October
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Best Countries To Visit In October

Planning A Trip In October? Here's our list of best countries to visit in October
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The month of Halloween or Samhain Eve (summer’s end), Oktoberfest and mostly red autumn leaves, October is a brilliant blast of colours in most Northern Hemisphere countries. Known for the transitional season of autumn, the one where rains recede, air dries and trees shed their leaves to prepare for a long, lazy winter. Some of the best countries to visit during the month of October are Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Croatia, Mauritius, Bhutan and France among others. Iceland is a very special place in this month as Northern Lights are easily visible, and also for longer durations; while Scotland is home to such magical Celtic rituals on Samhain Eve (Halloween) that make your head turn. Have a glance through of the list we have compiled below and choose for yourself which country and which culture will make your autumn holiday memorable this year. 

 

You’re sure to find more than a few!

Croatia

Croatia:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by http://miriadna.com/preview/dubrovnik-(adriatic-sea,-croatia)

Croatia is a precious part of Eastern Europe, located on the coast of the Adriatic Sea. It is home to almost a thousand islands and makes for one of the most coveted tourist attractions for its Dynamic Alps, the medieval charisma of its capital city Zagreb, the stone-walled city by Adriatic- that is Dubrovnik, a whole lot of museums and the breath-taking Gothic architecture with a renaissance touch on its coastal cities. October becomes a good time to visit Croatia for the smooth sailing weather that the country sees in this month. Humidity remains low and rain only picks up as the month goes by. 11 rainy days and 11 hours of daylight in Dubrovnik, isn’t that the perfect combination?

 

Things to Do: 

Start your trip by taking a tour of the Plitvice Lakes National Park, known for its natural wonders that are the chain of 16 terraced lakes, majestic waterfalls and the huge limestone canyon. You can also set aside a weekend for the islands and go to Hvar island in the Adriatic Sea for a relaxed time, to explore its 13th-century walls, fortresses and the quaint Renaissance architecture. You can also visit beaches like Dubovica. There is also the island of Vis, Brac, Korkula, Krk, Rab, Cres etc. And the history buffs could visit Diocletian’s Palace, Euphrasian Basilica, Catherdral of St. Dominius and St. James Cathedral. 

 

How to Reach: 

Zagreb, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula have some of the major International Airports  of Croatia. From India, there is no direct flight to Croatia but many connecting flights are available. Lufthansa, Air India, Jet Airways, Air France and Qatar Airways are the major players. You can also travel to Croatia by rail from European cities like Germany, Switzerland, Hungary, Serbia etc. Or you can just drive up. Buses are easily available for inter-city and inter-country travel (within Europe).

Portugal

Portugal:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.photographycoursetour.com/portugal-photo-tour-photography-course-beginners.html

The home of ‘Port’ or Porto Wine, Europe’s oldest country, Portugal is a marvel of Europe, situated at its south-eastern side. A trip to this country is bound to be an eclectic mix of ancient history, architecture that has survived time, beaches that make you go swooning, churches with bells and towers and of course, FOOTBALL. October holidays are generally very pleasing in Portugal, with  an average day high of 23ºC, while temperatures fall to 15ºC at night. It is autumn but mild rain can be expected, not enough to distort your plans though.

 

Things to Do:

There are quite a few great places of Portugal worth your time, starting from the medieval haunts to the ones that have adapted to the modern era. Explore Lisbon, the capital city, take heritage walks on Baixa district and the city centre. In Porto, visit the Douro river, traipse down the seaside suburbs which feel right out of a renaissance dream, and hop across the swelling collection of contemporary cafes, chic restaurants and bars. Spend a weekend at Madeira Island,  visit the Estádio Municipal de Braga and listen to music in Fado Bars. For Harry Potter fans, visit Livraria Lello bookstore, inspired by Hogwarts.

 

Trivia: JK Rowling once taught English in Porto and had been a regular at the said bookstore. 

 

How to Reach: 

Lisbon, Portela and Humberto Delgado house the main International Airports in Portugal. When coming in from India, you can take a direct flight from Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Bangalore or Goa, with aircraft carriers like Air France, British Airways, Gulf Air, Air India and Jet Airways. European countries, namely Spain and France ply regular buses as well as trains to Portugal. Or you can choose to hire a cab. Centraldetaxis.pt is the taxi cab central with a national coverage, and it works 24x7 for taking bookings.

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Italy

Italy:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.zicasso.com/luxury-vacation-italy-tours/capturing-italy-photography-tour-venice-po-delta

The home of Pizzas, Pastas and Rome, Italy is one of the most famous European holiday destinations in the world. With the bounty bestowed upon it by nature as well as a trail of ancient historic heritage it holds in its buildings, monuments and statues, Italy is really a feast for the senses. October becomes a beautiful month to explore the wonders of Italy, with summer trailing into a cool autumn. With 7-18°C temperature range and mild rainfall, this makes for some pretty stunning weather. 

 

Things to Do:

Explore the city of Rome, which undoubtedly wasn’t built in a day! Visit the Colosseum and Trevi fountain, Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica; lunch at chic cute cafes, enjoy thick gelato walking down the cobbled streets of Rome and make sure to visit the Vatican City. Florence is another beautiful destination for history and renaissance, the city of Da Vinci and the wealthy banker rulers - Medici (15th Century). This city is filled with David’s famous sculptures, the Duomo and the Uffizi Gallery. Venice is another marvel, the city of canals that boasts of Gondola rides, while Milan is the fashion capital of Italy. Also check out the Leaning Tower of Pisa, spend some leisure time at the ‘Isle of Capri’ and Lake Como and finally, explore the ruins of the ancient city of Pompeii. Sicily is another great island to visit, as is the Amalfi coast. 

 

How to Reach:

Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan and Sicily are some of the important International airports in Italy. You have the option of direct as well as stopover flights from Mumbai and Delhi. With Air India, Lufthansa, Emirates and British Airways plying regular flights, you can easily fly to Italy now. For water routes, Venice, Ancona, Bari and Brindisi become docking ports for ferries and cruises from all over Europe. Rail routes are well mapped and well run, the service providers being Italo Rail or Euro Rail. The roads are also pretty good if you want to take the bus or hire a car.

Scotland

Scotland:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.spiritjourneysworldwide.com/tours/scotland-outlander-tour/

Scotland has been an integral part of the the United Kingdom ever since the bloody battle of Culloden fought between the British and the Scottish Jacobites in 1746. The lyrical green glens and rocky cold highlands filled with mud and rains, streams and stories are what weave together a Scotland that is as stuck in the warp of time as it has evolved in the 21st Century. In the month of October, Scotland sees its summer season trail quietly into autumn and temperatures drop from a cheery 20°C to a chilly 9°C by the end of the month. In October the crowd starts thinning and hence makes for some open, empty tourist spots and discounted rates wherever you go. 

 

31st October marks the eve of Samhain festival (Halloween) and has ancient roots in Celtic traditions. All houses in Scotland light up huge bonfires in front of their homes to ward off the ghosts of the dead, turnips are scooped to lit lanterns (the older version of American pumpkin) and the season of summer and harvest is said to end, to give way to the season of cold, dark winter. 

 

Things to Do:

Visit the Cairngorms and Northwest Highlands, sit by the Loch Ness (lake) and listen to the story of the Loch Ness monster. Loch Lomond is another great lake. Do also explore the spellbinding Isle of Skye. To witness the horror of the battle of Culloden, visit the Culloden moor, the place where where British Redcoats slaughtered the highlanders. The museum there is a reminder of Scottish valour. Tour the cities of Inverness and Glasgow and enjoy some amazing Whiskey. There is also the Holyrood Palace, Edinburgh castle and Princess Street in Edinburgh. Also, don’t miss the specially arranged Outlander Tours, showing you through the many locations of the renowned Netflix show Outlander. To know the Scots better, head to local pubs or bars and chat up with the locals for stories of faeries, changelings and elves.  

 

How to Reach: 

Your landing spots in Scotland are Aberdeen International Airport, Edinburgh Airport, Glasgow International Airport, Inverness Airport and Dundee Airport. India to Scotland doesn’t have any direct flights but you can take a stopover flight. Or you can fly to London and then take the road or a domestic flight. The National Express bus service plies buses between Scotland and other UK cites, making for a cheap option. National Rail System is another option for if train is your mode of choice. 

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Turkey

Turkey:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by http://www.heelstohikingboots.com/2015/12/03/20-photos-to-inspire-you-to-visit-cappadocia-2/

Turkey is a delightful mix of eastern and western ways of life, with an ages old culture that was influenced by Islam as well as Christianity; Turks, Assyrians as well as Romans. Turkey today is what once was the ‘Ottoman Empire,’ with its modern capital Ankara and the ancient capital Istanbul. October in Turkey marks an average of 16ºC, hence a summery autumn. Evenings get chilly while rain is infrequent (10 days), with 6 hours of sunshine. 

 

Things to Do:

Visit the 17th century blue mosque called Hagia Sophia. Once a Greek orthodox Basilica, it later fell in the hands of the Ottoman Empire and became a mosque. Today it is a museum. Also worth exploring is the Topkap─▒ Palace, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Grand bazars in the old market and Spice bazar selling exotic spices, dried fruits, nuts, ethnic jewellery, souvenirs and the famous Turkish coffee. Other attractions include Ankara Castle, Pamukkale town and Hierapolis (an ancient Roman spa city). Head to Cappadocia in central Antolia for beauty that is unparalleled and Mardin for clear cobalt skies and mustard coloured mountains.

 

How to Reach: 

Istanbul's Atatürk International Airport and Ankara's Esenbo─ča Airport are your two destinations when coming in from abroad. Non-stop fights from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore operate regularly to Turkey, with Emirates being a major carrier. Driving to Turkey from many European nations including France, Germany, Italy etc is also an option. For internal transport, there are buses and domestic flights, as well as cars, ferries and boats.

France

France:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by http://www.angelio.net/blogangelio/la-france-destination-culturelle-par-excellence/

The synonym to Louis Vuitton, Ives Saint Laurent, Eiffel Tower and wine, France is a country that truly leaves its guests smitten. Touted as the fashion capital of the world, this country is known for its sexy language and passionate people. October becomes the peak of fall/autumn in France, a very cool time with average temperature of 14°C, that gradually drops to about 9 by the month end. This time of the season is also known for harvest of grapes and hence there is an abundance of wine harvest and food festivals. 

 

Things to Do:

Go sightseeing in the capital of France - Paris; from the Eiffel Tower and Louvre Museum to Notre Dame and the Palace of Versailles, there is just too much history and heritage from centuries to reap here. Take a walk down the many streets and high fashion shops of Paris. In this month of harvest, go for wine tasting in the French Alps or cheese tasting in Burgundy. Explore Lyon’s Roman theatre, ancient drawings of Lascaux and lots more. Nice is another great city for its stretches of pebbled beaches and great French cuisine. The French Riviera must also be on your list, as well as Moulin Rouge. Disneyland in Paris is also highly coveted by one and sundry.

 

And for those who have been fans of the Tin Tin comics or have loved the setting of the movie Tamasha, Corsica is another must-visit town in France.

 

How to Reach:

Paris and Orly (south of Paris) are the two major International airpots in France. For tourists travelling from India you have a whole range of options for airlines, namely, Air India, Gulf Air, Jet Airways, Air France, British Airways and Singapore Airlines. They each operate direct and indirect flights from Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. For waterways, there are boat and ferry services across the English channel (from Calais in England to Dover). For train travel, you have the Eurostar connecting France to various European cities, while you can also hire a car or take a bus.

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Mauritius

Mauritius:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by http://www.backlight.mu

Mauritius is a gorgeous beach paradise, a small island nation perched in the Indian Ocean, renowned world over for its pristine sands, cobalt blue waters and luxury beach resorts. The month of October in Mauritius is characterised by gradual rising of day temperature, daily highs of 25°C and lows of 20°C. This is also one of the driest months of the year and the quiet transition from winter to summer. Beach hopping, shopping, foodgasm, spas, water sports; all of it is exceptionally experienced in this month when the temperatures are neither too hot, nor too cold. 

 

Things to Do:

Beaches are not even a tenth of all the fun activities that Mauritius has in store for you. You should visit the Bois Cheri Tea Plantations, explore its soft, fresh scents of tea and mud, taste some tea and pick up small packs as souvenirs. Take yourself scuba diving and kite surfing in Belle Mare, go snorkelling in the Blue Bay Marine Park and cave sea kayaking in Albion Caves. There are also some great opportunities of horse riding at Riambel Beach and luxury cruises. There is Mauritius National Botanical Garden, Chamarel Village, EarthTamarin Bay and underwater sea walk at Grand Bay. You can take seaplane rides that take off from Albatross and give you a stunning bird’s eye tour of the many beautiful wonders of Mauritius. 

 

How to Reach:

Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport (Plaisance) is about 50 km away from the capital city of Port Louis of Mauritus. This becomes your landing destination when coming in from an international country. Carriers like Air India, Emirates, Jet, Singapore Airlines etc connect Indian cities to Mauritius on a daily basis. Another mode of transport can be by the sea route, on any of the luxurious International cruise liners that sail through the Indian Ocean. When in the island country, you can hire cars/vans, motorbikes and boats to travel.

Iceland

Iceland:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/20/see-the-northern-lights-from-a-glass-igloo-at-kakslauttanen-in-finland.html

Iceland is the origin of the Norse myths, as well as the fabled vikings. It is the land of lots of ice and volcanic fires, a real paradox of sorts. The landscape is utterly gorgeous, giving you Game of Thrones vibes, leaving you speechless at its sheer natural opulence. The country has a string of geysers, hot springs and lava fields, not to mention frozen rivers in this season. In the month of October, summer comes to an end here, and winter spreads its icy fangs. The average temperature touches 4°C and average precipitation is 77mm. But what redeems this fact is the brilliant shower of Northern Lights that you can see in the skies at this time, quite easily, we must add.

 

Things to Do:

Visit the Snæfellsjökull and Vatnajökull National Park, which are two protected areas for glaciers. You might even feel you are standing on night’s watch somewhere near the Great Wall in Game of Thrones. You also get to visit Thingvellir, the actual filming location of HBO’s Game of Thrones. 

 

Now comes the legendary Norther lights or Aurora Borealis. You can spot them in the skies of Reykjavik, although a better and more sure shot way would be to travel to a place with less pollution and no lights, like Seltjarnarnes or Faxafloi Bay. Visit Puffin Island (Akurey and Lundey), only half a mile away from Reykjavik for a colony of cuddly Puffins. Other tourist attractions are Dynjandi Waterfall, Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and Valley of Thor for hiking. The Peace Tower makes for great sightseeing. The beginning of october also means that most migratory animals are on their way to Iceland, hence you can head to Faxaflói Bay to spot some gorgeous humpbacks, whales and dolphins. 

 

How to Reach:

Keflavik International Airport is the major terminal for International flights into Iceland. Iceland Air and Iceland Express becomes two of the most significant airlines in the country. From India, you have one-stop fights available from Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Waterways are also developed to Iceland, but we suggest airway as it is the most preferred mode of transport. 

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Bhutan

Bhutan:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.locationscout.net/bhutan/1345-tigers-nest-taktsang-lhakhang

Bhutan is the kind of country that measures it growth not by GDP but by GNH (Gross National Happiness). A hilly landscape that was once torn by battle and blood so thick that made this place inhabitable, Bhutan was later chosen by Buddhist monks to settle and meditate. Over centuries, the land was sanctified and peaceful vibes prevailed again. Today it is just as beautiful, tranquil and reflective. October is one of the best months to visit Bhutan, especially because the weather is so good. 25°C and long sunny days make Bhutan ideal for trekking, sightseeing and the major festival of Thimphu Tshechu.

 

Things to Do:

Take a tour of the famous Paro Taktsang monastery (Tiger’s Nest) and the Paro valley. There are many other trekking opportunities as this land is known for that sport, namely, Druk Path Trek, Snowman Trek, Nabji Korphu Trek, Jomolhari Trek etc. You can also try kayaking at Paro Valley, Trongsa and Punakha Valley. River rafting is popular in Po Chu River, while rock climbing in Thimphu. The country is also home to a string of hot springs, like Gasa Tshachus, Duenmang Tshachu and Gelephu Tshachu. You can also go bird watching, ideally to Phobjikha Valley, Bumthang, Bomdeling, Trongsa, Tingtibi and Punakha.

 

For those who are looking forward to some tranquil, reflective time for yourself in Bhutan, almost most hotels, monasteries and temples offer yoga and meditation with guided sessions. 

 

How to Reach:

Paro is the primary International Airport of Bhutan, and allows direct flights from Indian cities like Kolkata, New Delhi, Guwahati and Bagdora. For other cities of India like Bangalore, Chennai and Kochi, there are one-stop flights. There are no direct trains from India to Bhutan but you can travel to New Jalpaiguri or Bagdora Station and then take a cab to cross the border. 

Seychelles

Seychelles:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://www.stefan-hefele.de/en/seychelles.html

Seychelles is an archipelago (collection) of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, just off East Africa. The country is home to many beaches, coral reefs and natural reserves, including rare animals like the giant Aldabra tortoises. Seychelles also boasts of mountain rainforests and the Seychellois National Park. October is a very pleasant month in Seychelles, travel-wise. But it is very wet, one of the wettest in fact, and hence rains can disturb some of your plans. However, with a temperature range of 24-30°C, this place is still great for touristy things. 

 

Things to Do:

Some of the best islands in Seychelles are those that have the least infrastructure. Like the La Digue island, almost like a dragonfly caught in amber, preserved in time. It barely has any vehicles or paved roads or infrastructure. But the untouched, pristine beaches take your breath away. You must also try Curieuse Island for its giant tortoises, as well as Praslin Island, which is home to Vallée de Mai Nature Reserve (a nature park and UNESCO World Heritage Site). Other islands popular here are North Island, Frégate Island and Félicité. Seychelles National Botanical Gardens on Mahé is also a great bet. 

 

How to Reach:

Victoria is home to the most important International Airport of Seychelles - Seychelles International. Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bengaluru operate regular direct flights to Victoria with airlines like Emirates, Jet Airways, British Airways and Sri Lankan Airlines. While getting around in Seychelles, you have the option of local bus services like on the islands of Mahe and Praslin, or you can hire bicycles or use ox-carts, like on La Digue. Taxis are also available on hire. Ferries and domestic flights can also be used for island hopping.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://yourshot.nationalgeographic.com/photos/11547040/

They say, ‘a New York minute is a Hong Kong second;’ rightly so, because this place throbs with the raw electric energy that seeps into every human on its radar. Hong Kong is an autonomous territory in southeast China, making for one hell of a business as well as tourist hub, not to mention what a Mecca it is for shopaholics. The weather in Hong Kong, during the month of October is very pleasant. The clear skies and sunshine make for a lot of warmth and longer days. 23-28°C being the temperature range, Hong Kong is just the right amount of ready for tourism in this month. Halloween creates quite a buzz here, especially in Hong Kong Disneyland. 

 

Things to Do:

Sightseeing in Hong Kong is never-ending, but some unmissables include Victoria Peak, the Big Buddha, Happy Valley Racecourse, Man Mo Temple (dedicated to Taoist gods of literature-Man and war-Mo) and Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery in the New Territories. Shek O beach, Repulse Bay, Stanley and Tai Long Wan are some relaxing beaches. Adventure junkies can charter junk boats to sail or go hiking to the Dragon’s Back. Some major amusement parks in Hong Kong are Ocean Park Hong Kong and Disneyland. You can escape to Lantau or Lamma Island for some me-time and chill vibes or stay in the city to enjoy its throbbing pulse, especially the nightlife at Tsim Sha Tsui.

 

We’ve saved the last for the best (shopaholics), who would loot the many many malls and markets in Hong Kong. Traipse through Hong Kong’s Ladies’ Market for chic clothes and accessories, Temple Street Night Market for everyday stuff and wares, Cat Street for antiques and Apliu Street Market for gadgets and related stuff. Lower Kowloon is known for high street fashion brands, while the malls of Causeway Bay are for street-style stores. 

 

How to Reach:

The Hong Kong International airport in Chek Lap Kok is the main International airport in the city, located 31 km away away from the city centre. It receives many daily flights from India, including those from Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore etc. Air India, Jet, Emirates and British Airways are some of the regular carriers. You can also travel to Hong Kong from China by taking one of the bullet trains. Or catch one of the many buses from Chinese cities like Guangdong or Beijing. High-speed Turbojets as well as transport boats also ply from Macau to Hong Kong.

Nepal

Nepal:  Best Countries To Visit In October
Photograph by https://my.nepalembassy.gov.np/?attachment_id=1709

Nepal is home to Mt. Everest. What else needs to be said? 

 

Nepal is a landlocked country in the Himalayas of South Asia. It is a land of yaks, mountains, yetis and monasteries, know as the only country that accepts Hinduism as its state religion. The country has evolved as a coveted tourist destination for hikers, trekkers, adventure enthusiasts and peace seekers. During the month of October, Nepal becomes one of the most coveted tourist destinations of the world. The average temperature in Nepal during October is 20°C, making it perfect for outdoor activities without breaking a sweat.

 

Things to Do:

Trek, trek trek. If you are not in Nepal to conquer Everest, then you are sure here to trek up smaller peaks, or at least hike up walking trails. There are a number of routes and trails here worth trying, for novices as well as seasoned trekkers. From Poonhill Trek to Manaslu to Everest Base Camp Trek, the seasoned ones are going to have a blast. For those who are just learning, head to Mera Peak or Island Peak. You can also take a luxury panoramic flight over the white peaks of Himalayas. There is also Bardia National Park as well as Chitwan National Park for the nature lover in you. You can pursue fishing, mountain climbing, boating, sightseeing and treks in the lakeside town of Pokhara. Mountain biking is particularly famous in Kathmandu Valley, along with sightseeing in places like Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambhunath Stupa, Temple of Kumari, Boudhanath Stupa and Durbar Square. 

 

For some history-gasm, head to Patan, the second largest town of Nepal. It is said to date back to 250 BC and its corners are still marked by ancient stupas. 

 

How to Reach:

Tribhuvan International Airport (Kathmandu) is the main entry point into this country by air. From India, you can find flights from major cities like Delhi and Mumbai, or travel by bus across the border from Bihar. There is also the option of railway as the governments of the two countries are very friendly and have maintained good rail connectivity across borders. The Indian town of Raxaul runs trains to Sirsiya in Nepal. You can also hire a private cab to cross the border with relevant permits, or take the bus crossing Sunauli-Bhairawa border from Varanasi; Raxaul-Birganj crossing from Patna or Kolkata and Siliguri-Kakarbhitta crossing from Darjeeling

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