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Where to go next month: The September Edit

They say September is the new January. It’s a time for new beginnings, new experiences, new inspiration. Importantly, it doesn’t need to mark the end of travel season – find out Citizen Femme’s guide to the best places for a September holiday.

The tourists have fled, and its a sweet shoulder for many hotels and destinations, meaning you will most definitely find a deal. If you can buck the trend, you’ll find that September is when those with the savvy and the means pack their bags. Enjoy our September travel inspiration.

SICILY

When isn’t there a good time to go to Sicily? Clear blue skies with loads of sunshine coming from North Africa, temperatures of up to 26°C during the warmest part of the day, yet still cool enough to exploring the its enchanting towns. The beginning of September sees a week of events celebrating the very best of Mount Etna, including its traditional recipes, its wine and its traditions; middle of September sees the Festival del Cinema di Frontiera with four days of al fresco screenings in the picturesque piazza of Marzamemi; the CousCous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo with a highly competitive cook-off with chefs arriving from all over. Live music, dancing and a carnival atmosphere towards the end of September; culture buffs can enjoy the Calatafimi-Segesta Festival brimming with theatre, classical and jazz concerts and much more besides, all in the magical surroundings of Segesta’s Greek theatre. And to cool down, in the middle of September, there are no fewer than 30 artisanal ice-cream and granita producers from around Sicily showcasing their wares as part of the Festival Internazionale del Gelato a Cefalù. You won’t be bored, that’s for sure.

IBIZA & FORMENTERA

The secret to a great holiday here is to go in September. For those in the know, the secret to a great holiday on the ‘White Island’ and when it is at its most magical is September.

You can get a table for lunch at a beach restaurant and evening conversations last that little big longer, hotels and villas are more affordable, and its still oh so hot. The clubs are still busy, the closing parties are legendary, and if you’re looking for that cool, understated, stylish Ibiza, it won’t get better than September.

Formentera is the little, relatively unspoilt sister, and can only be reached by boat. Why go? If anything, the beaches – Migjorn, Illetes and Llevant – long, pristine shimmering golden sands with twinkling waters that put the Caribbean to shame,

SAN FRANCISCO

August may be the end of Summer for some, but for San Francisco, its just beginning. It is is one of America’s great walking cities. With a good pair of shoes and a Muni ticket, you can see almost everything in the city. Nature is a great part of the draw. The city is beguiling with its natural beauty, vibrant neighbourhoods, and contagious energy. Variety is its middle name.

Walk the Embarcadero, pick up nibbles at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, hang out at Union Square and walk through Chinatown, get lost for a few hours in Golden Gate Park, with top-notch art and science museums. Hop on one of the city’s iconic cable cars, then keep going to the Mission District, packed with trendy restaurants, boutique shops, and bars to the sassy Castro. For food lovers, check out Berkeley chef Alice Waters’ of Chez Panisse whose fame started the farm-to-table obsession in the 1970s.

While away weekends at outdoor brunches, or do like the locals, and in less than two hours take day trips to some of the best wine estates in Napa and Sonoma.

CROATIA

Sapphire waters, ancient stone walled towns, this is what you’ll find in Croatia. The problem is its slowly creeping to the masses. This scenic part of Eastern Europe scores highly on everything from beaches to history and its wise to go before its crawling with Corfu style tourists. Sure, the Game of Thrones may have played a small part in this? But aside from it, Zagrab Hvar, Split all remain relatively unspoilt and quite spectacular.

This land has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires and republics for millennia, leaving behind a rich cultural legacy. The remains of Diocletian’s Palace in Split, is now the buzzing heart of the city. The port city of Pula in Istria is noted for its first-century Roman amphitheatre, one of the best preserved in the world.

Must do’s? Hvar is a great launching pad to go island-hopping (take an UberBoat Croatia from Split airport to Hvar). Split is the second largest city in Croatia and should also make your must-see list, beautiful beaches and boardwalks lined with shops, bars and restaurants, but even more so for its ruins – namely Diocletian’s Palace. For longer visits, Zadar, Plitvice Falls and the capital of Zagreb will make complete trip of Croatia.

The pristine, shimmering beach is perfect for lazy book days. And there are a myriad of water-based activities to lure you off your sun-lounger – snorkelling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and sailing.

MOROCCO

The North African country mixes Middle Eastern magic, Berber tradition and European flair. While Marrakech is undeniably popular, and rightly so, there’s so much more. Fes is one of the best places for a September getaway, for its maze-like medina and foodie scene, souk aficionados will love it, and make sure to stay at their beautiful riads. Or the desert town of Merzouga, where you will be wowed by the Erg Chebbi sand dunes, accessible via camel treks. Camel ride? Yes please! The Berber villages in the High Atlas or the Andalusian town of Chefchaouen to explore the Rif Mountains and miles of blue-hued walls. Or chill out in  Essaouira on the Atlantic coast, and surf in Taghazout. There are so many options, but whatever you do, stay in a traditional Moroccan house (riad). Always built around a central courtyard with windows facing inwards for privacy, head to the rooftop for breakfast (usually served at any time you want it because they are small with limited rooms), and for sunset. Top tips: dress moderately, and make sure your camera is fully charged, you’ll need it.

NEW YORK

Who doesn’t love New York? We really love you all year round, but possibly in September most of all. The remnants of the Summer heat, the fresher air of autumn and possibility of a new season and that new season’s styles, the city gearing up from weekends away to the Hamptons and Montauk. From skyscraper avenues to cosied up to Sunday afternoon-type bars and cafés, its your hub of culture, history, food, fashion, nightlife. Pound the pavements from Chinatown to Little Italy, Tribeca to the West Village. Next all the way up to Fifth Avenue, through the Washington Square Arch, walk along Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, theatre lovers can even enjoy Broadway Week offering 2for1 tickets.

With new restaurants and bars opening daily, must try ones include David Chang’s newly expanded Momofuku Ko, La Mercerie for coffee and pastries, MáLà Project Midtown for Sichuan dry-pots, Roberta’s which is arguably the originator of the Brooklyn hipster restaurant oeuvre, we could go on. And on. And on. The solution? See you in New York this September!

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