Beautiful Autumn Destinations: Best October Holiday Destinations in Europe

13 Sep 2021 by Olga Brighton

Travel Information

Traveling to Europe in the autumn is truly a picturesque experience. Usually, it also means fewer crowds, shorter waiting lines, and some beautiful weather. If you're craving an autumn holiday, we compiled here a small list of the best places to visit in October in Europe.

There are so many unique locations in Europe that are best visited in mid to late October. Especially as prices drop in most locations too.

Many outdoor locations offer beautiful fall foliage, and there are local festivals that celebrate everything from beer to truffle hunting to wine harvests. For those who love the sun, Europe offers plenty of warm weather escapes right through October.

Autumn season in Europe begins in September and continues until the end of November. October is often considered the best autumn month in Europe.

Read also: Does Your Travel Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

The best thing about October in Europe is the stark contrast between North and South. It is when the northern countries show their most amazing colours and get their first snowflakes. At the same time, the South still enjoys beautiful if shorter, warm days.

Keep in mind, however, that October can be unpredictable in Europe. The weather will generally be warmer the further south you go and colder and wetter, the further North you travel.

So which are some of the best countries in October for a European holiday destination?

autumn in Italy


The reasons to visit Italy in this season are endless. The southern climate is mild, and with less tourists you will get a unique and special view into the beauty of this country. Better still, there is an array of things to do and places to visit, local festivals to attend which give you a first hand insight into local life, culture and produce.

Autumn is harvest time, and visiting a vineyard is a must do activity. You can even get tours where you can pick grapes and see how wine is made. This is the time where you can really taste all the amazing things that Italian cuisine can offer, including everything from mushrooms to chestnuts and truffles. We especially suggest that you visit the wine regions of Veneto, Emilia-Romagna, Piedmont and Tuscany. See here for some introductory information.

Even if you want to hit the beach, you have so much choice between the picture perfect Amalfi Coast, Bari in the far south or islands of Sardinia and Sicily. Sicily especially gets sunny days through late autumn so can enjoy some beach time up till the end of November! If you haven't visited Rome its a great time to go, but be aware that its always busy, just not as hot.

Some perfect locations in Italy for autumn include:

  • Florence. In truth, Florence is busy all year round, but autumn is a perfect time to visit and appreciate the very best of Renaissance art and architecture, plus spectacular autumn foliage. Also try the Panzano wine festival near Florence;
  • The Alba Truffle Festival is also a great activity;
  • Festa Della Castagna is a chestnut festival that even has a donkey race;
  • Hike through the Pollino National park for some amazing rivers, gorges and history – from medieval churches to prehistoric caves;
  • Any of Italy’s great cities are also worth a trip – Rome, Siena, Bologna, or smaller scale Viterbo with the best preserved medieval centre in Italy.

autumn holiday destinations


If you want to head a bit north, maybe Scotland is your ideal destination. The landscape is breathtakingly beautiful at this time, with the leaves turning russets and gold. If you love the outdoors and a great country pub then it’s an ideal destination, with some great cities is a good place to start your research. Perthshire, with compact city of Perth on the banks of the River Tay and its forest, glens and ample waterfalls is a perfect destination for those who want to take a hiking or walking holiday. Visiting Edinburgh and Glasgow for a real taste of city life culture and history is a must too.

This destination is for those who love the great outdoors and dramatic landscapes and great hospitality. Scotland’s Loch’s or lakes are world famous – especially Loch Ness with its legendary monster.

Scotland is famed for its castles, including Alnwick castle which the Hogwarts Castle in Harry Potter was inspired by. Here’s is a small list of things to do in Scotland on an autumn trip.

  • Visit the many museums and galleries of Edinburgh;
  • Visit the Scottish International Storytelling festival that takes place from 17-31 October;
  • Walkthrough the Big Tree Forest;
  • Check out the Isle of Skye and other Scottish isles for some isolated vistas.;
  • Visit the Loch Lomond National park.

autumn in europe


Germany has so much to offer. A true continental experience and such a variety in the things you can and want to do. All from castles to cities, museums galleries and night clubs. Less crowds and some great festivals. Germany offers some beautiful woodlands including Sreewald (UNESCO biosphere since 1991), the Black Forest, Saxon Switzerland National Park. Mosel Valley offers both castles and some amazing wines.

Oktoberfest is obviously in October. The world-famous festival is a sight to behold. Its gloriously rowdy and Munich gets super expensive and booked up at that time of year. If beer is not your thing, stick to the Black Forest. The inspiration for many German fairytales. Close to Berlin it is an enchanting location.

There’s one more destination in Germany that can provide a unique holiday. The Baltic Sea. If you up for a cold, stunning beach vista, enjoy the Baltic Sea with a cup of hot chocolate in your thermos. Great for photographers and those who are searching for a bracing day out by the sea.

  • Visit The Neuschwanstein Castle, which even inspired Walt Disney;
  • See an opera or ballet as they are in season at this time;
  • If you love beer and a party, go to Oktoberfest;
  • Visit Schönau am Königssee and nearby Berchtesgaden for scenic vistas and amazing autumn.

Whenever and wherever you take a trip stay secure and buy travel insurance and stay aware of your local Government travel advice. For UK residents see FCDO’s travel advice.

Read also: Most beautiful places to visit in the UK

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