The Best Places to Visit in November
Published on: August 16th, 2017
Last modified: September 18th, 2023
By the time November rolls around, much of the world is already bundling up against the winter chill and getting cosy at home. But while hibernating may seem like the best way to survive the colder months, allow us to present an alternative: escape to a place that’s still warm and soak up some much-needed sun before the holiday season hits.
This is the perfect time of year to visit some of our favourite destinations, from the sandy shores of Portugal and Thailand to the desert dunes of Morocco and Egypt. Or you can dive straight into winter by travelling to Iceland or even Antarctica. Whether you’re dreaming of a tropical paradise or a snowy wonderland, here are the best places to visit in November.
It’s no secret that Portugal is one of the best places to visit in Europe. Its charming cities, stunning beaches and delicious cuisine are reason enough to start planning a trip. Add in its perpetually sunny skies, and it’s clear why it’s an ideal spot for an autumn escape. The southern Algarve region is especially mild in winter, with temperatures averaging 19–20ºC.
November is one of the best times to visit Egypt; the weather is still warm, but you’ll avoid the searing heat of summer. Many of the country’s best things to do and top places to visit are much more pleasant in autumn. Take a Nile River cruise, embark on an expedition through the Sahara or combine Egypt with Jordan to see the best of the Middle East in one trip.
It’s true that Iceland doesn’t promise warm weather in November, but it does offer plenty of other perks. Most notably, this is the optimal time of year to see the northern lights illuminate the sky. Stay at the wonderfully remote Deplar Farm to be fully immersed in the spectacular Icelandic wilderness – not to mention truly exquisite luxury.
In Mexico, November marks the start of the dry season – which is ideal for enjoying the country’s beautiful beaches – and boasts the vibrant celebration of Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead). Early November is the best time to visit Mexico if you want to see one of the world’s most fascinating ‘Halloween’ traditions while also avoiding the tourist rush.
The breathtaking region of Patagonia spans southern Argentina and Chile. Here November is the beginning of summer, promising slightly warmer temperatures for outdoor activities. And while there are plenty of things to do in Patagonia, from kayaking to climbing up glaciers, this can also be your starting point for a once-in-a-lifetime expedition to Antarctica.
The dazzling desert, cities and beaches of Morocco are downright lovely during November, once the summer heat has worn off. This is an excellent time of year to travel to bustling Marrakesh, coastal Essaouira or the High Atlas Mountains. It’s also one of the best times to visit Morocco if you want to enjoy the silence and solitude of a luxury camp in the Sahara.
7. South Africa
In South Africa, November signals the end of spring and the beginning of the rainy season. It’s the best time to visit South Africa’s beaches or to explore the fascinating city of Cape Town. That said, it would be a shame to visit without staying at one of the country’s most romantic safari lodges. For families, the malaria-free Tswalu Reserve is a top choice.
8. The Seychelles
One of the world’s most idyllic archipelagos, the Seychelles are an especially fantastic destination for couples. Stay at Six Senses Zil Pasyon for total privacy and sustainable luxury. If you visit in November, you can combine the Seychelles with a trip to Tanzania or Kenya during the green season: the best time of year for birding and lush landscapes.
November in Turkey brings cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. It’s a great time to explore the magnificent city of Istanbul and the enchanting region of Cappadocia – or take to the skies in one of its iconic hot air balloons. This is just one of the many incredibly romantic things to do in Turkey, making it a fabulous destination for honeymooners and couples.
November is when the weather starts to warm up in Australia. Go early in the month to visit the Outback before temperatures rise too high, or take advantage of the peak season for spotting manta rays, humpback whales and dolphins. We highly suggest staying at one of Australia’s best remote luxury lodges, and possibly adding New Zealand or Fiji into your trip.
November is among the best months to visit Thailand. First, it’s the start of the dry and cool season in Bangkok. This makes it the perfect time to pair a trip to Thailand’s capital with an island getaway – perhaps at the eco-friendly Rayavadee resort. It’s also a lovely time to visit Chiang Mai, which hosts the legendary lantern festival of Loy Krathong each November.
Japan may be well known for its springtime cherry blossoms, but November offers another natural wonder: outstanding autumn leaves. It’s also the harvest season for snow crabs – a delicacy that every seafood lover should try – and the best time to visit Japan for clear views of Mount Fuji. Without a doubt, this is one of the best places to spend autumn in Asia.
Luxury accommodation for November trips
Vila JoyaPerched above the blue Atlantic and surrounded by evergreen gardens and fronted by a beautiful stretch of sandy beach, Vila Joya is striking family-run boutique resort. There are just 22 rooms and expansive suites, each unique and with direct sea views, and casual, luxurious interiors of light, warm tones, natural materials and fine examples of Portuguese craftsmanship. Each room also includes a terrace or balcony, some with direct access to the garden. At lunchtime and dinnertime, the terrace becomes a dining space under Dieter Koschina, patron at Vila Joya for over 25 years, winning two Michelin stars and becoming one of Portugal’s most highly decorated chefs. Fine dining is central to the Vila Joya experience and indeed the reason many people stay here again and again. There are also lighter bites at the Pool Restaurant. Indulgence continues at the fabulous spa which focuses on water, air and light.
Deplar FarmIn a remote valley in the middle of the Troll Peninsula, Deplar Farm is perhaps the most unique place to stay in Iceland. Once a working sheep farm, this sprawling property with its grass roof may look traditionally Icelandic on first glimpse, but its luxurious transformation into an opulent lodge soon becomes apparent. There are 13 en suite rooms that accommodate up to 28 guests, including cosy family options. The rest of the farm is home to a fabulous indoor-outdoor salt water pool and bar, a sauna, gym, dining area, spa, lounge area and more. How you experience this incredible landscape depends on the time of year you visit. During the winter, opt for the heli-ski package to fly up onto the surrounding peaks then slalom down virgin runs to the ocean accompanied by expert guides. You can also go cat skiing, hot spring hopping, snowmobiling, whale watching and even surfing (for the brave). End the day back at the lodge, under the glow of the Northern Lights with a little luck. Long summer days bring fabulous fly fishing on exclusive beats and the chance to join a local captain at sea, returning to Deplar to eat your catch. Hiking guides can lead you on trails along endless valleys and dramatic cliffs dotted with waterfalls or perhaps kayak down dramatic rivers and out at sea. Other activities include horse riding, mountain biking and day trips out to nearby islands.
Tswalu Kalahari ReserveThe malaria free Tswalu Reserve, owned by the Oppenheimer family, consists of over 100,000 hectares of the ‘green’ Kalahari grasslands home to eighty mammal species and 340 varieties of bird. Furthermore, the reserve is not further divided up into concessions or reserves and the only accommodation is the Motse Camp and Tarkuni House, which only allow for a maximum of thirty guests at one time in the entire of Tswalu. If you are staying for three nights or more you’ll also get a complimentary private vehicle, guide and tracker to make this your very own private Kalahari. The motto is, if you see another Range Rover on your game drives, complain. And whilst you really couldn’t get any further from a package holiday, the accommodation at Tswalu truly does have it all ‘wrapped up’ as far as a five-star safari lodge goes, with more luxury, authenticity, exclusivity and conscientiousness than any other in Africa. Having won awards for both their spa and conservation work, you just have to see the efforts they make to look after the wildlife and support local communities to know the lengths they go to look after you.
Six Senses Zil PasyonSix Senses Zil Pasyon is located on Félicité, a private island home to huge granite rocks and coral fringed beaches. It is reached by a scenic 20-minute helicopter flight from Mahé or a 20-minute speedboat trip from Praslin Island. There is a huge emphasis placed on protecting and rehabilitating the island and surrounding ocean, from eradicating invasive vegetation and restoring the seafloor, to monitoring turtles. The resort features 30 pool villas nestled among the tropical vegetation with views over the sparkling Indian Ocean. Each villa has its own private infinity-edge pool and the interiors are bright, airy and spacious. Bathrooms offer wonderfully deep tubs as well as showers. When it comes to eating and drinking, guests are spoiled for choice. Enjoy breakfast and dinner at the Island Cafe where European, Asian and African cuisine comes together, inspired by the Seychellois spice route. Enjoy fresh and simple fare at the Ocean Kitchen and refreshing drinks at the resort’s two bars. Those with a sweet tooth should keep a lookout for the ice cream bike that travels up and down the island offering delectable frozen treats using fresh, local ingredients. The Six Senses spa is perched between towering boulders and offers a range of holistic treatments. It features five individual villas, sauna and steam rooms, a yoga and meditation pavilion and an elevated open-air saltwater pool with a sundeck. There is so much to do while staying at Six Senses, from cooking classes and outdoor cinema to water sports, cycling and fishing.
RayavadeeBuilt on the Phranang Peninsula, enclosed by white sandy beaches, tropical gardens and the emerald waters of the Andaman Sea, Rayavadee epitomises exotic luxury. To ensure the protection of the world below its surrounding waters, this resort has established the EnLive Foundation. This sustainability-focused foundation funds an array of projects to protect marine life, as well as to encourage and equip the local youth with knowledge and skills for the future. Not only does this idyllic resort have an eco-friendly heart, but it also allows its guests to really immerse themselves in the natural splendour of the unique location. The accommodation of circular pavilions and opulent beachfront villas all blend seamlessly into the tropical grounds and coconut groves to guarantee environmental preservation. Luxurious amenities include couple’s bathtubs and outdoor Jacuzzis, further enhanced by spectacular vistas of the limestone cliffs. The resort’s sustainable practices continue through to its dining scene as it focuses on making use of local food, much of which is grown on its grounds and sourced from producers in the region. Throughout the resort, recycling is encouraged, and Rayavadee employs a zero discharge water treatment system, ensuring that no water discharge is released into the ocean. Four dining options serving both local and international cuisine include a casual, open-air eatery as well as a restaurant set in a grotto. The resort also donates one Thai baht for every dish ordered in every restaurant throughout the year to its FOOD4GOOD charity programme. Guests are encouraged to take advantage of the location responsibly, and snorkelling is permitted in designated areas. A range of sea and land excursions are also available, along with cultural pursuits, such as cooking classes, flower garland making and traditional fruit carving. To relax after all the activity, the spa promises a peaceful escape, with treatments that draw on ancient Thai healing traditions.