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Four of the best places to visit on your October break

It’s never too late to get a bit of last-minute sunshine, even if summer feels now but a distant memory. Choosing an autumn getaway is a great way to escape the tiresome crowds and frustrating queues of July and August, and although temperatures are starting to cool in many summer hotspots, they are still pleasant enough to enjoy a warm and relaxing getaway. If catching some rays couldn’t be further down your holiday agenda, however, then even better – as it’s also a great time of year to head off on an autumnal city break.

With October just around the corner, why not pick somewhere you have never visited before and head off for a new adventure? With a wealth of awe-inspiring destinations to choose from around the world, we’ve picked some of the closest and easiest to get to at short notice – and all of them promise you a good dose of sunshine, culture or adventure – whatever it is that takes your fancy.

Morocco

casablanca
Casablanca located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean, is the largest city in Morocco

With temperatures lingering at around 21 degrees Celsius as we head into October, a holiday to Morocco promises balmy weather for starters – and also happens to be one of the most culturally rich destinations you’re ever likely to visit. Holding an immediate charm for Westerners, it’s just a short hop by ferry from Spain – but in many ways, it couldn’t seem further from the UK.

Awash with bustling cosmopolitan cities such as Rabat and Casablanca, the distant past continues to be felt in the subtlest of ways despite years of French and Spanish colonial rule, and the beautiful city of Fez is a must-visit, with its medieval roots stretching back to a time when a Moroccan Kingdom reached from Senegal to northern Spain.

Perhaps the nation’s most famous city of all, though, is lively Marrakech; here, you can wander the intriguing souks and buy handmade wares and fragrant Moroccan spices, immersing yourself in all the cultural charm it has to offer. With so much to see and do here, one trip will never be enough. If you need any more convincing, just check out this awesome list of ‘instagrammable’ places in Morocco.

Austria

Vienna
Vienna, the Austrian capital, has been named the world’s most beautiful city an impressive 8 years in a row

With its capital city, Vienna, named the world’s most beautiful city an impressive 8 years in a row, it’s clear that there are many reasons to visit. Its charm is instant, and the second you set foot here, you’ll find yourself spellbound. From fast-paced travel to leisurely sightseeing, there’s a never-ending host of things to see and do, with world-class events, fabulous eateries, cafés, bars and wineries, artisan shops and exciting street markets all at your fingertips. 

As the weather cools in October, mild and sunny days provide perfect conditions for exploring the surrounding countryside, and with cultural events back in full swing and opera, concert and theatre venues open again after the summer, there are few better times to go on a cultural tour of Vienna.

Spain

football-stadium
Book some tickets to watch Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium

One of the most accessible European destinations from the UK, Spain is considered a fail-safe beach holiday destination for many. Head to Barcelona for a leisurely ‘beach meets city’ style break, and you’ll get the best of both worlds, with temperatures in the twenties, a wealth of beautiful art and architecture from the likes of Gaudi and Picasso, and all the tapas and sangria you can consume. Spain is about so much more than just the culture-less beach destinations of the Costa Brava and Costa del Sol.

Capital city Madrid has reinvented itself in recent years, with the Prado, Reina Sofia and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums all bigger and better than ever before. Streets are lined with chic boutiques and cafes, with a great foodie scene on offer and a lively atmosphere at night.

If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then head for pretty Andalucia – conjuring up images of sun-drenched mountain ranges lined with cork and olive trees and dotted with white-washed villages and walled towns, it’s one of the most culturally rich areas in the whole country.

Netherlands

Amsterdam
Amsterdam is home to a number of pretty canals

There are many excuses to visit the Netherlands, thanks to the nation’s charming cities, beautiful countryside, and world-renowned cultural attractions. Talk of capital city, Amsterdam, conjures up images of pretty canals and scenic cycling tours, and with roughly half of the country riding bikes on a daily basis, it’s an accurate assumption that this is the preferred means of transport. It’s a great way to see parts of the city you would otherwise miss – just take a packed lunch, make a day of it, and be sure to stop at a few of the city’s many bars to sample some local beers.

Awash with modern and contemporary art, Amsterdam is home to numerous world-leading artistic institutes, with many more scattered around the country. Amsterdam itself features dozens of contemporary galleries and several highly esteemed museums that are dedicated to ground-breaking artwork, such as the Stedelijk and FOAM.

If you’re child-free and not committed to having to go on holiday in the half term, then plan your time away when the kids go back to school. Check out our guide to where to visit in November here.