Where to Travel on Vacation in November 2023
Where to go on vacation in November
The month of November is brimming with possibilities, be it the temples and ruins of Southeast Asia, or the somber commemorations of Remembrance Day in Turkey. The Far East is heading deeper into autumn, with colorful foliage still decorating the landscapes. Temperatures are pleasantly warm in the Middle East so it's a good time to explore the ancient wonders or head to the Red Sea for a bit of sun, sea and sand. It's also the start of the expedition cruise season in Antarctica, with the icy landscapes utterly pristine after the long winter months.
If you're looking for inspiration as to where to travel in November 2023, look no further than our guide to the best destinations worldwide, where to go for a sunny beach break, and which countries offer the best wildlife opportunities.
Best Festivals and Events in November
The Festival of Light is one of the biggest dates on the Indian calendar. The Hindu festival celebrates the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Houses, temples and other buildings are vibrantly decorated across the country and fireworks light up the Indian sky as the entire country celebrates. Why not join our special Diwali, Festival of Lights group tour, to discover this amazing festival yourself?
Known as Día de los Muertos in Spanish, the Day of the Dead is Mexico's most famous and popular festival. It's a time for friends and family to remember those that have passed, honoring dead relatives with private altars and decorating graves with sugar skulls and marigold flowers. Spectacular parades are held in the larger towns and cities with people dressing in fine attire complete with decorative skull masks.
Where? Chiang Mai, Thailand
Each year Chiang Mai witnesses the coordinated release of thousands of pretty candle-lit lanterns into the night sky. Made of colored paper, the lanterns venerate Buddha with light and the origins of the festival date back to the ancient Lanna kingdom. It's a particularly good time to visit Thailand with houses and temples decorated especially for the occasion with parades held in the streets and a general sense of frivolity.
Where? Gallipoli, Turkey
Observed on the 11th November each year, Remembrance Day is observed in many countries with memorial services to remember those in the armed forces that lost their life during the First World War. Turkey is a great place to witness and join in the commemorations with dozens of memorial sites and cemeteries dotted around Gallipoli, the site of the doomed ANZAC campaign back in 1915.
Best Beach Destinations in November
With the monsoons practically over in Southeast Asia, it's the start of the high season across the southern islands of Thailand, with some rain still affecting central Vietnam. The same applies for the central region of India though if you're considering Kerala or Sri Lanka then it may be best to hold off until December when the last of the rains have cleared. There may be some residual hurricane conditions in Central America in November.
Summer is back for much of south Vietnam, with popular beach resorts such as Phu Quoc, Phan Thiet and Mui Ne experiencing some of the best weather of the year. Here you can expect clear skies, comfortably high temperatures and bearable humidity. The central coast is still experiencing some rains so south is the place to head for that dream beach break with opportunities to explore the nearby Mekong Delta.
The climatic conditions can vary widely across Southeast Asia, with November acting as a transitional month between the wet and dry seasons. Some parts of the country may be drier than others. In November it's the western coast of the peninsula that's experiencing the better weather, making Phuket an ideal beach destination. This time of year sees the return of sunny days and low humidity to the region.
By mid-November the monsoon rains are a distant memory across India's western coast and popular beach resorts in Goa are open for business. The temperatures are pleasantly warm, the weather dry and the seas calm and clear. The southern states are experiencing a second mini monsoon but this central region is ideal for a beach break, with the attractions of northern Rajasthan perfect for exploring in November.
The rainy season officially ends in October, which means the month of November can be a great time to visit the resorts of Cancun and Playa del Carmen for a beach break. As a month of transition there's always the chance of a downpour but by and large the skies are dry and the temperatures pleasantly cool. It's also a month before peak tourist season kicks off so prices will be lower and crowds thinner.
Best Wildlife Destinations in November
It's the wet season in Africa so not the ideal month for a safari, but never mind - there are plenty of excellent wildlife-spotting opportunities across the globe. The end of the monsoon in India means vegetation is thinning out and tigers are easier to spot. Whilst in Costa Rica it's nesting time for the ginormous Leatherback turtles.
The parks of India have been open for a good month now after the monsoon rains and conditions are starting to dry out. This means vegetation is beginning to thin, increasing your chances of spotting wild tigers in national parks such as Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh in northern India. You may also see wildlife as varied as sambar, chital, nilgai, wild boar, leopard and sloth bear, with plenty of bird species also residing in these parks.
Olive Ridley and leatherback turtles come to the Pacific shores of Costa Rica to begin their annual nesting season. Tortuguero National Park is one of the best places to watch the turtles as they make their way across the damp sands. The rains are beginning to clear across much of the country so November is also a good time to get out and explore Costa Rica, from the cloud forests to the volcanic landscapes.
It's the tail end of the cool, dry season in the Galapagos Islands, with strong currents that create an abundance of nutrients, attracting more marine life. It's a good time for diving and encounters with marine species are likely. On land, it's nesting season for blue-footed boobies and waved albatross, with green turtles reaching the island shores to begin their mating period. There will also be more sea lions about as they too are in their breeding season.
November is the start of the expedition cruise season in Antarctica, with the ice retreating and the continent becoming more accessible. Giant penguin colonies can be seen on the beaches and marine mammals including whales and dolphins are returning to the oceans to feed. Seabirds wheel over the Drake Passage and the weather, though still bitterly cold, is less inhospitable than previous months.
If you need more help deciding where to travel in November, then why not browse our recommended tours for the month? From the deserts of Rajasthan to the spring landscapes of South America, the world is ripe for exploration!