Top 10 November vacations

Namibia, Norway, Northern Lights and cruising the Nile – this rundown of our top 10 November vacations encompasses an exciting variety of destinations and activities. November marks the start of the short Antarctica cruising season, and elephant seals breed in the Falklands. It’s a warm and balmy month in Cuba – perfect for dancing the night away at a Havana salsa club, and also the best time of year to see (and swim with!) orcas in the Norwegian fjords. As for Japan walking vacations, there are few better months to trek the iconic Nakasendo Trail, with autumnal changes in the vegetation known as koyo creating some stunning mountainous landscapes.

1. Antarctic adventure

Board an expedition to some of the most remote landscapes on the planet, from Ushuaia to the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and finally the Antarctic region itself. Accompanied by experts in Antarctic geology, biology and photography, you’ll visit the grave of the great explorer Ernest Shackleton, watch as vast icebergs float sombrely past, and no doubt see more penguins than you’d ever thought possible.

2. Keeping it cool in Cuba

Whether you’re a complete beginner, looking to dust off some old moves, or perfecting your technique, there’s no better place to salsa than Cuba, where the dance has its roots. In Havana you’ll enjoy intensive morning classes at a salsa school with professional tutors, also covering Spanish percussion, son Cubano and rumba. Your evenings will be free to shake your stuff at one of the city’s many clubs with your classmates.

Our top selling trip: Cuba salsa dance vacation
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3. Jordan jaunts

This tour is the perfect introduction to Jordan, ticking off many of the desert kingdom’s must-sees, from two days spent exploring iconic Petra to a jeep tour of Wadi Rum. You’ll travel the King’s Highway, explore the ancient ruins of Jerash, and snorkel the coral reefs off the coast of Aqaba. Plus, you can slather your face in mineral-rich mud while floating in the salty waters of the Dead Sea.

Our top selling trip: Jordan vacation
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4. Swim with orcas in Norway

Yes, you read that right. In November you can swim (swim!) with orcas (orcas!), in the fjords of Norway. Up to 80 orcas at a time are known to gather off Tromsø to feed on massive quantities of herring, and you can slip into a drysuit and join them. An expert crew on your liveaboard cruise guides you to the right spot and will ensure that both whales and humans are looked after.

5. Cruise the Nile

November is a wonderful month to cruise the temples and ruins along the Nile, with much cooler temperatures than you’d endure earlier in the year. Sailing from Luxor to Aswan, this is a small ship cruise, much more environmentally friendly than the mega vessels that take hours just to unload their passengers. You’ll also spend an afternoon on a traditional felucca powered only by the wind.

Our top selling trip: Nile cruise vacation in Egypt
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6. Self drive safaris in Namibia

Do you like the idea of a Namibian safari, but prefer to take things at your own pace rather than fit into the schedule of a small group? Self drive safaris take advantage of Namibia’s straight and traffic-free tarmac roads, exploring from the Kalahari to Swakopmund, the Namib Desert to Sossusvlei, and the sprawling Etosha National Park, one of Africa’s finest game-viewing spots.

Our top selling trip: Namibia self drive safari
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7. Catch the Northern Lights in Iceland

In truth, witnessing the Northern Lights dance across the sky would be merely the icing on the cake of a November trip to Iceland. A small group tour is the ideal way to take in the country’s manifold geological wonders, ensuring you maximise your time. The Golden Circle route takes in Thingvellir National Park and Gulfoss waterfall, and in the evenings your attention will drift heavenwards, hoping for an appearance from the aurora borealis.

8. Trek Morocco’s Atlas Mountains

Beginning with a stay in one of Morocco’s most beautiful kasbahs, this trekking vacation allows you to shape the daily routes to your own ability level, while still being accompanied by your own mountain guide. And when you head out to a remote lodge in the Azzaden Valley, you’ll also have your own mule and muleteer at hand. Expect magnificent views and an enviable introduction to Berber culture.

Our top selling trip: Luxury trekking vacation in the Atlas Mountains
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9. Iconic pilgrimage trails in Japan

The mountainous Nakasendo Trail is one of Japan’s most famous long-distance walking routes, encompassing almost 70 ‘post towns’ that offer traditional ryokan accommodation. Since it’s 500km long, most Nakasendo Trail walking vacations will follow a section of the overall route. You can either join a guided small group trip or make your own way on a self guided (but well-supported) hike.

Our top selling trip: Nakasendo Trail walking tour
See all our trips: Japan walking vacations
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10. Balance beaches with jungle in Thailand

Beach weather begins in November in Thailand, so you can mooch between island beaches and diving reefs under clear skies and sunshine. But first, we recommend diving into the mountains and rainforest of the north. Go zip-lining and white-water rafting amongst the rainforests, swing by one of the country’s best and genuinely ethical elephant sanctuaries (no elephant riding here), and tour the night market of Chiang Mai.
Written by Rob Perkins
Photo credits: [Page banner: Dream Vacations] [Antarctica: Torsten Dederichs] [Norway: Bart van meele] [Iceland: Jonatan Pie] [Lebanon: Ramy Kabalan]