8 European destinations for an autumn vacation

From London to Budapest, Tuscany and Iceland, discover the best European destinations for a vacation in autumn.

Whether you’re wanting to take a long break or just a few days off, autumn is the ideal time to travel. Not only will you get to enjoy the cool yet mild weather, it’s also an excellent time to immerse yourself in nature. And let’s not forget the beautiful fall foliage that makes every place that touch more scenic.

If you’re thinking about a European vacation in October and are looking for destinations within a few hours’ reach, then keep reading! Here, we share with you 8 of the best European destinations for a fall vacation.

London and the Cotswolds

London is the ultimate autumn destination. The summer crowds are long gone and Christmas season madness has yet to begin. And while you may encounter slightly windier and rainier days than usual, the brilliant autumn colors you’ll see will more than make up for it. Take a stroll through Hyde Park, Regent’s Park, or along the banks of the Thames, taking in the spectacular display of leaves. Visit the London Eye or immerse yourself in magic with a Harry Potter tour. And in the evening, there’s nothing better than warming up in an English pub with a pint in hand. Check out our two-day itinerary in London to plan your trip.

Have a bit more time on your hands? We suggest heading to the Cotswolds hillside area, known for its atmospheric castles and pretty villages. Getting there isn’t too complicated; it’s only two hours west of London. It also gives you the chance to stroll in the fresh air of the English countryside.


What can we say about Tuscany in fall? The region is beautiful all year round, but fall is the ideal time for many outdoor activities. There are the classic must-visit cities like Pisa, Florence, and Siena, but the charm of the hilly landscape is truly unbeatable. This is also the grape harvest season, which produces the prized Tuscan wines. With a bit of luck, you might get to see the harvest up close and even enjoy a tasting in a winery. If you’re still not convinced, it also happens to be the perfect time for truffle hunting.


While it’s a touch pricey, Iceland is the ideal destination for an autumn vacation. The land of ice and fire is an oasis of tranquility, where you can get close to nature on a road trip starting from its capital, Reykjavik. The days are still relatively long, and temperatures aren’t too low yet. If the weather doesn’t cooperate and it starts raining, our advice is to visit one of the island’s lava caves and finish the excursion in a cozy café. As if that weren’t enough, with the shorter days, there’s a good chance you might see the Northern Lights, all while enjoying milder temperatures!

The ‘Pearl of the Danube’ is arguably even more beautiful in autumn. The colorful trees combined with the lower temperatures and shorter days make for a thoroughly charming stay. Additionally, the city is located on volcanic terrain, which means there are dozens of thermal spas you can enjoy. Széchenyi Baths is among the most famous, and it has several outdoor pools where you can relax in warm water, even if it’s raining.


Madrid empties out in summer as locals prefer to spend their vacations elsewhere. It tends to be too hot, making exploring the city somewhat exhausting. That’s why autumn is probably the best season to visit. The days are still sunny and you can stroll through Madrid’s streets for hours. We recommend going to Retiro Park and admiring its monuments and the lake. Or you can join the locals engaging in some outdoor sports. With pleasant temperatures in the evening, you can also enjoy tapas on a panoramic terrace. And if it rains, simply make a stop at one of the many museums, such as the Reina Sofía and the Prado.


If the cold isn’t your thing, Tenerife is the ideal destination for a fall trip. Temperatures here reach 23°C to 25°C in the autumn months, and there’s not much rain, especially in the south. If you prefer the lush north of the island though you might encounter some rainy days. You’ll be spoilt for choices when it comes to things to do. You can hike up Mount Teide and immerse yourself in an otherworldly landscape, visit the picturesque village of San Cristóbal de la Laguna, or spend a whole day of fun at Siam Park and the zoos.

The Alps

When we think of the Alps, we often think of summer hiking or busy ski slopes in the winter months. But you’d be surprised to know these stunning mountains are also a great place to go in autumn. The days are still sunny and bright, while the fresh mountain air rejuvenates the spirit. It does get colder at night and you might need to wear a jacket during the day, but the weather is great for mountain hikes. Whether you choose the Italian, French, Swiss, or Austrian side, you’re guaranteed a relaxed atmosphere and the spectacular colors of fall.

The Netherlands and the Veluwe

The hidden gem on the list! Have you considered going to the Netherlands in the fall? There’s more than just Amsterdam to explore. Utrecht, Delft, or Groningen in the far north are university towns that are enchanting (even in the rain), with a tranquil and relaxing vibe.

Instead, if you’re a dedicated nature lover we highly recommend a vacation in the Veluwe region. Autumn is the ideal time to see the landscape decked out in warm and earthy hues. From mid-September to mid-October there are many cycling and hiking trails you can explore; it’s also the best time for deer spotting. Hungry after a long day? Then dine in one of the many restaurants or cozy creperies.

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