No two visits to a place are ever alike. As a traveler, your personal connection with a destination evolves with each visit. Cities and landscapes transform with the seasons and change over time. Autumn is a particularly enchanting time to travel. Cooler temperatures, fewer crowds, and seasonal cuisine bring out the best in a place. And in many ways, the arrival of fall feels like a fresh start; the true new year. Fall makes you want to buy school supplies, even if you're no longer a student. But, we'd argue, travel is its own form of education. So buy that blank notebook and fill it with your travel memories. The only question is, where will you go?
These are five of the best fall travel destinations around the world.
Rome & Tuscany
Fall is harvest season in Italy, making it the ideal time for foodies to visit.
In Tuscany, fall brings the vendemmia (grape harvest), one of the region’s most important traditions. Soon after begins the olive harvest and first pressing for extra virgin olive oil. Many towns have special festivals or celebrations for the harvest season. Don’t miss out on trying truffles and porcini mushrooms during your fall trip to Tuscany, as it's the time of year when they’re freshest. Chestnuts are also harvested in the fall, and show up in a unique regional cake called castagnaccio.
The belief that October is a beautiful time in Rome has a long and storied history. Have you heard of Ottobrata Romana? It translates to “Roman October” and refers to mild, sunny fall days. However, the history of the term is only loosely connected to weather. Over a century ago ottobrate romane referred to traditional Sunday celebrations honoring the harvest season. Families or groups would spend the day in the countryside eating, drinking wine (last years, to prepare for the new grape harvest), singing and dancing. During fall, Rome’s many markets (like the ones in Campo dei Fiori, Piazza San Cosimato, and Testaccio) showcase the flavors of the season: chestnuts, artichokes, pumpkins, and more.
United Arab Emirates
Sky-high summer temperatures in the United Arab Emirates mean that most tourists visit in the fall and winter months. Late October and early November are perfect for hitting the beach and camping overnight in the desert. Of course, there are plenty of air-conditioned indoor attractions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as well. Check out our top five things to do in Dubai here. Shopping makes the list, naturally (Dubai is famous for its epic malls) but a few of our favorite activities might surprise you!
Monaco might be most famous for its glitzy casino and exhilarating annual Formula 1 race, but there are many more reasons to pay the tiny city-state a visit. Autumn months features events like the Monaco Yacht Show and the Monte Carlo Jazz Festival, and temperatures drop to a balmy 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. That's perfect for exploring all 0.76 square miles of Monte-Carlo on foot! Or, make your way to Old Monaco to admire the Prince's Palace and visit the renowned Oceanographic Museum.
It's best to visit India during the cooler fall and winter months, following the end of Monsoon season. In Mumbai, take to the streets to bask in the city's frenetic energy and enjoy these fascinating outdoor experiences:
- Tour markets like Chor Bazaar. Literally translated, this means “Thieves Market”. You can buy anything and everything here, and bartering is an integral part of the experience.
- Observe dabbawallahs at work. A dabbawallah is a member of the Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Association. Every day, 4,000 of them deliver over 100,000 packed lunches from homes to downtown offices.
- Visit the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. This famous open-air laundry is where clothing washers from all over the city gather. The term dhobi ghat is used all over India to describe a place where many washers gather. This one, near the Mahalaxmi Train Station in Mumbai, is well over 100 years old and the largest in the world.
Then, experience a change in pace by leaving the chaos of Mumbai behind for Kochi. You can stay in town and visit its museums and markets, or venture into the surrounding countryside to explore the canals of Alappuzha or learn about daily life and local traditions in one of the region's smaller villages.
Spain is a popular summer destination and it’s easy to understand why, thanks to the region’s sunshine, beaches, and sangria. But fall offers an entirely different and refreshing experience. In Barcelona, experience the lead-up to the Castanyada, a Catalan folkloric festival held on November 1. The tradition’s name comes from castañas (chestnuts). Look for them being roasted at street stalls and sold piping hot and wrapped in newspaper. Another fall tradition in Barcelona is, of course, the return of soccer! FC Barcelona is the city's beloved home team. Even if you can't catch a match at the Camp Nou stadium, watching from a pub with local fans is bound to be a boisterously good time.
Fall in Love with Fall Cruising
Of course, these are just five fall travel destinations to consider. We simply can't list all our favorites! From Caribbean escapes to adventures in Asia, there are many more incredible travel destinations that are guaranteed to (pumpkin) spice up your autumn. And there's no better way to explore them than with Azamara. Start planning your voyage today.