I always like to book a holiday in November or late October. Living in the northern hemisphere, this time of the year is on the cusp of winter and it is nice to grab a slice of sunshine to carry you through the colder months.
Here are a few ideas for November holidays based on my own personal experience. To get guaranteed sunshine you will need to go south in the Mediterranean or further afield. Sadly, I can’t recommend Egypt at the moment and in fact most of the Middle East is tragically marginal as far as travel goes, unless you fancy Dubai.
The good news is that there are often discounts and deals on flights and accommodation during this shoulder travel season.
I have travelled to this popular Mediterranean destination in both October and November and enjoyed gorgeous sun and mild temperatures during the day. At night it was cool but that was fine. As always I recommend getting beyond the beach so have a read of my top 10 things to do in Mallorca to make sure you make the most of your visit to this lovely Balearic Island, La Isla de la Calma.
If you don’t have much time then a long weekend city break is a good way to soak up some history and culture as well as sunshine. I visited Istanbul in November and had beautiful sunshine (and light for taking photos), although the temperatures were not warm. Take a Bosphorus Cruise along the strait that divides Europe and Asia – in November it is not touristy and infinitely pleasurable. As well as the ancient and historic monuments of Sultanhamet, spend time exploring the markets and bazaars of both the European and Asian sides of Istanbul.
Catch the start of the dry season in the Caribbean with a trip to Cuba. I travelled to Cuba in November and it was plenty warm but not oppressive (except perhaps if, like us, you do crazy things like rock climbing)! Soak up the culture in Havana and visit the exquisite former colonial town of Trinidad, where every building is a symphony in pastel paint. Explore the lush valley of Vinales and find your perfect Caribbean beach (see the photo at the top of this post). Make sure you print out my bar crawl guide to Havana to take with you…
November is also a great month to explore Southeast Asia as the weather is drier or less humid…
The Indonesian island of Bali is a perennial favourite for people wanting to spend time on the southern beaches and in the shopping malls of the over-developed south. But the Island of the Gods has so much more to offer! I loved trekking through jungles to crashing waterfalls and skirting jewel-like ride paddy fields among lush coconut and banana plantations. Tour the stunning central highlands and travel across to West Bali National Park. Unspoilt Bali is out there and you will love it.
Seeing the mighty monuments of Angkor is something every traveller should make time for and November is a great time to make that happen. Join the crowds at sunset before the great temple of Angkor Wat but spend the rest of your time wandering quietly among the many marvels emerging from the jungle. The traffic-thronged boulevards of Phnom Penh are fascinating and the riverfront setting of the Cambodian capital make it perfect for sundowners and people watching.
Of course while the northern hemisphere is slipping into winter, in the southern hemisphere summer is already on the way. November is a beautiful month in South Africa and while the weather in New Zealand is still very changeable it is the perfect time to visit some parts of Australia…
Apart from South Africa being a quite reasonable flying time away the great advantage is that it only has a small time zone difference from Europe so there is no jet lag to deal with. Cosmopolitan Cape Town with its stunning setting is a must. Take a hike up Table Mountain for sweeping views across the city and the bay under clear, sunny skies. Then head out along the garden route and don’t miss a tour of the Stellenbosch wine region. For safari lovers, I was in South Africa in October and November and the game viewing was good. It was still reasonably dry after the winter and there were also baby animals about.
It may be deepest autumn in the northern hemisphere but in the southern hemisphere spring is well established. When travelling to Australia at this time avoid the Top End as that will already be into its oppressive wet season and the south, including Tasmania are still unpredictable but elsewhere the weather should be marvellous. I had particularly stunning weather in Western Australia in October. Use a weekend in Perth as a jumping off point, exploring Fremantle and Rottnest Island before heading up or down the coast.
And where am I going this year? The chosen destination for the Wandering Kiwi late October/early November trip is Croatia. I can’t wait…
Natasha von Geldern
Where do you go on holiday in November?