October is ripe for the pickings when it comes to travel: temperatures in several must-go spots hit the Goldilocks zone – not too hot, not too cold – kids are back at school and dining showcases the spoils of the harvest. Turning leaves in the northern hemisphere make already comely spots more photogenic. But, as the days quicken and night falls sooner, things take a darker turn for Halloween…
GO WITH THE FLOW
Away from the rain-quenched Caribbean, the majority of South America enjoys a clement spring. Time for Argentinian wine pilgrimages, Chilean desert drives and Peruvian beaching. Or, see Colombia’s rainbow bloom: Caño Cristales, when during the short span between the wet and dry seasons, the river runs red and yellow and pink and green, thanks to the growing Macarenia clavigera plant on the riverbed. More natural wonders occur in New England and Upstate New York as leaf-peepers descend; the Scottish Highlands russet bristles brightly and Japan’s momiji (crimson-hued maple leaves) make colourful backdrops. If it’s heat you’re after, Morocco and Oman shake off the swelter of summer yet remain balmy.
ESCAPE THE CROWDS
While the rest of Europe relaxes into autumn, Tuscany takes action by hauling in olives and snuffling out truffles – visit for energised hilltop towns and superlative seasonal dining. Heat-seekers: hit Hawaii to ensure a sunlounger or Australia’s west coast for surfing. Aside from the odd gust, New Zealand’s springtime is the ideal time for touring the drama-speckled North and South Islands. In Iceland, the Northern Lights are starting to sparkle and, as winter takes hold, the island opens up with new possibilities, such as heli skiing, husky sledding, snowmobiling and warming up in geothermal pools, such as the iconic Blue Lagoon.
London lets out a collective ‘hmm, interesting…’ at Frieze Art Fair, while the city’s Cocktail Week and Restaurant Festival align perfectly, too. Depending on the lunar cycle, Diwali illuminates India in either October or November with candles, fireworks and flowers. Then Halloween hails pumpkins, horror movies and trick ‘n’ treaters, especially across US cities, which celebrate 31 October with gusto: visit New Orleans for graveyard tours, New York for costume parades or Los Angeles for street parties. Down Mexico way, Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead) is an even more ebullient display, celebrated for three days from Halloween to 2 November.
For more travel inspiration, explore where to go in November…