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October is a good time for visiting many countries in northern Africa and the Middle East. In Jordan, temperatures in October have become more comfortable – ideal for exploring the abundant historic sites and for relaxing on the shores of the Red Sea. The same goes for Egypt, where slightly lower temperatures allow for comfortable exploration of the ancient ruins and Pharaonic tombs before peak tourist season starts in December. In Morocco, combine a stay in Marrakech with a hiking trip in the High Atlas. Alternatively, October is one of the best times to witness the majestic mountain landscapes of Nepal; clear skies allow for incredible views of the Himalaya and there are walking routes suitable for all levels, from gentle strolls and soft treks to more adventurous multi-day hikes.
As the temperature dips at home, Egypt’s desert landscapes start to cool in late October, making winter the ideal time for Nile cruising and cultural immersion. As well as pleasant weather, you’ll avoid the peak tourist season in December and January at ancient sites including Karnak, Abu Simbel and the Pyramids of Giza, which can become very busy. In October, you’ll also have the opportunity to join the crowds before sunrise to celebrate the bi-annual Abu Simbel Sun Festival and witness the sun cut through the temple’s inner chamber like a scene from Indiana Jones.
A year-round destination, autumn in Jordan sees cooler temperatures and the first rain tends to fall in mid-October, helping the greenery and flowers colour the parched countryside. This is the best time to walk through the mountains as it’s not too hot or too wet and the vistas are even more beautiful after rainfall. Snorkelling in Aqaba is prime in October, with an abundance of marine wildlife including eagle rays and turtles, and warm waters of around 26°C.
Morocco comes into its own during spring and autumn. October’s warm weather is sandwiched between the heat of summer in the desert and the chill of winter in the Atlas Mountains, making it a lovely time to visit. Pleasant daytime temperatures in the mid-20’s are accompanied by cool evenings, and it’s still warm enough in the coastal regions which can be enjoyed year-round. There are also a number of festivals held during October, including the three-day Date Festival at the end of the harvest in Erfoud. As with many Middle Eastern countries, Morocco observes Ramadan, so be sure to check the dates before you book, as this will affect your stay.
Nepal’s dry season begins in October and lasts until May. It’s also autumn, which means that the weather is still warm and balmy. As the wet season has just ended, the countryside is a stunning, luscious green and the air is clear and crisp. Views of the Himalaya are at their very best in October, so it is one of the best times to go trekking. Meanwhile, the colourful Dashain festival normally falls in this month. Held to celebrate the symbolic triumph of good over evil, celebrations bring communities together and create a joyous atmosphere. Expect to see local fairs, kite flying, bamboo swings and sales in the shops – it is tradition to wear new clothing during Dashain.