The Best Holiday Ideas for October 2021
Where to go on holiday in October
October means autumn for much of the Northern Hemisphere, so it's a wonderful time to visit the Far East, which is often carpeted in beautiful autumnal colours of red, orange and gold. Countries like South Korea are at their most scenic at this time. Temperatures are cool but the skies are often clear and the Croatia sailing season will end mid-month. It's still the rainy season across Southeast Asia so expect showers if planning a visit to the region. Rains and strong winds are also targeting Central America at this time of year so for guaranteed dry weather and some sun, head to the Middle East where temperatures are pleasantly warm.
If you're looking for inspiration for where to travel to in October 2021, take a look at our top recommended destinations and experiences that this month offers around the world. We've also compiled our best October beach destinations for those looking for a bit of sun, sea and sand, as well as a guide to where best to head for wildlife adventures.
Best Festivals in October
Where? Phuket, Thailand
When? 5th - 15th Oct 2021
Devout carnivores will be surprised to learn that this is one of Thailand's most lively festivals. Held during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar, it's a time for the local community to cleanse their bodies and souls with ten days of strict vegetarian diet. A host of extraordinary events take place during this time including firewalking, body piercing and razor blade ladder climbing as well as less gruesome parades.
Where? Inle Lake, Myanmar
When? 6th - 23rd Oct 2021
One of the most famous and distinctive of Myanmar’s local pagoda festivals is Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda. During the 18-day festivities, revered images of the Buddha are paraded around Inle Lake on an elaborate barge pulled by traditional long boats with hundreds of rowers. This visual spectacle is accompanied by rowing competitions, processions and much excitement, before the images are returned to their shrine.
Where? Abu Simbel, Egypt
When? 22nd October 2021
Twice a year the sun aligns to illuminate the inner sanctum of the incredible Abu Simbel temple. Built by King Ramses II, the temple was specifically designed so that this alignment would occur on the date of the king's coronation (22nd February) and his birthday (22nd October). This extraordinary feat of ancient engineering has to be seen to be believed and it's the perfect time to visit the rest of Egypt with pleasant temperatures for sightseeing.
Where? Hoi An, Vietnam
When? 19th October 2021
Held on the night of a full moon within 15 days of the autumnal equinox, Hoi An's Lantern Festival is a celebration of the forthcoming harvest after the monsoon rains. It's also a time to gather together with friends and family and prayer for blessings. For travellers it's a wonderful time to visit with colourful lanterns decorating the streets and floating into the night sky, and plenty of tasty cakes and candies available to eat.
Best Beach Destinations in October
It's the final month of the monsoon season in Southeast Asia so there'll still be high rainfall across the prime beach destinations, however, East Africa's coast is still a reliable option as is the Middle East with pleasant temperatures and lots of sunshine. Central America is best avoided at this time of year as hurricanes and typhoons are likely to be hitting the region.
It's spring in the Southern Hemisphere and this means cool and dry weather perfectly suited for a Zanzibar holiday. The sandy shores are drenched in sun, the waters are warm and there will be little rain. October is also a great time for diving off the north coast of the island and if you're thinking of combining beach with a safari adventure, the Great Wildebeest Migration is in full swing in Tanzania so an ideal time.
October brings with it much cooler temperatures across Egypt so it's a great time to head to the Red Sea for some sun, sea and sand. Expect sunny, dry days perfect for sunbathing and snorkeling with great diving opportunities year-round. With the bi-annual Sun Festival happening in Abu Simbel, it's an ideal time to combine beach with culture and the delights of the Red Sea with the ancient wonders of Egypt from Cairo to Luxor.
With a sizeable slice of Mediterranean and Atlantic coastline, Morocco has a great selection of beach resorts to choose from whether it's Tangier on the Strait of Gibraltar or Essaouira with its beautiful walled medina only a few hours' drive from Marrakech. October is also a good time for surfing with Taghazoute the country's premier surfing destination providing large swells and plenty of surf points to try.
Best Wildlife Destinations in October
Peak safari season in Africa is coming to a close as October marks the final month of the dry season - soon the rains will return causing vegetation to thrive and creating more water sources for the animal population. Elsewhere, the Amazon is still relatively dry with great fishing and jungle trekking opportunities while the cool and dry season across the Galapagos is ideal for diving and there's always some activity in the wildlife world. In Costa Rica it's nesting season for Hawksbill and Leatherback turtles.
The monsoon rains have petered out come October and India's national parks reopen for business. The landscapes are lush with foliage and rivers full with water so it's a great time of year for landscape photography with the added bonus of the chance to spot a Bengal tiger in the wild along with plenty of other wildlife including sambar, chital, nilgai, wild boar, leopard, sloth bear and myriad birdlife.
October is the final month of Sri Lanka's wildlife spectacle - the annual 'gathering' of hundreds of elephants that flock to Minneriya National Park looking for a reliable water source as the rains stop across the North Central & Eastern provinces. The majestic creatures gather around the centrepiece reservoir and come November will disperse across the region as the approaching rains create more varied water sources.
It's the last month of southern Africa's dry season so it's a good time to head to the region on safari before the rains begin. In Botswana you'll find large herds of elephants gathering in Chobe National Park while in Namibia the Namib-Naukluft is a good choice with the coastal winds keeping it cooler. By now many habitats have gone without rain for almost five months so vegetation will be at its thinnest, ideal for spotting wildlife.
By and large this is the last month that herds of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle will attempt to cross the Mara River from the northern region of the Serengeti into the adjacent Masai Mara. This is one of the most impressive times to visit Kenya and Tanzania during the Great Migration as come November short rains will begin, encouraging the growth of vegetation that makes wildlife viewing more challenging.
Here's a selection of our tours perfectly suited for October travel from the Himalayas to the south of Africa.