14 of the World’s Greatest Autumn Destinations

On the hunt for uplifting shades of buttercup yellow, blood orange and gold, we adventure across misty mountains, heather-blanketed trails and flower-carpeted meadows to bring you the prettiest destinations to visit this autumn

Your friend who's weather-obsessed will no doubt tell you that autumn is over. But we're here to point out that, according to the astronomical calendar, the season officially ends on 21 December - meaning there's still more than enough time to soak up the stunning scenery it brings. Autumn can mean different things to different people. Whether your idea of fall is tucking into a slice of pumpkin pie on a road trip across New England or hiking across heather-covered mountains in Scotland's most remote pockets, you'll find your ideal getaway in our line-up of the world's finest autumn breaks.

Leaf-peeping and the last rays of sunshine: where to travel in autumn 2022

Chubu, Japan



While it's cherry-blossom season that grabs headlines when it comes to Japan, the vision of the country's Alps and Zen gardens framed by maple leaves is arguably more arresting. When you're done strolling Tokyo's tree-liked Ginkgo Avenue - stopping for momiji tempura (sweet tempura maple leaves) - head for one of Chūbu's scenic hiking trails, before recuperating in ryokans that beckon with hot-spring onsens and kaiseki dinners.




Tired of Amsterdam's tulips and tourists? Explore the Venice of the North as summer fades (along with the number of visitors) and falling leaves expose the historic gables of canalside townhouses. If the weather gets too chilly, dive into a cosy "bruin café" (traditional Dutch pub) or make for one of the city's many museums - the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum are among our favourites.

Scottish Highlands

The Highlands


Make like Nan Shepherd with wild walks through russet-red grasses, golden pines and the fading late-summer flush of heather. Highland days are best spent admiring fairy-tale castles and Scotland's rich and varied wildlife: at this time of year stags rut and grey seals land with their fur-coated pups. A wee bit nippy? The region's many whisky distilleries (try Glenturret, home of The Famous Grouse) serve as the perfect antidote to the cold.

Bavaria Germany



Southern Germany is home to some of Europe's most ethereal castles - Neuschwanstein, Nuremberg, Burghausen - as well as alpine forests ideal for autumnal hikes. While the legendary Oktoberfest takes place in late September, there is no wrong time to join Munich's stein-fuelled sea of rosy-cheeked beer lovers. Lederhosen, optional.

Melbourne Beach



Remember: the seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere. If you've had your fill of fall foliage, head down under, where Melbourne is blooming with great events and attractions including the Melbourne Cup and arts-focused festivals.

Rome, Italy



Rome's summer crowds are but a distant memory come autumn, when balmy weather means that al fresco aperitivo is still on the menu and you're less likely to be battling for a selfie at the Trevi Fountain. Tack on a countryside trip (try Liguria, Piedmont or Tuscany) to make the most of the season's culinary bounty of porcini, truffles, chestnuts and grapes.

Lake District, UK

Lake District


If the Lake District's brooding skies and undulating fells were enough to make Wordsworth wax lyrical, they're good enough for us, too. Pack your waterproofs and head to this Unesco-protected northwestern gem for misty morning walks across bracken-covered mountains that segue into fireside pints in centuries-old pubs.

San Miguel de Allende

San Miguel de Allende


Marigolds colour the streets of this creative Mexican city during autumn, when the daytime climate is somewhat spring-like - ideal for hikes, horseback riding, temazcal rituals and hot springs. Plan your trip in line with the week-long Day of the Dead celebrations to enjoy parades, installations, dances and plays between admiring pop-up public altars.

Trodos Mountains, Cyprus

Troodos Mountains


With a climate that benefits from the island's proximity to the Middle East, Cyprus coaxes travellers in search of vitamin D. If you're not hankering after a fly-and-flop beach holiday or partying in Ayia Napa, head inland to the Troodos Mountains for hikes through vineyards and pine forests. Visit in November to enjoy the spectacle of flamingos migrating to the salt lakes of Larnaca.

Dubrovnik, Croatia



Experience the tranquil side of this walled city in October and November, when temps linger in the mid-20s, summer's crowds have dissipated and accommodation is more pocket-friendly. Stroll the Unesco-listed Old City, take in panoramas from a cable car or savour a wine-tasting extravaganza on the nearby Pelješac peninsula, where the grape harvest is underway.

Paris, France



After the heady days of summer, the City of Light comes to life at the beginning of September - so much so that the autumnal period has been dubbed "rentrée". Aside from the classic tourist sites, there's plenty to keep visitors entertained, including the Autumn Festival (9 September - 31 December), a cacophony of theatre, music, film and dance.

New England


There are few destinations as synonymous with autumn as New England, where charming towns punctuate rolling hills streaked with fiery hues. Plan a road trip from Conway along New Hampshire's glorious Kancamagus Highway to combine leaf-peeping with stops at harvest festivals for pumpkin pie, before concluding with a Boston city break.



While springtime is great for seeing Transylvania's flower-carpeted meadows, we say visit in autumn. Moody weather (and proximity to Halloween) sets the scene for eerie castle visits and woodland walks backdropped by the Carpathian Mountains, while cool temperatures make hot springs all the more inviting.

Ljubljana, Slovenia



Ljubljana may have been named Europe's "Green Capital" in 2016, but we prefer it in an amber palette - coincidentally, the same colour as Slovenia's signature wine (oenophiles should visit around 11 November, when the city comes to life with St Martin's Day festivities). Admire autumnal views from Ljubljana Castle or visit Lake Bled, just a 30-minute drive away.

This article was updated on 8 November 2022.

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