One of the sunniest November holiday destinations, Dubai is hot hot hot at this time of year, so if anything you’ll want to keep cool in the air-conditioned bliss of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa (observation deck tickets from AED 241, open daily from 8.30 am). At 829.8 meters high, it’s almost 200 meters taller than its highest competitor, the Shanghai Tower. Keep your ears open in the lifts: the music was written especially for the building, with beats building to a crescendo as you near the top.
Dubai is a city of two worlds: take a traditional dhow boat across Dubai Creek to browse the traditional spice and gold souks for a different experience than the glitzy shopping malls.
Marrakesh is a little cooler than Dubai, but it’s one of the warmest November holiday destinations within a short-haul flight radius of the UK. After exploring the city’s bustling souks, take a day trip to Essaouira (pronounced ‘essa-weera’) on the coast, which is around two and a half hours’ west of Marrakesh.
This fortified fishing town is as relaxing as Marrakesh is chaotic, making for a refreshing change of pace. After wandering along the city walls, make sure to stop for well-earned ice cream at the wonderful Gelateria Dolce Freddo on the main square.
November in Istanbul is warmer than the southern UK and its mesmerizing souks promise to banish the winter blues. The Hagia Sophia is one of the world’s most fascinating and impressive buildings and has a long and twisting history, which continues today.
It was built in 537 as an Orthodox Christian church at the behest of Emperor Justinian I. The massive 31-meter brick-and-mortar dome was a marvel at the time of construction, although it collapsed a few times before they got the design right. In 1453, the Ottoman invasion saw the church converted into a mosque, with the addition of the four minarets that remain today. The building was a museum from 1934 until July 2020, when it was converted back into a mosque among much controversy. Like other mosques in Turkey, it’s open to non-Muslim visitors and tourists.
In November Southeast Asia’s rainy season is tailing off, and temperatures are hot without being scorching, ensuring its popularity among hot November holiday destinations. Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (formerly Burma) is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. In the past few years, the military regime has relaxed travel restrictions, meaning that more and more people are starting to take in the unique sights – such as the distinctive gold spire of Shwedagon Pagoda.
Take a walking tour of the frenetic streets and you’ll find crumbling colonial buildings, a shrine to the last Indian Mughal Emperor, and street food to rival Bangkok in both flavor and value.
Things are warming up nicely in Mauritius at this time of year. This beautiful volcanic island off the coast of East Africa is at its coolest in August, but the mercury starts to climb back up in November. The rainy season is still at least a month away, and the average sea temperature is a balmy 25 degrees. Make the most of it at Trou aux Biches, which is blessed with shallow waters that make it the perfect spot for snorkeling. There are plenty of wrecks and coral reefs to explore, too.
Technically, Hawaii is part of the United States but special mention goes to the island best known for two things: volcanoes and surfing. In fact, it’s considered the birthplace of the sport and attracts adrenaline seekers the world over because of its enormous waves. If you’ve got no intention of picking up a surfboard anytime soon, there’s still plenty to discover from Hawaii’s national parks, home to all sorts of wild animals including turtles, to its volcanoes, which you can do all sorts of ways including a sunrise lava tour. It also happens to be one of our travellers’ top dream destinations.
Considering how cold the weather can be (the clue is in the name) Iceland consistently ranks at the top of people’s lists of dream destinations. That’s because it’s tundra landscapes are home to natural phenomena like hot springs and sulphuric pools, volcanoes and dramatic waterfalls. Not to mention how rare species of animals including humpback whales call Iceland’s rugged coastlines home.