If you're searching for autumn holiday ideas, then look no further. This travel planner showcases some of the best autumn holiday destinations to visit during this beautiful season. They are incredible locations all year round but particularly as the hubbub of summer slowly winds down. Vibrant green leaves drop from the trees and fade to yellow, orange, and red, littering the ground with a colourful carpet. The summer scene has quietened but hasn't left entirely – this is the perfect time of year to explore iconic landmarks without the queues or tourist buzz. Autumn travel has never been so exciting.
Autumn Travel Planner
Explore a world of colour, or escape to warmer climes
There’s no better time to visit the Golden State than during the ‘fall’. The peak season is coming to an end and September remains warm and dry, with less crowds and lower rates. San Francisco is at its warmest so you can comfortably enjoy the sights of the ‘City by the Bay’. Popular with Orange County surfers, Newport Beach is mild and dry at this time of year. Between September and October, foodies will relish the Newport Beach Wine & Food Festival while families can enjoy shorter queues for the showstopper rides at Disneyland. Thanks to an extensive network of highways, one of the most iconic ways to experience California is to take a road trip. Our recommended route takes you from San Francisco through the wine country, on to Yosemite and the harbour of Monterey. Visit Santa Barbara and wrap your trip in glamorous West Hollywood. The four-day Thanksgiving weekend at the end of November is a wonderful time to mingle with the locals.
Famous for its spectacular foliage, New England transforms into a watercolour masterpiece as autumn hits. Golden trees line the streets; there is a light, warm atmosphere and ripe autumnal produce makes its way into restaurants, cafés and street-food stalls. The cooler temperatures make this the perfect time for a road trip to visit some of New England's best spots or to sit back and savour the stunning scenery simply. Boston's stylish neighbourhoods invite you to explore local culture and history, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine promise photogenic landscapes and coastal tranquillity awaits at Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard.
This is a golden opportunity to savour the spectacular autumn colours of this dynamic country. As the climate cools in the north, take the chance to hike through rural landscapes in the shadow of the Great Wall of China with one of A&K’s English-speaking guides. Two of the best include the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Jiuzhaigou or Jiuzhai Valley National Park. Travel to Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in Hunan province and see where Avatar was filmed. Anyone with a head for heights can walk along the spectacular 360-metre high Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge. November is the perfect time to encounter the sights and sounds of Chengdu. Visit the area’s panda projects, enjoy the city’s relaxed teahouse culture, and sample the spicy Sichuan cuisine. You can also take a cultural excursion on the Yangtze River to learn about China's rich cultural heritage and historic Silk Road. Chinese National Day takes place in the first week of October, so we would recommend travelling after this busy period.
The British autumn falls just as Botswana experiences the gruelling dry season. The air is hot and humid – no problem in a luxury hotel or safari camp, but essential to the lives of local wildlife. By this time of year, most water sources have run dry, and many animals congregate around remaining waterholes. These are the ideal conditions to spot herbivorous antelope, wildebeest and hippo gathering to drink and, of course, the predators that hunt them. Look out for lion, leopard and cheetah. Birdwatchers are also in for a treat as Botswana is home to nearly 600 different species.
During our autumn months, Argentina experiences a mixed seasonal climate. Springtime arrives in the north of the country and transforms the landscape into a colourful collage. Patagonian wildlife wakes up from hibernation and the areas surrounding the Iguazu Falls – the largest in the world – come alive at this time of year. Yet the south remains snowy, making this part of Argentina ideal for an autumnal skiing holiday. Colder conditions make for prime polar wildlife-spotting opportunities, observing penguin, whale and seal cruising the icy waters. In November, Argentines celebrate the Día de la Tradición, in honour of historic Gaucho culture.
Experience this intoxicating country in comfort as the monsoon season eases off and average temperatures reach a comfortable 29 degrees Celsius. Mumbai is starting to cool down which makes it the ideal time to view the city sights and nearby attractions such as Elephanta Island and Siddhivinayak Temple. October is a wonderful time to explore the Andaman Islands. You can go island hopping, snorkelling, and trekking through the jungles or kayaking through the mangroves. Diwali, India’s festival of lights, falls between October and November. North India is one of the best places to experience the festivities, while Varanasi holds its largest celebrations during Dev Deepawal. You can see the waters of the Ganges and the steps of the city’s famous ghats illuminated by oil lamps as Hindus flock to the riverbank. In November, the climate is likely to be dry and warm. This is also an ideal time to take a cruise up the sacred Ganges or explore Kolkata. The heat of Rajasthan lifts as winter approaches. In the south, visit the inimitable Hampi and take a cruise along the backwaters aboard a houseboat.
There’s no better time to enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the ‘fairy chimney’ rock formations which punctuate the honeycomb hills of Cappadocia. During a sunrise hot-air balloon ride you will glide over Monks Valley where you will see the natural minaret-like pillars glowing in an orange hue. Autumn is the perfect time to visit Turkey as the high season has ended, but the waters are still warm enough for a swim in the Bodrum Peninsula or along the Turquoise Coast. You can head to Patara Beach to see the nesting turtles before the breeding season ends in October. As the temperature cools in Istanbul this is the perfect time for a cruise along the Bosphorus strait which marks the point where Asia and Europe meet. From these waters you can view the city skyline of minarets and mosques along with yalis (seafront mansions). The grand Suleyman Mosque perches on the third hill of Istanbul’s seven and dominates the skyline of the Golden Horn. The Grand Bazaar lies in the heart of the walled Old City and is the perfect place to sip Turkish coffee and haggle over the price of silk carpets during the cool of the evening air.
While Portugal is known for its spectacular Atlantic coastline and golf courses, autumn is the ideal time to visit some of the country’s historic cities from Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto. The cooler temperatures are comfortable for exploring the bairros (neighbourhoods) or sampling the best street food in Europe. In Porto, you can visit the atmospheric Ribeira district and sip a glass of port wine at one of the famous wine lodges on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the River Douro. As the crowds disperse, October is the perfect time to practice your swing on the championship golf courses dotted along the Algarve. While it may not be prime beach weather, you can discover more about the unspoilt fishing villages of this region where time seems to have stood still. This is one of the best places to try fresh fish in small local eateries all the way up to Michelin-starred restaurants.
The lure of crystal-clear waters which lap the beaches of the Caribbean beckon at this time of year. As we race towards winter in the northern hemisphere, you can enjoy balmy days relaxing on white-sandy beaches on one of the idyllic islands. From December the weather becomes drier and less humid making it the perfect time to shake off the winter blues. If you're seeking a pure sun holiday, there's no better place than the Caribbean. For an unforgettable getaway, embark on an island-hopping adventure to discover the lively atmosphere of Antigua, charming villages of Barbados and enjoy Caribbean glitz and glamour in the Bahamas. The Caribbean offers Instagram-worthy beaches, incredible cuisine, and a famously laid-back lifestyle. All you have to do is decide which island to visit and you’ll soon be sipping a rum sundowner.
One of the best times to visit the Seychelles is between October and November, as these are the calmer periods between the two trade winds which hit the island each year (the other is between April and May). As the clocks go back in the UK and winter beckons, the 115 islands which make up the archipelago of the Seychelles is the perfect place to prepare yourself for the colder months ahead. Relax on swathes of white sandy beaches fringed by palm trees or step offshore to snorkel among rainbow corals and shimmering shoals of fish. Go island hopping to get a flavour of these enchanting islands famous for the giant tortoise. Explore Praslin’s Vallee de Mai, which is home to the rare coco de mer palms. Visit in October and you will experience the annual Festival Kreol. A programme of cultural events are held across all the islands culminating in a colourful parade through the streets of the capital, Victoria. If you’re planning an autumn wedding, there’s no better honeymoon destination at this time of year than the exclusive islands of Denis and Cousine.
The best time to visit Mauritius is toward the end of the year, from October through to December, when temperatures are the hottest and driest. This French-flavoured island in the Indian Ocean is a glamorous choice for sand-between-the-toes relaxation at this time of year. Before winter arrives in the UK, you can lap up the heat on the pristine white sandy beaches. For those who can be tempted away from their lounger, you can learn more about the history of this country with a visit to Hindu temples which appear to rise out of sugarcane fields. Enjoy a stroll through the capital Port Louis and browse the bustling outdoor markets. Inland you will find a mountainous heart, where waterfalls thunder and birdlife thrive. During this season you can enjoy the International Kreol Festival that celebrates the local culture. The week-long celebrations include concerts, poetry sessions, plays, art exhibitions and, of course, the exquisite local cuisine. The festival is held in November or early December.
Travel planners for all seasons
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