Where to go your Walking Holidays in November!
To most, November doesn’t exactly shout out ‘holiday time!’. However, this month doesn’t necessarily have to involve cold, rain and darkness. Many destinations in southern Europe and worldwide still offer a sanctuary away from the approaching winter, and as a bonus, popular holiday destinations are less crowded.
1. The Canary Islands
Located just off the African west coast, The Canary Islands offer temperatures of 15-25 degrees all year round. As such, it is the perfect escape during the grim winter months. The islands are very popular at Christmas and New Year’s; by travelling in November, you can beat the rush. These volcanic islands are easily accessible by plane and offer a broad variety of terrain and climates; mountains, forests and even desert. If you want to explore the Canary Islands, there are many options to choose from: explore the islands of La Gomera, El Hierro, Tenerife or La Palma.
View of Teide on Tenerife
If you can’t get away from the cold, embrace it. While Iceland is indeed cold and dark at this time of the year (expect temperatures between 0 and 4 degrees Celsius), this is when you are the most likely to experience the Northern Lights. There is less snow in November than later on in the winter; this can work in your favour, as you are able to drive around more comfortably. If you experience foul weather, don’t be disappointed; this island isn’t called the Land of Ice for no reason. Iceland in the snow is simply stunning, and you can always heat yourself up in the Blue Lagoon or by sampling Brennivín in one of Reykvaik’s many snug bars.
A drive and hike along Iceland’s scenic South Coast is possible to do all year round, maximising your chances of seeing the Northern Lights.
Northern lights in Reykjavik
November is an ideal month to visit places in the Southern Hemisphere. In Patagonia, summer has just started and peak season is still to come. This region, roughly the size of England, France and Germany combined, is shared between Argentina and Chile. The area is renowned for its beauty and offer tall mountain tops, vast steppes, stunning national parks and massive glaciers. Only sparsely populated, most of this land is still untouched, making it a haven for wild life. Puerto Madryn on the Argentinean East Coast is ideal for whale watching and is also the gateway to visit the largest penguin colony outside of Antarctica. A tour of Patagonia includes stops in Buenos Aires, Perito Moreno Glacier and Torres del Paine National Park (try Patagonia Explorer or Patagonia in Style) or you can choose to focus on Torres del Paine on the W-Trek in comfort.
Torres del Paine
Portugal has become an incredibly popular travel destination in the past few years and the Algarve coast in the southwest is ideal for a November trip. While the evenings can be chilly, the days still offer temperatures of up to 20 degrees Celsius, and at this time of the year you can experience some lovely sunsets. This walking tour takes you along sandy beaches, cliff tops and abandoned fortresses; at this time of the year, many of the tourists are gone, and the coast is yours to explore. In the evenings, enjoy the delicious local sea food or Portuguese specialities such as Piri Piri chicken. Algarve is also a famous for its wine production, so why not experience those famous Atlantic sunsets while drinking a class of the local red? Algarve Coastal Trails can be done between September and June and leaves you with 7 days and 6 nights to explore this beautiful region.
5. Las Alpujarras
If you prefer mountains to beaches, then Alpujarras might just be the destination for you. Located in the south of Spain, you start your trip in Granada and walk the rural villages of Las Alpujarras. This region has Moorish origins, and the local food is a mouth-watering mixture of Spanish cured meats and stews with Arabic spices. Las Alpujarras was the last stronghold of Spain’s Muslim community and the villages still bare traces of their influence. The walk from village to village is made against the backdrop of the Sierra Nevada, and at this time of the year, you are likely to see snow among the peaks. Walking conditions are ideal – the temperature is around 16 degrees in the daytime and you can enjoy the amazing changing colours of the trees. In the evenings you can roast chestnuts on the open fire and get yourself snug in your cosy, family-run hotel. Try the 7 night walking tour of Las Alpujarras or a more tranquil, single-centre holiday with care hire included.
Village encounter in Los Alpujarras
Lonely Planet has described Hanoi as ‘Asia’s Most Atmospheric Capital’ and that can be used to describe this fascinating country in general. Our trip takes you to the north of Vietnam by train, on foot and on board a colonial steamship. Explore Hanoi, a blend between the French and Asian and sample some of the delicious street food that the city offers. Trek through the mountainous Sapa Valley and admire its terraced rice fields while staying in comfortable private lodges and cabins. Finish off by enjoying a 2-day cruise from Hanoi to Halong Bay on board a classic steamship which allows you to relax after your trip. While this trip involves less walking than some of our classic holidays, you still experience 4 days of walking through the Sapa Valley and is ideal if you want a holiday that offers a taste of everything.
The Hanoi, Sapa Valley Trek and Halong Bay trip lasts for 9 nights and is available from November to April.
Girls in the Sapa Valley