Fresh ideas for autumn holidays

Image of waterfall in Antalya
Southern Turkey - a great antidote to miserable British autumn (Image: Turkey Tourism)
"Nothing beats the anticipation of sitting in a truck or jeep, waiting for some of the world’s most impressive and majestic animals to stroll right up to you"
  • | by Dave Jenkins

The British summer might be fading away, but that’s no reason to say cheerio to the prospect of a sunny holiday this autumn.

In fact, autumn is one of the best times to take a break: travelling off-season can mean less tourists and cheaper prices.

So, as the longer nights and wetter days get closer and closer, here are eight great fall destinations to choose from…

Guaranteed sun

Antalya, Turkey

Image of Antalya in Turkey

Image: Turkey Tourism

Beautiful beaches, dramatic mountains, rich history, wildlife and more: Antalya and the surrounding region along the Turkish south coast ticks a lot of boxes.

If you tire of relaxing on the beaches of Side, Anamur and Konyaalti, plenty of exciting activities await - rafting in Bridge Canyon National Park, well-preserved Roman amphitheatres and the Chimaera in Cirali, where natural flames have sprung from rocks for thousands of years.

Just around the corner is Olympos where you can stay in rustic treehouse lodges and enjoy its unspoiled beach, a breeding spot for Loggerhead turtles.

Santorini, Greece

Image of Santorini in Greece

One of the lesser-known Greek island destinations, Santorini comprises three islands on the grounds of an active volcano.

Over 3,000 years ago it was home to one of the largest eruptions ever recorded. As a result the islands surround a dramatic lagoon with the whitewashed towns offering astonishing views from their clifftop positions.

Home to a multi-coloured array of beaches with red, black and white sand, a historic tradition of very fine wines and many watersport activities along the south coast resort of Perissa, Santorini has heaps to offer. Visit between 9-23 September and you’ll enjoy the islands’ annual classical and opera festival, too.

Guaranteed fun

Orlando, Florida

orlando-edit

The half-term holiday week is a great time to visit Orlando. The weather is actually better than the summer as the storm season is over. Plus, the school term timetable is different to the UK’s in the States, so the queues at the many theme parks are nowhere near as long.  

A must-do for families at least once in a lifetime (trust me, I can still remember being taken 25 years ago as if it were yesterday), the sunshine state doesn’t just boast the mighty Disneyworld and Universal Studios - there's Legoland Florida, the Kennedy Space Centre, the Everglades and many beaches as well. More than enough to fill your week!

Europa Park and the Rhine Valley, Germany

Image of Europa Park in Germany

Here’s a cheaper – but less sunny – alternative for families looking for a theme park treat.

The area is home to Germany’s largest amusement park, where you’ll find over 50 white-knuckle attractions, including Europe’s largest roller-coaster. 

Europa Park has its own range of hotels, but you might prefer to stay off-site to enjoy other attractions nearby - the Rhine Valley and lush expanses of the Taubergiessen nature reserve neatly counter the thrills and spills.

Feeling adventurous?

Nepal

Imaage of Himilayas in Nepal

This landlocked area of south-east Asian beauty has been a favourite with backpackers since the 1960s, and mid-September to mid-December is the best time to visit.

Many travellers spend months exploring the country’s many Himalayan trekking routes, but two weeks will still provide a life-affirming adventure.

The deep history of ancient settlements such as Bhaktapur, the laid-back luxury of lakeside towns like Pokhara, tiger spotting safari missions in Chitwan and the craziness of Kathmandu complement the world’s largest mountain range. And that’s before we get to the small matter of the truly incredible food…

Ngorongoro Conservation Area, Tanzania

Image of rhinos

Nothing beats the anticipation of sitting in a truck or jeep, waiting for some of the world’s most impressive and majestic animals to stroll right up to you.

Any national park in Tanzania or neighbouring Kenya will offer these delights but nowhere does it quite like Ngorongoro. The 600m deep volcanic crater is so deep, many of the animals can’t leave.

As a result the crater is a world of its own with some of the largest populations of lions, black rhinos and wildebeest. Meanwhile, on the outskirts of the crater, you’ll find many elephants roaming around the lodges and camping areas.

Autumn is an ideal time for this type of adventures as the weather is slightly cooler, dryer and less humid which means malaria risk is lower as there are less mosquitoes. 

Be sure to take a strong torch, and watch out for the animal eyes surrounding you. It’s an unforgettable experience.

Culture vultures!

Ibiza

Image Ibiza old town

There’s a lot more than DJs, clubs and all-night parties. The Spanish island has a fascinating history, and even its renowned party side is ancient. Phoenician settlers even dedicated its oldest port to the Egyptian god of music and dance over 2,500 years ago.

Autumn is an amazing time to visit Ibiza. The boozy beat-chasers have left the island, the weather is still balmy and fiesta season has fully kicked in.

Between September and October there are eight local week-long street parties. And in case you need more culture, the small island is also home to over 20 museums and galleries as well as the Unesco-awarded world heritage site Dalt Vila, where the island’s oldest town was founded.

Something a bit different?

Reykjavik, Iceland

Image of Northern Lights in Iceland

Why chase the sun when you can see the Northern Lights?

October is the ideal time to visit Iceland - get there before the country’s bitter winter begins and you can enjoy a range of unique activities.

As well as the Northern Lights there’s whale watching, volcanic mountain trekking and natural hot tubs on the country’s many geothermal beaches. Swimsuits are a must.

“Iceland is the most relentlessly dramatic place I have ever been,” says Alex Gwilliam, Berlin-based writer. “It's no small wonder a large part of the population still believes in fairies and spirits of nature; when you live among landscapes as absurdly magical as this, that really is the only plausible explanation!”

Compare flights and hotels with Gocompare.com.

Wherever you chose to go this autumn, don't forget to pack your travel insurance.

Main image: Turkey Tourism