Known as the gem of the “shoulder season” by travel pros, October is one of the best times to travel. When the sweltering days of summer are over, countless spots around the globe are enjoying some of the greatest weather of the year.
The crowds in tourist hot spots start to clear out in September, so by October you can easily explore attractions that you might have waited hours to see back in July. And the final cherry on top: you will pay a fraction of the price by avoiding the peak summer prices!
Craving the ultimate autumn getaway? Forget about sitting around sipping pumpkin spice lattes at home!
Here are the top destinations to travel to in October!
One of the most beautiful sights in the world, the northern lights are easiest to spot from October to March in Iceland. You need a long, clear night to be able to see the famous aurora borealis, and you’ll find a lot of those in October.
This sometimes-elusive view is technically visible from anywhere in Iceland.
Many tourists have been lucky enough to see the northern lights from Reykjavik’s Grotta lighthouse while countless others have traveled north to the geothermal hotspot Landmannalaugar to get away from the light pollution of urban Iceland.
Generally speaking, a longer stay gives you better odds of seeing the northern lights, so plan to take your time here.
Read More: Tips for Traveling Iceland on a Budget
Once a proper pirate hangout, the far-flung tropical island of Mauritius is now home to ultraluxe hotels and white-sand beaches.
If you are looking for an affordable taste of luxury, Mauritius is the place to be. As one of the driest and sunniest months of the year, October is the perfect time to visit and bask in the sun.
Read More: 20 Photos to Inspire You to Visit Mauritius
One of the only complaints I have ever heard about Marrakech is that it tends to get overcrowded. If you come in October, you will see a totally different side to this city.
With temperatures ranging between 70 and 80 degrees, no rain, and few crowds, Marrakech is in its prime in October.
Spend a day lost in the seemingly endless mazes of markets in the Medina. Browse textiles and leather goods, and sample some amazing street food. Take in the beauty of Jardin Majorelle.
Take one of the renowned Sahara Desert tours and get a glimpse into traditional Moroccan life.
Rome is one of the most fascinating and beautiful cities in the world. With more than 10 million tourists each and every year, Rome can also be incredibly overcrowded.
Rather than sweating it out with the summer crowds, go to Rome in October.
The weather is perfect for exploring and you won’t have to wait in lines around the block. Visit the world-famous Pantheon, Colosseum, Spanish Steps, and Roman Forum without waiting in line.
Read More: The Ultimate Rome Travel Guide
Rich in history, sunshine, and world-class food, this Andalusian city is one of Spain’s greatest treasures. Explore the Bellas Artes Museum, Alcázar palace, and the Museum of Flamenco without the crowds.
If you are there during the last week of the month, visit the Seville Guitar Festival. And whenever you come, check the local calendar online. Tons of towns around Andalusia have their annual festivals during autumn, so come ready for street celebrations!
Read More: The Best Time to Go to Spain
While temps are well over 100 degrees during Jordanian summers, October is comfortable and sunny. See Petra, the ancient UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, to take in the ancient capital of the Nabataeans.
Less than two hours away from Petra, Wadi Rum (a.k.a. The Valley of the Moon) is another must see. If you have time, head north to the remarkable and incredibly underrated Jerash Ruins.
Read More: The Ultimate Jordan Travel Guide
October is part of the dry season in the Galapagos Islands. The skies are bright and sunny. The local wildlife is active and prices are slashed.
Grab your boat ticket and go see the 150-year-old tortoises, educate yourself at the Charles Darwin Research Station, indulge in some of the world’s best birdwatching, and go for world-class diving adventures.
Read More: The Ultimate Galápagos Islands Travel Guide
One of the best states to be in on Halloween, California is full of scary fun! For the world’s largest Halloween street party, get to the West Hollywood Halloween Costume Carnival. Join a Halloween pub crawl through the streets of San Francisco.
In the mood for some good old-fashioned Halloween fun? You’ll find Halloween festivals in every county in California!
If you’re a foodie, you’ll flip for fall in California. With the Lemon Festival, the Apple Harvest Festival, the Pomegranate Festival, Little Italy Festa, and the countless other food festivals, autumn in California is a culinary delight.