Beat the Christmas crowds and discover where to go in November for a city break, beach getaway, African safari or wildlife adventure.
CChristmas Island – Chiang Mai, Thailand – Mexico – The Falkland Islands –
Cambodia – New York, USA – Botswana – Athens, Greece
Wondering where to go in November? Contact us for inspiration, information, and a free travel consultation.
March of the Red Crabs on Christmas Island – Image by NaniP
This small Australian territory island in the Indian Ocean hosts one of nature’s most weird and wonderful events. Every year 40-50 million red crabs emerge from the island‘s forests. They migrate on mass towards the coast to breed and lay eggs, turning beaches into a writhing crimson tide. The timing of the migration varies with the tides but is predicted to be early November this year.
Covered by 63% National Park, Christmas Island is a paradise for nature lovers at any time of the year. Trek the wetlands and forest trails of the Dales, culminating in a refreshing dip at Hugh’s Dale Waterfall.
Hire a 4WD to explore the island’s highlights. Martins Point is one of the best spots for viewing the island’s many indigenous bird species, including the endangered Abbott’s booby, and for watching the sunset. Visit Dolly beach to see the large robber crabs or Greta beach where turtles nest throughout the year.
Scuba diving here is world-class with some of the world’s longest drop-offs, expansive wall diving and unspoilt corals.
Red crab spawning seasons attracts whale sharks and manta rays making November the perfect time of wildlife adventures on land and underwater.
Wondering where to go in November? Contact us for inspiration, information, and a free travel consultation.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Long neck woman with traditional brass coils. Chang Mai province – Image by Perfect LazyBones
November is the start of the cool, dry ‘winter’ season. Day temperatures still hit the high twenties but there’s less humidity, making it the perfect time to enjoy hill trekking in the Thai Highlands. Head to Pai in Northwest Chiang Mai for more authentic hill tribe trekking options and always use a local guide from the hill tribes.
One of Thailand’s biggest festivals, Loi Krathong (Festival of Lights) takes place in November. In Chiang Mai, Loi Krathong coincides with the ancient Lanna festival of Yee Peng making it the biggest and best Loi Krathong festival in the county. Colourful lanterns adorn every house and temple, fireworks displays burst over the historic old town as floating candles dot the old moat. View festivities from anywhere around the old moat. Thapae Gate is the most popular and crowded. The Loi Krathong parade leaves from Thapae Gate and weaves its way to the Office of Chiang Mai Municipality.
Take a river cruise in a scorpion-tailed boat to the ancient city of Wiang Kum Kam where you can explore the well-preserved artefacts in a horse-drawn carriage. Soak up the culture of the old city including Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phra Singh and Wat Phan Tao. Admire the city view from the mountains of Doi Suthep on the way to visit Wat Phra.
For a great night out, try Boy‘s Blues Bar in the middle of the night market where local and visiting bands perform nightly.
Day of the Dead in Mexico City – Image by Dina Julayeva
Experience Mexico’s most famous and colourful festivals, The Day of the Dead. From the 31st October to the 2nd November, Mexicans commemorate the dead in a joyful celebration. The living dress in ornate costumes and paint intricate ‘sugar skull’ face makeup, sing, dance and make offerings to lost loved ones. The most famous place for the day of the dead celebrations is the island of Janitzio in Lake Pátzcuaro, Michoacán. Thousands flock to watch the indigenous Purepecha people perform their nightly cemetery rituals. Oaxaca City is renowned for its exuberant festivities which include nightly musical processions.
The 1910 Revolution is celebrated in November. There are parades and celebrations throughout the country but most people return to their hometowns, making it a great time to take advantage of the thinner crowds. Explore the Centro Histórico attractions such as the ancient Aztec ruins of Templo Mayor. Enjoy a glass of mezcal at one of the many cafes surrounding Almeda central park or head to El Moro Chuerria for the city’s most famous Churro cafes.
Wondering where to go in November? Contact us for inspiration, information, and a free travel consultation. For more tips on a getaway in Mexico see our Mexico guide and our Top ten things to do in Mexico.
The Falkland Islands
Penguins on Carcass Island – Image by Becky Harris
From November, the summer months bring the best chance of clement weather to this rugged, and diverse collection of islands. Nature lovers and photographers from all over the world are attracted by the abundant, accessible wildlife.
The penguins are incubating their eggs and sea lion pups are suckling on the remote beaches.
Take a trip on the local FIGAS plane around the archipelago for a bird‘s-eye view of vast penguin colonies on sugar white beaches, hundred of cormorants clinging to rugged cliff faces, and black and white dolphins playing in the surf.
Visit Sea lion island for a closeup view of Gentoo, Magellanic and rockhopper penguins, sea lions and elephant seal colonies. See the world’s largest colony of King Penguins at Volunteer Point, two hours north of capital Stanley.
Outdoor enthusiasts are spoiled with the choice of activities available including trekking, hiking, kayaking, fishing and cycling.
Soak up the fascinating history of the islands with a tour of Stanley. Visit the world’s southernmost Anglican cathedral, Christ Church, with its historic whalebone arch. Take a tour of the battlefields from the 1982 conflict and the historic docks museum.
Warm up windswept bones with high tea at one of Stanley’s harbourside cafe’s and restaurants such as local favourite the Waterfront Kitchen cafe.
Wondering where to go in November? Contact us for inspiration, information, and a free travel consultation. For ideas on including the Falkland Islands as part of a wider tour of the area see our article on 5 must visit adventure travel places or contact us to discuss a bespoke itinerary.
Bayon temple, Angkor Wat, Siam Reap – Image by Guitar Photographer
The cool, dry weather makes November an ideal time to explore Angkor Wat, the UNESCO World heritage-listed Khmer temple site and pride of Cambodia. Climb Phnom Bakhengto watch the sunrise set the sandstone Bayan turrets ablaze against the dawn sky. The temples cover a vast area so rent a tuk-tuk or private car to take you to ensure you cover the main highlights, Bayon, Baphuon, the temple of elephants and Ta Prohm.
Witness Cambodia’s traumatic history with a visit to the Khmer Rouge memorial sites in capital Phnom Penh. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum situated in an old high school is a harrowing yet fascinating insight into a brutal period. The notorious Killing Fields around Choeung Ek village are a worthwhile visit for those interested in the country‘s history. Read the book ‘Survival in the Killing Fields’ by Haing Ngor for a deeper insight to your visit.
In contrast to a dark past, the Water Festival on Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong river, which takes place in November, it is a joyous event that sees people flock to the capital for colourful boat races, fireworks and festivities. To really get in the heart of things head to Sisowath Quay or escape the crowds by booking a space at a roof garden such as The Foreign Correspondent Club.
November is also a great time for sun and Cambodia has some incredible beaches. Although Sihanoukville is the prime resort area, for a more serene experience head to the fishing villages Kep and Kampong. See our Top Perowne Luxury Hotels for our recommended boutique accommodation in Kep. Don’t leave without trying the National dish, Fish Amok.
Central Park, Manhattan, New York – Image by T Photography
November is the perfect time of year for a city break in the New York. The chilly weather adds to the seasonal atmosphere but the Christmas crowds have yet to arrive making established tourist attractions such as the Empire State building, Times Square and Wall Street more attractive. For a different perspective on the city visit the new High Line walking experience which leads you along a converted former railway line above the streets.
Thanksgiving Day is celebrated in style here with the huge Macy’s parade the central attraction. The extravaganza of colourful floats, marching bands, floating balloons and celebrity appearances attract millions of spectators so the streets are packed.
At this time of year, New York begins to transform into a Winter Wonderland. Take a trip to Central Park where you can skate on the outdoor Trump rink amongst the autumnal coloured foliage of the park.
Get into the Christmas spirit at the tree lighting ceremony at the Rockefella Plaza. Take a tour of the seasonal window displays at Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Saks and Bergdoff’s before experiencing the madness of Black Friday shopping.
Canoe ride in the Okavango Delta – Image by Becky Harris
Although November is officially the start of the rainy season, the rains haven’t reached their peak yet. Expect some short afternoon downpours and some atmospheric, photogenic thunderstorms which are best enjoyed from the terrace of your safari lodge after a mornings game viewing. The spells of rain bring less dust and cooler temperatures. Prices are heavily discounted so bargains on some of the most exclusive reserves in Africa are plentiful at this time of year.
The waterways of the Okavango Delta teem with prolific birdlife. Take a motorboat or canoe tour through the delta to see the colourful and vocal migratory bird life who visit here to breed. Moremi Game Reserve on Chief’s island is one of the best places to spot the elusive leopard resting in the trees during the day.
In Savute thousands of migrating zebra and large herds of breeding elephants are crossing the plains. Visit Chobe National Park to see baby wildebeest and impala take their first tentative step (and the many predators attracted by the thought of easy prey.) Wildflowers are beginning to blossom and new grasses sprout transforming the barren earth.
Choose a safari lodge with covered vehicles to ensure you can still game spot in the events of rain.
The theatre of Herodion Atticus under the ruins of Acropolis – Image by Georgios Tsichlis
November is the ideal time to explore the ancient city of Athens. The climate is cooler although it’s still T-shirt weather and blue skies are common but the city is much less crowded making it much more pleasant to explore the extensive ruins of UNESCO World Heritage Center the Acropolis. Explore the Acropolis complex including the Parthenon, and temple of Athena before heading to the Acropolis museum to cool off and see the archaeological treasures. Visit the temple of Zeus before climbing Lycabettus Hill, for spectacular views of the Acropolis and Athens.
Watch the sunset from the Temple of Poseidon before enjoying superb views of the illuminated Acropolis with dinner at Tudor Hall, the rooftop restaurant in the King George Hotel.
Visit the charming, cobbled, pedestrianized Monastiraki flea market. The range of merchandise is vast and bargaining is encouraged in the street stalls. Finish with authentic Greek Street food, the Souvlaki. Popular spots include Thanasis on Monastiraki square or for a less tourist experience head to Kostaas at Agias Eirinis Square.
If any of these destinations have piqued your interest, contact us for more information and a free travel consultation. Where will your next adventure take you?
Sam Roberts is a creative content writer, web designer and travel enthusiast currently based in Malaysia.