Not quite ready to embrace the dark mornings and extra layers of clothing just yet? The good news is you don’t have to travel far to chase the last of the sunshine this autumn, and beat the crowds too.
Autumn is the perfect time to travel to Europe as the high season throng has thinned. This leaves sights uncrowded and prices low.
Many places are still reaching highs of 21 degrees but without the stifling midday heat of summer. You can don your hiking boots and see the sights without having to retreat indoors, hourly (unless you want to, of course!).
Ditch the hot water bottle and take a look at our top three spots for that perfect autumn getaway...
Puglia, Southern Italy
Puglia, also known as Apulia, is a beautiful region comprised of charming baroque towns, stretches of olive groves and long sandy beaches. It's the proverbial heel of Italy’s boot.
Puglia is one of Italy’s less explored tourist destinations, but it’s becoming increasingly popular as travellers discover its many charms. If you are a food lover, Puglia is definitely the place for you. Its varied cuisine and legendary ‘cucina povera’ (peasant cooking) is not to be missed. Pasta, soft cheeses, figs and grapes are just some of the fresh and delicious things on offer. Plus, the region’s excellent proximity to the coast means that fresh seafood is never off the menu.
Do: Visit the resort of Otranto and marvel at the Tree of Life mosaic in the Norman Cathedral.
Dine: Grotta Palazzese.
Stay: 8PIUHOTEL, Lecce.
Malta is a beautiful destination for a long or short stay. It's an archipelago of rocky outcrops in the Mediterranean Sea.
It is famous for its rich history, with notable sights including the temple of Hagar Qim on the south coast. It is believed to be one of the oldest man-made structures on earth. The old city of Mdina is also a must for history buffs.
Most of the beaches on the island are stony, so if you want to feel the sand between your toes, head to Mellieha Bay. It is situated on the north side of the island.
This picturesque little town has beautiful views and is the perfect place for a day trip. Explore the local churches, shops and restaurants, or just laze on the sand with a good book.
Do: Visit the Crafts Village at Ta' Qali and watch the famous glass blowing demonstrations.
Dine: Wigi’s Kitchen, Balluta Bay, St.Julian's.
Stay: The Palace Hotel, Silema.
The island of Hvar is fast becoming one of Europe’s most fashionable holiday destinations. It’s just as lovely in the autumn as it is at the height of summer.
Hvar Town consists of winding cobbled streets nestled within ancient stone walls. It also has a quaint fishing harbour lined with an assortment of cafes and restaurants.
Stroll along the coastline to explore the numerous secluded coves and beaches that Hvar has to offer. Alternatively, wander through the lanes filled with fascinating boutiques.
Do: Climb up to the Fortica, the town’s Spanish fortress that overlooks the town. Enjoy a drink or lunch at the lovely hilltop bar and restaurant while taking in the stunning views.
Stay: Hotel Park, Hvar.