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Travel Ideas in November

Best places to travel in November 2021

Though the temperatures may begin to drop, November still offers plenty of opportunity for active adventure. Trek to the top of the world in the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal, and witness the sunrises over the tops of the peaks. Enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving in the warmer temperatures of the Red Sea in Egypt, where the water is a clear blue and the coral reefs teem with marine life. Or experience Vietnam by bicycle, along the countryside around the historic merchants' town of Hoi An or through the rice terraces and remote villages of Sapa.

Festivals and events around the world in November

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Canada

Temperatures drop and snow begins to fall, but this brings a raft of different experiences to a Canada trip. Winter festivals, ice-skating rinks and Christmas markets open toward the end of the month, making it a good time for a city break. Wrap up for a walking tour before sipping a hot chocolate, or stay cosy inside museums and galleries. You can still explore the country’s wilderness areas, too. Visitor numbers are low at this time of year, so you can enjoy views of the snow-smeared mountains in solitude. You might also catch the tail-end of the salmon run along British Columbia’s coast or the polar-bear watching season in Churchill.

Polar Bears near Hudson Bay
Polar Bears near Hudson Bay

The USA

While temperatures drop and the weather becomes less predictable in the northern half of the USA in November, regions like the Deep South, Florida, California and the Southwest remain mild and largely dry. It’s also an excellent time to visit Hawaii, where the sun still shines and you can enjoy the islands’ beaches and forested interiors before visitors arrive for the festive period. Autumn arrives later in the south, so you can still enjoy fall foliage in areas such as Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains. Avoid the week of Thanksgiving, which falls on the fourth Thursday of November, as travel will be busy and prices higher throughout the country.

Makena Beach, Maui
Makena Beach, Maui

India

November is one of the best months to travel to India, whichever region you decide to visit. With the exception of colder northern areas like Ladakh and the Himalaya, temperatures are warm but not stifling hot as they are in summer, and rainfall is generally low. The comfortable temperatures make November a good time for exploring the country’s cities and for viewing wildlife in the national parks, although be prepared for higher visitor numbers. Diwali, in some years, takes place in November, so you might see increased crowds around this time. For time on the beach, head to Goa, where you’ll enjoy warm, dry weather.

Goa beach, Goa
Goa beach, Goa

Australia

Spring is in full swing and temperatures are on the rise, though are still mild enough to make for comfortable hiking conditions along the coast and in the country’s national parks. Landscapes in the north are peppered with wildflowers after stormy downpours, and rainforests and wetlands are alive with birds and other wildlife. It’s also a good time to stroll city streets in the south, where it’s warm and dry, and for a road trip along the east coast before the days heat up. It’s warm and sunny on the beaches, although the water is a little cooler after the winter months.

Margaret River Vines
Margaret River Vines

New Zealand

As spring gradually turns to summer in New Zealand, you’ll experience mild temperatures, the odd bit of rainfall (as is the case throughout the year in New Zealand) and some crisp, sunny days that make hiking through the country’s postcard-worthy landscapes a joy. In some areas, the countryside is awash with vivid lupins, while waterfalls are still in full flow. Visitor numbers begin to pick up, but are still lower than in the summer months, so it’s easy to find seclusion.

Lupins on the shores of Lake Tekapo
Lupins on the shores of Lake Tekapo

South Africa

Marking the beginning of South Africa’s summer, November brings pleasantly warm temperatures, without being as hot as later in the season. While rains arrive in some areas, such as Kruger National Park and KwaZulu-Natal, these tend to be short and stormy, leaving the air fresh afterwards. It means there are fewer visitors on safari in the Kruger, despite it still being a good time for seeing wildlife. Elsewhere, it’s a good time to drive the Garden Route, and you can still pause to see southern right whales off the coast before they migrate south.

Plettenberg Bay, The Garden Route
Plettenberg Bay, The Garden Route

Costa Rica

The end of the rainy season in Costa Rica can be difficult to predict, but the heaviest rain is usually over by mid-to-late November. Visiting at this time means there’ll be fewer people, so you’ll benefit from a wider choice of hotels at good value. You’ll also find temperatures are more comfortable than during the summer months, remaining pleasantly warm. In national parks, fewer visitors mean wildlife can be easier to spot and the forests will be particularly green after the rains, with waterfalls in full flow. It’s also a good time to relax along either of the coasts, where it’s just heating up but you don’t see the crowds that summer brings.

Two-toed sloth, Costa Rica
Two-toed sloth, Costa Rica

Vietnam

November is one of the most popular months to explore Vietnam. In the northern areas, the heat, rain and humidity of summer start to decrease dramatically and you’ll find pleasantly warm temperatures and dry days. In the south, this is the beginning of the hot dry season, making it an excellent time to relax on Vietnam’s beaches including Phu Quoc, Mui Ne and Phan Thiet. The central region remains balmy at this time of year, but you can expect occasional bursts of sudden, heavy rainfall.

Beach on Phu Quoc Island
Beach on Phu Quoc Island

Japan

With crisp air, blue skies and the most brilliant foliage of the season, November is an excellent time to visit Japan. Mountainsides erupt in flaming orange, bright crimson and glowing gold leaves, providing an eye-catching backdrop for the country’s many walking trails. In the cities, you can visit temples and shrines, which often have leafy gardens, for easy foliage viewing. Mornings and evenings can be chilly, especially toward the end of the month, but it’s easy to slip into a hot spring to warm up.

A temple garden in autumn
A temple garden in autumn

Sri Lanka

November is often warm and sunny in Sri Lanka, although the rains from the northeast monsoon can mean it’s wet in the north, along the east coast and around the Cultural Triangle. It’s still possible to visit these areas, though, and you’ll be able to see the main attractions while they’re quiet. The milder temperatures also make exploring more comfortable than during hotter months. In the west and along the south coast, rainfall subsides and you can expect plenty of sunshine, particularly toward the latter half of the month, so it’s a good time to head to the beach.

Beach, Bentota
Beach, Bentota
Travel Ideas in January

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Sri Lanka’s southern shores. In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses.

In Baja California, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, you can watch as hundreds of whales and dolphins leap, arch and twirl in and out of the ocean. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in the steaming waters of a Japanese hot-spring bath after exploring the snow-dusted forests of the Japanese Alps.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like dog-sledding and snowshoeing in Canada, or escaping the colder temperatures at home with a cruise along the Nile under sunny skies, February can make an excellent time to travel. A safari in Tanzania gives you a chance to see new-born antelope take their first wobbly steps, while warm temperatures in Argentina make it an ideal time for trekking in Patagonia.

We’ve shared some of the most popular destinations to visit in February below, as well as a few countries that you may not have considered, where you can visit key sights without the crowds.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in March

Places to travel in March

As spring blossoms across the Northern Hemisphere, the American Southwest opens to a range of outdoor adventures, while lengthening days in Iceland allow for more time exploring wild, volcanic landscapes. Japan’s springtime blooms start to emerge, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak season.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and vibrant carnivals for the Jewish festival of Purim take place across Israel. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka, Thailand and the Maldives at their best. However, cooler climes in New Zealand makes this an excellent month to explore, with quieter walking trails, near-empty coastlines and a good chance of sunshine.

Places to travel

Harrismith Beach, Barbados

Places to travel in April

If you’re looking to go on safari, April is the best month to tiger-spot in India’s national parks, where you’ll also see a supporting cast of elephants, deer, and birdlife. For a coastal escape, you’ve got your pick, including Mexico’s Mayan Riviera and secluded Maldivian islands.

If you’re seeking adventure, this is the time of year to take an in-depth tour across Vietnam, or explore the highlights of Morocco at their best. April is also a month of festivities around the globe, from the Festa di San Marco in Italy and cherry blossom celebrations in South Korea to Caribbean regattas and music festivals.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in May

Places to travel in May

Across the northern hemisphere, May brings spring blossoms, sunshine, and warmer weather, but the summer crowds haven’t arrived to most destinations. In the southern hemisphere, the rains are ending and the weather is starting to cool down a bit.

If you want to get outside to enjoy the ample sun, you might hike in Scotland, look for wildlife in US National Parks, or take a water safari in a mokoro canoe in Botswana’s Okavango Delta. It’s also a popular time for festivals, whether you’re in Venice to watch the mayor pledge himself in a symbolic wedding to the sea, watching jazz performances in Saint Lucia, or sampling single-source organic chocolate in Belize.

Places to travel

Herd of elephants in South Africa

Places to travel in June

The solstice at the end of June brings long days to destinations in the northern hemisphere, making it an excellent time to get outdoors. You can roam through Canada’s wilderness, hike in Germany’s Black Forest or soak up the sun in the French Riviera.

This is also a popular month for festivals. For example, Greece’s Athens and Epidaurus Festival lets you watch ancient plays performed in ancient venues, while in Peru, you can attend a festival celebrating the Inca sun god, Inti. The month also marks the end of the rainy season in places like Uganda and the Zanzibar Archipelago, where you’ll find well-watered landscapes bursting with life, but mostly sunny skies.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in July

Places to travel in July

July gives you many destinations to consider if you’re looking to experience them in their prime. Explore the great outdoors while the sun shines in the US’s northern states, Norway or Switzerland. Balance beach relaxation with culture or wildlife in Costa Rica, French Polynesia or Vietnam. Or, in Kenya, be among the first of the season to see the Great Migration herds arrive as they make their frenzied crossing of the Mara River.

July is also one of the only months you can cruise the Arctic or hike in the mountains of Ladakh. And, in Japan, you can escape the summer humidity in the Japanese Alps.

Places to travel

Mirissa Beach, Sri Lanka

Places to travel in August

Many destinations are ripe for a summer break in August. For a trip focused around wildlife, consider a safari in Tanzania, which experiences its dry season, a trip to Borneo to see turtles hatch, or a visit to Brazil’s Pantanal for a shot at seeing a jaguar.

Elsewhere, beaches are at their best on Sri Lanka’s north and east coasts, Iceland’s interior has thawed out ready for you to explore on foot and by superjeep, while northern Australia is dry, sunny and comfortably warm for hikes. Alternatively, you might like to soak up the culture in Luxembourg or Denmark, stay on a hacienda in Ecuador’s countryside or enjoy a family escape to Mauritius.

Places to travel

Lion, Etosha National Park

Places to travel in September

Whether falling in autumn or spring, September can showcase countries at their most scenic, from the green, lamb-dotted valleys of New Zealand and the wildflower-coated countryside of Argentina to Russia’s rust-hued city parks.

In Canada, the salmon run sees bears gather for a feeding frenzy along British Columbia’s rivers. Bhutan’s clear skies are ideal for hiking among its mountains, while similar conditions in Bolivia make for excellent photography around its salt pans. Spain and Turkey are pleasantly warm without the crowds of summer. And, in South Africa, you can combine regions while they’re at their best. It’s also an excellent time for seeing Namibia’s wildlife and stargazing among its desert dunes.

Places to travel

Amalfi coast, Italy

Places to travel in October

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting before or after the busiest times of year.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Though the temperatures may begin to drop, November still offers plenty of opportunity for active adventure. Trek to the top of the world in the Himalaya Mountains in Nepal, and witness the sunrises over the tops of the peaks. Enjoy snorkeling or scuba diving in the warmer temperatures of the Red Sea in Egypt, where the water is a clear blue and the coral reefs teem with marine life. Or experience Vietnam by bicycle, along the countryside around the historic merchants' town of Hoi An or through the rice terraces and remote villages of Sapa.

Places to travel

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Places to travel in December

From festive celebrations to sun-kissed beaches, December can be an excellent month to travel to a wide range of destinations, depending on what you want from your trip. Below are ten destinations that shine for their own reasons during December.

You could head to Japan, where the chill in the air can be tempered with a soak in a steaming onsen. Thailand’s beaches and clear, calm waters are all the more enticing during winter. Or, under a blanket of snow, Canada offers cheery Christmas markets, cosy log cabins and dog-sledding through ice-bejewelled forest.

Places to travel