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footbridge connecting with the thatched jetty in maldives island resort

Compare the best January holidays

If you want to get away in January and are looking to escape from the cold and enjoy some sunshine, then why not take a look through our recommendations for a winter holiday? You'll need to fly for at least four hours; but there are some fantastic destinations waiting for you when you get off the plane.

The Caribbean

With a flying time of around nine hours from the UK, the islands of the Caribbean Sea offer winter sun heaven and a real chance to rest and relax ... Read more.

The biggest decision you will have to make when holidaying in the Caribbean is where to book. With a huge range of islands to pick from, each one has its own character and unique charms. However, they are united in the fact they are all pretty much laidback, chilled and perfect for taking it easy.

Average January temperature: 26°C
Average January rainfall: 67mm
Average January sunshine: 8hrs

From the Bahamas in the north of the Caribbean region to Barbados in the south, there will be plenty of package holiday deals to suit the budgets of most travellers desperate to soak up some winter rays. The best prices will be found in the Spanish Caribbean destinations of the Dominican Republic and Cuba, both of which have excellent all-inclusive resorts and enjoy a fantastic January climate.

Classics such as Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua deliver high quality and standards. For a more laidback vibe check out Jamaica in resorts such as Ochos Rios or the beautiful east coast beaches of Negril. In the south you'll find Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, known for spices and carnival. And, of course, the Bahamas and Cayman Islands are a major draw with idyllic powder soft white beaches, lagoons and diving and snorkelling. Finally, if you want somewhere quiet and discrete, try out St Kitts and Nevis or the Grenadines.

The Egyptian Red Sea

The Red Sea resorts around Sharm El Sheikh and Hurghada are home to many all-inclusive hotels, fantastic water sports and warm winter sun... Read more.

Despite recent political problems in the country, the Red Sea resorts remain well and truly open for business and are well away from the capital Cairo. They continue to offer great value holidays year round, and while the temperatures don't reach the dizzy heights of the Caribbean in January, you can spend long days lazing in the warm winter sun to bag yourself a healthy looking tan.

Average January temperature: 22°C
Average January rainfall: 1mm
Average January sunshine: 8hrs

The Sharm resorts merge into one large area of coastal hotels, entertainment centres and holiday fun. Expect lots of opportunities to snorkel, dive, and watch the coral reefs with their amazing display of tropical fish by day, before enjoying a huge range of entertainment options by night from traditional Egyptian belly dancing to western style nightclubs. The hotels are mainly all-inclusive, although eating out is easy in the main areas.

The Canary Islands

Throughout the winter months, the Canaries are the most accessible and most recognised resort area for Brits looking for value and warm temperatures... Read more.

With four main and three lesser-known islands to choose from, there is a lot of variety in this Spanish region. Four hours flying time south of the UK, you'll find everything from party resorts and a huge volcano on Tenerife to some of the best windsurfing on Fuerteventura, and from the family resorts of Lanzarote to the enormous sand dunes of Grana Canaria.

Average January temperature: 22°C
Average January rainfall: 34mm
Average January sunshine: 6hrs

Whether you seek luxury high-end accommodation in five-star resorts with golf courses and spas, or simple self-catering accommodation on a budget, the islands cover all bases. And January holidays are usually found at great prices with frequent flights from the UK.

Where else do we recommend?

Excellent alternatives in January are Dubai, Cancun, Cape Verde and Florida, all with excellent weather and great holiday destinations... Read more


Average January Temperature: 19°C
Average January Rainfall: 15mm
Average Hours of Sunshine: 8hrs

The hot and arid desert climate of Dubai is perfect if you're looking for where is hot in January as it guarantees hot and sunny weather all year round. In fact, it's almost too hot in the summer months, with temperatures reaching 40°C and above. A much more pleasant time to visit Dubai is from November to March when temperatures are more tolerable for sun seekers. Beautiful beaches line Dubai's coastline, such as Jumeirah Beach, home to Dubai's best holiday clubs and hotels. Dubai has even has a Spice Souk, Perfume Souk and Fish Souk which are well worth a visit. And the recently opened Dubai Mall has the world's largest number of retailers in one mall, with 1,200 shops in air-conditioned bliss.

Thrill seeking visitors should try a 4X4 desert safari which takes you on a tour of the awe-inspiring dunes. You can also stop at local Arabian settlements and even try your hand at sandboarding!


Average January Temperature: 28°C
Average January Rainfall: 66mm
Average Hours of Sunshine: 6hrs

Famed for its nightlife and white sandy beaches, Cancun is a top Caribbean holiday destination all year round. Despite a 10 hour flight time from the UK, Cancun is well worth the effort to guarantee a great party and a fantastic tan even in the depths of January. It's worth bearing in mind that the beaches of Cancun are split between the north and the east. To the north, Playa Las Perlas and Playa Linda are superb for watersports, in particular the excellent diving tours and turtle farm close to Isla Mujeres. While the eastern side of Cancun is home to Playa Ballenas, Gaviota Azul, San Miguelito and Playa Delfines. These are quieter beaches, though they are susceptible to stronger winds, but are ideal if you are seeking a peaceful January escape. Away from the beaches, Chichen Itza is an amazing Mayan ruins site with fantastic pyramids and stunning temples - well worth a day trip.

Cape Verde:

Average January Temperature: 24°C
Average January Rainfall: 2mm
Average Hours of Sunshine: 7hrs

Situated 500km off the coast of West Africa in the Atlantic Ocean, Cape Verde is an eclectic hybrid of African and Portuguese cultural influences. Although Cape Verde is not a mainstream tourist mecca, unlike the Canary or Balearic Islands, it does still attract large numbers of visitors to the stunning beaches of Sal and Boa Vista. For active thrill seekers, a holiday to Cape Verde could involve awesome hiking on hillsides layered with frozen lava, incredible surfing and windsurfing, and excellent deep sea fishing. If you're looking for something a little different and average daytime temperatures of 24 degrees, then Cape Verde could be the remote escape you're looking for.


Average January Temperature: 23°C
Average January Rainfall: 60mm
Average Hours of Sunshine: 7hrs

If you're looking for where is hot in January for a holiday, then Disneyworld and the Orlando theme parks, plus stunning beaches such as St Petersburg and Clearwater, make Florida a brilliant choice for a hot family holiday in January. With average temperature highs of 23 degrees and average January rainfall of 6cm compared to 20cm in June, it's definitely a safe bet for British holidaymakers desperate for some vitamin D.

If we haven't whetted your appetite with any of these options, you could also consider the Maldives, Goa, Mauritius, the Seychelles, the Gambia, Australia, South Africa and the Indian Ocean coasts of Kenya.