Galle, Sri Lanka In Galle, the year starts with fantastic weather, yet while the annual literature festival is taking a break this year, January is still the best time to visit. Located on the south-western tip of Sri Lanka, Galle’s old town offers an insight into the country’s chequered colonial past, thanks to its well-preserved Portuguese and Dutch architecture, cobbled streets and grass-covered fort. Stay in one of the old town’s affordable but beautiful boutique hotels, such as the historic Galle Fort Hotel, a restored former gem merchant’s mansion. Galle Fort’s winding streets are also home to the city’s burgeoning dining scene – check out the Serendipity Arts Café for great coffees and pastries alongside cool decor and music, or Mama’s rooftop eatery for tasty Sri Lankan curries. For unusual souvenirs, try the Stick No Bills™ Poster Gallery for vintage Bollywood and Ceylon posters. From Dubai 4.30hr.
Also visit: The dry season runs from December to March. There is also a world music festival in March. Best for? Boutique luxury travellers. Getting there: Fly to Colombo from Sharjah with Air Arabia from Dhs1,333 return, or from Dubai with Flydubai from Dhs1,050 return. www.airarabia.com, www.flydubai.com.