If you can manage to get away, October is a gorgeous time to travel. Whether you’re after a tropical beach escape, an eye-popping wildlife experience or the road trip of a lifetime, there’s somewhere brilliant to make a break for in October. Even better, it’s low season across many parts of the planet, so the prices are as mellow as the weather. If you’re eager to avoid crowds and keep costs down, October is your man.
If you’re after the drive of a lifetime, October is a winning time to make that all-American road trip. Coastal California, often shrouded famously with fog, experiences a bright ‘Indian Summer’ at this time of year, while the national parks are rich with gorgeous autumn foliage and the wineries are harvesting the grapes.
From here, it’s the perfect time to head through Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon, which is quieter and less scorching in October than most times of the year. On your way, stop to admire the stripy rocks of Antelope Canyon and hike to the waterfalls of Zion National Park. If you can swing it, try ending your trip in Albuquerque, where the annual balloon fiesta is a feast for the eyes.
South East Asia is a gamble in October, with the monsoon sweeping rapidly across much of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. Instead, it’s a great time to head up to the Himalayas, where dry weather and bright skies make hiking a pure joy. If your budget can stretch to it, this is the best time to visit Bhutan. Hidden between snowy peaks, this little kingdom is full of surprises. Hike to the iconic Tiger’s Nest monastery, trek through lush alpine valleys and learn all about Bhutan’s ‘Gross National Happiness’.
Namibia will knock your socks off whenever you visit. The landscape is epic, the skies seem endless, and the wildlife is world-class. October marks the end of the dry season in Namibia, so the bush is sparse, and the animals can still be seen gathering around water holes, often in groups. At this time of year, it’s normal to spot all kinds of animals lined up at the water’s edge, from zebra to ostriches and elephants to giraffes. The night skies are clear, which makes for great star-gazing, while tourist numbers have dropped off after the European holidays. What’s not to like?
Fiji is a year-round destination that’s forever in demand, but October has fallen beautifully under the radar. Throughout the month, you’ll find plenty of tropical sunshine, but far fewer tourists than any other time of year. It’s a magical time to visit, providing maximum faraway feeling and sun-drenched seclusion. There’s no better place for an exotic October escape.
For the ultimate cute overload, head to Madagascar in October. September sees the ringtail lemurs give birth, so the island is awash with baby lemurs being carried on their mother’s backs. It’s heart-melting stuff. October is the last month of the dry season, so while the weather is warm, the downpours have yet to begin. This makes it excellent for lazing on the beach between extraordinary wildlife experiences. Perfect beaches AND baby lemurs? There’s no better reason to get on a plane.
The beaches of Mauritius are brochure-perfect and, in October, things are hotting up after the cooler season. Temperatures hover blissfully around the high twenties, making it an unbeatable pre-winter escape. If you avoid half-term, you’ll easily find a quiet patch of sand to soak up the sunshine with a good book and, if you’ll only need a light cardie when the evening sets in.
However, there’s more to Mauritius than beaches. Inland, you’ll find green canyons and forested mountains, as well as the rainbow sands of the Land of the Seven Colours. In October, the tropical flowers are in full bloom, and the canopy is brimming with birdlife, making it an exotic playground for nature lovers.
Etched into the east coast of New Zealand’s North Island, the Coromandel Peninsula is a little slice of paradise. Here, golden beaches are backed by abundant forests; all crisscrossed with scenic hiking and biking trails. It’s spring on this side of the world, so flower buds are bursting open, and the waterfalls gush down the hillsides. As the water warms up, scallop season opens, so you can feast on fresh scallops, green-lipped mussels and oysters. It’s just marvellous.
Coromandel is a huge hit with New Zealanders, who flock here in their thousands over school holidays. October is far quieter, giving you the chance to soak up the idyllic scenery in peace. After a day trekking through the forest in search of Rewarewa flowers, you can even dig your own thermal spring on Hot Water Beach as the sun goes down. Perfect.
Rio is always a good idea – and it’s an even better idea in October. Stretching south from Rio, Brazil’s Emerald Coast is an easy-access tropical paradise, with jungle-fringed beaches and laid-back islands. Spend a few days sampling springtime in Rio before heading to the calm waters of the coast for caipirinhas and afternoon naps. Wander through the cobbled streets of colonial Paraty, unwind on Ilha Grande and hike to Parrot’s Peak for spectacular views over dazzling emerald bays.
With, wine-tasting, whale-watching, wildflowers, perfect waves and pink lakes, Southwest Australia is a brilliantly mixed bag. October is a wonderful time to explore the vineyards and vast white beaches of the Margaret River region and hike the scenic Coast to Coast track through the springtime bush.
A little further east, Albany and Esperance offer near-blinding white beaches and huge foamy waves. Offshore, in the Recherche Archipelago, Lake Hiller is a flamingo-pink natural pool has to be seen to be believed. It’s sure to blow you away, so rent a car and hit the Aussie highway.
We can organise tailor-made holidays and multi-stop trips of all shapes and sizes, from boutique adventures to campervan holidays. Simply call one of our well-travelled consultants on +44 1273320580 or send us an email, and we'll get straight to work on your behalf.