Perfect for soaking up the last of the European summer rays, southern Europe is still gloriously sunny at this time of year – very much shorts and T-shirt weather – with temperatures averaging around 22 degrees. And as these ever popular summer destinations wind down after the frenzied high season, the gentle rhythm of daily life returns, along with a welcome sense of calm and normality.
Further afield Morocco and South Africa are easy October wins with perfectly warm temperatures allowing the active and adventurous to get up and go; explore the wildlife, delve into fascinating culture… or just relax by a pool in the sunshine.
Off-peak Greece: the same Mediterranean charm, foodie delights and sparkling seas BUT without the busy crowds. Stay at the hillside villa of Ilios in Zakynthos the first week in October and you can indulge in Peligoni Club’s incredible wellness week – PACE. This is the chance to focus on ‘you’, from fitness, mindfulness and fascinating creative workshops tackling all sorts of lifestyle topics. All topped off with deliciously healthy feasts breakfast, lunch and dinner. We promise you will come away with a new lease of life! Or what about The Rooster, Antiparos for some escapism? We love its private beach for a gentle paddleboard, and the food is sublime and comes straight from its garden.
South of France
Having said goodbye to the snazzy superyachts and sophisticated crowds, you can almost feel this region breathe a sigh of relief as it slips back to normal life. Here, the cooler temperatures will allow you to explore the pretty hilltop villages, swim in the warm seas – or heated hotel swimming pools – and enjoy life at a slower pace. The sophisticated glamour of Lily of the Valley on the French Riviera is perfect for frazzled bodies and minds – a seriously impressive health resort dedicated to weight loss, diet, sport and healthy living – while the gorgeous hilltop hideaway Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa in the Luberon hills is the epitome of Provencal peace and quiet.
October in Morocco is perfect for adventurous souls; a heady concoction of the exotic, cultural and romantic. This is the chance to embark on desert safaris, treks through the Atlas Mountains, kitesurfing in Essaouira and shopping in the bustling souks to bag a bargain. Stay at the gorgeous and utterly charming riad, La Villa Des Orangers while exploring the mesmerising city of Marrakech. We can organise expert guides to show you hidden corners of the city, as well as take you through the labyrinthine Medinas to find secret gems. Combine city with wild desert adventure and stay at Inara Camp in the Agafay Desert – think camel riding and quad bikes through the dunes!
Spring in South Africa; the end of the dry season in the North when flowers begin to bloom and the landscapes are painted in vibrant colours. There couldn’t be a better time to spot wildlife as they congregate around sparse waterholes. With temperatures ranging from 16-25C it is also the perfect time to make the most of all the activities on offer. Whether that be hitting the beach, going on safari, wildflower viewing, surfing, wine tasting, or hiking. We love Ant’s Hill for its huge range of activities. October brings southern right whales to calf along the South African coastline and the clifftop Birkenhead House is an exceptional place to stay and witness this phenomenon.
For the Foodie
Foodie festivals galore all throughout October celebrate regional delicacies – from wine to sausage to sardine or cheese – and true foodies will be in complete heaven. Whether you eat your body weight in Pastel De Natas or visit The Douro Valley where grape harvest and wine production goes back 2000 years, Portugal has something for every gourmet and wine enthusiast. And nowhere is better to stay than Six Senses Douro Valley, surrounded by the majestic red and gold vines producing world class wines to be sipped and savoured. Or perhaps opt for a sophisticated city break discovering Lisbon’s fine and varied cuisine whilst staying in luxury at Bairro Alto right in the heart of the city.
Indulge in seasonal dishes like risotto ai funghi and castagnaccio and sip tastings of new vintages. The idyllic countryside estate of Hotel Castello di Reschio in Umbria produces not only its own wines and olive oil but offers foraging and truffle-hunting too. Head to local food festivals to celebrate regional truffles and olive oil, and savour warm, hearty dishes in charming trattorias – even in October there is alfresco dining! Sicily is especially wonderful with its world-famous foods like cannoli, artichokes, rustic Italian bread and all things citrus. The food here is so steeped in local tradition that you cannot find it anywhere else. There is nowhere we would rather stay than Verdura Resort.
For Half Term Fun
Many of our gorgeous villas are now staying open until the end of October – at a fraction of the summer price! We have everything from fully catered as well as self-catered hillside hideaways and waterfront beauties walking distance to both beach and town. Villa Helena in Meganisi, Greece is an absolute winner for families (Holly & Philippa love it here!) – incredible views of the Ionian Sea, a three minute walk down to its very own private beach, and the only villa on this estate with a private heated swimming pool. Jacaranda in Corfu is equally wonderful and those views across the olive trees to the sparkling Ionian Sea will take your breath away.
Cyprus just couldn’t be more family friendly!Mid to high 20s throughout October means you can still make the most of the Mediterranean sea and everything it offers; from snorkelling, kayaking, paddle boarding or sailing. Kids can brush up on their history and visit archaeological sites, ancient ruins and historic landmarks. And where to stay? There is Almyra, which is chic and stylish in the heart of Paphos overlooking the sea. Anassa is another favourite and one which ticks all the boxes for a truly spoiling family holiday: incredible watersports for the older kids, the most incredible Kids Club for the younger ones and a world class spa for the adults.