Unless you love sweating with throngs of tourists in track suits, summer is not the most ideal time to visit Europe. Indulge in sunny days and fantastic fall festivals by heading overseas in October.
Bookworms unite at the Times and the Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival held the first two weeks of October. This charming hamlet in the English countryside known for steeplechase horse racing, will become a who’s-who for bibliophiles with talks by Jonathan Franzen, Kate Atkinson and Chrissie Hynde on her tell-all rock memoir and more.
Swill, sip and spit local wines from the City of Light’s last remaining vineyard within a private monastery at the Fête des Vendanges de Montmartre, or grape harvest festival, in October. Thanks to a favorable growing season, the 2015 vintage of this salmon-pink regional vin is a promising one, and the fest fireworks show at the foot of the Sacré Coeur church is not to be missed, either.
Celebrate the mother of all mushrooms at the 85th annual Alba White Truffle Fair – Tartufo Bianco d’Alba – in postcard-perfect Piedmont from mid-October to mid-November. Come for the fragrant fungi, but stay for the regional wine tastings, medieval ceremonies, games (take that, fake Renaissance faire) and everyone’s favorite: donkey races.
Real guitar heroes plow through plate upon plate of tapas and throw back glasses of sherry, well, after they’ve shredded their way to victory at the Seville Guitar Fest, of course. Shake a Flamenco-fueled tail feather and drop in on performances by classical guitar virtuosos (the original face melters) from around the world mid-October in southern Spain’s Andalusian region.
Parades, pretzels the size of steering wheels and 24 stein-raising days of drinking can be had at the annual Oktoberfest in burgeoning Berlin late Septmeber through October. If not one for pork knuckles and oompah bands, culture-packed Berlin is always a happening city in the fall with gallery openings around every corner and locals making the most of the outdoor cafes before winter settles in.
There’s so many to reasons to fall for Europe right now, and to make sure that you land in only the most stylish and unique of stays, have a look at Mr & Mrs Smith, the boutique hotel booking site. Their 24/7 concierge service can help set you up in one of the hand-picked hotels in their collection from Berlin to Barcelona and beyond.