Best Holidays in January 2018

Start the year with a new travel wish list and get out and explore!

Where to go on holiday in January

Start 2018 with renewed spring in your step, pack the suitcases and head out to explore some of the world's far-flung places that are best visited at this time of year. You may have made a New Year's resolution to discover more of the world and January marks no better time to do so. Celebrate in style in Moscow or take some time out from it all surrounded by the desert in Jordan, or perhaps set yourself a physical challenge and take on Mount Kilimanjaro.

To help you plan your January 2018 holiday we've put together our selection of New Year destinations and top experiences to enjoy as well as a guide to the best beach breaks and wildlife spots at this time of year. You'll also find our choice of recommended tours.

Top Destinations and Experiences in January



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Watch the world go by

Nile River cruising in Egypt

January means mild to pleasantly warm weather in Egypt, which is perfect for sightseeing and even better for a leisurely cruise on the River Nile with sightseeing included. You can expect clear blue skies that make the best backdrop for Egypt's incredible ancient sites and there's plenty of sunshine for a beach holiday at the Red Sea resort of Hurghada. Bear in mind this is peak season in Egypt, especially close to New Year's, so book early for better availability.

Tikal National Park - Guatemala - On The Go Tours
Ancient ruins in the jungle

Sightseeing in Central America

From Mexico to Panama, January means nice temperatures, low humidity and largely clear skies. The rains have cleared after hurricane season, which means countries across Central America are covered in lush hues of green thanks to the thick vegetation. It's the perfect time to visit jungle-clad ruins like Tikal and Chichen Itza though you'll be competing with the crowds as such great weather conditions mean peak season.

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Pagodas, lakes and river cruises

Exploring the best of Myanmar

It's the dry season in Myanmar (Burma) in January, which means the weather is ideal for getting out and about to see all that this beguiling country has to offer. It's not too hot and the humidity has yet to gain momentum. Such conditions mean it's a brilliant time to consider a hot air balloon ride over the temples of Bagan or travel from Yangon to Mandalay on a comfortable river boat cruise.

Rice boat in Kerala - India Tours - On The Go Tours
Beaches and backwaters

Uncover the delights of Kerala

The south of India experiences its best weather from December to February, which makes January a great time to visit. It's cool and dry with temperatures that are still warm enough to make use of the gorgeous beaches in Kerala. In this part of India you can also cruise the tropical backwaters and immerse yourself in the local culture with colourful Kathakali performances and, of course, delicious cuisine.

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A New Year's Resolution Challenge!

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro

If you managed to stick to your fitness resolutions made at the beginning of the previous year, why not consider putting yourself to the test by tackling Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. January marks the beginning of the first dry season of the year with warm temperatures and largely clear skies in the morning and evenings, ideal for scaling Kili's dizzying heights. There's a small chance of rain during the day but this is peak season for good reason with optimal weather for hiking.

Best Festivals in January

Every month of the year holds its own unique offering of special events and festivals. January kicks off the calendar with worldwide parties that ring in the new year. There's plenty more happening elsewhere too and here's our choice of the best festivals that take place around the world.

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New Year's Eve

Where? Moscow, Russia
When? 31st December 2017

Technically this worldwide-celebrated event starts in December but any New Year's holiday will fall across January and there are plenty of amazing places to join in the fun. In Russia you can watch the impressive fireworks display over Moscow, in Jordan you can celebrate with local Bedouins in Wadi Rum or in Morocco you can unwind in coastal Essaouira.

Harbin Ice Festival sculptures - China best time to visit - On The Go Tours

Harbin Ice Festival

Where? Harbin, China
When? On all January

In January the northern city of Harbin in China becomes a winter wonderland with the annual Harbin Ice and Snow Festival. Gigantic sculptures artfully carved from blocks of ice stand beside monumental frozen buildings and compete for awards. With fireworks displays, fairground rides and neon lights at night, it's the perfect event adults who never quite grew up.

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Bikaner Camel Festival

Where? Bikaner, India
When? 14th & 15th Jan 2018

Every year the Rajasthani town of Bikaner becomes a colourful playground for the beloved camel. Affectionately known as the 'ship of the desert' in India, camels participate in races, dances, sports and neck shaking competitions. Over the course of two days there's also an array of cultural performances with folk dances, puppet shows and musical displays.

Kaapse Klopse in Cape Town - photo credit G Bayliss at Flickr

Kaapse Klopse

Where? South Africa
When? 2nd January 2018

Cape Town's most vibrant and largest carnival kicks off on the 2nd January and lasts over a month. Known also as the Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, Kaapse Klopse originated in the 19th century when slaves enjoyed their one day of the year off. Since then it has grown to an epic parade of costumes, singing and dancing through the streets of Cape Town.

Best Beach Destinations in January

Beach weather graces destinations around the world in January, perfect for spending the start of the year somewhere warm and sunny from Central America to Asia. The southwest coast of Sri Lanka is still dry with plenty of sunshine and popular at this time of year with so many beach resorts to choose from while temperatures in the Middle East and specifically the Red Sea are pleasantly warm with consistent sunshine. If you're looking for a city and beach combo then consider Cape Town - it's the middle of summer at this time of year in South Africa and there's miles of sandy beaches to choose from.

Sihanoukville Top Picks

Southeast Asia

With the monsoon rains largely gone, you can take your pick of idyllic islands and pristine coastline across Southeast Asia from Krabi in Thailand to Phu Quoc in Vietnam, Ngapali in Myanmar and Sihanoukville in Cambodia. The weather is mostly cool and dry so the rest of these countries are ripe for exploration, perfect for combining a bit of culture and adventure with your relaxing beach break.

Livingston Top Spot Guatemala

Central America

It's dry season across Central America which means cooler but still deliciously warm temperatures and less rainfall on both the Caribbean and Pacific coast - the rains that do occur tend to be short afternoon showers that quickly move on. The choice of beach destination is as varied as the countries that make up the region from the glam resorts of Cancun to the pristine and quiet beaches of Belize and Honduras.

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Zanzibar

This popular tropical island is hot and dry in January with temperatures sitting in the high 20s (degrees centigrade). The sandy shores are drenched in sunlight with spectacular sunsets a common sight. You may go days without seeing a single cloud in the sky and at night this means romantic sky gazing on the beach. Off the south coast of the island diving is particularly good at this time of year too.

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India

Peak tourist season is in full swing at the beach resorts of Goa and the state of Kerala, and for good reason - the weather is perfect for enjoying sun, sea and sand along the Arabian Sea. Think clear sunny days and comfortable temperatures with humidity at its yearly lowest. These climatic conditions also mean it's great for exploring the rest of the region and its attractions like Munnar & Periyar.

Best Wildlife Destinations in January

Rains are covering much of southern Africa so the scenery may be beautiful and lush but this makes wildlife a lot harder to spot - not ideal if you're planning a safari holiday. However, the equatorial location of East Africa means countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania are experiencing a mini dry season, which is perfect for safaris. In the Amazon the wet season means higher water levels making more waterways accessible, ideal for cruising, while India's national parks are the place to go for wild tigers.

Wildebeest Zebra Migration - Africa Overland Safaris - Africa Lodge Safaris - Africa Tours - On The

Tanzania

A secondary, reasonably dry season hits East Africa from mid-December to mid-March and with the wildebeest of the southern Serengeti beginning their calving season, it's a great time to visit Tanzania for a safari adventure. The drier conditions will mean the bush has thinned for better wildlife spotting opportunities and with thousands of wildebeest being born each day, you're almost guaranteed to spot the creatures and the predators they may attract.

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The Galapagos

It's the warm and wet season in the Galapagos which means low winds and calm seas so ideal for those that suffer from sea sickness. There's plenty happening in terms of wildlife with adult marine iguanas becoming more brightly coloured on Espanola Island, green turtles arriving on the shores to lay eggs and birds at their most active. The warmer water temperatures also make it an ideal time for snorkelling with clear waters and plenty of marine life.

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Costa Rica

The dry season in Costa Rica brings with it huge concentrations of bird species including herons, ducks, spoonbills and numerous other water birds, particularly around the Nicoya Peninsula on the Pacific Coast. Hawksbill turtles are still nesting at Tortuguero National Park while leatherback turtles nest on the Pacific Coast at Playa Grande and the northern Guanacaste province. The great weather also means great outdoor adventures.

Leopard in Yala

Sri Lanka

The compact size of Sri Lanka means the wildlife that exists on the island can largely be seen year-round though the months between December and March are a particularly good time to see wild leopards in Yala National Park. At this time of year the southern region is hot and dry, which means sparser vegetation and conditions that encourage the nocturnal creatures to head out at dawn and dusk looking for food and water. Be ready with your binoculars.

See more of our Travel Calendar

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February

Holi festival hands and colour image

March

Cherry blossom and castle - Bucket List

April

St Petersburg during White Nights - On the Go Tours

May

Croatia Brac Beach-Croatia Tours-On The Go Tours

June

Turkey-Discovered-Itinerary-Main-Group-Tour-Turkey

July

Exclusive-Adventures-Jordan

August

Soujourn to Sapa

September

Hiking in Himalayas - Himalayas Tours - On The Go Tours

October

Yi-Peng-Lanterns-of-the-Night-Itineraries-Main-Thailand

November

December Holiday Ideas - Lapland - On The Go Tours

December

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