Whether you’re looking for spring blooms, autumnal foliage or prime wildlife-viewing opportunities, you’ll find plenty of destinations to choose from if you’re planning to travel in October. Below are just some of the places we feel are at their best at this time of year, along with our suggestions on the best things to do there.
You could make the most excellent hiking conditions in New Zealand, go whale watching in South Africa, or indulge in fresh produce during harvest time in Vietnam, Japan or Italy. And, in many of our chosen countries, you’ll be visiting before or after the busiest times of the year.
As the monsoon season ends, October heralds the return of warm, sunny days, particularly in the north of India. The south can experience showers, but this creates vivid green landscapes and freshens the air, making it a great time to explore outdoors, albeit with a waterproof jacket to hand. Average temperatures fall between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F).
Despite the pleasant conditions, visitor numbers are still lower than in the coming months of November to January so that you can enjoy popular sights without the crowds. Your visit might also fall during Diwali when everywhere is illuminated with candles, lights and fireworks.
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Flight time: 8½ hours (New Delhi)
Time difference: UTC +5:30
October Temperature (Day): 21 to 36°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 12 to 1192mm, varies by region
Enjoying the warmth of spring, Chile in October sees brilliant wildflowers coating its central and northern regions, mild days ripe for exploring and a smattering of rain here and there.
While southern Patagonia is still feeling winter’s chill, you’ll begin to experience less rain and longer daylight hours, so as long as you wrap up, it’s a good time for hiking. Elsewhere, the Atacama Desert is a year-round destination, while in cities like Santiago, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with fewer visitors than you would during the upcoming summer months and should get more for your money
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Flight time: 16 hours (Santiago via Madrid, São Paulo or Buenos Aires)
Time difference: UTC -4
October Temperature (Day): 10 to 23°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 0 to 144mm, varies by region
With the heat of summer faded, October makes for a more comfortable time of year to explore Italy, and you won’t see as many visitors flocking to the country’s attractions. As well as enjoying quieter city breaks in Rome and Venice, you could venture into the countryside, where the harvest is in full swing.
It’s a perfect time to dine on a bounty of fresh mushrooms, olives, truffles and chestnuts. And, with festivals dedicated to food and wine taking place across the country, you can taste your way through its rolling hills, rustic towns and villages and verdant valleys.
Don't miss: Truffle hunting and tasting lunch.
Flight time: 2 hours 30 upwards depending on the airline (London to Rome)
Time difference: UTC +1
October Temperature (Day): 14 to 24°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 52 to 159mm, varies by region
4. South Africa
Whale watching, wildflowers and wildlife viewing are all at their peak in South Africa during October, making it one of the best months to combine regions. Temperatures begin to heat up across the country, but the rains have yet to fall in the north. It means safari areas like the Kruger are still dry, making wildlife easier to spot as animals gather around vital water sources.
Along the coast, southern right whales have yet to migrate south, so you can often see them breaching offshore. And, the country’s renowned wildflowers are still in bloom, covering the west coast’s dry and dusty landscape in a colourful carpet.
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Flight time: 11 hours (Johannesburg)
Time difference: UTC +2
October Temperature (Day): 17 to 27°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 16 to 95mm, varies by region
While the weather can be difficult to predict in Thailand during October — it depends on the length of the monsoon season — lower humidity and fewer visitors arguably make this a more comfortable time to visit.
For the best chance of avoiding rain, aim for the end of the month. That said, the odd downpour shouldn’t affect your trip too much and creates lush, green landscapes in the north, where you can explore forests and waterfalls. If you’re planning to relax on the beach, be prepared to balance sunshine with heavy showers — staying on the mainland rather than one of the islands gives you a better chance of settled weather.
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Flight time: 11½ hours (Bangkok)
Time difference: UTC +7
October Temperature (Day): 30 to 32°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 133 to 361mm, varies by region
6. Sri Lanka
While ranked as one of Sri Lanka’s wettest months, October can vary from one year to the next as it generally falls between monsoon seasons. The southwest monsoon fades off as the month progresses, replaced by the monsoon in the northeast, so you can expect sporadic rainfall wherever you are.
However, with few visitors, you’ll get sights almost to yourself and can often find excellent valIn addition, whenWhen there isn’t rain, you’ll tend to experience warm, sunny weather, particularly in the Cultural Triangle of the north, which tends to stay hot and dry until the end of the month.
Don't miss: The Cultural Triangle
Flight time: 11½ hours (Colombo)
Time difference: UTC +5:30
October Temperature (Day): 23 to 33°C, depending on the region
October rainfall: 14 to 211mm, varies by region