While many people think of traveling to Europe during the sunny summer months, a fall trip can have equally as gorgeous weather with the combined benefit of fall festivals, stunning foliage, and fewer crowds. If you’re looking for interesting fall travel destinations, here are some of the most beautiful spots to check out between September and November.
1. Lugano, Switzerland
The fall is a particularly nice time of year to head to Lugano because they host their annual Lugano Autumn Festival. This three-day extravaganza takes place at the start of October, bringing together locals and tourists as they enjoy traditional cuisine and Ticino wines along the streets. Additionally, folk bands play prolifically at this time of year and there is an autumn market offering handcrafted trinkets and delicious treats. The best part? The region is filled with naturally stunning landscapes and interesting architecture to feast your eyes upon.
2. Bavaria, Germany
Head to Southern Germany to partake in the autumn festivities that famously occur here, most notably including Oktoberfest. You can also find your fair share of wine-related activities with plenty of local wineries frequenting the Bavarian landscape. Speaking of landscapes, this region boasts massive alpine forests that mix together the vibrant dying leaves with the first signs of winter, a particularly stunning sight when coupled with the more than 25 castles in the area. Grab your hiking boots and pint glasses and get packing!
3. Transylvania, Romania
Romania in the fall offers views of sunlit meadows, forests, and hilly landscapes. Towns offer rich medieval histories and Gothic castles nestled among the cobblestone streets, making the whole region somewhat whimsical. If you add Transylvania to your list of fall travel destinations, you won’t be disappointed by all of the harvest festivals, outdoor concerts, and art and dance shows to choose from.
The best part about Cyprus is that the Mediterranean Sea stays warm all the way through November, meaning you can escape the cold weather of your hometown and have a beach vacation even as winter approaches. More than a beach getaway, Cyprus boasts a rich history and archaeological ruins to tell the story. Explore the Akamas Peninsular or hike the Troodos Mountains to get a glimpse into the past.
5. Belgrade, Serbia
The autumn is a particularly happening time in Belgrade. October hosts the annual jazz festival as well as the classical music festival BEMUS, one of the most iconic classical music festivals in Southern Europe. With some of the most famous jazz performers in the world filling the evenings with music, spend your days in the silence of nature. There are plenty of stunning parks to stroll through before enjoying local cuisine in the culture-rich towns or you can take a day trip to hike the impressive Avala Mountain just an hour away.
Recommended fall travel destinations include entire countries when they are this good; Croatia is a great destination because it stays warm all the way through early November. Visit the historical castle city of Dubrovnik, the party-filled streets of Split, or spend time relaxing and kayaking in the Adriatic. For an extra special detour, visit the Plitvice Lakes, a series of lakes linked by waterfalls. This destination proves particularly stunning with the fall foliage surrounding the lake spectacles which you can take a boat tour through for the best views.
8. Wachau Valley, Austria
Even if you have taken a trip to Vienna before, consider continuing to explore Austria for their festive Weinherbst, or Wine Autumn. From late August through November, spend time in the Wachau Valley wine regions for spectacular views and tastings. Plus, there’s plenty to do in the way of hiking and cycling in the area.
9. Perthshire, Scotland
While Scotland will be cool this time of year, the metallic sheen of the trees against grand lochs, scattered woodlands, and sweeping highlands will be worth the extra layer of clothing. Visit Loch Tummel, the Pass of Killiecrankie, and Knock Hill for views you won’t be able to forget.
10. Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
While Prague is mystical and enchanting, Český Krumlov has the same level of picturesque wonder and medieval traditions combined with the charm of a smaller city. Especially in the autumn, a visit here will offer old town strolls, castle viewpoints, and a warm chateau complex without the hustle and bustle of peak tourist season.