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Inspiration for January holidays

January    

January
January is one of those months in which you can enjoy very different holidays. Head to the Alps or Scandinavia to enjoy the snow, or escape to southern Europe or beyond in search of some warm winter sun.

 

Go walking in the Canary Islands
Gran Canaria
With their year-round warm climate, the Canary Islands are often referred to as the ‘islands of eternal spring’, making them the perfect antidote to the grey British winter. On La Gomera and Gran Canaria, daytime temperatures average a very pleasant 21°C in January, making for excellent walking conditions as you explore the ancient forests, lush ravines and beaches of black sand of La Gomera or the palm groves, swathes of cacti and Arizona-like scenery of Gran Canaria.
Experience life in an Alpujarran village
Olive picking in the Alpujarras
In January, while snow covers the peaks of Spain’s mighty Sierra Nevada, the olive harvest is in full swing on their sunny lower slopes, an area known as Las Alpujarras. You can join in too, helping to knock this prized fruit from the gnarled branches into nets stretched underneath. This is just one of many cultural insights – others include a chance to watch the hotel cook at work and a visit to a local vineyard. Spend the rest of your time walking, admiring the views which are all the more spectacular thanks to the backdrop of snow-clad peaks.
Get away from it all (without skis) in Austria’s lake district
Fuschl, near Salzburg
Winter is a very special time in Fuschl am See. Set amid the ethereal beauty of Salzkammergut’s lakes and mountains, this charming lakeside village is wonderfully tranquil under its blanket of snow. There is, however, plenty to do – you can explore on foot, along the many miles of prepared paths, or on snowshoes; try your hand at curling; or take the bus to nearby Salzburg. Come the end of the day, be sure to ensconce yourselves on the Hotel Seerose’s panoramic terrace with an aperitif so that you can watch the sun set across the lake.
Try out new activities
Cross-country skiing near Pertisau
Start the new year in a positive way, by trying something new during the relative quiet of January while staying in the Austrian Tyrol at the highly praised 4-star Hotel Wiesenhof, complete with a huge, state-of-the-art spa. The village ski school is excellent, so you could book some alpine skiing lessons, or just give snowshoeing or winter walking a try. Alternatively, join our cross-country skiing try-it-out week and you can learn the basics of this highly enjoyable, friendly and easy-to-master sport in the company of other, like-minded Inntravel guests.
Step back in time to the Belle Epoque
Belle Epoque Week in Kandersteg
Fittingly for a place that exudes late 19th-century elegance, the Swiss village of Kandersteg holds an annual Belle Epoque Week. With villagers sporting bonnets and cravats, and activities such as bobsleigh races, a tea dance and a Century Ball, you can enjoy plenty of old-fashioned glamour – as well as some great cross-country skiing and winter walking. Even if you can’t make it for this special week, January is otherwise a pleasantly quiet month – perfect if you’re looking for tranquillity or to learn cross-country skiing in a relaxed atmosphere.
Journey through India’s intoxicating south
Keralan backwaters
To the first-time visitor, the tangible exoticism of Karnataka’s spice plantations, the Nilgiri Hills and the Keralan backwaters is enthralling, from the vibrant greens of the dense vegetation to the aroma of spices growing on vines and from palm groves and coffee plantations to ostentatiously coloured birds. January is our favourite time to come here, after the monsoon season but before it becomes excessively hot. Exploring for much of the time in the company of your party’s own local guide-cum-interpreter, you’ll enjoy privileged insights into local life.