The closing months of the year don't have to be all about winding down and waiting for Christmas.
As our experts' November travel picks show, this is a great month for venturing abroad to discover some exotic and far-flung destinations.
Here's where to travel in November to escape the winter blues.
Autumn Leaves in Japan
Experience the beautiful autumn leaves that spread across the stunning scenery of Japan‘s countryside in November. Trees transform the landscape into a sea of orange and red and it’s a really magical time to visit.
City and Safari in South Africa
Visit before the peak seasons really kicks off but the weather has started to warm up. The summer rains haven’t arrived yet, the temperature is perfect in Cape Town and safari camps have fewer visitors.
Outdoor Excursions in New Zealand
The shoulder seasons are perfect for visiting New Zealand as the weather is still good but the popular sights and the hiking trails are less busy. Enjoy scenic flights, whale and dolphin watching, and generally being outdoors and taking in New Zealand’s incredible scenery.
Lantern Festival in Chiang Mai
Chiang Mai‘s lantern festival, Yeepeng Lanna, is an annual celebration that has been lighting up the skies since 1989. The festival itself is a magical experience and consists of an opening ceremony, floating lantern ceremony, chanting and meditation, and the lighting and releasing of thousand of lit lanterns.
Culture and Countryside in Laos
Laos is a year-round destination but the months of November to April are best for warm days and cool nights. The least visited out of its Southeast Asian neighbours, the gentle culture and lush, unspoiled scenery of Laos are something of a hidden gem.
Food and Wine in Uruguay
The weather in Uruguay is really starting to warm up again at this time of year, with beaches starting to see visitors. The real star of this season however is the country’s 200 vineyards, including the famous Carmelo and Garzon regions, and the lovely olive oil producing locations, also near to Garzon.
Day of the Dead in Mexico
One of the most famous festivals in the world, the Día de Muertos is marked in Mexico on the 1st and 2nd November. Festivities take place in cities and villages throughout the country, with traditions ranging from processions and music to folk dances, candle-lit vigils and feasts. Xcaret theme park in the Mayan Riviera even hosts an annual Festival de la Vida y la Muerte (literally “Festival of Life and Death”) in honour of the day.
Summer in the Bolivian highlands
Summer in the Bolivian highlands begins in November, and this is a lovely time to visit as there are fewer tourists and temperatures are warmer. What’s more, arid mountainsides such as the Altiplano receive much-needed rainfall at this time, becoming green with flora and making for some beautiful trekking.
History and Heritage in Oxford
This is the middle of term for students at Oxford University, making it a busy and atmospheric time to visit the centuries-old city with its patchwork of beautiful college buildings, parks and quaint shopping streets – all particularly beautiful with the winter frost laid over them.