Back to school, but ditch the blues. There is still plenty of time to travel and autumn is your ticket to dozens of destinations without the tourist crowds, the high-season prices and deals on low cost flights. Plus, you can still find great slivers of sunshine all around Europe for half the price that you spent on your summer holiday. Interested?
Granada – Spain
Avg temperature: 32°C
Autumn in Spain’s southern province of Andalucia is still warm, hot even, during the day and cooler at night. The beaches along the coast are still popular, drastically less crowded, but the Sierra Nevada mountains offer some great hiking. Granada’s famous Alhambra is beautiful any time of the year, but there is something undeniably special about it when the golden late-afternoon light illuminates its walls and gardens. For accommodations, look for a hotel in Granada that is close to Albaicin, the old Moorish district or along Gran Via.
Dubrovnik – Croatia
Avg. temperature: 25°C
Overcrowded during the summer, this Croatian city really empties out once school starts. The city is relaxed and totally laid back once the cruise ships have left the port until next season. The humidity drops but the sea is still pleasantly warm for swimming. Another great thing about the autumn in Croatia are the discounted ferry prices. From Dubrovnik take the ferry and explore Lopud and Sunj, two true gems of the Adriatic Sea.
Rhodes – Greece
Avg. temperature: 28°C
Virtually all the Greek islands boast warm sunshine late into autumn but Rhodes is particularly stunning at this time of the year. It’s a lot easier to explore the Old Town’s tiny streets without the tourist crowds. The islands main attraction is the Butterfly Valley which is free from tourists once September hits. If you leave it too late though the butterflies will start migrating, leaving only a nice lush green park to see. For thermal baths, Kalithea is always a favourite.
Avg. temperature: 25°C
Undoubtedly out of the rice range for most of us, this flashy and oh-so-glamorous beach resort town really takes it down a notch in the autumn which is why it’s once of the best places to catch the last of the French Riviera’s sunshine at this time of the year. Between September 25th and October 3rd the city hosts its annual Regatta Les Voiles de St-Tropez where you can admire 300+ sailing yachts race.
Avg. temperature: 33°C
Temperatures are still above 30 degrees into late September, lush isn’t it? The seaside resorts may be a steal in September but for something quieter and more quaint, try searching for a hotel in Cyprus in a restored seaside home, small inn or cottage. Explore the hills and then end your day with a swim in the sea, still warm from the summer sun.
Sardinia – Italy
Avg. temperature: 27°C
Sardinia in the fall has more than just warm sun to offer. From September to December a constant string of festivals travel through the 27 villages in Barbagia where the streets are turned into marketplaces selling food and artisan crafts, the local craftsmen open their studio doors and walking tours organised through the surrounding hills. The island’s beaches are also perfect to catch some last rays.
Img: mcastellani / flickr cc