With the whirlwind of yuletide festivities drawing to a close, this is the perfect time to recover from a demanding season of entertaining. Forget all talk of January blues and begin the New Year with one of these fabulous holiday ideas, watching the sunrise from a white sand beach, or curled up in the warmth of a chalet while the aurora borealis illuminates the night sky. Whether you want to stay relatively close to home or venture across to the other side of the world, there are several destinations that are best explored at exactly this time of year.
With the South African summer falling between mid-October and mid-February, January visitors can expect glorious sunshine and temperatures settling between 20-30° Celsius. Cape Town is a spectacular place to spend the season, with prestigious annual events like the L’Ormarins Queen’s Plate. Scheduled for 10 January at the Kenilworth Race Course, 12 races and an after-party promise an unforgettable day.
Thailand is a popular destination all year round, but in January when the humidity is low, the rains aren’t due for months and the mercury seldom rises above the mid 30 mark, it’s almost irresistible. After flying into Bangkok, begin your detox with a stay at The Siam hotel, where the spa, open-air pools and muay Thai boxing ring will act as the perfect antidote to the excesses of the festive season. Once you feel suitably rejuvenated, journey on to see the Grand Palace, a gold-tipped regal residence that truly lives up to its name, before leaving the city behind and jetting off to Koh Lipe. One of 51 islands that make up the exquisite and largely untouched Tarutao Marine Park, the clear turquoise waters and pristine beaches certify its status as an archetypal tropical paradise.
Although January in Europe provides few opportunities for sunbathing, those who are prepared to embrace the charms of snowy Lapland can reap rewards such as the chance to spot the Northern Lights –and to stay in a truly exceptional hotel. In the village of Jukkasjärvi, not far from the Swedish town of Kiruna, you’ll find the majestic ICEHOTEL, a masterpiece rebuilt each winter from 1,000 tonnes of frozen Torne River water. The Art Suites, designed by teams of professional artists and ice sculptors, are the most exciting chambers; in winter 2013-14, Marcus Dillistone’s ‘Mind the Gap’ suite featured a frozen London Underground train in situ at the magical last stop on an extended Northern Line.
With temperatures hitting the mid 20s in Uruguay, summer in South America’s second-smallest nation is a tempting proposal. In eclectic and cosmopolitan Montevideo, the annual Carnaval celebrations unfold towards the end of January, although exact dates have yet to be confirmed for 2015. Once the madness of the murgas and llamadas has subsided, follow the Río de la Plata out of the capital towards the enchanting city of Colonia del Sacramento and its picturesque Historic Quarter.
If you’re considering investing in your own place in the sun – or snow – visit the E&V website to find out how our international network of real estate agents could help guide you to your dream getaway. With shops in five continents, we’re always ideally placed to assist you in your property search.