October may be a lot of different things. It could be the relaxing aroma of bonfire smoke, pumpkins on porches, or flaming leaves. It may also be springtime in Australia, which is a great time to try new Australian recipes. Rains and humidity have subsided throughout much of Asia, allowing for the best of both chaotic cities and off-grid retreats. And now that the scorching, packed summer has passed, it’s time for a traditional California road trip or an in-demand beach vacation for the savvy traveller. We’ve also got some sustainable October vacation ideas for sightseeing, shopping, staying, and getting about.
1: Vienna, Austria
Though Austria’s capital is better known for its majestic imperial buildings and even greater musical legacy (Mozart and Beethoven), its urban vineyards are one of the city’s best assets. Take the tram to the charming outer suburbs, where rows of grapes sprawl across grassy slopes, with skyline vistas and the Danube stretching out below. The harvest season begins in October, when the vineyards are at their lushest and winemakers open their doors to curious visitors. There are several approved wine trails to follow, where vintners dole out samples from both the cellar and the kitchen, and the pleasant, sunny days of fall are great for field frolics.
2: Japanese Alps, Japan
The public may be enthralled with cherry blossom season, but the Alps in fall are undoubtedly Japan’s most stunning sight. The ranges are blanketed with vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows, which are mirrored in jade-green lakes and rivers. Hiking routes might get crowded, but the breathtaking views more than compensate, and the Japanese are masters of high-altitude mountain huts, where you can receive a private room and a bento box-style meal. After that, sore limbs can be soothed in the spa towns around Takayama. Upscale ryokans, such as Yumoto Choza in Fukuji Onsen, provide both outdoor and indoor hot spring baths, fine-dining kaiseki dinners, and beautiful traditional rooms with tatami mats and sliding paper screens. Also, read Best Tacos near me.
3: Atacama Desert, Chile
The world’s driest desert isn’t the hottest, but it’s one of the most strikingly gorgeous — so Mars-like that actual Mars rovers are brought here for testing. As far as the eye can see, there are red canyons and sand dunes, whooshing geyers and steaming volcanoes, salt flats and hot springs. Because it lacks a drinking water supply and natural shade, there are few towns, which means there is no pollution, which explains why it has recently gained a reputation as a great stargazing location. For example, the breathtakingly distant Explora Atacama features a private observatory, a spa, and bespoke-bred horses. October, the shoulder season, offers a holy trifecta of unspoilt landscapes, lower lodging prices, and pleasant daytime temperatures.
4: THE LAKE DISTRICT, UK
Even when it rains a lot – and it does – the Lake District has to be one of the most wistfully beautiful places on the planet. Many would argue that there is no better time than the fiery autumn, when morning mist and woodsmoke mingle and fine days are pin-sharp, dazzling with red-gold trees and bracken carpeting the fells. If only there was a way to put such beauty into words. Also read romantic hotels near me.
You can make a compelling case for Botswana as the best safari destination on the planet. Because of the government’s “low impact, high experience” objective, the camps are more intimate; Serengeti-style jeep battles aren’t a thing. The Okavango Delta, a pristine wetland environment filled with life, is another option. The flooded Okavango is water-cooled, and a paucity of vegetation — munched over the dry winter – puts game-viewing at its optimum. Tourism drops off in October due to rising temperatures, but the flooded Okavango is water-cooled, and game-viewing is at its peak. The new, solar-powered Qorokwe Camp by Wilderness Safaris, which sits on its own lagoon, is a sleek selection as prices decrease at the end of the month.
6: SEVILLE, SPAIN
The winds of change are finally flowing through old Seville, making it a hot destination right now – and October is the best time to visit for fresher air, when the twisting alleyways are a little less steamy but no less charming. There’s a lot going on in terms of culture, from pop-up galleries and cafés to a gastronomic revolution.
Sustainable travel tip: If you don’t mind spending a night in Barcelona on the way in and out, Seville is easily accessible by train. After arriving in Paris by Eurostar, take a TGV Duplex all the way to Catalonia’s capital. Take an AVE train to Seville the next day. Also read Breakfast Near Me.
What better time to visit Hawaii than now, when the summer throngs have dissipated, the rainfall has decreased, and prices have moderated ahead of the winter holidays? There’s more to the archipelago than the Big Island: Kauai for secret swimming holes and charming local bars; Oahu for top food and surf; and even Maui, with its ever-popular 30 miles of beach, has some hidden gems up its sleeve – visit the rural artists’ community of Makawao, or go on an agri-visit to Surfing Goat Dairy, a farm on the slopes of a volcanic crater.
8: Perugia, Italy
It’s hard not to be enthralled by a location that hosts an annual 10-day festival dedicated to the world’s favourite sweet dessert. Every October, the capital of Umbria, in central Italy, holds cooking lessons, exhibitions, and (most importantly) tastings to honour the town’s most famous export: chocolate. It’s a diabetic’s paradise, a sweet lover’s fantasy, and a neighbourhood institution. The Belgians have pralines, the Mexicans have sipping chocolate, and the Swiss have Lindt — but Perugia has baci. The word literally means “kisses,” and according to legend, a young chocolatier produced a special treat for her lover, which was wrapped in a love note and sealed with a kiss. Baci are still wrapped in romantic proverbs and ballads, and they resemble a nipple in appearance. Perugia is also a historic and artistically rich town, perched on a hilltop dotted with mediaeval aqueducts, strange cobblestone staircases, and unexpected views. Also, read Best Italian Restaurants Near Me.
9: Taipei, Taiwan
The Taiwanese capital is a generally unexplored, just-as-thrilling blend of both, yet to draw the trend-obsessed like Tokyo or shoot to ‘Gangnam Style’ relevance like Seoul. It’s a strange cultural mix of Taoist temples, record-setting skyscrapers, glossy retail malls, and throbbing, neon-lit night markets: cheap streetside beers and grilled squid on a stick one minute, a nutty club with a waterfall on the dancefloor the next. The W has a lot more bling, with room classifications like “Fabulous” and “Extreme Wow.” The rain stops, the humidity drops, and the skies clear by the end of October, allowing you to take in the dazzling cityscape, best seen from the 230-foot Miramar Ferris Wheel or the 89th floor of Taipei 101, once the world’s tallest building. Also, read Best Thai Food Near Me.
The dry season begins in October in Vietnam’s north and south, when towering natural wonders and bustling metropolitan settings coexist. The hill town of Sapa is the starting point for misty treks, while Hanoi, the capital, is all turmoil, condensed-milk coffees on cheap plastic chairs, and some of the best food you’ll ever eat. The Mekong Delta, down at the bottom, is a whole world of canals and streams, and Ho Chi Minh City is where the bohos congregate – don’t miss The Café Apartment, a nine-story block crammed with fairy-lit mini-boutiques and specialty coffee shops. As the high season approaches in November, it’s also the last chance to get a good deal.