Ciao summer, hello autumn! The leaves are turning golden and there’s a crispness in the air that’s urging us to go on one more holiday before the winter kicks in.  And surprisingly for some, autumn is one of the best times of year to travel for so many reasons. Indeed, the comfortable and mild weather, where it’s not too hot, yet not too cold either, means it’s the perfect time for wandering around cities or exploring the great outdoors.

In autumn, travel tends to be cheaper as do hotels since it’s technically the “off-season”. Moreover, going on holiday when the leaves begin to fall means avoiding summer crowds and the annoyances that go hand-in-hand with the tourist hordes. Yep, the autumnal months are a wonderful time to visit many far off places and some that are closer to home. And here are 5 IDEAL autumn travel destinations that are enchanting to visit when the season rolls around each year.

LAS VEGAS, USA

Unbeknown to many, one place that it makes sense to visit in the autumn months rather than at other times of the year is Sin City itself, Las Vegas. While the draw of the casinos and the endless number of other attractions remain relevant throughout the year, the weather does not. In the summer months the temperature can reach uncomfortable highs of 41°C and although the average temperature in winter is 15°C, it often fluctuates and can drop to chilly lows of 0°C. 

With temperatures sitting at an average of 21°C in October, it’s much easier to actually get out and explore in the daylight, rather than being baked alive in the blistering desert heat. Indeed, the cool autumn weather is the ideal time to appreciate some of the city’s outdoor offerings.This includes exploring nearby Hoover Dam which is said to be the “greatest dam ever built”, picking pumpkins or apples at Gilcrease Orchard and enjoying some cider at the annual farm fall festival. Of course if you don’t fancy trekking to Vegas but still want to enjoy some casino action, this site is the perfect option for mobile play.

TUSCANY, ITALY 

While Tuscany, famous for its natural beauty as much as for its cultural and culinary significance, is a hotspot for tourists during the summer, the mild months of autumn for many are preferable – and being able to take a selfie outside the tower of pisa without zillions of tourists doing their ‘pisa pose’ in the background is just one of them.

Tuscany in autumn is wonderful. The countryside is alive with autumnal hues, and without the crowds, you can fully appreciate the magical atmosphere of the Medieval hilltop towns and quaint villages. Moreover food fans will find that the mouth-watering array of dishes on offer is even more delicious at the time of year.

Autumn means wine and olive harvest, truffle hunting and chestnuts. The freshly harvested grapes allows for numerous wine tasting opportunities and the spicy taste of freshly pressed olive oil puts an extra zing in an otherwise already amazing cuisine. Oh and in autumn porcini mushrooms make an appearance on the menus of Tuscany; if you love risotto ai porcini this is the right time to order the dish.

REYKJAVIK, ICELAND

The capital of this intriguing country is a vibrant hub of activity and a gorgeous place to take in whenever you choose to visit. In the autumn, temperatures are generally more tolerable than they are during the coldest months of the year, so you will not need to pack for permanent sub-zero temperatures, which is a benefit. 

Like other parts of the world, the trees in Reykjavik and the surrounding countryside will change colour and put on a dazzling display that you will want to stare at for hours. After you have spent the day exploring the volcanic landscape and its fabulous flora, you can eat and drink in the cutting edge bars and restaurants of the capital.

PARIS, FRANCE 

This is yet another European city that’s a pleasure to visit during the autumn, and not just because the trip will be more economical than during peak periods. Paris in autumn is an inspiring time to visit. The capital’s tree line boulevards and many parks take on vibrant autumnal hues; it’s just like looking at a watercolor painting found in one of the city’s many galleries. Indeed, strolling around Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Tuileries and Jardin des Champs-Élysées when they are ablaze with coppery colours will tease out the photographer, painter and artist inside you.

Autumn is also traditionally the time that Paris Fashion Week is held, so if you’ve got an interest in the world of clothing and design then it’s also a great time to visit and see all of the boundary-pushing creations that are making their debut.

And, there’s nothing better than strolling the streets of Paris  on a crisp autumnal day, soaking up the romance of sights like Sacre Coeur and The Eiffel Tower before finding a cafe or bistro to grab a warm drink and something to eat. Moreover, since bikini season is well and truly behind us and not even a blip on the horizon, you can enjoy the plethora of patisseries, boulangeries, bistros and delicatessens that Paris has to offer without a second thought. 

TOKYO, JAPAN

While cherry blossom (sakura) draws crowds in the spring, the turning of the leaves is arguably just as beautiful come fall. Indeed, the colourful autumnal leaves known as koyo arrive around mid-November to early December. During this season, the city’s many parks are alight with the glow of autumnal hues and are certainly a sight to behold.

Other seasonal attractions include the annual Meiji Jingu Gaien Ginkgo Festival which is held on Meiji Jingu Gaien – a 300-meter-long ginkgo-lined avenue – and a celebrated spot for admiring autumn foliage. Here hawkers serving delicious street food dishes and local products come to sell their wares attracting millions of visitors every year. In addition,  there are quite a few food events over the autumn period. One of our favourite is the Tokyo Ramen Show. Here many of the best ramen store owners from all over Japan to sell delicious bowls of noodly and brothy goodness to the people of Tokyo and its visitors.

Speaking of food; “Autumn Appetite” is a term in Japan which describes the bounty during the season of harvest. Known as shokuyoku no aki, or the “season of hearty appetites,” many Japanese ingredients come into their own during this time and make their way onto the menus of capital. Sanma (Pacific saury) which translates to “autumn knifefish,” is delicious at this time of year. As are Kaki (persimmons) which you’ll see hanging from the trees against the autumn sky. Matsutake mushrooms, chestnuts and Kabocha which is a type of Japanese squash are also delicious at this time of year.

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Rachel is the beauty and fashion director at IDEAL. She loves trying new products and is an avid fan of London's fashion, from the high end to the high street.