Beat The January Blues With These Inspiring Destinations

This year Blue Monday will fall on 17 January. Blue Monday is supposed to be the saddest day of the year. To brighten up your day here are a few inspiring destinations, from glittering seas to snowy peaks and everything in between

Snowy Peaks 

Hokkaido, Japan 

Japan’s northernmost island is famous for its beautiful wilderness, delicious seafood, fascinating indigenous culture and world class skiing. Just a short flight from Tokyo, Hokkaido is a popular destination for skiing and snowboarding in winter. Explore the many national parks, natural hot springs and volcanic lakes, set against a blue sky backdrop, as well as the culture and tradition of the indigenous Ainu people at Lake Akan.

Winter Park, Colorado, USA

The much-loved, locals ski resort encmpasses over 3,000 skiable acres across 166 designated trails and off-piste terrain, so there’s something for all abilities. After hitting the slopes, grab a drink at Sunspot Mountaintop Lodge to sit back and enjoy the blue sky and epic views.

Whistler, Canada

Whistler has received more than six metres of snow so far this season and there is plenty more to come. Backcountry skiing is usually at its prime in April – longer days, a more stabilised snowpack and blue skies make for some incredible days out on the slopes.

Aspen Snowmass, Colorado, USA

Known for the spectacular views, great weather and perfect runs. Aspen Snowmass and Buttermilk mountains offer great places to learn how to ski; slopes are less crowded than some other Colorado resorts, so beginners have plenty of space to learn. 

Shimmering Seas 

Tomori Beach, Kyushu, Japan

Nestled on the island of Amami – called the Blue Angel for its beauty – Tomori Beach is considered the best on the island. This idyllic beach is located just ten minutes from the airport, but the hustle and bustle feels far away from these white sands and calm, clear water of Tomori Beach. 

Moorea, The Islands of Tahiti

Teeming with incredible marine wildlife, the clear blue water of Moorea makes it perfect for snorkelling and swimming with stingrays, black tip sharks and turtles. Akivai Lagoon Adventures offers private nautical activities on the lagoon where guests board a luxurious floating lounge for an unforgettable trip on the water. Guests Will discover a number of unmissable sites as well as the small hidden treasures of the beautiful island.

Taneshi Coast, Hachinohe, Japan

The Taneshi Coast is a section of coastline on the Pacific south of Hachinohe in Japan’s Tohoku region. A perfect destination for coastal walking, the Taneshi Coast has long-distance nature trails that include some of the most breathtaking scenery in Japan whilst spotlighting the welcoming local people and vibrant culture that make up the Tohoku region. 

Crystal-clear Lakes and Rivers  

River Soča, Slovenia

The River Soča is a 138 kilometre long river that flows through western Slovenia and northeast Italy. The River Soča gets its distinct colour from mineral deposits in the water and depending on the weather, either looks a vibrant shade of blue or green. The river flows through waterfalls, casades and narrow gorges, naturally lending itself to water sports such as kayaking and rafting. 

Kamikochi, Japan’s Three-Star Road 

Lying between Matsumoto and Takayama, Kamikochi is one of the most beautiful places in Japan. The ice blue glacial waters of Azusagawa River surge through the valley, whilst the Alps tower above as trekkers wander through verdant forests. For more casual walks, the rivers offer easy access to nature. There are also a number of soothing hot springs where travellers can relax at the end of the day. 

Snow Lake Seattle, Washington 

Snow Lake is a beautiful, vibrant blue lake less than an hour’s drive from Seattle city centre. The six mile walking loop around the lake is manageable for all abilities, and offers beautiful views at every turn. Snow Lake’s natural surroundings are popular for hiking, camping, and snowshoeing in the winter months.

Lake Balaton, Héviz Spa, Hungary

Lake Balaton is home to picturesque landscapes surrounded by ancient fortresses, underwater cave galleries, vineyards and historic towns. For those who want to have a wellness break in this ‘blue paradise’, visiting Héviz Spa is a must.

The Nagara River, Gifu, Japan

Regarded as one of Japan’s cleanest rivers, the Nagara’s dry riverbed welcomes sunbathers and barbecues to enjoy its captivating blue waters. The ancient fishing method, ‘Ukai’, has been performed in Gifu for 1,300 years and is where the fishing master uses cormorants to catch sweetfish. With Gifu Castle looming in the background, watch the fishing masters and cormorants set about their work guided by flaming torchlight. 

Tenaya Lake, Yosemite Mariposa, USA 

Swimming opportunities abound in Yosemite Mariposa County. Whether it’s a high-country lake within Yosemite National Park or a smooth granite chute sliding into a deep swimming hole,visitors can seek out a plunge that’s perfectly suited. A popular summer destination, Tenaya Lake is considered the “Jewel of the High Country” as its bluest of blue waters are surrounded by peaks, unique granite domes and stands of lean and green lodgepole pines. 

Mono Lake, Mammoth Lakes, USA

The name Mammoth Lakes speaks to the size of the mountains, the expanse of the valleys, the incredible number of crystal clear mountain lakes in the area – perfect for summer adventures. Mono Lake, located just outside of Mammoth Lakes, is one of California’s most spectacular natural wonders. The natural beauty of Mono Lake is unmatched, with the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains sitting as the perfect backdrop. 

Denver, Colorado, USA 

For travellers wanting to escape dark, short days, Denver in Colorado is known for having 300 days of sunshine every year. Being one of the sunniest cities in America, Denver boasts plentiful blue skies which are perfect for outdoor activities. Explore street art in the RiNo neighbourhood, stroll along the South Platte River, or discover exotic blooms at Denver Botanic Gardens. 

Dreamy Swimming Pools

Fairmont Grand Del Mar, San Diego, USA

It’s impossible to feel blue in San Diego, California’s coolest beach city. On the outskirts of the city is the Fairmont Grand Del Mar, a five-star hotel with luxurious rooms and suites, chic spa, award-winning golf course and four beautiful swimming pools. Relax in one of the poolside cabanas with a refreshing cocktail whilst soaking up San Diego’s year-round sunshine.

The London West Hollywood, California, USA

Home to a gorgeous rooftop pool, providing a hidden hideaway for guests to enjoy its blue water on blue Monday. Panoramic views of LA and Beverly Hills frame a hidden garden oasis, sweeping from downtown LA all the way to the Getty Centre and beyond. An inviting destination by day or night, the hotel’s exclusive rooftop pool deck and private luxury cabanas offer the serenity of a chaise and tranquil sun-drenched California afternoon, and the magnetic pull of fire pits and cosy couches. 

Post Ranch Inn, California, USA 

Located high atop the cliffs of Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn offers a sanctuary for the soul, ideal for romance, relaxation and rejuvenation. With natural architecture embracing the coast’s dramatic beauty, the 39 rooms blend rustic elegance with panoramic views. Enjoy the array of wellness activities and treatments on offer, or just soak in the infinity jade pool with nothing but the Pacific Ocean stretched out in front of you.

The Roman Pool, Hearst Castle, – SLO CAL, USA 

The impressive mosaic tiled patterns in The Roman Pool were inspired by mosaics found in the 5th Century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. The Roman Pool is decorated from ceiling to floor with one-inch1″ square mosaic tiles. These glass tiles, called smalti are mainly blue or orange, with some clear tiles infused with gold. The intense colours, and large size of the pool, create a breathtaking deep blue effect laced with shimmering gold.

Blue Murals and Sculptures

Sacramento, USA

Sacramento native Greta Gerwig paid tribute to her hometown in the critically acclaimed film Lady Bird, which won a string of awards and accolades upon its release. Gerwig said in an interview with The Sacramento Bee “I wanted to make a love letter to Sacramento as seen through the eyes of someone who can’t appreciate how beautiful it is until she’s going away to someplace else.” Fans of the film can visit a number of Lady Bird filming locations including the American Market & Deli in Sacramento’s hip Midtown neighbourhood which previously was best known for its exterior mural depicting a Lady Bird-appropriate peacock with a large fan of feathers. Store co-owner Gurpreet Singh makes his screen debut in a scene in which he sells Lady Bird cigarettes, a lottery ticket and a Playgirl magazine.