Autumn Escapades: Six Idyllic Destinations for September Getaways
As summer surrenders to the golden hues of autumn, September is the perfect time to enjoy the last of the summer sun with a late season break in Europe.
With its unique blend of favourable weather conditions, fewer crowds and enticing travel deals, it’s no surprise that September is the ultimate month to embark on a well-deserved holiday.
From sun-kissed Mediterranean coastlines to picturesque countryside retreats, Europe offers an array of destinations that promise rejuvenation, relaxation and the perfect balance of cultural exploration and leisurely indulgence. Read on for our pick of the bunch…
The summer heat mellows into pleasant temperatures of around 27°C throughout Portugal in September, creating the perfect climate for exploration.
Kick things off in the country’s charismatic capital city of Lisbon where you can wander through winding streets lined with colourful tiles, indulge in delicious pastries at local bakeries and immerse yourself in the soulful Fado music that echoes through the charming neighbourhoods, before moving on to Porto for an excellent food scene, port wine cellars and exquisite architecture.
Don't miss the enchanting coastal towns of Cascais and Sintra either, which offer a delightful blend of natural beauty, palaces and historic sites.
While there’s no bad time to visit Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island is an absolute dream come September thanks to its pristine sandy beaches, fewer crowds and cooler temperatures that make exploring the streets of its enchanting baroque towns an ideal way to pass the days.
Begin your journey in Palermo, the vibrant capital famous for its rich cultural heritage and home to the stunning Palermo Cathedral and plenty of bustling markets.
For history enthusiasts, a trip to the ancient Greek ruins in Agrigento, including the Valley of the Temples, is a must, while September is also an excellent time to visit Taormina complete with famous Greek Theatre and panoramic views of Mount Etna. Feeling flush? Stay at the San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel, where you can live out all your The White Lotus fantasies.
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No longer bound by summer holidays? Hurrah, as September is our favourite time to travel to Croatia, with temperatures down a notch from their peak and sea temperatures warmer than the earlier shoulder season of June.
Start your journey in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Dubrovnik where you can spend your days strolling along the ancient city walls, admiring the baroque architecture and immersing yourself in the vibrant Old Town's bustling atmosphere, while Hvar, Korčula, and Brač should also be on the list for serene beaches, charming villages, and picturesque vineyards.
Nature enthusiasts should put Plitvice Lakes National Park and its cascading waterfalls and turquoise lakes at the top of their bucket list, while the Dalmatian coast and Split are also worth a visit to check out the ancient Roman ruins of Diocletian's Palace before indulging in fresh seafood at the lively waterfront promenade.
A perennially popular trans-seasonal holiday destination, ferry services don’t tend to wind down until October in Greece, so you’ll have plenty of time for a little island-hopping within the different groups of the archipelago.
Forgo the more touristy islands of Santorini and Mykonos and instead head for Paros with its picturesque white-washed villages, golden beaches, and vibrant local culture. Naxos, the largest of the Cyclades islands, captivates with its stunning landscapes and blend of sandy beaches and rugged mountains, all enriched with a touch of ancient Greek history, while Kalymnos is a great shout for rock-climbing and other outdoorsy adventures if that’s your bag. Looking for a little luxury? Book a room at Kantouni Beach Boutique Hotel which boasts a beautiful beachside location and plenty of sun loungers with panoramic views of the big blue.
"Forgo the more touristy islands of Santorini and Mykonos and instead head for Paros with its picturesque white-washed villages, golden beaches, and vibrant local culture."
There’s no more stunning place to soak up the last rays of summer than the Emerald Isle, where you’ll still find plenty of daylight hours for exploring to your heart's content.
The best way to discover the country at your own pace is on a scenic self-drive itinerary starting in Dublin. Highlights here include Trinity College, Dublin Castle, the iconic Guinness Storehouse and a couple of pints at the famous Temple Bar.
Once the hangover has subsided, make County Clare your next port of call. Here you’ll find the Cliffs of Moher towering majestically above the Atlantic Ocean. Then journey further along the Wild Atlantic Way to the charming towns of Dingle and Killarney in County Kerry, passing picturesque lakes, dramatic coastal vistas and quaint villages along the way before finishing your trip at Galway for great craic and even greater food.
We also highly suggest spending a couple of days at Inis Meáin Restaurant & Suites, which offers a remarkable, carefully designed experience on the remote, beautiful and windswept island of Inishmaan.
With highs of around 25°C and lows of just 17°C, Turkey makes for a fantastic destination for a September getaway. Kick things off in Istanbul which, straddling two continents and sitting on a major branch of the Silk Road, is a must for culture vultures ready to delve into a heady mix of Eastern European art and food. Contemporary Istanbul, famous for its regional installations, sculptures and canvases, is also taking place between 26th September – 1st October, so we suggest sticking around for that if time allows.
For a true bucket list experience, be sure to jump on a quick flight to Cappadocia which, as if plucked from a whimsical fairytale, is packed to the brim with honeycombed hills and no-frills hotels built directly into the caves. A sunset balloon ride is an absolute must.
If these amazing hotels have got you feeling inspired, there’s plenty more on offer at Hotels.com.