Festivals, fresh seasonal produce, fall colours, fewer tourists and mild weather make October a great month to plan a trip. Here’s our pick of the best places for an autumn adventure this October.
Nepal – Germany – Uruguay – Fiji –
New England – Bhutan – Namibia – Hong Kong
Planning a trip in October? Contact us for inspiration, information, and a free travel consultation.
View from Gokyo, Himalaya Mountain, Nepal – Image by Volodymyr Goinyk
Cool temperatures, clear blue skies and fairly predictable weather make October the ideal month to trek the‘home of the Himalayas’. All the trails are open so there are plenty of options for all levels of skill and fitness. Everest Base Camp is the country’s most famous trek and the busiest. Try a ‘Teahouse Trek’ in the Annapurna range at Pokhara, where you can enjoy local specialities such as dhal bhat (lentils and rice) or steamed momo dumplings, amongst some of Nepal’s most panoramic scenery.
For thrill seekers, para-hawking is an unforgettable way to experience the majesty of the mountains. hawks and vultures guide you through the thermal currents as you soar through Pokhara Valley.
Take a jeep or river safari through Chitwan National Park where the local wildlife includes leopards, rhinos, Bengal tigers and monkeys.
October is the month of Daishin, Nepal’s most important festival. Decorative kites are flown in the streets, huge bamboo swings are erected and colourful ceremonial processions take place in the royal cities. Nepalis return from all over the world to spend time with their families and an atmosphere of unity and festivity descends on the county.
Ludwigsburg Palace – Image by Adochitei Cristian
Although Munich’s Oktoberfest actually starts in September and only extends to early October, this enormous celebration of beer, bratwurst and Bavarian culture is reason enough to push Germany to the top of must-visit autumn destinations. It draws huge crowds so book well in advance and try to visit midweek. For a beer festival that is just as exuberant but less touristy, try the Stuttgart Cannstatter Volksfest.
But there is much more to Germany in October than world-class beer festivals. The harvest is celebrated at harvest festivals across the country. Try the Ludwigsburg pumpkin at picturesque Ludwigsburg Palace for a celebration of all things pumpkin.
Travel the German wine route in Rhineland Palantine at this time of the year and you’ll be rewarded with rolling hills bathed in glorious shades of yellow, red and orange, historic wineries producing riesling, pinot grigio and dornfeler wines and some of the prettiest scenery in Germany.
In October Berlin’s architecture, including famous landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral and the Funkturm is illuminated with brilliant light projections and videos. Not to be outdone, Frankfurt hosts the world’s largest book fair.
Round off your trip with a Halloween party at Frankenstein Castle, rumoured inspiration for Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Perched on a mist covered mountain, the castle is surrounded by dense forest and has a spooky history as strange as any fiction.
Landscape at Punta Ballena, Uruguay – Image by DFLC Prints
We think Uruguay is one of the world’s best-kept secrets. With beautiful beaches, world-class steak, a laid-back vibe and progressive culture, Uruguay is an up-and-coming destination for discerning travellers.
Peak season starts with summer in December and many areas become crowded with tourists from neighbouring countries. October is pleasant and dry but less crowded making it a great time to explore the charming narrow streets of the historic capital Montevideo. Start at the Plaza Independencia to see the Palacio Silva and the Artigas Mausoleum before exploring the cities old quarter highlights including the Port Market, Sarandí Pedestrian Street, where art galleries and craft shops are interspersed with hip cafes and bars.
Joint home of the tango, Montevideo is a great place to dance the night away at a milonga (tango dance party). Or join a comparasa street procession where the local condomara drummers practice for their next festival.
Uruguay’s steak is as delicious, if not as famous, as neighbouring Argentina. Try the famous chivitas steak sandwich followed by indulgent Chaja cake, washed down with a glass of the county’s emerging Tannet grape red wine.
Visit UNESCO World Heritage Site, Colonia del Sacramento. The old town, with its colonial architecture and narrow cobbled streets, is Uruguay’s top tourist attraction. Take a walk up the lighthouse for panoramic views over the town and river.
Visit South America’s answer to St Tropez or the Hamptons, Punta del Este. This exclusive resort town attracts celebrities and the super rich, and has a price tag to match. Visit Punta Ballena for sunset and sunrise views. Eat at Parador La Huealla, famous for its grilled seafood and chic beach-side location. It’s also an ideal spot for whale spotting as Southern White whales mate and calf here at this time of year.
Dravuni Island, Fiji – Image by emperorcosar
October falls between the peak tourist season and the wet season making it the perfect time to visit Fiji.
With over 333 tropical islands to choose from, finding a hammock on a perfect white sand beach, slung between swaying palm trees next to clear turquoise water will not be a problem, although getting out of it may! Resorts range from basic to secluded five-star luxury. Matangi Private Island Resort is situated on its own horse-shoe shaped island covered in virgin rainforest and regularly tops lists of the world’s most romantic destinations.
When Jacque Cousteau’s son choses Fiji to open a resort, you can expect the diving to be great, and Fiji doesn’t disappoint. Dive with giant Manta Rays at the Great Astrolabe Reef near Kadavu island. Discover why Fiji is known as the soft coral capital of the world by diving the Bligh waters between Fiji’s two main islands. The Shark Reef Marine Reserve in Pacific Harbour is a great place to see sharks.
Visit Beqa island to see an indigenous fire walking celebration, aside from the eponymous fire walking, the celebration includes singing, dancing, storytelling and a cultural feast.
A trip to the museum in Suva Botanical Garden gives visitors a fascinating insight into Fijis more grisly history where the 3700 archeological artifacts include cannibal forks and the remains of the boots of a missionary who fell foul of the historic local practice of cannibalism.
To experience Fiji at its most beautiful take a trip to Teveuni island, also known as the Garden island due to its lush rainforest, and the secluded Tavoro waterfall or get up early to watch a sunrise from the top of one of Fiji’s mountain peaks.
New England, U.S.A.
White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire – Image by Winston Tan
In October New England’s abundant foliage transforms into a dazzling undulating expanse of scarlet, orange, reds and golds set against a crisp blue sky. It’s peak season as visitors from all over the world come to see this natural display so do book accommodation well in advance.
New Hampshire’s White Mountains are the highest peaks New England in and are a fantastic place to admire the fall colours. Take a trip on the vintage Conway Scenic Railroad which run through Crawford’s Noch where already spectacular scenery; steep ravines, towering mountain peaks and pretty streams, is bathed in a brilliant gold light. On a clear day, you can see right into Canada.
For a more adrenaline filled experience take a zip line canopy tour through the foliage. Bretton Woods in New Hampshire is a thrilling 3 and a half hour tour through the fall colours.
Enjoy the produce of the harvest at one of the state’s harvest festivals. For fresh apple pie, cider and apple fritters try the Glastonbury Apple Harvest Festival. Pumpkins are the start of the show at various dedicated festivals such as the Samariscotta Pumpkinfest and Regatta.
October is Halloween season and where better to celebrate than spooky Salem? The town capitalises on its reputation at this time of year. In addition to the Witch Museum, and Witches Dungeon, October sees a raft of Halloween parties and themed events take over the town.
Taktshang Goemba, Tiger Nest Monastery – Image by Kai19
The clear blue skies and perfect weather make October a great time to visit the ‘happiest place in the world’. Tourists must spend a minimum of $250 dollars per day including travel and accommodation. This has given Bhutan a reputation for being expensive but also means it is an unspoilt utopia for the visitors willing to pay the price.
Vist the world’s largest Budha statue at Kuensel Phodrang. Explore the old capital Punakha where you can visit photogenic ancient fortress Punakha Dzong, climb through paddy fields to Chimi Lhakhang, one of Bhutan’s most scenic monasteries or relax in the Koma Tsachu hot springs.
Trek to the Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest). One of the most sacred monasteries in Bhutan, this ornate collection of temples and caves is perched precariously on a mountainside 900m above ground and is the iconic image of Bhutanese tourism.
In October one of the country’s largest Tshechu’s (festivals) takes place in Paro. Watch the masked monk dancers perform intricate traditional dances, in a colourful celebration that all Bhutanese are expected to visit at least once in their lifetime. Join in the surprisingly bawdy atmosphere of an archery tournament where opposing teams mock and are mocked mercilessly as arrows fly and alcohol flows.
See our 8 Day Hiking and Culture in Bhutan itinerary.
Skeleton Coast – Image by Maxim Babenko
October is the last month of Namibia’s dry, cool winter and a great time to view Namibia’s abundant wildlife. The long dry months drive the game in Entosha National Park to gather around water holes and rivers. Instead of searching for game sightings, just park up next to a waterhole and wait for the elephants, lions, springboks and zebras to gather for a drink.
Visit the some of the world’s highest sand dunes at Sossusvlei in the salt-pan Namibian desert. Climb ‘Big Daddy’, the tallest dune. It’s hard work but the views and photo opportunities over the white pan, Dead Vei, make it worth it, as does the thrilling two minutes run back down the dune. Alternatively, enjoy some unique extreme dune driving in a 4×4 dune tour.
Take a flying safari over the Skeleton Coast and its national park. The sparse vegetation at this time of year makes it easier to spot the herds of animals moving through the park.
Go whale spotting at Walvis Bay, where humpback, southern right and minke whales pass the coast at the time of year.
Street art in Hong Kong – Image by OliOpi
Hong Kong enjoys sunny, mild weather in October and the month is packed with events and festivals.
National Day in the 1st October sees flag-raising ceremonies and parades throughout the city, culminating with a spectacular fireworks display over Victoria Harbour. Watch the fireworks from the deck of a traditional Hong Kong junk with the iconic illuminated skyline as a backdrop. Places fill up fast so book well in advance.
Mid-autumn festival celebrations continue into early October. Head to the promenade at Tsim Sha Tsui to see one of the best displays of illuminated lanterns.
Indulge your palette at Hong Kong Wine and Dine Festival. This month-long celebration is packed with culinary events, tastings, street carnivals, offers, music and entertainment in picturesque Victoria Harbour.
It’s also the Hong Kong Jazz festival where international and local jazz stars perform around the city. Add Hong Kong SPorts Month, featuring the Hong Kong Tennis Open, the Hong Kong Cyclothon and the Hong Kong Cricket Sixes, into the mix and you won’t be short of ideas on things to do in Hong Kong this October.
If any of these destinations have piqued your interest, contact us for more information and a free travel consultation. Where will your next adventure take you?
Samantha Roberts is a creative content writer, web designer and travel enthusiast currently based in Malaysia.