Where to holiday in October 2018? These great autumn breaks provide sun, fun and adventure…
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: Experience Vietnam’s incredible scenery, fascinating culture and fabulous food for yourself on our exclusive small group tour to Hanoi, Halong Bay, Ho Chi Minh City and beyond! 13 days, from £2,195
2. 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.
New England’s autumn colours (Alamy)
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.
Best for… A big dose of autumn sun
Where to holiday in October if you just want to lie on a beach? 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.
Mauritius: not a bad spot to spend October (Alamy)
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: For half term October holidays, kids will love Domaine de L’Étoile, a forested playground with segway tours, horse riding, quad biking and more.
4. Dubai, UAE
Best for… City adventures in the sun
While it swelters in the summer, Dubai’s weather is perfect for October holidays – 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.
It’s impossible to miss Dubai’s Burj Khalifa (Alamy)
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.
5. 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 on your October holidays.
Perth’s spectacular skyline (Alamy)
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.
6. 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.
Beautiful views and amazing food – what’s not to love?! (Alamy)
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.
7. 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. During October, the weather is perfect for exploring the temples in Bagan, the floating gardens of Inle Lake, and the vibrant markets of Yangon.
See the stunning pagodas (Alamy)
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.
Best for… Family beach breaks
Where to holiday in October for half-term fun on the beach? Lazarote! This Canary Island is still basking in sunshine, thanks to its southerly location.
Catch some autumn sun in Lanzarote (Alamy)
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.
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.
Meet the local lemurs in Madagascar! (Alamy)
On October holidays, 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 travelling 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.