As autumn draws ever-closer and temperatures begin to fall and the nights become noticeably longer, our minds inevitably begin to drift towards the best places to get some late summer sun. Rather than sheltering indoors why not take a trip to one of those locales that are, verging on too hot during the peak of summer, but perfect through October...
A year round balmy climate makes the Algarve one of Portugal's most popular destinations. Although tourist numbers drop in October the pristine beaches and rocky outcrops are still busy with a mixed crowd including beach goers, walkers, cyclists and keen wildlife enthusiasts - over 386 species of bird have been observed in the Algarve and the total increases every year. Macs Adventure's experiences in the Algarve include; Coastal Trails along ochre-coloured cliffs, cycling from the Spanish border to Sagres on the Authentic Algarve by Bike or for those with less time on their hands the Algarve Cycling Short Break covers many of the highlights over the course of 4 days.
October weather: low 14ºC/57ºF, high 25ºC/77ºF
The Algarve Coast is spectacular
In most parts of Greece the Mediterranean climate prevails deep into October with average temperatures in October holding at around 20ºC/68ºF. Although the North of the country is, on average, 5ºC cooler than the rest of the country it remains an attractive opportunity with average temperatures in the high teens, however most opt to head South towards the islands. The largest of the Greek islands is Crete, which has a diverse topography that makes for excellent walking. The Crete Coast to Coast is the perfect trip for those looking to get to know the island at their own pace. Experience tradition and elements of Greek culture that a regular visitor might overlook, staying in authentic guest houses and sampling the best Greek food in one of the quaint tavernas that are dotted around the island. What is most appealing, other than the sun and cuisine, to those who choose to visit Crete is the variety of landscapes, from walks along the coast, to the rugged mountains and gorges of the interior, or fertile plains where olive groves and cypress tress stretch far into the distance. Alternatively, those who prefer to travel on two wheels might be interested in Cycling the island of Rhodes. A trip that passes through picturesque fishing villages as-well-as a number of historic sites including a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the ancient cities of Lindos and Kameiros.
October weather: low 16°C/61°F, high 24°C/75°F
Picturesque tavernas are dotted all over Crete
3. Malta & Gozo
To the West of Greece in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea sit Malta and Gozo, prime places to visit during the off-season due to the warm temperatures and excellent value for money. Although small (Malta measures just 316km²) these islands pack in a decent amount of history along with vineyards, and perhaps the clearest waters in the Med. The Walking on Malta & Gozo trip is an island hopping adventure that brings together 5,000 year old Ggantija temples, rocky stretches of coast line and the tranquillity and relaxed rhythms only found on Gozo. The average temperatures in October make swimming as appealling as walking and visitors to these islands should make sure they take a boat to the islet of Comino (included in trip), home to the Blue Lagoon, and some of the clearest waters in the Mediterranean.
October weather: low 17ºC/63ºF, high 24ºC/75ºF
The Blue Lagoon on the islet of Comino
Croatia is full of 'must-sees' but the triangular shaped peninsula of Istria is essential. A surge in tourism starting in the early 2000s has left its mark on Istria, particularly on the coast where property development and concrete continues its rampant expansion: for beaches see the Dalmatian Coast. What the Dalmation Coast is to untouched beaches, Istria is to rustic hilltop towns. The Istria: Vineyards & Villages tour captures what Istria is all about, with late October being a great time to visit as the colours begin to change from sublime green to shades of red and auburn. Istria has changed hands four times over the past one hundred years and these influences are most apparent in the architecture and the food. The wines are highly rated and the white truffles are fresh, comparatively cheap and everywhere! If you are looking to get off the (well) beaten path in Croatia and experience the best of the scenery as-well-as some superb food, inland Istria is for you.
October weather: low 11ºC/52ºF, high 19ºC/66ºF
Unsurprisingly southern Italy makes the list, with Puglia being the stand out destination. A cycling trip is an ideal way to get an insight into the folklore, culture and history of this incredible region. Colours of Puglia allows one to explore the natural beauty, stunning architecture and traditions of Puglia. Whilst, Cycling the Salento Coast is a great biking option. Whichever trip you choose in Puglia, you are guaranteed excellent service and hospitality and, of course, delicious food and wine...perfetto.
October weather: low 13ºC/55ºF, high 17ºC/63ºF
Trulli houses in Puglia
Usually indulgence isn't good for our health but with experts advising that we should be taking vitamin D supplements throughout the winter months, should we feel guilty about taking another holiday intent on getting some sun? So, what will it be; supplements or sunshine? Heavy but warming dishes or light and fresh plates? A book by the fire or by the sea? For information on any of the trips mentioned in this piece, or to simply arrange a chat with a destination specialist, please get in touch via email@example.com.