The top ten winter sun destinations in January

It’s only a few days until Christmas, and then it’ll be over for another year. For many of us, the end of the holiday season signals the start of planning our next vacation, and the British winter can surely add to the excitement!

Thankfully, anyone wishing to escape the cold this January will find plenty of gorgeous, sun-drenched destinations. We’ve compiled a list of winter sun spots you may not have considered previously, all of which are delightfully warm and inviting at this time of year.

Cape Verde

This spectacular volcanic archipelago is located off the northwest coast of Africa, which means it has pleasant winter temperatures of around 25 degrees Celsius and a travel time of about six hours from the United Kingdom. It’s great to spend a week doing nothing but soaking in the rays, but if you want a more diversified vacation, why not go island-hopping?

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket, made famous as a fantasy vacation spot in the 2000 film The Beach, is a true bucket-list destination. Although tourism has left its mark, many of the smaller, more secluded locations retain a sense of unspoiled beauty. The dry season on Thailand’s west coast runs from December to April, thus there are fewer safe bets for nice weather during your winter vacation.

Rio de Janeiro

If you’re searching for a peaceful vacation in Brazil’s second city, visiting Rio in January before the Carnival begins in February could be ideal. Between wandering down the legendary Ipanema beach and taking in the stunning city views from the summit of Mount Corcovado, it’s warm enough to sunbathe.

Sri Lanka

Sunrise view to Sigiriya rock from Pidurangala rock in Sri Lanka

This verdant island is just a short flight from India and offers a delightfully diverse vacation for those looking to see more than one location, from steep mountain settlements to old historical sites and palm-fringed beaches. It’s particularly hot in the south of the island between October and April, with temperatures reaching 30 degrees Celsius or more.


This volcanic Canary island is not far distant and has average temperatures of 21oC in January, making it a perfect destination to visit for winter sun. There are many luxurious all-inclusive resorts for those who want to relax, as well as the picturesque cobblestone alleys of Arrecife’s old town for those who wish to explore.


Cuba, with its unique history, offers not only a pleasant vacation spot in January, but also a taste of colourful 1950s culture. It has the magnificent beaches you’d expect from a Caribbean island, as well as Havana’s must-see melting pot and the lovely peninsula of Varadero.

Abu Dhabi

The UAE’s largest state is an excellent option to its neighbour Dubai if you’re searching for superb hospitality and a very warm environment of roughly 30 degrees or higher. Abu Dhabi allows you to indulge in the finest things in life, such as great dining, opulent hotels, and world-class shopping, all within walking distance of vast beaches.

Gran Canaria

Gran Canaria, like the other Canary Islands, has black rock and sandy beaches, as well as a hilly forested interior. It’s a little cooler than many other winter sun locations, but it still averages a lovely 18 degrees, ideal for touring in Las Palmas or exploring Maspalomas’ coastal dunes.

Costa Rica

When visiting Costa Rica, you can cool down in either the Caribbean or the Pacific, and the top of the Iraz volcano offers panoramic views of the spot where the two meet. It’s a terrific site for wildlife lovers, with almost a fourth of its area protected jungle.

Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico

Cancun beach during summer

Cancun is known for its party town, but there’s a lot more to this stretch of golden beaches and crystal-clear oceans. At iconic historical sites like Tulum and Chichen Itza, history fans will enjoy learning about ancient Mayan civilization.

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