Hvar town on Hvar island, Croatia

10 of the Best Places to Visit in October

October is a shoulder season in the northern and southern hemispheres, offering smaller crowds and lower prices than the summer or winter months. Escape the autumn chill for warmer weather or celebrate the season’s foliage at one of our top destinations for October.

Europe

Lisbon

Lisbon, Portugal at Belem Tower on the Tagus River

Lisbon offers a rich seafaring history, cosmopolitan ethos and a beautiful coastline. With temperatures hovering near the low 70’s, plentiful sunshine and smaller crowds than you’d find in the summer months, October is the perfect time to visit Portugal’s coastal capital.

Perfect for: Anyone who wants to explore one of Europe’s underrated coastal cities
Average weather: 59 – 73 degrees, 11 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Take in an authentic Portuguese bullfight (different from Spanish fights in that the bull is not killed) at Campo Poqueno
• Have dinner and drinks amidst the charm of the vintage Barrio Alto neighborhood
• Visit the Museu de Marinha to see artifacts from Portugal’s long and noted maritime history
• Watch the sun set over the ocean as you walk along the 24 km of white sand beaches that make up the Costa de Caparica
• Soak in the of the Torre de Belém, a beautiful 16th century structure featuring a monastery and excellent vistas.

The Dodecanese Islands of Greece

Greek holidays at Symi island

Located closer to Turkey than mainland Greece, the Dodecanese islands stay warm well into October, making this the perfect place to lay out in the sun and forget about summer being over back home.

Perfect for: Island hoppers and ancient history buffs
Average weather: 64 – 75 degrees, 5 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Check out a reproduction of The Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
• Explore the Fortifications of Rhodes, which have surrounded the medieval town since the early 14th century
• Spend time walking the trails along the cliffs of the Karpathos and check out one of its excellent surfing beaches
• Journey to the Cave of the Apocalypse and the Monastery of St. John the Theologian on Patmos
• Watch the sponge divers haul in their catch from a seaside café in Kalymnos

Hvar, Croatia

Harbor of old Adriatic island town Hvar

This Adriatic island is known for its beautiful beaches, medieval architecture and lively nightlife. In the summer months, Hvar is packed to the brim with tourists from all over the world, but visiting in early October offers smaller crowds and a much more relaxed vibe.

Perfect for: Anyone who loves both beaches and medieval fortresses
Average weather: 59 – 72 degrees, 7 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Walk up the hills to the 13th century fortifications of Hvar Fortress and admire views of the town below
• Rent a small boat and explore the peaceful, natural beauty of the Pakleni Islands
• Spend a quiet day out on the beach in Milna
• Get a drink at one of the island’s beachside clubs
• Soak up the sun at Dubovica, a beautiful cove flanked by impressive stone architecture

Asia & the Pacific

Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne skyline looking towards Flinders Street Station

Its location in the southern hemisphere means that things are in full bloom down under in October. With the attractions of a big city and the laid back feel of a much smaller town, Melbourne represents everything Australia is about.

Perfect for: Anyone looking for a taste of spring in the fall
Average weather: 50 – 68 degrees, 14 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Take a tour of the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground
• Enjoy the springtime flowers on a leisurely stroll through the Royal Botanic Gardens
• Attend a wine tasting at one of the many vineyards in the greater Melbourne area
• Admire a wide range of Australian art and international exhibits at the National Gallery of Victoria
• Stroll through famous pedestrian laneways, each offering a unique variety of art, shopping, dining and nightlife options

Hokkaido region, Japan

Mt. Hiyori Rises above Oyunuma Lake in Hell Valley, Noboribetsu, Hokkaido, Japan

Japan’s northern island offers up plenty of year-round scenic beauty, but in the fall its foliage and snow-capped mountains make it an especially majestic place to visit.

Perfect for: Anyone looking to enjoy fall activities in a completely different cultural setting
Average weather: 45 – 61 degrees, 20 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Take a hike up Mt. Hiyoi or at one of the six other national parks in Hokkaido
• See sweeping city views of Sapporo from Mt. Okura Observatory, the site of a ski jump built for the 1972 winter Olympics
• Visit Sapporo’s famous brewery to learn about and sample the region’s famous beer
• Enjoy a cup of coffee from 1,000 meters up in the clouds at the Unkai Terrace at Tomamu
• Drive on scenic ”Rollercoaster Road,” a thrilling way to do some countryside sightseeing

North & Latin America

Quebec City

Architectural chateau building in Quebec City

As one of the oldest colonial settlements in North America, Quebec City is full of old-world charm. Combining great outdoor attractions with an urban feel, think of it as New England with a French twist. If you visit in October, you won’t have to head too far from town to see some of the prettiest fall foliage in North America.

Perfect for: Francophiles, foliage fans and outdoor adventurers
Average weather: 36 – 52 degrees, 14 rainy days
What to do:
• Go for a hike, bike ride or gondola tour of Mont-Sainte-Anne during the annual Great Color Adventure
• Hike through Parc National de la Jacques Cartier
• Do some leaf peeping by canoe at the Vallé Bras-du-Nord
• Wander the narrow streets of Old Quebec to explore European style shops, restaurants and art galleries amidst historic architecture
• Trace the history of Quebecois art from colonial days to the present at the Musee National des Beaux-Arts du Quebec

Mexico City

Palace of fine arts facade and Mexican flag

Between the start of the dry season and warmer temperatures south of the border, October is an ideal time to take a trip to Mexico’s capital. Its proximity means you won’t have to break the bank or spend a whole day traveling to get to a place that feels like a whole new world.

Perfect for: Fans of Latin American arts and culture
Average weather: 50 – 73 degrees, 12 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Watch a performance of the Ballet Folklórico inside the beautiful Palacio de Bellas Artes building
• Immerse yourself in the life and art of legendary Mexican painter Frida Kahlo at her namesake museum
• Take a long walk down the streets of the Paseo de la Reforma, stopping to admire landmarks like El Angel de la Independencia along the way
• Stroll through in Chapultec Park, featuring a festive atmosphere and plenty of local vendors
• Experience the collision of European and Latin American influences at Chapultepec Castle
• Admire the grand architecture (both inside and out) of the Catedral Metropolitana

Curaçao

Island Curacao

This Dutch Island territory is safe from the Caribbean’s typically stormy season due to its’ southern location just 40 miles off the Venezuelan coast. If you’ve been dreaming of laying out on a white sand beach in October, Curaçao might just be your best bet.

Perfect for: Beachgoers who refuse to accept that summer is over
Average weather: 79 – 89 degrees, 7.4 rainy days
What to do:
• Snorkel, swim or lay out at one of the island’s 38 beaches
• Play and swim with dolphins at Willemstad’s Dolphin Academy
• Do some guided spelunking in the Hato Caves
• Hike Mount Christoffel for breathtaking views of both land and sea
• Take a stroll through the picturesque pastel homes in Willemstad
• Join a boat tour to explore the ocean around Curaçao and get an up-close look at marine wildlife

Africa & The Middle East

Marakech, Morocco

saharan camel hike in Marrakech

The summer months can be sweltering in Marrakech, but things really start to cool down in October, making it the perfect time to see what North Africa’s has to offer.

Perfect for: Experience North Africa off the beaten path
Average weather: 58 – 81 degrees, 5.5 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Take a tour into the desert by camelback and camp overnight in the Sahara
• Admire the architecture of local Madrasas and learn about the traditions of these Koranic schools
• Wander through the bustling Medina, full of local merchants offering deals on quality handmade goods like Berber rugs, spices, and leather goods
• Learn about Morocco’s cultural history through the exhibits in Marrakech’s photography museum
• Take a relaxing stroll through the peaceful green oasis of the Jardin Majorelle

Tunis

El Djem Amphitheatre in Tunisia

Located on the African side of the Mediterranean coast, Tunisia’s capital and largest city is rich with historical sites and artifacts from the days of Carthage and ancient Rome, all set against a beautiful coastal backdrop. While the weather isn’t quite as dry in October as in the summer months, the warm temperatures and seaside setting mean you’ll enjoy a balmy, breezy trip.

Perfect for: Seeing ancient history from another perspective
Average weather: 64 – 80 degrees, 7 days of rainfall
What to do:
• Walk through the coastal ruins of the ancient civilization of Carthage
• Wander through the winding streets, landmarks, and street vendors of the Medina of Tunis
• Luxuriate in the white sand and emerald water of La Marsa beach
• Visit a mountainside Berber village to take in some Tunisian culture and sweeping views of the area
• Explore the magnificent architectural ruins of El Jem, the largest coliseum in North Africa

 

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