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Amalfi coast, Italy

Best places to travel in October 2021

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting outside the busiest times of year.

Festivals and events around the world in October

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Spain

Spain tends to bask in its last rays of sunshine in October, with temperatures still reaching a pleasant daily average of around 70°F. Add to this dwindling visitor numbers and you have an excellent month for exploring the country’s historic cities on foot, whether you want to tour the streets of Madrid, soak up Barcelona’s Art Nouveau architecture or delve into the history of Seville. Temperatures tend to be cooler in northern regions like the Basque Country, so if you’re looking to spend time on a beach, you’re better off heading south to Andalusia.

Roman aqueduct, Segovia
Roman aqueduct, Segovia

France

Mild days make October a comfortable month for exploring France’s cities and countryside. You might experience some inclement weather, but crowds will have dissipated around major attractions and the country’s vineyards are heavy with grapes ready for harvesting. You can spend a day hopping between chateaux, tasting the vintages of different wineries while surrounded by fields of red and gold, or enjoying the sights of Paris with fewer visitors to contend with. Your visit might fall during Paris Fashion Week or, on the first Saturday of October, Nuit Balance — a night-time art festival across Paris’s museums and galleries.

Place des Vosges, Paris
Place des Vosges, Paris

Portugal

The weather in Portugal during October is generally still warm, particularly further south, with more comfortable temperatures for exploring and hiking than in the summer. That said, you should be prepared for the occasional downpour. Like in France, Portugal’s vineyards are ready for harvesting, making it an exciting time to visit the country’s wineries for a tasting. Beaches are quieter and there are fewer visitors in Lisbon and Porto, making it a great time for a city break. And, if you’re in the countryside, you can admire the fall colors coating the landscape.

Vineyard, La Rioja
Vineyard, La Rioja

England

With the countryside and city parks dappled in rich browns, flaming oranges and deep reds, and visitor numbers thinned from the summer months, October is one of the best times to visit England. Moorland is carpeted in vivid-purple heather, and while low clouds and rain are possible at some point during your trip, crisp, sunny autumn days showcase the country at its finest. After a bracing walk, you can cozy up beside a roaring fire in a traditional country pub. Or, if you’re sticking to the cities, you can soak up the sights with fewer people around to interrupt your experience.

Pulteney Bridge, Bath
Pulteney Bridge, Bath

Scotland

Much like England, Scotland’s main draw in October is its autumnal foliage, with the Highlands being particularly beautiful at this time of year. The weather is unpredictable, but that’s the case whenever you visit Scotland, and with fewer visitors you’ll find your own place of solitude as you explore the country’s lochs, glens, mountains and islands. It also means attractions are quieter in cities like Edinburgh, whose pubs and bars become welcome retreats on cooler days.

Kilchurn Castle
Kilchurn Castle

Greece

With days still warm and the sea still retaining the summer sun’s heat, October is an excellent time to visit Greece, and offers good value. Fewer people will be crowding around the country’s ancient sites, museums are still open but less busy and beaches will be quieter. You might experience some rain at this time of year, but most days are still soaked in sunshine. It’s a good month for hiking along the coast or among the country’s hills, which take on the golden glow of autumn. And, with it being harvest time, you’ll find plenty of fresh food to eat.

The Acropolis, Athens
The Acropolis, Athens

Ireland

While you’ll be lucky to avoid rain at this time of year, October in Ireland brings fresh air, beautiful autumnal hues across hills and woodland and a clutch of vibrant music and food festivals in Cork and Kinsale. A feeling of peace descends as visitor numbers fall, making it a good time to explore Dublin and Belfast’s historical and cultural attractions, tour whiskey distilleries or sample local food. Whether you’re sightseeing in a city or hiking in the countryside, you can end your day in a pub to warm up by the fire.

Connemara coast
Connemara coast

Egypt

Without the stifling heat of summer, Egypt makes a great place to visit in October, particularly if your focus is on visiting its ancient sites. Fewer visitors means it’s less busy around the country’s pyramids and temples, and you can wander Cairo’s streets and museums without long waits or crowds to contend with. It’s a good time to take a cruise along the Nile, enjoying the warm temperatures on deck and pausing to explore the country’s renowned tombs. End with time on the beach, where the sea should still be warm enough to swim or snorkel.

The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza

Argentina

Wildflowers in full bloom, waterfalls in peak flow, whales visible off the coast and uncrowded city streets: October is one of the best months to visit Argentina. You’re there before the summer heat kicks in, making it a good time to hike in the Lake District, where you can see brilliant flowers carpeting valleys and lining glassy lakes. You can also explore Buenos Aires while enjoying mild temperatures and fewer visitors at its key attractions. In Mendoza, you can stroll through vineyards, sampling vintages as you go. And, you can take a boat trip from the Peninsula Valdes to see southern right whales, which are present from June to November.

Bariloche, Argentina
Bariloche, Argentina

Indonesia

As Indonesia’s wet season arrives, you can expect occasional downpours in October, but they tend to be short lived, often returning to bright sunshine afterwards. It’s a good time of year to soak up the last of the sunshine on beaches (with a rain jacket at the ready, just in case), and your money tends to go further as visitor numbers wane. Bali tends to see less rain than other areas, though northern Sumatra experiences its wettest month. You can visit temples, hike among mountains or cycle through rice fields comfortably, as well as explore Ubud’s art and crafts scene.

Komodo Dragon, Komodo
Komodo Dragon, Komodo

India

As the monsoon season ends, October heralds the return of warm, sunny days, particularly in the north of India. The south can experience showers, but this creates vivid-green landscapes and freshens the air, making it a great time to explore outdoors, albeit with a waterproof jacket to hand. Average temperatures fall between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F). Despite the pleasant conditions, visitor numbers are still lower than in the coming months of November to January, so you can enjoy popular sights without the crowds. Your visit might also fall during Diwali, when everywhere is illuminated with candles, lights and fireworks.

Leh Monastery, Ladakh India
Leh Monastery, Ladakh India

Australia

In the midst of Australia’s spring, October is warm but not sweltering. Its landscapes are often covered in a vibrant layer of wildflowers as a result of occasional storms in the more humid north, which also add to the lushness of the country’s rainforests and wetlands. It’s a good time for viewing wildlife whether you’re in the north or the south of the country, and conditions are excellent for following hiking trails through national parks and along the coast. We recommend taking the opportunity to explore the Blue Mountains’ well-marked trails before the summer visitors arrive.

Windjana Gorge, Devonian Reef National Parks
Windjana Gorge, Devonian Reef National Parks

Vietnam

While central Vietnam and its southern beaches often experience heavy rainfall in October, the drier north enjoys clearer skies and a fresher feel compared to the humidity of previous months. We find it’s an excellent month for hiking in Sapa, exploring Mu Cang Chai’s rice paddies and soaking up the natural beauty of areas like Ha Giang with its forested limestone and granite peaks. Towards the end of October, conditions in the south improve and warm, sunny days become more common, plus you might see green turtles hatching on the beaches before making their way to the water.

Rice terraces, Vietnam
Rice terraces, Vietnam

New Zealand

As spring dawns, days get warmer and snowmelt feeds waterfalls and makes rivers ripe for white-water rafting. You can still expect rain, as with any time of year in New Zealand, but this isn’t a country you visit for the weather. With warm layers and a waterproof jacket to hand, you can take advantage of New Zealand’s mountainous landscapes, glistening fiords and volcanic parks without the same level of visitors that summer brings, driving quiet roads and enjoying the pick of hotel options.

Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand
Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand

Japan

Autumn is unmistakeable in Japan, with forests donning coats of bright red, blazing orange and warm gold. For the best displays during October, head to more northerly or high-altitude regions like Hokkaido. The weather is cooler than the summer, but still mild enough to enjoy time in the outdoors, making this a popular month for travel in Japan as people balance national parks with museums and galleries. October is also prime harvest time, so wherever you dine you can enjoy fresh, seasonal produce straight from the fields. You might also come across harvest festivals that range from low-key events to vibrant parades.

Flower fields of Furano and Biei, Hokkaido
Flower fields of Furano and Biei, Hokkaido

China

While China’s vast size means its climate varies by region, October is generally warm and dry. Visiting at this time means you’ll find a comfortable window between the humid conditions of summer and the cold winter months. We recommend avoiding the first week of October, when a national holiday means travel gets busy. But, the rest of the month is a good time to visit to enjoy autumnal displays in city parks and across rural landscapes, as well as mild temperatures and little rain.

Great Wall, Beijing
Great Wall, Beijing

South Africa

Whale watching, wildflowers and wildlife viewing are all at their peak in South Africa during October, making it one of the best months to combine regions. Temperatures begin to heat up across the country, but the rains have yet to fall in the north. It means safari areas like the Kruger are still dry, making wildlife easier to spot as animals gather around vital water sources. Along the coast, southern right whales have yet to migrate south, so you can often see them breaching offshore. And, the country’s renowned wildflowers are still in bloom, covering the west coast’s dry and dusty landscape in a colorful carpet.

Lion in the Kruger
Lion in the Kruger

Italy

With the heat of summer now faded, October makes for a more comfortable time of year to explore Italy, and you won’t see as many visitors flocking to the country’s attractions. As well as enjoying quieter city breaks in Rome and Venice, you could venture into the countryside, where harvest is in full swing. It’s a particularly good time to dine on a bounty of fresh mushrooms, olives, truffles and chestnuts. And, with festivals dedicated to food and wine taking place across the country, you can taste your way through its rolling hills, rustic towns and villages and verdant valleys.

Gondola, Venice
Gondola, Venice

Thailand

While the weather can be difficult to predict in Thailand during October — it depends on the length of the monsoon season — lower humidity and fewer visitors arguably make this a more comfortable time to visit. For the best chance of avoiding rain, aim for the end of the month. That said, the odd downpour shouldn’t affect your trip too much, and creates lush, green landscapes in the north, where you can explore forests and waterfalls. If you’re planning to relax on the beach, be prepared to balance sunshine with heavy showers — staying on the mainland rather than one of the islands gives you a better chance of settled weather.

Waterfall in the Doi Inthanon National Park
Waterfall in the Doi Inthanon National Park

Chile

Enjoying the warmth of spring, Chile in October sees brilliant wildflowers coating its central and northern regions, mild days ripe for exploring and a smattering of rain here and there. While southern Patagonia is still feeling winter’s chill, you’ll begin to experience less rain and longer daylight hours, so as long as you wrap up, it’s a good time for hiking. Elsewhere, the Atacama Desert is a year-round destination, while in cities like Santiago you’ll be rubbing shoulders with fewer visitors than you would during the upcoming summer months, and should get more for your money.

Torres del Paine, Chile
Torres del Paine, Chile

Peru

As Peru reaches the end of its dry season in October, wildlife viewing in the Amazon rainforest and the country’s cloudforests is at its best and trekking conditions are excellent. The Sacred Valley trails will still be relatively crowd-free compared to the summer (though booking in advance is still required), and you can usually enjoy bright, sunny days with clear blue skies, along with mild-to-warm temperatures. Along the coast, surfers can pick up the early summer swells, or you can simply relax as temperatures in the north become increasingly pleasant.

The Sacred Valley
The Sacred Valley
Travel Ideas in January

Places to travel in January

As Christmas slopes into the distance, journeying to find some sun is an appealing prospect for January. We recommend beach time on a Caribbean island, a secluded Cambodian archipelago or Vietnam’s sandy shores. It’s also summer in Australia, a season celebrated with outdoor cinema screenings, festivals and sporting events.

In Africa, the January rains break the Kalahari heat and the quenched plains spring to life. Journey to Botswana to watch new-born zebra take their first steps, as migratory birds feast on the fresh grasses. If you’re after cooler climes, temperatures in India have cooled enough to make exploring its fortress cities comfortable. Or, embrace winter in Paris, where crisp, clear skies showcase the monument-filled skyline and fewer visitors make for an ideal Louvre museum experience.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in February

Places to travel in February

Whether you’re wrapping up warm to experience wintry activities like a troika (sleigh) ride in Russia, or looking to escaping the colder temperatures at home with a cruise along the Nile under sunny skies, February can make an excellent time to travel. A safari in Tanzania gives you a chance to see new-born antelope take their first wobbly steps, while warm temperatures in Argentina make it an ideal time for trekking in Patagonia.

We’ve shared some of the most popular destinations to visit in February below, as well as a few countries that you may not have considered, where you can visit key sights without the crowds.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in March

Places to travel in March

As winter turns to spring across the northern hemisphere, Japan’s blooms start to emerge, and milder temperatures coupled with the showings of early plum blossom make it a good-value time to travel here ahead of the peak season. Portugal also begins to warm, making it a good time for coastal hikes and city sightseeing without the summer crowds.

In South Africa, the wine harvests are in full swing and Kruger wildlife is at its healthiest among the fresh, green vegetation following the rains. Warmer temperatures and sunny skies show the beaches of Sri Lanka and Morocco at their best. Meanwhile, cooler climes in New Zealand makes March an excellent month to explore, with quieter walking trails, near-empty coastlines and a good chance of sunshine.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in April

Places to travel in April

Travel to South America in April as nature offers wonderful bird watching in the Galapagos, including likely sightings of the fascinating mating ritual of the blue-footed booby. The Iguaçu Falls, bordering Brazil and Argentina, are also at their most dramatic after the summer rainfalls. In Morocco, the April climate is cool enough for you to explore Marrakesh’s souqs or hike the High Atlas Mountains in clearer air. And, if Easter falls in April, a trip in the Philippines is a window into the Spanish legacy of a ‘fiesta’ culture, and the weather is fantastic for the beaches.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in May

Places to travel in May

If you’re planning a May break, the sun is always out over Bali’s soft-sand beaches at a time of year before the crowds hit their peak. Planning in advance pays off, as some of our favorite hotels are quick to book up. For a trip in the mountain air, hike along the wildflower trails of the High Atlas in Morocco. The temperature is comfortable for enjoying the scenery and it's an ideal time for camping out in Bedouin-style tents. It's also a good time to visit Europe before the weather gets too hot.

Places to travel

Herd of elephants in South Africa

Places to travel in June

June marks the start of the dry season in southern Africa and the chance to see newly born game as you safari in Botswana. Newborn gorillas are given their names in a traditional festival in Rwanda each June and we can design you a trip there gorilla trekking, which pairs nicely with added time on safari in Kenya's Masai Mara. June is also an ideal time for visiting Costa Rica in the quieter green (or rainy) season when you’ll still find plenty of dry weather, quieter national parks and better views of the famous Arenal Volcano.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in July

Places to travel in July

Ladakh in India is an ideal destination for July, with warm weather and little rain to accompany the Himalayan scenery. Spend time in Leh immersing yourself in the Tibetan Buddhist culture and exploring the monasteries, lakes and high-altitude deserts. We also recommend the Manu Rainforest in Peru in the month of July. Few parks can match its incredible wildlife, which includes giant otters, caymans and flocks of macaws.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in August

Places to travel in August

In August, Africa plays backdrop to one of the great wildlife spectacles: the annual migration of over two million wildebeest from the Serengeti plains to the grasslands of the Masai Mara. In Colombia, the start of August heralds the annual flower festival in Medellin. It attracts visitors worldwide with more flowers than you’d imagine possible, fireworks and live music. Or travel to Kandy in Sri Lanka at the time of the Parahera Festival held at the Temple of the Tooth, where Buddha's tooth is said to rest. Get swept up in dancing and parades by torchlight.

Places to travel

Travel ideas in September

Places to travel in September

September kicks off the changing of the seasons in many regions, bringing with it shifting climates and bright landscapes. Before the wet season sets in, take a trip to Borneo and observe the orangutan at the Sepilok sanctuary in Kota Kinabalu. In Peru, September is the best time to take a hike to Incan city in the clouds Machu Picchu while there's still very little rain. And there’s no better place to witness the seasons change than in China, as the locals celebrate the harvest season across the country with the Mid-Autumnal Festival.

Places to travel

Amalfi coast, Italy

Places to travel in October

Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.

You could make the most of excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting outside the busiest times of year.

Places to travel

Travel Ideas in November

Places to travel in November

Sunny beaches in Thailand, wintry cities in France and blazing foliage in Japan — you can choose from a wide variety of destinations if you’re planning to travel in November. Below, we’ve selected some of the best places to visit, as well as some suggestions of what to see and do while you’re there.

Popular cities in Europe empty out, giving you free run of museums in France, Spain and Italy. Crowds also thin in Peru, so you’ll have more elbow room to enjoy Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley. Thailand and Vietnam both have sunny weather suitable for a beach break, while Morocco’s hot temperatures decline, making it a great time to explore the main cities.

Places to travel

Twelve Apostles on the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Places to travel in December

In December, you can relax in a natural hot spring in Japan before visiting snow monkeys that do the same, enjoy a private tour of the Louvre without the usual crowds or nibble king cake in Portugal. The month offers a wealth of options across the globe, so we’ve listed some of the most popular destinations. We’ve also suggested a few you might not have thought of, where you can take advantage of quieter cities to enjoy sights that are often very busy.

Hike through caves in Vietnam, ply the Amazon’s tributaries by boat in Peru or just relax under sunny skies in Australia or the Algarve.

Places to travel