By Shannon Valdes Leiderman
With holiday vacations around the corner, consider these alternatives to some of the world’s more traveled destinations. Here are our recommendations for the best places to travel in November. They are off-the-beaten path, in their shoulder or off-season and waiting for your visit.
For romance-seekers and sun-chasers, the palm-fringed islands of Lakshadweep offer the same idyllic scene as neighboring Maldives. But with a more authentic charm. You won’t find fancy overwater bungalows or underwater spas here. Instead, Lakshadweep’s eco cottages and lack of development enables locals and travelers to connect beyond the confines of a resort.
Ningaloo Reef, Australia
Touching the edge of the outback, Ningaloo Reef is a pristine and uncrowded alternative to the Great Barrier Reef. Occupying a largely uninhabited region of Australia’s western coast the area is remote and untamed. Ningaloo Reef is home to the world’s largest population of whale sharks. As a result, the chance to swim alongside these elusive gentle giants is worth the extra effort to get there.
Scattered deep in the Pacific and surrounded by an endless palette of blue is Vanuatu. Mirroring the paradisal allure of Fiji, it attracts a mere tenth of the tourists. With picturesque beaches and rumbling volcanoes, the archipelago offers a kaleidoscope of natural beauty that has yet to be explored. Venture into the jungle of Tanna Island to meet the “cargo cult,” a native tribe that worships American soldiers from World War II. Random, but interesting.
Cilento Coast, Italy
Framed by postcard-perfect views, Italy’s Cilento Coast offers a glimpse of what the Amalfi Coast looked like before it became one of the world’s most trodden destinations. Just two hours south of Naples, the Cilento Coast is speckled with quintessential Italian villages. With a surprising dash of Greek ruins. Not to mention golden beaches that remain relatively empty. It’s one of the best places to travel in November, so get there while it’s still off the tourist radar.
Bali might get all the attention, but Java radiates an indescribable magic of its own. Between majestic volcanoes and rural villages, you’ll find Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist monument and the spiritual heart of Java. Built in 750 A.D. with unsurpassed artistic merit, the temple takes the shape of a giant mandala representing the path to nirvana.