Where to go in September
Families have packed away their buckets and spades and shepherded the kids home as school resumes in Europe and North America – now it’s time for the grown-ups to come into their own with weather still sunny and hot at the Mediterranean beach resorts, where there are some great end-of-season deals to be had and plenty of room to enjoy the holiday experience.
Make a splash anywhere around the Med. The beautiful Balearic Islands – lively Mallorca, low-key Minorca and wild Ibiza – too crowded for your taste in August, are now suddenly more appealing. Likewise the Spanish “costas”, baking under bountiful sunshine. Temperatures may have dipped ever so slightly from their summer maximums, but it’s doubtful you will notice the difference. The shoulder season in Italy is easily the best time of year to visit because the crowds have left, so the prices have dropped and the great summer weather remains. Don’t overlook the Mediterranean coast of Tunisia where the superb resorts of Hammamet and Port El Kantaoui have dazzling hot days and pleasant cool evenings. Provence in the South of France, as well as Brittany and Biarritz, still have great weather, with the added bonus of shoulder season rates.
On the Greek islands, September is the perfect time to explore the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, usually over-run with visitors in high summer. Santorini, Milos and Mykonos all have their special charm. Many people take advantage of the shrinking crowds in the Algarve and northern regions of Portugal, or travel to Azores or Madeira for mid-Atlantic bliss.
September is pleasant for a European city break, most especially recommended for a visit to the rollicking Bavarian city of Munich in Germany where the oompah bands play enthusiastically and hundreds of thousands quaff steins of beer at the world famous Oktoberfest. If you’re not just here for the beer, there are some interesting attractions to check out too.
Further afield September is a good month to travel to the renowned Indian Ocean resort island of Mauritius which has hot days, cool nights, very little rain and no wind during the month. Asia is rather unpleasant, in the grip of the rainy season, but the fabled island of Koh Samui in Thailand offers enough sunshine to satisfy most solar addicts.
One amazing destination which is at its best weather-wise in September is the island of Madagascar off of the east coast of Africa, where magnificent beaches can be enjoyed with a feast of wildlife – September is birthing season for a fresh generation of the cute native Lemurs, and great for whale-watching.
Whale-watching is also top of the pops in South Africa in September when the town of Hermanus in the Western Cape holds a festival while the Southern Right Whales frolic and come in to calve close to the shore.
Stateside in September the northern USA slips serenely into Fall (Autumn) and by mid-month the trees turn into a magical spectrum of colours. Fall foliage is best enjoyed in Massachusetts – take a tour from Boston. Canada, too, of course, offers splendid autumn arborial vistas in late September.
While the north American states cool down, the southern-western states of Nevada, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico come into their own with very pleasant weather for those who want a taste of the Wild West.
In Florida the weather is summery in the autumn, but less humid and much drier than during the summer months. A great time for a family trip to the theme parks of Orlando, basking on the beach in Miami or exploring the Everglades.
In the Caribbean it is decidedly off-season, the threat of hurricanes and tropical storms being at its highest level in September. If you are determined to have a Caribbean holiday in September pick an island outside the storm zone – Aruba, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Barbados are good bets. An excellent alternative to the regular Caribbean stalwarts are the string of idyllic, pristine islands just off of the coast of Venezuela – Los Roques – which are hurricane and rain-free.