Best places to visit in October in Europe

View over the cliffs at sunset, with the sea on the right. the vegetation is yellowish because of the warm light of the sunset

I am the type of person that doesn’t really travels in summer. I don’t like crowds of people and the high prices always put me off. But I do have very itchy feet, so as soon as autumn comes, I am back on the road. In this best places to visit in October in Europe post I have asked travel bloggers about their favourite destinations and why is it best to go there in autumn. This is how I’ve put together this list of mostly off the beaten path destinations in Europe that are gorgeous to explore in autumn. Think of stunning landscapes, cheap accommodation and no crowds! With this in mind, who doesn’t want to travel in autumn around Europe?

 

Champagne Region – France

By Laura and Charlie from The Travelling Stomach

Champagne

For any wine lover, Champagne has got to come high on the list of wine regions of the world to visit. This French sparkling wine has become a synonym of opulence and luxury throughout the world, much of which you will see if you explore the Avenue de Champagne in the provincial capital of Epernay. However, elsewhere in the region, many of the producing villages have an understated elegance, showcasing a love of the wine they make.

Whether you are looking to explore the crisp chalk soils of the Cote des Blancs, the rolling hills of the Montagne des Reims, or the glitzy maisons of Epernay, you will be sure to learn lots about the history of the region and its wines! As with the rest of Europe, the region gets busiest over the summer months. This makes the autumn period around October a perfect time to visit, with quieter villages and with the beautiful vines turning wonderful shades of orange and brown after the grapes have been picked.

If you’re looking for a bit of gastronomic luxury during your visit, look no further than Domaine du Chalet, the boutique hotel of Palmer & Co. Again, a small retreat with only 5 rooms, including an intriguing treehouse, here the highlight of your stay will be a stunning dinner served in their beautiful dining room and paired with a selection of Palmer & Co champagnes.

 

Douro Valley, Portugal

By Ann from The Road is Life

A man standing on a cliff, overlooking the valley beneath him which turned yellow in autumn

After visiting the Douro Valley in Northern Portugal last October, we can’t recommend this destination enough when planning your autumn travels in Europe. While one might assume that travelling to Portugal in the summer is the best time of year, October is actually an excellent time to visit this area. Whether you choose to visit on a day trip from Porto or include the Douro Valley on a road trip through Portugal, this place is absolutely magical in October.

The Douro Valley happens to be the oldest wine region in the world and is easily the most beautiful too. This UNESCO heritage site is sure to leave you speechless with its terraced vineyards that cling to the slopes of rolling green and golden hills as the Douro River flows through the middle of it all.

The best part of visiting in October? These incredible landscapes truly come to life as the seasons begin to change. Vibrant yellows, oranges and reds cover the mountainous vineyards making this wine region an even more breathtaking sight. Get the best of both worlds by visiting the Douro Valley in October with stunning colours and great weather! With highs of 24°C and very little rain, what more could you ask for in an autumn destination?

Besides its obvious beauty, the Douro Valley is known for one thing: its world class wine! When looking for activities to plan during your visit, booking a wine tours should be somewhere near the top of your list. Another popular activity you shouldn’t miss is to take a scenic boat cruise on the Douro River.

If you plan to spend the night on your travels, there are a few towns in the Douro Valley that make a great stop to break up your trip. We decided to stay in the beautiful town of Lamego, but Peso da Régua or Pinhão make equally good options to book your accommodation.

 

Crete, Greece

By Dave from Dave’s Travel Pages

A beach next to a cliff full of little caves

The island of Crete is located to the south of mainland Greece. It is a really beautiful island with quaint towns, lovely beaches, high mountains, deep gorges, and an abundance of archaeological spaces.

Like many places in Greece, Crete can be busy in the summer, but a lot more laid back later on in the year. In particular, the island has a more authentic feel in October, as the tourist crowds thin out. Due to its southern location, the weather is still nice and warm, and the sea is still warm enough to swim.

There are tons of things to do in Crete in October. Swimming and relaxing on the beach is an obvious choice, but if you aren’t too interested in beaches, Crete has plenty more to offer. You can hike some of the beautiful gorges, of which the most popular is Samaria gorge, and you can visit the most famous archaeological sites, like Knossos, Festos and Gortyna. These places will be a lot quieter in October than the summer!

Depending on how much time you have to explore Crete, the best idea is to base yourself in one town and either take day trips, or move on to another town after a day or two. Many visitors choose to stay in Chania, from where you can easily reach the popular beaches of Elafonissi and Balos. If you like bigger cities, you can stay in Heraklion, which has one of the best archaeological museums in Greece. However, if you are interested in some quiet time and nature, you can head to the south coast of the island, and base yourself in Plakias, Paleohora or Ierapetra.

For more information, check out Dave’s guide: Things to do in Crete in October.

 

Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy

By Claudia from My Adventures Across the World

A blue aerial view of a beach landscape

Cagliari, the capital of Sardinia, is an excellent place to visit in October. While most places in Europe are already enjoying the first glimpses of autumn, summer has yet to finish in Cagliari – depending on the year, locals enjoy a day at the beach up to the end of the month. Days are shorter than during the summer, but temperatures are milder, making it overall more pleasant. The city is not nearly as crowded with tourists as it can get in the summer (though Cagliari is hardly a touristy city!), so visitors can easily get a table at the best restaurants, find a good place to stay, and the prices aren’t nearly as high.

Among the things to do in Cagliari, I recommend exploring Castello, its main historical quarter, and to stretch to Stampace, La Marina and Villanova – the other historical areas of town. In Castello you’ll find the great museum of archeology, the cathedral, the two watchtowers where you can walk up for splendid views of the city, and various viewpoints to admire the city. Make sure to enjoy sunset from Via Santa Croce!

Scattered throughout the city there are various archeological sites. The unmissable one is by far the Roman Amphitheater.

And if you feel the urge of getting in the nature, you don’t have to travel far. An easy hike that departs from Calamosca beach (at about 15 minutes by bus from the very central Via Roma) offers incredible views of Poetto beach and of the city. Poetto beach is easily reached and a great place to go for a walk and, on sunny days (which are the vast majority) to lay in the sun and swim. And right behind it you’ll find Molentargius, a natural park home of a large colony of pink flamingoes.

The best place to stay in Cagliari is Villa Fanny, a fabulous boutique hotel right by the botanical garden. It has gorgeous, spacious room and an on sight gourmet restaurant.

 

Krka National Park, Croatia

By Sam from Something of Freedom

A waterfall in the middle of the photo, stretching from one side of the photo to another

Croatia’s stunning Krka National Park is home to some truly beautiful nature. The park has become famous for the majestic Skradinski buk falls – a multi-tiered waterfall with 17 different falls over the course of 800 metres. Between June and September it’s possible to swim in the base of the final level of the waterfall, which makes these months extremely popular times to visit. One of the best times to visit the park is during autumn, as you’re able to enjoy the stunning nature without having hundreds of other tourists swimming in the waterfall and spoiling the view.

Although the main attraction in the park is Skradinski buk, there are a number of other beautiful spots that can be visited all year round. Some highlights include the viewpoint of Visovac Island, the Krka Monastery and the park’s tallest waterfall – Manojlovacki slap. Autumn is a particularly good time to visit Manojlovacki slap as during summer the waterfall can run dry, but by autumn the increased rainfall means it will almost certainly be flowing again.

The nearby city of Sibenik is an ideal place to stay when visiting Krka National Park. Located around 10 kilometres away, it’s a perfect base for visiting the park, and there are also some lovely places to visit in the city itself. The main tourist season for the city is during summer, which means by autumn accommodation prices will be lower too – another advantage of visiting the park during this time of year!

 

Amalfi Coast, Italy

By Leanne from The Globetrotter GP

A drone view of a windy road going down the cliffs, and the turqoise colored water below

The Amalfi coast during the summer months is super crowded. A much better time to visit is in October.

By October, the weather is cooling just a little, the crowds are dissipating and the children are back in school after their summer holidays. This means you can stroll the postcard-perfect villages and towns without huge swarms of tourists. You can drive the winding narrow roads without worrying about heavy traffic spoiling an otherwise idyllic road trip. Yet the weather will still be warm enough that you can relax on a beach to read a good book whilst sipping on an Aperol spritz!

There are many things to do and places to see which you should add to your Amalfi Coast itinerary. The pretty gardens at Ravelo offer unrivalled coastal views. Positano offers a buzzing bar scene and some of the best scenery in the Amalfi Coast. The cathedral in Amalfi is worth checking out.

Capri island is absolutely 100% worth a visit. Sail around the island, visit the stunning blue cave where the water appears to glow in the dark. Then do some designer shopping in Capri town followed by lunch with a view. Capri is notoriously expensive but you might get a good deal on meals out, hotels and excursions during the cooler months.

But the absolute best thing to do in the Amalfi coast whether that be in October or another time, is just to get in your car and drive, stopping off at all the magical viewpoints and charming towns and beaches.

 

Falsterbo, Sweden

By Christa from Expedition Wildlife

A man looking through his camera with a telephoto lens, near a lake

If you are looking for breezy ocean shores and some of the best bird watching in Europe, don’t hesitate to visit Falsterbo, Sweden during autumn bird migration. Following spring’s uproar of birdsong and new birds of the year learning to forage and fly, autumn yields thousands of birds migrating south in large flocks to escape the colder northern winters.

Falsterbo is located on a southern peninsula along the sound separating Sweden and Denmark, acting as a funnel for birds as they navigate their long journey. This spectacle draws birders and researchers from all over, as you’ll rarely experience this phenomenon elsewhere. The Falsterbo Lighthouse is the premiere location for spotting many bird species at once, and the Visitor’s Center and beach provide a wonderful café and walking trails to further enjoy the area. Migration begins in mid-September, and really picks up by mid-October, an ideal time to visit the area as the summertime, beach-goers have all but gone.

To get the full “birder” experience, consider staying at the Falsterbo Bird Observatory field house, run by the Falsterbo Fagelstation, where you can have a bunk bed and shared bathroom and kitchen for a very reasonable price. Share stories around the dinner table of the birds you got the chance to spot during the day, and get insider tips and information about the best places to see certain species, especially since the field house is also where the bird researchers and banders are living for the season. Book your spot early, however, as October is the busiest time at the Observatory!

 

Mestia, Georgia

By Erika from Erika’s Travelventures

A colorful scenery of a river with mountains on both sides, and a peak covored with snow in front

Georgia is a wonderful, off-the-beaten path destination that is easily accessible from Western European countries. In October in Georgia, the autumn colors are turning brilliant shades of yellow and orange, and the best place to see them is heading to the town Mestia in the Svaneti region. Mestia is surrounded by mountains, forests, and has a glacial-fed river running through the middle of it. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the fresh autumn mountain air, eat delicious Georgian cuisine, and stay in mountain lodges.

For hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, there are many day-treks that are easily accessible from Mestia, which take you to glaciers, lakes, and incredible viewpoints of the surrounding mountains. The highlight of the region is a beautiful 4-day trek from Mestia to Ushguli, that takes you through local Georgian villages. October is the best time to go trekking in Mestia, because the weather is cool, the fall foliage is incredible, and the local homestays and mountain lodges are not too crowded with local and foreign tourists.

There are great, budget places to stay in Mestia, and also many more expensive, luxurious mountain lodges. A great budget option next to the river is Mushkudiani Manor. For a great mountaintop view, check out Mestia Hotel Zuruldi, or for a view of Mestia, try Guesthouse AlpenRose.

 

Maramures, Romania

By Mark from These Foreign Roads

A line of bee hives standing in front of a green hill

Way up in the far north of Romania, along the the border with Ukraine, is the remarkable region of Maramures. With its charming villages, unique architecture, and colourful bee hives dotting the rolling landscape, it’s one of the most picturesque parts of the country. And during the quiet autumn months, you’re more likely to encounter a traffic jam of horse-drawn wagons than a crowd of tourists.

What makes Maramures such a wonderful destination this time of year is more than just a lack of congestion. The spectacular landscape is lit up in all the beautiful hues of the season and perfect stacks of freshly scythed stacks of hay mark the harvest.

Of the many wonderful experiences in Maramures, riding the old-fashioned steam train is one of the greatest. And visiting the incredible wooden churches, unique to this part of Romania, is something you won’t find anywhere else. Consider taking a trip to the Bârsana Monastery for one of the best collection of these amazing works of construction.

Then, there’s the curious and fascinating Cimitirul Vesel. No visit to Maramures is complete without exploring the famous “Merry Cemetery.” The residents of Săpânța have taken a rather unconventional approach to remembering their departed. Rather than simple tombstones, bright blue wooden crosses mark the gravesites, while colourful and cartoonish depictions of the deceased are paired with clever poems commemorating those buried. It’s truly one of the most remarkable sights in Europe.

Outside of the main city of Baia Mare, hotels are all but non-existent. The best way to make your stay in Maramures is at a small, family-owned homestay. These are found in villages throughout the area, such as Casa Relax in Valeni, or another in nearby Breb. One of the greatest perks of such accommodation is that a traditional, home-cooked, Romanian meal is often offered with the stay!

 

Peneda-Géres, North Portugal

By Josh and Sarah from Veggie Vagabonds

A man standing on the rocks next to a path, admiring the view

Europe has some strong contenders for the best place to visit in October but I’m going to suggest one you’ve likely never heard of: Peneda-Géres in Northern Portugal. If you’re a hiker or outdoors lover you’re going to love it!

Peneda Geres National Park was the first designated national park in Portugal and covers more than 700-sq-km all the way up to the Spanish border. There are countless hiking trails that go across valleys, up mountain paths, traverse ravines and take you all the way to stunning waterfalls – it really is a hiker’s dream.

It’s also a great place to spot wildlife and you’ll find snakes, bats, wolves, deer and even eagles so keep an eye out for some animal encounters. If you’re not a hiker or wildlife fan there’s a big range of other outdoor activities like climbing, canoeing and mountain biking.

If this all sound all a bit too tiring you’ll appreciate the traditional culture and gastronomy in the region. Lap up some of the local traditions and history, try some of the famous foods or visit relics of ancient communities dating back to the Mesolithic period.

Why is this place so good to visit in October? Because you get the absolute best of both worlds. In October you’ll beat the crowds that come to hike the destination during the summer months but the weather is still likely to be excellent.

During our trip in October we had stable temperatures of around 25C which was perfect. There is higher rainfall but this means you’ll have beautifully gushing waterfalls you can plan your hikes around.

Peneda-Geres is easily accessible from Porto by taking a train to Braga and then a bus. You’ll find the biggest selection of accommodation in Geres, Campo do Gerês, Villar da Veiga and towns around the Cavado river. It also happens to be much cheaper than the rest of Western Europe so you can find accommodation which is great value for money

 

Alba, Italy

By Brianna from Casual Travelist

An old man showing a big yellow truffle to the camera

Forget the land of milk and honey; I’ll take the wine, truffles and hazelnuts of Italy’s Piedmont region. The Piedmont area of Italy is located southwest of Milan and shares borders with France and Switzerland and produces some of the world’s best culinary delicacies.

The rolling hills throughout this region are filled with vineyards who produce diving Barolos and Barberas, hazelnut orchards that supply your favorite jar of Nutella and forests of white truffles.The beautiful town of Alba is one of the cultural hubs of the Piedmont and with the bounty of the surrounding countryside a visit here is a must for any foodie.

Every year in the fall the city is host to the International Alba White Truffle Fair, or the Fiera Internazionale del Tartufo Bianco d’Alba, an ode to the heavenly culinary delights found in northern Italy. Every weekend in October and November truffle hunters, winemakers, chefs and all manner of food artisans gather to celebrate the rich culinary heritage of the Piedmont. Given the regard and prestige of white truffles (some of which can sell for over $3,200/pound), you’d think this would be a highbrow event; but in Italy where good food is a birthright, the Truffle fair is surprisingly casual.

The opening weekend of the International Alba White Truffle Fair features a parade, medieval re-enactments and a Donkey Palio (a race on donkeys through Alba that is very common throughout Italy). The festival calendar is filled with culinary events ranging demonstrations from celebrity chefs to classes on wine pairing and truffle analysis

 

Cappadocia, Turkey

By Hanna from Solar Powered Blonde

A woman looking at a rock formation from below

I planned a trip to Cappadocia in October mainly for the incredible balloons that you see all over Instagram. Little did I know how much I would fall in love with this place due to all the amazing hikes! The balloons were great of course, but I didn’t realise what a perfect destination Cappadocia is for hiking. I was looking for some autumn sun, and Cappadocia was perfect. Every day was beautiful weather, but not too hot for all the hiking I ended up doing. I thought that, as Cappadocia is such an instagrammable place now, that it would be very busy. I was surprised by how few tourists there were.

I would definitely recommend visiting in autumn. Even visiting Istanbul after, the weather wasn’t so great; Cappadocia seems to have its own climate! The top things I would recommend doing are of course taking a hot air balloon ride at sunrise. The second thing to do is definitely the hiking. My favourite hike was in the Rose Valley amongst all the incredible rock formations.

Then another hike from Göreme to Uçhisar castle is not to miss. You can also climb the whole way to the top of Uçhisar castle, which has the most amazing views. Lastly, head to the Monks Valley – Pasabag. This is an amazing area full of old fairy chimneys that people used to live in, which are the rock formations in Cappadocia. Also, it’s free to enter!

Then where to stay, there are of course the instagrammable hotels such as the Sultan Cave Suites. However, I stayed in a much cheaper hotel called Fairy Chimney Inn, it is set up high with amazing views. The rooms are inside fairy chimneys, which makes it a very unique place to stay. Also, if you walk up behind the hotel, you will have the most incredible sunset spot all to yourself! Göreme is the best area to stay in to see the balloons in the morning.

 

Leukerbad, Switzerland

By Carol from Wandering Carol

Snow and yellow colored trees in front of a mountain peak

There is nothing like Switzerland for panoramic views, and the mountain scenery of the Swiss Alps offers the best of it. While not as well known as other alpine destinations such as Zermatt, the village of Leukerbad has its own unique charms and there are many reasons to visit in October.

Not only are the dramatic views of peaks and crags riveting, and the hiking world class, Leukerbad has plenty of hot springs and is known as the highest altitude spa in the country. When fall comes and there is a chill in the air, soaking in an outdoor pool filled with steaming thermal water, surrounded by views of the Alps, is an experience not to be missed.

There are a few different places in town to experience the thermal water, but one of the most popular is the Wallister Alpentherme. In addition to its indoor and outdoor pools, this bathing complex has an extensive Sauna Village, with every kind of sauna imaginable.

Another great activity in Leukerbad in the autumn is to take the Gemmibahn Cable Car up to the Gemmipass for the views. You can even see the Matterhorn in the distance, and once you’ve caught your fill of the sights, you can fill your stomach at the mountaintop Restaurant Wildstrubel.

There are a number of hotels in Leukerbad, but the most deluxe is Les Sources des Alpes, a luxury boutique hotel that has its own spa and outdoor thermal pool.

 

Cyprus

By Alex from Swedish Nomad

People visiting an ancient ruined building, in front of the sea front

Cyprus is an ideal destination to visit in Europe in the autumn as tourists will be fewer but the climate will still remain pleasant in October. With temperatures ranging from 25-30 degrees Celsius in the Autumn, and sea temperatures of 25 degrees Celcius, you can still enjoy the beaches and soak up some sun.

It’s also more enjoyable to travel around Cyprus at this time of the year since it won’t be as hot outside in the middle of the day. In the summer months, the temperatures can be schorching hot, but from October until December it will be just about perfect.

Cyprus is quite a big island and public transportation isn’t convenient to explore the island, so it’s recommened to rent a car if you want to see more than 1-2 places. This can easily be done via the local car rental company Petsas, which is cheap and reliable.

If you want to spend most of your time on the beach, then I recommend you to stay on the east coast in Ayia Napa or Protaras. The most beautiful beaches in Cyprus are all located on the eastern side of the island.

On the west side, you’ll find a wide range of archeological sites as well as untouched nature. Paphos is the best base to explore the west of Cyprus and the Troodos mountains.

 

Tirana, Albania

By Mar from Once in a Lifetime Journey

A communist building painted with a graffiti depicting a little girl on a swing pulling up a sheet underneath which there is a big teddy bear

October is a great time to visit Tirana, the capital of Albania, as it’s a bit quieter than in season and the weather is not too cold yet. There is so much to see and do in Tirana, but most activities revolve around two things: history and art.

The historical part of the city has ties to Enver Hoxha, one of the most secretive and paranoid dictators. He built secret bunkers throughout the country. In fact, he planned to build 210,000 between 1975 and 1985, yet only 175,000 materialised, which adds up to one for every 11 Albanians (at the time).

You can learn all about these and more about Hoxha’s regime at the Bunk’Art exhibits. Bunk’Art 1 has the most information and is super interesting. Bunk’Art 2, along with the House of Leaves, is focused on the Sigurimi or the Albanian Secret Intelligence.

Colorful murals have been integrated into the city, where even just strolling along the streets makes for an immersive experience in art and culture. There are rainbows, portraits and characters throughout the otherwise repressive architecture. Blloku is a particularly hip place to explore street art.

The Dajti Ekspres is a cable car which can take you to the top of Tirana. Once back down you should stuff your face with the best foods in Albania. My top three picks are fërgesë (baked cheese in a spreadable form with roasted peppers and tomatoes), byrek (millefeuille type of pastry with filling) and stuffed aubergine and peppers.

I would say that the best places to stay in Tirana are the Plaza hotel, Mak hotel, and Padam hotel. They are all modern, slick and luxurious.

 

Rila Mountains, Bulgaria

By Roshni from The Wanderlust Within

A woman standing in front of the lake in which the mountain in front reflects

Hikers, spa goddesses and culture vultures can all appreciate one of Europe’s most overlooked mountain ranges. Only 70km from the capital of Bulgaria, the Rila mountains extend over 2400 square kms and are home to some of the Balkan’s highest peaks, including Mount Vihren (2914m) and Mount Musala (2,925m). Rila’s landscape is characterised by sunken valleys, alpine meadows, granite peaks and nearly 200 glacial lakes. Many of the mountains are connected by hiking trails and seasonal mountain huts (summer/autumn only).

These make the logistics of conquering the Rila summits much simpler, but the steep ascents still require a good level of fitness. Autumn is the best time for trekking in order to escape the sub-zero temperatures, which freeze the mountains for much of the year and in October, the highest peaks rarely exceed 10 degrees celsius. Luckily for hikers (and non-hikers), the numerous natural hot springs found throughout the region are perfect for relaxing and resting wary legs.

The region also caters for history buffs as the iconic Rila Monastery is nestled deep in Rila’s alpine forests. This 10th century Orthodox Church is famous for its colourful architecture and beautiful fortress like exterior.

 

Edinburgh, Scotland

By Nicola from FunkyEllas Travel

A cobbled street leading to Edinburgh Castle in the far end of the photo

If you want to really explore Edinburgh, to get to the heart of what makes Edinburgh such a special city, then avoiding the summer months is my top tip. October is the ideal time to visit as the majority of tourists have left, the streets are quieter, the queues are shorter and you’ll be able to wander the streets at your own pace. Most of the museums in the city centre are free to enter and tell the story of the city’s often murky and turbulent past.

The main attractions, such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and the Royal Yacht Brittania are all open during the winter months and if the weather is rubbish then you can espace inside these places and stay dry. The weather in October averages between 6°-13° and, like anytime of the year in Scotland, you will likely experience all different types of weather so pack layers and a good raincoat and you’ll love your time in the city.

As Halloween is nearing you could try out the Edinburgh Dungeons, the Real Mary Kings Close or one of the many ghost tours, I personally recommend the tours by Mercat Tours which visit the underground vaults, it’s pretty scary! If you are visiting in the autumn you’ll want a cosy hotel to relax in at night with a wee dram of whisky so I’d recommend a nice boutique hotel such as The Rutland or Tigerlilly. Both are beautifully quirky and unique.

 

Minervino di Lecce, Italy

By Michele from A Taste for Travel

An olive tree garden

Without a doubt the best place to visit in October is the under-the-radar town of Minervino di Lecce in Puglia, Italy. Situated southwest of Otranto in the fertile plains of the Salento Peninsula on the “heel” of the “boot” of Italy, this sunny region is home to millions of ancient olive trees and olive groves which makes autumn a fine time to enjoy the fall harvest.

During the olive harvest, visitors can learn about the rich traditions of Pugliese agriculture while picking olives alongside locals, witnessing the olives being pressed and tasting the freshly-pressed extra-virgin olive oil served with one of the regional dishes such as Puree di Fave e cicorie ( fava bean puree and chicory). One of the top things to do in Minervino di Lecce is dine at Origano Wine Bar, a farm to table restaurant where they prepare locally sourced produce, seafood and cheeses in innovative ways.

Late autumn also happens to be the time to celebrate the bounty of the wine harvest. The Salento region is best known for its bulk wines such as Primitivo and Negroamaro but in Minervino di Lecce it’s also possible to sample unique regional wines such as the Menhir Pietra Susumaniello, an indigenous vine cultivated on organic vineyards.

Another fine reason to visit the Adriatic coast of the eastern Salento region is that the summer crowds have gone and it’s possible to explore the small coves, cliffside grottos and beautiful beaches in peaceful solitude. The views of  Marina Serra and Ciolo Bridge are especially picturesque when uncrowded.

A top place to stay in Minervino di Lecce is the Palazzo Ducale Venturi, a restored 16th century palace that’s now a luxury boutique hotel and spa. Enjoying a hearty breakfast featuring regional specialties such as Pasticciotto Leccese ( custard filled pastry) on the hotel’s outdoor terrace in the  sunny warmth of autumn is a truly unforgettable experience.

 

Wachau Valley, Austria

By Kurosh from Road Goat

Hundreds of rows of grape vine leading to a village in the background of the photo. The sky in the photo is blue, without a cloud

Tucked along the Danube River between Melk, Austria and Krems am der Danau, the Wachau Valley is one of the most picturesque places in Europe in the autumn. Stay at Krems or Durnstein’s classic hotels, and experience autumn in the Wachau Valley.

The region is renowned for its natural beauty, squeezed between beautiful landscapes of cliffs, hills, and farms. In autumn, cyclists rule everything in the Wachau. Rolling down the scenic valleys of Wachau between the two river banks, north and south, is a must-do activity for anyone visiting in the fall. While the north bank offers a breezy ride through more populated areas and different villages of Austria’s countryside, a ride through the southern bank will offer hidden landscapes and natural sceneries. Wachau is also renowned for its awesome wineries, so stop by the one of the local producers to taste the world-class wine lauded by the likes of Robert Parker.

Sighting seeing at Wachau is also a must for anyone visiting in autumn. The Melk Monastry is a historic site that boasts amazing, medieval architecture that highlights many parts of classic Austria. The Durnstein castle is also a must see for any history buffs – it once held Richard the Lionheart, the character inspiration for the famed story of Robin Hood. Furthermore, as the timeless Billy Joel would say, “Vienna waits for you” just a boat ride away from ferries in the Wachau Valley.

 

Sintra, Portugal

By Nesrine from Kevmrc

An aerial view of the yellow and red Sintra Palace

Located only 30 minutes drive away from Lisbon Portugal, the town of Sintra is listed by the UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1995. Sintra is a very diverse city where you can go for walks in the forest, hike in the mountains, visit very unique castles or even chill on the beach!  Well, you definitely can’t get bored in Sintra!

Sintra is particularly a nice place to visit in early autumn. Indeed, days are pretty bright and hot enough to enjoy all Sintra’s activities while avoiding the extreme heat of summer. The city also gets very crowded in summer and it can be difficult to visit the most famous castles. That is why visiting Sintra in October is the best time to enjoy the city!

Ready to go? Here are the best spots you shouldn’t miss on your trip to Sintra:

  • Pena Palace : because of its bright colors, this castle is for sure the most famous and unique castle of Portugal.
  • Castelo dos Mouros: very close to Pena Palace, this castle is completely made of stone. Walking around this castle is quite an adventure!
  • Praia da Ursa: this beach is for me the most beautiful of Portugal because of the huge rock formations.

If you want to visit Sintra for a very short time such as a day trip, I recommend to stay in Lisbon. Otherwise, you can find very nice guesthouses, hotels or even airbnbs in the historical town of Sintra.

 

Aberdeen, Scotland

By Gemma from Two Scots Abroad

Kings College Aberdeen Scotland

 

Aberdeen in the northeast of Scotland is a great city to visit during October. Why? The popular Aberdeen International Comedy Festival is on!

National and international comedians take to the stage in a variety of venues all over the city. Big names like Craig Hill, Ben Elton and everyone’s favourite eyebrow lover, Gary Meikle pack out theatres, bars and even hotels.

Although a great reason to visit Aberdeen, the festival is not the only attraction. Street art fans will love the murals painted on the walls of the city. You can’t not look up, down and around, the murals are everywhere.

Old Aberdeen is especially gorgeous in autumn, the red climbers make the very Harry Potteresque King’s College pop.

As the temperature drops a little in October, wrap up and enjoy a fresh walk along Aberdeen Beach. Pop into the double-decker bus for food. Yes, you read that right! Aberdeen has a bus cafe with views worth a photograph or two. Want to know more? Here is our guide to 50+ things to do in Aberdeen.

Accommodation wise, check out the Park Inn by Radisson for a comfortable stay in the centre of the city. There is a carpark next door if driving.

 

Chisinau, Moldova

By Ellis from Backpack Adventures

People passing by a small replica of the Arch of Triumph in Paris

For a European capital, Chisinau in Moldova sees few visitors. Not many people know about the great Soviet architecture, the delicious food and the great quality of wine you can find in Chisinau and October is a great month to visit this off the beaten path destination in Europe.

In October the summer heat has cooled down, but winter has not yet begun. The weather is perfect and the colours of the trees make Chisinau even more beautiful. There are plenty of parks to see the autumn colours and go for a leisurely stroll.

Chisinau is all about taking it easy and there is a relaxed atmosphere. First of all, it is not a big city and great to explore on foot. When you wander through the streets you can admire the Soviet architecture and impressive parliament buildings.

Second of all, there is always a cheap cafe around the corner. Chisinau is a great city for those that love food. There are a range of good restaurants serving traditional Moldovan food. Moldova is also famous for its wine and Chisinau is the best place to try it.

You can even visit some of the world’s largest wine cellars as a daytrip from Chisinau. Other exciting day trips can bring you to ancient monasteries and Tiraspol. The quirky capital of unrecognized Transnistria. With so much things to see and do in Chisinau it is one of the best places to visit in Europe in October.

 

Galicia, Spain

By Campbell and Alya from Stingy Nomads

A yelowish scenery of trees leading down to a valley that ends with a beach, and the sea waves coming towards the shore

Galicia is one of the less-traveled regions of Spain compared to Catalonia or Andalucia but it still gets pretty crowded in the months of July and August mostly with pilgrims walking the famous Camino de Santiago. The Camino is not the only walking route in Galicia in fact, there are many, some go through beautiful Galician forest, some follow the rugged coastline, some combine both. Autumn in general and October, in particular, is probably one of the best times for walking for several reasons; there are not many people, it’s still nice and warm, the scenery gets even more spectacular with the autumn colors and it’s the season for chestnuts at many bars you get roasted chestnuts with beer or wine. Out of many walking routes in Galicia, the best ones for hiking in October are the English Way, the Camino de los Pescadores and the Camino Finisterre all three combine sea and forest scenery. By the way, Hotel O Semaforo at Cape Finisterre is probably one of the most romantic places to stay in Galicia, it’s located next to the old lighthouse on the edge of the cliff.

If walking is not your cup of tea doing a road trip in Galicia might be a good alternative; visiting famous cities, stopping at small towns on the way, enjoying local wine and food. There are many interesting places to visit here like Santiago de Compostela, Lugo, A Coruña, Vigo, the Cíes Islands and more.

Fiestas Gastronomicas or Food Festivals is another reason to visit Galicia. October is the peak of the harvest season, every province has a couple of special days dedicated to local gastronomic specialties. Must-try dishes in Galicia are Pulpo a la Gallega (Galician style octopus), Pimientos de Padro (Padron Peppers), Tarta de Santiago (Santiago’s Cake), Caldo Gallego (Galician stew) and many more, not to forget about local wines.

 

Vik, Iceland

By Stephanie from History Fangirl

A beach with black sand on a very sunny day, with a blue sky

I love visiting Iceland in October because you get to experience the country without having to fight through the throngs of tourist that come to Iceland every summer. While there are tourists here year-round, there are much fewer in the off-season, giving you the chance to see some of the country’s greatest sites nearly alone.

A great city to visit in Iceland during the autumn is Vik. Here you can see the famous red-roofed Vik Church, see the black sand beach of Reynisfjara, explore the Dyrholaey peninsula, and even wander out to the Dyrholaey lighthouse.

Busy during the summer, the town is practically a ghost town during the autumn, making it the perfect place to escape and relax. If you spend a few quiet days here, you can really connect with the surrounding gorgeous natural landscape. Imagine picnicking on a black sand beach without another soul in site – just countless Icelandic sheep!

Many people visit Vik as a day trip from Reykjavik, stopping to see other important sites like the famous waterfalls of Skogafoss and Seljalandsfoss.

However, if you choose to stay in Vik overnight (perhaps as part of a larger Ring Road trip), you can book a stay at one of the area’s hotels or guesthouses. Book early, as many shut down for the season in September. There are a mix of accommodation types available, from The Barn hostel to fancier Hotel Kria. Since many of the area’s restaurants are closed this time of year, you may opt for a place with self-catering options.

 

Hague, The Netherlands

By Karen from Local Holland

View of the Hague city centre, with a gothic church in the middle

One of the best places to visit in Europe in October has to be the Hague, the Netherlands.  Although many tourists flock to Amsterdam, the Hague is the greenest city in the Netherlands due to its many forests and parks! Here, you can enjoy the beautiful fall foliage along the Hague’s picturesque streets where royalty actually lives. The Netherlands still has a royal family that lives in the Hague within one of the palaces.  Although the palaces are generally closed to the public, you can still enjoy a picnic in October within the Royal Gardens next to Noordeinde palace.  Similarly, before winter begins, you can enjoy a pretty sunset at one of the beach bars along Scheveningen, the beach near the Hague.

One of the highlights of the Hague has to be the incredible museums, which culminates in a great event called Museum Night.  On this night, all the museums in the Hague  stay open until 1am and filled with exhibitions and performances.  For those who love art and would love to see the Girl with the Pearl Earring, it’s pretty magical seeing her in such a festive environment!  Throughout the year, you’ll also find various shopping nights where the entire city stays open late for enjoying music and the shops, which include many independent designers.   You can stay in the heart of the city center at the chic Hotel Indigo!

 

Kosovo

By Paulina from Paulina on the Road

A woman standing by the river looking at the camera. Behind her there is an old bridge and a mosque with one minarette

Kosovo is one of the less known travel destinations in Europe. However, this small country has plenty of things to offer to its visitors. If you love nature, enjoy delicious food and appreciate the warm-hearted culture of its inhabitants, you’ll fall in love with Kosovo.

One of the best months to visit Kosovo is October. As Kosovo is famous for its lush forests, they will all shine in their most splendid colors. It’s thus the perfect month to go for long hikes. On top, the summer months can get very hot and October boasts much milder temperatures.

My favorite places to visit in Kosovo are Prizren and Pej. Prizren is known for being the most picturesque city in Kosovo and during autumn its countless bars invite you for drinks and delicious food. Prizren is one of the most touristy places in Kosovo, but in October you’ll enjoy almost empty streets all on your own. If you choose to stay overnight here, Hotel Prizren is a perfect choice.

Pej is located in the north of Kosovo and it’s located at the entrance of the Rugova Natural Park. It’s the perfect places for long walks in the woods and even explore its caves. Pej is famous for its Orthodox Sanctuary. When visiting during October, you’ll enjoy this magical place surrounded by lush autumn foliage.

I recommend staying at least 3 days in Kosovo.

 

Provence, France

By Nadine from Le Long Weekend

An orange scenery of grape vines

October is one of the best times to visit Provence – the summer crowds that descend on the region have largely returned to work & school, yet the towns and villages are still alive with the locals. There are many events still taking place, such as the annual music festival in the beautiful Luberon village of Lourmarin, and the various wine festivals in celebration of the year’s harvest. The landscape turns into a tapestry of golden hues too. The bushy vines turn to a crisp orange, bright yellow leaves adorn the region’s iconic plane trees, and ruby red ivy snakes up the stone-clad village houses.

If you’re a keen walker, it’s a fabulous time to tackle the forest walks in the region – including the famous calanque trails – as they’re often closed in the height of summer due to the risk of wildfires. The main tourist attractions are still open, but you’ll no longer need to reserve in advance, and the beaches still provide a beautiful place for a Sunday stroll or sunset picnic. It’s also a cheaper time to visit, as many hotels in Provence lower their prices to lure in the last of the year’s guests. I’d recommend staying in either Avignon or Aix – both beautiful market towns – and making day trips throughout the region.

 

Seville, Spain

By Wendy from The Nomadic Vegan

A close-up photo with architectural details of the Alcazar of Seville

Seville, and the region of Andalucia in general, is unbearably hot and crowded in summer but pleasantly cool in autumn. If you’re hoping to avoid the crowds, autumn is definitey a better option than spring, when thousands of visitors fill the city for the famous Semana Santa and Feria de Abril celebrations.

But that doesn’t mean that you’ll miss out on Seville’s party scene if you visit in autumn. Flamenco shows happen year-round in the city’s tablaos, and the Peñas de Guardia are organized in both spring and autumn to showcase up-and-coming flamenco artists. Seville is the home of tapas, and this is another local tradition that can be enjoyed at any time of the year.

Be sure to visit Seville’s Cathedral, which is the largest Gothic church in the world. La Giralda, which now serves as the Cathedral’s bell tower, was once the minaret of the mosque that used to stand here. The Real Alcázar is another example of Seville’s Moorish heritage and is filled with distinctive Mudéjar architecture.

The best area to stay in is the historic neighborhood of Santa Cruz. The architecture is beautiful, the streets are always lively, and photographers will appreciate the beautiful light here. Alminar is a small, budget-friendly hotel in Santa Cruz, just steps away from the Cathedral.

 

Antwerp, Belgium

By Laura from Travelers Universe

A photo of the town centre in Antwerp, with typical Belgium buildings: tall, with a triangle shapes roof and many windows

Belgium, in general, is a great fall destination, and Antwerp certainly crowns the list of places to visit during the golden season. For starters, this is my favorite Belgian city. The food is amazing and there are more things to do in Antwerp than in many other Flemish cities.

But of course, if you visit in October, you’d also want to see some fall foliage, right? Chances are that during this time of the year you won’t run into big tourist crowds no matter where you go in Antwerp and the temperatures should be quite balmy.

While Antwerp doesn’t have many green spaces close to the city center, it has the Middelheim Museum a short bus ride away. This is an open-air sculpture museum surrounded by lush woodlands and as you can imagine, this park looks at its best in autumn. You can easily spend the whole day here just strolling around. You can also rent a bike and explore much more than you could ever do on foot. Or bring a picnic and just unwind.

Back in Antwerp, you should definitely check out the diamond district. Whether you end up buying anything or simply get some inspiration for what to write in your letter to Santa, the diamond district is where dreams are born (and sometimes, they also come true).

 

Glasgow, Scotland

By Campbell from Highlands 2 Hammocks

The lovers standing on a bridge. The vegetation behind them is yellow

The cultural and atmospheric capital of Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in Europe during the Autumn season. The city of Glasgow‘s huge amount of green spaces, parklands and integrated natural features throughout, means during the month of October, the city turns into an orange and gold masterpiece. Is there any better way to spend a crips, Fall morning than a walk in the park, the rustle of leaves below and the chirping of birds above?

During October in Glasgow, the Kelvingrove area comes to life with students, young professionals and tourists alike. This part of town is the perfect place to come to admire the Fall colours of Kelvingrove park, soak up the culture of Kelvingrove Art Museum and admire the beauty of the Botanical Gardens.

We recommend starting the day at the University of Glasgow, admiring the Hogwarts decor and design of this beautiful building. After this, head down the hill and through the parklands to the Art Gallery for your morning dose of culture. The Kelvingrove Park and Glasgow Botanical Gardens are just a short walk south and north of here, so no matter what way you decide to go, you are bound to find a beauty in Glasgow.

As for accommodation in the West End of Glasgow, the Hilton Grosvenor offers beautiful views over the Botanical Gardens and is a fantastic, luxurious place to stay. Situated right in the centre of the West End’s social scene, this is the perfect place to stay for a weekend break to Scotland’s largest city.

 

Baden Baden, Germany

By Sherrie from A Sherrie Affair

A river view with the vegetation around starting to change color from green to yellow.

With so many beautiful and rich colors available for your viewing free of charge, fall is my favorite time of year.  Just imagine having your morning cup of coffee with the view in this photo or taking a lovely relaxing stroll through the park.

Germany’s Black Forest as you can imagine has a wonderful fall.  It’s city of Baden Baden has a spectacular display of the fall colors.  I must admit seeing the foliage was second to my reasons for visiting Baden Baden, however the colors made the experience even more special.

Our holiday began the 2nd week in October, so we were able to see the beginning of the fall season.  We made are way from Frankfurt airport to Baden Baden in an hour and a half, a very easy and enjoyable ride.  A fairy tale like city, located in the Black Forest, we stayed at the famous Brenner’s Park Hotel & Spa with a balcony overlooking the The Lichtenaler Allee.  The Lichtenaler Allee is Baden Baden’s park that is known all over Europe as one of the most beautiful parks- it does not disappoint.  With so many tree’s, fountains and statues you can just imagine how spectacular the fall season can be here!

It is no wonder my husband and I would love to return once again in the fall season to Baden Baden.

 

Exeter, England

By Nabiha from Verses by a Voyager

The main cathedral in Exeter

Exeter, the capital of Devon is an underrated city in the south-west of the UK. It has plenty of natural beauty and medieval time architecture to enjoy. As this region of the country has a warmer climate than the rest of the UK, any season is best to visit, however, Exeter is at its finest during autumn. Colourful maple trees decorate the city during this time of the year. The best place to enjoy the beauty of Exeter in autumn is the University of Exeter Streatham’s campus.

There are many green spots in the university which get prettier during this season with fallen leaves and wildflowers. Exeter Quayside, located next to River Exe, is another place to enjoy an afternoon with many cafes, bars and musical events taking place there.

Cathedral Green, the area around the Exeter Cathedral, gets beautiful during the autumn season and is a perfect place for a day out. As Exeter is a small place, staying anywhere keep you in the close vicinity of the city centre. There is accommodation for every budget in Exeter. Some reasonable hotels include Best Western Hotel, Silversprings City Centre Apartment and Jury’s Inn. There are plenty of rooms offered by the University of Exeter which are cheap and better alternatives to hostels.

 

What do you think of these suggestions on the best places to visit in October in Europe? Have you traveled in Europe in October? If yes, which places did you visit? If no, what places on this list you would like to visit this October?

 

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Traveler. Dreamer. Cat lover. Wondering around the world with my backpack and my camera. Contributing to make the world a better place.

12 Comments

  1. I would be happy with any of these places! I think I’d love to go to Italy, mostly to eat. I’d also love England.

  2. So many beautiful places to visit. October is my favorite time to travel. The weather is perfect and the colors are outstanding.

  3. OMG Crete, Greece. You have no idea how useful this is. My Fiance and I are trying to plan our honeymoon for next year and this helps us narrow down the list for European locations.

    Andie Comala

  4. This is a great list of amazing places in Europe. I plan to revisit in 2020. I think i will take in one location. thanks.

  5. This makes me want to plan a trip to somewhere fun. I feel like October is the perfect month for travel. The weather isn’t too hot or too cold.

  6. I have studied in Edinburgh so yes no doubt it is beautiful there and my fiance is from Caliagri so I’ve been there too and I’m shifting there soon but yeah after seeing this post I now know why he loves that place so much. Seville then other certain places I have traveled but not in October. I’ll add it to my list so that I make sure to visit these remaining places in October.

  7. I’ve always heard that Europe is a great place to visit during the fall months. Would love to see Italy this time of the year.

  8. Wow, these destinations are stunning! Interesting to see that a few have a resemblance of a fall season like here in the Northeast! And what a great idea to vacation in October when crowds are minimal 👌

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