As the leaves begin to fall and the air temperatures begin to drop, the tangible realities of autumn begin to take hold. As a season of transition and exceptional natural beauty, Autumn is – for many – the perfect time for a getaway.
Cheap holidays are abundantly available and can deliver excited travellers to any number of beautiful destinations for the perfect autumnal holiday. First Choice offer flights and accommodation options, to a wide range of destinations, at very competitive prices. Here are a few of the very best spots in Europe for an autumn jaunt.
Europe’s Top 10 Autumn Getaways
This island paradise is full of tourists throughout the summer season but with autumn come fewer crowds and a host of exciting cultural events. ‘Autunno in Barbagia’ or Autumn in Barbagia is a series of festivals, that take place in nearly 30 villages throughout the mountainous regions of non-coastal Sardinia. The festival runs from September through to December and offers visitors the chance to experience beautiful markets, meet local craftspeople, take part in workshops and wine and dine with the locals.
A popular destination in Europe, Dubrovnik is always jam-packed during the summer. To avoid the hustle of this charming Croatian capital, visit in the autumn when the city feels laid back, the air feels much less humid and accommodation options are both available and reasonably priced.
Exploring Dubrovnik in the autumn is a tranquil and tantalising experience; visitors can amble around the old town, sit down for a long lunch of delicious Croatian fare or take a 50-minute ferry ride to the small car-free island paradise of Lopud; home to some of the Adriatic’s most stunning beaches.
The capital city of Ljubljana is fast becoming one of Europe’s more popular destinations thanks to its great prices, stunning Art Nouveau architecture, gorgeous riverfront and general abundance of scenic areas. An ideal place for an autumn getaway, the city features beautiful fall colours and lovely walks. There are plenty of great deals on flights and accommodation as well as day trips to the incredibly beautiful Lake Bled which is not to be missed!
Lycian Coast, Turkey
Affectionately known as the Turquoise Coast, this stretch of ancient Lycian shoreline extends from Dalyan to Antalya and is accessible via the Dalaman airport. The coast is stunning and serene, and in autumn is particularly peaceful as the summer crowds have subsided. The coastline is edged by towering mountains, home to ancient Lycian towns and temples, which make for perfect day trips from any number of coastal resorts.
This German city is truly spectacular in autumn; the colours and the air are exceptionally crisp, and there’s no shortage of activities. Visitors can float between iconic monuments and museums like the Reichstag, or the Pergamon and explore the gorgeous parks of Berlin like Tiergarten, or Tempelhof Airfield, ideal for both strolling and cycling.
For an autumn destination that still feels a lot like summer, this Spanish getaway is just the ticket! Quieter than peak season, but still boasting regular temperatures in the high 20s, Andalucia is ideal for adventurers looking for some outdoor excitement. There is Sierra de Aracena National Park just north of Seville which is home to stunning landscapes, charming villages, gorgeous autumn colour, and limestone caves.
Autumn is a great time to visit any Greek island, but Rhodes truly shines during the post-peak months. The medieval Old Town is veritably deserted, leaving charming alleys and Ottoman mansions to be explored in peace. In the centre of the island lies ‘Petaloudes’ or Butterfly Valley, the island’s most popular attraction, teeming with tourists during the high season. There are beaches, stunning wildlife and of course, delicious food for the savvy, off-peak visitor.
The Italian Countryside
Autumn in Italy is not to be missed! With a wealth of harvest festivals throughout the countryside including the autumn grape harvest or vendemmia in Tuscany; food and wine are not only abundant – they’re celebrated – during this gorgeous harvest season.
Île de Ré, France
For the ultimate French seaside getaway without the hassle of crowds, try visiting this tiny island off the country’s west coast. The island boasts incredible stretches of sandy beaches and flat terrain, perfect for exploring the over 100km of cycle tracks. Visitors can soak up some late season sun, settling in for some wine from local vineyards, as well as trying delectable shellfish like oysters and lobsters – also sourced locally, of course.
The Scottish Highlands
There is something beautifully haunting about the Scottish highlands in autumn. While visitors may indeed have to bundle up to brave these scenic landscapes, the sensory experience is one to remember. For a truly unforgettable autumn holiday, consider renting a small cottage in a remote village, getting a fire going after a long day foraging for chanterelle mushrooms or hill walking, and sip a dram of whiskey while tucked up in some warm local wool. Heaven!