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Where to go on holiday in November

Where to go on holiday in NovemberHolidays in November 2014PetraGambia is one of the best holiday destinations in November

* Guaranteed sunshine within 4 hours flying time

* Choose from beach, city, adventure tours

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays

November signals the beginning of winter in the UK and much of Europe. It can still be fun taking city breaks but if you want guaranteed sunshine you’ll need to go beyond the Mediterranean to destinations such as Dubai (7 hours flying time), Morocco (4 hours) and the Canary Islands (4.5 hours). Some places in Asia and Africa are looking great at this time of year or you could catch the beginning of the dry season in the Caribbean. Here’s where to go on holiday in November. And if you have kids, don’t miss our guide to family holidays in November or look for more winter holiday ideas.


Note: all the travel companies featured on this website are personally recommended by our editors.

Mid haul sunshine (4 – 7 hours flying time)

For sunshine, culture and shopping it’s hard to beat the intoxicating city of Marrakech in Morocco, less than 4 hours flying time from the UK. Once you’ve had your fill of the city, head to the Atlas Mountains, or the beach at Oualidia or Essaouira. Morocco offers a great choice of activities including golf, surfing and horse riding. You can also join a group adventure holiday in Morocco.

Egypt is one of the best holiday destinations in November – it’s cool enough for sightseeing in Cairo, but warm enough for sunbathing on the Red Sea Coast. Flying time is around 5 hours. You can combine the Pyramids, a luxury Nile cruise and time on the beach on a 10-night Classic Egypt holiday. If you’re concerned about security issues, stick to the Red Sea coast where you can expect highs of 26ºC.

The Canary Islands are particularly good for cheap holidays in November. In Lanzarote and Tenerife you’ll find average temperatures of around 24ºC and some good-value luxury hotels such as Abama Golf & Spa Resort.

The lush mountainous island of Madeira – north of the Canaries – enjoys fabulous year-round sunshine. It’s great for walking and exploring but also a charming place to unwind, eat well and relax. You can stay at a resort hotel in Funchal or one of the Quintas, beautifully-restored countryside hotels.

You can also combine beaches with shopping, fine dining and a host of attractions in Dubai, a destination that never ceases to amaze. If you want a taste of the “real Arabia” try its more exotic, culturally-rich next door neighbour Oman. In both destinations, average highs are 31ºC.

From the deserts of Wadi Rum to the mysterious Rose Red city of Petra, Jordan is a land of adventure, history and dramatic desert landscapes. See this selection of group tours. If it’s beaches you’re looking for, try the Cape Verde islands off the West Coast of Africa. They offer amazing white sands, a lively local culture and high-quality hotels at low prices. See the latest special offers.

Few cities are more atmospheric or laden with history than Jerusalem – a great place to spend a few days. Expect few crowds and warm sunshine, particularly in the first half of November.

Kenya beach holiday in NovemberElephant encountersThailand cheap holidays in NovemberEast End

Long haul holidays in November (more than 7 hours flying time)

Travelling a little further away from home offers hotter weather and a wealth of exotic locations. Why not head see the Big Five in Kenya, where the weather in November tends to be warm and humid.

Arguably the best way to see Africa is on foot, up close and personal. You could take a walking safari in a game park, or go trekking in the stunning scenery of Ethiopia’s Simien Mountains with an expert local guide. Ethiopia is being tipped as one of the hottest new destinations for adventure and culture. It’s also a great time of year to tackle a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro. See more holidays in Africa.

The pristine beaches of the Seychelles, the Maldives and Mauritius make for perfect beach holidays in November with breathtaking surroundings and luxury hotels. The Dinarobin Hotel Golf & Spa is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the Southern Hemisphere summer.

If you’re looking for value for money, now is the time to visit Sri Lanka. The high-season has just begun but flights are still at low-season rates. This range of holidays includes everything from adventure tours tours to gorgeous boutique hotels in converted historical buildings.

You’ll also find good deals in the Caribbean where the season is just beginning. Our favourite islands include the Cayman Islands, Tobago, St Lucia and Barbados while our recommended hotels include Round Hill in Jamaica, Dreams Tulum in Mexico and the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua. Check out these latest special offers in the Caribbean.

November is also a great month to explore Southeast Asia. Head to Burma, one of the world’s hidden tourist gems, take a tour of Vietnam or chill on the beaches of Bali.

If you’ve never been to Cambodia this is a great time to put that right. You can choose between some excellent escorted and private luxury tours and tailor made holidays to discover the temples of Angkor, the buzzing streets of Phnom Penh and amazing beaches.

There is a lot more to New Zealand than beaches, of course. There are stunning mountains, rivers, National Parks as well as charming cities, great hotels and world-class food and wine. November is a great month to visit. You can travel independently or join an escorted tour.

Find more great beach holiday destinations.

Sidi Bou SaidThe Dubrovnik skylineBeau Rivage Hotel

Short breaks

If you’re limited for time then a short city break is the perfect opportunity to soak up some history and culture. Istanbul is a great destination where you can visit mosques and palaces, and explore historic bazaars and markets.

For an exotic weekend, take a break in Tunisia, just 2.5 hours flying time from London. Take a quick train ride to Brussels on the Eurostar or savour the sights of traffic-free Dubrovnik, a UNESCO world heritage city.

You can get to Nice on the Cote d’Azur by train or plane, and even in November you have a great chance of lazing in warm Mediterranean sunshine. You’ll also find great art museums, markets, classic restaurants and elegant shopping streets.

If you’re feeling adventurous why not head East for a long haul short break. This is a great time to experience the sights and sounds of Delhi. Further east, Hong Kong is a good destination in November.

For some early festive cheer, head to Europe for a Christmas market break. It’s great to get away from the crass commercialism of modern Christmas and discover a traditional local scene. Famous markets include Cologne, Munich and Prague, but the small lesser-known destinations such as Freiburg, Koblenz and Wiesbaden are well worth a visit.

Join a Champagne tasting weekend in France to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Arblaster & Clarke Wine Tours.

Find more city breaks in November and see our sister site for 101 short break ideas.

Meet SantaHusky sleddingAsakusa Kannon Temple

More ideas for holidays in November

This is a great time to visit Japan: the weather is mild and red and gold leaves blanket the countryside and temple gardens. Start in Tokyo then head out to the Alps, and the stunning Kamikochi National Park.

November is the perfect month to visit the “real” Santa on a Christmas break in Lapland. Or you could head north to view Northern Lights – the next two winters will be the best for many years with spectacular displays all but guaranteed. We recommend a trip to Iceland where you can also try a fly-drive tour or a jeep adventure.

November marks the beginning of the cruise season to Antarctica – and it’s the courting season for penguins, making it a great time to visit.  The entry level journey is a 9-day classic cruise but if you more time and money it’s worth upgrading to a longer voyage taking in the Falkland Islands and South Georgia.

Need more climate information? See hot holidays in November. You may also be interested in our expert recommendations for honeymoons in November.

Try our holiday quiz

If you’re still stuck for ideas, why not try our fun holiday quiz. Answer 10 easy questions like the one below to find out what kind of holidaymaker you are, and get personalised travel recommendations. Try the quiz now.

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