Forget about November being a dull month, stuck between summer holidays and the Christmas or ski season. It’s a highly underrated month for travel; however, with November comes glorious spring in places like South Africa and vibrant, colorful autumn in Europe.
The best places to travel in November: north or south?
Your first decision is whether to head south, chasing spring sunshine and warmer temperatures, or whether to embrace the cooler climes in Europe and appreciate cities that can simply be too hot and stuffy over the summer.
Once you’ve decided, here are our ideas for some of the best places to travel in November.
Cities too hot in August
Many popular Italian cities, like Naples and Rome, and Greek cities like Athens, are stiflingly hot and busy in the summer – not to mention the queues for the sights can put one off visiting them altogether. When considering where to go in November in Europe, why not make use of the lower temperatures to visit some of the most culturally rich cities in the South, while still being almost guaranteed pleasant sunshine? Madrid and Seville offer the same appeal, with reasonably long evenings and the chance to enjoy a meal al fresco. Sitting out on your balcony at your second property, while your heating would have to be on in your first, is appealing to many second-home owners.
Locations with a dose of early winter magic
That said, if you don’t mind embracing cooler climes when choosing where to go in November in Europe, you'll find some more northerly and easterly cities are glorious in the autumn, with Budapest, Berlin and Amsterdam glowing with splendid fall colors. If you head further east towards Tallinn or Krakow, you’ll find the winter magic in full swing, with an earlier dose of snow and maybe even Christmas markets already underway.
Destinations too busy in December
Getting ahead of the crowds in destinations like Mauritius and South Africa can mean you’ll have a fantastic experience with much less company. In the southern hemisphere, the weather is warming up nicely for those craving a dose of sun, but you’ll still find your second home cool enough to enjoy. In South Africa, it’s the ideal time for bird watching, and also turtle breeding season. Thailand has similar appeal, with glorious weather that hasn’t yet reached peak humidity.
If you prefer to stay in Europe, ski destinations like Switzerland and Northern Italy may not have enough snow cover to ski this early in the season, but they can still be one of the best places to travel in November. They make an idyllic spa weekend, allowing you to experience some of the most luxurious and peaceful destinations in Europe before the skiing crowds arrive.
Having a bolt-hole in one of these spots means you can make the most not only of November, but also of other underrated months too. As a quasi-resident you can return year after year, getting to know the best beaches in Thailand, the top local safaris in South Africa, or the best-kept-secret bars in Budapest or Rome, enjoying these well-loved destinations without the crowds.