For many, September heralds a return to the school run as the lazy, hazy endless summer days are replaced with the hustle and bustle of back to work and school. If you are thinking about escaping for a late summer break, Europe in September is always a good idea. For some, September is akin to January, a month full of new beginnings and new adventures, so it's the perfect time for a couple's adventure to Europe in search of a final summer boost of Vitamin D to carry you through to Christmas. As far as temperatures go, the mercury stays high the further south and east that you go, but the gifts of the ninth month don't stop there. September promises the best of everything - gorgeous weather, no crowds and low-season pricing make this month the one to pick when it comes to planning a romantic trip for two. Read on for a roundup of the best places to visit in September...
Make the Most of the Lack of Crowds in Italy
School is very much back in session come September which means Europe is somewhat devoid of tiny tots and families-on-tour. Seeing as it's just the two of you, why not make the most of the lack of crowds and head to the usually busy and bustling, but eternally iconic; Italy? It's not as if we need to pitch Italy as the ideal place for a romantic getaway - between the country's world-class art, architecture and gastronomy, and its spectacular landscapes and effortless style, there are few places in the world that rival the country as a perfect destination for couples. Groaning under the weight of its cultural cachet, head to one of the many cultural epicentres in the country, from the fresco-adorned ceilings of the Sistine Chapel in Rome to the floating masterpiece that is Venice. Wander the streets of some of Italy's most loved (and most visited) places, pausing to admire and appreciate without the pressure of people pressing in from all sides. Come September, the beaches fall silent, making them the perfect place for a quiet retreat during a relaxing beach break for two. Italy is a place that elates, moves and inspires like no other and is best enjoyed without the crowds.
Enjoy Perfect Late Summer Weather in Greece
As the nights draw in and the temperatures start to dip in the UK, Europe enjoys some of the best weather of the year. Escaping in September means that you skip the sweaty height-of-summer heat in July and jump straight to the best weather. Greece is one of the best places to visit in September - the sea has been warmed by the heat of July and August and the temperatures have cooled to a more comfortable level. Sun-soaked ruins might be calling your name, as you head off on a cultural adventure to Meteora in central Greece, or perhaps you'd prefer a late summer island escape? The bath-warm waters of the island-speckled Aegean lap at sugar-white beaches, as you explore island after island and spend your days hiking, swimming and eating. No matter if you are inland or on the coast, extending your summer dosing up on Vitamin D has got to be the best way to prepare yourself for the winter months to come.
Enjoy the Best of Both Worlds in Porto and the Douro Valley
September in Europe means getting the best of both worlds - the reduced heat and lack of crowds make the month ideal for both city breaks and countryside explorations. Portugal's second city Porto, is an excellent base for a laid-back stay with its steep cobbled streets lined with beautiful azulejo-tiled buildings. Get your bearings on a private tour for two with a local guide and don't miss a trip to one of the historic port cellars where you can learn about - and taste - the city's most famous export. Once you've had your fill of city strolling, venture out to the Douro Valley with its pretty vineyard terraces etched into the steep hillsides. Amp up the romance with a river cruise on a beautifully restored boat from the 1950s and feast on local wines and cheeses as you drift along and soak up the stunning views and balmy September sun.
Thanks to the drop in the number of visitors, prices in September begin to fall as the end of summer heralds the arrival of 'shoulder' and 'low' season prices. So whether the two of you are after a calm, cultural break with a distinct lack of crowds, or a late-summer breach break minus the hordes of sunbathers, September might just be the perfect month for a couples trip to Europe.