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Top 10 places to visit in January 2022

 Start the year with a gift: a well-deserved trip to Italy, Scotland, Quebec, the Caribbean, or one of these other brilliant ideas for the best trips in January.

Make a new resolution for 2022: travel with double the enthusiasm and make up for the missed trips that have marked the last two years. We've got a few suggestions to fuel your wanderlust, whether it's celebrating a unique Scottish tradition or a smart way to go on safari and avoid the usual crowds. Here are the 10 best places to travel in January.

Keep in mind, however, that COVID-19 regulations remain in effect in many states and countries and are subject to change. Always check updated mandates and requirements before booking travel.

Quebec City, Canada

January is a great month to ski hard and takes a look at France in North America.

Postcard-perfect Quebec City resembles the image of an old French town in a movie set, with its cobblestones and low-rise buildings. 95% of the population is French-speaking. A commitment to preserving the character of this 400-year-old city has led to its charming streets being designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

January, with temperatures averaging 10 degrees Celsius, may not be the best time to enjoy Quebec City's café culture, but it is the perfect time to head to the nearby mountains and visit some of North America's best ski resorts. Mont-Sainte-Anne is only about 25 miles from downtown: a huge network of trails through pine and spruce forests makes it the largest cross-country ski area on the continent, and 19 of its trails are lit at dusk to allow for night skiing. However, it's best to head a little farther afield, to the Massif de Charlevoix, an hour from the city, where fresh powder falls in abundance on the slopes bordering the St. Lawrence River and where a vast area is dedicated to cross-country skiing.

The Scottish Highlands

January is ideal for adventurous eaters with a penchant for folk dancing.

Think of January 25 as an extra Christmas for the Scots. The tradition began in 1801, when a group of revelers first gathered to celebrate poet Robert (called Rabbie) Burns five years after his death. The Romantic balladeer is considered the country's national poet, and the impromptu gathering of his friends quickly evolved into an annual event.

Expect a long night of dancing, poetry recitals, and plenty of whiskeys; reels and other ceilidh-style dancing are also a must. The most original detail is the haggis speech, where the Scottish delicacy is worshipped with a country pump and bagpipes before being eaten. If this set of sausages full of offal doesn't appeal to you, save a spot for dessert: Cranachan, a savory mixture of honey, whipped cream, oatmeal, and raspberries, topped with a shot of whiskey, of course.

The Kalahari, Botswana

January is ideal for: anyone who wants to experience a safari without the crowds.

Botswana's rainy season makes wildlife viewing difficult in its most famous wilderness areas, Chobe and the Okavango Delta. However, in the less visited areas to the south, particularly the Kalahari Desert, the rains are less intense and provide just enough water to turn the red sand landscape green for a short period each year. This vegetation attracts grazing wildlife, as well as birds and predators that live alongside them, making the Kalahari an ideal destination for off-season safaris.

Zebras migrate across the Nxai and Makgadikgadi Pans, and it's also the antelope's birthing season, which piques the interest of predators and increases their numbers, especially black-faced lions, an unusual feature of the Kalahari. Birds also return from the Northern Hemisphere, greatly increasing their numbers.


January is perfect for: Bookworms, beauty queens, and all who love them.

Colombia's location north of the equator guarantees a stable climate year-round, making it the perfect place to escape the North American winter in January. This month, you have a choice of destinations: The famous British literary festival Hay holds its annual branch in Cartagena (in 2022 it will take place from January 27 to 30), a fitting location since it was the city that inspired Gabriel Garcia Marquez, contributing to an entire literary genre: magical realism.

During the first week of the month in the Andes, near the capital city of Bogotá, you can visit the Manizales Fair, inspired by the Seville Fair in Spain and first held in 1951. It's a lively celebration of one of the country's coffee-growing regions, including parades, rides and even a tango festival. Also check out the recently crowned Coffee Queen: contestants from various caffeine countries compete for the title.

The Dolomite Alps, Italy

January is perfect for whizzing through one of Europe's most glamorous ski resorts, James Bond-style.

In 2026, Italy's Dolomites will once again host the Winter Olympics, a return to the region where Cortina d'Ampezzo and the surrounding area hosted the last skiing medals in 1956. (Bond also made a memorable visit there during his incarnation as Sir Roger Moore in "For Your Eyes Only.") Cortina, Italy's answer to Aspen, as glamorous as it is exciting, offers some of the best runs in Europe - and this year, for the first time, anyone with an Ikon pass can use it to ski for free for up to a week on the slopes of Dolomiti Superski, one of the largest interconnected ski systems in the world, covering nearly 30,000 hectares, with nearly 900 slopes and 450 elevators. Don't miss Sellaronda, a loop that wraps around the Sella Massif, crossing four different valleys, and is essentially a continuous 17-mile ski route.


January is perfect for extending the holiday season and enjoying inexpensive winter sports.

Georgia's ski slopes go unnoticed by many snow enthusiasts, but they are every bit as good as the famous European resorts.

Photo by Evgenia Yeremeeva/Shutterstock

Georgia's ski slopes are overlooked by many snow enthusiasts, but they're not inferior to more famous European ski resorts.

If you don't want to miss the holiday season, come to Georgia this month to celebrate Orthodox Christmas on Jan. 7, when churches across the country come alive with processions and celebrations. One of the most impressive is Timotesubani, a medieval monastery complex in the Borjomi Gorge in the center of the country. Combine that with the opportunity for great skiing in the Caucasus Mountains, an area that's an insider's tip for many of Europe's most avid powder hunters.

Various regions include the main ski resort of Gudauri, with an English-speaking ski school for beginners and peaks that can rival the Alps. Or try Mestia, where you'll find rugged terrain. Goderzi has flat terrain, but it is accessed by a road that often closes when too much snow falls, almost guaranteeing loneliness on the slopes for those who make it there. Wherever you go, expect an inexpensive experience, as ski passes cost no more than $20.


January is a good time for a weekend of rebellious music.

Every January 15, record promoter Tony Rebel hosts not just a birthday party, but an entire festival dedicated to rootsy and conscious music. The Rebel Salute 2022 festival at Grizzly's Plantation Cove in Ocho Rios is likely to be one of the finest since its inception in 1994, not only returning to a personal event after a pandemic hiatus but also celebrating Rebel's 60th birthday.

The reggae-fusion specialist doesn't limit the program to dancehall, although there will be plenty of that. It also attracts roots musicians from all over the world - and tourists for that reason: almost half of the visitors come from abroad. The full program has yet to be announced, but high-profile artists such as Grammy winner Coffey and the late Toots Hibbert of Toots & the Maytals are expected. Rebel is doing everything it can to make families feel welcome: The consumption and sale of alcohol is prohibited, and the content of the lyrics is also restricted.

Where else but GoldenEye, the former home of Bond screenwriter Ian Fleming? It's been transformed into a luxury hotel owned by Chris Blackwell, an artist who has endorsed Bob Marley.


January is ideal for Astroturists (no, not them).

Utah is home to the world's largest concentration of 90 parks and communities with dark-sky status. There are now 21, after the organization in charge of the parks added three new sites last winter: Jordanelle, Kodachrome Basin, and Rockport State Parks. Untouched by light pollution, these are the best places on Earth to observe the constellations, and winter is the best time to do it. Sure, it's cooler there, but night falls earlier in winter, which increases stargazing opportunities.

Plus, the lower humidity makes the sky easier for the human eye to see, which also helps amateur photographers get great shots. If you're flying into Salt Lake City, be sure to check out the University of Utah's Southern Physical Observatory before you head out. On a clear day, free public star parties are held every Wednesday night; check the observatory's website for up-to-date information.

British Virgin Islands

January is made for: celebrating the resurrection of a storm-ravaged destination.

In early September 2017, the British Virgin Islands took a direct hit from the strongest hurricane to form in the Atlantic Ocean in four centuries. Traveling at 215 miles per hour, Irma destroyed 85% of the structures built there (Hurricane Maria also hit the island two weeks later, though the damage was minimal). The tourism-dependent country took years to recover - resorts finally reopened early last year.

The pandemic, of course, scuttled those plans, delaying the mass return of tourists for nearly a year, imposing one of the strictest entry bans in the Caribbean, and closing the borders. Now, however, the islands are open again, and with many new offerings: The 400-acre Oil Nut Bay, for example, has a restaurant and bar over the water, as well as a suspended swimming pond with hammocks and sun loungers. There's even a new private island resort, Aerial, a wellness center run by Nashville real estate entrepreneur Brittney Turner.

Palm Springs, CA.

January is perfect for Movie buffs who have woken up from hibernation and have a penchant for subtitles.

The weather alone should be enough to make a trip to Palm Springs almost a must this month: low humidity, consistent sunshine around 70 degrees, and probably no more than two rainy days. If that's not enough, perhaps the chance to see the next Parasite before anyone else will be an added incentive. The Palm Springs International Film Festival - which returns after last year's hiatus caused by COVID - is known for its program of foreign-language films, a genre that has come back into vogue since the Oscar-winning Korean thriller. Sonny Bono is to be thanked for the festival's existence. The late former mayor saw such an event as a chance to draw younger, cooler audiences to a place synonymous with retirees when he came up with the idea in the 1980s. The 2022 event will run Jan. 6-17 and will open with a gala at the Convention Center before 10 days of international film screenings. Masks in the house and inoculations are mandatory, and the halls for this event are 75 percent full.

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