Not exactly a month that showcases Britain at its finest, but few people decide to holiday in January. Understandable, as it could just be delaying the inevitable return to work, but consider some of the places that are at their absolute best in January. There’s the Caribbean, Australia (turtle hatchling season on Ningaloo Reef) and New Zealand, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, Latin America… The list goes on.

And speaking of Latin America, Cartagena and Hay-on-Wye might not be a pair of places you'd necessarily expect to hear mentioned in the same sentence, but the hugely popular literary festival from the genteel English town has been successfully transplanted to the chic cobble streets of Colombia's Cartagena this month.

Closer to home, Christmas is freezing and Easter is packed, so the sensible skier packs his or her bags and heads for the slopes in January on a ski holiday. You're far more likely to find good value accommodation and you can be sure there won't be any behelmeted six year-old cannonballs descending at warp speed to knock you over.

Highland Cow
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Britain in January might be the perfect illustration of the old Scots term dreich, meaning dull, overcast, drizzly, cold, misty and generally miserable weather. Not so in the southern hemisphere.

Tom, Original Traveller

Our favourites for January

Penguins, Antarctica

Antarctica

Stat alert. Antarctica’s massive ice-cap covers an area 1.7 times the size of Australia and contains some 29 million cubic kilometres of ice, or roughly 70% of the world's fresh water.

Antarctica
Wallaby in Northern Australia

Australia

The vast island of Australia is a country of natural beauty and vivid contrasts, and a big Original Travel favourite.

Australia
A Hammock On A Maldivian Beach

Maldives

Paradise islands don’t come much better than the Maldives.

Maldives
Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

The teardrop-shaped island of Sri Lanka, at the southern tip of India, is a small country with a great combination of attractions – culture, beaches and nature.

Sri Lanka
Machu Picchu, Cusco, Peru

South America

South America is a destination on the up thanks to an enticing blend of fascinating people, places and pastimes and a new found place in the public consciousness. Whatever you are looking for we will have a spot-on suggestion. Want breathtaking landscapes? We can advise on some that may render your jaw well and truly dropped, such as the pampas of Argentina or the glaciers of Patagonia in Chile.

South America

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Dave, Saskia, Miranda and Eleanor are seasoned travellers and have the inside track on the most memorable adventures.

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