Autumn is just around the corner and all that comes with it: changing leaves, cool evenings and the back-to-school rush. But if you're not ready for the traveling season to end just yet there are dozens of destinations around the world waiting for you with open arms, fresh hiking trails, delicious food and magnificent views. Here are our top picks for traveling in October.
1. Sardinia and Corsica
The Mediterranean has a reputation as the home of all things decadent and stylish. From Italian olive oil to French fashion, this is a place where you can truly enjoy the good things in life. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the islands of Sardinia and Corsica where white sand, towering castles and limestone cliffs are set against the dazzling blue background of the Mediterranean Sea. This setting can evoke a feeling that's almost impossible to capture anywhere else. And during October, the weather is perfect here! The beaches have lost their summer crowds while the locals celebrate a return to normalcy with festivals dedicated to everything from ancient saints to fine food and drink. The peaceful inland regions of the islands are crisscrossed with trails just waiting to be explored. This October, why not head to Sardinia and Corsica for a Backroads Walking & Hiking or Multi-Adventure Tour?
There's a place on the Iberian Peninsula where time seems to have stopped... a place where the ramparts of ancient castles remain on the hillsides and the fishermen still return to town in the mornings with sardines you might see on your plate at lunch. From the cobblestoned streets of Lisbon to the thick cork forests of Alentejo, Portugal has plenty to surprise to stimulate even the most experienced of travelers. In October, Portugal is cooler than it is during the summer months and far less crowded. There are also plenty of events and festivals that appeal to a mix of tourists and locals. Here you'll find Moda Lisbon, Europe's oldest fashion week and the Campo Pequeño Wine Market where independent vintners show off their work. During the autumn season, Portugal's winding inland roads are perfect for cycling and the mountains are loaded with enticing hiking trails waiting for your discovery. Oh, and don't forget the refreshing waters of the Mediterranean that wait patiently for you to jump in and cool off at day's end! Choose one (or more!) of eight different Backroads Adventures in Portugal!
From towering red sandstone cliffs and fields of wildflowers to lunar-looking desert-scapes, the spirit of adventure is alive in Arizona! Almost everything in this southwestern wonderland seems to inspire you to explore and enjoy the region's natural bounty. With mild weather and long colorful sunsets, autumn in Arizona is famously lovely. For hiking during the month of October, it doesn't get any sweeter than exploring Arizona's long canyons and beautiful mountain summits. And the cycling on Arizona's back roads won't disappoint either! Start your walking & hiking tour in Sedona or your biking trip in Tucson where there's a thriving farm-to-table food culture that celebrates the tastes of the Arizona-Sonora borderlands. This October, join Backroads for an adventure in Arizona you won't soon forget!
Maine is an iconic summer destination but less so during the autumn season. Yet for savvy vacationers, this fact can make all the difference between a good trip and a great one. From the glacier-carved hills of Acadia National Park to the centuries-old New England cottages that line the country roads, Maine is a place where beauty waits in surprising places. Beyond the famous fall colors of the east coast foliage extravaganza, autumn is still prime season in Maine for kayaking, hiking, cycling, fly-fishing, apple-picking and whale-watching. And if that's not enough, you'll be able to experience for yourself Maine's famous craft beer scene at Acadia's Oktoberfest or the state's oldest and largest fair in Fryeburg. For an active adventure in October, Maine has more than enough to leave you satisfied. Follow the scent of the sea air to Maine with Backroads!
If you're looking for a destination as far removed from daily American life as possible, Northern Africa might just be the place for you. Camel rides, snake-charmers and Berber music... Morocco is an enchanting place where normal life seems to be inverted on itself. Some things may be familiar, like the feeling in your legs after a long hike or the sweat drying on your forehead at the end of a great bike ride. But here, the dramatic landscape of the Atlas Mountains or an olive grove by the Mediterranean will be all new. The desert-like weather of October is more pleasant without the merciless summer sun and events like the Erfoud Date Festival (celebrating the end of the harvest season for Medjool dates) and the Taragalte Festival that honors nomadic culture will keep you entertained. For a truly unique October vacation, explore Morocco with Backroads!
Want to see more tips for traveling to the right place at the right time? See our expert recommendations for every month of the year: