If you’re planning an autumnal escape, check out where our editors and writers have chosen as their favourite destinations at this time of year.
Alison Roberts, Travel Editor: As if you needed an excuse to visit this ecotourism paradise, autumn is the perfect time of year to visit Madagascar. The weather is at its most pleasant and birdwatching is at its best. It’s also baby lemur season and you’ll stand a good chance of spotting new arrivals hitching a lift through the forest on their mothers’ backs.
The Cotswolds, England
Rachel Mills, travel editor: The crowds of tourists have left and the historic villages are sleepy once again. The cool and cloudy weather suits a cream tea, Westonbirt Arboretum blazes in autumnal glory and the picturesque Cotswold Way begs to be explored on foot.
Paso Robles, California, USA
Tim Chester, former Web Editor: The hordes flock to Napa or Sonoma, but an undiscovered treat lies further down the Californian coast. Nestled among rolling hills almost equidistant from LA and San Fran, this much quieter wine region offers gorgeous views and irresistible Petite Syrahs at every turn.
Shafik Meghji, co-author, The Rough Guide to Nepal: With the monsoon out of the way, autumn is the best time to visit Nepal. The clear, dry weather is ideal for trekking and white water rafting, as the rapids are exciting but (generally) manageable. There are also two fascinating Hindu festivals: Dasain and Tihaar.
Heidi Fuller-Love, writer: For deserted beaches, great meze and a big bite of real Crete, Sitia in the wild east of the island is a great place to go in autumn. There are loads of – very alcoholic – raki festivals, plenty of archaeological sites with free entry, and hundreds of wild, raki-fuelled Cretan music nights (look out for the posters) where you can dance until dawn to the sound of the lively lyra.
Wester Ross, Scotland
Neil McQuillian, travel editor: The otherworldly light; the wonderful, affordable seafood (from salmon smoked in back-garden sheds to £5 tubs of squat lobster); and the magic of autumn mushroom foraging. It’s particularly good after a rare, but scorching Scottish summer.
Ed Wright, senior editor: The flavours and colours of Italy take on a warm golden hue for the truffle-hunting season and the harvest festivals of autumn. Piemonte is the destination for truffles, notably Alba for its elusive white variety, whereas the vendemmia (autumn grape harvest) centres on Tuscany. Food festivals and celebrations spring up throughout October & November, so you’re sure to find one wherever food & drink are prized.
Andy Turner, Senior Editor: Autumn is a great time to hike in Switzerland – the trails are free of summer crowds and the Alpine slopes are cloaked in colour. Try the Chemin du Gruyère – a 3hr trail between a chocolate factory and the legendary cheese-making centre of Gruyère.
Meera Dattani, writer: It’s not the most famous spot in France, but this easterly region, which borders Switzerland, is lovely in the autumn months. If you’re brave, you can still camp, otherwise autumn is the perfect time to go mushroom picking in the forests or hiking and mountain biking in the Jura valleys – before guilt-free indulging on Comté cheese and Jura wines. Two of my favourite towns are Besancon on the River Doubs and Pontarlier in the mountains.
Eleanor Aldridge, Travel Editor: Hurricane season ends in October, so late autumn is the perfect time to laze, margarita in hand, on a white-sand beach, or explore the Mayan ruins inland.
Steve Vickers, writer: Stunning snowy spires and dark skies provide the dramatic autumn backdrop for Stockholm’s international film festival which is held annually in November.
Ben Lerwill, writer: You wouldn’t want to forget your raincoat, but there’s something about autumn’s changing colours and long, chilly walks that brings the best out of the mountains. Post-hike pub session in front of an open fire, anyone?
Lottie Gross, Web Editor: With the monsoon largely out of the way, autumn is relatively cool (by Indian standards) in Rajasthan – making it a great time to explore this colourful desert region. A camel safari in Jaisalmer will take you deep into the desert to sleep under the stars, and the romantic city of Udaipur is the perfect location for a slower pace of life.
Michael Turnbull, writer: Personally I find Autumn one of the most romantic seasons so it makes sense to spend it in one of the world’s most romantic cities. My favourite spot in Paris is the Père Lachaise cemetery, a place oozing typically French gothic appeal. It may not sound that romantic, but it’s filled with the stories of others’ lives, and is perfect for taking long walks with your significant other.