Best places to visit in October

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 25.05.2023

As autumn looms in the north and spring blossoms in the south, October is a beautiful month around the world. As a result, our recommendations for the best places to visit in October are nothing but diverse. Dive in for inspiration, whether you fancy an arty city break, or want to drink in the last of Europe's sunshine. Tempted to go for a bucket-list-level trip? We've got that covered too.

This article is inspired by our Rough Guides guidebooks — your essential guides for travelling the world.

1. Península Valdés, Argentina

Best for epic wildlife encounters and diving

Every year, between mid-June and mid-December, majestic southern right whales come to breed in the waters surrounding Península Valdés in north-eastern Patagonia.

Weighing up to 50 tonnes and measuring up to 18m in length, these cetaceans were once a favoured target for whalers.

Formerly considered to be the “right” whales to harpoon because they're slow, float when killed, and yield lots of oil, these days they're protected from the moment they enter Argentine waters.

October is an ideal time to spot them, along with elephant seals, penguins and orcas (killer whales).

While in this region of Argentina, try to spend time in Puerto Madryn. This is the gateway to the ecological treasure-trove of Península Valdés. Here you'll find Argentina’s diving capital.

If you're into marine life, you'll want to head east of town to Ecocentro. This interactive museum houses a life-size model of an orca that became a local celebrity after being featured in wildlife documentaries. Be sure to head up to the tower for panoramic views of the bay.

Find more places to stay in Península Valdés, Argentina.

Southern Right Whale off Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia

Southern right whale off Peninsula Valdes, Patagonia — one of the best places to visit in October for epic wildlife © Shutterstock

2. Crete, Greece

Best for late summer sun

While autumn may be setting in across Europe, it's still possible to catch some late summer sun if you head south.

Notably, Crete has the longest summers in Greece, which means you can still swim in the sea and lounge on the beach well into October. Good news for those who prefer to travel outside of school summer holidays, but don't want to miss out on the sun.

If you’re feeling more energetic, October is also a great time to hike through Crete’s dramatic Samariá Gorge. Though it's no easy walk in the park, the rewarding 16km route takes you through pine forests, atmospheric abandoned villages, and sheer rock faces.

If it's beaches you're after, Elafonísi Beach boasts almost-tropical, aquamarine waters and pink coral sand. The water is blissfully warm, calm and shallow, with an islet a short wade across the sand bar.

Into beach sports? Try Koureménos Beach — a top spot for windsurfing.

Browse more places to stay in Crete, Greece.


Crete, Greece — the perfect place to soak up sun (or windsurf) in Europe in October © Shutterstock

3. Ibiza, Spain

Best for end of season hedonism

Early October heralds the end of Ibiza’s elongated summer season. As the hedonists prepare to head home, the clubs like to sign off in sensational style.

Highlights of Ibiza's epic closing parties include joining the top resident DJs at the world famous Pacha, with its five rooms of musical mayhem.

Elsewhere, the converted airport hangar club DC10 sees in the region of 1500 revellers dance the night (and morning) away.

Parties aside, Ibiza Town (Ciutat d’Eivissa) is the most attractive settlement on the island. The maze of cobbled streets of the UNESCO-listed old town quarter of Dalt Vila is guarded by massive medieval walls. These reach a dramatic climax at the main archway entrance — the imposing Portal de ses Taules.

Just beyond, the elegant Plaça de Vila is lined with restaurants and cafés and makes a superb setting for tapas. It’s well worth the walk up the steep streets to the cathedral — the views over the harbour are pretty darn special.

    Make the most of your time in Ibiza.

  • Go on a guided tour of Can Marçá cave to see a different side of the island.
  • Kick back and enjoy Ibiza's sister island, Formentera.

Explore more places to stay in Ibiza, Spain.

Things not to Miss: Es vedra island of Ibiza view from Cala d Hort in Balearic islands, Spain.

Ibiza, Spain © Shutterstock

4. Nepal — one of the best places to visit in October

Best for white-water rafting and serious trekking

Nepal is one of the best places in the world to go white-water rafting. Exhilarating options range from easy half-day trips for first-timers to epic, week-long adventures that'll challenge even the most expert paddlers.

The peak rafting (and kayaking) season is from mid-October to November. This is when the rapids are exciting, but more manageable than during the monsoon.

Two highlights are the Bhote Koshi, the steepest and hardest of the country’s raftable rivers, and the Upper Kali Gandaki descent. The latter of which is a thrilling route that can easily be added to a trek in the Annapurna region.

    Make the most of your time in Nepal

  • For a less strenuous (but still thrilling) experience, see Mount Everest on a plane tour from Kathmandu.
  • Get The Rough Guide to Nepal to read more about the area — including insights into rafting and kayaking here.

Adventure awaits in Nepal © Shutterstock

5. London, UK

Best for art and autumn walks

The annual October Frieze Art Festival in London's Regent's Park is the UK’s leading contemporary art fair. Visitors can view and — budget permitting — buy works by over 1,000 leading artists from around the world.

The event, which also features debates, lectures, film screenings and musical performances, coincides with Frieze Masters. This sister event showcases artworks made before the turn of the year 2000.

What's more, the host park for the festival is a bedazzlement of orange-and-red at this time of year. It's also within striking distance of other top London attractions, among them London Zoo, Primrose Hill, Camden Town, and Hampstead Heath.

All these offer a diverse mix of eating and drinking options, and wonderful walks. Cool canal-side trails are peppered with pop-up eateries. Then there are wild, wooded routes that'll leave you thinking you've been transported to the English countryside.

Hampstead Heath during the summer months in London © Chris Seddon/Shutterstock

Hampstead Heath, London © Chris Seddon/Shutterstock

6. Kolkata, India

Best for unforgettable festivals

Known elsewhere in India as Dussehra, Durga Puja is the most important festival of the year for Bengali Hindus.

To witness the celebrations at their most spectacular, you'll want to head to Kolkata, one of India's four great urban centres.

Held in the Hindu month of Ashvin, which falls in September or October, this 10-day festival marks the slaying of the buffalo demon Mahisasura by the ten-armed goddess Durga. More generally, it symbolises the victory of good over evil.

During the celebrations, images of the goddess are placed in elaborate marquees called pandals. Supported by large donations and local communities, these block off streets for days.

Besides the popular pandal at Kumartuli, others worth visiting during Durga Puja include those at Mohammed Ali Park. Baghbazaar’s pandal is the oldest, and is renowned for its simple elegance.

The festival climaxes with thousands of lavish papier-mâché Durga idols parading through the city’s streets before being immersed in the Hooghly River. Unforgettable.

    Make the most of your time in Kolkata, India

  • Discover why Kolkata is the foodie capital of India, and enjoy a tasting tour of the city.
  • Experience India without the hassle of planning and booking. Our Unmissable India trip will take you to the country’s exquisite forts and temples, fabulous food and atmospheric cities.

    Where to stay

  • Best for five-star finery: The Oberoi Grand. Exceptional style and service in the centre.
  • Best for nature-lovers: Vedic Village Spa Resort. Glorious grounds and bungalows away from the city.


Durga Puja festival, Kolkata, India © Shutterstock

For more ideas, discover our best travel destinations for 2023. And remember, wherever you're thinking of heading, there's sure to be a Rough Guide to help you plan your trip.

Not keen on planning? Our expert-curated, customisable tailor-made trips can handle that for you. Contact a local specialist to start your journey.

We may earn commission when you click on links in this article, but this doesn’t influence our editorial standards. We only recommend services we genuinely believe will enhance your travel experiences.

Header image: Elafonissi beach, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 25.05.2023

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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