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Travel Ideas in November

Best places to travel in November 2021

Sunny beaches in Thailand, wintry cities in France and blazing foliage in Japan — you can choose from a wide variety of destinations if you’re planning to travel in November. Below, we’ve selected some of the best places to visit, as well as some suggestions of what to see and do while you’re there.

Popular cities in Europe empty out, giving you free run of museums in France, Spain and Italy. Crowds also thin in Peru, so you’ll have more elbow room to enjoy Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Thailand and Vietnam both have sunny weather suitable for a beach break, while Morocco’s hot temperatures decline, making it a great time to explore the main cities.

Festivals and events around the world in November

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Sweden

If you’re after a real winter-wonderland experience and are prepared for the cold, November is a rewarding time of year to visit Sweden. Plummeting temperatures bring snow, especially in the far north of the country, so it’s a great time to explore Sweden’s landscapes through activities such as husky sledding — or even reindeer herding with Lapland’s indigenous Sámi people. November is also a good time of year to see the northern lights, wherever you are in the country. Visiting Sweden in November also means you won’t have to contend with the busyness of Christmastime, when Swedish families often travel domestically.

Reindeer in the snow
Reindeer in the snow

Mexico

November is a classic time of year to visit Mexico, for one main reason: this is when the country launches itself into an exuberant festive mood for its Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), taking place around the first day of November. Yes, it’ll be busy, especially in Oaxaca and Mexico City, but that’s all part of the experience, as communities celebrate with parades, live music, and candlelit feasting in cemeteries. November is also a good month to visit the country as a whole: the rainy season has usually petered out by now and warm days have returned, making it a good time to explore Mexico’s smaller towns, beaches and coastal regions.

Day of the Dead celebrations
Day of the Dead celebrations

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

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

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

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

Italy

Because it boasts a mild, Mediterranean climate, Italy remains an excellent destination in November. While it’s the country’s rainiest month, November temperatures stay well above freezing, even in the north. In the southern cities like Naples and Palermo, days are fairly balmy with temperatures hovering in the 60s. If you brave the somewhat unpredictable weather, you’ll be rewarded with museums and popular sights that are mostly emptied out of visitors, even in the often-crowded Art Cities. Additionally, hotel prices drop sharply. However, hiking trails are largely closed.

Waterfront, Naples
Waterfront, Naples

Peru

Though November marks the end of the dry season, conditions in Peru are still pleasant. Lima is usually dry throughout the month, though you’re likely to encounter rain in Machu Picchu and Cuzco toward the end of the month. Birdlife and flora are abundant in the cloudforests. In the southern Amazon, the rivers aren’t yet swollen with the rains and animals still come close to the banks, allowing for better wildlife viewing. Crowds are thinner than you’ll find earlier in the year and hotel prices are lower.

Macaws clay lick, Peruvian Amazon
Macaws clay lick, Peruvian Amazon

Thailand

In Thailand, November marks the start of the dry, cool season, which is generally seen as the best time to visit. Consider visiting in the early part of the month to beat the crowds, especially on the beaches on the west coast. Khao Lak, Phuket and Krabi are particularly attractive, with clear skies and hot weather. The only exception is Koh Samui, which often sees lots of rain at this time of year. In northern Thailand, you’ll experience cooler temperatures in the mornings and evenings as winter begins to encroach. The more moderate weather is conducive to hiking in the area’s national parks.

Phuket, Thailand
Phuket, Thailand

France

Temperatures drop and visitor numbers follow suit, making this month a great time for enjoying authentic Parisian life and time in museums and galleries without the summer crowds. Paris is a delight at this time of year — restaurants are lively with locals, but the main sights are largely empty. The weather is consistently cool, hovering in the 50s and almost never dipping to freezing, even at night, though you can expect rain. Hotels in some of the cities often offer good prices, though some regions —like the Riviera and Normandy — are largely closed down.

Eiffel Tower, Paris
Eiffel Tower, Paris

Morocco

The heat of the summer wanes considerably in November, providing a window of moderate temperatures for exploring the major cities. Fez and Marrakesh offer sunny skies, dry air and warm days balanced with brisk nights, and you’ll be able to explore the colorful souqs and lively squares comfortably. Coastal areas, like Essaouira, might experience high winds and much chillier temperatures, especially in the evenings, while the High Atlas Mountains are likely to have cold temperatures and even snow sometimes. Be aware that traditional riads may not have heating.

Street food, Morocco
Street food, Morocco
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 Vietnam’s sandy shores. It’s also summer in Australia, a season celebrated with outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and sporting events.

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. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in Paris, where crisp, clear skies showcase the monument-filled skyline and fewer visitors make for an ideal Louvre museum experience.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like a troika (sleigh) ride in Russia, or looking to 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 winter turns to spring across the Northern Hemisphere, Japan’s 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. Portugal also begins to warm, making it a good time for coastal hikes and city sightseeing without the summer crowds.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and Kruger wildlife is at its healthiest among the fresh, green vegetation following the rains. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka and Morocco at their best. Meanwhile, cooler climes in New Zealand makes March 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, Austria 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 the Netherlands, 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 outside the busiest times of year.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Sunny beaches in Thailand, wintry cities in France and blazing foliage in Japan — you can choose from a wide variety of destinations if you’re planning to travel in November. Below, we’ve selected some of the best places to visit, as well as some suggestions of what to see and do while you’re there.

Popular cities in Europe empty out, giving you free run of museums in France, Spain and Italy. Crowds also thin in Peru, so you’ll have more elbow room to enjoy Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Thailand and Vietnam both have sunny weather suitable for a beach break, while Morocco’s hot temperatures decline, making it a great time to explore the main cities.

Places to travel

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Places to travel in December

In December, you can relax in a natural hot spring in Japan before visiting snow monkeys that do the same, enjoy a private tour of the Louvre without the usual crowds or nibble king cake in Portugal. The month offers a wealth of options across the globe, so we’ve listed some of the most popular destinations. We’ve also suggested a few you might not have thought of, where you can take advantage of quieter cities to enjoy sights that are often very busy.

Hike through caves in Vietnam, ply the Amazon’s tributaries by boat in Peru or just relax under sunny skies in Australia or the Algarve.

Places to travel