Autumn is the most striking season of the year. The summer heat turns to crisp, breath-fogging air, candles are lit and pumpkins go out, while knitted sweaters and cosy hats go on. Best of all, the trees burst into a profusion of ambers and rusts as the foliage alights in burning autumn shades. If Autumn is your favourite season, you’ll want to try experiencing it in some of the greatest Autumnal destinations in the world. So, if you want to know where to travel in Autumn, look no further than our curated list below.
New Hampshire, USA
New England is the undisputed king of Autumn. Every year, millions of travellers, locally known as ‘leaf-peepers’, flock to the area. One of the best places to experience the autumnal magic of New England is the rugged White Mountains in New Hampshire. Here lies the Kancamagus Highway, which cuts its way through the 800,000 acre national forest.
Along ‘The Kanc’, travellers will pass rivers cleaved by boulders, granite outcroppings that peak through the patchwork foliage, and high passes with sweeping vistas of the sea of trees below. Be sure to stop at every lookout to absorb the exhibition of colour; you might even spot a moose or two! For adventurers seeking seasonal immersion, we recommend hiking one of the waterfall tracks accessible from the highway.
If you’re wondering where to travel in October, the White Mountains National Forest is it. Mid-October is the height of the national forest’s shocking blaze of reds and browns.
Revel in the New England autumn when you travel with Trafalgar on the Autumn Colours tour.
GET INSPIRED: Where to find the best fall colours in New England
In Autumn, the old-world architecture of Munich is rich with golden trees that glow over the chilly streets. But, the best reason to visit Munich in Autumn is not for the gorgeous foliage; it’s for what happens beneath it… Oktoberfest!
Millions travel to Germany each year to celebrate this famous harvest festival in its birthplace. Clad in lederhosen and dirndls, revellers in Munich typically enjoy this festivity to the tune of traditional Bavarian music, and with gallon-sized beer steins in hand. Yes, that’s right, gallon-sized. Comfort food like pretzels and bratwurst are also never far from reach.
Travellers looking for where to travel in September and October will not want to miss out on this experience!
RELATED ARTICLE: 7 Reasons why Fall is the perfect season for travelling
The Rocky Mountains, Canada
In Autumn, the Rocky Mountains are nothing short of breathtaking. Draped in a blanket of yellow Aspen trees, this dramatic landscape is ideal for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.
The 13-mile-long Banff Legacy Trail is the perfect hike to bask in the expansive beauty of the mountainscape. Watch for wildlife like elk, mountain goats and bears along this trek through the wilderness. The nearby Lake Louise is worth a visit in any season. In Autumn, the turquoise waters of the lake and the gold-rush of surrounding foliage create a postcard-perfect scene.
As for where to travel in September and October, travellers should choose the Rockies. At this time, they remain in relative warmth with dry weather. The crowds of summer vacationers will also have thinned, leaving this slice of alpine paradise for the taking.
Need further inspo on where to travel in Autumn? Uncover the mountainous beauty of the Canadian Rockies when you travel with Trafalgar on the Spectacular Canadian Rockies tour.
Autumn in Japan is electrifying. Even more so than the famous Sakura season. It heralds the arrival of crimson spider-lilies, tangerine-toned osmanthus, and fire-red Japanese maples. As such, it is the idyllic setting for momiji-gari or “hunting red leaves”.
Tenryuji Temple is one of the most important zen temples in Kyoto. Its traditional architecture is steeped in history that stretches back to the time of shoguns in 1339. Whilst the main structure has battled fires over the centuries, the gardens have survived in their original state. Punctuated by a central pond teeming with koi, the gardens bloom in a red celebration of Autumn. As maples dip across the waterline, the auburn forests of the Arashiyama mountains rise behind in a spectacular display of shakkei (borrowed scenery).
For those questioning where to travel in November, Kyoto is the answer. The colours of fall reach their peak in this late month while the temperatures remain hospitable.
Explore the highlights of autumn in Japan with Trafalgar on the Classic Japan tour.
Autumn in Lapland is Finland’s best-kept secret. Despite its reputation as a winter wonderland, the Urho Kekkonen National Park shines amongst the ruska hues of the season. Enjoy the starbursts of colour along the hikes and bike trails that span the park’s diverse landscapes. Or, lay back and enjoy the view from the comfort of a cruise on the River Lemmenjoki.
The most exciting part of Lapland that makes it one of the best fall destinations is the Northern Lights. These heavenly bodies are typically associated with wintertime; however, it is actually easier to see them in Autumn. This is because the skies are generally clearer, and the climate is much milder. So if you’re looking for somewhere to travel in September, the unconventionally beautiful Lapland is the place to go.
RELATED ARTICLE: How to be happy, according to the people of Finland
Dutch Moorlands, Netherlands
Travellers looking at where to travel in Autumn expect to see cosy locales gleaming in reds and oranges. But at the beginning of Autumn, the Netherlands throws out nature’s rulebook and casts expectations to the wind. Instead, much of this small nation becomes carpeted in the deep, dusty purple of heather.
The heather-laden meadows of the Netherlands are much like the lavender fields of France’s Provence in both beauty and cultural importance. These sprays of aubergine and lilac are home to a flurry of bees and butterflies that make the spectacle feel almost like Spring. The occasional visit from a grazing cow or curious deer completes the fairytale scene.
One of the best places to see the Dutch Moorlands outfitted in heather is National Park Veluwezoom near the city of Arnhem.
Follow your visit to the Dutch Moorlands with a tour of the Netherlands on Trafalgar’s Best of Holland adventure.
Where to travel in Autumn is no mystery to the Scots. In Edinburgh, cobblestone streets burst at the seams with foliage in every shade of bronze. The best thing about Autumn in the Scottish capital is that it can be enjoyed on a simple meander around the city. Any trip to the farmers market, shopping streets or local pub is transformed by this dazzling display of colour. Travellers will feel as though they have stepped directly onto the pages of a storybook.
However, a visit to Arthur’s Seat is the best way to experience the full glory of Autumn in Edinburgh. Atop this extinct volcano, travellers can enjoy expansive views over the old city, awash in the full autumnal spectrum. As for where to travel in October, travellers should not miss Edinburgh’s clear skies. However, if your concern is where to travel in November, Edinburgh is also a good choice. Just make sure to go earlier in the month!
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Do you know where to travel in Autumn? Have any of our best Autumn destinations made it to your bucket list? Let us know in the comments below! Or, head to our website so you can read more about how you can discover the best Autumn destinations when you travel with Trafalgar.