While some European summer holiday destinations are quietly drawing to a close, other parts of the world are just waking up to the start of their liveliest season. From autumn sunshine to quick city breaks, there’s a lot to discover in October.
Banner Image Credit:iStock.com/ZoltanGabor
Whether you’re looking for a short city break in bustling Marrakesh or 10 days of blissful beachlife on the west coast, Morocco provides plenty of holiday options. The capital is a colourful adventure of vibrant bazaars, fragrant flavours and beautifully embellished 12th century architecture. Temperatures drop along with the crowd volumes, falling into the 20°C range, making sight-seeing more pleasant. Browse the spice-scented souks and pick up souvenirs of local pottery and leather handicrafts. Or head to the coast and visit Agadir with its golden beach lined with cafes and restaurants. With the sand dunes of the Sahara desert nearby and the High Atlas Mountains just a four-hour drive away, it’s an ideal location to explore the striking Moroccan countryside.
Image Credit: iStock.com/kasto80
If you’re looking for some spontaneous sunshine, make your way to Matala, on the south coast of Crete. Catching the tail-end of summer, you’ll be able to spend lazy days on beautiful beaches without the peak-season crowds. As Crete is Greece’s most southerly island, and it’s nearer Africa than it is to the Greek mainland, temperatures remain hot throughout the month with thermometers simmering at around 20°C. Prices tend to drop around this time of year too, so you’re likely to be able to bag a last-minute bargain. Hire a car and take a tour of the island to discover secluded coves and traditional tavernas in picturesque fishing villages. Or explore Crete’s ancient past with a visit to the Minoan palace at Knossos, which is linked to ancient myths of the Minotaur and labyrinth.
Image Credit: iStock.com/N_michy
Prague, Czech Republic
Each season brings out a different side of the picturesque city of Prague. The sun sizzles over the historic streets in summer as snow-sprinkled Christmas markets emerge during winter. However, October is a particularly enchanting time to explore Prague as the city’s Gothic and Bohemian-Baroque architecture is bathed in a warm autumnal glow. Mild temperatures are ideal for exploring the sights, such as the sculptures along Charles Bridge. Or the largest ancient castle in the world, 10th century Prague Castle. The city becomes even more magical at night when the Signal Light Festival comes to town in October, illuminating the streets with imaginative light installations.
Image Credit: iStock.com/VitalyEdush
Set off on an African adventure and discover the delights of Zambia’s great outdoors. Don’t miss Victoria Falls, one of the world’s natural wonders. You can get fantastic views from the grand Victoria Falls Bridge or treat yourself to a helicopter ride to watch from above as the spectacular sheet of cascading water flows into the Zambezi River. The last weeks of the dry season usher in the ultimate safari experience in Zambia. Be sure to visit one of the many national parks that are teeming with wildlife. The magnificent animals of South Luangwa National Park can be found gathered around the banks of the Luangwa River, staying close to the water source during this arid time.
Image Credit: iStock.com/Tamer Saadeldin Mohamed Desouky
The leafy New England area of the USA lights up with flame-coloured foliage at this time of year and it provides a beautiful backdrop for an east coast road trip. The charming city of Boston is one of the highlights of the region, with pretty brownstone buildings, cobbled streets and colonial-era attractions. See the 16 historical stops along the Freedom Trail before heading to Abigail’s Tea Room at the Boston Tea Party Ship & Museum to revive yourself with a traditional afternoon tea. If your visit falls over Halloween, it could add an extra fun factor to your trip. Boston celebrates it in typical American style with costume-clad trick or treaters, themed pub nights and pumpkin festivals.
Image Credit: iStock.com/Sean Pavone
The island nation of Malta is a wonderful spot to enjoy the warmth of the late Mediterranean sun. A bit like an outdoor museum, Valletta, the UNESCO-listed capital, offers a whole host of historical attractions to see, such as the 16th century St John’s Cathedral. A night of culture fills the streets for October’s Notte Bianca festival, when you can catch art exhibitions, live music and other performances around the city. With temperatures around the 20-25°C mark, it is ideal beach weather and the crystalline sea remains lovely and warm after the scorching summer. Grab a mask and snorkel and explore the rocky shoreline. Or if you’re hoping to enjoy some scuba diving, stunning sites like the Blue Lagoon and the Blue Hole are great at this time of year.
Image Credit: iStock.com/Anton Zelenov
Buenos Aires, Argentina
October is springtime in Argentina so the warm, dry weather is a little cooler than the full-on heat of summer. The vibrant capital city of Buenos Aires buzzes with culture and history. Its Latin spirit infused with European influences can be seen in the city’s stylish architecture. Make time to see the central Plaza de Mayo and explore the cobbled streets of the laid-back San Telmo area. Catch a tango performance and be sure to sample the delicious local Argentinian dishes. Take a drive beyond the city to explore more of this vast and fascinating land. Such as a road trip to the stunning landscapes of Patagonia. It’s a wonderful time of year to see the unique wildlife in this beautiful region.
Image Credit: iStock.com/Henrik Dolle
Although Edinburgh can be rather rainy in October, it generally experiences quite mild autumn weather. It’s a good time to visit before the real winter chill sets in. Stroll along the Royal Mile and you’ll find lots of famous landmarks, as well as indoor activities, such as the Palace of Holyroodhouse and picturesque Edinburgh Castle on its cliff-top perch. Known as one of the UK’s spookiest cities, there are several Halloween balls and traditional Ceilidh dances that take place at the end of the month. As night falls upon the city, the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh comes to life with its colourful Botanic Lights exhibition, which runs into November too.
Image Credit: iStock.com/alice-photo