1. New South Wales, Australia
Best for… Living the Aussie dream
Great beaches, amazing food, and the open road… what more could you want from a holiday? New South Wales’s Pacific Coast was made for epic road trips – and in November, when the summer is in full swing, it’s by far the best time to visit.
Arriving in Sydney, you’ve got two options: head south on the Grand Pacific Drive to discover wild rainforests, secluded beaches and quaint villages on the two-day trip to Jamberoo. Or, you could venture north along the coast towards the Gold Coast (take a week for a leisurely drive) – where more amazing beaches and cool surfer towns await.
Top tip: Make sure you factor in enough time to really enjoy your destinations, rather than spending all your time on the road. You won’t regret the day you took off from driving to do that surf lesson/vineyard tour/whale watching trip!
Best for… That bucket list trip
India swelters in the summer, but November brings cooler temperatures all over the country – a welcome relief after the hot months and rainy seasons.
Be inspired by India (Alamy)
If you’re venturing south to Goa and Kerala in November, you’ll be pleased to find that the monsoons have stopped, while the hot and dry regions of Rajasthan and northern India are basking in milder climes – great news if you’re heading to Delhi, the Taj Mahal or Jaipur.
Top tip: We designed our Best Exotic Marigold Tour of India to depart between November 2018 and February 2019 – by far the best season to explore the country. On the 10-day trip you’ll meet the author of the book that inspired the famous film and TV series, visit the Taj Mahal, Jaipur and Udaipur Palace, and stay at the real Best Exotic Marigold Hotel itself. See the details
3. The Philippines
Best for… Island hopping in paradise
With over 1,700 islands scattered across its turquoise waters, Palawan was made for island hopping adventures – and November marks the start of the season. Here you can snorkel with turtles in the bath-temperature shallows, recline on powder-white beaches with a freshly-felled coconut in hand, and fish for your supper from the back of a traditional bangka sailing boat.
Go island hopping around Palawan (Alamy)
Whether you opt for an off-grid sailing adventure (Tao Philippines runs incredible sustainable island camping trips) or all-out luxury (El Nido Resorts has some fabulous options), the islands of Palawan always feel five-star.
Top tip: The easiest way to access Palawan is to fly straight from Manila – the capital – to El Nido or Busuanga Island. It’s pretty far-flung out here, but hotels and sailing trips will usually provide transfers to and from the airport.
Read more: The best places to visit in October
Best for… Dodging the crowds
If the infamous summer crowds really put you off visiting Venice, now is the time to strike: in November (away from the school holidays) you’ve got the best chance of some peace and quiet, and the weather isn’t quite as bitter as it will be in December and January.
See Venice at its least crowded (Alamy)
Gawp at the gilded interiors of St Mark’s Basilica, take a boat tour along the Grand Canal, and marvel at the (relative) lack of crowds in the Piazza San Marco. With more space to enjoy the city, you’ll absorb Venice’s more subtle details, too: the city’s exotic architectural quirks (the remnants of its Silk Road days), the deli delights of the Rialto Markets, and the atmospheric bars and cafes of the backstreets.
Top tip: Accept that you will – definitely – get lost. Google Maps doesn’t work in Venice (too many alleyways, not enough signal), and the streets will test even the most seasoned map reader. Embrace your navigational haplessness – who knows what you’ll discover?
Best for… Meet the orang-utans
You can’t visit Malaysia without seeking out the ginger pot-bellied ‘Men of the Forest’ – the famous orang-utans who call Borneo home. These endangered apes live wild in the virgin jungles of Sabah, but for guaranteed sightings you should head to the Sepilok Orang-utan Rehabilitation Centre – where daily feedings and viewing platforms offer the chance to get up-close.
Meet Malaysia’s orang-utans (Alamy)
For wildlife lovers, Borneo is one of the best places to visit in November – and the country has lots of other adventures up its sleeve too: try rainforest trekking in Tabin Wildlife Reserve, homestays in far-flung villages, and beach hopping on Sabah’s northernmost tip.
Top tip: Feeling fit? Sabah is also home to Mount Kinabalu, one of the highest peaks in South-East Asia – which can be climbed in a couple of days. Consider this your challenge…
Best for… A pre-winter pick-me-up
Fancy a dose of winter sun without going too long-haul? The Canary Islands are your best bet – specifically Fuerteventura, as it’s the closest isle to North Africa. With hot winds from the Sahara, and Lanzarote shielding it from any potential rains, Fuerteventura basks in mid-twenties temperatures in November, with a dependable seven hours of sunshine every day.
Fuerteventura’s Kite Festival also takes place in November (Alamy)
As you’ll be visiting outside the school holidays, the island will feel blissfully quiet – and there should be some good deals to be had…
Top tip: Don’t expect balmy summer evenings – temperatures drop at night, so remember to bring some cosy cover-ups.
7. New York
Best for… Experiencing Thanksgiving
New York is at its most colourful in November. As autumn tightens its grip, the leaves of Central Park turn scarlet and the smell of roast chestnuts fills the air. It’s the month of Thanksgiving too (the fourth Thursday of the month), which means pies, parties and parades – don’t miss the famous Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, with its outlandish balloons and floats.
New York in autumn is always spectacular (Alamy)
Christmas is on the horizon, too: earlybird shoppers should take advantage of the Black Friday discounts, while ice rinks and festive markets start to pop up around the city, too.
Top tip: More and more of Europe’s budget airlines are serving airports in New York – meaning that flight prices are plummeting. There are bargains to be had!
Read more: How to blag an upgrade on your next flight
Best for… Desert adventures
The weather in Oman is fabulous in November: think long sunny days, temperatures in the twenties, and warm evenings under star-filled skies. This safe, stable Middle Eastern country is woefully underrated, so even now – in peak season – you’ll feel like you’ve got the place to yourself.
Wadi Tiwi (Alamy)
Haggle for exotic treasures in Muscat’s Muttrah Souk, head into the mountains with a guide to tread breathtaking trails (Jebel Akhdar is fantastic for hiking), or make inroads into the desert in search of luxury camps and camel trekking. Children are adored in Oman too, making it a great destination for intrepid families.
Top tip: Whatever you do, be sure to plan at least two nights at the fabulous Al Husn hotel (30 minutes from Muscat) – a gorgeous five-star property that’s part of the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah resort.
Best for… A big trip, with beach time too
In November, it’s dry season in Cambodia: the prime time for temple-hopping and sunbathing. Cambodia has much to offer everyone from adventurous travellers to luxury seekers, so you’ll want at least two weeks up your sleeve to really do it justice.
Angkor Wat (Alamy)
How will you fill your time? Tracing the county’s poignant historical sites, discovering ancient treasures in Angkor Wat, or on a cooking course in Siem Reap? Whatever you decide, don’t forget to factor in some well-earned beach time: the south coast’s islands are the perfect place to hang your hammock.
Top tip: The beaches in Cambodia are as gorgeous as Thailand’s (another of the world’s best places to visit in November), but without the crowds – and Cambodia’s much cheaper, too.
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