September in Canada is whole forests of maples turning flaming red and grizzly bears feasting on salmon from fast-flowing rivers. In Greece, the crowds retreat and it’s easy to find a seat on sun-dappled terraces to relax and drink crisp white wine. The Mediterranean is adorned with all tones of turquoise and below the ceaseless sun, waves lap whitewashed fishing villages. The dry season is ending in Namibia, when animals gather in their hundreds - much to the delight of photographers and wildlife enthusiasts – and conditions are mild, with sunny days and chilly nights. Wherever you decide to disappear to for a few blissful days or weeks, a September holiday is a delicious prospect full of promise. So here are our top picks for where to go in September.
BEST PLACES TO TRAVEL IN SEPTEMBER
Many a poet has attempted to evoke the magnetic beauty of Canada in September when its famous Indian Summers display a thousand vibrant shades make it the perfect muse. Gleaming hues of orange, yellow and red make up the bulk of the vibrancy that burst from forests and city parks. School is back, summer is over and temperatures gradually start to fall during September but depending on where you go, they still reach into the twenties and haven’t sunken into the negative abyss that October brings. Eat fresh apple pie in Quebec, feel the force of the thundering Niagara Falls in Ontario, embrace the tranquillity that hovers in Vancouver’s Stanley Park and take a walking tour of old Montreal. The world’s second-largest country needs no introduction and a holiday here is guaranteed to be first-class.
The Mediterranean climate of the boot-shaped oasis of Italy allows the sweetness of summer to play extra time in September. The pigmentation of the trees may take on a slightly more golden glint, but it’s business as usual in every other respect. The lakes in the north retain an otherworldly beauty, best seen to be believed; Sicilian olive groves flourish in the sun until harvest in mid-September; nights are as heady as ever in Rome’s Trastevere neighbourhood; and the sun-soaked villages that crawl up the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast encourage exploration at first and then total, unadulterated relaxation. An Italian September getaway is a feast for all the senses.
The majesty of the landscape, hours of sizzling sunlight and an abundance of wildlife make Namibia a popular destination for lovers of Mother Nature. In September, the three elements combine – days are warm and dry, nights are cool and invigorating and conditions are crystal-clear for watching zebras, oryx and kudu gather around the last points of water. One of the least densely populated countries in the world, the opportunity for total seclusion is ever-present here and often the colossal, incredible landscapes are completely without human trace. Enjoy the ever-changing panorama, which oscillates between rusty sand dunes, purple mountains, blue ocean and a sky that sees all colours in the spectrum.
The Indonesian archipelago is made up of a string of beautiful islands, each as diverse and interesting as the ethnicities and religions that they house. Comfortable temperatures in the high twenties take the lead in September and the delightfully tropical climate of Indonesia invites endless exploration. Captain a boat on Lake Toba in Sumatra, see in the sunrise during a party on Gili Trawangan, soak in the chaos of Kuta in Bali and tiptoe around ancient temples in Java. The tourist hordes have almost deserted Indonesia, leaving the field wide open for the most intimate, authentic holiday you’ll ever experience.