9 Places to Soak Up the Sun in October
It may officially be fall—in the Northern hemisphere at least—but that doesn't mean it’s time to retire the sunhat just yet. There are still plenty of spots to find glittering water, gleaming cities, and sunset views to die for this October. Below, our nine favorite sun-drenched destinations.
Lanzarote, Canary Islands
Luxury meets adventure in Lanzarote, often called “The Island of the Eternal Spring.” The fourth-largest island on the Spanish archipelago and a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve protected site, Lanzarote is known for gorgeous weather year-round, black sand beaches, and its volcanic origin. The subtropical desert climate means vacationers and locals can expect warm weather and almost zero rainfall.
While there, make time to go to Timanfaya National Park (also known as Montañas del Fuego); the restaurant inside, El Diablo, offers gorgeous panoramic views of the island. Meanwhile, Jameos del Agua brands itself as a space devoted to nature and culture—created by Spanish architect César Manrique, the enchanting center includes a subterranean salt lake, jewel-tone pool, restaurant, gardens, and museum. Another must-see? The Venice of the Atlantic, El Charco de San Gines, is a natural salt lagoon in the capital of the island. A promenade with shops and cafes lines the waterfront, and several anchored boats make for an especially picturesque afternoon coffee or cocktail. After a long day, bed down at Seaside Los Jameos Playa or Jardines del Sol; both offer guests luxury accomodation without the sardine-packed feeling of a crowded resort.
You’re no tourist, but that’s not an excuse to pass up the opportunity to see one of the Seven Wonders of the World. A trip to Cairo without a stop to the pyramids of Giza is like going to Paris without so much as catching a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower from a window. Still, there's so much more to experience in beautiful Cairo than just the main attraction. It’s a city equal parts ancient and modern, and there’s no shortage of interesting architecture from every era of its history.
Don’t miss out on exploring the opulent mosques, bustling street bazaars, and sleek high-rises of the city. The Cairo Citadel houses museums and ancient mosques on what was once an Islamic military fortress. Now a popular site for visitors to Cairo, it’s one of the best places in the city for a sweeping view of the metropolis. Before you leave, spend an evening taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of Khan el-Khalili, the bazaar district bursting with jewelry and antique sellers, Arabic coffeehouses, street food, and more. Stay at Gawharet Al Ahram Hotel in nearby Giza, or in Villa Belle Epoque in downtown Cairo for a relaxing vacation in walking distance of incredible sights.
There’s nothing in the world quite as magical as a day spent lounging on the beach in Italy. Like a Luca Guadagnino film come to life, the island Capri is all pastels, tanned bodies, and the glistening Mediterranean. And oh god, the food. After a day on the beach, settle in for a feast at Il Riccio or wander through Piazza Umberto with a gelato from Buonocore Gelateria. Several tour companies offer day cruises and boat rides to the Blue Grotto and around the infamous rock trio, the Faraglioni. When it’s time to get out of the sun for a bit, hit a garden tour of Villa San Michele, once the beautiful home of Swedish doctor Axel Munthe.
Worried about crowds? While packed with tourists in the summer months, the beginning of fall is when the locals come back from vacation, the island quiets down, and the weather is still warm enough for the perfect getaway trip. Il Giardino dell'Arte offers an intimate stay in lush Anacapri, one of the quietest corners of the island.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Anyone who’s spent time in the Southeast U.S. knows it’s not the heat that gets to you, it’s the humidity. October in the Southwest, however, is a breath of fresh air with warm temperatures in the day and not a drop of rain. Plus, it doesn't hurt that the city is one of the most interesting in the region, with Old Town Albuquerque showcasing the area’s Native American and Spanish heritage. The San Felipe de Neri Church, built in 1793, dates back to the Spanish colonial period in the city, and much of the art in Albuquerque is created by Native American artists and artisans. Albuquerque is also becoming known for its emerging food and craft beer scene. Spots like Pueblo Harvest and The Cellar honor the city’s heritage with decadent Spanish tapas and delicious Native dishes like blue corn pancakes.
October is an especially good time to visit sunny Albuquerque for the annual International Balloon Fiesta, when more than 600 hot air balloons launch over the city. Want another way to get up in the air? The Sandia Peak Tramway offers visitors scenic views of breathtaking canyons and desert terrain. For a home base on your trip, turn to Hotel Chaco; the boutique stay fuses contemporary design with a nod to Albuquerque’s ancient past.
With its clear skies, blazing temperatures, blue-green water and white-sand beaches, Clearwater, Florida, is perfect for a last hurrah as summer fades into fall. By mid-October, most tourists have packed up for the summer, so you’re in for a relaxing trip at what’s been named America’s Best Beach. Spend the day soaking up the sun before wandering the Beach Walk by night. Looking for a quieter trip? Take a boat or kayak into Caladesi Island State Park, an uninhabited island off the Gulf Coast. Guided tours of the island are available, too.
To stay the night, Hotel Cabana on the northside of Clearwater Beach offers a heated pool and a low-key boutique hotel experience steps from the beach. For an all-inclusive experience, you can make Opal Sands Resort your base.
You don’t have to commit to the Eat, Pray, Love lifestyle to fall head over heels for Bali. The popular island on the Indonesian archipelago attracts adventurers and peace-seekers alike. In October, Bali is the least humid it will be all year. Although the wet season is technically beginning, it won’t start getting rainy until closer to the end of the month.
From peaceful temples and rice terraces to the surf on the stunning beaches, there’s something for everyone in Bali. For a sweat session and an adrenaline rush, hike Mount Batur, the gorgeous active volcano on the island. And don’t leave without trying Kopi Luwak, a particular kind of Indonesian coffee made from partially digested coffee cherries passed through the Asian palm cat. We promise it’s much better than it sounds.
Boutique hotels like Bambu Indah offer guests an inexpensive immersion in Balinese life. The antique teak homes at the resort are created in the style of some of the oldest homes in Bali. For a more luxury-filled experience, wellness resort COMO Shambhala Estate offers guests custom spa packages in a modern, state-of-the-art retreat.
RELATED: The 9 Best Hotels in Bali
The rain in Spain isn’t falling anywhere on this plain. In October, Seville is still remarkably sunny with only six days of rainfall expected. The temps are lovely as well, in the high 60s and low 70s throughout the month. Stay in the center of everything at Hotel Mercer Sevilla in the city center by Plaza Nuestra. From there, you’re a short walk to La Giralda, the bell tower of the grand Seville Cathedral. Take a picnic and a book to Maria Luisa Park or head to the Museum of Fine Arts for a relaxing afternoon, and round out the evening with tapas and vino tinto at one of Seville’s thousands of renowned restaurants. For more of a thrill, visit the Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza. The attached museum offers insights on the history of bullfighting in Spain. And of course, there's the dancing. Catch an unforgettable show at either Casa de la Memoria or Casa del Flamenco.
The Santa Cruz neighborhood is home to many of the city’s oldest churches and was once the Jewish quarter of the medieval city. Stay at the beautiful, modern Hotel Palacio Alcazar for an immersion into this side of Seville. With the city as your base, you’re also not far from the Costa Del Sol, Spain’s sunniest coastline. Rent a car and drive through the gorgeous, sun-soaked countryside from Seville to Marbella for a little time by the water.
Summer never really ends when you’re in Algarve. Fishing villages overlooking seaside cliffs, plus some of the best seafood you’ll ever have, make the Portuguese region a dream vacation. The nightlife in Lagos is unparalleled, but October is a quieter time than the crowded summer months. Stay at Quinta Bonita, one of the oldest properties in the area turned luxury hotel.
You’ll want to spend at least a day wandering through Old Town Lagos and visiting the marina. Walk the 200 wooden steps down to Praia do Camilo, the best beach in Lagos. The cliffs block wind, making it the ideal spot for sunbathing and swimming. Finally, round out an evening at Adage Tipica A Forja, also known as Blue Door, a humble seafood eatery locals rave about.
Officially called Santiago de Guayaquil, this city is the largest in Ecuador and the country's main port. Despite that, it’s not often the first place travelers think of when they’re considering a trip to Ecuador, since it’s often overshadowed by Quito, the country’s capital, and attractions like Cotopaxi Mountain and the Galapagos Islands. That makes it the perfect off-the-beaten-track location, especially in October when temperatures are in the high 70s and rain is unlikely.
Plus, there’s tons to do. The Malecón 2000 is a massive public renewal project with museums, shopping, and restaurants that attracts tourists and locals alike. We recommend settling in for a phenomenal, traditional meal at Pique y Pase, one of the top-rated eateries in the area. Then, soak up the sun on a quick walk over the bridge to Isla Santay, a small preserve where you can see mangroves and crocodiles and eat delicious food prepared using native traditions. Spend more time exploring the gorgeous architecture of the Las Peñas neighborhood, the first neighborhood created when the Spanish settled Ecuador in the 1500s. The metropolitan Cathedral is feat of architecture in the city; the original cathedral was destroyed in a fire in the 1800s and the current version has been rebuilt in an imposing neo-Gothic style. When you’ve done it all, check in to Nazu House, a relaxed bed and breakfast close to the city center with a sustainable mission.
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