7 Killer January Destinations If You Hate the Cold
We were super psyched to have chilly weather over the holidays, even though we don’t actually need a reason to embrace the Danish hygge trend and cozy up with some steamy hot drinks. But you can only have so many hot-buttered rums before you’re double-tapping every single warm weather vacation pic on Insta. So, from amazing international festivals to sunny beach weather, we’ve chosen seven unmissable warm destinations in January. Bon voyage!
Rajasthan, IndiaThe northwest Indian state’s name literally means “Land of Kings.” Today, that translates into rich traditions, glittering and bright turbans and saris, palpable pride and gorgeous forts (AKA palaces). Bustling Jaipur, the traditional craftsman epicenter, hosts the free Jaipur Literary Festival in January, and Udaipur, the White City, with its charming alleys, relaxed pace and alluring lake palace, is a must-see. A side trip to the smaller town of Bikaner for their annual camel festival, held in mid-January, should also be non-negotiable. Camels are given intricate, buzzed haircuts and decorated to the nines for a two-day celebration, where you’re sure to experience Rajasthan in all its colorful glory.
Cape Town, South AfricaIf you love sequins, satin and face painting as much as we do, head to Cape Town in January for the Cape Minstrel Carnival, or Kaapse Klopse. Musical minstrel troops march through the streets in incredible, gaudy outfits (yes, there are hats and parasols) for an annual parade and continue the celebration with minstrel musical battles every weekend. Soak up the intoxicating energy and culture of the carnival, and fill extra time with other spectacular Cape Town activities like taking a cable car to the summit of Table Mountain, touring Kirstenbosch Gardens and eating and shopping your heart out at the Food Market and Watershed artisan design center at the V&A Waterfront.
3. Sri Lanka: January is one of the best times (read: no monsoons) to visit Sri Lanka’s hill country and west and south coasts. Those regions are connected by the rail system, so you can conveniently travel by slow train, taking in the view of the lush countryside on one of the most famous train routes in the world through Nuwara Eliya. The route runs from the high tea plantations of Ella (Halpewatte Tea Factory is worth a visit), where you’ll see women in vibrant saris scattered in the fields, to the interior hill city of Kandy. Kandy is home to the Temple of the Tooth, where there’s a soulful evening puja, or ceremonial worship, every night.