Are you planning an October getaway but don’t know where to go? From the beaches of Mexico’s Baja California to the Mediterranean islands of Greece, sun-soaked destinations await you across the world!
October is traditionally a shoulder season in many destinations, but we love how you can escape the crowds this time of year. In Greece and Italy, you can explore ancient ruins with few other people around, while in Japan, the autumnal colors are in full bloom. Australia is heating up in preparation for the summer, while South Africa is the perfect place for a safari.
With so many fantastic countries to visit in October, you might not know which destination to choose first. To help you out, we’ve compiled our list of the 10 best countries to visit in October for you. These destinations all have great weather but none of the crowds in October, giving you a chance for an awesome getaway!
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The 10 Best Places to Visit in October
Who doesn’t love the delectable delights of Italian cuisine? Perhaps you’re a history buff looking for their ancient Roman ruin fix, or maybe you’re just looking for a sunny beach vacation for an escape from work. Italy in October has all of this and more, and we’re convinced that Italy is one of the best places to vacation in October!
In October, the Italian weather is still excellent across much of the country. Head to the far south, and you can enjoy the scorching sunshine of Sicily without the energy-sapping heat of the summer months. The Mediterranean Sea is still wonderfully warm in October (it’s had all year to heat up, after all), and you’ll need to bring plenty of sunblock to keep yourself safe when you spend all day on the beach.
On the mainland, the Amalfi Coast is unbeatable this time of the year. You’ll have missed the summer rush, prices won’t be quite so ridiculous, and you can still enjoy temperatures that reach into the high 20s (degrees Celsius). Why not rent a villa overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, or rent a car and road trip along the coast from Salerno to Sorrento?
Keep traveling north, and you’ll find that Naples is the culinary heaven you’ve always wanted to experience. This is the birthplace of pizza, and there’s no better way to spend your vacation than dining out in the cool, pleasant October evenings. While you’re there, you can take a day trip to Pompeii and explore one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions with few other tourists around.
It’s a similar story in Rome, the ancient Italian capital, which makes for one of the best October holiday destinations. You might encounter a bit of rain here and there, but for the most part, it’s excellent walking weather, and you’ll have more time and space to enjoy sites like the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, and the Pantheon during the shoulder season.
Head to the north of Rome, and things can start to get a little colder and much rainier, but brave the unpredictable elements, and you can stroll through Milan’s Piazza del Duomo unaccosted or cruise the canals of Venice without getting stuck!
The Mediterranean is a beautiful region to visit in October, and there’s no better country to explore than Greece. You’ll have missed the serious heat of the summer months, but you can’t go wrong when temperatures are still hitting average highs of 22 degrees Celsius.
The Greek Islands are notoriously busy during peak season, but they start to empty out as the summer draws to a close. By October, the high season is long gone, and that means you’ll be able to score bargains at boutique hotels and all-inclusive resorts throughout the Aegean Sea.
Imagine seeing the famous white windmills of Mykonos as the sun sets or strolling through the charming streets of Santorini? You can do both in October, and you won’t have to push your way through crowds to get to the best photo spots!
This is the last opportunity to make the most of the Greek Islands’ beautiful beaches before winter, and while there will be a little rain, it’s also the last opportunity to island-hop before the Aegean Sea becomes too rough to enjoy a pleasant sailing or ferry experience.
But while the Greek Islands are the most popular places to visit in Greece, we recommend spending some time on the mainland if you’re visiting in October. With cooler temperatures, this is the perfect time to soak up the history and acquaint yourself with Greek nature.
To start, you’ll love exploring Athens on foot in October. You can visit ancient sights like the Acropolis and the Parthenon without having to seek shelter from the sun, and if it does rain, then why not spend the day delving deep into the past at the National Archaeological Museum?
Away from the capital, mountain climbers will love making the journey to Mount Olympus. This is the highest mountain in Greece, and in Greek mythology, this was the home of the gods. If Mount Olympus looks too challenging (and at almost 3,000 meters tall, it’s a tough climb!), then many more hiking options await you at Mount Parnassus, Arcadia, and Meteora.
Isn’t it super cold and seriously snowy in Iceland, even as early as October? Yes, we won’t lie to you!
Visit Iceland in October, and you’re going to need a thick, waterproof coat and some heavy-duty winter clothing, but trust us when we say this is one of the best times of the year to explore this Nordic nation! This is also arguably one of the best European countries to visit in October.
Temperatures can drop below zero degrees, and the further north you travel, the colder it’s going to be. On a warm day, you can expect highs averaging around 7 degrees Celsius in October, but only if you’re in Reykjavik or along the south coast.
Weather conditions are unpredictable, too, and you could find yourself in the middle of a hailstorm or discover that main roads have been closed due to snowfall. It’s also starting to get dark, although surprisingly, daylight still averages 12 hours per day during October.
If you’re prepared for this, then October is a great time for an Icelandic adventure (and it will be an adventure!). Not only will you miss the super-busy summer months, when most of the world seems to flock to Iceland, but you’ll get to experience the best of Iceland’s extreme seasons.
This means you’ll catch the end of the whale-watching season, and there’s a high chance you’ll spot these magnificent marine mammals on a luxury yacht tour from Reykjavik. Travel north to Husavik, and you can join the last whale-watching tours of the season on the edge of the Arctic Circle.
From Reykjavik, you can explore the classic Golden Circle Route, taking in waterfalls and geysers. Road trip the famous Ring Road, and you’ll never be stuck in traffic at this time of the year – although you might be stuck in a snowstorm! Best of all, you have the opportunity to spot the Northern Lights, even in October. The further north you travel, the higher your chances will be, but it will be well worth the journey to experience this spectacular natural light phenomenon in the night sky.
It’s autumn in Japan, and that means one thing – it’s the harvest season! October is one of the most beautiful times of the year to visit Japan, and you’ll love how the summer greenery is slowly changing into a colorful array of reds, yellows, and golden browns. Grab your camera and head out into the countryside, where you’ll be mesmerized by the colors.
Mount Fuji is one of the best places to visit in October, and if you’re exploring Tokyo, you may even be able to see this 3,700-meter-tall volcano from the city. This is a great time for hiking, and you can tackle many more mountains in the Tokyo area, such as Mount Omaya or Mount Takao. Better yet, head to Kamikochi, where you can spend your days hiking the Japanese Alps and evenings relaxing in historic onsens.
The north, and especially the island of Hokkaido, is starting to get quite cold in October, but you’ll love the autumnal vibes. If you’re looking for a bit of sunshine, head far south, where the island of Okinawa offers a sub-tropical getaway complete with white sand beaches and coral reefs.
Australia is a long flight from anywhere else in the world, but plan your trip for October, and you’ll make the long journey well worth it because this is one of the best October holiday destinations!
Don’t forget, Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere, so that means that in October, it’s spring here. At least it’s spring in the southern regions of Australia. This is such a vast country (a continent, even) that there are multiple climatic zones and weather conditions from the north to the south.
Let’s start with the south, shall we? Melbourne and Adelaide are gearing up for summer in October. Spring temperatures will already be rising well into the 20s (degrees Celsius), and we guarantee that you’ll have beautiful beach weather interrupted by just a few rainy days here and there. It’s a similar story in Sydney, on the east coast, where temperatures are beginning to climb and Bondi Beach is starting to see the crowds return.
The weather is even better on the lesser-visited western coastline of Western Australia. Perth has more sunny days per year than anywhere else in the country, and in October, those sunny days are very much out in force. Hire a car and road trip south from Perth, and you can see the beautiful Margaret River wine region blooming bright in the spring sunshine!
Back on the east coast, Queensland can be a little rainy. It’s subtropical this far north, but the rain is unlikely to hamper your trip too much. You can visit the Great Barrier Reef, explore Brisbane, and visit spectacular destinations like the Whitsundays during the shoulder season.
Spring is the last chance you have in the year to venture to the far north of Australia. This is the end of the dry season, and in a few weeks’ time, the rains will begin in earnest. If you’re on the west coast, you can road trip all the way north from Perth (Western Australia) to Darwin (Northern Territory), stopping at the Ningaloo Reef, Karijini National Park, Broome, and Kakadu to experience the deserts and rainforests of the north.
It will be scorching hot already (and it’s not even summer!), but you can also road trip all the way south from Darwin to Melbourne, right through the “Red Centre” of Australia!
6. South Africa
South Africa is calling your name in October, and you’ll be excited to learn that conditions are at their best for a wildlife-spotting safari. This is the end of the dry season, and as temperatures begin to heat up as South Africa transitions into spring and then summer, the wildlife is easy to spot in the dry bushland or around the watering holes where they flock for refreshment.
Kruger National Park is one of the best safari destinations in South Africa, and you’ll likely spot elephants, buffalo, hippos, giraffes, zebra, wildebeest, and even lions, leopards, cheetahs, and rhinos.
Over in Cape Town in the southeast, temperatures will be rising. This is spring, so it’s a great time to hike Table Mountain or visit the colorful wineries and countryside of Stellenbosch. It’s the end of the whale-watching season, too, and in Hermanus (the whale-watching capital of South Africa), you can join a whale-watching tour and see humpbacks and southern right whales migrating through the waters.
If you’ve still got time, there’s nothing quite like a road trip along South Africa’s iconic Garden Route. This 305-kilometer road trip adventure starts in Mossel Bay and follows the highway east to Stormsrivier!
October is the best time to visit the Arabian Peninsula. The uncomfortable heat of summer is drawing to a close, but temperatures across the region still average around 30 degrees Celsius even as winter approaches!
But rather than visiting the well-trodden cities of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), why not travel off the beaten track and organize a tour of Oman? Located just south of the UAE, Oman is only going from strength to strength as a tourist destination, so why not get in before the crowds do?
Oman has seen little of the vast and glamorous development that Dubai or Abu Dhabi have, and much of the country remains largely undeveloped and home to vast swathes of empty desert and tall mountains.
You can start your trip in Muscat, the capital city, where you can dip your toes into authentic Arabian culture. Muscat has all the comforts you could desire on vacation, including fancy international hotels and boutique apartments, but there’s also a beautiful sense of history and tradition to be found here.
Visit the souk in the morning, where you can bargain for frankincense, gold, and myrrh, then spend your afternoon exploring forts and museums before watching the sunset over the Arabian Sea.
Travel toward the mountains, and you can visit the ancient city of Nizwa, where farmers flock from the villages on weekends to sell livestock at the raucous animal auctions. If the heat gets to be too much, head to the higher altitudes of the Al Hajar Mountain Range, where you’ll find hiking, 4×4 trails, and spectacular mountaintop resorts.
The real highlight of a trip to Oman in October isn’t the mountains or souks but the sea turtles! Book a “glamping” stay on the beach at Ras al Jinz Turtle Reserve, and you can wake up in the middle of the night, follow your tour guide to the Arabian Sea, and be awed by the sight of nesting turtles in the moonlight. As the sun rises, hatchlings begin their journey to the ocean, and we guarantee it’s a sight that will stay with you forever.
Jordan is another fantastic Middle Eastern destination to visit in October. We know you’re going to love exploring ancient ruins, floating in the Dead Sea, and gorging on delectable Jordanian cuisine!
October is the start of autumn in Jordan, and the first rains of the season start to bring the desert to life again after a long and hot summer. Don’t worry because rainfall will be minimal, while temperatures across the country will hover between 20 to 25 degrees Celsius.
Needless to say, it’s great weather for walking and sightseeing. Start your journey in Amman, and you can visit the Roman amphitheater and the ancient citadel before spending your evenings indulging in platters of falafel and hummus in Jordan’s vibrant capital city.
Next up is Wadi Rum, where you can camp (or glamp!) under Jordan’s famously dark skies as you explore the wilderness of the desert and soak up the Bedouin culture. The highlight of any trip to Jordan is next, as you travel to the ruins of Petra. This ancient city was carved from the rocks around 300 BC, and you’ll be astounded by the history and the sheer natural beauty of this magnificent archeological site.
After touring through the desert, you’ll welcome the sight of the sea as you visit Jordan’s beautiful Red Sea coastline. With the port city of Aqaba as your base, you can join dive and snorkeling tours that take you to underwater shipwrecks and marine conservation areas. Visibility will be amazing in October, and the water will still be wonderfully warm!
Your trip can end at the Dead Sea, a large salt lake that separates Israel and Jordan. The Dead Sea is notoriously salty, and you’ll love how you can lie back and float in the water with zero effort. The Dead Sea is also known for its high mineral content, and you’ll love how this has been a spa destination since the Roman era.
If the Inca Trail is high up on your bucket list, then October is the perfect time to tackle one of the world’s most popular multi-day hiking trails. This is the tail-end of winter in Peru, it’s the start of the colorful spring season, and crucially, the weather in October is still dry and cool enough in the Andes for hiking. For all these reasons, Peru is one of the best places to vacation in October.
The Inca Trail sells out quickly, as there are only limited spots available, but because October is the end of the hiking season, you’re more likely to score yourself a place on a trek. The Inca Trail takes four days to complete, and you’ll be awed by the landscapes before you even make it to Machu Picchu.
Of course, the Inca Trail isn’t the only way to reach Machu Picchu. You can take a bus or indulge in the luxury train, or you can make the shorter half-day hike from Aguas Caliente. There are many more hiking trails in the Andes, too, including the much less frequented but equally spectacular Salkantay Trek.
Peru has much more to offer than Machu Picchu, and while you’re in the highlands, you can take the train through the mountains from Cusco to Lake Titicaca, the highest navigable lake in the world. Down by the Pacific Ocean, the weather is perfect for sunny days on the beach, historic walking tours in Lima, and wildlife adventures into Peru’s Amazonian rainforest.
October isn’t the most popular time to visit Mexico, but it is a great time of the year to explore the country’s inland destinations and the northern Pacific coastline. Stay away from the Yucatan Peninsula, though, where heavy rainfall and strong winds are common at the end of the hurricane season.
You’ll find that October is very much a transitional month in Mexico, as the resorts await the end of the rains and the start of the high season. In Mexico City, though, there’s almost no rain, and life carries on as normal. Visit the Museum of Anthropology, Frida Kahlo’s House, and the Zocalo, and make the most of the cool autumn weather on day trips to the pyramids of Teotihuacan or hikes into the surrounding national parks.
From Mexico City, you can also travel to some of Mexico’s most historic highland towns and cities. Soak up the sights and gorge on food in Guanajuato, Querétaro, and San Miguel de Allende, or travel south, and you can enjoy the street food and culture of Oaxaca.
Baja California is beautiful this time of year, too. Compared to rainy Yucatan, the northern Pacific coastline is almost bone dry. You’ll not only love the beach-worthy weather but you’ll love the famous fish tacos and have the opportunity to swim with whale sharks!
There you have it! The 10 best countries to visit in October. What’s your favorite place to travel to in October?
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