Where to go in September, October, November
Posted by: Alex @ Insight At: 11:53 on 03 Sep 2012
Looking for inspiration for where to go in September, October or November? From Bavarian beer festivals to Kenyan safari, our continent-by-continent recommendations will help you select the perfect place to travel this season.
NOTE - this is the 2012 guide. Why not also read the 'Where to go in 2013' feature?
September is a great time for wine lovers to visit the vineyard towns of France, with Provence hosting festivities to welcome the grape harvest. The Ban des Vendanges (wine harvest celebration), which takes place in Cassis, provides an excellent opportunity to sample the region’s best wines.
If beer is more your thing, look no further than Oktoberfest. The world-famous German beer festival, held in Munich, dates back to the celebration of Ludwig I and Princess Therese’s wedding in 1810... and the party has never stopped. For two weeks from the end of September (contrary to the name), revellers enjoy all the fun of the fair and consume gargantuan quantities of beer, carried around 10 litres at a time by the energetic barmaids. This year the party begins on 22 September.
Ireland is a fantastic place to visit for seafood fans. In late September, the opening of the oyster season is celebrated at the Galway Oyster Festival, the longest running festival of its kind in the world. This year the festivities take place from Friday 28 to Sunday 30 September.
With the weather warm but not too hot, September is the ideal time to explore the coast of Turkey and take advantage of the sailing, diving and snorkelling opportunities available. The turquoise waters reveal cave formations and submerged wrecks.
Opera buffs may wish to visit Italy in October for the annual Parma Verdi Festival. Since 2004, the city of Parma has hosted the event, which aims to perform every opera composed by Verdi by the bi-centennial year of the composer’s birth (2013).
There is a melancholy air to Venice in the late autumn months as the heaving crowds disperse, but seekers of a romantic long weekend may find that it holds a unique appeal. The lagoon city becomes swathed in atmospheric mists and is far quieter than during the (often pungent) summer months.
Spectacular firework displays are held all over the UK on 5 November to celebrate Bonfire Night. The event commemorates the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ foiled attempt to blow up Parliament.
Africa and the Middle East
For wildlife viewing, September to October is peak season in Kenya, as this is when the wildebeest migration is centred on the Maasai Mara. It is also an appealing time for birdwatchers, as many resident species are in full breeding colours and 100-plus species of Palaearctic migrants are present.
If you are looking for a climbing holiday, Namibia has superb areas for mountaineering; including the Spitzkoppe, Brandberg and Erongo mountains. October is early springtime in the country and the moderate temperatures and decreased rainfall make for a more comfortable visit than during the winter or summer months.
For sun and relaxation, try the Gambia in October or November. The skies are almost guaranteed to be cloudless and the weather warm (plus the mosquitoes are lower in number). If you desire some adventure where here, this is also the best time to drive around the country as the roads are clearer after the rainy season.
November is a good time to visit Dubai as the temperature hovers just above 30 degrees and there is plenty of sporting action happening in the city, including the conclusion of the motor-sport UAE Desert Challenge, the Dubai Rugby Sevens and the golfing Dubai World Championships.
Asia and Pacific
Further north in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is the world’s largest living entity and one of the natural wonders of the world. Visit this astonishingly diverse and complex ecosystem in October or November (Australia’s springtime) for warm, dry weather before the schools break for the summer holidays over Christmas.
For a truly unique autumn adventure, trek the lush rainforests of Borneo in October or November. The third largest island in the world boasts a vast array of wildlife and a gorgeously verdant landscape.
October and early November is the favourite time of year for the people of Tokyo. There are many mellow autumn days when the city can show off its autumnal colours; ideal for strolling in Tokyo’s famous parks and gardens.
November is an ideal time to visit Vietnam as the weather is cool and the rainfall is low – perfect for exploring the wide diversity of landscapes squeezed into the country’s relatively compact area. The beginning of the peak season is in mid-December so fly out earlier to enjoy the forests and beaches without the crowds.
Late September is the beginning of the 'leaf peeping' season in the far north of New England. The crimsons and golds of the tree leaves spread southwards as fall rolls on into October. Note that this counts as high season in New England, so hotel rates will climb in popular vacation spots.
The weather is usually crisp yet pleasant at this time of year in northern California and the Pacific Northwest. Early fall can also be a good time to plan a visit to the national parks of western USA – beat the crowds before roads and trails close for winter at the Grand Canyon, Yosemite National Park, Mount Rainier and many others.
While summers in San Francisco can be foggy and chilly, September and October are particularly warm and pleasant; unlike in Florida and the Gulf Coast where it's hurricane season!
San Francisco and New York City are home to the country's best supported, most elaborate and most highly spirited costume parades for Halloween. And on the fourth Thursday in November (this year, the 22nd), the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade fills the streets of New York with floats of giant inflated balloons, flanked by marching bands.
Central America and the Caribbean
November is a prime time to visit Chichén Itzá, Mexico, the best preserved Mayan complex in Latin America. Keen travel photographers could consider hiring a horse to get a different view of the site and its surroundings, and should take a long lens for bird watching.
The 1st of November is the Day of the Dead, celebrated across Central America, but most notably in Mexico. This is an extraordinarily macabre annual event, of skeletons and skulls, altars and tableaux, music, masks and costumes. Nevertheless, from a grisly dwelling on death, the Day of the Dead has become a fiesta that celebrates life as much as death
Spring is on its way in the southern hemisphere! October sees long bright days in the south of Chile. And the streets of Argentina’s capital, Buenos Aires, turn purple when the jacaranda comes into bloom, adding to the vibrancy of the city and covering the pavements with their brilliant snow.
More ideas for your next holiday
Insight's where to go when calendar of events
Be sure to take great travel photos!
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