Where to Travel in November 2023
Where to go on holiday in November
The month of November is brimming with possibilities, be it the temples and ruins of Southeast Asia, or the sombre commemorations of Remembrance Day in Turkey. The Far East is heading deeper into autumn, with colourful 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.
Top Destinations and Experiences in November
Exploring Southeast Asia
By November the monsoon rains have largely moved on, making it an ideal time to visit Southeast Asia. The countryside is lush and green after months of rain, meaning the scenery is at its most attractive. Now's a good time for visiting the impressive rice terraces that decorate the northern hills in Thailand and Vietnam, with optimum photographic conditions. It's also an ideal time to visit the temples of Angkor in Cambodia.
Recommended tour: Journey to Angkor Wat →
Trekking in the Himalayas
November is an excellent month to trek in the Himalayan region, with perfect visibility after the monsoon rains. From October the clouds clear to reveal awe-inspiring vistas of Everest and the surrounding mountain ranges. Expect blue skies and dry conditions but temperatures will be cold. The weather also makes it a good time to be out and about exploring Nepal, Tibet and Bhutan.
Recommended tour: Annapurna Panorama →
Spring in South America
This time of year means spring in the Southern Hemisphere, a perfect time to visit South America when the weather is mild and the skies clear. Outdoor adventure abounds and the landscapes bloom with colour. The seductive cities of Argentina and the eerie deserts of Chile are yet to suffer from the oppressive heat of summer, so it's a great time to explore. It's also a great time for hiking in the national parks of Patagonia.
Recommended tour: Patagonia in Style →
Expedition cruise to Antarctica
The world's southernmost continent is a land of ice, where towering icebergs float in freezing waters and conditions are so hostile that it is without permanent human inhabitants. Yet Antarctica is a firm favourite on many bucket lists, with November marking the start of the expedition cruise season as the temperatures warm up enough to cause some of the ice to melt and allow boats to navigate their way to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Recommended tour: Classic Antarctica →
Best City Breaks in November
Considered the best month to visit Dubai, November brings cooler weather and less humidity, making sightseeing much more comfortable. And when you’re not marvelling at the city’s gleaming skyscrapers and impressive architecture, you can still hit the beach to work on your tan. This month also sees the annual Dubai Design Week, with over 200 activities, exhibits and performances taking place across the city.
If you're wondering where to go in November, then look no further than beautiful Bruges. With its picturesque cobbled streets and dreamy canals, the city's fairytale-like charm makes it a popular winter destination. However Christmas is a very busy time, so to beat the crowds it’s best to explore in November. Wrapped up cosy and warm in a winter coat, you can wander through pretty market squares and sample the city’s biggest specialties - beer and chocolate, in the many bars and cafes.
November marks the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the cool season in Thailand, making this month a great time to visit the vibrant capital of Bangkok. By day, you can explore the city’s famous Buddhist temples and magnificent Grand Palace. Then by night, soak up the bustling atmosphere of the open-air markets and feast on tasty street food.
November means springtime in Buenos Aires, and this season is by far the most beautiful time to visit. Jarcanda trees are in full bloom, painting the whole city in stunning shades of purple and making for some great photography. Temperatures are also mild and, as the high season is yet to begin, you can explore the city’s top sights and attractions without the crowds.
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?
Day of the Dead
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, honouring 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.
Yi Peng Festival
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 coloured 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.
Recommended Tours and Holidays for November
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!