For sun-seekers, nature lovers and those wanting to get in on some sporting action we’ve curated a list of some of our favourite destinations for a cheeky October get-away. Read on for some serious travel inspiration.
Best for: sun lovers
With darker skies and colder temperatures starting to set in across much of Western Europe, October is the perfect month to escape to sun-kissed Cyprus. Situated to the south of Turkey, this Mediterranean island country still boasts temperatures of up to 30° C at this time of year, allowing visitors to enjoy the long sandy beaches and turquoise waters that characterise Cyprus’ stunning coastline. The island’s calm seas make Cyprus one of the few Mediterranean destinations where the water sports season is still in full flow come October: scuba divers in particular are spoilt for choice, with a remarkable array of Roman ruins, wrecks and diverse marine life all easily visible through the crystal-clear water. Away from the sea, be sure to explore the rich Cypriot cuisine, which reflects the nation’s vibrant, multicultural history. Expect to see Greek and Turkish culinary influences, as well as inspiration from further afield, making it a truly unique fusion of the Mediterranean’s best dishes.
Best for: explorers
The largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife has long been known for its spectacular sandy beaches, which have made it one of Europe’s most popular holiday destinations. However, if you are prepared to explore the island’s hinterland, you will find that Tenerife has much more to offer than the gorgeous Atlantic coastline so often emblazoned on postcards. For those of you with an adventurous spirit, we recommend taking a hire car to the striking snow-capped El Teide volcano. Standing at over 3,700m, it is recognised by UNESCO as the Earth’s third-tallest volcanic structure, but don’t worry – it hasn’t erupted since 1909! No road trip of Tenerife is complete without taking in the dramatic roads carved through the Anaga Mountains – if you feel like stretching your legs you can explore the impressive network of hiking trails and discover the landscape’s innate beauty up close – whilst the golden poppy fields near Arico are another must-see. Tenerife’s capital, Santa Cruz, is also worth a visit – it is often included in guides of the world’s best cities in which to live and is home to the Auditorio de Tenerife, a masterpiece of modern architecture designed in the mould of the Sydney Opera House.
Best for: nature lovers
As the last month of the dry season, October is the ideal time to explore the incredible natural beauty of Zimbabwe. With ten national parks to its name, Zimbabwe really is the ideal place to get close to nature. Due to its astonishing variety of wildlife and natural beauty, we recommend visiting the Mana Pools national park, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site. A birdwatcher’s paradise, expect to see over 380 species enjoying the park’s vibrant landscape, including the Livingstone’s flycatcher, named after the famous Victorian explorer. Great attention to detail has been put into the placement of viewing terraces around the park, giving visitors the best possible chance of seeing the abundant variety of wildlife, including elephants, buffaloes, lions and leopards. No trip to Zimbabwe would be complete without a visit to what is undoubtedly the jewel in Zimbabwe’s crown, the iconic Victoria Falls, which are located on the border with Zambia. Considered one of the seven wonders of the natural world, the Falls attract an estimated one million annual visitors and are arguably the world’s most famous natural water feature.
Best for: rugby fans
This October the eyes of the sporting world will turn to Japan, as the Rugby World Cup heads to Asia for the first time. Eager not to miss out on this once in a lifetime event, thousands of fans from around the globe have already snapped up their tickets in the hope of seeing their team lift the famous Webb Ellis trophy in Tokyo. The tournament will take place across twelve incredible host cities throughout the country, enabling fans to gain a proper feel for this enchanting archipelago, as well as taking in all of the action on the pitch. Between matches be sure to discover Japan’s exceptional natural beauty: with over 6,000 islands to explore and an impressive mountainous landscape featuring the instantly recognisable Mount Fuji, there is enough to keep even the keenest adventurers entertained. A trip to Japan also provides the perfect opportunity to sample the country’s world-famous cuisine, including sushi, tempura and kaiseki, the pinnacle of Japanese fine dining. It certainly can’t do you any harm – the Japanese diet is credited for giving the population the highest average life expectancy in the world.
Best for sky-high luxury and attention to detail: The Prince Gallery Tokyo
Best for elegant atmosphere and panoramic views: Shangri La Tokyo
Best for futuristic luxury and lots of space: Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
Best for: family fun
If you are still searching for the perfect destination for your October half term family getaway, look no further than the United Arab Emirate of Dubai. Situated on the Arabian Gulf, this Middle Eastern paradise has an abundance of beautiful sandy beaches that are perfect for the whole family: the calm, warm waters are ideal for younger children to paddle in, whilst there are plenty of activities to keep teenagers occupied, including paddle boarding and beach volleyball. The kids will also love a day out at one of Dubai’s popular waterparks – the Legoland Waterpark is a particular favourite of ours. Looking for something more unique? Make truly magical memories by venturing into the Arabian Desert on camels, or experience the adrenaline rush of a 4×4 desert safari drive. After an action-packed day, take in the city’s iconic skyline whilst you dine at one of the plethora of luxury restaurants.