Around the world, the month of October sees people take up every chance to soak in the sun and its colours before it goes into hiding in the winter months. October thus becomes the best month to travel and witness the magic of towns and cities coming to life across countries. It’s the best time to witness colourful fall foliage, clear blue skies, soft sunlight, and pleasant temperatures before the arrival of the cold, harsh winter. Countries closer to northern latitudes go through a magical transformation as greenery gives way to hues of red, orange, yellow, ochre, and gold! Nature parks, gardens, cities, and villages look surreal in the perfect setting of autumn colours and subdued sunlight – the best time to capture their beauty and share on Instagram!
If you’re wondering where to travel in October this year, our list of destinations is long! This is the month of celebration of harvest, food, wine, music and arts and culture all around the world. In Germany’s Bavaria and Munich, it’s the time for the famous Oktoberfest while in Japan it’s time to celebrate the colours of fall at the annual Autumn Festival. Sun-loungers and beach-lovers can head to the islands of Greece to soak in the autumn sun while the tiny hermit country of Bhutan looks its glorious best in October.
10 amazing countries to visit in October
Germany is undoubtedly the hottest destination of Europe in the month of October. Perfect autumn colours, comfortable climate, and plenty of amazing festivals including the world-famous Oktoberfest. Berlin celebrates the reunification day on the 3rd of October with the Festival of Lights by lighting up the famous landmarks of the German capital in different colours and patterns. Don’t miss Munich – the scene of the famous Oktoberfest that takes place in the first week of October. The celebration of fabled German beers includes live music concerts, art workshops, food and beer tents, family and kids’ friendly activities, joy rides, and plenty of souvenirs. Nature lovers can head to the Black Forest region of Germany, a delightful place for scenic hikes with its green mountains, alpine lakes, charming German towns and villages with quirky traditions, thermal baths, mountain biking and cycling, spas, and plenty of adventure sports.
READ MORE: 10 Must Visit Fairy Tale Castles Of Germany!
Japan is known all over the world for its two magical seasons that transform the country into a paradise. The first is the world-famous spring season, known for its cherry blossoms festival that draws millions of tourists to its shores. Another charming time (though lesser-known) to experience the magical transformation of Japan’s natural beauty is during the autumn month of October. This time of the year sees dense forests and mountains of Japan turn into a kaleidoscope of red, orange, gold, yellow, ochre, pink, magenta, and violet. The October fall season is also known as ‘Koyo’ or momiji-gari (red-leaf viewing) in Japan sets in the month of October and peaks during November. October is also a comfortable time to visit Japan due to its dry and mild weather, allowing ample time to explore cities like Kyoto, Tokyo, Osaka, Hakone, Nara, and Shinjuku – all ablaze with the colours of autumn!
Italy in October should be among the top of the bucket list for travellers due to five main reasons – fantastic weather, fewer tourists, cheaper prices, fall foliage, and plenty of food and wine festivals. October is considered offseason in Italy, but we feel this is the best time for die-hard foodies to be in the country! Foodies can revel in several food and wine related festivals across Italy, including the famous Alba White Truffle Festival in Alba, Eurochocolate in Perugia, Umbria Fall Food festival in Umbria, Boccaccesca (local food fair) in Tuscany and the nationwide World Pasta Day on 25th October 2018.
The Italian Alps slowly transition towards fall colours becoming a dream destination for photographers. Tuscany’s vast rolling meadows and countryside are full of autumn colours, while the colourful villages of Cinque Terre, the scenic beaches of Sicily and Italian cities of Rome, Florence, Naples, and Milan are just perfect to explore without the usual touristy crowd.
Spain in October is all about sunny and warm climate and lesser crowds. It’s the time for harvest related and cultural festivals across Spain. Madrid, Barcelona, and Valencia region of Spain in October are perfect weather-wise while Andalusia in the south of Spain also starts to cool-off considerably.
October is also a great time to visit Spain for cultural experience seekers. There are several popular festivals lined up in the country featuring the human castle-building competition in Tarragona, Barcelona Jazz Festival, Seville Guitar Festival, Bilbao Night Marathon, Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in San Sebastian, Fires de Sant Narcis in Girona, and plenty of grape stomping activities accompanied by a picnic lunch and wine tasting in the vineyards of Barcelona.
Some of the key places to visit in Spain during October are Mallorca, Costa del Sol, Seville, San Sebastian, Malaga, Canaries Islands, Murcia, Almeria, and Ibiza.
October is the perfect time to visit France and experience its beautiful countryside as the fall colours and grape harvest celebrations are in full swing. Mild temperatures, comfortable, sunny days and lesser touristy crowd are the additional benefits of travelling to France in October. Accommodation is cheaper and easily available while restaurants and cafes charge lower prices. Long lines at popular attractions also thin out, making it easier to get access to the key landmarks and sights of France. Some of the best areas in France to see in October are Burgundy, Provence, Nice, Marseille, Cannes, Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Lyon, Paris, Toulouse, and Saint Tropez.
Key festivals of France in October include Nuit Blanche (the annual arts festivals held nationwide), Lumiere Film Festival in Lyon, Paris Oktoberfest (5-14 October), Zombie Walk in Paris (7th October), Pepper Festival in Espelette, Sorcerers’ Festival in Chalindrey, and Jazz entre les Deux in La Rochelle.
Greece in October is the perfect time to explore the country’s scenic islands and historic cities. The weather is sunny and mild while the prices of accommodation and food and beverages are lower by almost 20 percent. Clear blue skies and fall colours light up the Greek countryside while the stunning beaches allow plenty of solitude and privacy due to lesser crowds.
Some of the key places to visit in October are Kefalonia where one can explore the island on a self-drive and visit places like Myrtos Beach, villages of Livatho peninsula, the Monastery of Ayios Gerasimos, or the Monastery of Kipoureon.
Santorini’s white washed villages with blue doors and windows are also fabled for their food and charming sunsets. Corfu’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, full of charming architecture and cafes of Liston. Rhodes is also ideal for exploring the ruins of the medieval old town of Helios and beach hopping. Milos is a beautiful and laidback island known for amazing restaurants, charming beaches, and affordable hotels. Athens and Thessaloniki are also perfect to learn and explore the rich history, culture, and traditions of Greece.
October is the shoulder season everywhere in Turkey except Istanbul. The month starts with pleasant temperatures and towards the end receives rain and humidity. Istanbul, being the most popular Turkish destination sees no change in the pricing of accommodation, food and beverages and touristy crowds.
However, towards the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Black Sea, October is the perfect time to explore the cities and beaches. In the hinterland, Cappadocia and Goreme are also ideal this time of the year. Some of the best places in Turkey to travel in October are Izmir, Ephesus, Bodrum, Pamukkale, Aegean Coast, Antalya, Marmaris, Cappadocia, Goreme, Gallipoli, Trabzon, Black Sea Coast, Ankara, Canakkale, and Dardanelles. Some of the key festivals in Turkey in October are the International Wine Festival in Cappadocia and Republic Day on 29th October, celebrated all over the country.
READ MORE: 10 Hidden Gems Of Turkey
The hermit kingdom of Bhutan looks its best in the month of October. Clear blue skies and ample sunny days make it the most popular travel month in October, ideal for trekking and mountain-walks. Accommodation and flights need to be booked in advance due to the high demand for Bhutan in October. This month is also when the black necked cranes start to come in from the neighbouring Tibet, to nest in the scenic Phobjikha valley of the Black Mountains in Bhutan – this is a sight to behold. It is said that these cranes on arrival, circle the Gangteng Monastery three times and repeat this before returning to Tibet after winters.
Another important festival is the Thimphu Tshechu around Thimphu during October. Seasonal harvest is the common theme across the country and is the time for local celebrations of harvest, food, and nature. Some of the key places to visit in Bhutan are Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Bumthang, and Trongsa.
Morocco is pleasant in October and is one of the comfortable months to visit the country. Average temperatures across the country is pleasant and ideal for sightseeing. October is also ideal for hiking in the mighty Atlas Mountains and visiting the Atlantic Coast. October’s mild climate is also ideal for a trip to the Sahara Desert. Some of the best places to visit in Morocco are Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat, Casablanca, Tangiers, Essaouira, Atlas Mountains and Western Sahara.
October is a wonderful month to travel to Vietnam. It’s the end of the wet season in the north with cooler and drier weather. In the central parts of Vietnam, its rainy, but equally poetic for its lush green landscapes. In south of Vietnam, it is warm and shiny. Some of the best places to visit in Vietnam during the month of October are Ha Giang, Hanoi, Sapa, Halong Bay, Can Tho and Mekong Delta, Da Lat, Mu Cang Cai, and Hue.