Summer may be over, but that doesn’t have to mean a return to the daily grind. In fact, September is one of the best times of year to travel. With the kids back at school, there are fewer families to tussle with for a prime spot by the pool. It’s also a great month for bargain hunters: whether you’re looking for September city breaks or September beach holidays, you can usually save a few pennies by travelling at this time of year.
What are the best holiday destinations in September? It all depends on what you’re looking for. You can expect sunny weather and swimmable water across southern Europe, making this a good month for a beach getaway. It’s also a great time for a city break. Lower prices and fewer crowds make September the ideal month to explore some of the world’s best destinations. Check out this guide to where to go in September and start planning your early autumn break.
Can’t choose between nature and nightlife? Then look for September holiday destinations that offer both. Top of the list is the Golden State. You can expect average daily temperatures of 21°C and plenty of sunshine, so don’t forget your sunscreen. The first Monday of the month is Labour Day, a public holiday across the US. During this time, the beaches will be full of sun-worshippers looking for one last chance to get a tan. If you want to avoid the crowds, head to California from mid-September onwards.
The main benefit of heading to California is that it’s home to not just one but several of the best places to travel in September. Try an epic road trip that takes you across the Golden State. You’ll see the pristine beaches of Santa Monica, the historic hippie neighbourhoods of San Francisco and the incredible nature of the state’s inland parks. Yosemite Park offers imposing granite cliffs, and Sequoia National Park has the world’s largest trees. There’s nothing quite like spending one day admiring the breathtaking giant redwoods and the next going celeb-spotting in Beverly Hills. California really is a destination with something for everyone.
If you’re a big kid at heart, then try Los Angeles at the end of the month. With spooky decorations, spine-tingling parades and an unbeatable atmosphere, Disneyland and the other major theme parks start their Halloween celebrations in late September.
Ready for all the fun of a Californian adventure? Join us for a road trip you’ll never forget!
Without a doubt, Portugal is one of the best places to go in September, especially if you’re into history and culture. Its two biggest cities, Lisbon and Porto, are both stunning destinations, packed with gorgeous architecture, incredible stories and amazing food. Wine lovers, this one’s for you: in Portugal, you’ll find some of Europe’s best and most underrated vintages, and there’s always some tasty cheese or seafood on hand to make the perfect pairing.
Portugal’s windswept Atlantic coast is at its best in autumn. Summer can be brutal in southern Europe, and northern Portugal is prone to wildfires. By the time September rolls around, with its milder days and cooler nights, things are looking up. It’s still warm enough for you to eat outside on a terrace, but you’ll be able to tackle Lisbon’s steep hills without sweating through your shirt.
In Lisbon, you’ll find one of Europe’s most vibrant and exciting capital cities. Ultra-modern street art, varied nightlife and one of the world’s best-covered food markets are waiting for you. Spend your evenings hopping from bar to bar in the Barrio Alto, or opt for something more traditional with a fado concert. A little to the north, Porto is an ideal destination for foodies. As well as the famous Port wine, you’ll be able to indulge in the cheesy delights of francesinha, a truly epic sandwich involving thick layers of meat smothered in a thick cheese sauce.
Fancy a September trip to southern Europe? Our city-to-city Portugal tour is a must for culture vultures.
In the northern hemisphere, September marks the start of the autumn season — but when you head south of the equator, spring is on its way. In South Africa, September marks the transition between the dry and wet seasons. It’s the perfect time of year for two of the country’s most popular activities: surfing and spotting wildlife.
Cape Town is, hands-down, one of the top places to go in September for fans of water sports. The white sand and rolling surf of beaches like Llandudno, Big Bay and Muizenberg will keep you busy for days on end. If you get bored, don’t worry — this city has world-class shopping and great nightlife. There are also amazing food scenes concentrated in areas like the trendy Victoria and Albert Waterfront or the chic Constantia Winelands.
Prefer to see some animals? South Africa has dozens of game reserves, but the biggest and best is Kruger National Park, a massive stretch of unspoiled veldt that’s the same size as Israel. This is home to Africa’s famous Big Five: lions, leopards, elephants, buffalo and rhinos. While solitary leopards tend to hide away from visitors, it’s hard to miss the enormous elephants and roaming herds of buffalo. As well as these iconic creatures, Kruger is home to hundreds of species, including zebras, gazelles, giraffes, warthogs and many, many more. This is the perfect place to live out your safari dreams.
Adventure is calling! We’re waiting for you in sunny South Africa this September.
Start spreading the news: September is a great time to visit the Big Apple. This is a city that needs no introduction. As soon as you set foot on the island of Manhattan, it will seem incredibly familiar. Even if you’ve never crossed the Atlantic before, you’ve seen this city a thousand times on the screen. Now it’s your chance to follow in your favourite stars’ footsteps and take a bite out of the Big Apple.
New York has extreme weather, from hot and humid summers to bitterly cold winters. Mild and pleasant, September is the ideal time to explore the city. Everywhere you turn, you’ll see another iconic sight, from the skyline-dominating skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and Flatiron Building to the famous Brooklyn Bridge. If you have time, visit the always-buzzing streets of Chinatown. New York is the ideal place to choose your own adventure. Will you take a ferry trip to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, spend your day exploring the hidden corners of Central Park, or just go crazy for some retail therapy on 5th Avenue?
New York is one of those cities that will keep everyone happy, making it one of the best holiday destinations in September. Enjoy the lively fun of a Broadway show, or head to a hipster bar in the East Village. Visit world-famous department stores like Bloomingdales and Saks or seek out quirky boutiques in Brooklyn. Feeling hungry? You’re in luck: you’ll find pretty much every global cuisine available somewhere in this city that never sleeps.
Are you ready to discover one of the best holiday destinations in September? Join in the fun with a trip to the Empire State!
Looking for some adventurous holidays in September abroad? For a thrilling journey, it’s hard to beat Vietnam, as it’s one of the best holiday destinations in September. Thanks to its unique combination of fascinating history, delicious cuisine and breathtaking natural beauty, this Southeast Asian country has become an ever-more popular destination for international visitors.
Vietnam is still hot in September, with temperatures between 24°C and 32°C across the country. This makes it a great month to visit if you’re seeking adventure. Take a boat trip across the turquoise waters of Halong Bay, admiring the enormous rocky cliffs that rise directly out of the sea. Paddle down the jungle-fringed streams of the Mekong Delta or explore the enormous floating markets, where vendors sell the freshest fruits and vegetables directly from their boats. Discover the paradise of Pu Luong, a natural reserve of emerald-green rice paddies stretching as far as the eye can see.
You’ll also find plenty to keep you busy in Vietnam’s most vibrant cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Visit one of the country’s famous night markets, where you can buy all kinds of snacks, clothes and souvenirs long after the sun has gone down. Stop at a food stall for a hearty bowl of pho, a spicy noodle soup that’s also the country’s national dish. Chow down on banh mi, a uniquely Vietnamese mixture of Asian spices and French baguette, a reminder of the country’s colonial past.
Strap on your hiking boots and get ready for the trip of a lifetime to Southeast Asia. Are you up for the challenge of a Vietnam adventure?
United Arab Emirates
No one goes to the UAE in the summer months — unless they want to end their holiday with a dose of heatstroke. September is the perfect time of year to visit this desert destination. Things are a little cooler in autumn than in July and August, but temperatures still reach a daily average of 33°C. If you want your summer to last even longer, this is the perfect place to go. The seawater is still ideal for swimming well into September, making the UAE ideal for a late-season beach getaway.
The UAE is best known for its two huge cities, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These enormous settlements feel like the cities of the future. Cutting-edge architecture, ultra-modern infrastructure and dizzying skyscrapers will dazzle you. Don’t be fooled, though — there’s still plenty of tradition and history hidden behind those huge hotels and enormous malls. Sink into the soothing waters of a hammam, or go shopping in a souk to discover the controlled chaos of a Middle Eastern bazaar.
Tired of the city? The UAE also offers you the chance to explore the desert. Be careful – those shifting sands really are impossible to navigate, so never head out into the desert without a professional guide. Under the watchful eye of an expert, you can spend the night in a Bedouin camp, admiring a sky full of stars that seem far closer here than anywhere else on the planet. It’s no wonder the UAE is one of the best holiday destinations in September.
Fancy a September trip to the Middle East? We’d love to share this desert adventure with you!
Daily highs of 25°C make Croatia one of the best holiday destinations in September. It’s a great choice if you want all the sunny fun of southern Europe. Those gorgeous Adriatic beaches are perfect for swimming, and there’s no need to get up early to secure a sun lounger this late in the year.
While Croatia has become very popular as a beach destination, it has so much more to offer. Leave the coast behind and head for the magical Plitvice Lakes, the country’s oldest national park. As you gaze upon the dozens of waterfalls that cascade into the clear turquoise waters, flanked on all sides by lush greenery, you might forget you’re in Europe — you’ll feel like you’re in exotic Bali. Sadly, you can’t take a dip in those gorgeous waters, but you can get a closer look by hiring a rowboat. If you’d rather stay on dry land, go for a hike around the park. With a bit of luck, you might spot deer, wild boars, wolves and more — and September is one of the best times of year to see these animals.
Of course, there are beautiful cities to explore in Croatia, too. If you’re a TV fan, you’ll probably want to spend a day exploring Dubrovnik, looking for the spots where Game of Thrones was filmed. The Old Towns of Dubrovnik and Split are great fun, even if you don’t know your Starks from your Lannisters. Admire the gorgeous architecture, and explore the tiny shops and restaurants hidden along the narrow, cobbled streets.
Join us to discover one of the most beautiful countries in Europe. Have an unforgettable September holiday in Croatia!
Why not choose a totally different destination for your September holiday? Autumn is a month of transition in Iceland. The weather is getting cooler, but the harsh, bitter winter has yet to kick in. That means the driving conditions are still good, but you won’t have to worry about the midnight sun messing up your body clock. In fact, September has clearly defined days and nights — and you’ll have a very good chance of seeing the Northern Lights without frostbite setting in.
Iceland’s natural beauty is gorgeous at any time of year, but September is a great time to explore the Land of Ice and Fire. It’s hard to describe the otherworldly beauty that’s waiting for you on this small, volcanic island. Black sand beaches, dramatic waterfalls, perfectly blue thermal lagoons and explosive geysers can all be seen. Plus, it’s still whale-watching season this time of year, so you might catch a glimpse of these majestic beasts in action. Though it’s last on our list, Iceland still ranks as one of the best holiday destinations in September.
Have an adventure in the frozen North! Discover the Land of Ice and Fire with us on this epic road trip!