Where to go on holiday in January 2018 for the best weather

If you're deciding where to go on holiday in January 2018 for the best weather, you'll undoubtedly know that finding exotic conditions at this time of year will certainly involve a long haul flight. To help you pick just how far you have to travel to find the kind of weather that suits you, we've gathered our favourite winter sun destinations.

Where to go on holiday in January 2018: top five destinations

You might find some sun closer to home in the Canary Islands and Red Sea, but the highest daytime temperatures at these destinations are usually only in the low twenties, so the weather isn't exactly hot. Read on to discover our suggestions for where to go on holiday in January for the best hot and sunny weather:

Where to go on holiday in January © nopphadon - Fotolia.com

1. Goa, India

  • Flight time: 10 hours
  • Daily high: 32°C
  • Hours of sunshine: 10
  • Sea temperature: 28°C

Top of the list of where to go on holiday in January has to be Goa in India, which is both the warmest and sunniest holiday destination at this time of year. Although temperatures are sizzling during the day, they usually drop by more than 10°C after sunset, so it's cooler at night.

Palolem Beach, Goa, India © Mikhail Nekrasovk - Shutterstock.com

Goa has two distinct sides: the busy, bustling north, with flash resorts and bars aplenty, and the quieter, more laid back south, with a handful of large resorts and lots of secluded places to stay. Wherever you settle in Goa, be wary of the sea, which can sometimes be rough, generating rip currents, so take note of lifeguard advice before diving in.

Search Goa holidays with Monarch >>

Read more: Guide to Goa beaches

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2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • Flight time: 16 hours
  • Daily high: 28°C
  • Hours of sunshine: 9

Thailand's a hugely popular tourist destination with those looking for somewhere to go on holiday in January, yet while Bangkok and the southern coastal regions attract many travellers, the sights to the north are pulling increasing numbers of people in. The high city of Chiang Mai is a real treat in January with little cloud cover and conditions that are a touch fresher than you might find by the the sea.

Winter sun in the mountains, Chiang Mai © Lestermandersson - Wikimedia Commons

There's little chance of seeing any rain (as it's the driest time of year), and only moderate heat and humidity which, coupled with the warm temperatures, makes it ideal for exploring the surrounding countryside and tackling jungle treks. Evenings can be cool sinking by more than half to around 13°C, so remember to pack a few extra layers, as well as a good SPF for the very high UV that's about by day.

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Read more: 24 hours in Chiang Mai

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3. Gambia

  • Flight time: 6.5 hours
  • Daily high: 32°C
  • Hours of sunshine: 8
  • Sea temperature: 22°C

Somewhere to go on holiday in January that's on the up with curious travellers is Gambia. The tiny west African nation is becoming increasingly popular as more and more people cotton on to its fabulous weather, especially when it comes to winter sun. Days are hot, sunny and dry with only moderate heat and humidity, although evenings can be surprisingly cool. Given its lack of cloud cover, which is hugely beneficial by day, Gambia doesn't retain the sun's warmth, so the temperature can drop by as much as 50% after dusk to around 16°C.

Along the beach in Gambia © petermilli - Flickr Creative Commons
Along the beach in Gambia © petermilli - Flickr Creative Commons

This, combined with the cooling currents of the Atlantic, also prevent the sea from heating up too much, so while it's warm enough for some to enjoy you might want to sniff out accommodation with a heated pool. Flights to Banjul are available from Thomas Cook Airlines.

Search Gambia holidays with Thomas Cook >>

Read more: Mini guide to Gambia

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4. Barbados

  • Flight time: 8 hours
  • Daily high: 28°C
  • Hours of sunshine: 9
  • Sea temperature: 27°C

Another fantastic destination when searching for where to go on holiday in January is the Caribbean, which enjoys its best weather during this time. While Jamaica and the Dominican Republic are both very pleasant, it's the likes of Barbados to the south that promise the most amount of sunshine - you'll be greeted with long sunny days and nice hot temperatures.

Chilled out in Barbados © BasL - Flickr Creative Commons

Barbados offers reliable conditions with high heat and humidity, and balmy evenings no cooler than 21°C. If you're considering where to go on holiday in January and like the idea of idyllic Barbados, just be aware that while it's entering its dry season a this time, you may still see a shower or two but don't be put off.

Search Barbados holidays with British Airways >>

Read more: Day trips for all the family in Barbados

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5. Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

  • Flight time: 4.5 hours
  • Daily high: 19°C
  • Hours of sunshine: 7
  • Sea temperature: 19°C

Fuerteventura has long attracted families, couples and groups thanks to its inviting conditions year-round. As the second largest of the seven Canary Islands (after Tenerife), Fuerteventura has plenty to offer, and is a thoroughly delightful option for those deciding where to go on holiday in January.

Cofete Beach, Fuerteventura © eyewave - Fotolia.com

Weather wise, Fuerteventura is comfortable in January, with temperatures peaking just under 20°C. Although you'll find it a degree or two warmer in Gran Canaria, you'll get less sunshine there, and Fuerteventura also sees less rain than many of the other islands owing to its lack of high mountains. Fuerteventura in January is comparable to Cornwall in July and August, although the sea is slightly warmer, yet still too chilly for many to swim. Evenings can also be a little nippy, so don't forget a jacket.

Book holiday accommodation in Fuerteventura direct with Iberostar Hotels & Resorts or Barcelo Hotels & Resorts.

Search Fuerteventura holidays with On the Beach >>

Read more: Fuerteventura for families

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Where to go on holiday in January 2018: alternative destinations

If you're still looking for somewhere to go on holiday in January for great hot and sunny weather, we have a couple more destinations worth considering. Africa offers up some really excellent weather in January, it's just a question of choosing the right destination for you. If it's white sandy beaches and palm trees you're after, look no further than the shores of Malindi in Kenya. Here you'll find daytime temperatures reaching 31°c, nine hours of sunshine and lovely warm sea at 28°C. Thanks to the high level of heat and humidity it certainly feels tropical, while the extreme UV means you must take care in the sun.

Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Cape Town © mdmworks - Fotolia.com

If you fancy less beach and more city then Cape Town is for you in January. The air is much fresher than Malindi, with low heat and humidity and temperatures rarely surpassing 25°C. There's lashings of sunshine, 11 hours or so, and only a small chance of encountering a shower. Evenings are cooler at 15°C and the sea isn't really swimming in at 19°C. Instead you can make the most of the city's attractions and cosmopolitan buzz.

Finally, for those planning where to go on holiday in January with a hankering for some long haul travel, Australia is still basking in summer weather at this time, and therefore definitely worth thinking about. If you're heading to cities such as Sydney and Melbourne, expect hot days and cool evenings, with nine hours of sunshine, low heat and humidity and barely any rainfall. Meanwhile, if you're hitting the shores of the Gold Coast or Byron Bay, you won't be disappointed with temperatures in the high twenties, moderate heat and humidity and, crucially, warm water at 26°C.

Ultimately, deciding where to go on holiday in January will be dictated by what it is you want to do and how much you're prepared to spend. If it's a beach holiday with all the trimmings you're after, then you'll have to consider a long haul destination such as the Caribbean, India or Thailand. However, if you're simply looking for a break from the bleak British winter, a short haul hop to the Canaries, where you can explore any of the islands' eateries, shops and hikes, would suit.

To continue reading about where to go on holiday in January 2018, visit our weather in January section where you'll find more destination ideas and climate details, and don't forget to visit our travel deals and discounts page for the latest money saving options to help you get away for less this winter.

Destination ideas for January 2018

  • Month: January
  • Daytime temperature: 22 - 28°C [remove]
  • Sunshine hours: 8 hours or more [remove]
  • Sea temperature: 25°C or warmer [remove]

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Rank Rating Score Destination
1 Weather Score for Antigua in January is 100% 100% Antigua
  Weather Score for Barbados in January is 100% 100% Barbados
  Weather Score for British Virgin Islands in January is 100% 100% British Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Burma in January is 100% 100% Burma
  Weather Score for Chile in January is 100% 100% Chile
  Weather Score for Dominican Republic in January is 100% 100% Dominican Republic
  Weather Score for French Polynesia in January is 100% 100% French Polynesia
  Weather Score for India in January is 100% 100% India
  Weather Score for Martinique in January is 100% 100% Martinique
  Weather Score for Montserrat in January is 100% 100% Montserrat
  Weather Score for New South Wales in January is 100% 100% New South Wales, Australia
  Weather Score for Oman in January is 100% 100% Oman
  Weather Score for Puerto Rico in January is 100% 100% Puerto Rico
  Weather Score for Queensland in January is 100% 100% Queensland, Australia
  Weather Score for Saudi Arabia in January is 100% 100% Saudi Arabia
  Weather Score for Sint Eustatius in January is 100% 100% Sint Eustatius
  Weather Score for Sri Lanka in January is 100% 100% Sri Lanka
  Weather Score for St Kitts & Nevis in January is 100% 100% St Kitts and Nevis
  Weather Score for St Lucia in January is 100% 100% St Lucia
  Weather Score for St Vincent & the Grenadines in January is 100% 100% St Vincent and the Grenadines
  Weather Score for Virgin Islands in January is 100% 100% Virgin Islands
  Weather Score for Wake Island in January is 100% 100% Wake Island
23 Weather Score for Bahamas in January is 97% 97% Bahamas
  Weather Score for Comoros in January is 97% 97% Comoros
  Weather Score for Cuba in January is 97% 97% Cuba
  Weather Score for Dominica in January is 97% 97% Dominica
  Weather Score for Guadeloupe in January is 97% 97% Guadeloupe
  Weather Score for Hawaii in January is 97% 97% Hawaii, United States
  Weather Score for Jamaica in January is 97% 97% Jamaica
  Weather Score for Mauritius in January is 97% 97% Mauritius
  Weather Score for Mayotte in January is 97% 97% Mayotte
  Weather Score for Panama in January is 97% 97% Panama
  Weather Score for Reunion in January is 97% 97% Reunion
  Weather Score for South Africa in January is 97% 97% South Africa
  Weather Score for St Helena, Ascension & Tristan da Cunha in January is 97% 97% St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha
  Weather Score for Vanuatu in January is 97% 97% Vanuatu
37 Weather Score for Bangladesh in January is 96% 96% Bangladesh
  Weather Score for Ecuador in January is 96% 96% Ecuador
  Weather Score for UAE in January is 96% 96% UAE
  Weather Score for Uruguay in January is 96% 96% Uruguay
41 Weather Score for Anguilla in January is 94% 94% Anguilla
  Weather Score for Bonaire in January is 94% 94% Bonaire
  Weather Score for Cayman Islands in January is 94% 94% Cayman Islands
  Weather Score for Colombia in January is 94% 94% Colombia
  Weather Score for Curacao in January is 94% 94% Curacao
  Weather Score for Djibouti in January is 94% 94% Djibouti
  Weather Score for Grenada in January is 94% 94% Grenada
  Weather Score for Haiti in January is 94% 94% Haiti
  Weather Score for Saba in January is 94% 94% Saba
  Weather Score for Sierra Leone in January is 94% 94% Sierra Leone
  Weather Score for Sint Maarten in January is 94% 94% Sint Maarten
  Weather Score for St Barthelemy in January is 94% 94% St Barthelemy
  Weather Score for St Martin in January is 94% 94% St Martin
  Weather Score for Thailand in January is 94% 94% Thailand
  Weather Score for Trinidad & Tobago in January is 94% 94% Trinidad and Tobago
56 Weather Score for Florida in January is 93% 93% Florida, United States
57 Weather Score for Belize in January is 92% 92% Belize
  Weather Score for Brazil in January is 92% 92% Brazil
  Weather Score for Cancun & Riviera Maya in January is 92% 92% Cancun and Riviera Maya, Mexico
  Weather Score for Costa Rica in January is 92% 92% Costa Rica
  Weather Score for Guyana in January is 92% 92% Guyana
  Weather Score for Honduras in January is 92% 92% Honduras
  Weather Score for Indonesia in January is 92% 92% Indonesia
  Weather Score for Malaysia in January is 92% 92% Malaysia
  Weather Score for Mexico in January is 92% 92% Mexico
  Weather Score for New Caledonia in January is 92% 92% New Caledonia
  Weather Score for Philippines in January is 92% 92% Philippines
  Weather Score for Sudan in January is 92% 92% Sudan
  Weather Score for Turks & Caicos in January is 92% 92% Turks and Caicos
  Weather Score for Vietnam in January is 92% 92% Vietnam
71 Weather Score for Argentina in January is 90% 90% Argentina
72 Weather Score for Bali in January is 89% 89% Bali, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Madagascar in January is 89% 89% Madagascar
  Weather Score for Maldives in January is 89% 89% Maldives
  Weather Score for Nicaragua in January is 89% 89% Nicaragua
76 Weather Score for Egypt in January is 88% 88% Egypt
  Weather Score for Norfolk Island in January is 88% 88% Norfolk Island
78 Weather Score for Angola in January is 86% 86% Angola
  Weather Score for Cameroon in January is 86% 86% Cameroon
  Weather Score for Congo-Brazzaville in January is 86% 86% Congo-Brazzaville
  Weather Score for East Timor in January is 86% 86% East Timor
  Weather Score for Federated States of Micronesia in January is 86% 86% Federated States of Micronesia
  Weather Score for Fiji in January is 86% 86% Fiji
  Weather Score for Ghana in January is 86% 86% Ghana
  Weather Score for Lombok in January is 86% 86% Lombok, Indonesia
  Weather Score for Marshall Islands in January is 86% 86% Marshall Islands
  Weather Score for Northern Mariana Islands in January is 86% 86% Northern Mariana Islands
  Weather Score for Singapore in January is 86% 86% Singapore
89 Weather Score for Aruba in January is 83% 83% Aruba
  Weather Score for Cambodia in January is 83% 83% Cambodia
  Weather Score for Goa in January is 83% 83% Goa, India
  Weather Score for Kenya in January is 83% 83% Kenya
  Weather Score for Kerala in January is 83% 83% Kerala, India
  Weather Score for Mozambique in January is 83% 83% Mozambique
  Weather Score for Venezuela in January is 83% 83% Venezuela
96 Weather Score for Sharm el Sheikh area in January is 82% 82% Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt
  Weather Score for Taiwan in January is 82% 82% Taiwan
98 Weather Score for American Samoa in January is 81% 81% American Samoa
  Weather Score for Benin in January is 81% 81% Benin
  Weather Score for Brunei in January is 81% 81% Brunei
  Weather Score for Equatorial Guinea in January is 81% 81% Equatorial Guinea
  Weather Score for Gabon in January is 81% 81% Gabon
  Weather Score for Guam in January is 81% 81% Guam
  Weather Score for Guinea in January is 81% 81% Guinea
  Weather Score for Liberia in January is 81% 81% Liberia
  Weather Score for Papua New Guinea in January is 81% 81% Papua New Guinea
  Weather Score for Samoa in January is 81% 81% Samoa
  Weather Score for Seychelles in January is 81% 81% Seychelles
  Weather Score for Solomon Islands in January is 81% 81% Solomon Islands
  Weather Score for Suriname in January is 81% 81% Suriname
  Weather Score for Tanzania in January is 81% 81% Tanzania
  Weather Score for Togo in January is 81% 81% Togo
113 Weather Score for Pakistan in January is 80% 80% Pakistan
114 Weather Score for Cape Verde in January is 79% 79% Cape Verde
115 Weather Score for Guinea-Bissau in January is 78% 78% Guinea-Bissau
116 Weather Score for French Guiana in January is 75% 75% French Guiana
  Weather Score for Palau in January is 75% 75% Palau
  Weather Score for Sao Tome & Principe in January is 75% 75% Sao Tome and Principe
119 Weather Score for China in January is 74% 74% China
120 Weather Score for Guatemala in January is 72% 72% Guatemala
  Weather Score for Western Australia in January is 72% 72% Western Australia, Australia
122 Weather Score for Nigeria in January is 69% 69% Nigeria
  Weather Score for Northern Territory in January is 69% 69% Northern Territory, Australia
124 Weather Score for Peru in January is 68% 68% Peru
125 Weather Score for Cook Islands in January is 67% 67% Cook Islands
  Weather Score for El Salvador in January is 67% 67% El Salvador
  Weather Score for Namibia in January is 67% 67% Namibia
  Weather Score for New Zealand in January is 67% 67% New Zealand
  Weather Score for Pitcairn Island in January is 67% 67% Pitcairn Island
  Weather Score for Qatar in January is 67% 67% Qatar
  Weather Score for Senegal in January is 67% 67% Senegal
  Weather Score for South Australia in January is 67% 67% South Australia, Australia
  Weather Score for Victoria in January is 67% 67% Victoria, Australia
134 Weather Score for Western Sahara in January is 64% 64% Western Sahara
135 Weather Score for Cocos (Keeling) Islands in January is 61% 61% Cocos (Keeling) Islands
  Weather Score for Niue in January is 61% 61% Niue
  Weather Score for Tasmania in January is 61% 61% Tasmania, Australia
  Weather Score for Tonga in January is 61% 61% Tonga

Metric (°C / mm)  |  Imperial (°F / inches)

Where to go on holiday for the best weather

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Kirsten Henton

Kirsten Henton

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