If you want to skip the wintry wonderlands and go for a warm island vacation in January, try the Canary Islands, which share Africa’s climate but are actually part of Spain. While on the islands, you hike on volcanoes, like the famous Mount Teide on Tenerife. You can also try tackling Roque de los Muchachos, which reaches almost 8,000 feet in elevation (but it gets cold in the winter, so bundle up if you plan to reach the top).
While it might be a little too chilly to enjoy the beaches, there are plenty of other activities on the islands. Take time to go off-roading on sand dunes and enjoy the local Canarian cuisine.
A New Year’s swim on the first day of the year is a Canary Island tradition in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Be sure to also check out the Canary Islands International Music Festival, which happens in January and February.