Looking for a late autumn getaway but not sure where to head to? Our experts have chosen the best places to go in October for the ultimate travel inspiration. What are you waiting for?
1. The Algarve, Portugal
Exploring the Algarve's rugged and crazy coast – the beauty of the Benagil cave is everything it is cracked up to be. Got there extra early to capture this extra-special shot. You can swim round from the beach and chill in the cave, which is lit by a large natural opening in the top. The Algarve coastline is really something else. 😮 #thediscoveriesof #travel #fromwhereyoudratherbe #letsgosomewhere #travelporn #finditliveit #letsgoeverywhere #pursuepretty #travelandleisure #verilymoment #passionpassport #widenyourworld #instagramtravel #lppathfinders #instatravel #photooftheday #wanderer #travelgram #thatsdarling #travelstoke #guardiantravelsnaps #athomeintheworld #cntraveler #inspiremyinstagram #exploremore #postitfortheaesthetic #seekthesimplicity #bestintravel #feelfreefeed #postitfortheaesthetic
Overall, we’d say that Portugal is one of the best countries to visit in October thanks to lower accommodation prices, delicious food and warm weather.
In the south of Portugal, the Algarve has it all: sun, sand and sea for beach lovers and traditional inland villages and hill walking for those looking for something a little different.
Travelling to The Algarve in October means lower temperatures (they reach a peak of 33/34℃ in July and August) that are still comfortable enough for sunbathing during the day.
Head to the picture-perfect town of Tavira for a stroll and some of the best seafood to be had. Beach-wise, you’re spoilt for choice. Our pick is Praia de Albandeira, surrounded by dramatic red cliffs and boasting warm, turquoise waters.
Take a detour to the nearby Benagil sea cave, a stunning natural sea cave that can only be reached by swimming or sailing round the coastal bluff from the nearest beach.
October generally sees highs of 25℃, but this year has seen warmer than usual weather, with temperatures peaking at 29℃.
Prices in European sunspots drop in September and October and The Algarve is no exception. Rentals in high-end destinations such as the Four Seasons Fairways in Quinta do Lago drop from €3,900/ week to €1,300 (that’s pretty much the same amount in pounds these days) per week for a three bedroom villa with a private pool.
What are you waiting for?
Is it a cliché? If so, I don't give a toss – Aphrodite's Rock might be one of the classic images of Cyprus but you know what, sometimes the clichés exist for a reason. When the goddess of love and beauty meets with turquoise seas and blue skies I'm going to take that photo 😂. About to jump on a plane to the UK. Adios Cyprus, its been an absolute joy ❤ thanks @cyprusinyourheart for showing me this incredible island #thediscoveriesof #travel #fromwhereyoudratherbe #letsgosomewhere #travelinstyle #travelandleisure #travelporn #widenyourworld #letsgoeverywhere #radgirlslife #verilymoment #cntraveller #darlingweekend #exploreeverything #bluesky #lppathfinders #travelstoke #guardiantravelsnaps #lovetheworld #visitcyprus #athomeintheworld #visualsgang #forbestravelguide #mytinyatlas #bestintravel #inspiremyinstagram #jetsetter #traveladdict #cntraveler #thehappynow
Cyprus is one of the best places to go in October, thanks to its high-temperatures and wealth of beaches, historical sites and wine routes that are ripe for exploration.
Start off with a day in Nicosia, the island’s capital and the last remaining divided capital in the world. Meander through the narrow cobbled streets, making time to learn about and see remnants from the island’s long and interesting history at CVAR.
After all of that, slough off the day’s sweat in the recently restored Hamam Omerye.
Wine lovers might be surprised by the island’s long-standing history of wine-making. Traditional wineries abound, but modern wineries such as Zambartas and Vasilikon are placing Cyprus firmly on the international wine-making map.
Take a day to explore “wine villages” in the Troodos Mountains (whitewashed higgledy-piggledy Omodos is a good place to start) – don’t forget to leave space in your suitcase to bring some home.
When it comes to beaches in Cyprus, it’s a matter of taking your pick and settling in with a good travel book. The waters are generally warm and clear, and if you steer away from the most popular beaches, there’s a good chance you can bag one all to yourself.
3. Menorca, Spain
Where would you guess this is? If you'd shown me this picture I'd have assumed it was the Caribbean or South America but it's….. Menorca! We've been hunting out some pretty cool beaches to soak up that late summer sun and this one is my favourite so far. No one on there and stunningly perfect. The sea was so warm 💕 how's your Thursday been? #thediscoveriesof #fromwhereyoudratherbe #travel #womenwhowander #condenasttraveler #finditliveit #dronestagram #justgoshoot #travelauthentic #exploringtheglobe #girlslovetravel #letsgoeverywhere #letsgosomewhere #roamtheplanet #dronepimp #staystoked #radgirlslife #passportcollective #pursuepretty #roamtheworld #lppathfinders #thatsdarling #tourtheplanet #travelsandchill #lifewelltravelled #travelandpleasure #wanderlust #traveleurope #adventurethatislife #travelgram
The smallest of Spain’s Balearic islands is a perfect place to put on your October travel list.
With one of the cutest capitals in Europe (Mahon or Mao as the locals call it), you couldn’t be blamed for spending your days overlooking the city’s picturesque harbour with a Pomada (a local cocktail made with locally-produced Xoriguer Gin and lemonade) in hand.
Do that and you’ll miss the island’s many other draws: spotless blue-flag beaches, laid back tapas restaurants and sunrises and sunsets that are every Instagrammer’s dream (it’s a tough life right).
OK, so we’ve mentioned beaches in the previous entries, but in all good faith, we couldn’t recommend that you go to Menorca without mentioning that the beaches are, quite frankly, dreamy. Cala de Cavelleira pips it to the post as our favourite but we’re happy for you to try them all and find your own.
Feeling adventurous? Do the Cami de Cavallis hike around the island’s coast. The route follows the old paths used by locals for hundreds of years and has the added benefit of taking you to almost every single one of Menorca’s 700km sq of beach land.
Still not sure? We’ve picked 11 reasons why Menorca should be your next trip. As in, pronto.
4. Yosemite National Park, USA
If you haven’t been to Yosemite, you should. There really aren’t that many simple things in life but this is one of them. Yosemite is one of the best places to go in October, thanks to the changing colours in the valley. Just when you think this picturesque destination couldn’t get any better, wait until you witness it in the blaze of reds and oranges that autumn brings to the national park.
Buck the trend of driving between the big “wow” spots by car before heading off again and take some time to do some hiking. For such a popular park, it’s wonderful how quickly you can find yourself without another soul in sight when you venture out on two feet.
Why not visit Yosemite as a detour on our West Coast USA road trip itinerary?
5. Essaouira, Morocco
Recently got my old trusty SLR thoroughly cleaned and found a stash of photos from trips I'd almost forgotten about. This one's from Essaouira. Jon and I went on a road trip around Morocco (in the tiniest, tiniest car) and it was great. I'd always wanted to go to Essaouira (as a child I basically wanted to be a cross between Hendrix (sans musical skill) and the woman in Hideous Kinky but instead was a nerdy but outspoken bookworm 🤓). Anyway, it was great, and the pics reminded me that I need to go back asap. Sometimes it's nice to go back to old favourites – currently on my way to Lisbon for the first time in 15 years….Where are you guys returning to this year? #thediscoveriesof
While the days of Essaouira’s position as a go-to destination for the hippies of the seventies have almost past, there are flashes of times past in the smaller nooks of this enchanting city.
Back in the day, stars such as Jimmy Hendrix and Cat Stevens frequented Essaouira on a regular basis, drawn by its laid-back culture and coastal location. Not much has changed on that front, it’s still a relaxed destination, where you can start your day surfing the perfect swells, sweat it out in a local hammam and then feast on the seafood-heavy dishes at night.
Ranch de Diabat, a few miles out of the city’s centre offers camel and horse rides along the dunes. Book onto one of the overnight riding trips for a glimpse at little-visited villages and untouched shoreline.
We’ve picked the best things to do in Essaouira to help you make the most of your trip.
Just cruisin'. The Ballestas Islands lie about 12 miles off the coast of Peru and are home to seemingly infinite numbers of birds, sea lions and penguins. The islands fuelled Peru's booming guano (bird poop) industry – guano is a great fertiliser and when the islands were discovered, it was 20 metres thick (😝).These days it's nowhere as dramatic but the guano has coloured all of the islands white. Who knew bird poop could be so useful?! #thediscoveriesof
Peru is one of the best countries to visit in October: temperatures in the capital, Lima hover around 20℃ for most of the month and the country’s rainy season hasn’t quite started.
If you’re planning on hiking to Machu Picchu, we’d recommend early October for the best chance of good weather, otherwise areas such as the Ballestas Islands and the giant sand dunes at Huacachina are worthwhile destinations.
The little-visited Ballestas Islands are one of our favourite spots in Peru. Catch a boat tour from Paracas, the nearest town, for a close up view of one of the country’s most important natural habitats (Amazon excluded of course).
You’ll spot endangered Humboldt penguins, pelicans, boobies and sea lions on your trip, and the tour also takes in the mysterious petroglyph known simply as “The Candelabra”.
Intrigued? Read our guide to planning your visit to the Ballestas Islands.
Machu Picchu isn’t the only breathtaking hiking destination in Peru: the Cordillera Blanca gets special mention thanks to its numerous hikes and stunning scenery.
7. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Is there a bad time to go to Rio de Janeiro? This spectacular city never fails to impress visitors with its vibrancy, views and (ahem) caipirinhas. Rio de Janeiro is one of the best places to go in October thanks to warm temperatures (expect them to be around 20-25℃) and the seemingly endless opportunities to go out and explore.
While it’s brilliant visiting Rio de Janeiro during carnival (trust us, it really is that good), you have a much better chance of actually seeing the city if you visit at another time.
Take in the big sites such as the Pao de Azucar (Sugar Loaf Mountain), Christ the Redeemer, Ipanema and Copacabana Beach during your first few days and then take your time to explore up-and-coming neighbourhoods such as Botafogo and the vast Tijuca Rainforest. Take time to walk up (and photograph) the colourful Escadaria Selarón in Lapa too.
Looking for a South America break? Check out these five two-week South America travel itineraries to help you plan your trip.
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