The temperatures have dropped, your winter wardrobe is slowly making an appearance, Christmas is around the corner and you’re hankering for that final blast of sunshine to warm your bones.
The good news is that this is one of the best times of year to go away with little to no crowds, warm temperatures (and seas) and reduced rates across Europe and beyond.
From Essaouira to Formentera, here are the best places to hang onto summer a while longer…Escape for late summer sun here.
With average daily temperatures ranging between 21-29 degrees in October and flight times from the UK at just three and a half hours, Essaouira is an easy sunshine escape for a wellness and culture fix.
The town is relatively unknown as an autumn/winter destination and has a long sandy beach, stunning surrounding countryside and a wonderful medina full of craft shops (excellent silver jewellery, essential oils and crockery). Explore the hammam spas, restaurants and ancient sites too. And did we mention tagine? What’s not to like?
Costa Smeralda, Sardinia
There’s still plenty of sunshine to enjoy in Costa Smeralda, in the north of Sardinia. With an average temperature of 20 degrees and 8 hours of sunshine a day at this time of year, this wonderful area is framed by perfect blue skies, turquoise waters and a back drop of some of the Mediterranean’s finest scenery – it’s pretty much a late-summer paradise, minus the crowds.
Formentera, Balearic Islands
A holiday to Formentera is often seen as a hangover cure after Ibiza excess (the sister isle is just next door), but it’s a beautiful destination in its own right. During autumn, the temperatures are milder yet the sun still shines.
White, floury sand beaches, a relaxed pace and restaurants that match Ibiza’s exacting standards are just the start. Rent a scooter and explore the island with its pretty harbour villages, beachside cafes, clothes markets and bars on the beach for a sunset cocktail. If wellness is your thing then yoga and meditation are a way of life here, oh…and beach nudity, just so you’re prepared!
On a wild peninsula on the southern tip of Greece you’ll find the Peloponnese region, a little-known autumn sunshine destination that averages mid to high twenties in October. The area is the stuff of Greek legends and myths, with fascinating archeology and ancient history to geek out on as well as mouth-watering local food, great hiking, captivating caves and beaches so Insta friendly you’ll be feeling very smug indeed. Why aren’t you booking flights already?
St Tropez, France
Super glam St Tropez breathes a sigh of relief at this time of year, when the hectic tourist season comes to a close. Autumn, with temperatures around the early twenties, is a great time to visit the area before the shops and hotels close for the winter.
If shopping is your thing, the winding streets of the old town are heaven – think leather sandals, white linen, straw hats and various designer stores. When you’re done, make like Brigitte Bardot and spend your evenings at one of the bohemian bars on the beach (Breton top optional) or walk up to the citadel for views that are picture postcard pretty.
Neither as grandstanding as Dubai, nor as grand as Abu Dhabi (with the hype behind the recent opening of the Louvre, and upcoming Guggenheim), Oman is the calmer cousin in the region. But don’t underestimate it for Autumn/Winter sun. Muscat is a city of culture and sophistication, with so much to be appreciated. Both Zighy Bay and Sur are hotspots for a beach escape. Majestic mountains and fjords to unspoilt beaches and endless deserts, the country in amongst the Arabian Peninsula has got a lot to offer. A trip to the souk will finally pack any empty space in your suitcase.