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Where to Go in November: The Best Places to Travel

by | January 3, 2024

While November can be a dreary time of year in the U.S., the weather in many other parts of the world is positively delightful. It’s also a smart time to travel—between the summer and holiday high seasons—given the current pent-up travel demand to many of these places during their peak seasons. If any of these destinations are on your must-travel-to list within the next year, you’d be wise to plan for November.

To understand what makes a trip WOW, read these recent reviews from our travelers. And don’t miss the rest of our “Where to Go” series on the best destinations for every month of the year.

Northern Italy

view of Canelli, a town in the Piedmont region of Italy with greernery, old buildings and blue skies

November is truffle season in Piedmont.

In November head to Piedmont for truffle season (the White Truffle Fair in Alba runs the entire month). Try truffle hunting, taste the local Barolo wines, watch artisanal cheese makers, cycle among the vineyards (electric bikes are available!), hike the rolling hills beneath the crisp blue skies…or do it all with your family in a villa for Thanksgiving. This is also harvest time for olives and wine. Learn to cook al fresco in an olive grove, on a goat-cheese farm, or in a vineyard. November is when our editor Billie Cohen took her dream Italian cooking vacation.
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Provence, France

the hilltop village of Gordes, Provence, France

Provence and its pretty villages, like Gordes, are incredibly popular so try to visit in shoulder season. Photo: Pixabay

The light in Provence in winter is why so many famous artists moved there, and the sunshine makes al fresco lunches possible well into November. Provencal markets bustle in the fall, and truffle hunting starts in November. Hike amid the glorious autumn landscapes and hilltop villages of the Luberon, and cycle through the wine country around Gigondas and Vacqueyras, where there are few cars and great eateries.
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Andalusia, Spain

Skyline in the Old Quarter of Seville, Spain

Skyline in the Old Quarter of Seville, Spain. Photo: Shutterstock

One highlight of this magical part of Spain is the culture—an aspect that can be very hard to experience during the summer high season, when the numbers of tourists and residents are imbalanced. In November, by contrast, most of the visitors are gone, making it much easier to interact with locals (and to enjoy some breathing room in the region’s UNESCO World Heritage sites). The weather is still quite pleasant, with temperatures near 70 degrees during the day.
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Portugal

Beautiful nature view on Azores with small villages, tows, green nature fields. Amazing Azores. View of typical Azores village in Sao Miguel island, Azores, Portugal.

Sao Miguel island, Azores, Portugal. Photo: Shutterstock

Temperatures remain in the 60s well into November, when it’s still warm enough for dinner outdoors at the many restaurants that now have significant sidewalk seating; heat lamps aren’t needed till late in the month. Private river boats—which are much better for sightseeing than your typical river cruises—sail the Douro through the end of the month too. And the weather is even more mild on the subtropical islands of Madeira—known for outstanding hiking opportunities—and the Azores, where you can also hike, bike, and off-road around the postcard-perfect lagoons.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Portugal. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below.

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Greece: Crete, Corfu, or Rhodes

Corfu is one of a few Greek islands that stays open and lively through the winter months.

Many Greek islands shut down in late October or early November, but Crete, Corfu, and Rhodes operate year-round, offering traditional cultural and culinary experiences and festivities in the winter months. November is a great time for sheep farms, olive orchards, and the wine harvest.
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Sicily

Aquamarine blue waters of sea near Taormina resorts and Etna volcano mount. Giardini-Naxos bay, Ionian sea coast, Taormina, Sicily, Italy.

Hike Sicily’s Mt. Etna in the fall. Photo: Shutterstock

If your goal is to combine culture and outdoor beauty, fall is this island’s best season. Autumn brings the olive, almond, and wine harvests, and sunny, mild weather. Outdoor activities include exploring Sicily’s Greek and Roman ruins, hiking Mt. Etna, and cycling though nature reserves and wine country.
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St. Barts

Le Guanahani, St. Barts

Le Guanahani, St. Barts. Photo: Le Guanahani

Come November, many resorts, boutiques, and restaurants that closed during the height of hurricane season have reopened, and everything feels fresh and new. The Saint Barth Gourmet Festival also takes place this month, attracting star chefs from France and elsewhere. Plus, hotel and villa rates don’t jump up until mid-December.
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Morocco

Earlier this year Wendy and her family traveled through the #2 country on our list: Morocco. Here they are at the Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou.

Ksar of Ait-Ben-Haddou, Morocco.

The weather is perfect at this time of year: sunny days and crisp, clear evenings that make for great star-gazing in the desert. It’s also ideal for hiking in the Atlas Mountains, as it’s starting to cool down and the peaks are often photogenically snowcapped. Plus, it’s harvest time: You can see saffron being picked, and olives turned to oil, right in front of your eyes.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Morocco. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below. 

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Patagonia: Argentina and Chile

Torres del Paine National Park view of mountains and water

Torres del Paine National Park, Patagonia, Chile. Photo: Luis Felipa, Southwind Adventures

Most of Argentina and Chile are great at this time of year (think Buenos Aires, the Atacama Desert, even Easter Island), but Patagonia is an especially smart move in November because the lodges have a quieter, more relaxed ambiance and there is less traffic on the roads than during the busiest weeks of December and January. November is also the best time to spot Patagonia’s elusive wildlife, such as nandu, guanaco, puma, huemul, and condor, as all of the animals are more active during their breeding time. The region has a reputation for changeable windy weather, but November feels like spring, with snows melting off the high peaks and flowers beginning to bloom. Rates are sometimes also a bit lower this early in the season.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Patagonia, and elsewhere in Chile and Argentina. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below. 

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The Brazilian Amazon

Aerial view of Anavilhanas National Park Islands, Rio Negro, Brazilian Amazon

Aerial view of Anavilhanas National Park Islands, Rio Negro, Brazilian Amazon. Photo: Shutterstock

River levels are lowest in November, so all of the beaches are out in their full splendor. (People are often shocked by the beauty of the white-sand beaches that form here, making a trip to Brazil’s region of the Amazon unique from the experiences one can have in Ecuador or Peru’s swaths of the same river system.) An ideal trip extends over five days, so it’s easy to fit into a Thanksgiving break. And the area around the Negro River, which is acidic, is not good for mosquito reproduction, so there is little chance of malaria or zika.
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Belize

aerial shot of Belize ocean with sailboat

Explore Belize on the water or in the jungle. Photo: Belize Sailing Vacations

Before Thanksgiving, hotel rates are at their lowest. The days are hot, but the humidity is dropping, and the evenings are cool and breezy. November 19 is Garifuna Settlement Day and is best spent in either Dangriga or Hopkins, where the Garifuna people celebrate—with drumming, dancing, and parades—the arrival of their Afro-indigenous ancestors more than 200 years ago.
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Mexico

Candles lighten up for Día de Muertos in Michoacan.

Día de Muertos in Michoacan. Credit: Journey Mexico

Day of the Dead (celebrated on November 1 and 2), is a significant cultural holiday deeply ingrained in tradition, and a time when Mexican families and communities unite to pay tribute to and commemorate their departed loved ones. Celebrations vary across the country, ranging from grand public festivities to more intimate private gatherings. Our WOW Listers can arrange culturally sensitive experiences in Mexico City, Chiapas, Oaxaca, and the Yucatan Peninsula.
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London (for Thanksgiving break)

christmas tree by London Tower Bridge

London’s Tower Bridge at Christmas. Photo: London Perfect

November is a great month for museum lovers, as many of the blockbuster exhibitions open in the fall; there’s also the London Jazz Festival, where world-class stars and hot emerging artists share the bill. And the Christmas spirit is already in the air starting in mid-November, with holiday lights on all the shopping streets, a plethora of Christmas markets, high tea at gorgeous hotels, and holiday cheer everywhere. If you can’t wait until then, Guy Fawkes Night is celebrated with bonfires and fireworks on November 5.
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The Galapagos Islands

underwater photo of a sea lion in the Galapagos islands

Galapagos sea lions.

The Galapagos is a magnet for families with kids during summer and other school vacations; if you’re looking for a quieter time, think November (except Thanksgiving week). Blue whales, humpback whales, and whale sharks—the largest fish in the sea, growing up to 40 feet in length and weighing as much as 40,000 pounds—are most likely to be spotted in the Galapagos from June through November.
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Guatemala

A handmade kite at Santiago Sacatepéquez's Festival de Barriletes Gigantes in Guatemala.

A handmade kite at Santiago Sacatepéquez’s Festival de Barriletes Gigantes. Photo: Shutterstock

Every November 1 in Sumpago (about 30 minutes north of Antigua), the Festival de Barriletes Gigantes—Festival of Giant Kites—merges a Catholic celebration with a 3,000-year-old Mayan tradition of communing with spirits of the deceased (one that is less morbid than most Mexican Day of the Dead customs). Today, the handmade kites address social themes and the festival features lots of special dishes sold in restaurants and around the square. There is a sister festival in Santiago Sacatepéquez on the same day, which is a bit harder to get to but draws smaller crowds. November is the finish of the wet season, so plan to visit the festival early in your trip and take advantage of drier weather in the following weeks.
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Nepal

Durbar Square in Patan village Nepal

Patan’s Durbar Square, Nepal. Photo: Shutterstock

November is the perfect time in Nepal, whether you’re a trekker or just want to explore a fascinating culture. And there’s more to tempt the latter crowd than ever before, with roads leading to villages once accessible only on foot. In November, the air is crisp and clear, without the pre-monsoon dust, so the mountain views are best. And festivals abound: Near Everest, Manu Rimdu is an exorcism festival designed to purge evil from the area, ensure a bountiful harvest, and confer blessings on the villagers and all sentient beings with dancing, prayers, and comic relief. Then there is the very important Festival of Lights, or Tihar, honoring the gods, humans, and animals, which falls each year in either November or late October.
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Thailand

The view from Anantara Golden Triangle Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand

The view from Anantara Golden Triangle Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand. Photo: Anantara

Much of Thailand is at its very best in November, when the mountains are lush and green from the recently receded monsoon, the mornings are diffused with a subtle mist suspended in the valleys, and the sun is gentler as the seasons ease into cooler weather. The rivers are deep and navigable, and the waterfalls are at optimum volume. All in all, it’s an ideal window to travel, before the crowds and costs rise in December.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Thailand. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below. 

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India

Drummers at the Kalapthy Festival in Kerala, India

Drummers at the Kalpathi Festival in Kerala, India. Photo: Sanjay Saxena

November is an ideal time to visit almost all of India—except the Himalayas—thanks to the temperate weather. The just-passed monsoon season has given way to relatively clear skies in Delhi and Mumbai, and there are festivals throughout the country, from the Pushkar Camel Fair in Rajasthan to the grand Kalpathi Chariot Festival in Kerala.
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Norway

Northern Lights, Norway

Northern Lights, Grøtfjord, Kvaløya, Norway. Photo: Gaute Bruvik – visitnorway.com

If you’re prepared for some unsettled weather, the benefits of visiting Norway in November include seeing the aurora borealis; trying out glass-blowing, ceramics, or knitting with local artists; and discovering the Norwegian art of “kos,” roughly translated as the practice of gratitude and of consciously appreciating one’s surroundings. During this quieter period locals have more time to share with visitors, now that the busy summer months have passed. There’s also plenty of hiking, kayaking, and even arctic surfing when the weather allows, and whales to be spotted along the country’s coast at this time of year.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Norway here and here. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below. 

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Australia and/or New Zealand

aerial view of the Great Barrier Reef from an airplane

The Great Barrier Reef, seen from above. Photo: Tourism Whitsundays

Australia and New Zealand were off-limits for so long that now everybody is clamoring to go; airlines are bringing back nonstop flights, making the long journey that much easier. This coming November is one of the few times when there is still availability, and it’s one of the best months for a wide-ranging trip to several different parts of these countries: The water around the Great Barrier Reef is calm, making for good visibility; and the weather is spring-time pleasant in Auckland, Sydney, Kangaroo Island, and the outback; and the peaks on New Zealand’s South Island are still picturesquely snow-capped.
Read reviews of WOW trips to Australia and New Zealand. To get your own WOW trip and VIP treatment, use the black button below. 

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Other Smart Options This Month

Click on any of the destinations below to find out why November is a good time to go.

North America and Caribbean

Arizona: Grand Canyon

Florida: Disney World, Orlando

Hawaii: Maui and Oahu (for whale-watching)

 

South America

Argentina: Mendoza

Colombia: Cartagena and Bogota

 

Europe

England: The Cotswolds

Greece: Athens

Iceland (for Northern Lights)

Sicily

Scotland

Malta

 

Asia

Cambodia: Angkor Wat

China: Beijing

Indonesia: Bali

Myanmar

Thailand: Bangkok

Vietnam (southern)

 

Africa

Madagascar: whale sharks

 

Australia and Pacific

Fiji (for November deals)

 

Cruises

Africa Cruises

Antarctica Cruises

 

 

Be a smarter traveler: Sign up for Wendy’s weekly newsletter to stay in the know. Read real travelers’ reviews, then use the black CONTACT buttons on Wendy’s WOW List to reach out to the right local fixer for your trip. 

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