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While you may traditionally associate the months of autumn with the changing colours of leaves, cooler weather and plenty of hot chocolate, this happens to be a great time to travel. And, if you know where to look, you can still find sunny weather and warmer destinations for your autumn getaway.
No matter what sort of trip you're looking for - whether that's an autumnal beach holiday or a cheap city break somewhere in Europe - there are many reasons why autumn is an ideal time to book. One of these is price - you can grab a fantastic holiday deal during this season, even to some of the most popular summer holiday destinations.
Check out our guide to find out where to travel to this autumn - and where to find the warmest destinations in September, October and November.
Starting in September and ending in November, the autumn months form an increasingly popular time to take a holiday. And with so many benefits, it's not that surprising people would choose to take an autumn trip.
The peak summer holiday months are behind you - and so are the sky-high holiday prices that often accompany them. Instead, autumn is thought of as a shoulder season, where you can find better deals, far fewer crowds and more adults-only fun, even in the most popular holiday destinations. It's true - there may not be as many tours, especially for the more seasonal activities, but you can still find plenty of things to do on an autumn holiday.
And perhaps the biggest bonus of all: you can find excellent warm-weather destinations in autumn. And, in some places, sea temperatures hit their peak during this season, making an autumnal dip in the sea a real possibility.
When it comes to booking your holiday, you'll almost always do better to book ahead of time, but not too far ahead. The question of when to book also depends on how far you're planning to travel, whether that's domestic, short- or long-haul.
We'd recommend booking around 2-4 months ahead of time for domestic or short-haul autumn trips; this is the ideal booking window for European city breaks, for example, as well as any staycations within the UK.
If you're planning to go long haul or are keen on a particularly popular beach resort area within Europe, then you may want to consider booking as far as 5-6 months in advance for the very best deals and discounts. That said, it's not always possible to plan that far ahead, so you can always choose to keep a lookout for last-minute and late holiday deals instead - you may be surprised by what you find!
If you find yourself daydreaming of sunny skies and balmy temperatures as soon as you feel the chill at home, then you'll be relieved to hear that you have plenty of options for a warm autumn holiday. And, in many cases, you don't even have to travel too far for sunshine either!
Perfect for a romantic getaway, family holiday or group trip, there are a lot of beach destinations that are not only warm in autumn, but some of them are even experiencing optimal conditions at this time of year. So, instead of staying at home, pack your bags and discover somewhere a whole lot hotter this autumn.
Here are some of our top choices for a warm-weather autumn holiday.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 22°C
Comprising Portugal's southernmost coastline, the Algarve hits its peak tourism season during the summer months of June, July and August. But thanks to mild weather all year round, it's a solid choice at any time of year - and this is especially the case in autumn.
Hitting highs of 29°C and 25°C in September and October, the sea temperature is also lovely and warm at 23°C - ideal for some autumn sea swimming. You can expect fantastic all-inclusive deals in the Algarve's main holiday spots like Faro, Lagos and Albufeira; for something even more peaceful and off the beaten track, opt for Sagres or Carvoeira.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 26°C
If you're happy to fly a little further, Mexico's Quintana Roo state experiences some of its warmest - and most comfortable - temperatures during the months of September, October and November. Yes, these months fall within Mexico's hurricane season, so there may be more rainfall during this time, but most rainy spells are likely to be short lived.
With highs of 31°C in October, explore the state's major destinations, including Cancun, Playa del Carmen and Tulum; don't miss out on a lengthy dip in a cenote, the region's answer to a natural swimming pool! Otherwise, head to one of the many pristine beaches that this area is known for.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 21°C
Cyprus is a hotspot for holidaymakers in spring and summer, but you can find delightfully pleasant weather on the island every autumn. In September and October, you can experience highs of 29°C and 27°C respectively. Much busier in the summer heat, you'll feel like you have much of Cyprus' southern coastline to yourself during the autumn shoulder season.
Base yourself in Paphos, Ayia Napa, Limassol or Larnaca, splitting up your time between exploring the island's multitude of archaeological sites, feasting on Cypriot-style souvlaki and lounging on a beach.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 22°C
For those happy to step off the beaten track - and perhaps tick off a few bucket-list experiences - Namibia is a fantastic choice for an autumn break. This southern African country starts heating up in September, climbing to highs of 30°C by November. Since there's so much ground to cover, we'd recommend hiring a sturdy vehicle (be prepared for long gravel roads), adopting a strong sense of adventure and exploring a variety of places in Namibia.
Some of the best include Etosha National Park, Swakopmund, Kolmanskop Luderitz, Windhoek, Sossusvlei and Fish River Canyon.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 22°C
Comfortably warm and mild across the year, Spain's Canary Islands are a safe choice for any season. When it comes to the question of which of the seven islands to choose in autumn, we'd recommend booking a holiday in Tenerife. That's because you can find the best holiday deals for this island and, given that it's the largest of the islands, there are many more tours and activities going on in Tenerife compared to the others.
Explore Mount Teide National Park, bring along the kids for water-based fun at Siam Park or opt for a whale- and dolphin-watching tour for an unforgettable day at sea.
🌡️ Average temperature across autumn: 23°C
One of the most popular states in the USA, Florida experiences its peak hot temperatures during the months of June, July and August - and it gets very hot indeed! So much so that September and October, which still record highs of 32°C, are considered much more pleasant times to visit, especially as the summer crowds have mostly diminished by this time.
Whether you're keen on the theme parks and sights of Orlando, the flair and beaches of Miami or the canals and eateries of Fort Lauderdale, Florida offers so much variety to holidaymakers - made even more enjoyable thanks to the long hours of sunshine in September and October!
If you're not too fussed about hot weather and are happy to embrace all the things that make autumn such a special time, then a shorter-haul city break may be a better fit for you.
This is particularly true for nature lovers; the air is cool and crisp, the cities and trails that are normally packed in summer are clearing out and the leaves are starting to change colour. Whether you're keen on seeing the dense forests of Germany or walking the tree-lined streets of UK cities, you can experience a kaleidoscope of colour during an autumn city break. Here are our top choices.
As a city break, you couldn't pick an easier destination than Paris. Whether you choose to fly or catch the train, you'll be in the French capital in no time at all, and it isn't an understatement to say that Paris looks its best in autumn. The city's great parks, like the Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin du Luxembourg, are the ideal place to admire colourful foliage. And, if the cool weather gets too much, you could always duck indoors into one of Paris' famous museums or gorge on pastries in a cafe instead.
The Seine is another great place to experience Paris' autumnal colours and sights. Take a stroll along this beautiful river or, better yet, hop on a boat tour, which will allow you to see the city's biggest sights at a leisurely pace.
With many of Athens' most famous sights being outdoors, you could argue that the cooler - but still pleasant - weather of September and October makes for much easier conditions to fully explore what this city has to offer. Gone are the heat and crowds of summer, which means that you'll have sights like the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Acropolis Museum all to yourself.
And with so many Athenian neighbourhoods best explored on foot, autumn's surprisingly light rainfall and decent amount of sunshine hours further make this a possibility; don't miss out on lengthy strolls in the Plaka, Anafiotika and Monastiraki areas for a chance to experience a more authentic side to Athens.
Unlike many of the destinations we've mentioned, which start to get a tad more chilly once November hits, Marrakesh is still a safe bet at this time of year. Throughout the autumn months, rain and wind start to become a feature along the coast, so Marrakesh is a lot more predictable thanks to its location in the interior.
You can expect comfortable temperatures in the 20s°C, allowing you to explore this city and its exquisite sights with ease. Spend time in the souks (markets), take in the colours of Jardin Majorelle or allow an afternoon in the Bahia Palace.
If you're all about embracing everything to do with autumn this year, head to Ljubljana to see the city's foliage in all its red, orange and gold brilliance. If you haven't been before, prepare to feel rather taken with the Slovenian capital; featuring beautiful architecture, Ljubljana feels young, modern and peaceful.
The excellent day trip options certainly don't hurt either. Lake Bled and its forest scenery are 45 minutes away by car or an hour away by train. It's a must for nature lovers and looks especially lovely during the months of September, October and November.
Italy's Tuscany region is ridiculously pretty at any time of year; in addition, whereas UK cities will be feeling chilly in autumn, Italian cities will feel mild in comparison. And that's where Florence steps in. As the capital city of Tuscany, there's so much to do and see in Florence itself but it's also a great base for exploring the wider region.
With weather that still calls for a daily gelato (or more), you can spend your days sipping good coffee, exploring sights like the Uffizi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio or Pitti Palace and hopping on trains to nearby places like Pisa, Livorno or Siena. Just don't miss out on spending your evenings in Florence, as this city has a particularly good food scene.
Busy afternoons of sightseeing, lively nights at ruin bars, quiet mornings soaking in the thermal waters of beautiful bathhouses - Budapest offers the perfect blend for a memorable city break, especially during the chillier months. What's more, it's one of the most budget-friendly recommendations on our list, especially for group trips with friends and couple getaways.
While most people understandably gravitate towards the iconic yellow building of the Széchenyi bathhouse, make sure you set aside some time for equally lovely choices like Gellért, Rudas and Veli Bej. With water temperatures that range from 30 to 40°C, we can't think of a better - or more relaxing - way to embrace the cooler months during a city break.