Although not the first one to say, I’ll reiterate—these are weird times. And while international (and sometimes even domestic) travel is basically out of the question at the moment. We and many other adventuresome folks are thinking ahead to when it’ll be safe for us to explore the world again. Nothing right now is guaranteed, but we are hopeful that travel will resume by the summer, if not sooner. That being said, fall trips are probably a safer bet. So, where can you start dreaming about?
Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast in September
As one of the sunniest spots on the Mediterranean coast, Europeans (and others) flock to this Riviera during July and August. That makes for crowded streets, beaches, shops, restaurants, and just about everything else. September is the beginning of Croatia’s shoulder season and the intense summer crowds start to thin. It’s also when the temperatures are more moderate—warm enough to explore without jackets, but not so warm that you’re sweating and uncomfortable.
Spain in September or October
In the north, September is considered one of the best months to walk the Camino de Santiago because the weather is generally warm with blissfully cool evenings and mornings. Plus, the trails are not as busy as in July and August. In the south, October is the shoulder season, which like Croatia, means fewer crowds and more moderate temperatures. This is also the time of year when you might see olive or grape harvests going on depending on seasonal factors.
The Himalayas in September or October
Fall in Bhutan and Nepal typically brings the driest weather, which means the clearest skies. And it’s important to have clear skies to enjoy views of the spectacular and humbling mountains. If you want to see Everest and other sky-high peaks on your hikes or through a plane window, this is the time to go. You’ll see farmers in their fields harvesting the season’s bounty, and temperatures can still reach into the 80s in some places!
Portugal and the Azores in September or October
Summertime in Portugal is hot and dry and the most popular time for visitors. But by autumn, the intense heat of the summer has passed, and there are fewer crowds, which is better for both your urban and rural exploration. Whether you choose to explore the mainland, the lush volcanic archipelago in the Atlantic, or both, you’ll find pleasant temperatures both on the ground and in the water (if you choose to take a dip).
New Zealand in October
October is one of the best months for spotting dolphins, whales, and penguins (who doesn’t love penguins?). Since it’s spring in the Southern Hemisphere, you’ll also see adorable baby lambs grazing alongside their mothers and wildflowers blooming on the hillsides. There’s something lovely about seeing the landscape come to life again with color. Plus, you can often find better airfare prices!
Matt Holmes is the Founder & President of Boundless Journeys. Boundless Journeys is an award-winning tour operator that goes off the beaten path for immersive and authentic travel experiences.