From jack o’lanterns to polar bears, some amazing things happen around the world in October. Whether you’re planning a spontaneous last-minute getaway or daydreaming about a future trip, these are our top world destinations for October travel.
Fall (get it?) in love with the remarkable autumn colours of New England. Transform into a family of leaf-peepers, as the locals call them, and watch the trees turn red in Boston and beyond. Join in Halloween celebrations at month-long festivals in Salem, Massachusetts and Sleepy Hollow, New York.
Or take a different route and enjoy mild weather and few crowds in Hawaii. Although the rainy season does make a slow start in October, the Big Island stays fairly dry with temperatures in the mid to high 20’s.
Hop, skip and jump across to the USA’s neighbours, who are also experiencing a colourful change in season. Pack according to which Canadian province you’re visiting, because some get pretty chilly! Rug up and travel north to Churchill, Manitoba. Churchill is the self-proclaimed polar bear capital of the world and October is bear-watching season.
The Atacama Desert is the driest in the world, excluding the north and south poles. It is pretty temperate year-round, but October brings fewer tourists and lower costs. The flat, red moonscape is a stark contrast to the Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia. This Chilean gem is packed full of mountains, glaciers, lakes and rivers.
Cheaper flights and pleasant temperatures make Taiwan a great choice of destination for October. Typhoon season has ended and hiking season begun, so head to Taroko and Yangmingshan National Parks for stunning scenery.
From late September, Bavarian capital Munich famously celebrates Oktoberfest. This relaxed festival occurs in beer halls and tents around the city, but is not just for grown-ups who like a good brew. The site of the old festival is great for families.
Tourists flock to Rome and beyond in July and August, which are also the hottest months. In October, you’ll pretty much have the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Pantheon and Colosseum to yourselves. Weather is still warm, but the shoulder season is significantly less expensive.
October marks the start of the winter travel season in Iceland. Importantly, after months of daylight, it is also the beginning of Northern Lights season. Pack plenty of sightseeing into long days, enjoy fewer cars on the Ring Road, and stop in Reykjavik for annual festivals, including the lighting of Yoko Ono’s Imagine Peace Tower.
The Mediterranean is still warm from summer, but you won’t have to fight crowds for a swim. October is ideal for visiting Greek Islands such as Santorini, where it is easy to rent a yacht or book a chartered boat trip. Rhodes is great for families, with windsurfing, kitesurfing and properties suitable for travelling with kids.