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October is a wonderful time to visit Europe. As the European summer holidays draw to a close and the kids return to school, autumn (or fall for my American friends) begins to descend over the continent. The weather tends to stay warmer but the crowds start to to fade away, which in turn can mean decreased prices and increased enjoyment (because who likes the stress of hordes of people?). So in case you’re wondering where to go this autumn or need a little bit of travel inspiration, here are some of the best places to visit in Europe in October…
1. Marmaris, Turkey
Temperature in Marmaris in October: 17°C-27°C
Not only is Marmaris one of the best summer city break destinations in Europe, it’s one of the warmest places in Europe in October. October is the tail end of the peak season in Marmaris, when the European summer holidays have come to an end and children have gone back to school, so prices should have started to decrease during this time.
Perfect for sun-worshippers and culture-seekers, Marmaris is one of Turkey’s most popular resorts and is a picturesque location surrounded by forested mountains and crystal-clear waters. From beautiful beaches to buzzing nightlife to bustling bazaars, there are many wonderful things to do in Marmaris to fill any short break or holiday. And what’s more you can take an international day trip from Marmaris to Rhodes, which is the next destination on this list of best places to visit in October in Europe…
2. Rhodes, Greece
Temperature in Rhodes in October: 19°C-25°C
A highly sought after holiday destination, the city of Rhodes is located in the north of the idyllic Greek island of Rhodes and is concealed behind historic old town walls. In October, the Mediterranean climate means that Rhodes can still be beautifully warm, but you should certainly pack a light jacket because it can be milder in the evenings.
It’s not a particularly rainy month either, and the sea temperature means that swimming is still an option too. There are some amazing things to do in Rhodes town, like seeing the Fallow Deer of Rhodes or the Windmills of Mandraki. Rhodes was named a UNESCO World Heritage Town in 1988 as it is home to one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, with Ottoman influence pervading throughout!
3. Zadar, Croatia
Temperature in Zadar in October: 14°C-20°C
You might have heard of the popular Dalmatian hotspots of Dubrovnik and Split, but Zadar may have slipped through the net. A historic port and peninsula city located in central Dalmatia on the Adriatic Sea, Zadar has the most charming Romanesque old town which is pedestrianised.
One of the main attractions in Zadar is the Sea Organ, which plays the most calming sound when the ocean enters its pipes. Zadar is also a great place to stay if you want to do a day trip to the enchanting Plitvice Lakes or unspoilt Kornati National Park, which are two of the natural wonders of Europe. The mild temperature and quieter streets made Zadar one of the best places to visit in Europe in October, but be sure to pack a jumper for the chillier nights.
4. St Julians, Malta
Temperature in St Julians in October: 17°C-24°C
Located on the east coast of the rugged island of Malta, St Julian’s is one of the best places to stay in Malta and its warm climate makes it one of the best autumn destinations in Europe. St Julians is a lively town home to the popular area of Spinola Bay, where traditional Luzzu Fishing boats can be spotted.
Once a small Maltese fishing village, St Julians is now a cosmopolitan hotspot for nightlife, restaurants, beaches and sights. There are some great things to do in St Julians, but you should definitely venture further afield beyond your bustling base – you could do a trip to Gozo and the Blue Lagoon with Sea Adventure Excursions, or pop to the Baroque capital of Valletta for the day (check out this how to get from St Julians to Valletta guide to learn how).
5. Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife
Temperature in Puerto de la Cruz in October: 15°C-24°C
A former fishing village located in the Canaries on the island of Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz is a charming little place to spend a week or two. Although it has erupted into a bustling town in recent years, Puerto de la Cruz manages to retain its villagey vibe with its quaint harbour still existing today, and many historic buildings and sociable squares spanning its streets.
As Tenerife is situated off the west coast of Africa, it’s blessed with a tropical climate with warmer weather year-round, making it one of the best places in Europe to visit in October for some autumnal sunshine. To make sure you don’t miss out on any of the good stuff, be sure to check out the 9 absolute best things to do in Puerto de la Cruz before you go.
6. The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro
Temperature in Montenegro in October: 13°C-22°C
Located in the southwest of Montenegro and beginning to gain popularity, the Bay of Kotor is a butterfly-shaped inlet of water surrounded by the most breathtaking mountain scenery you will ever see. With autumn in fall swing, the nights draw earlier but there are still plenty of hours of sunshine through the day to enjoy the magic of the area.
Two of the notable towns you should visit around the Bay of Kotor are Kotor and Perast. Kotor is a fortified town located on the shores of the Bay, and boasts the most charming old town. Perast is a quaint fishing village clung to the edge of the Bay of Kotor, dotted with only a handful of shoreline restaurants and shops along one main street. The milder climate and sheer beauty of the Bay of Kotor makes it one of the best places to go in October.
7. Rome, Italy
Temperature in Rome in October: 16°C-22°C
The romantic capital of Italy is one of the best places to travel in Europe in October if you are looking for endless things to see and do. Rome is one big contrast, where old and new sit side by side – the Trevi Fountain stands in all its glory surrounded by selfie stick wielding tourists, and traffic whizzes around the perimeter of the Colosseum.
Home to some of the world’s best kept architecture from the Roman period, Rome is like an open air museum full of sculpture-adorned Piazzas, Romanesque ruins and decorative fountains. And aside from the rich history, Rome is a shoppers and foodies paradise, with an abundance of pizza, gelato and pasta shops, and boutique outlets throughout the city.
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