Where to go on holiday in November

See the Burj Khalia, attend the Day of the Dead parade, or have a getaway to Mauritius this November.
PHOTO: Shutterstock.com, AFP

This article was originally published on the global travel search engine Skyscanner.

Here's our guide to the world's top November holiday destinations: the best cities to visit, the coolest events and the greatest beaches to be seen on.

Best cities to visit in November

Dubai

The average November temperature in Dubai is 25 degrees, making it a wonderfully warm place to escape the UK's autumn drizzle. Dubai boasts the world's tallest building in the form of the Burj Khalifa (tickets from AED 125 (S$47), open daily, check website for times).

At more than 828 metres high, it's nearly 200 metres taller than the world's second tallest building, the Shanghai Tower. But one of the more esoteric facts about the tower is that the lifts feature soundtracks that were specifically developed for the building - the beats build to a crescendo as you near the top.

Marrakech

Marrakech is a little cooler than Dubai, with an average of 'only' around 17 degrees - but still a lot warmer than the UK.

After exploring the city's souks, make sure to take a day trip to Essaouira (pronounced 'essa-weera') on the coast, which is around two and a half hours directly west from Marrakech. This fortified fishing town is as relaxing as Marrakech is chaotic, making for a refreshing change of pace.

After wandering along the city walls, make sure to stop for a well-earned ice cream at the wonderful Gelateria Dolce Freddo on the main square.

Istanbul

The average November temperature in Istanbul is a few degrees warmer than the southern UK at 12 degrees and it provides a powerful boost of the exotic to banish the winter blues.

The Hagia Sophia has to be one of the world's most fascinating and impressive buildings - not only is it huge, it has a long and twisting history. It was built in 537 as a Christian church at the behest of Emperor Justinian I, a hugely popular figure who married a dancing girl called Theodora and reigned with her as his co-reagent.

The massive 31-metre brick-and-mortar dome was a marvel at the time of construction, although it collapsed a few times before they finally got the design right. Then, in 1453, the Ottoman invasion saw the church be converted into a mosque, with the addition of the four minarets that remain today. Currently, the building is a museum (open daily 9am to 5pm, entry TL 30 (S$14.50)).

Yangon

November is generally an excellent time to visit south-east Asia - the rainy season is tailing off and the temperatures are hot but not too hot.

Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (formerly Burma) sees a November average of 28 degrees, and it's one of the world's most exciting up-and-coming destinations.

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 of Yangon - not least the enormous gold Shwedagon Pagoda.

On his visit in 1889, poet Rudyard Kipling enthused about the structure: "Then, a golden mystery upheaved itself on the horizon, a beautiful winking wonder that blazed in the sun, of a shape that was neither Muslim dome nor Hindu temple-spire. It stood upon a green knoll, and below it were lines of warehouses, sheds, and mills. Under what new god, thought I, are we irrepressible English sitting now?"

Best beaches in November

Mauritius

Things are just warming up nicely in November when it comes to Mauritius, a beautiful volcanic island off the coast of East Africa.

After hitting lows in August, temperatures on the island climb back up to an average of 23 degrees in November, and the rainy season is still at least a month away. Even better, the average sea temperature is a balmy 25 degrees.

Make the most of the warm waters at Trou aux Biches, which is blessed with shallow waters that make it the perfect beach for snorkelling. There are plenty of wrecks and reefs to explore, too.

Canary Islands

On Gran Canaria in November, temperatures are cooling off from their summer highs, but they remain at a respectable average of 21 degrees and accommodation is much, much cheaper than in the summer peak season.

Beach-wise, Maspalomas can't be beat. Huge sand dunes covering 400 hectares drift down towards the sea, where a massive sandy beach stretches seemingly forever.

Bali

The temperature on the beautiful island of Bali in Indonesia remains at an average of 27 degrees pretty much all year round, but the peak rainfall occurs between December and March.

Kuta beach is the most famous on the island but also the most touristy - for a bit of peace and quiet, head to the north coast of the island to the fishing village of Pemuteran. With its black-sand beach, excellent snorkelling and low-key setting, it's the perfect antidote to the brashness of Kuta.

Best events in November

Day of the Dead (Dia de Muertos), Mexico

On 1-2 November, expect to see skeletons parading through the streets across Mexico. Well, people dressed as skeletons anyway.

The Day of the Dead is a public holiday in the country, and is a time to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed on - as well as to perform elaborate graveyard rituals that go on well into the night.

The best place to catch these eerie, reverent rituals is the island of Janitzio in Lake Pátzcuaro, and Xochimilco in Mexico City is also a good bet.

Iceland Airwaves, Reykjavik, Iceland

The Iceland Airwaves music festival takes place between 4 and 8 November in Reykjavik across various venues in the city, including an old church.

The line up includes oodles of Icelandic bands as well as various acts from the UK and US, such as Hot Chip, Future Brown and Lucy Rose, and tickets cost 19,900 krona (about S$216).

If you get bored of the bands, you could always check out a geyser or two.

Festival of the Horned One (Festa del Cornuto), Rocca Canterano, Italy

The second Saturday in November is when the Festival of the Horned One takes place in the town of Rocca Canterano, near Rome.

It's an unusual celebration to console those who have felt the horns of the cuckold - that is, who have been betrayed in love.People wearing horns and costumes parade through the streets reciting satirical stories of loves lost and generally enjoy a good'ol knees up.

Hillary Clinton has previously been inducted as the unofficial patroness of the festival, for obvious reasons.

Saint Nicholas Parade, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Christmas comes early in Amsterdam. Well, sort of.

In the Netherlands the figure of Saint Nicholas is associated with the festive season rather than Santa Claus, and he lives in Spain rather than the North Pole. He arrives in Amsterdam by ship on November 15th, then switches to a white horse for a parade through the streets.

Around 400,000 people turn out to watch, all vying for cookies and sweets thrown into the crowd by Saint Nick's army of 600 'Black Peters.

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