The 7 Best Places to Travel in January: Tromso, Norway
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The 7 Best Places to Travel in January

Get ready to start the new year in style, with our pick of the best January breaks for midlifers. Sun or snow? It's up to you.

Naomi Chadderton
Naomi Chadderton
An experienced editor and journalist specialising in news and lifestyle.

With the stress of Christmas done and dusted, and the indulgence of New Year still lingering in the background, there’s no better way to kick off the new year by heading off on your first getaway of 2024. The first, we hope, of many.

From remote Caribbean islands to magical snow-filled wonderlands alive with adventure, we’ve rounded up the seven best places to go on holiday in January 2024.

Happy travels!

Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Temperature in January: High 28°C / low 23°C
Travel time from UK: 10 hours

With a pirate’s bounty of bleached-white powdery beaches and an impressive arsenal of spectacular coral reefs, Turks and Caicos is a true luxury tourism destination. A place where the pace of life is easy going, the locals are welcoming and opulent five-star hotels abound (Aman, the Ritz Carlton and COMO Hotels and Resorts all have outposts there), this archipelago of eight major islands and dozens of small, uninhabited cays feel a world away from wintery January climes.

The best bit? Virgin Airlines has just launched a year-round twice weekly service to the Turks & Caicos from London Heathrow, making it all the easier to reach.

Val Thorens, France

Temperature in January: High -5°C / low -14°C
Travel time from UK: 1 hour 40 minute flight to Geneva followed by a 2 hour 45 minute drive

If you’re currently planning your 2024 skiing holiday, Val Thorens never disappoints. Set at 2,300m, which makes it the highest resort in the giant Trois Vallées ski area that also includes Courchevel and Méribel, this purpose-built hotspot is always guaranteed snow in January, and boasts terrain to suit everyone from beginners to experts.

Not only will you have access to the neighbouring Trois Vallées territories of Les Menuires and St Martin de Belleville for a variety of runs, there’s also a new lift connection between Val Thorens and Orelle in the Maurienne valley too, which is definitely worth a visit.

Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Turks & Caicos, Caribbean

Val Thorens, France

Val Thorens, France

Abu Dhabi, UAE

Temperature in January: High 24°C / low 15°C
Travel time from UK: 6 hours 50 minutes

Less hectic than neighbouring Dubai, yet with an eclectic culinary and cultural scene to boot, the capital of the UAE enjoys more comfortable temperatures over the winter months, making January the perfect time to visit.

Not short of architectural landmarks – there’s the 8km manicured waterfront of the Corniche, the domineering Etihad Towers complex and Emirates Palace, the lavish icon of the city, said to be larger than Buckingham Palace and the most expensively decorated hotel in the world to name a few – you can also spend time horizontal on some of the UAE’s most beautiful beaches or take a trip out to the desert for camel riding and dinner under the stars. What’s not to love?

Phuket, Asia

Temperature in January: High 32°C / low 22°C
Travel time from UK: 12 hours

With new year crowds gone and no school holidays on the horizon, what better time to head directly to paradise? While you might want to avoid islands on the eastern side of Thailand like Koh Samui, Phangan and Tao (they are prone to monsoon-like downpours until March and predominantly play to a younger crowd), islands on the south-western coast including Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta are absolutely delightful at this time of year and perfect for both a fly-and-flop holiday or something a little more adventurous.

If you’re heading to Phuket and looking to splurge then book a stay at Trisara which is as remote and relaxing as they come while, for something a little closer the action, you can’t go wrong with the Rosewood Phuket and its exquisite location along a 600 metre beachfront at Emerald Bay.

With new year crowds gone, youngsters back at work and no school holidays on the horizon, what better time to head directly to paradise?

Bruges, Belgium

Temperature in January: High 6°C / low 2°C
Travel time from UK: 1 hours 10 minutes

While its Christmas markets are some of the most magical in Europe, they are also some of the busiest, so head to Bruges in January for a more slow-paced stay.

A pristine Belgium city defined by snow, beer and chips, wrap up warm and spend a long weekend perusing its picturesque, cobbled lanes and canals that link market squares complete with welcoming taverns, junk shops and candlelit bars that serve up some of the best moules-frites in the business. It’s also packed to the rafters with inviting boutique hotels – make Hotel Van Cleef your first port of call.

Porto, Potugal

Temperature in January: High 14°C / low 6°C
Travel time from UK: 2 hours 20 minutes

Over the last few years Porto has quickly been making a name for itself as Portugal’s most in vogue city and for very good reason – not only is it home to an intriguing historic centre and plenty of architectural wonders, but its food and wine scene is one to write home about too. Oh, and it’s also excellent value for money (Portugal emerged as Europe’s best value European holiday spot for 2023).

While it may typically be associated with the summer season, temperatures are still clement in January and crowds are much fewer. Start on the colourful Ribeira, where cafés spill onto the pavements overlooking the Douro, and peruse port-tasting rooms, tiled churches and Livraria Lello, often hailed as the world’s most beautiful bookshop.

 Porto, Potugal

Porto, Potugal

Bruges, Belgium

Bruges, Belgium

Tromsø, Norway

Temperature in January: High -1°C / low 1-°C
Travel time from UK: 3 hours 35 minutes

One for adventure seekers and lovers of the cold, Tromsø bills itself as Norway’s gate to the arctic, sitting 400km north of the Arctic Circle at 69˚N.

One of the best places in the world to chase the Northern Lights – particularly in January – there are heaps of other tours to keep adrenaline junkies entertained including dog-sledding, fjord cruises and trips to reindeer farms where you can enjoy traditional Sami food inside a traditional gamme and listen to stories around a campfire.

Keep in mind it gets very chilly in January, but the magical polar winter is definitely something worth experiencing at least once in your life. Stay at the newly opened Moxy for cool interiors and easy access from the airport.