Search for the sunshine: top hot holiday destinations

After weeks of seasonal festivities, parties galore and endless merriment throughout Christmas and New Year, January can seem like the longest month of the year.

And as the diets start, gym memberships commence and resolutions are elected, there is no better time to escape for some much needed sunshine and start the year of 2013 as you mean to go on -–  whether lying on the soft sands of Panama's famous beaches or exploring Victoria Falls in Zambia.

Nothing is more appealing than the glowing rays of sun Down Under in Queensland, Australia and the crystal clear waters of the Tahitian Islands. From Tenerife to BrazilHELLO! Online explores the best hot travel destinations to visit in the New Year. With sea and sun by your side and the prospect of discovery at your fingertips, January just got better...

Despite earning itself a glowing reputation for glamourous restaurants, swanky cocktail bars and exhilarating theme parks, the natural beauty of Gold Coast in Queensland beats any other attraction that Australia's most visited tourist destination has to offer. Renowned for surfing and seafood, hot-air balloon riding and the Hinterland, the sub-tropical climate of the Gold Coast is the ideal destination for those searching for a spot of sunshine and added touch of luxury 

Located in the South Pacific, the Bora Bora island has some of the world's most beautiful beaches and was even awarded the the title of 'best island in the world' by US News. Surrounded by a lagoon and barrier reef, Bora Bora in Tahiti is a major international tourist destination thanks to its aqua-centric luxury resorts such as the Four Seasons, authentic cuisine and of course its stunning coastal views surrounded by plentiful coconut trees / Tourism Tahiti 

Beach Benijo, located in the north of the Canary Islands, within the nature reserve Anaga near to the Roques of Anaga, is one of the most beautiful places in the world thanks to its dark sand which is due to its volcanic origin and strong waves  / © Tourism of Tenerife 

Fernando de Noronha, located in Brazil, is an archipelago of 21 islands and islets in the Atlantic Ocean. Brazilians are known to worship the pristine beaches, where sharks are supposedly friendly and scuba diving and snorkelling are as good as it gets 

Sun Bay Beach, on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques, is the ideal Caribbean beach. A picture-perfect backdrop, it boasts white sand, turquoise waters and green palms. Revelling in natural beauty it is a far cry from hectic resorts with souvenir shops and bustling casinos 

Riding on horseback whilst feeling the sea breeze brush against your face or watching the burnt orange horizon while sampling delicious local cuisine are just some of the reasons why your should escape this January. Away from the cold, bitter British weather you can welcome in the New Year on a majestic beach or stunning island 

In Panama, there are more than a thousand islands grouped into archipelagos such as Kuna Yala, Las Perlas and Coiba Bocas / © Tourism of Panama 

From the indescribable sunsets and abundance of wildlife to the majestic view of  Victoria Falls (safari in Chobe National Park )... Zambia has all the ingredients for a perfect winter break, due to its ideal climate at this time of year and spectacle of cultural activities waiting to be explored / © Robin Pope Safaris 

This is the perfect antidote to a potentially stressful year that awaits stroll by the clear blue waters of the world's best beaches, listen to the waves gently crashing and take in the calm, cool atmosphere complete with blue skies and secluded mountainous surroundings