Autumn holidays offer mild weather, less crowds, and cheaper prices. Skip the busier summer travel season and take advantage of affordable flights, holiday packages and hotels in autumn.
When it comes to booking your autumn holiday, you'll almost always do better to book ahead of time, but not too far ahead. When to book also depends on how far you're travelling—while the best range for booking domestic flights, deals, and hotels is probably around 2-4 months, for trips abroad you may want to book as far as 5-6 months in advance, particularly to destinations that are popular in the fall.
Nature lovers rejoice, because autumn is your season. The air is cool and crisp, the cities and trails that are normally packed in the summer are clearing out, and the leaves are starting to change. Whether you're touring the dense forests of Germany or walking the tree-lined streets of U.K. cities, you can experience a kaleidoscope of colour on an autumn holiday in the U.K. or abroad.
We've outlined our 4 favourite destinations for leaf peeping around the world here.
The canals of Amsterdam are renowned for their beauty, and millions of tourists arrive each year to stroll by the water. Photo buffs will love the fantastic backdrops, as the visitors on foot and the Dutch on their bikes criss-cross on the busy city streets. Stop in at a cozy cafe for a coffee and a stroopwafel and take in the brilliant hues through the window on a city break in Amsterdam.
Summer may be the most popular season to visit Denali National Park, but there are plenty of great reasons to travel in the autumn. The stark white backdrop of the snow-capped mountains with the gradients of red, orange, and yellow highlight the awe-inspiring natural beauty of this park . Although services are more limited in the autumn, you can still hike on many of the trails leading from the visitor centre.
Drive up to Teklanika River before sunset for an unforgettable visual display as the warm light of the setting sun enhances the colour of the surrounding foliage and sets the river aglow. After dark, stick around for a chance to see the aurora borealis, otherwise known as the Northern Lights.
With many airlines offering, there's even more incentive to travel to breathtaking Iceland. Well-known to nature lovers for its impressive waterfalls, volcanoes, and hot springs, Iceland is a country thats full of contrasts—the heat of the springs and the biting cold of the air, the rich red hues of the lava flows and the startling arctic blues of the lagoons, the ever-rushing waters of the falls and the unyielding cylindrical rock columns.
These contrasts are heightened in fall, when many tourists have fled for warmer climes, but also when the island gets injected with a shot of colour. You'll appreciate the foliage best at the waterfalls, where the multi-coloured leaves and brush frame the free-flowing water.
While many people head to Japan in the spring to see the famous cherry blossoms, autumn in Kyoto offers a visual display that is equally impressive. Take in the contrast of the clean lines and dark accents of the city's temples and the mismatched splashes of colour from the surrounding trees. Step across the many small bridges scattered throughout the city, where you can admire swirls of colour in the water below as trees shed their leaves.
Highly recommended for a day trip is the Seiryu-ji Tokugen-in Temple (shown above) about an hour and a half outside the city by train or car. The blanket of bright red leaves underfoot will leave you feeling like you're on a totally different planet.