Discover the Best September Travel Destinations for an Unforgettable 2023 Adventure
Looking for the best September travel destinations that will leave you in awe? Look no further! We have compiled a list of the top four most popular destinations for travel in September 2023. From the enchanting European gem of Santorini to the vibrant streets of New York City, we have something for everyone. Whether you're a beach lover, a culture enthusiast, or an adventurer seeking new experiences, these destinations are sure to captivate your senses. Get ready to embark on a journey that will create memories to last a lifetime. So, pack your bags and join us as we explore the best September travel destinations the world has to offer.
Europe showcases its true beauty in September. In countries like France and Italy, the crowds of tourists have diminished, and locals have returned from their August holidays, feeling refreshed and ready for business. Restaurants and hotels are open again, lines for attractions are shorter, and prices start to decrease during the "shoulder season".
The weather in Western Europe remains pleasantly mild, and the Mediterranean beaches are still sunny. In Eastern Europe, you can find great deals on accommodations and enjoy tourist sights without the crowds. The Baltic states, Scandinavia, and Russia may be cooling down, but a few warm layers will suffice. Turkey, in particular, offers its charming attractions, from long beach walks to hot-air balloon rides over Cappadocia.
Temperature: 26°C high; 20°C lowSeason: autumnTravel time from UK: 4 hoursTime difference: BST 2
Ask a local what their favorite month is on the island of Santorini, and they will likely say September. The intense summer rush is over, the sea is warm, the skies are blue all day long, and the evenings are cooler in the hilly towns. September sunsets create a golden glow in the town of Oia, and the deep blues of the Caldera seem even more vibrant in the late summer days.
Where to stay: For a romantic getaway, consider the Andronis Boutique Hotel, featuring rooms scattered among the hotel's traditional cave-style architecture. For families, The Vasilicos is a boutique hotel that welcomes families and does not have an adults-only policy. Another great option is the Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection, an elegant hotel overlooking the cliffs, offering rooms with terraces and two pools. Check out our guide to the best hotels in Santorini for more options.
Ibiza and Formentera, Spain
Temperature: 27°C high; 19°C lowSeason: autumnTravel time from UK: 2 hours 30 minutesTime difference: BST 1
September brings relief to the free-spirited travelers who spend the season in Ibiza and Formentera. Finally, you can find a spot on the beaches without a crowd and enjoy a beachside lunch without needing a reservation (even at the famous Juan y Andrea in Formentera). The weather is still hot, hot, hot, and the closing parties are the highlights of the clubbing season. Hotels and villas become more affordable, although drinks can still be pricey. Embracing the natural beauty of the White Isle is the best way to have a sustainable trip. Consider staying at La Granja, a chic farmstead that serves slow food from its biodynamic garden and supports the island's organic farmers through the Ibiza Preservation Fund. If you're interested in exploring the coast, rent a solar-powered charter yacht from La Bella Verde to discover the quieter spots.
Where to stay: For a laid-back luxury experience with access to beautiful beaches, choose OKU Ibiza. For sunbeds and sushi, Nobu Ibiza bay is hard to beat. Check out our selection of the best hotels in Ibiza or explore our list of the best villas in Ibiza and Formentera.
Temperature: 33°C high; 19°C lowSeason: autumnTravel time from UK: 3 hours 35 minutesTime difference: BST 0
Morocco is a sensory delight. Discover the chaotic medinas of Marrakech, the isolated mud-wall towns of the High Atlas, the salty sea air of Essaouira, and the vibrant surf. September is the best time to experience all of these wonders. As the summer heat subsides, the coasts of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean remain pleasantly warm, while the desert nights and mountain villages have yet to be overcome by winter chill. Additionally, there is a new wave of design hotels that offer the perfect blend of comfort and style – airy riads with refreshing courtyard pools, renovated by fashion photographers and aristocrats from Italy. Fez, a sprawling medieval city, has been actively restoring its ancient buildings and monuments, creating an abundance of historic houses, palaces, gardens, mosques, and mausoleums to explore. It's worth mentioning that you will encounter many working horses and donkeys in Morocco. Fortunately, many of them are protected by the international organization SPANA, which focuses on improving the welfare of working animals and educating their handlers about animal rights. So, if you come across a horse with a SPANA tag, feel free to enjoy a horse and cart ride, as your contribution supports SPANA's efforts.
Where to stay: In the city, consider staying at La Mamounia or Royal Mansour. In Taghazout, stay at Munga Guesthouse, a boutique hotel with a fairytale-like atmosphere and an indoor-outdoor restaurant. In Essaouira, consider Riad Dar Maya. You can also enjoy the charming hotels mentioned in our guide to the best hotels in Marrakech.
New York, United States
Temperature: High of 25°C; Low of 16°C
Travel time from UK: 8 hours
Time difference: BST-5
New York, we have love for you all year round, but especially in September. It's the perfect time to enjoy the weather and embrace the new season. The city comes alive again after the hot and humid August on Long Island. Don't forget, Long Island itself is a lovely destination in September. The Hamptons and Montauk offer beautiful end-of-season experiences. You can also combine a visit to New York City with a road trip to the Catskill Mountains in Upstate New York, where you can enjoy the misty atmosphere of autumn and indulge in a sense of nostalgia while listening to the Grateful Dead in a cozy log cabin.
Where to stay: Consider trying the Ace Hotel in Brooklyn or Pendry Manhattan West in Midtown, both of which are featured on our 2022 Hot List of the best new hotels in the world. If you prefer downtown vibes, the PUBLIC Hotel on the Lower East Side and Hotel 50 Bowery in Chinatown are great options for nightlife and people watching. For more hotel choices in New York, check out our curated list of the best hotels in the city.
Cruises in September
In recent years, cruises have become increasingly popular as a luxurious way to travel. On a cruise, you can experience the amenities of a top-class hotel while waking up to a new and exciting destination every morning. It's like going on a round trip adventure without compromising on comfort. Enjoy the services of a high-class hotel resort with a wide range of entertainment options, numerous restaurants, and bars at your disposal throughout the journey. If you're considering a water holiday in September, we have some recommendations for you in regions that offer fantastic climatic conditions during this time.
From the Darién Gap to Tierra del Fuego, South America comes alive in September. In the warm northern regions, the milder dry season replaces the scorching heat, allowing for a pleasant exploration of Buenos Aires in Argentina and Santiago de Chile. If the vibrant cultures and tango rhythms of these cities don't inspire you, then perhaps a trip to Patagonia in Argentina or a visit to the icy landscapes of Chile will pique your interest.
Feel the passion of tango in Buenos Aires, Argentina © Jupiterimages / Getty Images
Africa and the Middle East
If you didn't escape to southern Spain in August like many western Europeans do, then North Africa is the place to be in September. With fewer tourists around, you'll have more space on the beaches of Tunisia, the markets of Egypt, and the mountains of Morocco to enjoy at your own pace. Lebanon is also a great destination for hiking during this time, while the temperatures in the Arabian Peninsula become more bearable once again.
Spot wildlife in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana © Mario Moreno / 500pxIn September, you can enjoy a safari adventure in eastern, western, and central Africa without the extreme heat or heavy rainfall. It's a great month for wildlife spotting throughout the continent. In the southern region of Africa, springtime brings cool and dry weather, making it ideal for hiking and observing birds and animals.
September is a wonderful time to visit China and Japan. The intense heat and humidity of summer have subsided, giving way to fresh and mild weather in the East. The high mountains and valley passes are still easily accessible, and all tourist attractions remain open for exploration. Beijing residents are starting to dress in sweaters, while Shanghai continues to enjoy warm evenings.
South Asia has also cooled down due to the monsoon season, creating pleasant conditions for visiting India and Sri Lanka. The Deccan plateau's oppressive heat has moved over the Indian Ocean, leaving a subcontinent with a comfortably cool north and a delightfully warm south. It's also considered shoulder season in India, so you can expect reduced demand for hotels and transportation.
Explore the underwater paradise of Raja Ampat, Indonesia © Darryl Leniuk / Getty ImagesIn September, mainland Southeast Asia is gradually emerging from the wet season, making it a fantastic time to visit. Islands experience diminishing rainfall, while tourists are few and prices are not at their peak. Whether you prefer snorkeling, diving, or simply sunbathing on the pristine beaches, this is your chance to enjoy longer and clearer stints of beach relaxation without the usual crowds.
Nepal and the Central Asian countries are drying out after the monsoon season, signaling the beginning of peak tourist season. It's a perfect time for those seeking adventure and tranquility, with fewer tourists compared to the following months. So why not consider exploring Tajikistan or embark on a breathtaking journey in the Nepal Himalayas?
Australia and New Zealand
Southern Australia and New Zealand are transitioning from winter to spring in September. The temperatures are significantly warmer, and the sunnier weather invites outdoor activities. In New Zealand, the snow has not yet melted, providing great opportunities for skiing in the mountains. In Australia, you can relax in the tropical north, indulge in wine tasting in the temperate west, or explore the springtime delights of Sydney and Melbourne.
First published June 2012, updated May 2019
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Best Places to Visit in December
Countries to Visit in December:
December offers two contrasting experiences, depending on the type of trip you desire. If you're seeking the magical display of northern lights, head to Scandinavia. For skiing enthusiasts, the Alps in Austria, Switzerland, and the USA's Colorado and Utah are excellent choices. The Pyrenees in France are also beloved by skiers.
Nature lovers will find a winter paradise in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada. The park offers a variety of winter sports and breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains, abundant wildlife, and serene glacial lakes.
Experience the beauty of Angkor Wat at sunrise in Siem Reap, Cambodia. For those seeking warm and sunny destinations, Southeast Asia is the place to be in December. Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam are in their prime time. The Philippines offers great weather, especially on islands like Boracay, where beach hopping and sunbathing are the order of the day.
Australia and New Zealand are in the middle of their summer season, making it an ideal time to visit. The Caribbean also boasts dry and warm weather, reestablishing its position as a top destination. Madagascar remains a great choice for December travel, with fewer crowds to contend with.
Embrace the beauty of the Remarkable Mountains in Queenstown, New Zealand. Central America is an excellent region to escape the cold winter. Belize, in particular, offers world-class scuba diving, sailing, fishing, hiking, stunning landscapes, and impressive Mayan historical sites. Further south, Argentina and Chile are popular destinations during their summer season. Patagonia, in particular, showcases its most beautiful scenery. Uruguay's Punta del Este is at its liveliest during this time, often compared to the Monaco of the South.
Discover the breathtaking beauty of Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. Welcome the New Year at Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, or celebrate Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland. New York City, Dubai, and Sydney are also renowned for their dazzling fireworks displays. For those seeking vibrant parties, Miami offers a range of rooftop and beachside celebrations.
Antarctica is an extraordinary option for those looking to visit the seventh continent. This adventure requires a cruise, so it's advisable to explore available options.
Countries to Avoid in December:
While Malaysia and Indonesia are popular among budget travelers on the typical Southeast Asia route, they tend to experience monsoon season in December. The same applies to Papua New Guinea.
As September approaches, wanderlust takes hold and travelers are eager to embark on exciting adventures. Whether you're seeking picturesque landscapes in Europe with Santorini's breathtaking views or the vibrant nightlife of Ibiza and Formentera in Spain, September provides an opportune time to explore stunning destinations. For an enchanting blend of ancient history and vibrant culture, Morocco beckons with its bustling medinas and captivating landscapes. Crossing the Atlantic, New York City invites visitors with its iconic landmarks and endless entertainment options. If cruising is your style, September offers the chance to set sail and immerse yourself in the beauty of the sea. With a plethora of options across South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Australia, and New Zealand, the world becomes your oyster. So pack your bags, embark on September's journey, and make unforgettable memories in these incredible destinations. And if you're wondering where the next adventure lies in December, stay tuned as we uncover the best places to visit next!
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