Sadly, for many travellers, September marks the end of travel season. It’s back-to-school, back-to-work, back-to-reality month. But if you can take some days off this month, you’ll find that September is for those who loves to embark on adventure.
This great season of travel offers prime conditions for exploring a vast array of big-name destinations for food and drink, culture, relaxation, or just an incredible journey without crowds.
All eyes are on Munich when Oktoberfest, the world-famous German beer festival, pitches up in Theresienwiese from mid September to early October.
Pack your Lederhosen and get ready for an extravaganza of giant pretzels, Oompah bands and of course, gallons and gallons of ice-cold beer. Prost!
A combination of mild weather and lively events makes September one of the best months to visit Ireland. The party kicks off in Stradbally Co. Laois with the Electric Picnic festival.
Heading west, Galway welcomes visitors from around the world to raise a toast at the Galway International Oyster and Seafood Festival.
Meanwhile in Dublin, it’s all go as Croke Park plays host to thousands of sports fans for the GAA All-Ireland Championship finals.
In Tuscany, foodies can look forward to an autumn feast of fresh figs, mushrooms, truffles and olive oil, while in Milan it’s a case of handbags at dawn when the fashion pack rolls into town for Fashion Week.
Always wanted to see Venice? The city is at its most romantic in September, with beautiful sunsets and ethereal mists veiling the canals.
Locals will tell you September is the perfect time to plan a beach break in the Algarve or Lisbon Coast. The sea is still warm, there’s still a stretch in the evenings and best of all, beaches are virtually deserted.
Playing away? Surf is more consistent off the Atlantic coast and mild autumn temperatures make this the perfect month for a round of golf in the Algarve.
Make the most of cooler temperatures in Athens and explore the iconic wonders of Ancient Greece without the long queues and sweltering heat of high summer.
Up for an island-hopping adventure? Paradise isles such as Santorini and Mykonos continue to bask in balmy weather throughout September and can be reached within a short 40-minute flight from the Greek capital.
Seville sizzles during June, July and August but if you play your cards right and plan a trip in October you’ll be able to fully appreciate the cobbled streets of the Santa Cruz quarter and the magnificent Alcázar Palace without breaking a sweat.
Autumn sees Ibiza’s major clubs winding down for another season. Enjoy one last tune at the closing parties which take place in the first week of October. Dreaming about chilling by the pool? Sunshine and sangria await in Lanzarote, Tenerife and Fuerteventura.
It may be hat and scarf season at home, but in the Mediterranean, the island of Malta is kicking back to temperatures in the mid twenties.
It’s warm enough to swim in the sea and there’s plenty of ancient and medieval sights to explore in around the cities of Valetta and Medina – you’ll probably even recognise a few of them from Game of Thrones.
North and Central America
The United States, Canada and Mexico are possibly at their most magnificent in autumn. The summer crowds have left New England and Nova Scotia, which means more lobster, seaside lounging and national-park exploration for you. Québec, central Canada and the American Midwest see an exodus of tourists during harvest season, so gear up for farmers markets and bountiful meals. The kids are back in school, so popular cities such as New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC and Vancouver are much more manageable than over summer or during the December pre-holidays rush.
Everyone knows about fall in New England, but what fewer people are aware of is that September is the best month for visiting Texas and the Deep South (those cooler nights are a godsend). California and the Southwest come into their own in September, with San Franciscans actually seeing the sun for a few days.
Mexico’s beaches are suddenly deserted as the summer vacationers disappear. In the interior, the desert begins to chill out, making for much more pleasurable exploration.
Tourists depart Central America in September because that’s when the rains are at their fiercest. However, the ‘green season’ can be paradise for you, if you do a bit of planning. Book accommodation well in advance and then enjoy the display of wildlife that is brought out by the monsoon. It’s also the best time for surfing some serious waves.
From the Darién Gap to Tierra del Fuego, South America blooms in September. In the warm north, the milder dry season is giving way to a few sprinkles; in the frigid south, the ice is melting and Patagonia is warming up to travellers. If springtime in Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile don’t inspire you to tango, check your pulse.
China and Japan are at their best in September. The nearly unbearable heat and humidity of the summer have ebbed; it’s fresh and mild in the East. The high mountains and valley passes are still easily accessible, and virtually all tourist attractions remain open. Residents of Beijing are checking their wardrobes for sweaters, while those in Shanghai are still enjoying warm evenings.
South Asia has also been cooled – by the monsoon – and it’s a great time to visit India or Sri Lanka. The oppressive heat of the Deccan plateau has moved over the Indian Ocean, leaving a subcontinent with a pleasantly cool north and a languorously warm south. It’s shoulder season in India, too, so hotel and transport prices should reflect reduced demand.
Africa and the Middle East
Those western Europeans who didn’t go to southern Spain in August went to North Africa instead. Now they’re gone, there’s more space for you on the beaches of Tunisia, in the markets of Egypt and the mountains of Morocco without elbowing past hundreds of fellow holidaymakers. September is a great time to visit Lebanon for hiking, while temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula are finally bearable again.
Australia and New Zealand
Most of southern Australia and New Zealand are emerging from winter in September. With a quick transition to spring, both countries enjoy significantly warmer temperatures and sunnier weather. In New Zealand’s mountains, the snow hasn’t melted yet – making for glorious skiing – while in Australia it’s a great time to relax in the tropical north, drink wine in the temperate west or check out the springtime delights of Sydney and Melbourne.