It is summer, it is hot. You are enjoying gardening, walking, swimming and barbecuing with friends, but when fall comes you will have an urge to travel and yes, indeed, it is the best time to travel!
In many places it is the shoulder season, which means fewer crowds. In addition the weather is optimal, in the northern hemisphere, the summer heat has passed, but it is still quite pleasant; in the southern hemisphere, spring flowers are blooming; and in Asia the monsoon rains have ended.
Here are some of my favorite trips for the fall:
Hiking in Vermont: If you have not seen Vermont in the fall, you don’t know what you are missing. The fall colors there are simply unbelievable! With forests covering three-quarters of the state, and the highest percentage of vibrant maple trees in the country, Vermont can’t help but explode into amazing colors once the leaves start to turn. Whether you are touring the state on the scenic byways, or enjoying a crisp autumn hike outdoors, almost everywhere you look in Vermont during the fall months is alive with bursting reds, oranges and yellows.
Adding to the natural beauty of autumn in Vermont are a variety of festivals, events and activities that help celebrate the season. Harvesting fruits and vegetables, visiting farms, pumpkin patches and corn mazes, and game hunting are among the host of outdoor things to do that make fall such a special time of year.
Plus, the elegant inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts are perfect places to stay during a fall visit to Vermont, but let's plan your fall trip and lodging early, because when the calendar turns to autumn, virtually no place in America is more desirable to visit than Vermont.
Croatia: hike and kayak along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. The shimmering waters of the Adriatic Sea make the beaches of the Dalmatian Coast a seaside getaway every bit as desirable as a turn on the Mediterranean. Here dramatic limestone cliffs rise from the deep, and islands are scattered just offshore (the most appealing are Hvar and Kor'ula). Here you'll find Croatia's top tourist town, Dubrovnik the "Pearl of the Adriatic", and the big city of Split, with its impressive Roman ruins. And don't forget to visit the region's open-air markets while you're there.
Kayaking on the Adriatic Sea along the Dalmatian Coast allows you to possibly see the ancient fort Lovrjenac if you're near Pile. Or maybe you want to explore the caves and beauties of mysterious Lokrum island, also called 'The island of love'. After paddling around the island you can paddle across the bay to reach a hidden cave beach called Betina for a snorkeling break. Beaches, palm trees, boats, villas and hotels fill the vista as you paddle under the impressive city walls and rocks on which they were built on.
Sicily: The largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily boasts a diverse and historic culture dating back to ancient times.
Sicily is the largest of the Italian islands, separated from the Continent by the Strait of Messina and surrounded by the Ionian, the Tyrrhenian and the Mediterranean Seas. It is one of the pearls of Southern Italy and is best discovered, understood and experienced in person. I'd love to help you do so.
Nature seems to have endowed all its wonders to this land: mountains, hills and above all the sea, with its incredible colors, its crystal-clear water and the beauty of its seabeds, in no way inferior to those of other seas. Here, the Mediterranean Sea, with its many little islands scattered around the coasts of Sicily - The Aeolians, Egadi and Pelagie Islands, Pantelleria and Ustica - offers unique and the intense sceneries, scents and flavors of uncontaminated nature.
Iceland: The Northern Lights are a truly magnificent gift of nature. Observing their extraordinary colors dancing across the arctic sky is an unforgettable experience—and Iceland is one of the best places in the world to see them. November thru March is the best time.
Iceland is a country of sharp contrasts. A place where fire and ice co-exist. Where dark winters are offset by the summer’s midnight sun. A country where insular existence has spurred a rich and vibrant culture. Iceland is not a destination. It is an adventure. Travel to Iceland to experience the stunning Icelandic nature, the beauty of the rugged landscape and the creativity of the Icelandic people. Come let Iceland be your inspiration.
Bhutan: There is no destination in the world quite like Bhutan. It is known as the “Last Shangri-La”. A small mountainous paradise steeped in tradition. Long isolated from the world, tourism in Bhutan has been allowed for less than 40 years; however, the country has embraced development with sensitivity towards preserving its pristine environment and unique culture. Set in peaceful seclusion amidst the mighty Himalayas, this kingdom’s dramatic scenery—from snow-capped peaks to its verdant rice paddies and crystalline streams—leave those lucky enough to visit in awe.
The country was first unified in 17th century by Zhabdrung Ngawang Namgyel. After arriving in Bhutan from Tibet he consolidated his power, defeated three Tibetan invasions and established a comprehensive system of law and governance. His system of rule eroded after his death and the country fell into in-fighting and civil war between the various local rulers. This continued until the Trongsa Poenlop Ugyen Wangchuck was able to gain control and with the support of the people establish himself as Bhutan’s first hereditary King in 1907. His Majesty Ugyen Wangchuck became the first Druk Gyalpo (Dragon King) and set up the Wangchuck Dynasty that still rules today.
In 2008 Bhutan enacted its Constitution and converted to a democracy in order to better safeguard the rights of its citizens. Later in November of the same year, the currently reigning 5th Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck was crowned.
Venice: September is one of Venice’s busiest months, with all the Razzmatazz of Biennale events and new exhibition openings. By November, however, the city empties out, its alleyways echoing with the footsteps of locals and a smattering of out-of-the-season visitors. In any season, Venice’s churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant contemporary art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.
Venice is famous for its characteristic bridges spanning the canals navigated by gondolas, its monuments, piazzas, narrow lanes and silent waters. Venice is actually a group of fascinating small islands, where art and history combine with old trades and the beauty of the sea.
Sandy beaches washed by the Adriatic Sea characterize the main resorts that offer vacationers every kind of comfort. The fascinating inland is composed of many paths traversing the green scenery, along with peaceful rivers that pass through small towns rich in history and fabulous villas. It is an area full of the exquisite flavors of its typical dishes and a renowned “wine list." Many opportunities for fun abound as well: outdoor sports, nightlife in the many glamorous night spots, and shopping in the typical crafts workshops to buy souvenirs.
Portugal: September and October often represent the best time to go to southern Portugal as sea temperatures are still warm and beaches are a lot less crowded as day life along the coast gets back to normal. The northern part, the Douro Valley enjoys its own micro climate which is an important reason for the quality and style of its wine. Cruise, walk and hike in this region so full of beauty and charm; you will enjoy ancient Spanish trails, Portuguese city streets, World Heritage terraced vineyards and glorious river gorges.
With its mild climate, 3000 hours of sunshine per year and 850 kms of splendid beaches bathed by the Atlantic Ocean, Portugal is the perfect holiday destination all year round. This is a country that has the oldest borders in Europe, with an exceptional range of different landscapes just a short distance away, lots of leisure activities and a unique cultural heritage, where tradition and modernity blend together in perfect harmony. Its superb cuisine, fine wines and hospitable people make this a tourist paradise of the highest quality.
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