where-to-go-october

The Highlands, Scotland

Make like Macbeth with long walks across heather fields as the leaves turn crimson and amber, visiting dramatic castles such as the 13th-century Eilean Donan. Visits to the region’s many whisky distilleries, such as Talisker, are the perfect antidote to the cold and provide an excuse to stock up on the golden liquor for the cold winter months ahead.

Lanzarote, Spain

Snigger you might, but Lanzarote isn’t all package holidays and boozy Brits. Head to the island’s wild northern landscapes for beautiful architecture, adrenaline-fuelled adventures and top-notch wine. For open-minded travellers chasing the sun, you could do a lot worse than this slice of Spain.

Seoul, South Korea

Seoul is not for the fainthearted, packed with high-rise buildings, 10-lane roads and frenetic 24-hour markets. Overload your senses in this sprawling (and very stylish) metropolis, before heading to the tranquility of Naejangsan Mountain at the centre of Naejangsan National Park, to marvel at the burnt oranges and reds of as its famed autumn foliage enters autumn.

Munich, Germany

During Oktoberfest, the entire city of Munich becomes a sea of rosy-cheeked merry-makers swaying and splashing their stein all over the place. The key to enjoying the festival is to plan ahead. Book your hotel well in advance as they fill up quickly, and ideally stay near the city centre as you never want to be too far away from a beer hall (or your bed). Dates change each year.

Bordeaux, France

Few things come close to sampling a glass of Bordeaux right there in the very place at which it was made. Take your pick from over 100,000 vineyards scattered across southern France, where winding roads, beautiful bucolic scenery and mild weather offer a pretty unbeatable weekend away.

Porto, Portugal

As if inebriated by its star export of port, days pass by at a leisurely pace in Lisbon’s rawer sibling, while the young, ambitious population is raring to go. Described by those in the know as a gastronomic playground, it’s the perfect place to dip between dimly lit taverns sampling traditional delights such as bolinhos de bacalhau (codfish pastries) before heading to a local bar.

Rome, Italy

October is best month to visit this timeless city, when the crowds have largely dissipated but the weather remains balmy – bare legs and alfresco Aperol are still very much order of the day. You don’t need us to tell you all the sights you need to tick off if it’s your first time in town, but you may need help finding the best local places to eat and drink.

Thimphu, Bhutan

Bhutan preserves an air of magic and mystery, despite being sandwiched between the rapidly developing powerhouses of India and China. It was the last nation to turn on the TV in 1999; it is the only country with a national park devoted to preserving the natural habitat of the yeti, and its government shuns international franchises such as Starbucks and McDonalds. Start in the capital of Thimphu, then head out to explore the Buddhist temples which dot the Himalayas.

Mauritius

Sometimes, all you want is a good beach. While the Maldives may be the name on many of your friends’ (honeymoon) lists, we like Mauritius not only for it’s icing-sugar beaches but also for its colourful cuisine and character, while the capital of Port Louis boasts some local markets to explore if you get itchy feet on your sun lounger.

Taipei, Taiwan

The Taiwanese capital may not have the soaring skyscrapers of Hong Kong nor the neon skyline of Shanghai. But when it comes to art, architecture and style, the city boasts some serious aesthetic credentials, with a cool factor that’s hard to find elsewhere – and that’s before we’ve mentioned the street food. Visit in October when the temperatures are cooler yet still ambient, then hop over to the Penghu Islands to relax.

Cape Verde, Africa

If you can’t quite accept that summer is over in Europe, book a last-minute break to this volcanic archipelago off Africa’s west coast. With a range of islands to choose from depending on your likes – kitesurfing, partying, solitude – there really is something to suit all. Boavista is a firm favourite, with soft sands, sweeping vistas and colourful houses set off by a mint-hued sea.

Bath, UK

Tucked in the rolling hills of southwest England just a 90-minute train ride from London is the picturesque city of Bath, ever immortalised in the pages of Jane Austen novels. Offering a quintessential micro-break pick-me-up between summer and Christmas, book a stay on the city’s most iconic street and spend a happy weekend wandering the cobbled streets of this Unesco World Heritage Site.

What’s happening in the world in October?

21 September – 6 October: Oktoberfest, Germany

25 September – 3 October: Paris Fashion Week, France

25 September-3 October 2019: Paris Fashion Week, France

5-15 October 2018: ACL Music Festival, Austin, Texas

6-14 October 2018: Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, New Mexico, USA

31 October: Halloween, Europe and US

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