Best Places to Travel in September

"Although for many people September marks a return to reality after the joy of summer, this liminal month is a wonderful time to travel abroad."

June 2016 • Jules Verne

Best Places to Travel in September

By September, refreshed and relaxed locals have returned to popular European destinations, meaning many of the local restaurants and businesses have reopened after summer closure. September also offers a more temperate climate across Europe and Asia, so you can enjoy travelling and sightseeing without the thronging hordes or the intense heat of high season. 

Here are our picks of the best countries to visit in September:

Italy

Italy in September welcomes a drop in both tourist volume and temperature, which has a pleasing effect on this popular destination. The Neapolitan coastline particularly benefits from a later visit, when the peak tourist season is over.  With fewer crowds you will have ample time to explore the famous historical sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, which continue to bask in glorious, albeit slightly cooler, weather. Given its location on the most southerly part of Italy, Sicily also benefits from the more comfortable late summer climate, making this a great time to discover the island’s unique culture and history.

China

September usually sees the annual mid-autumn festival in cities across China, the second largest festival in China, it is the perfect way to discover the beauty and intricacies of China’s rich culture.  Travelling across China it is possible to see how different cities prepare for the festival, with riotous parades, fragile paper lanterns, and plenty of mooncakes. Many of China’s ethnic minorities have unique ways of celebrating the festival, but experiencing the festival in China’s major cities is also an unforgettable experience. There are a myriad of ways to travel through this vast country; follow in Joanna Lumley’s footsteps on the Orient Express or take a cruise through the famous Three Gorges on the Yangtze River.

Portugal

Portugal is a popular destination for British holidaymakers, with thousands making their way to its beaches and cities in the height of summer.  By September though, the majority of the crowds have gone home, leaving behind pleasant temperatures that are perfect for visiting the Algarve’s beautiful coastline or the delights of Portugal’s towns and cities.  Fewer tourists also make for ideal conditions for cruising through the Douro Valley to explore the heart of the Portuguese and Spanish countryside.  While you’re there, treat yourself to a glass of port in the gentle sunshine of a late summer evening and discover the colourful ancient houses, bars and cafes of the historic capital of Porto.

Turkey

If you’re looking for an opportunity to combine unrivalled culture with late summer sun, then September is the perfect time for a tour through Turkey.  Although during the high season the sun can be unbearably harsh, September takes the edge off the heat in this jewel of a country. The hustle and bustle of Istanbul is more enjoyable as the heat dissipates, and you will see many opulent mementos of its colonial past. Alternatively explore the exquisite beauty of the natural landscape to your heart’s content, for example in Pamukkale where you can observe breath taking phenomena such as hot springs, pools, and calcified waterfalls.  

Russia

For those who dislike the heat, Russia is the ideal destination in September. The weather will have cooled in its capitals of St Petersburg and Moscow, with temperatures at around 11 degrees, making it ideal weather for those who like to layer up and explore cities, without the travel implications of the harsh winters that these cities experience. Both are brimming with stunning architecture reflecting its rich and varied history, but there are plenty of indoor activities to pursue, such as taking in the world class ballet, or visiting some of the exemplary art exhibitions which reflect Russia’s fascinating history.