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With imposing mountain ranges to the north and the Pacific Ocean nuzzling the coast to the west, Vancouver is a nature enthusiast’s nirvana. But it’s not all about hiking through bear country; the city boasts a thriving creative community as well as an ever-evolving startup scene, giving it a young, arty edge.
A less obvious choice than Kenya, the dry weather in September results in less vegetation and plenty of thirsty animals gathering around the watering holes, guaranteeing you plenty of opportunities to spot some of Africa’s most spectacular game.
Get your last dancing fix with the legendary White Isle closing parties, or make for the hills on the the other side of the island and do the exact opposite: recharge at a yoga retreat or organic farm. We recommend both – in that order.
If you’re after an adventure which will open your eyes to new people, places and things, this West African country is ripe for exploration. Poverty may still be a very real thing, but the economy is thriving and the capital, Addis Ababa, has an effervescent creative spirit about it, with an enviable coffee culture to boot. Escape the city and head to the Simien Mountains for your wildlife fix afterwards.
This colourful walled ex-pirate town on Colombia’s Caribbean Coast looks like it was plucked from the pages of a story book. Street sellers peddling giant avocados set up shop alongside pretty boutiques as reggaeton beats gently waft past dilapidated colonial buildings – it’s hard not to get caught up in the heady rhythm. Just a few hours away, Tayrona National Park offers sweeping white-sand beaches as reward for hiking through lush rainforests.
This northern Moroccan city has exchanged the terracotta-hued architecture typical of the rest of the country for brilliant blue hues. Nestled in the Rif mountains and slightly inland from the Mediterranean, it maintains a temperature more akin to a European summer than the scorching desert heat you’re likely to experience further inland.
This Atlantic island is alluring at any time of year, but particularly as autumn approaches when the stable temperature (usually above 20 degrees) feels particularly luxurious. If you’re looking for something more than simply sunbathing, head here to surf black-sand beaches and descend gaping gorges – fuelled by plenty of fresh fish.
Often compared to a laid-back Ibiza, this beach-shack town in the Alentejo region of west Portugal is one of the country’s best-kept secrets. Portugal’s long summers mean the weather is just perfect in September – spend days horse-riding, exploring sleepy fishing villages or simply reading a book. If you’re feeling intrepid, embark on a road trip through Portugal’s wild west.
This youthful city is packed with intrigue thanks to a lively student population juxtaposed with ancient monuments, galleries and museums. If you liked the buzz of Istanbul’s bazaars and the romance of Athens’ crumbling temples, this Aegean port town has similar charms but fewer people.
Combining dramatic scenery with a rich history, this Balkan city is rapidly becoming a travel hotspot for those in search of an enlightening city break. Proudly flaunting its status as the oldest city in Europe, Plovdiv’s 6,000 years of history can be seen in disparate imperial buildings, from ancient Roman and Persian ruins to the decadent Balkan and Ottoman architecture that lines the city’s streets. The European Capital of Culture for 2019, Plovdiv has much more to offer than just its historic buildings. Stroll around the cobbled streets of Plovdiv’s Old Town for cute cafés and quaint boutiques selling handmade art and artisan jewellery. Visit in September when the streets of Kapana, the city’s bohemian quarter, come alive with celebrations and cultural activities.
Framed by the glistening Ioanian, this ancient city dates back to the 8th century BC. Divided into three quarters, the city pairs its historic old town with an impressive modern centre and a bustling industrial hub. Spend mornings sipping espressos in the Borgo Nuovo and strolling around the sprawling fish market, and afternoons lazing on Taranto’s sandy beaches – but don’t miss a trip to the ancient quarter, where crumbling ruins and centuries-old buildings provide a sharp contrast to the city’s modern districts. Italy’s Apuglian region can reach unbearable temperatures during summer months, so come in September when the heat starts to ease up.
On the craggy slopes of the Great Caucasus Mountain Range, Stepantsminda is a small valley town steeped in ancient history. Commonly referred to as Kazbegi, the town is perched in the shadow of Mount Kazbek – known in Greek mythology as the place where Prometheus was chained as punishment for teaching mankind how to make fire. Spend days hiking up mountains or exploring deep valleys and gorges, while hot springs and alkaline lakes surrounding the cliffs beckon weary limbs. Go in the summer months for blue skies punctured by snow-capped mountains – September is the ideal time to miss crowds but still make the most of the weather.
This diverse South African province offers days that differ drastically from one to the next. From cosmopolitan Durban with its glitzy malls and pristine beachfront and KZN’s famous safari parks and nature reserves to the towering Drakensberg mountains, there’s plenty to do. Catch a glimpse of KZN’s “big seven” (that being the big five plus the southern right whale and the great white shark) or join archaeologists exploring ancient artwork made by the San people centuries ago. Come in September to avoid crowds and immerse yourself in Zulu festivities – two of the main Zulu festivals take place in this month.
What’s happening in the world in September?
25 August – 2 September: Burning Man Festival, Nevada
6-7 September: Birdsville Races, Australia
6-14 September: New York Fashion Week, US
14-18 September: London Fashion Week, England
19-25 September: Milan Fashion Week, Italy
25 September – 3 October: Paris Fashion Week, France
21 September – 6 October: Oktoberfest, Germany
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