoes, such as Arenal, Poás and Irazú, with fertile green slopes which make for a spectacular day trip of sightseeing.
A visit to Costa Rica would not be complete without seeing the country’s capital, San Jose. This bustling city was founded on the back of the coffee trade, and to this day boasts an impressive array of shops, markets, restaurants, and theatres.
Situated close to Spain, Morocco is an accessible and exotic destination to explore.
Visitors can enjoy the vibrant colors and scents of Casablanca and Marrakech, or explore the historical sites of Volubilis and Ait Ben Haddou.
Morocco is especially popular with visitors who love markets, crafts and delicious cuisine. Several cities such as Fes el Bali are fairly untouched and can offer a look into raw landscapes of the North African country.
There are also various desert trails one can explore via camel, and many little Bedouin settlements on the edge of the Sahara to see.
10. The Alps, Europe
For those looking for a dream winter destination for January, the Alps mountain range never disappoints.
France, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria are all prime destinations to enjoy this winter wonderland.
There are numerous ski resorts and picturesque little towns dotted throughout the Alps, just be sure to pack proper winter gear.
The activities are not limited to skiing, however. You can cross the snowscape with dog sleighs, snowshoes, or even a giant zip line.
11. Sapporo, Japan
Japan is a worthy destination all-year round, but the Sapporo Snow Festival is truly a winter spectacle to behold.
It usually runs at the end of January, and visitors are treated to breathtaking ice sculptures, snow sports, and entertaining shows.
Hokkaido province, where Sapporo is situated, also has plenty of other things for visitors to do in the winter months. Try a visit to a traditional Onsen (Japanese hot spring) or enjoy the skiing opportunities.
Many countries in South America are worth a visit in January, but Argentina delivers with its charm and liveliness.
It is a country with many different sights and sounds. From the bustle of Buenos Aires to the solitude of the far-out glaciers and plateaus, Argentina offers something for every type of explorer.
The temperature in January is still pleasant, but there will be far fewer crowds to deal with.
Recent financial downturns have made the country an affordable destination and there are many value-for-money tours to choose from.
Thailand can be considered one of the best places to visit in January. It is after the New year parties and the crowds are much less.
This gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy the beaches and temples without having to navigate endless crowds.
The country has many famous regions and cities to explore, such as Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, and Bangkok.
January has the best weather in Thailand, as the monsoon season has ended and the humidity drops to about 70%.
Places to see, Things to Do
Whether you prefer hot or cold places, the month of January can be the best time to explore many parts of the world.
There are many more we didn’t list, but consider visiting at least one of these fantastic destinations as each of them provides a uniquely fantastic experience.