Later in the year is a great time to go on holiday, with many destinations offering the perfect climate for exploring historic cities and beautiful countryside, and some even supplying late summer sun. Going away later in the year also means you won’t miss out on the Great British Summer and it tends to offer more value outside of the school holidays.
We’ve picked our favourite destinations to visit from September to November, to help inspire you to make that long-awaited getaway!
Best places for late summer sun in Europe
The Italian Lakes
Italy is home to over 1,500 lakes, most of which are clustered in the north of the country, where the Alps form a mountainous border with France, Switzerland and Austria. The largest of the lakes – Garda, Como and Maggiore – are perhaps the most popular, attracting millions of visitors each year.
George Clooney famously owns a summer home on Lake Como, whilst Lake Maggiore, which shares a border with Switzerland, was a favourite of Napoleon and Ernest Hemingway. The lakes are framed by a picturesque Alpine backdrop, and their shores are dotted with stately homes and castles. Autumn is a fantastic time to visit the lakes, which benefit from fewer crowds but still boast pleasant temperatures.
Find out more: Holidays to the Italian Lakes
Home to over one thousand islands of all different shapes and sizes, crystal-clear waters and fascinating historic cities like Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia is a popular holiday destination for many Europeans, including us Brits.
During the peak summer months some of the smaller islands, like Hvar and Vis, can become quite crowded, with coastal temperatures often climbing into the mid-thirties. However, those who choose to visit later in the year will be rewarded with fewer crowds and pleasant temperatures still in the mid-to-high twenties in September, easily warm enough to swim in the brilliant blue Adriatic – an undoubted highlight of any trip to Croatia.
Find out more: Holidays to Croatia
If you’re looking for some late summer sun, the weather in the south of France during September is very still pleasant, with daytime averages of around 25°C, perfect for exploring the historic cities of Carcassonne and Avignon.
Temperatures continue to dip in October and November, but you’ll find popular tourist attractions, particularly in major cities like Paris and Lyon, are a lot less crowded. If you visit Paris in September, you might be lucky enough to catch the European Heritage Days, when usually off-limits places open their doors to visitors, and many museums and galleries are free to enter!
Find out more: Holidays to France
Autumn is a near-perfect time to visit Turkey, with temperatures gradually dipping from 30°C in September to just under 20°C in November. The sea is still more than warm enough to swim in, and the beaches will be much less crowded. Temperatures begin to drop off toward the end of October, so during November, you’ll practically have Turkey’s fascinating historic sites all to yourself.
The months of October and November are also fantastic times to explore the Turkish countryside. That’s not all either: Republic Day is celebrated annually on October 29th, with various art events and firework displays held across the country, perhaps most vibrantly in Istanbul. Around this time, wine-producing Cappadocia hosts the International Wine Festival, with events and wine-tasting in many of the region’s vineyards.
Find out more: Holidays to Turkey
Many Spanish cities are considered too hot, even by locals, to spend time in during the peak of summer. Seville in particular can be unbearably hot during July and August, experiencing temperatures of up to 40°C. As summer ends and autumn begins, temperatures begin to drop, creating the ideal environment for city breaks to Seville, home of flamenco, Madrid, with its grand squares and elegant palaces, and Barcelona, with its world-class dining and fabled architecture.
During this time, occasional rainfall brings some much-needed colour to the previously parched countryside, particularly in the centre and in the south. Spain’s grapes are harvested in September too, leaving the country’s plentiful vineyards a beautiful patchwork of autumnal shades.
Find out more: Holidays to Spain
Long haul destinations for late summer sun
South Africa is generally an all-year-round destination but the best time to go whale watching off the Cape coast is between July-November making the late summer months a perfect time to visit. September is also a wonderful month for a safari in South Africa, with Kruger National Park offering hot, dry weather and the chance to spot wildlife at the watering holes. Vegetation is also more sparse, meaning more chance of visibility during game drives. During October as spring settles in you may encounter a bit more rainfall, however temperatures remain warm and this is often one of the quieter times to visit South Africa.
Find out more: Holidays to South Africa
Deep South, USA
The USA's southern states can get sweateringly hot in the summer months, so travelling from September-November can offer sunny days but without the intense heat. The Great Smokey Mountains come alive with vibrant fall foliage during October making for wonderful photo opportunities and if you want to visit Elvis Presley's hometown of Memphis, you can admire Graceland in the sun.
Find out more: Holidays to the Deep South
Escape to the island of Mauritius in October for glorious sunny weather. Temperatures reach average highs of around 27C which makes it ideal for spending days relaxing on the beach. And what beautiful beaches it has! With powder-white sand and the clear blue waters of the Indian Ocean, it really is the perfect destination for anyone wanting a slice of paradise.
Find out more: On Safari in South Africa with Mauritius Beach