The best January holiday destinations: beach or snow?

Where can I go on holiday in January? The cosy Christmas season is over, the freezing cold is coming. The best holiday destinations in January depend on whether you prefer the beach or the ski slopes. I’ll show you the best January holiday destinations for family holidays, winter sports, beach holidays, city trips and wellness holidays, including a climate table.

Check the Foreign travel advice of the UK government for the latest travel restrictions and info about quarantine.

Beach holidays: What holiday destinations are hot in January?

Destinations like Sri Lanka, Costa Rica, Dubai, Koh Samui, the Caribbean, South Africa and pretty much all countries south of Europe can score with hot temperatures. Here comes my personal pick for a warm holiday in January:

Canaries – Tenerife, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Lanzarote

playa de cofete
The endless beach of Playa de Cofete on Fuerteventura


A top holiday destination in January, and not only, are the Canary Islands. Warm weather – although not necessarily hot – is waiting for you on the Spanish islands in the Atlantic Ocean. Another advantage in January is that after the Christmas holidays, prices suddenly drop and you can treat yourself to a spontaneous holiday in the sun. Why not also as a workation?

By the way, the warmest and sunniest are the south side of Tenerife and Gran Canaria. For an active holiday with hiking and sightseeing, I also recommend these two islands. Tip for faineants: Bright sunshine and endless beaches on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote will make you forget the cold January in Europe.

Flight time from UK to Tenerife: approx. 4 to 5 h

Average temperature in January in Tenerife South:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 22 degrees Celsius
  • Night temperature: 15 degrees
  • Water temperature: 19 degrees
  • Number of rainy days: 5


Fantastic hotels in the Canary Islands

TUI BLUE Flamingo Beach
For Family
Lanzarote . Spain
TUI BLUE Las Pitas
For Family
Gran Canaria . Spain
TUI BLUE Los Gigantes
For Two
Tenerife . Spain


Madeira – Spring in January

Botanical Garden in Funchal Madeira
The evergreen botanical garden in Funchal, Madeira’s capital


One of the best places to visit in January in Europe, but rather for hiking than a beach holiday, is the Portuguese island of Madeira, which lies in the Atlantic Ocean. The evergreen scenery of the island of eternal spring is a wonderful place to hike in balmy temperatures: Hiking in the lush forests and relaxing in the hotel spa afterwards. Sounds tempting? It is!

Flight time from UK to Madeira: approx. 3.5 h

Average temperature in January on Madeira:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 19 degrees Celsius
  • Night temperature: 135 degrees
  • Water temperature: 18 degrees
  • Number of rainy days: 8


Hotel with Spa in Madeira

TUI BLUE Madeira Gardens
For Two
Madeira . Portugal

Cape Verde: Island paradise in the Atlantic

sal strand concelho do sal
This is what it looks like all over Sal


And the Atlantic Ocean again! Cape Verde is even warmer than the Canaries and Madeira, making it the archipelago of eternal summer. It’s perfect here in January and the summery temperatures stay that way throughout the European winter – with only 6 to 7 h flying time. For sun-seekers, the island of Sal is the best destination in Cape Verde: Beach, more beach and a bit of wind on the sandy beaches. Plus the colourful houses of the “capital” Santa Maria and the relaxed way of life. Be quick! Cape Verde is an extremely popular destination in January.

Flight time from UK to Sal: approx. 6 h

Average temperature in January on Sal/Cape Verde:

  • Maximum temperature during the day: 24° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 18°
  • Water temperature: 21°
  • Number of rainy days: 0


Adults-only hotel on Sal

TUI BLUE Cabo Verde
For Two
Sal . Cape Verde

Zanzibar: African dream destination in January

Paradise beach in Zanzibar
Paradise beach in Zanzibar


And Africa again: One of the most beautiful destinations in January is by far Zanzibar. January is the best time to travel to the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar, as the rainy season is over. This means plenty of sun under the tropical coconut palms. Let yourself be lulled by the relaxed nature of the Zanzibaris and enjoy the unusual mixture of Arabic, Indian, African and European influences. If you can’t stay on the beach, I recommend visiting the most beautiful beaches in Zanzibar and forgetting the cold winter while snorkelling in the warm water. Zanzibar is also a safe and great destination with children!

Flight time from UK to Zanzibar: approx. 12 h

Average temperature in Zanzibar in January:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 31° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 22°
  • Water temperature: 28°
  • Number of rainy days: 6


Super rated resort in Zanzibar

TUI BLUE Bahari Zanzibar
For All
Zanzibar . Tansania

Maldives: top January holiday destination

tui blue olhuveli aerial view
The TUI BLUE Olhuveli Romance resort in the South Malé Atoll of the Maldives


January is the ideal time to visit the Maldives, which lie south of India in the Indian Ocean. January, February and March are the dry season and therefore a popular time for a visit. December to April is also the best time for snorkellers and divers because of the crystal clear, calm sea. There are only 3 rainy days on average in January and the water is 27 degrees.

Flight time from UK to Malé: approx. 11-12 h

Average temperature in January in the Maldives:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 30 degrees Celsius
  • Night temperature: 24 degrees
  • Water temperature: 27 degrees
  • Number of rainy days: 3


Dream Resort in Maldives

TUI BLUE Olhuveli Romance
For Two
South Malé atoll . Maldives

Khao Lak / Thailand

boat tour khao sok national park
Boat tour in Khao Sok National Park near Khao Lak


Thailand has been very closed off for a long time because of the pandemic and is slowly opening up. We have sorely missed it because January is the perfect time to travel to Thailand, it’s the dry season. Whether you choose a tour around Chiang Mai in the north or a chilled beach holiday in Khao Lak with its golden beaches – awesome tasty food, great weather without oppressive sultriness and the friendly shy smile of the Thai will appease even the grumpiest farang.

Flight time from UK to Phuket: approx. 12 h

Average temperature in Phuket in January:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 32° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 22°
  • Water temperature: 28°
  • Number of rainy days: 6


Vietnam: Dry season in January

Hoi An Vietnam lanterns
Colourful lanterns in Hoi An in central Vietnam


Although you can have a pure beach holiday in Vietnam in January, you shouldn’t leave it at that. From north to south, you’ll not only cross different climatic zones, but also landscapes, bustling cities and dream beaches. There is no single best time for a holiday in Vietnam, but January comes very close, as large parts of the country have a dry season with few rainy days per month, while the south around Phu Quoc is tropically warm. At the moment, the only thing standing in the way of your winter beach holiday are Vietnam’s strict entry regulations. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the situation improves quickly!

Flight time from UK to Vietnam: approx. 11 to 12 h

Average temperature in January in central Vietnam:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 24° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 17°
  • Water temperature: 23°
  • Number of rainy days: 7


Beach Hotel near Hoi An

For All
Hoi An . Vietnam

Dominican Republic: perfect dream beaches

bavaro beach
The beaches of Punta Cana are exactly what Europeans dream of in January!


Bad news: January is the coldest month in the Dominican Republic. Good news: In this case, that means “only” 28 degrees during the day and 27 degrees water temperature 😉 One of the most popular destinations of the Caribbean island is Punta Cana. You won’t soon forget the sight of the palm-fringed stunning beaches. Add to that a first-class all-inclusive resort… a unique experience!

Flight time from UK to Punta Cana: approx. 9 h

Average temperature in January in Punta Cana:

  • Maximum temperature during the day: 29° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 20°
  • Water temperature: 27°
  • Number of rainy days: 7


Luxury holidays for the whole family in Punta Cana

TUI BLUE Sensatori Cap Cana
For All
Punta Cana . Dominican Republic

Mexico: best time to travel in January

riviera maya mexico beach
This is what your Riviera Maya beach could look like


January is also the “cool” time to travel in Mexico. With a pleasant 28 degrees and plenty of sunshine, it’s easy to stay on the Caribbean coast and visit the Mayan sites without totally melting in the sun. January is in the middle of the dry season from November to April. Especially for the Riviera Maya south of Cancun, known for its white sand beaches, it’s the perfect time for a holiday in the sun.

Flight time direct flights from UK to Cancun: approx. 10-11 h

Average temperature in Cancun/Mexico in January:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 28° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 17°
  • Water temperature: 24°
  • Number of rainy days: 4


Romantic Adults-only Hotel on the Riviera Maya

TUI BLUE El Dorado Seaside Suites
For Two
Riviera Maya . Mexico

Which destinations are cheap and warm in January?

Egypt spontaneously comes to mind. Destinations such as the Turkish Riviera and the Canaries also experience a price drop after the Christmas and New Year holidays, and January is often the cheapest time to travel to these destinations.

Winter months don’t exist in Egypt

Makadi Bay Red Sea
Snorkelling goggles on and fins on – it’s off to the Red Sea!


Egypt is logically one of the best holiday destinations in January. Short flight time, many hours of sunshine, very good value for money in the all-inclusive hotels and side trips to cultural wonders of the world – Egypt is the perfect january holiday destination. Pack a jumper or a light jacket because it can get really chilly in the evenings. The only question left is where you want to experience the unique underwater worlds: Hurghada or Sharm El Sheikh?.

Flight time from UK to Hurghada: approx. 5.5 h

Average temperature in January in Hurghada/Egypt:

  • Maximum temperature during the day: 24 degrees Celsius
  • Night temperature: 11 degrees
  • Water temperature: 22 degrees
  • Number of rainy days: 1


All-inclusive-Hotels in Egypt

TUI BLUE Crystal Bay
For All
Hurghada . Egypt
For Two
Hurghada . Egypt
TUI BLUE Makadi Gardens
For Two
Hurghada . Egypt
TUI BLUE Sensatori Coral Sea
For All
Sharm El Sheikh . Egypt

Skiing holidays in January: beautiful Austria

By mid-January at the latest, there’s snow everywhere in Austrian ski resorts, and if there isn’t, they’ll make up for it. Of course, Switzerland, South Tyrol and other Alpine destinations are also perfect for a ski holiday. But nowhere is the infrastructure, the choice and the price-performance ratio better than in the Austrian Alps – for après-ski bunnies, for families, also for winter sports away from skiing and snowboarding. In short: simply for everyone! I briefly introduce three ski resorts and for whom which one is suitable. The fact that the regulations for the holiday are constantly changing is unfortunately due to the pandemic.

PillerseeTal in Tyrol – January has the most snow

Skiing Winter Holiday Packing List
Skiing in the Pillerseetal in Austria – © Tourism Association Kitzbüheler Alpen


In fact, January is the month with the most snow and the most snow in large parts of Tyrol, including the Kitzbühel Alps and the Pillersee Valley not far from the Bavarian border. The average snow height on the mountain in January is 101 cm. Countless lifts and slopes for beginners and pros make the ski area the ideal winter sports resort. Even world championships in snowboarding and freeriding are held here.

Skihotel in Fieberbrunn directly at the lift

TUI BLUE Fieberbrunn
For All
Tyrol . Austria


Skilift Gipfelberg Personen Skier
The ski lift in the Schladming ski area takes you straight up to the Planai summit.


January offers ideal conditions for snowboarders and skiers around Schladming in Styria. Although February is the month with the most snow, the slopes are covered with snow as needed during the winter season, so you’ll get your money’s worth. Schladming is a household name for party-goers, as it is home to one of the largest après-ski “huts” in Europe, the Tenne. Even beyond après-ski, the Schladming-Dachstein region with its four-mountain ski circuit is a guarantee for a picture-perfect winter holiday. Apart from skiing and snowboarding, you can alternatively go fatbike or dog sled, for example.

Skihotel in Schladming directly at the ski lift

TUI BLUE Fieberbrunn
For All
Tyrol . Austria

Montafon – almost still a winter sports secret tip

tui blue montafon terrasse winter
Winter wellness with a view: the TUI BLUE Montafon hotel


While the Montafon is certainly a familiar name to Austrians, it is rather unknown to everyone else. Yet the winter sports and hiking region in the west of Austria has so much to offer. With 140 kilometres of pistes, the Silvretta Montafon ski area is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders, including 44 km of pistes especially for families on the Golm adventure mountain. Everything else is booked up in January? Maybe you’re still lucky enough to get hold of something in the Montafon.

Ski hotel with spa area in Montafon

TUI BLUE Montafon
For All
Silvretta Montafon . Austria

What are the best family tourist destinations for a tour in January?

Skiing or swimming? With or without childcare? Once you have answered these questions for yourself, the choice is not so difficult. For a beach holiday, the Canaries or Egypt (shorter flight time) or long-haul destinations Zanzibar (only 3 hours time difference to UK time, direct flights and no malaria) or Dominican Republic (only 9 h flight time from UK). If your child can already make his or her first experiences on skis or a snowboard, Austria is just right. There is a children’s ski school right next to the TUI BLUE Fieberbrunn in Tyrol and the surrounding PillerseeTal/Buchensteinwand ski area is considered particularly family-friendly. The TUI BLUE Montafon in Vorarlberg has the Golm family ski area close by.

Cities to visit in January

koutoubia mosque marrakech
The Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech / © shutterstock_780330766


Sure, you can go to Paris and the like in January. But do you really want to walk around for hours in the freezing cold? Warm places like Cape Town would also be nice, but they’re too far away for a city break. Why not combine the best of both worlds for example in the vibrant city of Marrakech? Pleasant temperatures for exploring, few tourists and the journey time is no longer than a train ride to Paris. And a bustling Moroccan souk remains more memorable than the most of the paintings in the Louvre, doesn’t it?

Flight time from UK to Marrakech: approx. 3.5 h

Average temperature in November in Marrakech/Morocco:

  • Maximum daytime temperature: 18° Celsius
  • Night temperature: 7°
  • Number of rainy days: 7

Your wellness oasis in Marrakech

TUI BLUE Medina Gardens
For Two
Marrakech . Morocco
TUI BLUE Riu Tikida Garden
For Two
Marrakech . Morocco


Wellness in January: where to go for relaxation?

tui blue grand azur hammam
In the hammam, you can dream of 1001 nights.


You don’t have to worry about summer temperatures on a wellness holiday – in the cold season there are great wellness experiences. My travel tip in January for a luxurious winter escape: the Turkish Riviera for a sophisticated wellness all-inclusive holiday in January and at a bargain price!

Wellness holidays in Turkey

For Two
Turkish Riviera . Turkey

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.