November may not be the most obvious month to travel – but as the days get long and dark, it’s the ideal time to escape the UK’s dull skies. Plus, while prices tend to surge around the festive season, costs usually remain low in November, so you can get a good bang for your buck. There’s plenty of variety too, from exotic escapes to European jaunts.
So, whether you’re seeking a last dose of sunshine before winter draws in, dreaming of a cultural excursion, or just want to explore an exciting new place before the year is up, we’ve got you covered.
Here are 10 of the best travel destinations to visit in November.
1. Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Spain’s Canary Islands offer short-haul, year-round sunshine. But if you’re looking for peace and relaxation as well as warmth and blue skies, Lanzarote – the closest Canary Island to us – is a wise choice. It’s the driest Canary Island and some parts, like Timanfaya National Park, are so arid and alien-like that you’ll feel you’ve ended up on Mars.
But there’s plenty of life and beautiful nature to be found here too. You can hike and spot rare birds in Chinijo National Park, visit the idyllic, unspoilt island of La Graciosa, and stroll through gorgeous cactus gardens. Lanzarote’s dramatic white and black sand beaches are also perfect for kicking back on, and with temperatures hovering in the low 20s, it’s warm enough to catch some rays.
2. Kerala, India
If you’re looking to travel further afield, why not head to Kerala, Southern India’s most blissfully beautiful state? November marks the end of the monsoons and the start of the dry season, and with highs of around 30°C, it isn’t yet unbearably hot. This part of India is worlds away from the frenetic action and energy found elsewhere in the country, and if you’re looking for peace, you’ll find it here.
Kerala is known for its palm-fringed lakes, dreamy lagoons, and 370 miles of glorious coastline. If you want to explore, there are many ways to do so – from pootling around the glistening backwaters in a boat to hiring a motorbike to discover secret, sandy beaches. The breeze carries the scent of Keralan curries and Ayurvedic oils, and the locals enjoy a slow pace of life. This is India at its most relaxed.
3. Athens, Greece
If you’re interested in culture and history, and seeking a European city break without the crowds, Athens is an ideal destination in November. The stifling summer temperatures have dropped to the pleasant high teens, and the often overwhelming crowds have faded out. While it might not be hot enough to hit the beach, it’s the perfect temperature to explore this ancient city.
If you’re in town in early November, you can catch the Athens marathon – which, at 2,500 years old, is the oldest in the world. Without throngs of tourists or oppressive heat, the ancient Acropolis and Parthenon are a joy to explore, but leave time to discover the city’s exciting new youth culture. From quirky bars to cool galleries and innovative restaurants, there’s more to Athens than meets the eye.
With its famous flurry of pink and white cherry blossoms, spring in Japan gets a lot of attention – but autumn is just as impressive. In November, trees all around this country blaze in vivid red and orange hues, and there are so many different destinations where you can marvel at the vibrant waves of colour – as well as immerse yourself in Japan’s fascinating culture, history, and culinary traditions.
In the capital, Tokyo, you can admire the futuristic architecture, visit galleries and museums, and enjoy the world-class dining scene. In Kyoto, the historical heart of the country, you can relax in Zen gardens as crimson-coloured maple leaves drift to the ground. And, in Osaka, the culinary capital, you can feast on delicious local delicacies before heading to Minoo Falls to be awed by the fiery foliage.
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina
November might mean late autumn in the northern hemisphere – and perhaps even the arrival of early winter – but, in the southern hemisphere, it’s peak spring. The Argentine capital Buenos Aires has a way of getting under your skin, no matter the time of year. But, in November, when the leafy streets are blanketed with purple blossoms, the city seems more alive and beautiful than ever.
If you’re into jazz, you’ll want to check out the Buenos Aires Jazz Festival – but, even away from the celebrations, you don’t have to go far to stumble upon world-class musicians or dancers performing in the street. La Boca, with its colourful houses, is ideal for a lazy afternoon stroll, while, in the evening, the pretty Palermo district is perfect for dining – and sampling delicious local red wine.
For something completely different, but no less dynamic, you might want to think about heading to Iceland in November. It may be darker than the UK, and considerably colder, but what it lacks in temperature it makes up for in beauty. Iceland is one of the most otherworldly travel destinations in the world, and November’s dark nights mean you have a great chance of seeing the Northern Lights.
But catching a glimpse of nature’s greatest light show is just part of the appeal of a November visit. The icy conditions during this month make the country’s most dazzling natural attractions even more impressive. Explore glittering ice caves and milky blue lagoons, hike over lava-strewn landscapes, and past glacier-capped peaks and smoke-spewing volcanoes – then warm up in bubbling hot springs.
If you’re fascinated by the ancient Egyptians and have always dreamed of exploring the mysterious pyramids, why not tick it off your bucket list and book a trip for November? Summers here are often scorchingly hot, with average temperatures hovering above 40°C, but Egypt in November marks the arrival of winter. You can expect temperatures of around 25°C – rather akin to a decent UK summer!
Exploring the capital Cairo is a far more pleasant experience when it’s not boiling, and the medieval mosques, excellent museums and maze-like bazaars are worth at least a few days. The Pyramids of Giza are just a half-hour drive away, and the powerful sense of history and wonder that hangs here is remarkable. If you want to get away from it all, a felucca boat trip down the Nile will do the job.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
Another excellent destination for a European city break is Lisbon. While much of mainland Europe is becoming cold and dark, Portugal remains an exception and, in November, the average temperature is just under 20°C. But it isn’t just the balmy weather that makes Lisbon such an alluring destination. One of Europe’s coolest cities, its old, cobbled streets are jam-packed with culture and history.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in your element. One of the best ways to explore Lisbon is to taste your way around the city, strolling around the bustling food markets, tucking into pastel de nata custard tarts in cute cafes, and trying authentic Portuguese small plates – petiscos – in the many trendy yet affordable restaurants. In the evening, the buzzing bars are the perfect spot for sampling local wines.
If you’re a keen hiker, and you’d like to trek through some of the world’s most spectacular scenery, then Nepal might be the destination for you. While the Himalayas may be synonymous with soaring, snow-capped peaks and icy conditions, there’s a milder side to these mountains – and November is the best time to explore: it’s not hot (23°C), not cold, the skies are clear, and the trails are quiet.
Most of us won’t be attempting to scale Everest, but the views from the Annapurna Circuit are just as breathtaking. You’ll hike past awe-inspiring glaciers, over rolling lowland pastures and idyllic forests, through remote mountain villages, and along the way, you’ll get a chance to immerse yourself in Nepali culture. Afterwards, treat yourself to the sensational street food in the capital, Kathmandu!
10. Andalucia, Spain
Southern Spain, like Portugal, is one of the few places in mainland Europe to be still warm and sunny in November – so if you’d like to soak up the last dregs of the Mediterranean sun, why not head to Andalucia? At this time of year, you can expect highs of 20°C – and because the holiday crowds have all but gone, you’ll get to see a whole other side to this often overpopulated pocket of Spain.
If you’re looking to explore a city and soak up some culture during your holiday, you’ll be spoilt for choice. Seville, Granada, Córdoba, and Antequera all ooze charm, and the whitewashed buildings, elaborate architecture, tasty tapas and exhilarating flamenco bars will keep you occupied for days. Plus, Malaga, on the coast, might be known for its beaches but is also a world-renowned art hub.
November may not be the most popular month to travel, but it’s a great time to escape the increasingly gloomy UK.
Several spots in Europe are still basking in sunshine – and, as a bonus, with the summer crowds gone, you can see these places in a new light.
If you’re looking to travel further afield, the scenery in Japan and Nepal is at its most beautiful, and the colourful streets of Buenos Aires hum with life. If you’re looking for sun, sea, and sand, Kerala promises a chilled beach holiday with a difference.
Culture and history fans might want to think about visiting Athens or Cairo, where you can make the most of the bearable temperatures and lack of crowds. Or, for something completely different, why not head into the wilderness in Iceland, and see if you can catch the Northern Lights?
Have you been to any of these destinations? Are you thinking about taking a trip in November – or do you have other recommendations for places to visit in autumn? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.