When the leaves start to turn brown you’ll want to get away from the cold temperatures and have a last relaxing holiday before Christmas. It can be hard to work out where will still have it all – warm weather, great attractions that are still open, and welcoming resorts ready to look after you while you’re away. But never fear, here are our top five destinations that are perfect for escaping autumn:
The main draw of Antigua has to be the endless blue oceans and amenity-packed resorts like Dickenson Bay and Jolly Beach. There are innumerable beaches where you can lay all day, snorkel, or indulge in some water sports. And if that isn’t enough, then you can take a trip further under the waves and scuba dive at some amazing shipwrecks, wonder at the luxurious yachts moored at English Harbour by Mamora Bay, or go to Nelson’s Dockyard. Head to the capital of St. John’s and take a walk around the Cathedral, Government House or The Museum of Antigua and Barbuda or take a wander around the beautiful botanical gardens.
If you want to appreciate the flora and fauna then you can explore the island’s rainforest or hike up Mount Obama and then head back to base for some incredible food, bustling bars and out of this world entertainment in the evenings.
Hours of Sunshine: 7 hours
Average rainfall: 110 mm
Gambia’s finest resorts Kotu Beach, Kololi Beach and Banjul Beach are all on the coast and combine luxurious accommodation with proximity to the best shoreline this area has to offer! You can easily spend your entire holiday sitting by the waves, watching the fishermen haul in their catch. If you like nature take a boat trip down the Gambia River or head to Bijilo Forest Park, Abuko Nature Reserve, Kachikally Crocodile pool or the Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Camp. If you want to experience the local culture then a trip Wassu Stone Circles is a must, as is an afternoon at the African Living Art Centre – a cross between an antique gallery, café and orchid garden where you can meet local artists.
If you’re more comfortable in the thick of it, there’s great shopping in Albert Market in Banjul and wherever you are in the Gambia in October you can expect some heat whether it’s the food, the party atmosphere or the wonderful weather!
Temperature: 27 °C
Hours of Sunshine: 9 hours
Average rainfall: 88mm
Heading to Turkey when it’s quiet is great as you still get the amazing hospitality, spectacular surroundings and nice balmy climate to relax in. Antalya and Dalaman are brilliant places to head as they offer the chance to stay right on the beach in fantastic hotels that won’t be packed to the rafters as it’s the off season. Turkey is famed for fusing the best of east and west. From the bustling bazaars, breathtaking Blue Mosque and other impressive pieces of architecture in Istanbul to the historic splendour of Bodrum Castle – home to ancient wrecks in the Museum of Underwater which is inside this lauded landmark.
If you love history then there’s plenty on offer from the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and the regal ruins of the city of Ephesus, as well as Bodrum Amphitheatre. For those who love the ocean there’s superb scuba diving, wild water sports and serious waterslides in Dedeman Aquapark in Antalya!
If you wear yourself out feasting on the local fare and enjoying the festivities there’s always the chance to unwind in Turkish baths or soak in the mineral-packed pools of the ‘cotton castle’ in Izmir.
Temperature: 20 °C
Hours of Sunshine: 11 hours
Average rainfall: 90mm
The sun is still shining bright, as autumn hits when you head to Egypt. This paradise is only a few hours away but transports you to another world! The Red Sea Resorts are top places to head as they offer beach holidays with the option of lots of activities if reclining by the sea, taking a trip on a glass-bottomed boat or and scuba diving in some of the most coveted dive sites in the world isn’t enough of course! For thrill-seekers, there’s Cleopark Water Park and if you like to experience ancient architecture first hand take a day trip to Petra or Luxor.
If you really want to immerse yourself in the ancient culture, head to Cairo and The Egyptian Museum or the famous Giza Pyramids. Add to all this to the incredible indigenous menu and out-of-this-world accommodation and you’ll wonder why you haven’t been heading here every autumn.
Hours of Sunshine: 11 hours
Average rainfall: 2mm
Pop to Crete in October for warm weather, delicious dishes and an infectious laid-back atmosphere you’ll never want to leave. There are the ruins of Knossos, Phaistos and Agía Triáda for history buffs and, if you’re staying in Heraklion, then you’ll want to have a wander around the packed Archaeological Museum from a host of Minoan sites. If you want to see where Greek’s say Zeus was hidden as a baby you need to visit the Dikteon Cave, for people looking for a rush there are a massive four waterparks; Limnoupolis, WaterCity, Star Beach and Acquaplus and for fish fans there’s the Cretaquarium.
For an authentic Greek experience there’s Agios Nikolaos with its tiny chapel, charming tavernas and friendly locals for a chic place to base yourself or just head for the day. Party animals will want to have the night out of a lifetime in unmissable Malia where you can drink and dance until the sun goes down!
Hours of Sunshine: 6 hours
Average rainfall: 40mm