As we bid a fond farewell to the summer months, erratic as they often are in the UK, those who have a touch of wanderlust in their souls are likely to be focusing on their next adventure. After all, the best way to get over the holiday blues is to start planning another! But as we look ahead to autumn, where are the best destinations to visit during October?
The good news for sun-seekers is that summer certainly isn’t over yet in the southern regions of Europe. In fact, months of blazing sunshine has warmed the waters in some coastal areas to positively balmy temperatures while city breaks will be much more bearable now the stifling heat of peak season has passed.
If you’re in search of atmospheric scenery more than sunshine, look to the east where the mighty monsoons are drawing to a close in many choice regions of Asia; go west to North America to watch the fiery colours of fall take root; or head to South Africa to catch the tail-end of the dry season before the great rains come.
Need a little more guidance before booking that ticket? Take a look at our list of the best places to travel in October and get some inspiration for your next big trip…
Who says you have to travel far to enjoy a glorious break? Nature lovers can do no better than the beautiful Lake District as the season begins to turn. The fresh, clean air will tempt you into long walks in the Great Outdoors whilst the red-gold leaves and heathery bracken that blanket the fells look particularly atmospheric when wreathed in autumn mist.
Beach lovers can chase the sun with a visit to the southernmost islands of Greece. The Dodecanese are an archipelago ideal for island-hopping with sumptuous beaches and sparkling turquoise seas. Visit enchanting Rhodes with its ancient ruins and breathtaking beaches, the tiny yet sophisticated Kastellorizo, or explore the white-washed landscapes and unspoilt scenery of tranquil Symi, Fourni or Patmos.
The temperatures have dropped to a comfortable 16 degrees in the Hungarian city of Budapest - just right for exploring the city on foot. October is a particularly entertaining time to visit due to the Budapest Pálinka and Sausage Festival, traditionally held at the start of the month. Epicurean travellers will enjoy sampling pálinka, a type of Hungarian brandy as well as some of the fanciest sausages the city has to offer.
Marseille enjoys a balmy climate during October, ideal for those who can’t resist an evening relaxing at a pavement cafe or terrace bar, sipping some fine French wine or the local liqueur, pastis and tucking into a plate of fresh-off-the-boat seafood. Watch the yachts glide into port as the sun sinks, darkness falls and the beautiful town lights up.
October in Zambia bridges the gap between the dry season and the rains – it is also one of the best times of year to go on safari here. Months of clear skies have depleted the water sources in South Luangwa National Park, leaving the animals no choice but to congregate around the areas of the Luangwa River that still offer a refreshing drink, resulting in all manner of fascinating interaction.
Selected by Lonely Planet as one of the best places in North America to watch the forests burst into colour in autumn, visit Virginia and rent a car to experience one of the USA’s most famous road trips, the Skyline Drive. Though it only takes a few hours, the route snakes for 105 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains, boasting spectacular scenery and offering opportunities for hikers to trek sections of the famous Appalachian Trail.
Another choice spot for sun-seekers, the shimmering, cerulean waters of Turkey’s Bosphorous and Aegean coasts remain warm and inviting, the silky sands offering plenty of space now that peak season has passed. Explore traditional fishing villages such as Selimiye and Alaçati or head inland to enjoy a cruise along the scenic Dalaman river.
October is the ideal month to visit the vibrant town of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The uncomfortably hot and humid rainy season is just coming to an end, bringing with it altogether more bearable climes. Here you can indulge in delicious Asian cuisine with an almost never-ending supply of affordable restaurants and admire the east meets west architecture with a distinct nod to the French colonial era. Of course, the main reason tourists flock to Siem Reap is that it’s the perfect jumping off point to explore the mighty Angkor Wat – a sprawling complex of crumbled ruins and imposing temples. Fans of history and culture will enjoy watching the sunrise over this UNESCO-listed site.
Wherever in the world you might be off to this October, be sure to remember to purchase the correct travel insurance for your trip. With Medical Travel Compared you can check the prices of a wide variety of different insurers, many of which provide cover for those with existing medical conditions. Just a little helping hand to help you work through your holiday checklist.