With the New Year comes a new start for many. But it also means that Blue Monday 2020 is just around the corner — Monday 20th January to be exact! Known the world over as the saddest day of the year, Blue Monday only occurs in the Northern Hemisphere, where the cold days of winter is the culprit of many a sad face.
The Blue Monday meaning is derived from a 2005 press release from Sky Travel, who claimed to have calculated the date using a certain equation. This melancholy day is said to be due to the realisation that the festive period is over and one must return to the day-to-day grind of a working week.
Nevertheless, with Blue Monday January comes great offers and deals to satisfy the wanderlust in all of us and shake off some of that ‘blah’ feeling many of us experience this time of year. So get out, get exploring, and beat the winter blues by discovering some of these great destinations!
While the Moroccan weather is slightly colder this time of year, it is downright balmy when compared with other locales in the Northern Hemisphere, and daytime temps are very comfortable. Immerse yourself in Moroccan culture and chase those blues away by letting the sights and sounds of the busy Marrakech medinas envelope you. And if you’ve always wanted to experience the Sahara Desert, January is the prime time to do it.
Outdoor adventurers will find solace in a variety of activities with which to explore the beautiful land of Morocco. From the breathtaking Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines to the jaw-dropping peak of the Atlas Mountains, to the vast Sahara, Morocco is brimming with geographical diversity. Take a camel ride, book a Marrakech city tour, or ski the Atlas, for starters. There is so much art and history to discover in the local museums, galleries and medinas. And when the sun goes down, take to the warm environs of Marrakech’s many restaurants offering sumptuous cuisines.
When all the fun has come to an end for the day, lay your head at Dar Assiya, a luxurious riad built in the fifteenth century, offering a wealth of charm, history, and traditional furnishings. Take advantage of their pre-paid booking offer, which offers complimentary breakfast and WiFi; or for groups, book the entire riad for the utmost in luxury and privacy. Other services include wellness treatments, cooking courses and two restaurants to truly allow yourself to indulge.
Thailand in January is just the elixir to lift the winter doldrums, thanks to its tropical climate, and this is the best time of year to visit, with the most sunshine and the beaches shimmering in all of their glory. If a leisurely day out on the beach doesn’t take away the Monday blues, little else will.
Once you’re feeling warm and glowy, embrace the Thai culture by visiting a Thai market (or three). Of course, a trip to the Grand Palace, Bangkok’s number one attraction, cannot be passed over. As such, it is best to arrive there as the doors open, to avoid most of the crowds! A visit to Bangkok’s Chinatown is all at once colorful and chaotic — a feast for the senses. Late January is Chinese New Year, a great time to experience this small city at its best.
Once your spirits have been lifted after a day of sightseeing, step into your urban sanctuary at The Siam, a luxury hotel in the heart of Bangkok. Nestled in three lush acres of gardens along the Chao Phraya River, you don’t have far to go after a day in the city to lay your head for the night. Choose from spacious suites, a picture-perfect pool villa or indulge in the unique Connie’s Cottage. Current offers include a 3-nights stay for the price of 2, or any of several wellness packages.
With its prime location in the warm waters of the eastern Mediterranean on Cyprus’ western shore, this island oasis is perfect for chasing away the Monday blues of any variety. And while the weather won’t exactly be T-shirt worthy, you will get plenty of sunshine, and the low-season means more locals and less tourists are out and about.
Paphos is so much more than a beach destination. You will experience a multi-layered symphony of cuisine, history, and rich traditions that few other European countries can rival. Explore archaeological ruins, hike to your heart’s content on a myriad of trails, and wander through mountain villages.
After a day road tripping the island, head back to home base and stay at the illustrious Elysium Hotel in Paphos. Offering a private beach with unparalleled views and an array of amenities to suit both families and romantic couples alike, opulent and comfortable rooms with rich décor promise serenity at the end of the day. Take advantage of current Blue Monday deals, such as their wellness and golf packages, or 20% off stays through January.
The post-holiday calm of Amsterdam is virtually tourist-free, leaving you the unique chance to lay claim to it yourself, unencumbered by fellow visitors clamouring for their spot. Enjoy such seasonal perks as skating rinks, stamppot (a Dutch comfort food made from potatoes) and so much more. Dress in layers, and get almost free reign of the picturesque neighborhoods, where you are not on a timetable, and there is no where you need to be.
Theatre goers cannot miss IMPRO Amsterdam, a six-day event held during the last week of January, where teams of actors from across the globe come to perform in front of live audiences.
Canal House presents Old-World architecture with ultra-modern Dutch design in a way that blends seamlessly. What’s more, it is just steps away from the famous Anne Frank House. Enjoy their 30% off Winter Getaway for Two, for stays through March. This intimate property has 23 impeccably-furnished rooms, making it your perfect base in Amsterdam for beating the Monday Blues 2020.
The hip city of Austin is Texas’ live music capital — and some would argue America’s music capital, with great clubs featuring live bands playing everything from jazz to indie rock to classic country. Whatever your musical taste you will find it here – most likely on 4th street. This is the home of Austin City Limits after all, and who can forget South by Southwest (SXSW)?
Not a music fan? Well then, you’re still in for a treat. Take in interactive history at the Bob Bullock Museum, or hike and bike along the tree-lined, 10-mile trail along the Colorado River. Sunshine is abundant all year round, and January feels almost spring-like compared to Texas’ northern neighbors. Austin’s unique blend of small-town friendliness mixed with a cosmopolitan flair is enough to lift anyone’s blue spirits.
Stay at Hotel ZaZa, a new, luxury property in downtown Austin that mixes big city sophistication with an authentic Texas flair. Enjoy a contemporary suite hotel room, and get the kinks out with destination-worthy spa, a 7th floor outdoor pool and cabana bar, and two restaurants on-site.
Walking through this old French-inspired city, you would hardly believe you are in Canada, but instead a Europe of centuries past. It is this grand allure that draws visitors by the thousands all throughout the year, but in winter it really comes alive. Chase your wintry blues away with an invigorating toboggan slide in the centre of town, the Au 1884.
If you happen to come the second week of February, do not miss the Quebec Winter Carnival – fun for the whole family. Then, bundle up and explore the historic Vieux-Quebec, the only walled city in North America north of Mexico, and also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
A stay at elegant Monsieur Jean, L’Hôte Particulier, located in the heart of Old Quebec, will pamper you throughout your visit. A living museum in its own right, all suites come equipped with a kitchenette, heated floors and king-sized beds. Dine in the comfort of your room while embracing the views of the winding streets below from your private terrace.
January in Cartagena is one big party. To see out the end of the holiday season, locals and tourists alike come out in full force and celebrate as only Colombians know how. The city is famous for its tropical, year-round climate, great architecture and great cuisine. The old city is also highly walkable, and unless you plan on taking a day trip (which you should) you will not need a car while in the city limits.
That said, you would be remiss not to explore outside the city. While Cartagena is located on the coast, the beaches here actually leave a little to be desired — it is best to journey to the beaches just off of Playa Banca on Isla Baru, or explore the tiny fishing villages just a few minutes’ drive outside the city.
Book your stay at the gorgeous Casa La Cartujita, located in the San Diego neighborhood in Cartagena’s historical centre. What was once a monastery for Carthusian monks is now your perfect getaway while in Cartagena. This boutique hotel blends modern splendour and colonial allure with its seven guest rooms filled with traditional furnishings and modern amenities.
Planning a Blue Monday 2020 getaway to any of these incredible destinations is just the thing to shake off the post-holiday slump and kick-start the beginning of a bright new decade.
© 2020 HIP Media Group Limited All Rights Reserved.