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Where is hot in January

Hot holidays in JanuaryJanuary holiday weather in DubaiCaribbean - Where is hot in January

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays

January is an ideal month to get away for some warm weather. With Christmas behind you and a few more months of grim weather in prospect before the arrival of spring, it’s a real treat to stretch out under a tropical sun. So where is hot in January?

If you’re travelling solo, see our guide to the best singles holidays in January.

Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.
The incredible Piton mountains

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CaribbeanUnder 7 hours flying timeLong haul

The Caribbean is hard to beat

The Caribbean offers ideal conditions, with reliable sunshine, gentle breezes and daytime temperatures hovering around 30°C. In Barbados, Tobago, Grenada and Jamaica, you can expect an average of 9 hours of sunshine a day with only a very occasional short rain shower. For the finest white-sand beaches, check out the Cayman Islands or the immaculate coral island of Anguilla.

My favourite Caribbean hotels include Round Hill in Jamaica, Beaches Turks & Caicos and – for families with young children – there’s the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua. If you want a luxury all-inclusive, check out Club Med which has 80 beach and ski resorts around the world.

In Cuba I recommend a beach-and-city combination. It would be a pity to visit this fascinating country without exploring the capital Havana. You should also visit the colonial city of Trinidad and perhaps spend a few nights on the beach at Cayo Ensenachos.

See more holiday ideas in the Caribbean and details of the Caribbean weather in January.

BeachesLa Palma, CanariesTenerife has golden beachesExcellent golf courses

Short haul sunshine: under 7 hours flying time

If you want hot weather in January but don’t want a long flight, you can still find sunny – and even hot – conditions with a flying time from the UK of less than 7 hours.

It’s only a four-hour flight to the beaches of Tenerife in the Canary Islands where you can expect temperatures around 20°C and 6 hours of daily sun. If hiking and nature are more your thing, try the tiny black-sand island of La Palma. For budget beach and guaranteed sunshine, try Egypt’s Red Sea resorts where you will find daytime averages of about 21°C, and 8 hours of sunshine.

We also recommend The Gambia for hot holidays in January. This charming West African country offers great value beach holidays and has temperatures of around 32°C with 9 hours of daily sunshine. It is only six hours flying time from the UK with no jet lag. Last January I stayed with my family at the Kombo Beach hotel, which I highly recommend.

It’s a little less than 7 hours flying time to Dubai where you’ll find great beaches, endless sunshine and an impressive collection of glitzy hotels, fine restaurants and entertainment venues. For a dash more Arabic culture, head to neighbouring Oman where you’ll find souks, desert safaris, historic forts, remote beaches and mountains. For a luxury hotel in Oman, I recommend Six Senses Zighy Bay.

It’s only a 3-hour flight to Marrakech in Morocco (19ºC and 7 hours of sun). Find out more cheap winter sun destinations.

Some people are looking for a healthy holiday in January. If that’s you, I recommend in:spa for health and fitness retreats, and its sister companies, fitscape, which runs fitness breaks in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, and destination yoga, where you get daily lessons from one of the UK’s leading yoga instructors, as well as all your food and group activities.

TranquilitySri Lanka beachesPetra

Long haul holidays in January

January is a great month to enjoy the breathtaking sights and stunning beaches of Southeast Asia. Thailand is the most popular destination amongst British travellers with reliable temperatures of up to 32°C. With gorgeous islands, delicious food and low prices it’s a guaranteed winner, though you should avoid the east Gulf coast in January, when heavy rainfall is possible. Phuket on the west Andaman coast is better than Koh Samui, but it’s a great time of year for touring. If you want more than just a beach in Thailand, I recommend Experience Travel Group.

Elsewhere in Southeast Asia, January is a great month to explore Malaysia or Vietnam, or discover the cultural treasures of Burma, a country that is just prising open to tourism. Further south, Bali offers glorious beaches and a colourful local culture, though rain showers are a risk in January.

Feeling more adventurous? Head to India to combine culture, adventure, beach and great food. Northern India and Rajasthan experience mild temperatures in January – ideal for sightseeing – with Delhi at around 20°C. If you head further south to Goa you’ll find temperatures of around 28°C – perfect for lazing in the sun. Find details of private tours in India from TransIndus.

Florida is a good bet, whether you want to enjoy a stylish boutique hotel in Miami, hit the theme parks, explore the beaches of the Gulf Coast or drive south along the Keys. Try a two-week fly-drive to discover the highlights of Florida or search for cheap deals in Orlando. Expect 24ºC and 7 hours of sun in Miami.

Elsewhere in America, you could explore Hawaii (26ºC, 7 hours of sun) on a small ship cruise or join a two-week escorted tour that will introduce you to the astonishing beauty of these diverse and lush volcanic islands.

Another option is to head to the Nevada desert. Combine a few high-octane days in Las Vegas (15C, 8 hours of sun) with a trip out to the Grand Canyon.

If you’re ready to splash out on a tropical island, I can think of nowhere more appealing in January than the Indian Ocean. How about a spa hotel in Mauritius (30ºC, 8 hours of sun), an over-water villa in the Maldives (31ºC, 9 hours of sun) or a white-sand beach in the Seychelles (29ºC, 6 hours of sun)

If you’re looking for adventure, breathtaking sights, activities and superb beaches, how about South America. I recommend both Brazil and Argentina.

Find more expert tips from our team of editors on holidays in January and honeymoons in January.

Last updated: 11 May 2016

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