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The Sunday Times Travel writers Mark Hodson and David Wickers.

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Where is hot in September

Tuscany is hot in September

By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer and Editor of 101 Holidays


Q.  Where is hot in September?


A.  As autumn begins to creep into Northern Europe, September is a wonderful time of year in the Mediterranean with temperatures of 25-29ºC, warm seas and uncrowded resorts. In recent years, the weather in the UK has also been excellent. Best long-haul destinations in September include Bali, California and Kenya.


September is one of the best months for a holiday. You’ll find temperatures of 25°C – 32°C across the Mediterranean: as a rule, the further south you go, the hotter it gets.

It’s a great time to pick up a cheap holiday deal as children go back to school yet tour operators continue with their peak season capacity.

These are my own personal recommendations with links to companies tested and approved by our team of editors. Also see the best singles holidays in September, and family holidays in September.

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  • Sardinia, Italy

Average temperature in September: 27ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 30 minutes

Why compromise when you have the pick of the best resorts in September? The charming island of Sardinia will be basking in late summer sun and you can enjoy the white sand beaches and turquoise seas without the crowds, because the Italians all tend to holiday in August. It’s a similar picture on Sicily where you can discover the historic town of Taormina with views of Mount Etna. In the deep south of Italy, the beaches of Puglia will be hot.

Also consider: Tuscany where you can get good deals on villas, and the Amalfi Coast where you can stay in a classic hotel in pretty towns such as Sorrento. Find more holiday destinations in Italy.

  • Nice, France

Average temperature in September: 24ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 2 hours

You don’t need to travel a long way south to find warm weather in September. Take the Eurostar or fly to glamorous destinations such as Nice and St Tropez in the South of France. It’s also a great month to visit the atmospheric island of Corsica where you’ll find deals on apartments and villas (check out the special offers in September). See more ideas in France.

  • Crete, Greece

Average temperature in September: 26ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 10
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

Fly further south and you’ll get warmer temperatures and longer days of sunshine. Crete is the most southerly of the Greek islands, and it will still be a bit too hot for sightseeing in the middle of the day. Cool down in one of these lovely villas (check out the latest deals). If you prefer hotels, you’ll find good rates at the five-star Daios Cove.

Also consider: the smaller island of Kos, which enjoys similar temperatures. We recommend the all-inclusive IKOS Aria resort.

  • Halkidiki, Greece

Average temperature in September: 26ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 15 minutes

Until recently, Halkidiki on the Greek mainland was a well-kept secret, but now many people are discovering its pristine beaches, traditional villages and pine forests. Best places to stay are Sani Resort and the upmarket all-inclusive hotels, IKOS Olivia and IKOS Oceania. See more holiday ideas in Greece.

Also consider: if you want real heat, head to Cyprus where the mercury regularly tops 32°C in September.

  • Malta

Average temperature in September: 29ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 9
Flying time from UK: 3 hours 10 minutes

The historic island of Malta is one of the hottest destinations in the Mediterranean and it has some good-value four-star and five-star hotels. Check the latest special offers.

Also consider: the often-overlooked island of Menorca which has sandy beaches, lovely harbours and unspoilt villages. Check out these special places to stay.

  • Kalkan, Turkey

Average temperature in September: 30ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 11
Flying time from UK: 4 hours (to Dalaman)

Turkey‘s beautiful Aegean Coast – dubbed the Turquoise Coast for the colour of the sea – is far enough south to enjoy hotel temperatures throughout September. I recommend you avoid the bigger holiday centres and seek out small authentic resorts such as KalkanKasAkyaka and Islamlar.

Also consider: a gulet cruise in Turkey. It’s a great way to explore this beautiful coastline.

  • Azores, Portugal

Average temperature in September: 25ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 6
Flying time from UK: 4 hours

For something different, how about the Azores, a collection of nine Portuguese islands in the Atlantic with lush volcanic countryside, uncrowded beaches and some of the best whale and dolphin watching in Europe. It’s also great for walking and cycling. See more holiday ideas in Portugal.

Also consider: exploring the beautiful island of Mallorca (just keep away from the package resorts). Or discover the “real Spain” on a self-drive tour of Extremadura with overnight stays in characterful Hospederias.

  • Montenegro

Average temperature in September: 25ºC
Hours of daily sunshine: 8
Flying time from UK: 2 hours 50 minutes

Though it’s only half the size of Wales, Montenegro really packs a punch as a holiday destination, with a great climate in September. Though it’s not blessed with sandy beaches, it offers sparkling seas, mountains, national parks and historic towns and villages. It’s great value and is home to some lovely boutique hotels including this waterside palazzo in Kotor.

Also consider: better known Croatia is just along the coast and easily combined with Montenegro. Stay in Dubrovnik.

Venice in SeptemberMorocco short breaks in September

Short breaks in September

If you’ve used up all your holiday allowance – or just fancy getting away for a few days of sunshine – September is also a great month for a European city break. In Spain, Madrid and Barcelona both enjoy temperatures in the mid-20s, although Barcelona has the advantage of a city beach. Further south, Seville is still hot with temperatures of 32°C, so you’ll want to pace yourself and avoid the midday sun.

In Italy, Florence reaches 26°C and Rome 27°C – ideal temperatures for some lazy sightseeing and al fresco meals. Venice – never the best place to visit in high summer – is starting to become civilised again as the crowds drift away. The ultimate way to get there is on the Orient Express from London. You can also join a luxury hotel barge cruise across the Venetian lagoon.

It’s only a two-hour flight to Budapest, a great-value city that is packed with fascinating sights. And if you really enjoy the heat, head to Morocco.

Long haul destinations

September is a great time to visit Africa. It’s spring in Southern Africa and the dry, warm weather makes conditions perfect for game spotting as the animals congregate around the water holes. In Botswana and Tanzania you can expect temperatures of up to 28°C.

The Masai Mara in Kenya is a pleasant 24°C while the Victoria Falls – accessible from either Zambia or Zimbabwe – hits 29°C.

The paradise island destinations of the Indian Ocean are hot in September. The Seychelles and the Maldives both hover around the 30°C mark. It’s also a perfect time to visit Madagascar where you can laze on white sand beaches and discover the island’s unique flora and fauna.

Much of South East Asia is hot and wet in September, so I’d avoid Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. One of the best destinations at this time is Bali where you can expect temperatures of around 33°C and minimal rainfall. The weather in Sri Lanka should be fine and dry with temperatures around 29°C. Beyond the beaches, you’ll find these unique holiday experiences.

Temperatures are still high in Egypt and Dubai, both of which are arguably a bit too hot for holidays in September. Unless you are in search of blistering heat, you should perhaps save these destinations for later in the autumn or winter.

This a great time to visit America. The weather on the coasts is ideal, although it may be a bit too hot for comfort in the mid West. California offers guaranteed sunshine. This 10-day California tour is a self-drive adventure that hits all the high notes.

For more inspirational holiday ideas, see our full list of recommended September holidays and the best honeymoons in September.

Last updated: 24 September 2019

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