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Best last-minute winter holiday destinations for January sun

Best last-minute winter holiday destinations for January sun

The post-Christmas slump is real; and nothing seems more appealing at this time of year than running off to somewhere warm and sun-drenched.

As the clouds gather and the temperature drops – and there seems little to look forward to until spring – what could be better than swapping the UK for somewhere brighter, whether for a few days or a few weeks?

Here’s The Independent travel team’s top picks for places where you can get some last-minute winter sun this January.


Bali has wild rural landscapes, as well as pristine beaches

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

This Indonesian isle is the thinking person’s Southeast Asia holiday. Packed into its 5,780 square kilometres are not only golden, wave-lapped beaches (with some frisky surf for board riders), but also tranquil, unspoiled temples, mountainous hikes, coffee plantations, healers, dozens of takes on fried rice, and some of the best spa culture on the planet. January sees average daily temperatures of around 27C, though you will get the odd tropical downpour. Don’t believe the headlines about Bali being spoilt by tourism, but do embark on some research and planning to ensure you’re going to the most naturally beautiful and least generic areas. Parts of the west coast and upper east coast are incredibly wild; in fact, the further north you go, the more locals and fewest tourists you’ll encounter (the airport is right in the south of the island). Don’t miss Ubud, its cultural and mystic capital towards the centre, and a crossroads for interesting digital nomads from all over the globe. Lucy Thackray


A cenote on Mexico’s Caribbean coast

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Central America’s big-hitter is great for couples or families who don’t agree on the best way to spend a holiday: there are equal opportunities for beach lounging and intrepid exploration. Head to its Caribbean coast, around the Yucatan Peninsula, to find white and golden sandy beaches and bright turquoise shallows bathed in tropical sunshine, as well as palm trees and colourful hippie villages among the swathes of mega-resorts. Must-dos for itchy-footed adventurers include the Mayan temples at Chichen Itza, Coba or Tulum; visits to cities such as pretty Merida; plunging into a cenote, one of the area’s natural swimming holes; and swimming with whale sharks on a boat trip off the east coast. Got…

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