October is the perfect time for sunny autumn holidays. You avoid the manic holiday crowds and sweaty, uncomfortable temperatures of mid-summer. There are no endless queues at places of interest, no screaming toddlers or obnoxious teenage tourists to deal with. There is space on the beach to relax in peace in the glorious October sun. There are available tables at restaurants. Milder temperatures mean you can enjoy exploring rural areas on foot, even in the midday sun. An added bonus is that many hotels offer vastly-reduced rates at this time of year.
Now the only problem is how to decide where to go this October when presented with a myriad places.
Do you want the excitement of a new city or do you need to unwind on a sun-soaked beach? Would you like to experience a new culture or perhaps attend a special festival?
If it is city life you are after, we can recommend our best-loved places October city breaks.
The cool, crisp autumn air is wonderful for strolls around the city, visiting parks, museums and stores. There are fewer visitors as children have returned to school and people haven’t begun arriving for the holiday season. Not-to-be missed events include the Columbus Day Parade on the second Monday of October; open house weekend (mid-October) where free access is offered to sights, tours and activities; the Food & Wine Festival (also mid-October), Halloween (31st) and of course the magnificent autumn foliage.
If you want something completely different, why not visit Marrakesh where the weather is warm and mild? It is the must-go-to place for bargain hunters. Just remember to haggle! It is expected, and the first price offered is never the actual asking price. A highpoint of October is the festival of Eid-al-Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting period of Ramadan. The date fluctuates according to the phases of the moon. The Tissa Horse festival is held in early October where jumping, dressage and riding skills are judged. The Erfoud Date Festival is also held in early October when the dates are harvested. Again, the date is not fixed, as it changes according to the harvest.
When most people think of Spain, they think of Madrid. But Barcelona is a picturesque city with beautiful and outlandish architecture, delectable Spanish food and wine and a dynamic nightlife. The sweltering humidity of summer has passed and the temperature is pleasant. The Catalans’ love of fiestas means that there is always a festival happening somewhere. October in Barcelona is mostly film festivals, including the Erotic Film Festival and the Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The International Jazz festival begins in the second half of October and extends through November.
Many locals consider October and November as the summer months in Hong Kong. The temperature dips, the infamous humidity reduces and the beaches and hiking trails are packed. October is one of Hong Kong´s most popular conference months and hotels fill up fast, so book well ahead of time. Celebrate National Day by watching spectacular fireworks display over the Harbour and celebrate Oktoberfest during the last few days of the month. Hong Kong Disneyland and Oceanland often have Halloween-themed activities.
Year-round sunshine, spectacular pristine beaches, more stunning places to shop than you could visit in a lifetime and many of the best restaurants in the world make Dubai a sought-after holiday destination. There really is something for everyone, whether you want an active holiday playing golf and enjoying water sports or a lazy time spent on the beach or around the fantastic hotel pool.
Dubai boasts the world’s tallest tower and the world’s fastest roller coaster. Impossible as it seems, Dubai even has a 7-star hotel amidst their multitude of 5-star places. One of the two water parks offers a slide down an 80 ft. (25m) transparent tube through a shark-filled lagoon. Hijiri New Year’s Day (Islamic New Year) is celebrated in mid-October and it is an important religious, public holiday.
Los Angeles is truly vast, made up of 88 smaller towns with 75 miles (120km) of coastline. It doesn’t have a town centre, yet everything is easily accessible. Los Angeles and Hollywood are synonymous, but what else is there to see and do? Star-spotting on Rodeo Drive, of course. Visit the world-renowned Universal Studios and Hollywood Walk of Fame. Stroll along Venice beach, or visit Disneyland. There is so much to do, one holiday won’t be enough.
San Francisco brags spectacular locations, beautiful open spaces and a diverse, audacious culture. It became famous for hippies and flower-power in the 60’s and still retains its wonderful, laid-back feel. It has been called one of the USA’s most liveable cities. The weather can be muggy, with its well-known fogs descending over the bay.
Do not miss the opportunity to visit one of the most famous places structures: the awe-inspiring Golden Gate Bridge and make sure you also take a boat trip to Alcatraz. If you want exercise, stroll around the ridiculously hilly streets, made famous by many movies and if you get tired, the cities famous cable cars are there. Pier 39 houses the city’s sea lions and you will also find museums, art galleries and countless outstanding restaurants nearby.
If sand and sunshine, good food and relaxation are what you are after, we have some perfect suggestions for where to go to this October.
The Spanish island of Mallorca in the Mediterranean enjoys spectacular autumn weather. The sea is still warm and the beaches uncrowded. The daytime temperatures are in the mid-20´s and the cooler nights ensure long, lazy evenings under a star-studded sky, sipping robust Spanish wine and devouring the incredible food. If you feel energetic, there are plenty of spectacular hiking trails. Cycling is extremely popular and there are cycle-paths along most roads. At the beginning of October there are an arts and crafts, farming and livestock fair in Alcudia as well as a Sweet Fair in Esporles. Mid-October brings the Sobrassada Fair in Campos celebrating Mallorca´s very own sausage.
Another lesser-known place for autumn beach holidays is Turkey. Fall in love with their white, sandy Mediterranean beaches and rich cultural heritage. Explore their historical sites, ruins and museums. It has over 300 blue-flag beaches, but also offers wonderful shopping, and a visit to a spice market is mandatory. Experience a Turkish bath, eat genuine Turkish delight and sip their strong, sweet mint tea at a small table while you watch the world go by.
Escape to Mauritius for an unforgettable beach island holiday. Outstanding, friendly service, wonderful hotels and free water sports are only some of its attractions. Incredible scenery and balmy autumn weather make it a compulsory tropical get-away. Apart from the breath-taking beaches and turquoise sea, Mauritius offers forests and mountains and the walkable, hectic, fascinating town of Port Louis.
Jordan is one of the friendliest Middle Eastern country for tourists. It is a fusion of cultures, with both Arabic and Mediterranean influences. October´s bright, temperate, sunny days mean horseback rides to the Valley of the Moon and visits to the ancient city of Petra. See the ancient Roman city of Jerash, swim in the Dead Sea and sleep out under the stars in a Bedouin camp. It is bordered by Israel, Palestine, Saudi Arabia Iraq and Syria, so you may want to do research on current events before visiting this remarkable land.
The Croatian city of Dubrovnik is also not one that automatically comes to mind. Located on the shores of the Adriatic, this ancient, walled city is packed with charm and culture. It can easily be explored in a few days. Though largely destroyed during the Balkan Wars, it has been sensitively restored, replacing its terracotta roofs and cobbled streets. The centre of the town has been given World Heritage state and traffic is forbidden.
What do you think? Are you looking forward to a lovely, sunny city break? Are you feeling like packing your suitcase already? We are.