You have to hurry in Uzbekistan when October arrives – the icy grip of winter is ready and waiting for November, so now is the ideal opportunity to wring out the last of the sun’s powerful heat. Temperatures stay at a reasonable average of 15°C; the cotton harvest is in full swing; markets burst with towers of fresh grapes, melons, pomegranates and lemons; and the sun ignites the beautiful jade domes of Khiva. In Nepal, visibility is excellent and the views are spectacular. For the challenge of a lifetime, trek the Annapurna Circuit and walk through some of the world’s tallest mountains that will leave you utterly mind-blown. Meanwhile, in the Serengeti, October welcomes one of the most wondrous events in the natural calendar as over two million wildebeest migrate here. Watch in awe as thousands cross the Mara River dodging hungry crocodiles – it’s an edge-of-your-seat experience. In New Zealand, it’s springtime and the national parks blossom in a magnificent flourish of flowers and greenery. Here are all our travel ideas for where to go in October.
BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN OCTOBER
The Seychelles are the closest you’ll come to paradise. Made up of 115 islands scattered across the Indian Ocean, picture lapping shores in the deepest shades of turquoise, sugar-white sandy beaches set among fertile hills and a multitude of marine life. Each island competes for the title of the fairest of them all and you'll soon discover that every single one is worthy of the crown – from the largest and most developed, Mahé with its magnificent mountainous interior and next-level sandy shores to Praslin, a small island packed with flora and fauna and beaches often voted the most beautiful in the world. In October, temperatures linger at 30°C, the ideal climate for exploring rugged hills and swimming alongside dancing tropical fish. Every inch of the Seychelles is picture-perfect and a holiday here will leave you feeling laid-back, perfectly pampered and longing to plan your return.
The natural beauty of Japan is incredible as it is, but add autumn to the mix and an explosion of copper-coloured forests, golden pampas, serene fields and stunning early sunsets and the immensity of it all is amplified tenfold. Without a doubt, October is special here. The transformation of Japanese maple leaves - a phenomenon that the Japanese call 'Koyo' - results in a respectful contemplation. While Kyoto and Tokyo’s autumn colours don’t fully reveal themselves until November, in the northern reaches, like Hokkaido or Tohoku, the terrain explodes in a vision of fiery red, burnt orange and buttery yellow. From the awe-inspiring peaks of Mount Fuji to the electrifying streets of Osaka and Yokohama, Japan has so much to offer those lucky enough to travel here. With temperatures across the country not too hot, not too cold, October is a fool-proof time to discover this wondrous country.
There’s no need to mourn the end of summer – extend the sun’s sweet warmth with a trip to Australia in October. Spring has most definitely sprung here and the mercury rises to the mid-to-high twenties in most parts, but the island-continent is so vast it offers contrasting climates depending on where you venture. The desert plains and jagged mountains of the Red Centre heat up to 30°C and above - perfect for discovering the incredible landscapes and sacred Aboriginal sites of the region, including the soaring Uluru (or Ayers Rock). Australia's cultural capital, Melbourne, is slightly cooler in October and takes its unofficial title seriously during the month with the International Arts Festival, a spectacular event which celebrates music, dance, theatre and visual arts.
A narrow strip of a country sandwiched between the Pacific Ocean and South America, the length of Chile alone makes it a land of contrasts. From the scorched deserts in the north to ice fields in the south, Chile is the poster country for geographical diversity. In October, spring kicks things up a notch with blooming wildflowers, beautiful hills bursting with green and baby animals, like guanaco, entering the world in the country’s national parks. If you’re lucky, you may even get to glide down one of the perfect powdery faces of The Andes as many ski resorts stay open until mid-October if the conditions are right. Meanwhile, in Chile's capital Santiago’s, skies are crystal-clear, temperatures pleasant and there’s never a better time to explore the vibrant neighbourhoods. Stop by the Atacama Desert (the driest desert in the world), discover Chiloe’s colourful villages suspended above the water on stilts and visit the wild and mystical Easter Island. All of this and more will leave you utterly enchanted on a holiday to Chile.
October - the tail-end of the dry season - is prime wildlife viewing time in Tanzania as a huge array of animals cluster at water sources, like the Katuma River, making it your best chance to spot zebras wading in the water, springboks cautiously taking sips and giraffes awkwardly ambling. Temperatures can rise to the late twenties in many areas and clear skies and excellent visibility translate to optimum animal-viewing conditions. Watch lions lick their chops and photographers point their viewfinders in The Ngorongoro Crater, one of the only places in Africa to spot The Big Five in one safari sitting, or go on a game drive in Tarangire and no doubt you’ll stumble across a herd of elephants – the park is famous for its large population of gentle giants. The natural splendour of Tanzania doesn’t just meet your wildest wildlife dreams for a safari trip, it exceeds them beyond measure.