The end of summer doesn't have to mean the end of the holiday season. In fact, there are plenty of places to visit in October, once the summer crowds have gone home and the locals have reclaimed their space.
Whether you're craving a final fix of sunshine before the winter sets in or you're hoping to discover somewhere new, an October getaway could be just what you need the beat the post-summer blues. And I've rounded up twenty destinations from around the globe that will do just that.
Many of these hotspots are packed during the summer, but could be all yours - and still warm - come October. And with fewer tourists and milder temperatures, you'll be able to secure a spot on the beach and comfortably enjoy the magic that autumn brings to the great outdoors. Best of all, you can snag affordable airfares and hotel rates. So, if you're ready to hold onto that summer feeling, let's get started.
Best places to visit in October
Best places to visit in October - Contents
Tenerife, Spain in October
Often described as the "island of eternal spring,” Tenerife has long been a go-to for travellers looking for winter-warmth without the long flight. While the island has a reputation as a fly and flop destination, Tenerife is a dark horse. I mean, where else in the world can you trek ancient rainforests, witness whales in their natural habitat, climb Spain's highest peak, explore lava caves, and dine in Michelin star restaurants? That's quite a laundry list.
Walking around Tenerife's lush interior - including Teide National Park - is a real must. When you're ready to cool off, the island's exterior, defined by miles of golden shores, is lined with resorts, watersports, and delicious eateries. Mild temperatures and fewer tourists mean more sunbeds and less waiting times. But, don't worry, it won't feel like you're staying in a ghost town, all the resorts are open for business.
There are many fun things to do in Tenerife in October. The most popular tour in Tenerife is the Whale and Dolphin watching using a boat with underwater windows. Visit Loro Parque Tenerife's world-famous animal adventure park or get a ride in the Mount Teide Cable Car to Spain's highest peak.
Recommended Tenerife Hotels in October
Algarve, Portugal in October
Leave the UK at 9am and you could be soaking up the sun in the Algarve by mid-afternoon. Sounds stress-free, right? Most people arrive in the Algarve and join the sunbathers on the busy sands of Albufeira or Lagos. However, head east from the airport and you'll discover a different kind of luxury. Unspoiled beaches, charming fishing towns and stunning landscapes make the eastern Algarve a desirable destination for travellers seeking something more than an autumn beach break.
Summer may be too hot to enjoy everything this region has to offer, but the pleasant temperatures (mid-20C) and the gentle breeze of autumn bring new opportunities for hiking, biking and kayaking.
Portugal's close proximity to Africa makes this region a natural wildlife sanctuary, especially for migrating birds crossing the Mediterranean. When you're ready for your beach fix, Ilha de Tavira - a 10km sandbar island accessed by ferry from the mainland - boasts idyllic beaches minus the unsightly high-rise hotels.
Enjoy the later summer sun in the Algarve and join one of the many dolphin watching cruises or hop on board a boat and discover the secret caves of the Algarve coastline.
Recommended Algarve Hotels in October
Cyprus in October
Summer may be gorgeous in Cyprus, but once the crowds recede and the intense heat of the summer subsides, Cyprus is the perfect autumn beach destination. With temperatures still in the mid-20s, you'll have ample opportunities to bathe on the beach with a good book. If you can peel yourself away from the sunbed, slip on a pair of walking boots and hit the Troodos Forest Nature Trail, or rent a bike from one of the many rental spots around the island and explore the countryside.
The diving season in Cyprus typically runs until the end of October. If you're feeling really adventurous, the Zenobia - just off the coast of Larnaca - has been voted one of the top ten wreck dives in the world.
Enjoy the lovely October weather in Cyprus while on board a Catamaran Cruise with swim stops, food and drinks. Alternatively, join a walking tour and learn about the history of Famagusta's Ghost Town.
Recommended Cyprus Hotels in October
Crete, Greece in October
The largest of the Greek Islands, the botanically-rich island of Crete is an oasis of tranquillity during the less-touristy months of autumn. Temperatures rarely drop below double figures in October, so the water is warm enough to enjoy a dip but cool enough for those who prefer to fill their days getting to know the island's lush interior and rich history. And since the island isn't jammed-packed with tourists, there are fewer bums on the beach and shorter queues at archaeological sites like Knossos, Aptere or Minoan Palace. Don't forget to check where to stay in Crete.
The hugely popular hiking trails of the Samaria Gorge won't be completely tourist-free in October, but experiencing this region in autumn is much more enjoyable. Europe's longest, deepest and arguably most dramatic gorge is full of wild species and rich in flora and fauna. The gorge closes to the public at the end of October and will occasionally close on rainy days, so be sure to check the park's website before you leave.
And if one Greek paradise is not enough, hop on a 2-hour ferry to the neighbouring island of Santorini to explore its cliffside villages and dreamy sunsets. While flights become less frequent in October, it is still very easy to fly direct to Crete.
Escape the rainy autumn days and visit Crete this October. Crete has more to offer however than just the breathtaking beaches and delicious food. Visit the Venetian Castle on Gramvousa Island and swim in the clear waters of the Balos Lagoon. If you had enough of swimming, head inland and visit Europe's longest gorge. Just don't forget to bring good tracking shoes.
Recommended Crete Hotels in October
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Seville, Spain in October
If sunshine is what you're after, make your way to Seville, where the summer lingers longer than anywhere else in Europe. Arguably one of the most attractive and culturally interesting cities in Spain, Seville goes far beyond its beach staples. The glorious sunshine means that terrace season is still in full swing, while the pleasantly mild temperatures are ideal for exploring the city's parks, plazas and neighbourhoods on foot.
You could (and should) spend hours marvelling the beautiful architecture of the Cathedral of the Virgin Mary - a UNESCO site and the third largest cathedral in the world. Next door stands the imposing Giralda bell-tower. Climb 34 sloping ramps to reach the top where you'll be rewarded with stunning views across the city.
Come to Seville in October and you'll not only enjoy an unrivalled (and uncrowded) tapas scene, but you'll also be able to take your tastebuds around the globe at the Festival de la Naciones - an international food and cultural festival, held in the Prado de San Sebastian Park.
Seville is the perfect October city break destination. It's pleasantly warm, cultural and has outstanding cuisine. Visit the world-famous Alcazar and the Cathedral. Afterwards, get a drink and enjoy an authentic Triana Flamenco Show. Don't forget to try tapas and sangria at a local restaurant.
Recommended Seville Hotels in October
Costa del Sol, Spain in October
Is there a more stress-free October getaway than Spain's Costa del Sol? Reached in just under three hours from London and boasting more than 325 sunny days per year, Costa del Sol is hard to beat as an autumn break. And with temperatures of around 20-24 degrees, t-shirts and shorts are still a comfortable choice on the Costa throughout October.
The region's 90 golf courses, four of which are ranked amongst the top ten in Europe, have earned Costa del Sol its reputation as "Costa del Golf.” Once you've honed your swing, stroll the quaint Spanish towns that line the coast before settling into a traditional eatery to enjoy a long lunch of Sangria and seafood paella. Retreat to the beach for a post-lunch siesta where you're guaranteed a private plot of sun-warmed sand.
Time your autumn trip to Costa Del Sol right and you could be joining the three day El Dia de Los Muertos celebrations (better known as Halloween), which kicks off on 31st October.
It's very likely that you will not want to be away from the beach for too long but if you do, our recommendation is to visit Caminito del Rey, one of the most beautiful places in the mountains of Malaga. You can book the trip here.
Recommended Costa del Sol Hotels in October
Berlin, Germany in October
Not everyone's looking for eternal sunshine. Instead, Berlin satisfies a different itch: it's for foodies, creatives and culture vultures. What Berlin lacks in balmy beaches, it makes up for with its intriguing blend of cutting-edge and historical architecture, trendy galleries, gorgeous green spaces, and cosy bars. An uber-cool city, it's hard to resist Berlin's buzz.
The city's food markets continue to gain great stature amongst local foodies. For an upscale taste of Berlin, drop into Bite Club's monthly food market, which brings together some of the city's restaurant hotspots serving seasonal and innovative dishes. Or find your way to Boxhagener Platz flea market, filled with vintage treasures, antiques and jewellery. The city's colourful galleries and museums are guaranteed to brighten up the odd grey and rainy day. Don't forget to read the in-depth guide on where to stay in Berlin.
There are many important memorials and monuments to visit in Berlin. Join one of the organised walking tours and learn about the history and future of this great city where West meets East. To allow your legs to rest, hop on board a cruise and take in the views of the city from the river Spree.
Recommended Berlin Hotels in October
Prague, Czech Republic in October
While Prague is one of Europe's best-preserved cities, it often gets overlooked in favour of its neighbours. Towering over the city, the hilltop Castle Quarter houses historical buildings, galleries, museums and some of the cities most important churches. For obvious reasons, it's become a tourist hotspot, but during the quieter months of autumn, it's all yours (well, not quite, but it's definitely easier to explore).
Connecting the Castle to Old Town are several bridges, including the beautiful, pedestrianised Charles Bridge, flanked with Baroque statues, as well as buskers, puppeteers and artisans. While away your day wandering the cobbled courtyards and romantic alleyways of Old Town - an image made even more fairytale-like with its horse-drawn carriages.
The cooler temperatures provide the perfect excuse to warm up in one of the city's traditional beer houses and enjoy a hearty meal of roast pork with dumplings and sauerkraut, fruit dumplings and apple strudel. Delicious. Don't forget to read where to stay in Prague.
Prague is famous for its beautiful architecture and rich history. Visit the Prague castle with a small group and a local guide or enjoy the panoramic Vltava River Cruise. In the evening, join the locals in one of the many pubs and enjoy the famously tasty czechish beer.
Recommended Prague Hotels in October
Rome, Italy in October
If you can picture yourself dining al fresco surrounded by spectacular fountains and ancient monuments, the Eternal City is the place for you. In October, Rome is tinged with beautiful autumn colours and mild weather that offers respite from Italy's sweltering summers. And with harvests in full swing, the country comes alive with food markets, festivals, feasts and celebrations.
Wander through the city's colourful food markets, like Campo de Fiori, where you can throw yourself into Rome's rich culinary traditions. For a taste of the surrounding regions, head to Soriano nel Cimino, just north of Rome, for the Sagra della Castagna (chestnut festival).
Or if you're craving something stronger, hop on a train to the Castelli Romani region, where you can sip and swirl your way around the Marino grape festival. When you've eaten (or drank) yourself into a food coma, Rome's empty beaches provide the perfect spot for a restful siesta.
The queues are a bit shorter and the days are a bit cooler in Rome in October. It's the best time to visit the city for a weekend and discover the ancient city with its many secrets. Visit the Vatican and marvel at the Sistine Chapel, learn about the history of the Colosseum or just hop on the sightseeing bus and enjoy the ride in Europe's famous city of love.
Recommended Rome Hotels in October
London, UK in October
There's something so gorgeous about London in autumn, and yes, I am slightly biased when it comes to my home city. Most people come to London to tick off Big Ben, the London Eye and the Tower of London - all of which are worthy of their reputation. But it's not just the bright lights and big sights that draw visitors to London in the autumn. Delve a little deeper into the city and you'll discover a different side of London.
Frequented by trendy locals, Camden Passage is lined with vintage shops and independent cafes, while the charming Little Venice neighbourhood, spanning from Hyde Park to Warwick Avenue, is filled with narrow boats and lined with leafy streets.
Who knew that London has over 8 million trees, making it the world's largest urban forest? The city's royal parks, ablaze in seasonal colours, look more glorious than ever at this time of year. Some of the top picnic spots include Hampstead Heath, Hyde Park and Holland Park. As autumn arrives in London, the crowds of summer subside, freeing up accommodation and pushing down the city's notoriously high hotel rates. Also, don't forget to take some awesome day trips from London too.
It can be rainy in London in October so don't forget to pack your umbrella. Start your visit at the Warner Brothers Studio and discover the magical world of Harry Potter. Jump back in time and marvel at the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. Rest your legs during the sightseeing cruise on the river Thames.
Recommended London Hotels in October
Paris, France in October
Ah, Paris. A city that's worth visiting every day of the year. Particularly in autumn. As most of the tourists disappear and the Parisians return to the city, the French capital can be seen in a more authentic light.
Explore the city at a slower pace, starting with a leisurely stroll around Paris's parks and gardens - made even more spectacular by explosive red and orange hues. Swing by Angelina to grab a cup of their famous hot chocolate to warm your hands whilst wandering the Jardin des Tuileries or Parc Monceau - the source of inspiration for many artists, including Monet.
But it's not just the parks that suddenly feel emptier in autumn. All the city's major monuments and attractions are still open in October, and with fewer tourists to compete with, you can reclaim those precious hours of queuing for Notre Dame or the Louvre and actually take your time to explore the museums and monuments. And since you won't have to slip into that summer bikini for a few months, you can fully indulge in that epic Parisian food consisting of delicious pastries, cheeses and bread, washed down with a glass of Bordeaux. Paris perfection! Don't forget to check where to stay in Paris.
There are so many things to do and see in Paris that we will only mention a few must-see attractions. Visit the Louvre with an expert guide. Take a guided tour around Versailles, one of Europe's largest palaces. Don't miss the Paris Opera House, - and enjoy the cheese and wine. Oh, and if you are there, you might as well take the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tower.
Recommended Paris Hotels in October
Dubai, UAE in October
Reached in 7 hours from the UK and drenched in year-round sunshine, Dubai is the perfect place for an exotic autumn escape. As most European cities wind down from a busy summer, Dubai is just getting started. Though cheaper than travelling to Dubai in winter, October marks the start of peak season so expect to see slightly higher airfares and hotel rates. But, when it comes to luxury holidays, Dubai is high on the chart.
Be prepared to be wowed by a sea of glittering five-star hotels, luxury spas, Michelin-star restaurants, and of course, glitzy malls selling haute couture. If you need more movement than shifting from your sunbed to the poolside bar, Aquaventure at Atlantis lives up to its name as one of the world's best waterparks. Trust me, some of the slides will test the nerves of even an adrenaline junkie. For something extra special, spend a night or two at one of the luxury Bedouin-style resorts, that is set within miles of the peaceful Arabian desert and just a short drive from the city.
October is still off-season in Dubai. The weather is slowly cooling but it's still hot. However, the prices are very decent and the city is not busy so you can enjoy many activities without the usual crowds. Take the Speedboat Tour and visit many important parts of Dubai, like the Marina, the Atlantis, Palm Island and the Burj Al Arab building. Head inland to the desert and see the Red Dunes or enjoy two of Dubai's Water Theme Parks with unlimited access.
Recommended Dubai Hotels in October
Morocco, Africa in October
Just a few short hours from the UK, Morocco is a year-round destination that offers a cultural experience like no other. Take a sensory wander through the colourful and chaotic souks of Marrakech, lined with snake charmers, musicians and dancers, before retreating to the roof terrace of Cafe Arabe for a traditional mint tea - the perfect spot to watch the chaos unfold beneath you. As dusk falls, head to the famous Djemaa el Fna Square, in the heart of Marrakech, to enjoy a warming dish of lamb tagine or unwind in a traditional hammam (a Moroccan bathhouse).
The quieter, laid-back coastal town of Essaouira offers relief from the bustle of Morocco's bigger cities. Beyond the stone gates and fortified walls of the vibrant medina, remote sandy coves and lofty waves make Essaouira a hotspot for surfers, year-round. Outdoor enthusiasts should head for the heights of the Atlas Mountains. Once the ferocious heat of the summer has abated, and before the winter snow sets in, the region is a haven for hikers of all levels and offers a glimpse into traditional Berber culture.
You can't miss the famous Blue Town of Chefchaouen when visiting Morocco. For those who love nature, we recommend the Ouzoud Waterfalls and the adventure lovers can enjoy the Desert Quad & Dromedary Tour.
Recommended Morocco Hotels in October
Nelson, New Zealand in October
Located at the mouth of New Zealand's South Island, Nelson is one of the sunniest spots in the country. Sure, it's not the easiest place to get to, but ride out the long flight and you'll be rewarded with long golden beaches, untouched forests, rugged mountains and a lively arts and culture scene.
Perhaps Nelson's main draw is the neighbouring national parks, the most popular being Abel Tasman National Park. Here, days are spent strolling the shady coastal path or kayaking the shoreline, while nights are devoted to dining alfresco and sleeping under the stars. Kahurangi National Park and Nelson Lakes National Park are other nearby favourites.
Adrenaline junkies are never far from their fix in Nelson. Paragliding, skydiving, quad biking and white water rafting are all local activities, while Northwest Nelson is one of the most popular caving destinations in New Zealand.
Nelson a little known destination but it has so much to offer. It is also a great base to go to day trips from. Visit the Abel Tasman National Park with Cruise or join a Winery Tour and discover the Nelson's Wine Region. Wine tasting included.
Recommended Nelson Hotels in October
Lisbon, Portugal in October
Hop on the city's iconic yellow trams for an unofficial tour of the city and explore Lisbon's popular museums and galleries, crowd-free. Set in leafy gardens, the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian is home to an impressive collection of Western and Eastern art that attracts art enthusiasts from all around the globe. In autumn, Lisbon comes alive with film and arts festivals, including the MOTELX, an international horror festival. But if you're more into haute couture than horror, lookout for big-name designers attending Lisbon's twice-yearly fashion week.
Forget New York, Paris and London; Lisbon's food scene is one of the most exciting in Europe right now. All across the city, you'll see a new wave of young chefs putting unexpected and modern twists on humble Portuguese dishes. And since the city is famously built on seven hills, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to drinking and dining with a view. Be sure to visit the highly acclaimed SkyBar at sunset to enjoy a sangria and sweeping views over the city. Also, don't forget to check where to stay in Lisbon.
Lisbon has the perfect weather in October but without the tourists. After sitting down for a coffee and a pastel de nata, visit some of the famous sites in the city. The Pena Palace & Park towers over the city with colourful walls and unusual architecture.
Go on a Sailing Tour on the Tagus River or visit the Lisbon Oceanarium and learn about our oceans and the amazing marine life. In the evening, try one of the local restaurants and enjoy the rich Portugese cuisine with a glass of port or wine.
Recommended Lisbon Hotels in October
Tokyo, Japan in October
Tokyo's event card is packed full during the autumn months, offering something for every type of traveller. And with sunny days and mild temperatures, visitors can comfortably enjoy the myriad of traditional festivals, cultural soirees and culinary events that autumn brings, including the Japanese pastime, Tsukimi (moon-viewing gatherings). Moon-viewing celebrations are held all over the city in temples, shrines and parks, where its commonplace to dine on delicious rice dumplings and enjoy cultural performances. Traditional tea festivals, sumo wrestling tournaments and mushroom foraging events all add to the city's exciting diary of autumn events. To escape the crowds, seek out one of Tokyo's zen-like parks or gardens. Rikugi-en and Hama-rikyu are my top picks.
Tokyo is not a weekend destination. In October, the summer heat gives way to cooler weather which brings the beautiful autumn foliage. We usually say that there are so many things to do in Tokyo that you need at least two weeks there. However, we understand that this is not always possible. Check out our Tokyo guides based on how much time you have. Also, don't forget to check where to stay in Tokyo.
Recommended Tokyo Hotels in October
Kyoto, Japan in October
Japan's cherry blossoms are famous the world over, but the fall foliage in Kyoto holds a different kind of beauty. From mid-October to mid-December, the city's gardens, temples and shrines burst with colour as the maple trees ablaze with vibrant reds and oranges. The temples of Tofuku-ji, Nanzen-ji and Ginkaku-ji are all prime fall foliage spots and popular amongst the locals, so arrive early to avoid crowds.
With over 1600 Buddhist temples and more than 400 Shinto shrines, the city is a mecca for history buffs, yet Kyoto's ancient past blends effortlessly with towering skyscrapers and futuristic architecture visible throughout the city. Shop the high-end fashion stores of Takashimaya or try your hand at sushi-making at Awomb, before retreating back to your luxury hotel for a healing Japanese massage and a great night's sleep.
The old capital of Japan, Kyoto is a historical and cultural hub. In October, there are many events in the city and the main attractions are less busy than usual. Take the day-long tour and discover Kyoto's UNESCO and Historical Sites, attend a Tea Ceremony and try authentic Japanes foods during this Food Tour. Read about the delicious street food in Kyoto.
Recommended Kyoto Hotels in October
Amsterdam, Netherlands in October
In Amsterdam, when the thermometer goes down, the cosiness level amps up. Autumn in Amsterdam is for strolling along the city's historic canals, where the banks are lined with red, orange and gold trees, and popping into a cosy cafe for a warm cup of koffie verkeerd (the Dutch version of a latte) and a slice of apple pie. Unbuckle your belt because autumn offers the very best of traditional Dutch cuisine including Oliebollen (deep-fried doughnuts), Dutch stamppot (mash with veg and sausages) and erwtensoep (pea soup).
Don't worry - a rainy day won't get in the way of your autumn escape. Amsterdam is home to some great museums and galleries including the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum - both of which are worth visiting, come rain or shine. Music and nightlife is also a huge part of Amsterdam's culture. The city is always up for a party, especially in October, when renowned DJs come to celebrate electronic music at the Amsterdam Dance Event.
Top all of that with off-season hotel rates and airfares, and fewer crowds and you have the perfect autumn escape.
With its famous canals, quirky architecture and infamous red-light district, Amsterdam is one of the most well known European cities. Amsterdam is best to be discovered on foot or on an evening cruise. Visit the many museums, like the Van Gogh Museum in the heart of the city. Check out the Heineken Experience which is a must-see for beer lovers.
Recommended Amsterdam Hotels in October
Salzburg, Austria in October
Renowned as the birthplace of Mozart and "The Sound of Music,” the alpine city of Salzburg is something straight out of a fairytale, and perfect for anyone looking for a cosy and cultural autumn break. When the summer crowds have tapered off, visitors can experience the charm of Salzburg at their own pace.
Pack a pair of comfy shoes and wrap up warm, because this compact city is best explored on foot. Meander the quiet side streets and grand squares of the Old Town, where you will discover beautiful baroque churches including the Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom). Cross the Salzach River to explore the charms of New Town and the Mirabell Palace & Gardens, one of Salzburg's many Sound of Music locations.
Recommended Salzburg Hotels in October
Tromsø, Norway in October
The snowy mountains and chilly climate of the Arctic Circle are world's away from the sun-drenched beaches and all-inclusive resorts of southern Europe. If you're visiting Tromsø in autumn, be prepared for an adventure. You can add it as part of a Norway itinerary or as part of a road trip around Norway.
Tromsø's unique location and stable weather makes it one of the best places in the world to see the Northern Lights. And while there are no guarantees, timing your visit between October and March gives you the best chance of witnessing the great spectacle. Since Tromsø can get super cold, we recommend checking out our special packing list for Norway.
Those who come to Tromsø to seek the Northern Lights, we recommend one of the many tours. During the day, catch a fjord cruise and marvel at the amazing polar landscape. Be sure to take warm clothes with you.
Recommended Tromsø Hotels in October