October is a magical month to travel. In much of Europe, crisp autumn days and fiery colours replace the heat of summer, prices start to drop, and fewer visitors descend upon popular cities. Further afield, you’ll find shoulder seasons savings on tropical islands and exciting long-haul cities.
If you're looking for inspiration on where to go this October, our top picks will give you some ideas, whether you’re after an off-peak city break or an escape to the sun.
Want to visit the picturesque city of Florence without the crowds? October is a fantastic time to go.
With fewer tourists around, the long queues to get into the city’s best-loved attractions, including the world-famous Uffizi Galleries, are long gone. Even the city’s historic centre, usually clogged with people, is quieter. Take your time to stroll around Florence’s cobbled streets and atmospheric piazzas at your own pace. Ponte Vecchio, the famous medieval bridge that crosses the Arno River, is lovely when you don’t have to dodge the crowds.
Autumn is also harvest time in Tuscany, so it’s one of the best times of year to travel for foodies. You’ll find tons of food festivals in Florence and surrounding towns celebrating local produce including olive oil, wine and truffles. Both the Marradi Chestnut Festival and Barberino Tartufo Bianco e Nero truffle celebration take place in October.
Expect 9 hours of sunshine a day and average highs touching 27C on an autumn sunshine break to Cyprus.
During this time of year, Cyprus’ beautiful beaches are far less crowded, and even if it’s on your radar for an October half term break, you can expect cheaper package deals than over summer. Look to popular hotspots Paphos, Limassol and Larnaca for a good range of options.
Wherever you stay, must-visits include the beautiful Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa, Paphos’ Tomb of the Kings, the Kato Paphos Archaeological Park, the salt lakes of Larnaca, and the golden sands of Fig Tree Bay.
With its glitzy casinos, world-class shows and non-stop nightlife, there’s nowhere in the world quite like Las Vegas. While the desert heat can be oppressive in the summer months, October is much more temperate – expect mid-20s and plenty of sunshine. Falling in the middle of the autumn shoulder season, it’s also a great time to find a cheap city break to Las Vegas.
Start your visit by exploring The Strip, the heart of the action. Gaze in wonder at the extravagantly designed hotels, from The Luxor Hotel & Casino, which features a 107m-tall (350ft) pyramid, to Paris Las Vegas Hotel, complete with its replica Eiffel tower. The Venetian, meanwhile, brings Venice to Las Vegas with gondola rides, frescoed ceilings, and street performances.
After a night on the tables, relax by your hotel’s swimming pool, and soak up some late afternoon sun. Make sure you take a day trip to the Grand Canyon, one of North America’s most spectacular natural sights.
An island paradise of white sand beaches and dazzling turquoise waters, Mauritius is the perfect spot to extend your summer.
The best time to travel to Mauritius is its winter months – from May to October – where you’ll find average temperatures of 24C waiting to welcome you. If you’re travelling as a couple, avoid the busy half term when prices are high and beaches tend to be busy.
Besides the beach, Mauritius is ripe for adventure. Head inland and go hiking in the Black River Gorges National Park or hire a car and weave your way through the island’s jungle-like interior to explore pretty villages, markets and rum distilleries.
Mauritius has some of the best diving in the world, and you’ll find dive schools in all the major towns, including Flic en Flac, Poste de Flacq, and Pereybere.
A beautiful city to visit any time of year, Prague is at its most magical in autumn when the city’s parks turn fiery shades of red, orange and gold.
For Prague at its autumnal best, walk through the Petrin Gardens and scale the Petrin Tower for spectacular views over the city. Stroll through the cobbled streets of the medieval old town, making stops at the Jewish Ghetto, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge. You’ll find fewer people around in October, and Prague’s major sights much less crowded than summer and winter.
Experience the stunning natural beauty of Cornwall on a staycation this October. The summer crowds that pack the beaches and cause traffic jams will be long gone, meaning you can enjoy bracing walks in relative solitude.
Kynance Cove, famous for its white sand, turquoise sea and rock stacks, is a great pick for taking in the sunshine (if you’re lucky – this is still the UK, after all). For magnificent views over the rugged west Cornish coast – autumn colours included – take a drive along the coast road from St Ives to Sennen.
October is also a great month for foodies. You’ll find plenty of festivals to tempt your taste buds, such as the Falmouth Oyster Festival. And if you’re looking for a brilliant family day out, head to the Eden Project, a fascinating complex of biomes each replicating a different habitat from around the world.
Floating off the coast of East Africa and surrounded by the glittering Indian Ocean, the Seychelles is the perfect destination for an idyllic October getaway. Here, gold and red leaves make way for lush green palm trees and pristine white-sand beaches.
Each of the islands that make up the Seychelles has its own character and charm, so while you’re there, make time for island hopping. It’s also one of the best places in the world to scuba dive; underwater visibility is regarded to be at its best in October.
October is one of the Seychelles’ shoulder season months, meaning fewer people, better prices and milder weather. Temperatures tend to hover in the high 20s.
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