Where to go in January
Cape Town, South Africa
Glimmering between Table Bay and the Twelve Apostles mountain range, Cape Town is a brilliant city that is upstaged by an even better backdrop.
But Cape Town is more than the proverbial pretty face. It’s a city with a turbulent history to be explored; a place to shop, hike, or in January when the weather is hot and dry, laze on the beach.
From simple markets to old wine estates, it’s also a city for tasting. And it's great value too. A pint is £1.70, and a three-course dinner for two with wine costs around £20.
Clean, safe and with a transport system that's the envy of the world, Singapore has fewer of the hassles you might encounter in other famous Southeast Asian cities.
But don't let the organisation fool you, the fantastic food and all-hours, all-action street scenes the region is famous for are as good here as in Bangkok or Hanoi.
The city's tropical climate mean its hot and humid all year round. At an average of 29ºC, January is actually Singapore's coolest month, making it the best time of year to explore.
Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Although tourism here started in the 19th century, it never took off like it did in the southern resorts, meaning Puerto de la Cruz has retained plenty of charm.
It has a more lived-in feel than other tourist towns, thanks to its plazas, parks, churches and historical buildings.
In January you can expect bright sunshine most days, and sea temperatures of 20ºC.
What better way to spend a crisp, cold January day, than submerged in a steaming spa amid the opulent splendour of Hungary’s capital.
More than 100 hot springs bubble beneath Budapest before bursting through at centuries old public baths like palatial Szechenyi, or Art Nouveau wonder Gellert, which, with its multidomed labyrinth of pools, is like bathing in a cathedral.
Hotel rates plummet in January, so you’re likely to bag a bargain.
The dreaming spires of Oxford have long doubled as highbrow cultural beacons – for visitors as much as for residents, as our readers’ five-star cultural rating suggests.
Town and gown are interwoven within the compact city centre. Historic pubs such as the White Horse and the King’s Arms sit steps from the 17th-century Bodleian Library; the peaceful Botanic Garden lies opposite Magdalen College, with its medieval quadrangles and bucolic deer park. And there are museums galore.
Oxford is expensive, but hotel prices are at their lowest in January.