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Best October holiday destinations: Where to go this autumn

With the summer holidays behind us, October often feels like the first true month of autumn, with the trees changing colour and cooler weather here in the UK. But that doesn't mean that you can't find warm weather in October - in fact, this is a great month for taking a city break somewhere in Europe or going a bit further away for a beach holiday!

Plus, if you're looking to avoid crowds, October is an ideal time to get away and you can also save a lot of money by choosing to travel this month, especially for a family holiday or romantic holiday for two.

So whether you're looking to escape the crisp autumn weather with a warm-weather holiday or embrace it with a glamping trip or outdoorsy staycation, get ready for a holiday to remember this October.

The best warm-weather destinations in October

If the hot, balmy weather of July and August feels like it happened a lifetime ago, why not make the most of October by heading to a warm-weather destination? And, quite surprisingly, you don't even have to travel very far to find good weather.

If you weren't able to take a beach holiday this year - or just fancy taking another one - you'll have plenty of choice when it comes to finding decent weather in October. And if the beach isn't your thing, you could always enjoy a hot city break instead.

Here are some of our top choices for a warm-weather holiday in October.

1. Marrakesh

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 24°C

With temperatures still hitting up to 30°C in October, Marrakesh is a perfect October city break destination, especially since the summer month temperatures are almost too hot to enjoy yourself!

Stroll the markets, indulge in the delicious local food or visit the stunning Jardin Majorelle botanical garden. With so much to do and see, Marrakesh is a great choice for an action-packed mini break.

2. Cancun

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 27°C

One of the most popular beach destinations in Mexico, Cancun is the place to go if you want it really hot! In October, temperatures can reach almost 33°C on some days, making it an excellent spot for a beach trip.

While its incredible beaches should be the top priority on your holiday itinerary, Cancun is also known for its vibrant nightlife and proximity to historical places like Chichen Itza. Tulum is another great day trip option.

3. Crete

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 20°C

If you're looking for a destination that's a little closer to home, don't worry - October sun can be found in Europe! Greece is one of the best places to visit in autumn, thanks to its year-round mild climate, so why not take a trip to lovely Crete?

In October, the weather is warm rather than hot, but that's perfect for being able to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the island, especially when it comes to outdoor pursuits like hiking, cycling and rock climbing.

4. Algarve

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 21°C

Another popular European destination, the Algarve in southern Portugal has lovely, sunny weather in October. You can expect temperatures that hover around the mid- 20s°C. That's warm enough to enjoy beaches like the famous Ponta da Piedade, but it's also the ideal weather for exploring.

Take a boat trip to go dolphin watching, stroll the old town of Lagos or head inland to the stunning mountainous Monchique region.

5. Cyprus

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 23°C

For a warm island escape, Cyprus is one of our go-tos for October. In Paphos, you can expect an average temperature of 24ºC, with highs of 28°C across the island. That's perfect weather for checking out the beaches and enjoying the island's outdoor activities.

Watersports are especially good this month, with water temperatures well above 20ºC. Things get a bit cooler in the evening, so don't forget to bring a light jacket!

6. Gran Canaria

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 24°C

The Canary Islands are a safe bet for almost every month of the year and October is no exception to this rule! You can expect highs of 27°C, which is warm but not too hot - ideal for a family holiday in Gran Canaria.

The top things to do include visiting the awe-inspiring Maspalomas Dunes or the Roque Nublo in the Nublo Rural Park. If you're with the kids, stop by Palmitos Park, a zoo that's fun for all the family.

7. Malta

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 22°C

Malta's beautiful capital city, Valletta, has an average temperature of 25°C in October. Valletta also happens to be a great compromise destination, blending a city break with a traditional beach holiday.

This lovely city is situated right by the sea, so you'll only need to head just outside of Valletta to find stunning beaches. Valletta itself is filled with cobblestone streets, old forts and plenty of romantic wine bars and restaurants.

8. Bali

🌡️ Average temperature in October: 28°C

If you're happy to go long haul, you can find brilliant weather in Bali in October. You can expect highs of 31°C and long, balmy days in the sunshine. In fact, October is the second-best month to visit Bali in terms of the amount of sunshine!

There's plenty to do in Bali; go island hopping, indulge in a stay at a luxury retreat and enjoy the stunning beaches. Bali provides one of the best ways to escape from real life - and what could be better in the middle of a UK autumn?

Bucket-list October destinations

Autumn is officially here, and with it comes great travel opportunities. So if you're wanting to really push the boat out this October, why not go all out and tick off an experience on your travel bucket list?

Here are some of our best bucket-list trips for October.

County Clare, Ireland

For a last shot of greenery before winter sets in, head to Ireland’s stunning west coast. County Clare is known for being one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and it really hits its stride in autumn. Take a hiking holiday with ocean views when you walk a portion the Wild Atlantic Way, the winding trail that incorporates the west coast’s best landscapes.

The Cliffs of Moher is a particular highlight and is also a great choice for families with kids as it has an excellent visitor centre. Other family-friendly activities include a trip to one of the region’s many castles, such as Bunratty Castle, which hosts an old-fashioned banquet in traditional garb. You can even stay in a castle hotel (an especially good option for a romantic getaway). Other memorable spots include Doolin Cave, with its famously colossal stalactite, and a handful of beaches perfect for a picnic if you catch some sun.

New York and the Northeast, USA

Want a splash of colour this October? The Northeast region of the US is particularly breathtaking in early autumn, when temperatures have yet to plummet and trees are just starting to turn their different shades of red, orange and yellow. Take a drive between small New England towns and coastal communities (where you’re sure to get cheaper off-season prices) or stick to big cities like Boston and Providence for a more urban leaf-peeping experience.

If you’re looking for a family-friendly trip that kids will love, this region has a number of Halloween-themed festivities in the month of October. Round out a week in New York City with the Village Halloween Parade, drive to the sleepy town of Salem (home to the famous witch trials) to take part in their month-long celebration or marvel at pumpkins at the various festivals that take place in New Hampshire during this month.

Paris, France

Tourists may flock to France in summer, but autumn is one of the best times of year to visit Paris. The weather is temperate, with a mix of cooler days and warm, sunny ones. Walk along the Seine, taking in the changing colours of the leaves while browsing the books for sale from street vendors. Once you’ve had your fill of the river, Paris’ well-cultivated parks and gardens are perfect for a stroll, especially on a sunny day; we'd recommend Jardin des Tuileries, where the iconic columns of trees become a kaleidoscope of colour come October.

If you catch some bad weather, duck into a museum. There are new exhibitions opening all the time at smaller museums and galleries, and more popular haunts like the Louvre have fewer visitors than in peak summer. Round out your day of exploring on foot by treating yourself to a flaky pastry at a corner cafe so that you can watch the comings and goings of local Parisians.

Athens, Greece

While the Greek islands are the holiday destinations of choice in summer, Athens awaits in October as crowds disperse and the city settles into autumn. Enjoy the multicoloured landscape up close on a hike through the National Park of Mount Parnitha, a park with more than 70 walking trails for hikers of all ages and skill levels and mountain lodges where you can spend the night after a day’s hike.

On a trip into the city, take advantage of the dip in tourist numbers by visiting famous sights like the Acropolis, the Agora and the Temple of Poseidon - perhaps even splashing out with guided tours of the main attractions. Or indulge in some shopping by browsing the local markets for authentic hand-crafted gifts. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, sample your way through the city’s specialties by cafe-hopping - be sure to try local favourites like moussaka, spanakopita and souvlaki.