November is One of Our Favorite Travel Months

We have taken the opportunity to travel many times during the month of November. We choose November for several reasons, including the fact that the weather is usually mild, the scenery in the northern hemisphere can be quite stunning, and it is often considered to be a “bumper” month when there are less travelers. It is also a time when we usually take a couple of weeks to travel, which allows us to see a little more of the places that we’re visiting. Here are some of our favorite memories of traveling during the month of November.

Downtown Stratford-upon-Avon
Eiffel Tower in Autumn

Paris, London, and Stratford-upon-Avon – On our first trip to Europe, we flew into Paris where we spent several days, then took the Chunnel to London. After a few days in London, we took a train to Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick before heading to Manchester for a couple of days. Finally, it was back to London to catch our flight home. We had an absolutely wonderful time, but we have learned a lot more about how to travel since that trip.

Seville Cathedral
Fortress Walls at Alhambra in Granada, Spain

Southern Spain – Spending two weeks in Southern Spain was another amazing experience where we fully immersed ourselves into the country and the culture. We spent time in Granada, Seville, and Gibraltar, but perhaps our tour of Morocco was a highlight of the trip. We found time to relax as well as explore, making it a perfect vacation as well as travel experience.

Sunset in Cabo San Lucas
The Arch at Cabo San Lucas in Mexico

Cabo San Lucas in Mexico – We have been to Cabo more than once during November as the weather starts getting cold in Colorado at that time of year. Spending time at the beach is always a welcome diversion and we love walking along the beach, enjoying restaurants at the marina, and just sitting by the pool.

Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna
Cologne, Germany

Germany and Austria – During our time in Frankfurt, we had just gotten fully acclimated and were taking trips every weekend. During the month of November, we visited Cologne, Hochheim, Würzburg, and also took a train to Vienna, Austria. Obviously, it is so much easier to travel when based directly in Europe as opposed to having to take a flight from the United States.

Colorful Dancers in Panama City
Views of Panama City

Panama City, Panama – We saw so many animals during our trip to Panama that was certainly a unique experience. Considering that it can be rainy in Panama at that time of year, we were fortunate enough to have good weather as we took tours that took us from coast to coast. We would definitely consider returning to see more of this fascinating country.

Walking the Side Streets of Old Town Alexandria
Cobblestone Streets

Old Town Alexandria in Virginia – You don’t have to leave the country to see interesting places and spending time in Old Town Alexandria was certainly a nice place to get away. Not only is it historic and beautiful, especially in autumn, but it also reminded us of growing up on the east coast of the United States.

Two Reclining Buddhas in Laos (They are Farther Apart then It Looks)
Halong Bay in Vietnam

Vietnam and Laos – Our most recent excursion in the month of November was to spend two weeks in Hanoi where we were able to see so many wonderful places. From a few days in Vientiane, Laos or taking a cruise in Halong Bay, the trip was certainly one of the best that we have enjoyed. It was somewhat of a spontaneous decision to visit Vietnam and the people that we met there hold a special place in our hearts.

Seville Cathedral in Spain

When visiting Seville in Spain, the Catredal de Santa Maria de la Sede, better known as the Seville Cathedral, will certainly be one of the top locations on your itinerary. It is certainly a beautiful, gothic cathedral and is one of the largest churches in the world. Just walking around and through the church is certainly worth spending an hour or two at the cathedral, but going to the top of the Giralda, or bell tower, should absolutely be part of your visit. The views of the city of Seville from the cathedral’s bell tower are absolutely stunning.

Impressive Size of the Cathedral

View of the Guadalquivir River

Organ Pipes

Over Looking the Alcázar Palace

The Giraldi or Bell Tower

As you approach the cathedral, you will likely be approached by gypsy women offering you bundles of herbs or flowers. If you accept them, you will immediately be expected to give them money and they can be quite aggressive, so we avoided them. We have also heard that their can be a lot of pickpockets in the area, but we didn’t have any issues during our visit to Seville. Because it such a popular tourist location, another thing that you will find are horse-drawn carriages that will take you on tours of the city. We did take one tour at the end of our first day and it was interesting for many different reasons.

Views of Seville

High Ceilings in the Cathedral

Walking Around the Huge Cathedral

Beautiful Façade

Gold on Display

Standing at the viewing platform of the Giralda, the views of Seville are amazing. You get wonderful views of the Alcázar Palace, which is next to the cathedral, and is also a place that you should visit after spending time at the cathedral. The winding, narrow streets of Seville spread out before you from the height of the bell tower. The Guadalquivir river can also be seen off in the distance.

Modern City in the Distance

The Cathedral is Massive

Pillars and Arches

More Amazing Views of Seville

It is hard to miss the cathedral and the bell tower as you enter Seville. As with most gothic cathedrals, the façades around the doors are quite impressive and beautiful. After spending time at the Seville Cathedral, be sure to head into the Old Jewish Quarter, wandering the narrow streets, and shopping at the many local stores that are located there. Seville is certainly a wonderful city and seeing the cathedral will surely be one of the highlights of any visit.

Stained Glass Window and Ornate Ceiling

Reaching Toward the Sky

Statue at the Entrance

Winding Streets Below

Memorial Inside of the Cathedral


The Perfect Itinerary for a Trip to Southern Spain

There are so many wonderful places to see in Southern Spain, so we have put together what we considered to be an ideal itinerary for visiting the region. We rented a car for the 2 weeks that we spent there, which is ideal as it is easy to get around and the highways are not very busy. Although we stayed at one central location so that we didn’t have to continuously pack and unpack, it could easily be done by going to each place individually.

Alhambra in Granada


  1. Granada – You will want at least 2 days in Granada with the highlight of city being the Alhambra Palace. There are wonderful restaurants and plenty of quaint hotels to choose from. Situated near the base of the Sierra Nevada mountains, the city has breathtaking views. Although we only spent a couple of days in Granada, it is certainly worthy of more time if you have it available.

    Fountain in Alhambra
  2. Malaga – We flew into this city and then immediately drove to our home-base in Estepona, but we made sure to come back and spend a day in the city later. You can also catch a high-speed train to Madrid if you want to see something other than Southern Spain. Sitting on the coast of the Mediterranean with a history that stretches back almost 3,000 years, it is certainly worth at least a couple of days during your time in the region. There are also several museums that are worth visiting in addition to the many sights around the city.

    Organ in the Malaga Cathedral
  3. Marbella and Estepona – Basically the Spanish Riviera on the Costa Del Sol, you could easily spend two weeks just enjoying the beach, water activities, shopping, resorts, and award-winning restaurants. We stayed in Estepona, so after every day trip, we would return back to watch the sun set over the Mediterranean. Not a bad way to end a busy day of sightseeing. Even if you can’t spend a couple of weeks in these resort towns, you should at least plan on a couple of days to enjoy the beautiful beaches and eat some fresh seafood.

    Beach on the Mediterranean
  4. Benahavís – With only a single road that leads to this town in the mountains, it is a food lovers paradise. Even if you don’t spend a full day in the town, it is certainly worth visiting if you are in the Marbella area. It is quintessential Spain with a truly relaxed atmosphere and some of the best restaurants and wine that we had during our time in Spain.

    Streets of Estepona
  5. Ronda – The bridge that spans the canyon is worth seeing from both above as well as below. There is also the oldest bullfighting ring in Spain within the city and there is a unique and historical bullfight that takes place in Ronda once a year. While in the area, it is certainly worthwhile to visit one of the many vineyards and olive farms for a tasting. We spent a day in Ronda and felt that we were able to get a true sense of the city, but you could certainly spend more time if you have it available.

    Hiking to the Bridge
  6. Tangiers, Morocco – Although not in Spain, we would highly recommend taking a ferry across the Strait of Gibraltar to see this historic city. Being at the crossroads from Africa into Europe, Tangiers is a fascinating city with a cultural blend that is unique to Northern Africa. We hired a private tour guide so that we had transportation to get outside of the city, but it certainly isn’t necessary. Although we only spent a single day in Morocco, we would recommend getting a hotel and at least spending 2 days if your travels allow.

  7. Gibraltar – Just seeing the Rock of Gibraltar and the fortress is worth making this part of your travel plans. Given that it is part of the United Kingdom, walking the streets of Gibraltar will make you feel like you are walking a street somewhere in England with all of the pubs, British flags, and fish and chips vendors. A day in the city is enough to take the tram up to the top of the Rock of Gibraltar to see the amazing views as well as to walk through the city itself.

    The Rock of Gibraltar
  8. Seville – As the capital of Andalusia, it is certainly a highlight of any trip to Southern Spain. To truly get a sense of everything that this historic city has to offer, you will want to spend at least 3 days in Seville. With its historic cathedral, old town, Jewish quarter, and museums, there is much to see in the city. If you do drive to Seville, the narrow streets can be difficult to navigate. Be sure to enjoy some Iberico ham while you are in the city as it is truly delicious.

    Seville Cathedral

We certainly enjoyed our full two week adventure in Southern Spain and would highly recommend it to anyone traveling there. We visiting during November, which turned out to be ideal as far as temperatures go, but if you want to spend more time on the beach, then you should consider summer. If you do go during summer, expect the coast to be packed with visitors as many people from across Europe head to the beaches and resorts in the area.

View of Gibraltar

Cliffs of Ronda

Coast of Morocco