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Penguin Colony, Falkland Islands, Argentina

October

Where to travel in October

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As Europe slips towards winter, the Southern Hemisphere comes into its own.

That said, harvest festivals make visits to the likes of Tuscany’s and Rioja’s vineyards particularly pleasurable, while southern Portugal, Malta and Andalucia's Moorish wonders still enjoy great weather.

Then there’s the Northern Hemisphere’s autumn scenery. And, although you’ll need to book early for New Englands New England's spectacular fall foliage, Yellowstone, Japan, Quebec and Atlantic Canada offer quieter alternatives. In the latter, you’ll catch the tail end of whale season. You can also beat the crowds at Utah’s national parks, while both California and Hawaii are idyllically sunny.

By contrast, South America is well into spring. North and central Chile’s seaside towns, colonial capital and world-wonder desert are at their best, and can easily be combined with Bolivia’s high-altitude beauty. Argentina’s Patagonian wildflowers and temperate cities are just as enticing, along with Peru’s lively Senor de los Milagros Festival.

Looking to Asia, while the likes of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos are entering their high season, rates are slightly less and the crowds are by no means at full force. Nepal and Bhutan are also at their best and, even if you’re not hiking, clear skies make for stunning Himalayan views. East China’s pleasantly cool and dry weather is equally enticing.

Down Under, Australia is warming up, with its west resplendent in wildflowers and the tropical Great Barrier Reef offering excellent diving before the rains. Over the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s Kaikoura enjoys superb marine life, from whales to dolphins.

In Africa, the beaches of Mozambique, South Africa’s wildlife and the white water rafting on Zambia’s Zambezi River are superb. It’s also a good time to visit Morocco and Jordan before the winter drop in temperatures and there are good deals to be had in Oman and the United Arab Emirates outside of half-term holidays. 

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Castello Banfi il Borgo, Tuscany

Historic hotel from £1,260 pp

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Enjoy the ultimate Tuscany experience, step back in time with this idyllic Tuscan countryside stay. Here, a medieval castle looks out heritage vineyards and traditional restaurants dish up fine dining evenings.

Rioja & Navarra Wine Route

5-day tailor-made self-drive from £545 pp incl. flights

Combine two of Spain's favourite wine regions in this memorable five-day self-drive route through the rural charm of the country's north.

Pousadas of Portugal: The Algarve

7-day tailor-made self-drive from £845 pp incl. flights

Portugal's pousadas are similar to Spain's famous paradors – a network of state-owned hotels synonymous with the history, culture and traditions of their particular region.

Essential Andalucia‬

7-day tailor-made self-drive from £670 pp incl. flights

Offering superb value, this weeklong road trip will see you uncovering the Moorish wonders of southern Spain, brought to life with guided tours and stays in superb hotels. Highlights include visits to the palace-fortresses of Seville and Granada along with the Córdoba's cathedral-mosque.

New England’s Spectacular Fall Foliage

9-day Escorted tour from £3,380 pp incl. flights

A one-week escorted tour with Insight Vacations, coinciding with the vibrant colours of New England's fall season, venture from historic Boston through the Berkshire Hills to the White Mountains and Maine's Atlantic Coast.

Yellowstone & Rocky Mountains Self-drive Tour

18-day tailor-made self-drive from £3,060 pp

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The national parks of Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Rocky Mountain comprise the bulk of this tailor-made self-drive, which combines some of America's most spellbinding scenery with the chance to see native wildlife and explore a rich, pioneering history.

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