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  • Petra by night

Where to go on holiday in October

While summer’s tail might wag in September, for idyllic late summer sunshine, October signals the onset of autumn, proper, and for many people, this is the best time to travel and see the colours of the world.

From Morocco to Vietnam, the leaves redden into the finest of displays, the rolling hillsides of Sapa to the slopes of the Atlas Mountains. Farther afield, autumn is signalled in tropical climes by changes in the trade winds that transform paradise islands, calming rolling seas into playful waves perfect for families to snorkel among colourful reefs, turning arid deserts into flowering meadows, and filling waterholes with the life-giving properties of water that attract wildlife to visit, perfect for game viewing. 

At this time of year, many parts of the world will experience a decrease in visitor numbers as children begin new school terms, while the thermometer remains healthily in the warm zone, leaving once bustling beaches, refreshingly transformed in to private strips of sandy castaway bliss. 

Halong Bay

Best holiday destinations to visit in October

a sunset over a beach


According to statistics, October is one of the least-visited months in the Hawaiian calendar – especially with children returning to school – so those amazing beaches, including Kaʻanapali Beach in Maui to Waikiki Beach in Oahu, might be a little bit more private when you arrive. Seasonally, this is the last warm month before the rains appear and it is also the best time of year to shop for deals because of low visitor numbers. Fitness enthusiasts will be drawn to watch the prestigious Ironman Triathlon World Championships held annually since 1978. If you're thinking of staying active with walks through the tropical landscapes of Kauai, then the slightly cooler weather will make trekking more comfortable. Keep an eye out for city attractions however and enjoy the party atmosphere when you visit the Honolulu Gay Pride Festival on 20 October. Weather-wise, rainfall is seasonally low while daytime temperatures rise to +30°C. Use this as the perfect time to visit the Big Island and the Volcanoes National Park and observe the fiery glow before sunrise, but ensure you take warm garments as it can get a little chilly at altitude.

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October is one of the best times of year to visit the Seychelles. It transforms from the hot and humid weather brought about by trade winds from the northwest, to the cooler, refreshing south-westerly breezes (with the slight chance of rain here and there). Touring the Seychelles therefore, is easily accomplished, island hopping from Mahé to Praslin to view the UNESCO site Vallée De Mai, cycling across La Digue to witness the beauty of Anse Source D’Argent or wandering through the Garden of Eden setting that is the Veuve Nature Reserve in search of the Seychelles Black Paradise Flycatcher. You can also visit the turtle colony in October to experience the beginning of the nesting season when the hawksbill turtles scuttle up the beach lay their eggs

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Mauritius emerges from its (slight) winter season into the warmer and drier spell typical of October, providing the right conditions for a gentle trek, horse-riding or electrically-assisted mountain biking through the Black River Gorges National Park. Meanwhile, along the west coast of this idyllic island, calmer seas provide perfect conditions for snorkelling in lagoons and reefs. If orchids and other rare blooms fascinate you then explore the palm trees and giant lotus lilies and baobabs trees in Pamplemousses Botanical Gardens. The east coast may be slightly breezier by comparison to the west, but its sandy bays are still ideal for relaxing stays and sundowners. What's more, the idyllic Ile Aux Cerf is situated here, so it's perfect for nature walks, golf and sailing pursuits. Essentially there is no wrong time to visit Mauritius, but if you prefer months with the least rainfall, October is your best bet.

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Though temperatures may be cooler at night, the daytime average will see 26°C – perfect for game viewing. Rainfall is still quite low at this time of year and thus wildlife congregates around the remaining waterholes, so animals are much easier to spot. Nature lovers will also find the month ideal for viewing a multitude of indigenous flowers blooming amid the grasslands. Out to sea it may be possible to observe the playful antics of humpback whales pausing on their migration route along the East African coastline. October is also the perfect time to enjoy a relaxing yet spectacular beach holiday, snorkelling and diving amid a profusion of marine life in the clear waters of the Indian Ocean.

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The clouds depart and a crisper climate arrives, ushering out the humidity of previous months. Exploring the tight-knit streets of Hanoi, therefore, will be a comfortable experience – exploring markets to sample the exotic street foods this city is renowned for. Wander the Old Quarter here and notice the leaves subtly changing colour, making this district an enchanting place to be during October. The dry season also makes for easy trekking, especially if you’re planning a tour of the hill tribes of Sapa in the north. Amid these beautiful rustic landscapes you’ll find the rice terraces adopting the soothing shades of autumn hues, so keep your camera primed for inspiring images. In the south, October ushers in the beginning of the dry season, so while afternoon rains can still be in evidence, they won’t spoil your visit – average temperatures of 25-35°C year round will ensure plenty of opportunity for relaxing on the beach. October is an intoxicating time to visit Vietnam.

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Visit during the hotter month of October and wildlife enthusiasts will be thrilled to see herds of elephants roaming the plains searching for watering holes that are well-known to the expert rangers who'll be your safari guides. These include the wetlands of Mana Pools National Park, perfect for paddling out with your group in canoes to get so close to the wildlife that the zoom feature on your camera will hardly be necessary. This is also one of the best months to visit Hwange National Park, the largest of its kind in the country, containing herds of elephants, African wild dogs and leopards roaming through mixed woodland and grassland savannah. Among the teak, bloodwood and northern ilala palm you’ll see, giraffe, zebra and impala shimmering in the haze. During this time of low water levels, Victoria Falls will not be at its most vociferous. Don’t be dismayed however, this means that trips to the Devil’s Pool are more accessible for hair-raising glances over the edge of the ‘Smoke that Thunders’. As it’s the end of peak season, you’ll find parks will not be as busy, so game viewing will be a very personal experience.

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Expect plenty of sunshine and comfortable temperatures for your adventures in Jordan. This is the ideal time to explore the spectacular desert terrain of Wadi Rum, the natural fissures of Khazali Canyon, the Roman Amphitheatre in the capital city, Amman, or the high cliffs and cathedrals of Petra, ancient city of the Nabateans. You might be surprised to note that Petra can experience snowfall during the winter months. From June to October however, the weather is perfectly agreeable (neither too hot or cold) to discovering this magical desert citadel, with only the nights cooling a little. At this time the UNESCO World Heritage site is less crowded, making your visit to the Rose City that little bit more enchanting. In October temperatures can touch 27°C so floating on the Dead Sea is also a travel wish-list experience you should definitely consider.

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Morocco (Sahara)

Morocco’s varied landscape and geographical location – between Europe and Africa – mean that its climate can fluctuate quite dramatically throughout the year, dependent on the region. With unique and sometimes extreme weather patterns, ranging from blistering heat to snow and strong winds, there are certain months which stand out as prime visiting times. October is a great time to experience Morocco, especially for hiking and sightseeing – the day time temperatures are near enough perfect for trekking the trails of the Atlas Mountains, with 11 hours of sunshine and a blissful 28°C creating agreeable average figures. Although you’ll need warm weather gear during night times, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll encounter snow in October. Rather, the colours of autumn will be in full sway during October too, so expect to see wildflowers blooming. Plus, cooler weather is always preferable should you wish to indulge in culture and sightseeing in colourful Marrakech.

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Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas

October is an ideal month for a trip to Las Vegas. Crowds thin out, temperatures are pleasant – 25°C during the daytime – and skies are blue and cloudless, so you can expect plenty of summer enjoyment without the sweltering heat or frenetic throngs of visitors. Use this as the perfect time to watch the spectacular Bellagio Fountains or take a gondola ride along the Venetian’s Grand Canal. Head out to the Grand Canyon and marvel at this natural spectacle while the shimmering heat isn’t at its highest. October is also the start of hockey season, so sports fans can indulge in the excitement of the game. The USA is the home of Halloween, and Las Vegas is a place where everything has to be bigger and better. Prepare to be afraid and amazed in equal measures, with haunted houses, ghostly tours, lavish ghoul-themed events and parties aplenty.

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