For many people who live in the Northern Hemisphere, fall is the perfect time to travel. Students of all ages are back in school, the hot and humid weather has subsided (for the most part), and the high season has packed it in, while everything is still open for business, with more affordable prices overall.
Fall inspires us to travel. But where should you go? We suggest you think slightly beyond the usual destinations when planning a fall vacation. The following are a few picks for fall destinations that are off the beaten path. They are great destinations at all times of year, but especially appealing in the fall, when more affordable prices, great weather, and smaller crowds allow you to experience all the beauty and wonder they have to offer.
What are some fall destinations off the beaten path?
As New Zealand is in the Southern Hemisphere, our fall is actually spring in New Zealand. It’s the optimal travel time. The crowds haven’t arrived yet, the temperature is perfect for jeans and a light sweater, and the spring flowers are in bloom. The later in fall you go (November and early December), the warmer it’ll be. Wind your way from north to south to maximize your temperatures, taking advantage of rising temperatures as the season continues.
There’s a lot to do in New Zealand in the fall (spring) months. If you are a hiker (or tramper, as the locals call it), your timing is perfect in September through December. Just be aware that you’ll need a raincoat handy in case of seasonal rains (the country is called Aotearoa, which translates to “land of the long white cloud” in Maori, so it figures that it rains a lot). Spring is also the optimal time to see waterfalls. In particular, you won’t want to miss the waterfalls of the South Island’s Fiordland National Park, with its mystical mountain slopes feeding directly into famous Milford Sound.
Trees are in full bloom in Hawke’s Bay, one of the premiere wine regions, which also hosts the Hawke’s Bay Art Festival from mid-to-late October (it’s back in 2022, if you’re curious). In September, Nelson hosts the Cherry Blossom Festival, and a little further south, Christchurch (known as the Garden City) is in full bloom. November is perfect for visiting some of the nation’s coveted national parks, including Aoraki/Mount Cook and Abel Tasman. Movie buffs can see the Hobbiton Movie Set bloom with spring flowers. You may even be treated to the sight of newborn calves and lambs taking their shaky first steps across the pastures of Taranaki and Waikoto.
Essence of New Zealand
FIRST-CLASS | TAILOR-MADE: Travel from Auckland to Christchurch, visiting Rotorua, Queenstown and Milford Sound in between. Visit the rainforest and black sand beaches in Auckland, experience the Maori culture in Rotorua, cruise the magnificent Milford Sound with its rugged mountain peaks and cascading waterfalls, pass through the beautiful landscape of Otago before arriving in Christchurch.More Details
This catch-all term includes Denmark, the Faroe Islands, Finland, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden. The mainland Scandinavian nations and Iceland are particularly stunning in the fall. There are fewer crowds and the weather is still mild enough to accommodate long days spent outdoors. The majority of travellers visit the Nordics in the summer and winter months, so prices are high during these seasons. Thus, fall is the low season through the Nordics, so you’ll find the best prices and availability during this time period.
The milder temperatures make it the perfect time to get outside across the Nordics. If you like active adventure, this is the time to book. You can go hiking across the back country of Norway, Sweden, or Finland, head on a biking trip along a fjord, or go kayaking along the coast. With fewer travellers around, it can often feel like you have the landscape to yourself, which is a special feeling.
The dazzling colours of the fall leaves are also a big draw. The landscape is simply gorgeous. Bright reds and yellows against the backdrop of ice-capped volcanoes in Iceland; shimmering forest stretching as far as you can see in Northern Sweden and Finland; golden light hitting the coasts of Denmark—it’s stunning. Fall is also the time of the harvest, so you can reward a day of challenging hikes or bike rides with a delicious meal of fresh produce and seasonal treats. Perhaps best of all, you might even spot the Northern Lights. The lights become visible on clear days in the north in late September and stretch throughout the season, so you can enjoy this breathtaking atmospheric dance while skipping out on the snowy weather.
Viking Capitals and Fabulous Fjords: Copenhagen, Bergen, Stockholm & More
FIRST-CLASS | SMALL GROUP: It all starts in the city of fairy tales, Copenhagen. Continue across Denmark to Aarhus and from Denmark, by sea to Stavanger. Bergen and the fjords await you here, and soon you will carry on to the lovely capital cities of Oslo and Sweden.More Details
Early fall in Türkiye (Turkey) is simply fabulous. The crowds have left, the heat has lessened, and you can still swim off the coast and enjoy the comfortable weather during the day. If you crave fall colours, you’ll find them across Turkey, along with more room at the country’s magnificent landmarks and landscapes. This has to be the main highlight of visiting Türkiye (Turkey) in fall: you can see its historic masterpieces without the crowds.
The capital Istanbul offers the world-famous landmarks of the Hagai Sophia, the Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar, which are great to explore in fall. You can go on a market or food tour to experience the sights and flavours of the season, including delicious Turkish coffee and wines. The sight of the monuments surrounded by the reds and golds of fall is something to behold.
But don’t limit yourself to Istanbul in fall. Fall is a great time to explore some of the renowned archaeological sites along the Mediterranean coastline, including the biblical site of Ephesus and the ruins of Troy. The days are still warm enough to allow beach trips into the mid fall, so you can visit Bodrum and explore the historic castle in between trips to the local beaches. Further inland, you can fly in a hot air balloon over the landscape of Cappadocia and tour the Castle of Uchisar, which is built into a rocky cliff and offers the best on-land views of the area.
Classic Türkiye: Istanbul, Cappadocia & Izmir
FIRST-CLASS | TAILOR-MADE: Discover Türkiye’s golden triangle on this journey to Istanbul, Cappadocia, and Izmir. In Istanbul, see the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar, explore the wonderful fairy chimneys of Cappadocia, and explore the ancient cities of Izmir and Ephesus on the Aegean Coast.More Details
It’s time to plan a fall vacation. Look off the beaten path when planning your fall getaway. You’ll be glad you did. Get in touch today.
9 Jun 2022, 3:31 p.m.