The Best November Destinations
It is this time of year when it is starting to get colder and also a bit wetter too, meaning that Christmas is also just around the corner. It also means that the year is very quickly coming to an end and you may be asking yourself – ‘where on Earth has that time gone?’ It may also mean that you still have a lot of annual leave to use up before the holiday period starts and it is unlikely you will be able to go anywhere due to commitments.
However, do not despair, you still have the whole of November to get out and explore; whether you are seeking, more summer vibes, Christmas markets to get you in the mood or just a simple getaway.
Here are my top 8 places for November:
1. London, UK
Guy Fawkes, which is also known as Bonfire Night, is a unique British festival that combines the commemoration of a historic (and somewhat controversial) event with bonfire and firework celebrations. Guy Fawkes (York's most infamous son) and a group of Catholic conspirators were captured in the act of trying to blow up Parliament (when Protestant King James I was present) with barrels of gunpowder.
Nowadays, it is celebrated through huge controlled bonfires, stunning firework displays, hot chocolate, hot food and usually an ice rink or German market to explore. This is a great experience and one that should be checked out if you have never been to the UK around this time of year. Bonfire night is November 5th every year.
2. Sooke, Canada
This beautiful island can be found off the coast of Vancouver and is nestled away amongst stunning forests, mountains and lakes which draw tourists and locals alike to come and explore its surroundings. Boasting plenty of hiking trails, the possibility of seeing black bears, deer, elk and many other wild animals it certainly has its attraction.
I found the best place to base yourself is at Sooke Harbour & Resort which offers fantastic apartment/penthouse suites which overlook the stunning blue lakes where seals playfully jump up onto the harbour and back into the water again. It’s also close to many other attractions such as zip lines, mountain biking, fishing, beaches and some great restaurants.
Tip: the closest airports to Sooke are in Victoria or Vancouver.
3. Budapest, Hungary
If you were to ask me what’s my favourite city in the world? I’d have to say that Budapest is definitely up there and is easily my favourite European city by far. It has everything to offer, from great nightlife, historic sites, the friendliest people, best value for money to fantastic food and a castle that looks like Hogwarts.
It is a great weekend getaway destination and is superb during November due to its Christmas markets, delicious food, tasty drinks and lively atmosphere as the Hungarians gear up for the festivities. This is one destination not to be missed. Be sure to check out Hospital in the Rock, Heroes Square, House of Terror, Fisherman’s Bastion (featured above) and have a go at some shooting in the gun range.
4. Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands
Home to the largest town in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora, the Island has a diverse environment which makes it a rather unique and appealing destination. From pit craters, Scalesia Forest to cacti and ferns are found in its vegetation zones. It is here that you will find (just like the famous scientist Charles Darwin), an abundance of wildlife such as the blue-footed bobby, white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, flamingos and plenty of iguanas.
If you don’t fancy checking out the wildlife then there are plenty of beaches you can chose to relax and sunbathe on, or jump on one of the many cruises to check out the other islands. Santa Cruz is truly a beautiful destination and one that shouldn’t be missed.
5. Valetta, Malta
You will instantly fall in love with the blue harbours, the colourful boats and the ancient sandstone buildings, built from local materials found on the island. Like most of Malta, Valetta has been strongly influenced by a variety of cultures and nationalities. Most significant was the impact of the Knights from the Order of St John and also the British. Built on a hill, between two harbours, the city has fortified giant walls to protect it from those who wanted to conquer it. The walls still contain many tunnels and air-raid shelters that were built and utilised during World War Two.
The food is delicious and it is well worth taking a stroll along its many alleyways and streets to find where the locals eat and treat yourself to some delicious cuisines. After filling up on food head to the Saluting Battery for a spectacular show of cannon firing.
6. Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen has always been known to be full of history, youth, lively locals and refined culture, which means there is something for everyone here. If you’re young then it’s a literal playground, with the world’s oldest amusement parks and some of the trendiest shopping and nightspots anywhere. For culture, there are historic palaces and museums in which Viking and Bronze Age treasures are on display.
Lovers of all things elegant and divine will find themselves almost overwhelmed with the choices – from the New Age Nordic dining and Danish design galleries to the majestic royal palaces, contemporary fashion and of course the famed crown jewels of Denmark. This is a great place to tick off your bucket list.
7. Zillertal, Austria
Whether you decide to travel to Austria during the summer or winter, North Tirol has so many activities and things for you to get up to. Many of these involve being outdoors, which provides ample opportunity to soak up those views and gorgeous air, which will obviously be slightly colder in November but well worth it. You should consider hiking in Zillertal; it’s one of the world’s most diverse hiking destinations with trails that are well signed and stretch for no less than 1400km.
There are three altitude levels when hiking these Zillertal trails. They range from the sunny valley floor to the rugged and isolated peaks of the mountains and there’s something for all levels of fitness and experience. You’ll pass stunning scenery, Alpine cows with bells around their necks chiming melodies as they graze, roaming horses and glacier-fed streams clean enough to drink from. My idea of peace and getting away from the hustle and bustle of it all.
Tip: the closest airport is in Insbruck.
8. Dolomites, Italy
The Italian Dolomites is a dream destination for mountain and nature lovers alike. It offers thousands of kilometres of hiking trails, each more beautiful than the other with stunning backdrops that will leave you stunned the entire time you’re there. They were declared a World Natural Heritage Site in 2009, and have much more to offer.
Whilst in summer, cycling, mountain biking and rafting are the more popular options, winter in November is perfect for skiing holidays and enjoying the snow-capped mountains. An overwhelmingly diverse range of slopes, ranging from family-friendly trails to spectacular ski roundtrips such as the Sella Ronda, to relaxing winter hikes past snowy alpine huts and frozen mountain lakes, impress the numerous visitors to the region, year after year.
Tip: to get to the Dolomites several possible airports can be used; e.g. Milan, Innsbruck or Munich. If you want to take a car from one of these airports, make sure to chek this link.
Be sure to check out my website Take The Leap Travel for more information and travel advice as well as my Instagram @explorewithlee and @taketheleaptravel.
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