Where Should You Travel To In September
Our new series to inspire your travel aims to aid those of you planning last minute getaways in selecting your destination. No matter where features on your bucket list, every location in the world has an optimum (and a worst) time to visit. Starting things off with the upcoming month of September, we’re sharing our monthly recommendations for where to visit on each continent.
September is one of the best months of the year to visit southern Europe, as the crowds have all returned home but the temperatures are still pleasantly warm and the prices have plummeted. The Mediterranean Sea has been heated up all summer and now offers balmy swimming temperatures, but it’s cool enough to get off your sun lounger and spend time exploring your surroundings. The winding streets of Oia in Santorini are much more pleasant without the bus loads of tourists, and the International Music Festival of Santorini offers an extra boost of culture. Corfu is still enjoying endless sunshine, but the stifling heat has lifted, leaving you free to explore the waterfalls, olive groves and fishing villages. The Arillas Wine Festival at the beginning of September offers another lure for wine lovers. Or if you prefer a more traditional beach holiday, head to Mykonos, where you’ll be able to enjoy the beautiful beaches and cosmopolitan bars without the crowds.
Africa & Middle East
Morocco has been thriving with tourists since spring, but once the temperatures start to cool in September, the crowds dissipate. Marrakesh is still likely to be bustling, but why not pay a visit to up-and-coming Tangier to experience the atmospheric Tan Jazz festival? This previously glamorous port city attracted a jet-setting bohemian crowd in the 1960’s, welcoming the likes of the Beatles and Jack Kerouac into its souks and bars. It quickly became associated with sleazy encounters, but has recently enjoyed a revival and a huge clean-up that involved an inspiring cultural boost. The jazz festival features concerts and workshops in the evenings, held both in the medina (old town) and the ville nouvelle (modern city), and visitors will find their days filled with the prospects of exploring the markets, beaches and historical buildings.
September perhaps isn’t the most likely month to consider visiting Asia, as monsoons are rife and typhoons are likely in the east. However, Borneo is an excellent choice of destination, as the hot and dry weather is still abundant, and hotel prices start to drop from the last half of the month. Centre your visit around the northern state of Sabah for your best chances of avoiding any wet weather and plan to include a combination of relaxing on beaches, exploring the local culture and discovering interesting wildlife. The seas should still be calm, allowing plenty of opportunity for diving around the coral reefs, and the temperatures should have cooled enough that hiking up Mt. Kinabalu or exploring the rainforest will be more bearable than in the hotter months. Perhaps more importantly, the beaches will still be picturesque and warm.
North & South America
Save the south-eastern states for dryer months and the north-eastern states for October and November when the colours of autumn are in their full glory. Instead, September is the perfect time of year to complete a California road trip, taking advantage of the cooler weather in LA and the appearance of the sun in San Francisco. The hordes of tourists will have vanished from Big Sur and Yosemite, allowing a more peaceful experience and cheaper accommodation before the trails close for the winter months. If driving up the coast, allow plenty of time for exploring San Francisco, as the lift of the fog heralds several interesting events, including the International Dragon Boat Festival and Ghiradelli Chocolate Festival.
Save a visit to Australia for around New Year, and head to New Zealand’s south island in September to welcome in the blanket of spring wild flowers that coat the island. The fringe season at the end of winter/beginning of spring is the perfect time to visit if you enjoy winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding, but also want to explore more of the landscapes and wildlife. September is one of the best month for encountering some of the most endearing animals that live on and around New Zealand’s shores, including large gatherings of the yellow-eyed penguin and excellent whale-watching opportunities. It’s also the month that albatross chicks tend to take their first flight.
Where not to go
September is peak hurricane season for the Caribbean and south-east America. Avoid Florida and the Bahamas like the plague, unless you like to spend your holidays cooped up indoors with the windows boarded up. Likewise, south-east Asia (especially Thailand, Cambodia and Laos) is in the midst of rainy season, and any plans of lounging on beaches are likely to be a wash-out.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.