Where to go on holiday in October
October is a great month to travel, particularly as the weather at home is getting so gloomy and winter is closing in. It’s the classic month for European city breaks, but it’s also a chance to catch the last of the sunshine in the Mediterranean – at bargain prices. There are also some great long-haul trip and UK holidays.
These are our suggestions for where to go on holiday in October. If you are travelling with children, see our expert guide to family holidays in October half term.
Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.
Mediterranean beach holidays in October
If you want to be sure of catching the last of the Mediterranean sun in October you’ll have to head south. You should be fine on the Aegean coast of Turkey – where you’ll find some great value boutique hotels, while Crete is usually a dead cert for fine weather.
Puglia in the south of Italy stays warm for much longer into the season than the north. It has wonderful beaches and charming accommodation, and you’ll have the place to yourself as Italians rarely go on holiday outside the month of August.
Malta is far enough south to enjoy glorious sunshine long into October, but it’s cool enough to make it comfortable when touring the island’s fascinating historical sites. See the latest offers. We also recommend villa holidays in neighbouring Gozo, along with the laid-back Greek island of Paxos.
And if you want guaranteed sunshine and high temperatures, it’s only a 3-hour flight from the UK to Morocco where you’ll find exciting cities such as Marrakech, Taroudant and Casablanca which you can combine with beautiful beaches. You can also take a trekking holiday in Morocco, exploring the majestic Atlas Mountains with a local guide.
About 4 hours flying time from the UK, the Canaries offer even more assured sunshine than the Mediterranean. We recommend Tenerife and Lanzarote and the small unspoilt island of La Palma. If that’s too rustic for your tastes, check out the lovely Abama Golf & Spa Resort in Tenerife.
If you like the idea of cruising from one port to another, but don’t like the idea of ships the house of housing estates, check out Star Clippers which has some tall-ship departures in October including this cruise around the Greek Cyclades.
So long as you avoid half term week you can find some great cheap holidays in October.
Short breaks in October
If you’re interested in a city break, October is a perfect time to make the trip. Airfares are off their summer peaks, mild temperatures are good for sightseeing and there are fewer crowds. Venice is the classic example. It gets horribly overcrowded in the peak months yet is more atmospheric and friendly in the autumn months. See our recommended hotels in Venice at Kirker Holidays.
Tunisia is best known for its beaches but the capital Tunis is one of the Med’s best holiday destinations in October. Its medina is fascinating, plus you can visit the seaside and astonishing Roman remains. In Croatia, Dubrovnik is a perfect spot to catch some late autumn sunshine.
Also in the Mediterranean, October is a great time for a city break in Sorrento on the Neopolitan coast of Italy, or Palma, the oft-overlooked capital of Mallorca. Rome is certainly worth a visit, and the majestic city of Seville is best seen when the heat of summer has passed on.
Foodies can hop over to France for a cookery course in the seaside town of La Rochelle or the city of Lyon. The four-night trip to Lyon includes a visit to Les Halles de Paul Bocuse, the legendary indoor market, and a day’s wine tasting in the Beaujolais region. See prices.
If you like your beer, head to Oktoberfest in Munich. There are several other great options in Germany including the Gothic splendour of Cologne and the fascinating mix of grandiose public spaces and street art in the capital Berlin.
Porto is a beautiful city on the coast of Portugal. It’s home to the vintage port producers and launching pad for river cruises along the stunning, unspoilt Douro Valley. Or how about a cycling holiday in some of the most beautiful spots in Europe, or a walking holiday in Spain’s Catalonia region.
Short breaks are not just about cities. You could try a cycling holiday in France with Headwater Holidays. And you don’t need to fly, of course. Hop on the Eurostar for a stress-free break in Paris, Brussels, Bruges or Amsterdam. You can even get to Venice by high-speed TGV with the option of an overnight stop in Switzerland.
If you want to venture further afield, Hong Kong is a great destination in October.
Feeling flush? For the ultimate short break, why not fly to France by private jet. If you get together with friends or family, a day trip to Paris starts at less than £1,000 per person. Or see a selection of short breaks.
Long haul holidays in October
You don’t need to fly too far to find great weather. October is one of the best months to visit Jordan where you can play Laurence of Arabia, exploring the vast desert landscapes of Wadi Rum and the Rose Red city of Petra, then relaxing on the shores of the Dead Sea. See the latest special offers to Jordan.
The Arabian Gulf is less than 7 hours away with near guaranteed sunshine. Dubai is the obvious choice for its amazing collection of hotels – many of them tourist sights in their own right – along with great attractions, beaches, shopping and exciting desert excursions. For a more laid-back, cultural affair, head to Oman where you can stay on gorgeous remote beaches where turtles lay their eggs. We particularly like this family adventure in Oman.
Africa awaits the adventurer. We recommend a safari in Botswana or a sensational tour of Namibia. If you want a combination of beach and wildlife you can’t do much better than Madagascar – a stunning island with unique wildlife. Independent travellers will enjoy this self-drive holiday of Cape Town and the Winelands.
Or see Africa by foot, on a walking safari with Aardvark Safaris or on a climb of Mount Kilimanjaro with Tourdust. This is also a great time of year to trek in the Simien Mountains of Ethiopia, which many experts are tipping as one of the hottest new up-and-coming destinations.
If you’d rather lie back in a tropical paradise this is a great time to visit Mauritius or the Seychelles (check out the latest special offers). Meanwhile, the Maldives is perfect for beach holidays in October.
It’s also a good time to visit Japan in the cool of the autumn. Soak up the stunning sights, sounds and smells of Tokyo before heading out to the countryside to explore. You could try a 14-day small group tour that combines the temples of Kyoto, the gardens of Kanazawa and the World Heritage shrines of Nikko.
October is a great time to visit the Galapagos Islands – one of the world’s most pristine destinations where you can get up close and personal with rare species of seals, birds and tortoises, and swim with turtles. You’ll also find natural beauty in the Canadian Rockies where you can ride the spectacular Rocky Mountaineer train or take a fly-drive holiday.
Find where is hot in October.
Holidays in America in October
Autumn in America tends to be dry and sunny – with spectacular displays as the leaves change colour. The best month to see the “Fall Foliage” is October and the best region is New England, which you can tour on a fly-drive holiday or an escorted coach tour. If time is short, take a short break in the regional capital of Boston, a city that is leafy, walkable and packed with culture.
There are other great driving routes in America. You could tour the 250-mile Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, discover the Southern charm of Alabama or drive the California Coast from San Francisco to San Diego. History lovers should retrace the Civil War route through Fredericksburg, Richmond, Shenandoah and Gettysburg, or head out from Washington D.C. to explore Virginia where highlights include colonial Williamsburg and the university city of Charlottesville.
As well as renting a car, you could take a cycle tour or a coach tour to discover the USA. You could take a luxury coach trip around the American South or join a food-and-wine-tasting tour of California.
What about the UK?
There are plenty of places in the UK where you can hope to get decent weather and a cheap holiday in October. And even if it’s not scorching sunshine, there is plenty of gorgeous countryside to enjoy in autumn colours.
In the West Country, we like Hawke’s Point self-catering apartments close to St Ives and Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa. If you’re on a budget, we recommend Countryside & Coastal B&Bs and Cottages in the beautiful Dorset country.
On the coast of Suffolk The Wentworth Hotel is a gorgeous bolthole overlooking the beach at Aldeburgh, one of Britain’s prettiest seaside towns.
You could tour the Great Houses of England or choose from a great selection of small-group cultural tours of Britain led by an expert in art, music or architecture. Find out more from Martin Randall Travel.
It’s not too late for some autumn camping. Rather than take your chances with regular tents and sleeping bags, we recommend a trip to Feather Down Farms which has large luxury fixed tents with proper beds and wood-burning stoves at 20 working farms across the UK. Alternatively, try Country House Hideout which has luxury tents in the grounds of posh country houses.
Explore our full selection of UK holiday ideas.
Try our holiday quiz
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