World Wonders November

Luxor temple on Luxor's east bank of the Nile River, Egypt

Luxor Temple and the Nile River, Egypt. Photo Olaf Tausch.

Great Ancient Sites to visit in November

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

The Sphinx and four pyramids at Giza on the desert’s edge near Cairo, are a sensation – if you can survive the hawkers. Best: October-May.

Luxor, Egypt

The variety of spectacular temples, tombs and bizarre monuments astride the river Nile make this a tourist must-see. Best: January – April, October, November. Avoid: July, August. (heat).

The extraordinary marble tomb of Shah Jahan’s wife, in a calm, rural setting around a river bend from Shah Jahan’s Red Fort makes a sensational day’s sightseeing. Best: October-March. Avoid: the summer (extreme heat).

Machu Picchu, Peru

‘Lost’ Inca city, picture above. Amazingly scenic and well and mysterious old city built by the Incas on a hilltop surrounded by virgin mountains. Best: April-June, September-November. OK July, August. (winter). Avoid: December-March (rain).

This decayed but atmospheric, jungle enveloped Maya city, featuring the planet’s most perfect pyramid and other fascinating structures. Best: November-April. Avoid: May-October (rains).

Palmyra, Syria, well obviously not a good tourist destination now!

An ancient and ruined city in the middle of dusty, Syrian nowhere and now inaccessible due to civil war. Best: March-May, September-November. Avoid any season unless you are a jihadist.

Bhaktapur, Khatmandu, Nepal

A gorgeously restored medieval town, saturated with monuments and carvings, some very rude. Best: October, November, February, March. Avoid: July-September (rains).

Tikal, Guatemala

Tikal is the largest Mayan pyramid group, a wonderfully atmospheric place fighting off a screeching, buzzing jungle. Best: November-May. Avoid: June-October (rains).

An arid fairyland of temples and other monuments in multicoloured rock, unlike anything else on the planet. Best: March-June, September-November. Avoid: winter (cold) & summer (hot).

Kyoto and Nara, Japan

A large number of superb temples, Zen gardens and ancient tea houses surrounded by modern Japan. Best: March – May, October – November. Avoid: June-August.

Easter Island (Rapa Nui), Chile

Rapa Nui, aka Easter Island, is a distant South Pacific island hosting few people but hundreds of huge, stone statues known as moai. Best: September – April but OK most of the year. Avoid: May (wet) and June-August.

An intact and intricately carved 9thC Buddhist temple housing a thousand Buddhas. Best: April-June, September, October. Avoid: December and January.

Borobudur

*Angkor, Cambodia

A mass of stunningly conceived and carved, world beating Khmer wonders surrounded by jungle and tourists. Best: December- February. Avoid: April (extreme heat), September, October.

* Not the best month for this wonder, but ok