Top 10 destinations to visit in October

Top 10 destinations to visit in October

Autumn is the season when in southern Europe is still summertime! The sea has had all summer to warm up to rockpool temperature and cities are less sweltering, re-energised for the new term. October brings a more wistful, painterly beauty and Conde Nast Traveller suggests 10 destinations ideal to travel to in October, in the top of the list are the Greek islands.

See the top 10 islands:


The more southerly of the small Greek Islands – the Dodecanese and the Cyclades – are still hot and sunny well into October – and they have a lot of heavenly beaches on which to enjoy it. Rhodes, with its lovely cobbled capital Lindos and parties in its ancient ruins. Tiny Kastellorizo is cool and arty. We also love unspoilt Symi and Patmos. Pick any one, they’re all lovely. Or go island-hopping around them all.


Tutti Italia is on holiday all month long in August. You might think that would make Rome relatively quiet, with every Roman gone to the beach, but it’s not; it’s unbearably busy and unbearably hot. July, too, is unbearably busy and hot; so is much of June. May and September used to be quieter, but lots of people realized that and now they are busy too. Winter can be a bit miserable, though Christmas is quite busy. So October, by default, becomes our month of choice to visit Rome, when it is less busy, still lovely and warm, and you can selfie at the Trevi Fountain in that magic late-summer sunlight without quite so many tourists ruining the view.


It’s springtime in Mauritius in October; the weather is warming up after a long, warm winter. But it’s not yet humid or rainy. Huge Indian Ocean-sized flowers are bursting in bloom and animal hoots and chattering come riffling out of the rainforest. If anyone offers you a trip to Mauritius at any other time of year, we urge you not to turn it down.


One of the most visitor-friendly countries of the Middle East, Jordan remains unseen by many. Yet there are quietly spectacular things to see here: ancient and awe-inspiring Petra, the Roman city of Jerash, the Dead Sea, the Red Sea, great desertscapes where you can stay overnight in a Bedouin camp. In October there are still bright sunny days that light the rock of Petra up rose-red; but it is cool enough to journey into the Valley of the Moon on camel or horseback by day, and warm enough to sleep out under the starry sky by night.


A hot destination right now, the winds of change are finally blowing through old Seville – and October is the best time to visit for fresher air, when the winding streets are a little less sultry but no less romantic. Culturally there’s a lot happening, from pop-up galleries and cafés to a gastronomic revolution.


Even when it rains – and it does rain here, a lot – the Lake District must be one of the most wistfully beautiful places in the world. Never more (many would say) than in fiery autumn, when mist and woodsmoke mix in the morning and good days are pin-sharp, bright with red-gold trees and bracken covering the fells. If only someone could capture such beauty in words.


As above, except with less rain, and leafpeepers (for that is what they call them here) tend to drive to look at the Fall foliage rather than put on walking boots. Combine the fiery Vermont countryside with a Boston city break.


Out of this world all year round – there is no other wildlife like this on earth. However for maximum nature shows, it’s peak season for fish and birds from June til the end of October in the Galápagos Islands. It’s also when there’s least rain. Wait til October and most of the other tourists will have gone back to work; plus the sea should have warmed up a bit in case you were thinking of taking a dip (and you should) to get up close to the phenomenally varied marine life.


Perfect autumn beach destination: Europe, a Mediterranean island, but so far south-east it has the climate of the Middle East. Ta-dah! Enter Cyprus. A rich history and eclectic culture, a blissful climate and fantastic beaches. Away from the dramatically beautiful coastline and the beachfront hotels (our tip for half-termers is the five-star child-friendly Almyra in Paphos) is the lesser-explored interior, the Troodos mountains – the Cotswolds of Cyprus – with their vineyards and hillside villages and friendly tavernas.


Turkey’s beautiful Aegean and Bosphorus coasts are still hot in October, the beaches uncluttered by holidaymakers. There’s a distinctly Greek feel to these regions, and between the coves you’ll find dreamy boutique hotels that are good value for money out of season, and unexpectedly boho fishing villages. Alaçati is one of our favourites (read our feature on it here); and picturesque Selimiye, an hour from Dalaman, tipped as the new Kalkan. Likewise Istanbul – too prickly, too hot in summer – is more pleasant to explore out of season.