The 25 best holiday destinations in November

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Winter has officially arrived in the UK, which means getting up and going home in the dark, usually in the pelting rain, no winter coat on earth a match for the season’s creeping damp. It’s almost NHS-prescribed, then, that you go on holiday if you’re to survive until the sunlight finally peeps through again around March. Happily, the Caribbean is basking in a mellow, pre-Christmas glow, while the rainy season has dried up in East Africa and South-east Asia. And if you want to see how winter is really done, leave behind our soggy isles for epic white-outs in the extreme north and south. We’ve a few tips to help your trip have a positive, sustainable impact, too.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    1. LISBON, PORTUGAL

    Temperature: 20°C high; 12°C low


    Season: autumn


    Travel time from UK: 2hours 45minutes


    Time difference: GMT +0

    As most of mainland Europe shivers, Portugal remains enviably mild: Lisbon’s average November temperature is 18°C. Of course, it’s not just the weather that makes this cobbled capital so alluring: now ranking among Europe’s coolest city breaks, it’s a hive of high-end but refreshingly affordable restaurants, raucous hole-in-the-wall bars and covetable concept stores (not to mention those cute, canary-yellow vintage trams). Make time to explore neighbourhood of the moment Cais do Sodré, a formerly sketchy part of town that now has a spruced-up riverfront promenade, cool warehouse conversions and fab food stalls at Time Out-curated Mercado da Ribeira.

    Sustainable travel tip: It’s just a hop, a skip and a sleeper train to reach the Portuguese capital without setting foot on a plane. After taking the Eurostar from London to Paris (2.5 hours), catch a high-speed TGV train from Gare Montparnasse to Hendaye, on the border with Spain (4.5 hours). From here, take the Sud Express sleeper overnight (some cabins have private showers), arriving in Lisbon around 7.30am.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    2. SAYULITA, MEXICO

    Temperature: 33°C high; 20°C low


    Season: dry


    Travel time from UK: 15 hours


    Time difference: GMT -5

    Join the Gypset in this Pacific coast surf town, where brightly painted design boutiques and vintage surfboard shops rub up against al pastor stands and street eats sold from wheelbarrows. Less glam than Tulum, but much hipper than resort-y Puerto Vallarta further south, it’s an easy-breezy scene, more catching waves and afternoon Margaritas than yoga and cold-pressed juice. An absence of major hotels, in favour of hippie-chic guesthouses (Casa Love and Petit Hotel Hafa are favourites), gives the impression of a best-kept secret – but, come Christmas, Sayulita is packed. Nip in just before peak season, though, and not only have the summer rain and humidity finally eased off, but it’s the best time for whale watching, too.

    Sustainable travel tip: Consider staying in Sayulita’s quieter neighbour, San Pancho. The small hotels here are closely tied to the community. Tailwind Jungle Lodge, for example, hosts community events, donates to sustainable development in the area and promotes local businesses to guests – and it’s just a 30-minute drive to Sayulita for a day’s surfing.

    These are the best day trips from Sayulita

    Mexico’s sensational Sayulita and pacific coast

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    3. ICELAND

    Temperature: 4°C high; -2°C low


    Season: winter


    Travel time from UK: 2 hours 50 minutes


    Time difference: GMT +0

    November brings Iceland’s dark winter nights and, with them, the best chance of seeing the Northern Lights. Oh yes, you’ll be told to manage your expectations, that aurora-hunting is a tricky business, but in a country where it’s not unheard of to see the dance of the green veils as you exit the airport, you’d have to be rather luckless to miss out. Stack the odds in your favour by staying somewhere as deliciously remote as Deplar Farm. Iceland’s best hotel is a high-end hideout on the remote Troll Peninsula, with diversions ranging from sensory-deprivation pods to heli-skiing excursions. Also in November: Reykjavik’s Iceland Airwaves music festival, this year featuring Metronomy.

    Sustainable travel tip: The dramatic increase in tourism to Iceland in the past decade is well documented, with the vast majority of crowds packing into Reykjavik and its surrounding day-trip destinations. Avoid contributing to overtourism by getting off the well-worn trail: the Westfjords in north-western Iceland, for example, are remote and rarely receive foreign visitors.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    4. VALLETTA, MALTA

    Temperature: 20°C high; 13°C low


    Season: autumn


    Travel time from UK: 3 hours 10 minutes


    Time difference: GMT +1

    Down in the southern Med, between Sicily and the North African coast, November does not mean gloomy dark afternoons and morning frosts. Even though you might spot the odd red telephone box, that’s as far as the British influence extends – sunny Malta gets eight hours of shimmering rays a day this month, while the mercury floats, or perhaps gloats, at around 20°C. Better still, this is a European autumn sun break with more going for it than beaches (though it has those, too). Capital Valletta’s honey-coloured forts are so cinematically good-looking, they starred in Game of Thrones as King’s Landing, and the old town’s palazzos are lately finding new life as high-design hotels, such as millionaire philanthropist Mark Weingard’s upcoming Iniala Malta.

    Sustainable travel tip: You can get to Malta by ferry and train, stopping at some gorgeous spots in Italy along the way. After taking the Eurostar from London to Paris (2.5 hours), catch a high-speed TGV from the Gare de Lyon to Milan (7 hours) and stay overnight. The next morning, take a fast train to Rome (3 hours), spend the day in the Eternal City, then hop on a sleeper train to Sicily’s Siracuse. Enjoy a leisurely morning here before taking a taxi to lovely Pozzallo, where Virtu Ferries operates several 90-minute crossings to Valletta per day.

    Now read: Malta: the Mediterranean’s surprise sunshine hit

    Malta: the Mediterranean’s surprise sunshine hit

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    5. EGYPT

    Temperature: 26°C high; 13°C low


    Season: autumn


    Travel time from UK: 5hours 30 minutes


    Time difference: GMT +2

    November ushers in Egypt’s mild winter, more akin to a good summer in England: Cairo this time of year basks in an average temperature of 25°C. It’s ideal weather for exploring the Pyramids of Giza, just a half-hour drive from the chaos of Cairo’s downtown. Crowds are thinner in light of the country’s recent troubles, but the capital is making a comeback: the new St Regis Cairo is finally open, and the city’s long-awaited Grand Egyptian Museum is rumoured to be flinging open its doors in 2021.

    Sustainable travel tip: Tempted to take a boat trip down the Nile? Resist the big cruises, which are notorious for pollution, and opt for a small group sailing excursion on a traditional felucca instead.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    6. Cuba

    Temperature: 29°C high; 21°C low


    Season: dry


    Flight time from UK: 10 hours


    Time difference: GMT-5

    Time’s running out to get to Cuba before it’s changed forever. The big resorts haven’t got to all the beaches yet, and Havana still has that rickety, time-warp romanticism going on – but for how long? Warm and sunny November is the ideal time to swing by before crowds fill out December to February. The silver lining? A fast-evolving boutique bar and hotel scene, catering to a more sophisticated traveller: in Havana, the colonial-cool of Twenties-era Casa Habana, or cocktails at 304 O’Reilly, a toy warehouse turned gin bar. Make time to escape to the Caribbean shores of Holguín, where you’ll find small, thatched, barefoot beach hotels with not a hint of a package deal.

    Sustainable travel tip: State salaries and rations see most Cubans surviving on meagre means, so consider staying in a casa particular – a cross between a B&B and a homestay – and eat in paladares, which are restaurants run out of locals’ homes.

    Read our Cuba travel guide

    Cuba — the ultimate guide

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    7. Patagonia

    Temperature: 18°C high; 5°C low


    Season: dry


    Flight time from UK: 22 hours


    Time difference: GMT-4

    A wild frontier, Patagonia is the vast and empty tip of South America. For every photogenic massif and glacier, there’s about a million more miles of desolate, scrubby steppe. Finding the glimmering diamonds in the rough is half the satisfaction, though: Welsh tea shops, teal lakes and crackling glacial tongues in Argentine Patagonia; then puma-tracking safaris and unforgettable treks in Chilean Patagonia’s Torres del Paine National Park, accompanied by the unearthly trio of granite peaks that give this rugged wonder its name. Mid-September to early May is the established season; December to February bring hiking hordes. Nip in during November when mild temperatures are ideal for outdoor adventure and spring’s a-blooming. Torres del Paine rewards the effort with several polished overnight options: try the geodesic domes of EcoCamp, or lakeside five-star humdinger Explora, which has views you’ll struggle to believe.

    Sustainable travel tip: Due to a lack of rules around land sales, large swathes of Patagonia have been bought up and turned over to either heavy industry or unscrupulous developers. This isn’t just bad for the natural landscape, but also for the indigenous peoples for whom this environment is sacred. Make sure to visit national parks and local communities so that your money goes towards the right people and projects. Tour operators such as BlueGreen Adventures employ regional guides and source from locally owned businesses.

    Meet chef Francis Mallmann in Patagonia

    This is the world’s ultimate barbecue cookery school

    Above: Lake Pehoé, Torres Del Paine National Park in Chile.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    8. Myanmar

    Temperature: 32°C high; 22°C low


    Season: cool


    Flight time from UK: 14 hours


    Time difference: GMT+5:30

    Cut off from the outside world for half a century by unelected military leaders, Myanmar (Burma) is widely thought of as South-east Asia’s final frontier. But, after a landmark general election in 2015, which brought the National League for Democracy to power, the country has gradually welcomed greater visitor numbers – though it remains a more otherworldly, ramshackle option than its tourist-savvy neighbour, Thailand. From hundreds of red-brick temples scattered across the plains of Bagan (above), to the leg-rowing fishermen of hill-fringed Inle Lake, Myanmar is a patchwork of magical scenes joined by bad, bone-shatteringly bumpy roads. There are some rather chic secrets tucked into its rural corners also: Monte DiVino Lodge is a boutique hotel set on a German-run vineyard; in the sleepy beach village of Ngapali you can wade out to a desert island for dinner. November is when peak season kicks in as pleasant mid-20s temperatures and an end to the monsoon provide much-needed, post-summer relief.

    Sustainable travel tip: The ongoing persecution of the Rohingya people in Myanmar has led to calls for a tourism boycott, but this would deprive many Burmese people of employment within the burgeoning industry. Instead, make sure you spend at locally run businesses, rather than the many government-run options. Stay in local-owned hotels, eat in local-owned restaurants, shop at local markets and hire independent local guides.

    These are the 10 best things to do in Burma

    10 amazing things to do in Myanmar

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    9. Ethiopia

    Temperature: 24°C high; 16°C low


    Season: dry


    Flight time from UK: 8 hours


    Time difference: GMT+2

    For the longest time, Ethiopia had bigger things on its mind than tourism: drought, famine, political unrest. For that reason, the country’s infrastructure has lagged behind neighbouring East African titans Tanzania and Kenya, though it’s never been short of natural attractions: the volcanic Danakil desert; the Simien and Bale mountains’ theatrical peaks and valleys; the red cliffs of the Gheralta escarpment, engraved with intricate, rock-hewn churches. A newly booming economy is now ringing a change: new roads, airports, a flurry of hotel-building. See the handsome stone cottages of Gheralta Lodge, or 12-room Limalimo, where rammed earth huts overlook the UNESCO-listed Simien Mountains National Park (above), home of the endemic – and impressively coiffed – Gelada baboon. Alas, amid an atmosphere of hope, there has been more political upheaval; travel at the borders is not encouraged. The interior, however, is deemed broadly safe for visitors; keep up to date with the latest advice at gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ethiopia. November is green season, where previous rains have wrought a lush landscape, particularly suited to wildlife-spotting.

    Sustainable travel tip: A visit to the tribes of the Omo Valley is one of Ethiopia’s most popular and controversial excursions, with carloads of tourists haggling with tribespeople for photographs, and little thought given to any real engagement. That said, the recent development of dams on the Omo River threatens these tribes, and tourism could help make a case for protection. A handful of elite operators, such as Wild Philanthropy, offer more thoughtful and sustainable ways to spend time in the valley.

    Read more about Ethiopia

    Ethiopia: The edge of reason

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    10. Verbier

    Temperature: 3°C high; -6°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 1:40


    Time difference: GMT+1

    In Switzerland’s Verbier the emphasis is on fun. The smugly proficient can get their free-ride fix with the best back-country skiing in the Alps. The forever hopeless can just park their planks and whoop it up tobogganing instead. The apres scene is second-to-none: Farm Club has been a snooty institution for nearly half a century, with its haughty door policy and past guests including Diana Ross. And the hotels aren’t your average chalet set-up, belonging to the likes of Design Hotels and Small Luxury Hotels Group. Not forgetting the new Experimental Chalet, from the tastemakers behind London’s Experimental Cocktail Club. Several lifts open in early November (weekends only), thanks to good snow cover at higher altitudes – your best chance to ski in and then ski the hell out before the high-season crush.

    Sustainable travel tip: Catching the train from London to Verbier involves a night in Paris and several quick transfers, and various operators offer packages with rail travel and accommodation included. The journey from Paris comes in at just under six hours, including a 10-minute gondola ride to the slopes. For more information on ski holidays by train, check out the excellent snowcarbon.co.uk.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    11. Yukon

    Temperature: -20°C low; -4°C high


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 13 hours


    Time difference: GMT-8

    ‘There are no guarantees in life but elk and taxes,’ says the Yukon tourist board — but the chances of catching the Northern Lights in this Canadian hinterland are comfortably high. That’s because it’s such a stark wedge of territory — tundra and forests, lakes and mountains, the same size as Spain but home to just 40,000 hardy locals — creating ideally remote, unpolluted conditions for watching those elusive lights dance across the sky. November is considered the beginning of aurora season in most destinations, with some Scandinavian spots not fully open until December, but the Yukon’s nightly shows start as early as August. Still, with enough snow for days of dog-sledding, temperatures have yet to plunge to the fearsome depths of January and February (averaging -22C). Look out for the new glass chalets at the Yukon River Valley’s Northern Lights Resort & Spa, giving an excellent view of the Northern Lights from under the comfort of your bed cover.

    Sustainable travel tip: Husky-sledding is one of the Yukon’s most popular activities and, generally speaking, the dogs are very well cared for. If you’re looking for extra reassurance, find an operator with recognition from advocacy group Mush With P.R.I.D.E.

    Where to see the northern lights and white nights

    Where is the best place to see the Northern Lights?

    Above: Aurora Borealis over the city of Whitehorse, with Gray Mountain and shooting star, Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    12. Phoenix

    Temperature: 25°C high; 10°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 11 hours


    Time difference: GMT-8

    Frank Lloyd Wright said Arizona deserved its own architecture; that the state invited a distinctive, desert aesthetic. So he set about scattering that legacy across the barren landscape from his winter home and studio, Taliesin West in Scottsdale – just outside the state capital, Phoenix, and perhaps the ultimate manifestation of mid-century Arizona style. So it was only a matter of time until Phoenix dropped its decades-long reputation as an arid, old-school spa town and adopted that of an edgy, visual arts hub. Inevitably, the hip young things descended, bringing cool and culture, too. Taliesin West is now an art museum and architecture school; downtown, Bentley Gallery at Bentley Projects shows exciting mid-career artists under the exposed pipes of a restored warehouse and former laundry. Today’s Phoenix is the sort of place to drink cocktails in an Art Deco landmark (Bitter & Twisted), before retiring to a fabulously retro hotel designed by a Wright protégé, once frequented by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant (Hotel Valley Ho). For the best view of the city, though, you’ve got to hike up red-rock Camelback Mountain – an easier proposal in November’s mid-20s temperatures.

    Sustainable travel tip: Desert cities don’t tend to be particularly sustainable, and Phoenix is no exception – consider all those green lawns at its hotels. Some, at least, are taking advantage of their place in the ‘Valley of the Sun’ and using solar power, including The Phoenician and the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale.

    Read more about the highlights of Arizona

    Praising Arizona

    Above: Sonoran desert, Scottsdale.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    13. Antarctica

    Temperature: -1°C high; -15°C low


    Season: summer


    Flight time from UK: 19 hours


    Time difference: From GMT-3 to GMT+12, depending on the area

    Where better than the Great White South for a wintry getaway? Snowscapes don’t get more epic than Antarctica’s, a bright-white wilderness so pure, you’d swear it’s CGI. A trip to the end of the world is far from barren, though. Keep busy gaping at far-off, frosted summits and colossal, mint-blue icebergs; snapping breaching orcas and stumbling penguins; not to mention getting jelly-legged on homemade Ukrainian vodka at the world’s southernmost pub. Expedition boats visit the peninsula November to March, when the Antarctic summer makes penetrating pack ice possible (temperatures hover around a toasty 1C). Landings get progressively muddier and boot-blighted as the season wears on; find the freshest powder in November, the first time tourism touches the continent after a seven-month break.

    Sustainable travel tip: Make sure your tour operator is registered with IAATO, the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators. Membership demands strict adherence to a code of conduct that is respectful of both the landscape and its wildlife.

    Read more about adventure cruises in Antarctica

    Antarctica cruise guide

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    14. Colorado

    Temperature: 14°C high; -5°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 10 hours


    Time difference: GMT-7

    In the likes of California, Arizona and Texas, the dusty desert cities have gone hipster; in Colorado, its cute little mountain towns are wending the same way. Telluride’s Victorian streets are now packed with fancy tacos, craft cocktails and bespoke ski shops; Boulder has bicycle cafés with taprooms and espresso bars; Aspen is still Aspen, glamorous and pricey, and resolutely on-trend (farm-to-table restaurants, speakeasies). High up in the Rockies, ski season has started, the towns have recovered from summer madness, but the December masses are yet to invade.

    Sustainable travel tip: Colorado’s focus on outdoor activities, farm-to-fork food and local wine make sustainable travelling here easy. Find ways to contribute to the community, too: in Boulder, for example, buy outdoorsy threads at social enterprise Ramble on Pearl, which offers paid apprenticeships to local adults with developmental disabilities.

    Read more about the Rocky Mountains ranches

    Rockies road trip

    Above: Longs Peak, Longmont, Colorado.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    15. Seoul

    Temperature: 12°C high; 2°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 11 hours


    Time difference: GMT+8

    Seoul is an exciting city break with just the right mix of ease and exoticism: transport and general infrastructure are both exemplary, and there are also enough Confucian temples and dog cafés to keep a curious foreigner on their toes. South Korea’s flourishing economy has made its capital a hi-tech, high-design hub, positively pulsing with dynamic and fashionable youth culture. But the remnants of more austere and traditional times remain: cobbled streets and classic architecture, eccentric flea markets and scent-filled street- food alleys. November’s autumn colours make perfect portraits of Seoul’s many parks and hiking trails, while mild temperatures and low rainfall create a sweet spot for pavement-pounding (summer is wet and humid, the winter frigid).

    Sustainable travel tip: Skip the cabs and hop aboard the city’s clean, reliable and easy-to-use subway system, which even has heated seats in winter.

    Above: Changdeokgung, South Korea.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    16. Andalucia

    Temperature: 20°C high; 10°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 2 hours 45 minutes


    Time difference: GMT+1

    November is a wonderful month for a short break in southern Spain, when the summer crowds have gone home and it’s still T-shirt weather. Cádiz is a charming place, hanging off the edge of Spain, bleached white and with the sound of flamenco in the air. A hip new hotel scene is putting Seville in the limelight but still both cities are quieter than touristy Granada and Córdoba. Beyond Marbella’s beach clubs, head out to the Sierra de las Nieves national park to go swimming in natural rock pools and kayaking on the dam. Málaga has carved itself a new reputation, with an offshoot of Paris’ Pompidou Centre, a glassy cube on the dockside, joining The Picasso, Carmen Thyssen and Contemporary Art museums.

    Sustainable travel tip: Andalucia has long had the worst unemployment rate in Spain, with much of the economy based around seasonal tourism. Visiting out of season is a first good step, but opting for guesthouses and fincas in quiet inland villages is even better, both bringing money to rural communities and declogging the overdeveloped coast. Look to under-visited cities such as Almeria and mountain villages such as Periana.




    Best haciendas in Andalucia, Spain

    The most romantic haciendas in Andalucía

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    17. Antigua and Barbuda

    Temperature: 29°C high; 23°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 8 hours 35 minutes


    Time difference: GMT-5

    Friday nights in Antigua go something like this: rum punch and barbecued spiny-tailed lobster, dancing barefoot on the beach in the moonlight, and walking home sandy and dishevelled but happy the next morning. The island is as wild and wonderful as it is flashy — away from the five-star hotels and superyachts, you can still find empty white-sand beaches. Antigua’s little sister Barbuda is more go-slow, with a handful of low-key hotels.

    Sustainable travel tip: Get off the beach for a day and go hiking in Antigua’s Wallings Nature Reserve, a new national park that is entirely managed by staff from the neighbouring village, John Hughes. Entrance and guide fees both support the community and protect the land; plus, the views across neighbouring islands, including Montserrat and Guadeloupe, are incredible.

    Antigua’s best beaches from the air

    Antigua’s best beaches from the air

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    18. ESSAOUIRA

    Temperature: 22°C high; 15°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 6 hours


    Time difference: GMT+0

    For a blast of winter sun a short hop away, Morocco is ideal — even for a weekend break. Along the coast are windswept beaches and surf towns such as Taghazoute and Tamraght, where it’s all about chilling out in the sun. Essaouira is a feast for the senses: freshly-caught fish is grilled over smoking-hot coals in shacks right on the harbour, and shisha smoke rises from rooftop bars. Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens used to hang out here, and it’s still a free-spirited place, with dozens of independent galleries and boutiques selling locally made pottery and crafts.

    Sustainable travel tip: Make time for a spot of ethical shopping. Mashi Mushki, which sells locally made art and crafts, donates a portion of profits to Project 91, which helps young people in Essaouira find employment. Swanky (and sustainable) boutique hotel Villa Maroc sells Argan oil made by a local cooperative.

    Read our Essaouira guide

    Somewhere for the weekend: Essaouira

    Above: Reading room at Auberge Tangaro

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    19. New Zealand

    Temperature: 22°C high; 12°C low


    Season: spring


    Flight time from UK: 24 hours


    Time difference: GMT+11

    On New Zealand’s South Island, you can ski in the morning and sunbathe in the afternoon. It’s action-packed, with wild swimming, white-water rafting, glacier hiking, bungee-jumping, sky-diving, horse-riding… On the North Island, you’ll find hot springs – pure bliss – and off the coast of Auckland, some of the most amazing beaches you’ll ever see. Take a couple of weeks out to do a classic campervan trip when the islands are at their most Middle Earth-y. New Zealand has its own breed of super lodges in superlative settings, from remote bays to rugged mountaintops and beside lakes so enormous and awe-inspiring it’s difficult to comprehend.

    Sustainable travel tip: The small seaside town of Kaikoura, not far from Christchurch, is widely hailed NZ’s most sustainable spot. Known for its resident sperm whale population and regular blue whale sightings, the town has established a community trust, Whale Watch, owned by the local Maori people. Not only is this a multi-award-winning, responsible whale-watching operator, but it reinvests profits in community education and employment, and the local environment. Check out the brilliant Hapuku Tree Houses and Lodge too, with locally sourced food, composting and recycling programmes, salvaged interiors and a native tree-planting scheme.

    Read about the best New Zealand lodges

    New Zealand’s Best Lodges

    Above: Scrubby Bay, Akaroa

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    20. Athens

    Temperature: 18°C high; 12°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 3 hours 40 minutes


    Time difference: GMT+2

    Athens makes a brilliant and warm weekend city break, where the new youth culture is breathing life into this historical city and hip young start-ups are booming in the face of austerity. Performances spaces, art galleries and quirky bars have sprung up in once-gritty neighbourhoods, and high-end shops have been reborn as restaurants. Go in November, when it’s cool enough to wander around the Acropolis and the Parthenon and still have a crisp blue-sky backdrop to your Instagram shots. The fact that you’ll also skip the crowds is the cherry on top.

    Sustainable travel tip: Consider a stay at the Coco-Mat hotel, where the all-natural, locally handmade mattresses and linens are just the tip of their stay-natural philosophy. There are also wooden bikes for eco-friendly sightseeing, an onsite herb garden and homemade, seasonal food.

    Read our guide to Athens, Greece

    The ultimate guide to Athens, Greece

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    21. Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon

    Temperature: 21°C high; 2°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 10 hours 45 minutes


    Time difference: GMT-8

    There’s nothing more dazzling than the firework-bright lights of The Strip at night. Nothing more tempting than the red and black flashes of a spinning roulette wheel. Nowhere more excessive, high-octane and brilliantly bonkers than here. And what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Then get the hell out of Vegas on a road trip from here down to New Mexico, through the canyons of Utah via the awesome Grand Canyon.

    Sustainable travel tip: Many national parks have Native American reservations nearby: an area allocated to indigenous people removed from their ancestral lands to make way for the park. If possible, visiting these reservations with a community guide is a great way to learn about the landscape’s history and support their economy. In the Grand Canyon, it’s possible to hike down from the rim into the remote Supai village, home to the Havasupai tribe for more than 1,000 years. Here there’s a campground, lodge, store and café – attempting to hike in and back within a day is not encouraged – but you must reserve in advance to enter.

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    22. Buenos Aires

    Temperature: 25°C high; 17°C low


    Season: spring


    Flight time from UK: 13 hours 45 minutes


    Time difference: GMT-4

    STEAK! TANGO! WINE! FOOTBALL! SHOES! Yes, Buenos Aires is the indisputable heartland of red meat, and red wine (don’t tell the French). It’s a colourful place: leafy in the north, with faded townhouses fronting beautiful Italianate façades in the south and bright and bold houses in La Boca near the old port. In San Telmo, the rhythm of tango is unmistakable. And the barrio of Boca is so crazy about football even the houses are painted in home colours. But it’s a little-known fact that the Argentine city also has some of the best shopping in the world now that creatives are setting up on their own and opening concept stores in Palermo’s crumbling casonas.

    Sustainable travel tip: Boutique Manto Abrigos works with traditional Andean artisans and weavers in remote areas of the country to bring beautiful, hand-woven fashion to its shelves. Animaná, in partnership with fair-fashion NGO Hecho Por Nosotros, has fostered a network of indigenous Andean craftspeople to produce fashion woven from natural fibres, using traditional ancestral techniques.

    Find the best shopping in Buenos Aires

    The best shopping in Buenos Aires

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    23. Oman

    Temperature: 30°C high; 21°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 7 hours 25 minutes


    Time difference: GMT+3

    If what you want is a hit of winter sun, somewhere remote with wide open spaces, and just a short flight away, then Oman may just be the place you were looking for. Muscat is where you’ll find age-old traditions, elaborate mosques and scent-filled souks. On the west coast, the Musandam Peninsula has empty coves and always-warm green-blue water, hidden by the imposing Hajar mountains. For more dramatic scenery still, travel along the southern coast, camping among the dunes in goat’s-hair Bedouin tents.

    Sustainable travel tip: Consider an overland camping adventure with Responsible Travel that spirits you across the desert from the capital, Muscat, to incongruously green Salalah in the south. As well as visiting traditional fishing villages and learning about Bedouin life from local guides, you’ll stop by Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve and the Arabian Oryx Sanctuary.

    Where to stay in Oman

    The 8 best hotels in Oman

    Above: Zighy Bay, Oman

  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    24. Hong Kong

    Temperature: 24°C high; 19°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 11 hours 55 minutes


    Time difference: GMT+7

    November is a great month to go to Hong Kong. It’s not too steamy for sundowners in one of the rooftop bars overlooking Victoria Harbour, which lights up at 8pm every night for a light show; or for moseying around Chinatown. Foodies are spoilt for choice here, but make like the locals at street-food stalls in Wan Chai. Shopping and art are big business too. What’s surprising, though, is the choice of beautiful beaches and hiking trails on surrounding islands such as Lantau and Lamma.

    Sustainable travel tip: Hong Kong’s excellent public transport system means there’s no need to catch a cab. The Star Ferry is as much a fabulous way to see Victoria Harbour as it is a means of getting from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon, the mainland part of the city, and you can even check in luggage for the flight home at either the Hong Kong or Kowloon subway stations on the Airport Express line. The next time you see your bag is upon landing back home. Trust us, it’s genius.

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  • The 25 best holiday destinations in November

    25. Nepal

    Temperature: 23°C high; 8°C low


    Season: autumn


    Flight time from UK: 12 hours 10 minutes


    Time difference: GMT+4:45

    November is the optimum time for trekking in the Himalayas: it’s not too hot, the sky is clear enough to see where you’re going, the peaks and high passes are clear enough for trekking, and it’s the tail-end of high season. Whichever route you’re taking – the Annapurna Circuit and Everest are breathtakingly beautiful at this time of year – you’re likely to pass through Kathmandu. The gateway city is a remarkable place to spend a few days in before or after trekking: for the Buddhist monasteries and stupas, gardens, enchanting old buildings and colonial air, shopping and the insanely good street food.

    Sustainable travel tip: Porters are a common feature of Himalayan trekking, and while this does provide much-needed employment to impoverished rural Nepalese people, you must ensure that they are not being taken advantage of. Ask tour operators about their policies on porters’ rights, and check the weight of loads they’re expected to carry: 25kg (55lb) is the recommended maximum.

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    For where to go in other months, see our Holiday Calendar:


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