Welcome to a new series of articles, where we’ll be sharing our recommendations for where to travel in each season, to make the most of that particular time of year. To begin, we’ve curated a list of the best places to visit right now, to celebrate autumn in the northern hemisphere or to head further south to find warmer temperatures.
Autumn is one of the best times of year to take a road trip through Scotland, admiring the dramatic scenery as the landscape turns hues of red and gold with the autumn leaves. If you’re looking for towering mountains, sprawling forests, dramatic coastlines and endless hiking opportunities, Scotland delivers. The pesky midges that plague the summer months have left, and you’ll either experience crisp autumn days or atmospheric cloud cover, providing the perfect photo opportunities. Autumn is also the best time of year to visit if you’re interested in wildlife. Rutting stags and grey seal pups are just two wildlife spotting opportunities during the autumn months.
Italy is perfect during the autumn months. Most of the summer crowds have retreated, prices are lower for accommodation, yet the majority of the country still basks in sunshine. Head down to Puglia or the Amalfi Coast and you’ll find waters still warm enough to swim in and sun still hot enough to spend the day sunbathing. The cities are quieter too, making this the perfect time of year to wander around Rome, Venice or Milan with just a fraction of the crowds that embark on these destinations during the summer. Up in the north, the lakes and mountains may have a cooler climate, but the eruption of autumn leaves provides spectacular scenery, especially around the South Tyrol region.
Visit Hawaii during the autumn months and you’ll find fewer tourists, less rain and lower prices than any other time of year. The temperatures are slightly cooler than the stifling hot summer months, meaning that you’ll be able to do so much more than simply seek out swimming holes and sunbathe. Autumn is the perfect time of year for a relaxing yoga retreat, a surfing holiday, hiking in the mountains, playing a round of golf, or snorkelling in the crystal clear waters that surround the islands.
If you’re seeking dramatic scenery with a fusion of snow-capped mountains, rust-coloured forests and glacial lakes, head to Canada during the autumn months. The east of the country offers the most spectacular displays of autumnal foliage, but the dramatic landscapes in British Columbia also tempt visitors over to the west for spectacular hiking conditions. During the autumn months, you’ll find plenty of autumnal activities all across Canada, including food and drink festivals, corn mazes and pumpkin festivals. It’s also the perfect time of year to retreat to a cosy lodge in the wilderness to get away from it all.
Iceland is spectacular all year round, but if you want to see the dramatic landscapes and have a chance of spotting the elusive Northern Lights, autumn and spring are the best times to visit. The days are short in autumn, but there’s still enough light, and the roads are usually clear enough for you to embark on a road trip around the island. Along the route, keep your eyes peeled for towering volcanoes, moss-covered lava fields, dramatic waterfalls and lakes filled with floating icebergs. The Aurora is notoriously unpredictable, but the skies are usually clearer in autumn than the winter months, providing the perfect opportunities for spotting the dancing green lights overhead.
Autumn in the Northern Hemisphere means spring in Mauritius. This is the perfect time of year to visit, before the crowds descend in search of winter sun. October and November are the best times of year to discover the exotic flowers and interesting wildlife on the island. The white sand beaches and clear blue waters are perfect for sun worshippers and scuba divers, providing plenty of opportunities to spot an abundance of sea life, including tropical fish, turtles and dolphins. In land, the temperatures are slightly cooler than on the coast, with forests and lakes to discover on the elevated central plateau.
Emma Lavelle is a UK based writer and photographer and has her own blog Field and Nest.