9 Of The Best Places To Visit In October

Vietnam

Best for... Long-haul breaks on a budget

Vietnam is often lauded as one of the world's cheapest holiday destinations - and it's one of the most exciting, too. From the tastiest pho noodles to chilled-out beach bungalows, everything in Vietnam comes at rock-bottom prices - so you can relax in the knowledge that you're not breaking the bank.

Vietnam's culture is fascinating, too: a blend of South-East Asia and French influences (it's a former colony). You'll find delicious fusion food, history-rich cultural sites, and majestic temples galore. While the cities are fast-paced and fun, the countryside has lots to offer too: visit the rice terraces, the waterfalls of Da Lat, and the cashew nut plantations in the highlands.

Top tip: It's worth splashing out on a cruise around Halong Bay - the famous emerald waters of the north-east coast, which are studded with towering limestone islands.

New England, USA

Best for... Colourful road trips

As summer mellows, the forests of New England turn a vibrant crimson - a hue so bright that Britain's autumn colours look pale in comparison. Welcome to leaf peeping season, which sees this sliver of the USA spring to life with food markets and harvest festivals, plus guided woodland walks, hot air balloon trips and bike tours - all designed to get you the best views of those vibrant fall colours.

On the coast, the weather is still warm and the summer tourists are long gone. It's the perfect time for long beach walks, lobster rolls (the local catch is legendary), and exploring the untouched bays on boat trips.

Top tip: New England's vineyards and orchards produce a fine crop of wine and ciders, so set aside time for a tour and tasting session.

Mauritius

Best for... A big dose of autumn sun

While the UK pulls on its wet-weather gear, Mauritius is emerging from winter - and its sugary beaches and inland forests have never looked so good. This is real Bounty advert territory - complete with swaying palms, Daz-white sands, and turquoise waters as calm as a swimming pool.

But there's more to Mauritius than paradise beaches: go wildlife spotting in Black River Gorges (which is also famed for its waterfalls), tea tasting at Bois Cheri plantation, and visit Isle aux Aigrettes - the final resting place of the dodo.

Top tip: Kids will love Domaine de L'Étoile, a forested playground with segway tours, horse riding, quad biking and more.

Dubai, UAE

Best for... City adventures in the sun

While it swelters in the summer, Dubai's weather is perfect in October - with long days of sunshine and temperatures in the upper twenties. Soak up incredible views of the city from Burj Khalifa (the world's tallest tower), shop til you drop in Dubai Mall, and immerse yourself in the souks and spice markets of Bur Dubai.

Then kick back on Jumeirah beach - it's one of Dubai's best, with great restaurants, cafes and bars all along it, plus views of the famous Palm island.

Top tip: Tuesday night is Ladies' Night in bars all over the city, which means free cocktails galore! Head to The Observatory on the top floor of the Marina Marriott for drinks with a jaw-dropping view.

Perth, Australia

Best for... Vineyard hopping

Spring has just sprung in Western Australia, and Perth is in full bloom. This vast Aussie state may be overshadowed by its glitzier neighbours, but its incredible beaches and awesome landscapes are utterly crowd-free. Hire a car or campervan to discover pristine coastline, Aboriginal rock art, and wild national parks.

With its balmy climate and rich soils, Western Australia is - of course - one of the world's premier wine-growing regions. Make a beeline for Margaret River, just south of Perth, to sip your way around some of the best.

Top tip: In 2018, Qantas is launching the first direct flight from London to Perth. At 17 hours, it'll be one of the world's longest flights.

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Best for... History buffs and beach lovers

With the summer crowds long-gone, this picturesque part of Italy breathes a sigh of relief. In October, the clifftop villages and gorgeous coves are ripe for exploring - with warm sunshine and little chance of rain spoiling your trip.

While you're here, set aside a day to wander around the painstakingly-restored ruins of Pompeii, the city destroyed by Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Nearby, the pretty coastal towns of Sorrento, Positano and Ravello boast some of Italy's finest food, wine and architecture - and you'll want to feast on all three.

Top tip: With such history and culture at every turn, the Amalfi coast is best explored with a guide - and who better than historian (and Apprentice star) Dr Margaret Mountford? She's joining our exclusive trip this October - with a private tour of Pompeii, including sites only recently reopened to the public. See the details

Myanmar (Burma)

Best for... Adventurous types

If you've already ventured to South-East Asia, you might think you know what to expect from Burma - but trust us, you don't. This incredible country has remained unchanged for centuries, its landscapes and communities frozen in time - but now it's opening up. In October, the weather is perfect for exploring the temples in Bagan, the floating gardens of Inle Lake, and the vibrant markets of Yangon.

Cruise along the Irrawaddy River, and climb Mount Popa for fabulous views of Bagan - and its thousands of temples. The gleaming spires of Shwedagon Pagoda are a spectacular sight at sunset, illuminated by 1,000 flickering oil lamps.

Top tip: We've designed a trip to Myanmar, especially for Woman & Home readers, which covers all of this fascinating country's highlights. Over 12 days you'll soak up its food, culture and extraordinary natural beauty - in fantastic company, of course! See the details

Lanzarote

Best for... Family beach breaks

It's still beach weather in the Canary Islands, thanks to their southerly location. And, with the kids back at school, prices are much cheaper than earlier in the year - so this is a great time to whisk your pre-schoolers away for some family beach fun.

The Canary Islands are great for families - with all-inclusive resorts catering for your kids' every whim. Think activity clubs, on-tap entertainment and children's menus to keep the little ones happy. For grownups, there are pristine beaches, great restaurants and award-winning wines - they're grown in the islands' fertile volcanic soil.

Top tip: Though a Spanish island, Lanzarote is much further south - approximately a four-hour flight from London. If travelling with small children, make sure you're geared up for the journey, with plenty of entertainment and snacks.

Madagascar

Best for... A walk on the wild side

Until it starred in Dreamworks' 2005 hit movie, not many people had heard of Madagascar - but its natural charms are plentiful. It's home to over 100 different types of lemur (which look uncannily like King Julian and his minions), plus wildlife-rich forests and towering groves of baobab trees.

In October, you'll spy lots of baby lemurs, clinging to their mums as they swing through the woodland. A safari holiday is the best way to see the country - you'll be whisked to all the best wildlife-watching locations, and stay in eco-lodges and beach-side hotels.

Top tip: If you're holidaying with kids, Madagascar makes for an educational - but very fun - adventure. Kids will love the chance to explore the forest, keeping an eye out for the weird and wonderful wildlife. 

 

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8 alternative ideas for a girls' weekend away

The best ways to see the Northern Lights

 

All images from Shutterstock.

 

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