Travelling to the right place at the right time takes planning. The weather can sometimes be fickle in October but there’s more to choosing the best destination than simply chasing the sun. There are plenty of exciting festivals and sights to enjoy once summer is over.
If you’re not sure where to go this autumn, here are 5 ideas:
Munich’s Oktoberfest, Germany’s iconic annual beer festival, actually starts two weeks before October and continues until the first Sunday of the month (this year the festival closes on 7 October). It has been an important part of Bavarian culture since 1810 and your perfect excuse to take a trip to Munich. Expect Lederhosen, copious amounts of beer, and loud singing day and night. But aside from beer, Oktoberfest is also fun for all the family, thanks to a huge jamboree, rides, folk musicians, a circus and great food.
Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
In 1972, the now ginormous Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta started with a mere 13 balloons. Today it’s grown into the biggest and most prestigious balloon event in the world. Arrive for the first week of October and brace yourself for the awesome spectacle of hundreds of colourful balloons gracing the skies, flown by pilots from 28 different countries. Lift off is from Albuquerque’s enormous Balloon Fiesta Park – there’s nothing quite like observing these graceful giants leave the ground to float effortlessly over the desert.
With an average October temperature of 27 degrees centigrade (instead of 38 degrees in August), Marrakech is very pleasant in autumn. This intoxicating city breathes all the charm of times gone by. Stay in a traditional riad for the quintessential experience, where you can enjoy its cool, open communal courtyard as you relax after a busy day of sightseeing or shopping in the souqs (Moroccan bazaars). Be prepared for an exciting mix of chaotic, winding alleyways, hustling street merchants, donkeys, dust and plenty of delicious mint tea.
The 17-hour flight will be well worth it once you arrive in this much-loved mid-Pacific paradise. Hawaii is a land of volcanoes, tropical rainforests and idyllic surf beaches which are sure to keep you fascinated. Oahu, home to the capital, Honolulu, is the most popular island and it’s here that big-wave surfing began in the 1950s. Pros still come to Waimea Bay for its incredible swells. With average daily temperatures at a warm 29 degrees centigrade for most of the year, you won’t need to worry about the weather.
Magnificent at any time of the year, Budapest offers many things: world-class galleries, classical music, relaxing spas, art-nouveau grandeur and…the Sausage Festival. Visit Buda Castle at the beginning of October and taste the joys of the Budapest Pálinka and Sausage Festival which combines 20 varieties of Pálinka (Hungarian brandy) with the nation’s finest sausages. In addition to the sausages and brandy, there are concerts for you to enjoy – don’t be shy to join in the circle dances that spontaneously begin within the crowds!