If you’re tied to school vacations, keen to miss the monsoon season or hoping to snag an off-season bargain, our month-by-month guide on when to go on vacation where will help you navigate your way around the world, and let you know whether to pack a bikini – or a brolly.
Best places to go on vacation
It’s October, and magic is in the air. The season of misty mornings and glowing pumpkins is a special time – and if you want to go away, there are plenty of places where autumn will leave you awestruck. Try Japan, where acer and maple trees turn such a vibrant red that they practically glow in the dark, or head to India, freshly emerged from monsoon season.
Seek out some autumnal magic in October or slip away from the darkening days for some late-in-the-year sunshine.
If you’re a family with a half-term to play with, try an activity vacation. European destinations are in their shoulder season so they are quieter and have lower prices. What’s more, the harvest brings some of the best food of the year to your dining table – or you can forage for it yourself. You don’t have to look far to find travel inspiration in October.
Read our guide to find out more about the best places to go on vacation in October.
Our Best places to go in October Vacations
October vacation activities
In the summer it’s just too hot to stand around counting columns, but by October temperatures have cooled. Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have some incredibly well-preserved classical and pre-classical ruins – there are Roman temples in Lebanon, Nabatean cities in Jordan, and thousands of years of history scattered across Turkey. Admire the scale and incredible preservation of sites like Petra in Jordan and Baalbek in Lebanon.
Multi activity vacationsOut of school and climbing the walls? If your kids have a break in October, it’s a great month to seek out a family-friendly multi activity vacation. Base yourself in southern Europe, take advantage of off-season prices, and you could find yourself rafting in Andalucia, mountain biking in Montenegro, and flinging yourself across the French Alps. The crowds are gone, leaving you with the beautiful scenery all to yourself.
Small ship cruisingOctober is the last month to grab a small ship cruise in Croatia before worse weather comes and some attractions and restaurants start to close. In the summer, southern Croatia’s islands can feel even busier than the mainland, but by October the crowds have thinned out and instead you’re more likely to see the harvest coming in than another ferry. The sea temperature is still in the twenties °C and the weather is generally sunny.
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Out of hot and busy summer, Europe’s coastlines become walking paradise – look to Italy’s Amalfi Coast or the Catalonian coast near Barcelona for proof. Walkers, as a rule, don’t mind a bit of weather. As long as you’ve got a rain jacket to hand, just in case, then October can be a truly stunning season for traveling on foot. In Japan, you can walk in the mountains between gently steaming hot springs, and in Turkey the occasional rain shower makes the landscape sparkle afterwards in the sun.
WellnessEveryone knows that there’s too much pressure in January to ‘get fit’ – autumn is a far better time for new starts. See fitness vacations as places for self-love rather than self-denial. They are often set in beautiful locations, with caring staff and home-cooked menus. In October, you could try a luxury fitness vacation in Spain’s Alicante region in Valencia, starting your day with yoga and finishing with vegetarian cuisine around the dining table.
WildlifeOctober can be a magical time for wildlife watching vacations. Track brown bears in Greece and you might be lucky enough to spot one gorging on berries in preparation for winter. Ring tailed lemurs – Madagascar’s most famous primate – are born in August and September, making October a great time of year to see mischievous lemur babies exploring Isalo National Park. For big game, head to Botswana’s Okavango Delta. You won’t be alone; it’s dry season, so all the animals have flocked there too to find water.
More about Best places to go in October
Our map and highlights page lists the best destinations to visit in October – and there’s something for everyone. From Rajasthan temples and Moroccan mountains to ryokan in Japan and empty biking paths in Southern Europe, get the most out of your autumn break.
We’ve whittled down our list to bring you the top 10 October vacations. These places are big hits with travelers at this time of year – whether for nice weather, cool wildlife, or good value shoulder season escapes that range from Croatian cruises to hiking in Morocco.