Autumn is one of the most magical times to travel.
The summer heat has fled, the trees are adorned in a riot of ocher and gold and the summer school vacation period has finally ended. With that, autumn travellers no longer have to contend with the mass of family vacationers and skyhigh summer vacation prices.
Unless you are chained to the school cycle, autumn is the best time to travel. Isn’t it time to introduce a pop of red and gold in your Instagram feed? Here are 5 of the most inspiring places to travel to this autumn.
A volcanic island in Cyclades of the Greek islands, Santorini is one of the most famous and Instagrammable spots known in Greece. It is also a hotspot for summer vacations, and little wonder: dramatic sunsets, stunning blue and white architectural facades, and multicoloured beaches are all factors that continue to draw a crowd to this little island. But have you ever considered the benefits of visiting Santorini during the autumn?
Autumn is an off-season period for Santorini so you will be able to find amazing discounts at some of Santorini’s best restaurants and hotels. However, its climate is still perfect for visiting. Hot and dry, breezy with just a hint of mild rain. This makes it perfect for hiking to the top of Mesa Vouno or the ancient city of Thira, as well as swimming and sunbathing all the way up to late October. The ocean remains a stunning aqualine blue, and you can now capture the sunset view from Oia Castle in Oia without fighting through an insane crowd! In case you haven’t heard, it is a long held believe that Oia possesses the most beautiful sunset in the world so it is definitely not a sight you want to miss.
Autumn is also the perfect time to explore the Red Beach with its staggering red cliffs and deep red beaches. It is blistering hot during the summer and most visitors would opt to see it from a distance but in autumn, that is no longer an issue. You can also take advantage of the cool weatherby joining walking tours to Fira from Oia, Santorini.
All the benefits of Santorini, minus the heat, tourist crowd and sky-high prices. It doesn’t get better than that!
Image by Andy Falconer
York is one of the most romantic cities in England. Its medieval limestone buildings, cobbled pavements and majestic Anglo-Saxon York Minster will send every visitor hurling several centuries back into the past. It is a city that is best explored on foot and there is no better time to do so then in the autumn when the weather is at its most pleasant.
There is no dearth of activities to do in York. A good start is to visit the York Minster - a cathedral that is staggering in its size, scope and beauty. You can even book a visit to the mason’s loft, crypt passages or scaffold and the chapter house. A glimpse into a part of the cathedral that few others would know of.
Next, wander around the maze of cobbled streets and get lost! York is a compact city, its buildings claiming Roman, Viking and Medieval heritage. You never know what you might find, which is part of the Yorkish charm. In particular, visit the Shambles, which is one of the best preserved medieval streets in England and full of sweet shops. It will feel a little like walking along a real life Diagon Alley.
Speaking of sweets, make sure you visit the York Chocolate Story. This place is special as it also offers a guided tour for visitors to go behind the scenes and see what it takes to create some of England’s most well-known treats.
New York City is a city that never sleeps and never lacking in autumn-esque activities.
Nature is one of its biggest attractions and you can catch a glimpse of New York’s autumn foliage in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Fort Tryon Park, the Cloisters, Fort Washington Park and of course, the Central Park. In particular, visit the Harlem Meer to see the bright yellow ginko trees. You can also bike along the Hudson River Greenway for some of the most spectacular views in the city.
If you are up for mingling, then get your social hat on. The New York Fashion Week takes place in September followed by the New York Film Festival and city-wide Halloween celebrations in October and the New York Comedy Festival in November. The Open House New York also takes place during this period, where many of New York’s landmarks open their doors for free for one weekend.
Finally, if you are a football fan, now is the time to visit. The NFL is kicking into high gear and is the perfect event to go to while chomping on hot dogs. If hot dog is not your thing, then seek out the many pumpkin-centric food dishes that will be sold in all corners of this great city.
Image by Agne
Germany transforms into a fairytale during the autumn and there is nowhere better suited to experiencing this magical season then the Black Forest.
This massive 9,713 square kilometers of forest is perfect for short or multi-day hikes. Full of fir and spruce trees, the Black Mountain offers incredible mountainous views and is perfect during the autumn when the summer crowd has left. Some of the sights you will see include its breathtaking castles and waterfalls such as the 163 meters Triberg Waterfall and Geroldsauer Waterfall.
After a good hike, don’t forget to try the local dishes! The Black Forest cake - a concoction of cherries, cream and chocolate - originated from this area and is a must try. Game meat is also popular, as well as Germany’s staple spätzle dish - a delicious butter-covered noodle dish that you can find in Malaysia but really, nothing beats trying a local dish in its place of origin.
Image by Sid Saxena
San Sebastian may be an unconventional choice for an autumn destination but we promise you that you won’t regret it!
Come in autumn and you will have avoided Spain’s famous blistering heat, enjoying instead a blissful 12 to 18 degrees and a unique Basque culture. Frolick along its beaches and maybe participate in its 10 kilometers Three-Beach Race taking place in October along the Ondarreta, La Concha and Zurriola beaches. For the film fanatics, the San Sebastian Film Festival takes place in September, with the Horror & Fantasy Film Festival following in October.
And then there is the food. San Sebastian is the city with the most Michelin Starred restaurants per square yard (behind Kyoto), so you know that you will be getting amazing food. As a bonus for visiting during the fall season, the Gastronomika Festival will be taking place in October. This is a festival that will see some of the world’s best chefs gathering in San Sebastian to produce some of their gastronomic delights. Best of all, you can also taste them!
Food, films, beaches and heritage. Isn’t that the perfect autumn getaway?
You can’t go wrong when choosing one of these five places to travel to during autumn. And autumn is a fleeting moment that you must grasp before winter comes, so don’t think too long!
It is time to add some colour to your Instagram posts!
A faith-driven Sarawakian lawyer who believes that it is never too late to start crafting a socially impactful legacy. When not grappling with warranties and liabilities, she loves pursuing adrenaline-fueled adventures, improving her Español and playing the violin. You can find her at @vidadeliya or https://www.vidadeliya.com