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How to beat the January blues

Don’t let your spirits be dampened come January. There are ample destinations to travel to that’ll boost your spirits and beat those winter blues without breaking your bank balance.

The data analysts at Booking.com looked at what travellers searched for the most in January, and came up with a list of destinations that met this demand.*

Cheer yourself with sunshine, good food and pure escapism in any of the following destinations.

You'll find rainforest amid the desert in Salalah, Oman

You'll find rainforest amid the desert in Salalah, Oman

Salalah, Oman

If you’re looking for a change of scenery, escape to the city of Salalah. Laze in the shade of a frankincense tree or in a wadi (river valley) – the latter are oases which have sprouted up in the desert offering sage-green waters, cascades and forests.

The town of Toscolano-Maderno, on the shores of Lake Garda, is just what you need for a restful January getaway

The town of Toscolano-Maderno, on the shores of Lake Garda, is just what you need for a restful January getaway

Toscolano-Maderno, Italy

In the alluring lakeside setting of Toscolano-Maderno, Italy, you could easily do nothing but drink al fresco espressos and enjoy the view of Lago di Garda. While the weather may not be warm enough for a swim in the lake, if you go in low season you’ll be able to walk the terracotta- and pastel-coloured streets in sunny solitude.

Naxos Chora is the best place in Greece for sandy beaches, according to Greek travellers

Naxos Chora is the best place in Greece for sandy beaches, according to Greek travellers

Naxos Chora, Greece

According to Greek travellers**, Naxos Chora is the best destination in Greece when it comes to sandy beaches. This is a place that doesn’t close down in winter so you’ll still be able to soak up some vitamin D on one of the many sublime stretches of white sand.

The Great Torii, Miyajima, Japan

The Great Torii, Miyajima, Japan

Miyajima, Japan

Though it’s barely an hour’s train and ferry journey from Hiroshima, Miyajiima Island feels far removed from city life. Sweeping forest gives way to sturdy mountains topped with pagodas. The Great Torii is a free-standing archway planted in the sea that is supposed to be the place where the spirit and human worlds meet. It’s best viewed at high tide when it appears to be floating on the surface of the water.

Khasab, on the stunning coast of Oman

Khasab, on the stunning coast of Oman

Khasab, Oman

Oman is trending as a travel destination at the moment, and visiting Khasab you can see why. The contrast of the welcoming, sparkling green sea against dusty, orange cliffs is striking. You can take a trip on a dhow (a traditional wooden-hulled Arabian boat) to appreciate the shoreline in all its splendour.

A pleasant Mediterranean January break in Kyrenia, Cyprus

A pleasant Mediterranean January break in Kyrenia, Cyprus

Kyrenia, Cyprus

Though January is the coldest month of the year in Cyprus, it’s still relatively mild with maximum daytime temperatures averaging 17 degrees Celsius. And prices are substantially lower than midsummer. Walk along the natural harbour and visit the town’s Byzantine castle or take a more challenging cross-country hike in the surrounding area.


* The data analysts at Booking.com looked at ‘passions’ most searched for in January; beach, culture, mountains, relaxation and tranquility. Combining these, they then filtered destinations down to those that were endorsed for all five passions. Destinations needed to have more than 50 endorsements for each distinct endorsement and a z-score analysis was applied. The destinations used all met that criteria.

** Booking.com looked at destinations that were endorsed for sandy beaches for Greek travellers and had a positive z-score.

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