Where is hot in November
By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer
Q. Where is hot in November for a holiday in 2020?
A. November is a great month to escape the start of the British winter. You only need to fly four hours to find 25ºC temperatures in the Canary Islands. Fly for six hours, to The Gambia or the Arabian Gulf, and you can find 30ºC. However, Covid-19 quarantine rules mean that our choices are greatly restricted this year. Safe destinations in 2020 include the Canary Islands, Madeira, Cyprus, Greece, the Maldives and most of the Caribbean. For an active winter sun holiday, you could try the Azores.
These are my own personal holiday recommendations with links to companies tested and approved by our team of editors. For details of travel restrictions and flexible booking policies, click on the links below and contact individual tour operators.
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Short haul: under 6 hours flying time
You won’t find anywhere seriously hot in November on mainland Europe, but if you fly for just 4 – 5 hours from the UK you can reach several destinations where sunshine and warm weather are all but guaranteed.
The Canary Islands would normally be our top pick. The weather is fine and it’s cheap in November. Treat yourself to a hotel Tenerife, or a villa Lanzarote, or escape to one of the lesser-known islands such as La Palma and La Gomera. Even at the end of November you can expect long days of sunshine and temperatures of 22°C. However, Spain is currently facing travel restrictions.
The Portuguese island of Madeira is on the “green” list. It’s close to the Canaries and boasts a wonderful selection of luxury hotels and traditional quintas – plus direct British Airways flights from London. This is not just an island for sunbathing – it’s wonderful for walking in rugged countryside, discovering traditional villages and dolphin watching. You can also opt for a luxury private tour with English-speaking driver guide.
In 2020 you should seriously consider Cyprus.which has had a remarkable record of containing Covid-19. In most years, November would be too late in the year to visit Greece but in 2020 it’s now a good option. It won’t be hot but it will be a lot warmer than at home.
North Africa is easy to reach and cheap (but currently out of bounds). In normal times, Morocco is our favourite choice – airfares are low and flying time is less than 4 hours from the UK. In the exciting city of Marrakech you can expect highs of 23°C with similar weather in nearby Fes.
Egypt is just 5 hours flying time from the UK with many direct flights. In Cairo you can look forward to 8 hours of sunshine and highs of 25°C in November – ideal conditions for visiting the Pyramids and the treasures of the Egyptian Museum. You certainly shouldn’t miss out on a Nile cruise.
The Gambia on the West coast of Africa is one of the best value winter sun destinations. It’s only 6 hours flying time from the UK with direct charter flights and no jet lag. Average high temperatures are 32°C with up to 10 hours of sunshine per day. And if that doesn’t warm your heart, you will also love the sandy beaches, low prices and friendly people. Check out the latest special offers.
Another option is the Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. Just six hours from the UK, with direct flights, you can expect highs of 28ºC in November with lashings of sunshine and lovely beaches.
Long haul: over 6 hours flying time
If you’re prepared to sit through a long-haul flight, you can discover some of the world’s most beautiful destinations in November. For bargain hunters, the Caribbean is first choice (and most islands can be visited without the need for quarantine). The hurricane season is over but the busy tourist season doesn’t start until Christmas, so hotels are quiet and prices are low.
If you like quiet Caribbean islands with local flavour try Grenada. Of the bigger islands, St Lucia is one of the prettiest, with some very special hotels, while Jamaica has a genuinely friendly vibe with lots to see and do.
For a more lively holiday, Cuba is great value whether you want a multi-centre holiday or an escorted private tour. You can also explore the countryside and meet the locals on a fly-drive. If you want a bargain beach in the Caribbean in 2021, look at Mexico, though in 2020 it’s on the red list.
Barbados is known for its celebrity visitors and glitzy restaurants, but in November it too is quiet, so you can discover the natural beauty of the island and its friendly people – see the latest special offers. Antigua also has some lovely beaches, as does the tiny coral island of Anguilla. Both are home to some outstanding hotels. See more Caribbean holiday ideas and details of the Caribbean weather in November.
You’ll also find good weather in Bermuda (it’s in the Atlantic, not the Caribbean). However, I would avoid the very end of November when the temperatures start to drop. If you love sailing, you could join a tall ship to explore some of the Caribbean’s smaller ports. Find out more from Star Clippers.
Other long-haul destinations are more problematic, and best left until 2021:
It’s nine hours flying time to Goa in India where you can expect 9 hours of daily sun and 32ºC heat. The beaches are world class – as are the sunsets – plus you’ll find great food, very cheap prices and friendly places to stay like these good-value beachfront hotels. Check out the latest special offers.
If you want a side serving of dazzling culture along with your tropical beach, try Sri Lanka. The high season is just beginning in November but airfares remain at low-season prices. On the popular west coast, the weather is excellent with high temperatures of 29°C and 6 hours of daily sunshine. See the amazing experiences you can have in Sri Lanka.
In the Arabian Gulf, few can resist the heady charms of Dubai where the hotels, shopping malls and architecture will leave you open-mouthed. Another interesting option is neighbouring Abu Dhabi where you can laze in the sun at stunning beach hotels or get a special package to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix at the end of the month.
The Indian Ocean is hot in November. The beaches of Mauritius are particularly hard to beat with temperatures of 28°C and 9 hours of sunshine. This is a great destination for couples, with fabulous hotels and spas.
How about Africa? You could splash out on a private safari in Botswana or enjoy the spring sunshine in South Africa (where I recommend this two-week self drive holiday). The unique island of Madagascar offers an exciting mix of tropical beaches, turquoise seas and thrilling wildlife encounters. See more of our recommended holidays in Africa.
The North of India is a great destination in November: in Delhi you can look forward to 10 hours of sunshine and temperatures of 28°C. This is also a good time to visit the “golden triangle” of Jaipur, Delhi and Agra. Find more about private tours of India.
November is an excellent time of year to visit Southeast Asia. Explore the amazing sights of Vietnam or relax on the beaches of Bali. In Thailand, November is generally not a good time to visit Ko Samui, but Phuket is dry and sunny with 9 hours of sun and temperatures of 30°C.
Last updated: 16 October 2020