19 July 2017
There are many reasons why October is regarded as one of the better months for travel in many corners of the globe. Gone are the summer months and its associated peak season price tags and larger crowds, while the plummeting temperatures and attraction closures in the winter months are still at arm’s length.
The all too fleeting transition from summer to autumn is captured across destinations still retaining pleasant climates, evolving foliage colours, and festivals celebrating harvest season amid the final swansong of summer before the dark winter night’s firmly set in.
We’ve picked out some of our favourite October getaways where you can be sure to get the best out of your travel plans.
As many birds would fly south for the winter, the common consensus would decree that you should look to head as far south as possible when booking an October holiday. A northern destination that unashamedly comes into its own during the closing throes of summer would be The Lake District. Woodlands are set ablaze with vibrant hues of autumnal colour, bringing to life the morning mists and the unending natural beauty captured by poets such as Coleridge and Wordsworth. The main towns of Windermere and Ambleside provide ideal bases from which to explore the scenic countryside and hike through walking trails still in good condition before the winter months.
These islands are a must visit all year round, but October represents the optimal month for visiting this rare wildlife haven. Peak viewing for fish and birds runs from June until the end of October when there is minimal rainfall to spoil nature’s spectacle, while many tourists have gone back to work and school, clearing the way for rampant exploration of the abundant land and marine based wildlife, the latter of which can be explored from warmed up waters through fantastic scuba diving and snorkelling sites.
The red and gold tints of the changing trees ensure Richmond’s scenic forestry expanse a discerning holiday of choice in October. Skyline Drive, winding its way past the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains in Shenandoah National Park, is widely recognised as of the America’s most rewarding road trips. An array of walking and hiking adventures can be explored before venturing into Virginia’s capital, where Civil War monuments and striking architecture combine to offer a great twin destination adventure merging the natural with the intriguingly cosmopolitan.
October means springtime in the Southern Hemisphere, where ski season ends on the South Island and melting snow makes way for blooming flowers. This is the perfect time to explore Queenstown Gardens and for adrenaline seekers to tick off much from their bucket list in the provision of bungee jump, skydive, canyon swing and paragliding activities to be found to the most refreshing of natural backdrops. Spa and wellness retreats are aplenty here for more unwinding getaways, while Lord of the Rings fans are spoilt for choice in the numerous tours on offer where you can explore the otherwise fictional world for real.
Quite literally rising from the ashes of a volcanic eruption in the Cyclades, Santorini exists today as a marvellous geographical sight. Arriving by plane or boat sees whitewashed, blue-dome tipped homes and hotels dramatically scattered high above the Aegean, with the charming towns of Oia and Fire nestled atop the steep cliffs. Visiting in October reduces the crowds swarming around the Oia markets, enabling you to find a prime spot in which to watch the memorable sunsets regarded as one of the most romantic spectacles in the world.
If a late booking for sun and sand is required then the Canary Islands’ Lanzarote offers a safe bet. With temperatures rarely dropping below 20C even as the island approaches the winter months, the resort areas dotted around the south coast in Playa Blanca, Costa Teguise and Puerto del Carmen all represents great locations to enjoy a relaxed holiday amidst still open bars, restaurants and local festivities within capital Arrecife.