Winter blues getting you down? Tired of donning those furry boots and raincoats? Maybe it's time to make a change and see what else is out there. Whether you long for the beach, a fascinating history lesson, or views that can't be beat, there's something on this list for everyone. The world is full of incredible destinations with secrets and surprises that can take the chill out of any chilly month. Make your getaway and explore some of these top November destinations.
With a stunning blend of old and new, Lisbon ranks as one of the coolest cities in Europe. Boasting high-end yet affordable dining and nightlife, the downtown is perfect for exploring and experiencing local hot spots. It's the perfect break from rain and snow, thanks to November temperatures hovering around 64 degrees. With much of its architecture dating back to the 18th century, history buffs and bohemians alike can enjoy what the city has to offer. Lisbon's key features include the trendy riverfront promenade, which hosts recently converted warehouse properties and authentic Portuguese food stalls.
Have you got sun and sand on your mind? Then Cuba is the destination for you this November. While it still holds onto its old-school pre-revolutionary roots, Cuba is changing rapidly. Currently, accommodations remain traditional and authentically Cuban, but the big resorts are starting to move in.
Visit Old Havana, dating back to the 16th century, to get a taste of Cuba's incredible history at the Bay of Pigs or the old square. Soak up the sun on the white sand of Varadero Beach. Cuba has so much to offer any traveler, and with temperatures ranging in November from 70 to 85 degrees, sun-seekers can find exactly what they're looking for. Enjoy this great destination before crowds roll in in December.
Looking for a very different kind of destination this winter? Bundle up, because while Iceland offers some of the most beautiful sights to see, they come with chilly temperatures. November nights can be some of the darkest you'll find, but that makes it the best time to see the beautiful Northern Lights. These dancing green veils draw visitors from all over the world, and one of the best places to view them is from the Troll Peninsula in the far north. The area also features heli-skiing for the more adventurous, and horseback riding for a unique view of the sights. November also holds Reykjavik's Iceland Airwaves music festival featuring bands from Iceland, Europe, and the Americas.
Encompassing the southern-most tip of South America, Patagonia features a sparse population and miles and miles of vast forest. While that may not sound tempting to some, the area has its share of hidden gems. Governed by both Argentina and Chile, each side has its own specialties. Hike beautiful mountains to visit lakes and glaciers in Argentine Patagonia, or take in a puma-tracking safari on the Chilean side at the Torres del Paine National Park. November brings milder temperatures (and fewer crowds with the busy season beginning in December), perfect for outdoor enjoyment.
If Ethiopia isn't on your bucket list, it should be. Its newly rejuvenated economy has made room for the unique and appealing attractions to shine through. Home to gorgeous mountain vistas, the Danakil volcanic desert, and the red cliffs of Gheralta, there's something for every scenery-loving traveler, not to mention eager shutterbugs.
Visit the stunning Blue Nile Falls or Lake Tana for bird watching and fishing. Enjoy these beautiful sites while staying in a quaint stone cottage or a more established hotel. Visit interior Ethiopia in November for lush green landscapes and ideal wildlife spotting.
Escape the snow for...more snow. While not everyone is keen on this kind of winter getaway, Switzerland's premier holiday resort offers something for anyone seeking some fun this November. While the mountain itself features top-notch back-country skiing for the mountain adventurer, the apres vibe is everything. Verbier is home to some of the most choice bars and hotels. Luxury accommodations include the famed Experimental Chalet and the boutique Hotel Farinet. With the high season beginning in December, November offers all the fun without the crowds.
For a warmer winter escape, Sayulita, Mexico, has you covered. With November temperatures ranging from 68 to 92 degrees, this hot spot is ideal for beach bums and surf enthusiasts. With a slower-paced style than resort areas like Puerto Vallarta, Sayulita offers a more bohemian boutique feel. The area features vintage shops, street foods served directly from carts and wheelbarrows, and quaint guesthouses rather than hotel chains. For a quiet escape, visit Sayulita before Christmas hits, because this town doesn't stay quiet for long. December's peak season brings tourists by the busload.
For the history buff seeking a winter getaway, Egypt offers a multitude of sights, including the iconic pyramids, ancient tombs, and the famous Sphinx. Take a cruise on the Nile River to experience the main attractions with a guided tour from the comfort of a five-star schooner. Follow this stunning adventure with a visit to the Egyptian Museum, host to the largest collection of Egyptian artifacts. When you're ready to rejoin the present, head to Cairo, Egypt's capital, and pamper yourself with a luxurious stay at the St Regis Cairo or the Nile Ritz-Carlton.
November is the ideal time for a mountain trek in the Himalayas, with mid-range temperatures and crystal clear skies. Iconic Mount Everest and Annapurna offer breathtaking sights and unique experiences not available anywhere else in the world. For post-trek relaxation, visit Kathmandu for the full Nepalese experience — explore Buddhist monasteries, enchanting gardens, and delicious street food. Porters are available for guided tours and treks.
Get to know your neighbors to the north. Yukon, Canada offers unique adventures. From the stunning Northern Lights to the natural wonders of the tundra and Yukon Ranges mountains, the unpolluted skies of this lightly populated territory — totaling only 40,000 residents — give this destination a remoteness that offers peace and serenity. To liven up your winter getaway, take in some husky-sledding and finish the day off with a stay in a glass chalet at the Yukon River Valley's Northern Lights Resort and Spa.
Formerly an arid mid-century town of spas and golf courses, Phoenix has traded in its old-school reputation for that of a hip and artsy hub of music and architecture. Take in the Musical Instrument Museum, featuring 6,500 exhibits on display, or Heard Museum's premier collection featuring American Indian Art. Additional art centers include the Taliesin West (now an art museum and school of architecture), or the grassroots Bentley Gallery, featuring up-and-coming artists. Continue your cultural education with drinks at Bitter and Twisted, an art deco cocktail lounge, and a stay at the Hotel Valley Ho.
This unexpected hub mixes tradition and new age with the ancient temples and high-fashioned youth. Soak in both with a morning visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace, built during the Chosun dynasty and home to the National Museum of Korea. Then, spend an afternoon on trendy Myeongdong Shopping Street, which features hundreds of shops and restaurants. November brings autumn colors that highlight Seoul's beautiful parks and trails. This time of year comes with mild temperatures and little rainfall, making the conditions ideal for outdoor excursions.
Andalucia in southern Spain offers an authentic Spanish vibe without the hubbub and crowds of the more popular areas. This region features gorgeous wonders such as the natural pools at La Poza de los Patos and the Rumblar dam, great for kayaking. Soak up the nightlife at Marbella's beach clubs, or get cultured in the area's art museums.
Game of Thrones fans, rejoice and visit Valletta's stunning Fort St Angelo, which was featured in the hit show. The beautiful landmark dates back to Norman times and was erected as a harbor and safe haven for inhabitants. Now it, along with several other forts in the area, offers a view into ancient architecture and world heritage sites. Along with several historical sites, the area is host to high-design hotels and beautiful baroque theaters. Visit in November for mild temperatures and eight solid hours of sunlight.
For the best blend of sun, sand, and snow, visit New Zealand. Famous for its adventure culture, outdoor enthusiasts can ski in the morning and sunbathe on the beach in the afternoon. White-water rafting, hiking, bungee jumping, sky-diving, and horseback riding give visitors tons of exhilarating activities to experience. Round out your holiday with luxurious hot springs and amazing beaches. November features mid-range temperatures that make enjoying this vast range of outings an easy feat.