Five of the best beach holiday destinations for your autumn getaway
Looking for a final fling in the sunshine this autumn before the seasons make way for winter? As summer draws to a close and we move into September and October, it’s a great time of year to plan a last-minute getaway, whether in Europe, or further afield. Not only do many destinations continue to bask in glorious sunshine, but most are far less crowded, too – the perfect time for a more laid-back escape, where blissful relaxation is a priority.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all the fun has ended, with many places still very much alive with autumnal festivals, parties and regattas at certain points. With a bit of careful planning, you can get the best of both worlds, and all without battling those summer queues.
Sold? Then it’s time to get booking – and to help you, we’ve picked our top 5 spots for that perfect autumn getaway …
Whilst autumn might not be the first time you’d think of for visiting the picturesque Italian island of Sardinia, it is in many ways one of the best. One of its best kept secrets – the ‘Autunno in Barbagia’, or ‘Autumn in Barbagia’ festival runs from September through to December, taking place across 27 villages in the mountainous area of inland Sardinia.
During the festival, the streets come alive with bustling market stalls, while locals open up their living rooms and invite visitors in and craftsmen hold workshops out on the streets.
Of course, if rest and relaxation is the name of the game for your autumn getaway, then you certainly won’t be disappointed, as some of the island’s most breath-taking beaches are all but deserted at this time of year. Try Is Aruttas for frosted white sands and turquoise seas, or Spiaggia di Piscinas for a glimpse of the Sardinian coast at its wildest.
Cayo Coco, Cuba
Whilst September and October are considered to be part of hurricane season, for many, it’s the perfect time of year to visit this beautiful Caribbean island. However, if you’d rather not risk it, then November is just right. With temperatures in the mid-twenties, it’s a calm month before the crowds of high season start to arrive in December, making it an ideal time to soak up some sunshine, swim in the crystal clear waters and take a day trip to the vibrant capital city of Havana.
Cayo Coco is one of the best spots for a beach holiday in Cuba, offering powdery white sand and excellent snorkelling. If a tropical getaway is on the cards, then look no further – this place has got it all.
One of the most popular European holiday destinations today, Dubrovnik is alive with tourists through the summer months, and thanks to the endless cruise ships that dock daily in its port, it can often become overcrowded and difficult to navigate in an enjoyable way.
In autumn, it all quietens down a bit, yet the weather remains perfect for island shopping and enjoying the city’s charming al fresco cafes and restaurants. The weather is less humid, the sea is still warm enough for swimming, and prices for accommodation and activities drop considerably, making it a great time to visit if you’re keen to avoid the throngs.
The jewel in Morocco’s crown, Marrakech is every bit as vibrant as you might expect – boasting 19 kilometres of bustling souks; a honeycomb of connecting alleyways where all senses stand to attention and incredible smells permeating the air from rich spices, lemons, olives and more.
Flanked by the picturesque snow-capped High Atlas Mountains, this southern market town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site – as good a reason as any to visit and see what all the fuss is about.
Whilst in September, temperatures remain in the thirties, in October, they begin to cool slightly – making it the perfect time to head over and explore this magical city.
Of course, if you’re still keen to get in some beach time, then Marrakech does not disappoint, with the likes of Nikki Beach, Brazilian Beach Marrakech and Fiesta Beach Marrakech making up some of the best beach destinations in Morocco.
Saint Tropez, France
Summer playground of the rich and famous, it doesn’t get much more glamorous than Saint Tropez on the picture-perfect French Riviera. Perhaps the flashiest resort in the entire Côte d’Azur, autumn temperatures remain in the mid-twenties, making it a top choice for those looking to travel just a short hop without compromising on hours of endless sunshine.
At this time of year, expect a more laid-back vibe – with the summer crowds now gone, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the popular beaches of Plage de Pampelonne and Plage des Salins. Of course, if you still want to schmooze with the jet-set during your stay, then head to the area between 25 September and 3 October, when the annual Regatta Les Voiles de Tropez sees 300 sailing yachts, from all over the globe, compete in a week of racing and festivities.