As British summertime draws to a close, Europe still offers plenty of sun but smaller crowds with which to compete. Autumn colours paint a pretty picture in Italy as it enters truffle season, as well as picturesque Romania during the harvest. In South America, Colombia’s Coffee Triangle beckons after the peak tourist season and before the rainy season, while Peru’s Incan marvels and springtime festivals can be enjoyed amid fewer tourists. Namibia’s wildlife parks also offer superb wildlife experiences in September, when conditions are mostly warm and clear; good roads make self-drive a liberating way to explore this country’s epic, photogenic landscapes.
Best destinations to visit in September
Located close to the equator, Colombia is consistently warm through the year, although temperatures vary depending on your altitude. September tends to arrive at the end of the dry season but before the heavier rains of October and November, meaning you can comfortably tour the sights with fewer crowds. This is an excellent time to walk among the lush plantations of the Coffee Triangle, learning about the production process from bean to cup.
Visit Romania in September for milder temperatures after the summer heat, fewer crowds, and kaleidoscopic autumnal hues. The weather is ideal for walking in the mountains and villages that dot the countryside. Numerous events take place, including harvest, All Hallows’ Eve, and the chamber music festival of SoNoRo.
September is the start of the shoulder season in Peru, when the larger crowds of July and August begin to dissipate. This makes for slightly quieter excursions to Peru’s headline attractions, including the Incan wonder of Machu Picchu. It’s also the beginning of spring, characterised by mild weather and clear skies in Lima and the Andean highlands. For foodies and festival goers, there is plenty to look forward to, including Lima’s annual Mistura Food Festival, and the Trujillo Spring Festival, with its parades, musical performances and Peruvian paso contest. If you’re considering an extension, the north coast offers clement conditions for a beach-side stay.
In September, the weather is warm and dry in most of Italy. Peak tourist season has ebbed away, meaning you compete with smaller crowds at the most famous attractions. As it turns to autumn, the countryside will be peppered with shades of red and yellow. It is still warm enough to enjoy coastal areas, yet not stifling when exploring historical ruins in the sunshine. September brings harvest, so along with food and wine festivals, it is truffle and wild mushrooms season. Venice is host to the historic boat race, Regata Storica, and the International Film Festival; while Verona celebrates Juliet’s birthday.
In September, the temperature steadily rises across Namibia and wildlife viewing is excellent. The dry season (June to October) is warm and clear, with low humidity and extraordinary concentrations of wildlife, particularly in Etosha where animals congregate around scarce water sources. The Namib Desert and Sossusvlei are comfortable before the rains and extreme heat arrives in October. Despite the cooler weather, it’s the best time to visit the Skeleton Coast, since wildlife is the major draw. For this reason, September visitors should consider travelling to the wildlife parks first, as the weather steadily improves towards October. Namibia is very popular at this time of year and should therefore be booked early.