Where to go on holiday in November
* Guaranteed sunshine within 4 hours flying time
* Canaries, Madeira, Dubai among best options
By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer
November is normally a transition month: the Med has closed down for the year, and the classic winter sun destinations like the Caribbean haven’t got started yet. But 2021 is different as many people have pushed back holiday plans and are determined to get away.
In the Mediterranean, you aren’t guaranteed hot weather, but you will usually find warm sunshine. See my pick of the November holidays in Europe. Best options include the Canary Islands and Madeira (both 4 hours).
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Mid haul sunshine (4 – 7 hours flying time)
The Canary Islands offer good-value holidays in November. In Lanzarote and Tenerife you’ll find average temperatures of around 24ºC and good-value luxury hotels such as Abama Golf & Spa Resort. Beyond the best-known islands are remote treasures such as La Palma and tiny La Gomera which can be reached by ferry from Tenerife.
The lush mountainous Portuguese island of Madeira – north of the Canaries – enjoys fabulous year-round sunshine, and direct British Airways flights from the UK. Madeira is 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 at one of the beautifully-restored manor houses known as quintas.
It’s easy to fly to the Azores where you’ll find gorgeous sunshine, beaches and lush mountainous scenery. This is also one of the world’s best places for whale and dolphin spotting.
In the Arabian Gulf, Dubai continues to grow in popularity, but it’s also worth looking at neighbouring Abu Dhabi where you can laze in the sun at stunning beach hotels, take a desert safari, enjoy the attractions of Yas Island and get a special package to watch the Formula 1 Grand Prix in November.
Morocco is generally classified as a mid-haul destination, even though the flying time from the UK is only about three hours (it’s closer than Turkey). You can expect long days of sunshine in the cities of Marrakech and Fes and the beaches of Essaouira, while the Atlas Mountains are getting decidedly cool – perfect for trekking. However, Morocco currently has a ban on direct flights from the UK due to high Covid rates.
Egypt is normally 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. Expect highs of 26ºC.
If it’s beaches you’re looking for, consider 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. Expect 28ºC and 9 hours of sun. See the latest offers.
Long haul beaches (more than 7 hours flying time)
The Caribbean is one of the best options for a slice of beachy paradise. You’ll find deals in the Caribbean as the season is just beginning. Try the Cayman Islands, Anguilla, St Lucia or Barbados while our recommended hotels include Round Hill in Jamaica. See details of the Caribbean weather in November.
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 in Mauritius is a fantastic place to relax and enjoy the Southern Hemisphere summer. In the Seychelles, choose from boutique hotels and private islands.
If you’re looking for value, now is the time to visit Sri Lanka. The high season has just begun but flights are still at low-season rates. These holiday ideas include adventure tours and gorgeous boutique hotels in historic settings.
Goa (32ºC and 9 hours of sun) is also great value. For five-star luxury, head to The Leela. If you’re on a budget, I recommend the Santana Beach Resort and Chalston Beach Resort. Check out the latest offers.
For the ultimate beach experience, you could go island hopping in the South Pacific. The natural beauty of Tahiti, Fiji and the Cook Islands will imprint itself on your mind for the rest of your life.
Long haul adventures in November
Travelling a little further from home offers hotter weather and a wealth of exotic locations. You could see the Big Five in Kenya where the weather in November is warm and humid.
Arguably the best way to see Africa’s wildlife is on foot. If you’re looking for adventure, consider Madagascar which is home to thousands of species not seen anywhere else in the world including elephant birds, giant lemurs and pygmy hippos. This two-week Madagascar Wildlife Discovery tour will dazzle and amaze you.
It’s a great time of year to explore South Africa before the start of the peak season (weather is great in November, but prices are low). How about this two-week self-drive holiday featuring Cape Town, the Winelands and a safari.
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 idyllic beaches.
For something different, try the Himalayan mountain kingdom of Bhutan where cigarettes and foreign TV are banned, and men are obliged by law to wear Argyll socks and knee-length, cross-buttoned tunics.
If you don’t mind the cold, how about joining a Polar Bear adventure in Hudson Bay in northern Canada?
Short breaks in November
If your time is limited, a short city break is the perfect opportunity to soak up some history and culture – and late season sun.
You could 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.
If you’re feeling adventurous, head East. This is a great time to experience the sights and sounds of Delhi although keep an eye on the date of Diwali (4 November in 2021) as the city gets very busy.
For some early festive cheer, head to Europe for a Christmas market break. You’ll get away from the crass commercialism of modern Christmas and discover fascinating local traditions. Famous markets include Cologne, Munich and Prague, but the small lesser-known destinations such as Freiburg, Koblenz and Wiesbaden are all worth a visit.
More ideas for luxury holidays in November
If you feel ready to indulge in a spa holiday, or challenge yourself with something active, check out these ideas in November from The Healthy Holiday Company.
November is also peak time to visit the “real” Santa on a Christmas break in Lapland. Or you could head north to view the Northern Lights – we recommend a trip to Iceland where you can also try a fly-drive tour or a jeep adventure.
At the other end of the world, November is the most exciting time to visit the Antarctic. Temperatures are cold but you’ll experience the most pristine snow, breathtaking scenery and polar ice breaking up. See this selection of expedition cruises.
Need more climate information? See where is hot in November. You may also be interested in our expert recommendations for honeymoons in November. If you’re considering the Med, see the hottest Greek islands in November.
Last updated: 20 October 2021
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