Skip to content
Travel Ideas in January

Best places to travel in January 2022

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Vietnam’s sandy shores. It’s also summer in Australia, a season celebrated with outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and sporting events.

In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in Paris, where crisp, clear skies showcase the monument-filled skyline and fewer visitors make for an ideal Louvre museum experience.

Festivals and events around the world in January

Speak to someone
who's been there

Audley Travel specialist Ian

Start planning your tailor-made trip by contacting one of our destination specialists

India

After the Christmas buzz, January is a quieter time to visit India, before visitor numbers climb in February and March. You’ll need extra layers in early mornings and evenings, but after the dawn mist has cleared, you’re usually rewarded with crisp blue skies.

These cooler climes are ideal for exploring the fortified desert cities of Rajasthan, watching an atmospheric sunrise over the Taj Mahal in Agra and shopping in Jaipur’s artisanal markets without the summer heat. We also recommend the southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, where the beaches, backwaters and colonial hill stations are sunny and warm.

Kerala Backwaters
Kerala Backwaters

South Africa

If you’ve got your eye on a tour of Cape Town and the Winelands, now is the time. January sees warm temperatures and clear skies across the Cape, which is ideal for alfresco wine tours and self-drive routes around the region’s ocean-cut coastline.

It’s not the ideal time to safari in the Kruger National Park, which tends to get occasional tropical rainstorms, but this does mean that the Cape region is a little quieter and you can still enjoy a safari in the drier Eastern Cape reserves.

January also marks the anniversaries of the Battle of Isandlwana and the Battle of Rorke’s Drift, so the Battlefields in KwaZulu Natal can be busy.

Franschhoek vineyards
Franschhoek vineyards

Australia

January is high summer in Australia, with warm and sunny days, unless you’re in the humid north which is prone to tropical showers. An alternative to seeing New Year fireworks around Sydney Harbour is to visit in late January around Australia Day. Lively festivals and sporting events take place during the day and fireworks light up the sky at night, with the Sydney Opera House standing proud in the background.

You can also experience the many other outdoor events running throughout the month as Australians make the most of the warm summer weather, including outdoor cinema screenings and theatre.

Sydney
Sydney

Vietnam

January is the start of central Vietnam’s summer season, when the weather in the heritage-rich towns of Hue and Hoi An is warm and dry. This is a good time to relax by some of Vietnam’s best beaches around Nha Trang, where the early morning light offers up some of Asia’s best sunrises.

Temperatures around Saigon and the Mekong Delta can reach 30°C, which is ideal for lazy river cruises along the Mekong or the Red River. In contrast, temperatures drop dramatically in the mountain towns of Sapa and Ha Giang north of the country, and the air can become quite hazy, so views in Halong Bay are not at their best.

Tet, the lunar new year, is usually celebrated at the end of the month, with traditional shows and dragon dance performances.

Ninh Van Bay near Nah Trang, Vietnam
Ninh Van Bay near Nah Trang, Vietnam

Cambodia

As the sun shines across most of Southeast Asia in the new year, many visitors arrive across the region and some areas can get busy. With great swathes of jungle, little-visited sleepy coastal towns and remote, unspoiled beaches, we suggest opting for often-overlooked Cambodia.

Temperatures are still comfortable enough to explore Angkor Wat, the modern buzz of Phnom Penh and the Battambang’s wide, leafy boulevards. But, as it’s also the driest and sunniest month of the year, it’s an ideal time to laze on a secluded beach on the Koh Kong Archipelago and dine in Kep’s coastal cafes.

Battambang
Battambang

The Caribbean

January is one of the sunniest, driest months to visit the Caribbean. There can still be some rain, but it’s generally short bursts that give way to sunshine. To get your pick of the accommodation at this time of year, we recommend booking well in advance.

In Grenada, the annual sailing festival brings international yacht racing to the Caribbean, with a lively festival atmosphere and a range of authentic cuisine. Carnival Day is celebrated in Saint-Kitts and Nevis, with calypso competitions and vibrant parades. If you’re looking for a sunny, but slightly cooler, island, the temperatures in Antigua peak at a comfortable 27 C (81 F).

Harbour, St George's, Grenada
Harbour, St George's, Grenada

Botswana

January is the green season in Botswana, with long sunny days punctuated by short, sharp showers. If you don’t mind the occasional spot of rain, this is an excellent time to visit as animals give birth to their young and the scenery is bright with verdant foliage and flowers. There are also fewer visitors, making this a good-value period to travel.

You’ll see plenty of migratory birds during January — many species flock here to breed in large numbers, and you’ll see them flitting to and from their nests to feed their young. The dramatic weather creates impressive cloud formations and bright colours across the sky, creating plenty of opportunities for photographers.

Swimming lion cubs in the Okavango Delta, Botswana
Swimming lion cubs in the Okavango Delta, Botswana

France

While January is one of France’s coldest months, it’s one of the best times to explore Paris. There’s very little rainfall and the city skyline stands proud against clear, crisp winter skies. You’ll also find far fewer visitors, so exploring the city’s galleries, museums and monuments is particularly rewarding, with less time spent waiting in line and more space to admire the collections.

January is also the peak of the truffle hunting season, so you’ll find restaurants across the country serving truffle-infused specialties. Elsewhere, snow coats the Alps and Pyrenees as the French ski season gets underway.

Musée d'Orsay, Paris
Musée d'Orsay, Paris

Chile

January is arguably the best time to travel to Chile, with warm, dry weather across the country and music, food and dance festivals popping up everywhere, from large cities to rural towns. It’s a particularly good time to explore the capital, Santiago, as many residents travel out of the city for their own summer trips, reducing congestion.

Torres del Paine National Park is very popular at this time of year, so you’ll need to book well ahead. But, once you arrive, it’s large enough to find your own slice of wilderness. If you do want to eschew fellow visitors, this is a good time to take a self-drive trip to some of the country’s quieter regions.

Torres del Paine, Chile
Torres del Paine, Chile

The Galapagos Islands

The best time to go to the Galapagos depends on what you particularly want to see and experience. In January, temperatures both on land and at sea are warm, and while short periods of rain occur, it’s also one of the sunniest months to visit.

January is also one of the best months to go diving as calmer waters make for clearer visibility. At this time of year, you might see sea turtles nesting on the islands’ beaches, marine iguanas become brightly colored to attract a mate, and you can watch various land birds undertake their unusual courtship rituals.

Marine Iguana, Galapagos
Marine Iguana, Galapagos
Travel Ideas in January

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Vietnam’s sandy shores. It’s also summer in Australia, a season celebrated with outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and sporting events.

In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in Paris, where crisp, clear skies showcase the monument-filled skyline and fewer visitors make for an ideal Louvre museum experience.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like a troika (sleigh) ride in Russia, or looking to escaping the colder temperatures at home with a cruise along the Nile under sunny skies, February can make an excellent time to travel. A safari in Tanzania gives you a chance to see new-born antelope take their first wobbly steps, while warm temperatures in Argentina make it an ideal time for trekking in Patagonia.

We’ve shared some of the most popular destinations to visit in February below, as well as a few countries that you may not have considered, where you can visit key sights without the crowds.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in March

Places to travel in March

As winter turns to spring across the northern hemisphere, Japan’s blooms start to emerge, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak season. Portugal also begins to warm, making it a good time for coastal hikes and city sightseeing without the summer crowds.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and Kruger wildlife is at its healthiest among the fresh, green vegetation following the rains. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka and Morocco at their best. Meanwhile, cooler climes in New Zealand makes March an excellent month to explore, with quieter walking trails, near-empty coastlines and a good chance of sunshine.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in April

Places to travel in April

Travel to South America in April as nature offers wonderful bird watching in the Galapagos, including likely sightings of the fascinating mating ritual of the blue-footed booby. The Iguaçu Falls, bordering Brazil and Argentina, are also at their most dramatic after the summer rainfalls. In Morocco, the April climate is cool enough for you to explore Marrakesh’s souqs or hike the High Atlas Mountains in clearer air. And, if Easter falls in April, a trip in the Philippines is a window into the Spanish legacy of a ‘fiesta’ culture, and the weather is fantastic for the beaches.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in May

Places to travel in May

If you’re planning a May break, the sun is always out over Bali’s soft-sand beaches at a time of year before the crowds hit their peak. Planning in advance pays off, as some of our favorite hotels are quick to book up. For a trip in the mountain air, hike along the wildflower trails of the High Atlas in Morocco. The temperature is comfortable for enjoying the scenery and it's an ideal time for camping out in Bedouin-style tents. It's also a good time to visit Europe before the weather gets too hot.

Places to travel

Herd of elephants in South Africa

Places to travel in June

June marks the start of the dry season in southern Africa and the chance to see newly born game as you safari in Botswana. Newborn gorillas are given their names in a traditional festival in Rwanda each June and we can design you a trip there gorilla trekking, which pairs nicely with added time on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara. June is also an ideal time for visiting Costa Rica in the quieter green (or rainy) season when you’ll still find plenty of dry weather, quieter national parks and better views of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in July

Places to travel in July

Ladakh in India is an ideal destination for July, with warm weather and little rain to accompany the Himalayan scenery. Spend time in Leh immersing yourself in the Tibetan Buddhist culture and exploring the monasteries, lakes and high-altitude deserts. We also recommend the Manu Rainforest in Peru in the month of July. Few parks can match its incredible wildlife, which includes giant otters, caymans and flocks of macaws.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in August

Places to travel in August

In August, Africa plays backdrop to one of the great wildlife spectacles: the annual migration of over two million wildebeest from the Serengeti plains to the grasslands of the Masai Mara. In Colombia, the start of August heralds the annual flower festival in Medellin. It attracts visitors worldwide with more flowers than you’d imagine possible, fireworks and live music. Or travel to Kandy in Sri Lanka at the time of the Parahera Festival held at the Temple of the Tooth, where Buddha's tooth is said to rest. Get swept up in dancing and parades by torchlight.

Places to travel

Travel ideas in September

Places to travel in September

September kicks off the changing of the seasons in many regions, bringing with it shifting climates and bright landscapes. Before the wet season sets in, take a trip to Borneo and observe the orangutan at the Sepilok sanctuary in Kota Kinabalu. In Peru, September is the best time to take a hike to Incan city in the clouds Machu Picchu while there's still very little rain. And there’s no better place to witness the seasons change than in China, as the locals celebrate the harvest season across the country with the Mid-Autumnal Festival.

Places to travel

Amalfi coast, Italy

Places to travel in October

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting outside the busiest times of year.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Sunny beaches in Thailand, wintry cities in France and blazing foliage in Japan — you can choose from a wide variety of destinations if you’re planning to travel in November. Below, we’ve selected some of the best places to visit, as well as some suggestions of what to see and do while you’re there.

Popular cities in Europe empty out, giving you free run of museums in France, Spain and Italy. Crowds also thin in Peru, so you’ll have more elbow room to enjoy Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Thailand and Vietnam both have sunny weather suitable for a beach break, while Morocco’s hot temperatures decline, making it a great time to explore the main cities.

Places to travel

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Places to travel in December

In December, you can relax in a natural hot spring in Japan before visiting snow monkeys that do the same, enjoy a private tour of the Louvre without the usual crowds or nibble king cake in Portugal. The month offers a wealth of options across the globe, so we’ve listed some of the most popular destinations. We’ve also suggested a few you might not have thought of, where you can take advantage of quieter cities to enjoy sights that are often very busy.

Hike through caves in Vietnam, ply the Amazon’s tributaries by boat in Peru or just relax under sunny skies in Australia or the Algarve.

Places to travel