Few months spark a yearning for somewhere brighter and hotter than December. And with the UK in the midst of a wintry spell, it is once again time to start dreaming of swaying palm trees and whooshing waves to ring in the new year.
Enter the Caribbean, clad in its best high-season apparel, and offering great hotels, sugary beaches and cloudless skies. Elsewhere, the Maldives offers classic fly-and-flop escapism, while Los Angeles and Buenos Aires are on hand to provide sunny city breaks.
Dust off those passports and prepare for warmer climes. Here is our round-up of where to go for January sun.
For temperatures between 19ºC to 24ºC
While America’s biggest city (New York) battles winter at its fiercest, its second largest is soaking up temperatures in the low 20s Celsius. In truth, it should be no shock that Los Angeles is so sun-kissed in January – this, after all, is a metropolis of year-round golden climate. But this lack of mystery does nothing to diminish the possibilities for relaxation on LA’s shore – on Venice Beach, in Santa Monica, or further afield in Malibu.
How to do it: A seven-night escape to the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills (unsurprisingly, a five-star retreat), flying directly from Heathrow on January 13, costs from £3,629 per person, with Virgin Holidays (0344 472 9646; virginholidays.co.uk). Find more places to stay in our guide to the best hotels in Los Angeles.
“Lanza-grotty” was the dismissive moniker that was attached, in the Eighties, to the fourth biggest of the Canary Islands. It was always an unreasonable slur – because, even if this sunny outcrop deals in unfussy breaks in resort areas such as Playa Blanca and Costa Teguise, it can also claim a growing range of luxury properties, alluring Spanish culture in the capital Arrecife, and volcanic majesty in Timanfaya National Park.
How to do it: A seven-night all-inclusive getaway to the five-star Paradisus Salinas Lanzarote, flying from Birmingham on January 20, costs from £1,395 per person, via Jet2Holidays (0800 408 0778; jet2holidays.com). Find more places to stay in our guide to the best hotels in Lanzarote.