As the summer weather starts to get a bit shaky and we regret ever complaining about the heatwave, you'd start to think about perhaps extending your summer with another holiday next season. Well, we do anyway! If you're a bit stuck for inspiration, have a look at our five favourite countries to visit as the seasons change this year.
Switzerland is entirely incredible all year round, but it's most famous either at the height of summer or in the depths of winter. Who can blame people for visiting then? It has the best skiing and the most excellent hiking trails, and neither of them are particularly daunting when the weather is a touch too cold to walk and a shade too warm for snow. Don't let this put you off however, Switzerland in the autumn could rival New England in terms of fall foliage. The fields and mountains that people find are usually either a vibrant green or a crisp white, becoming imbued with hues of brown and gold, lending the already fairytale look of the place that extra bit of gilding.
Germany and October go together like strawberries and cream, and this is because of Oktoberfest. Most famously in Munich, Oktoberfest admittedly begins in the last week of September and runs until the end of the first week of October, but this explosion of German culture, food, and (most importantly) beer is best enjoyed in this month. We think it's so one can feel the most connected to German culture - or more specifically, Bavarian culture. Of course, for those of you that aren't huge fans of beer, there is plenty more to enjoy - after all, it is the biggest Volksfest (people's festival) in Germany.
Depending on where you go in Italy, you can extend your summer fun by another few weeks at the very least. This beautiful country is perfect for all types of traveller - whether it's the gastronomy you're in to, the history, or the scenery. The best thing about Italy in October is that it is technically the 'off season', and the fact that it is shouldn't put you off. Most of the tourist attractions are still going to be open, yet a lot of the tourists won't be there, making it the perfect time to go. Avoid the crowds in the big cities and big sights, and enjoy a gentler taste of Italy.
France is fairly similar to Switzerland in its tourist waves. After all, the summer is a draw for thousands to visit places like the Dordogne and gay Paris, and the winter is when skiers in their droves come to hurl themselves down mountains. October, on the other hand, is a temperate time to partake in one of the numerous festivals that France enjoys during the month. From concerts in La Rochelle to film festivals in Lyon, there is plenty to do here. Perhaps you're done with doing things after a long hot summer? We don't blame you. Why not take this time to enjoy the reduced swarms on the beaches of the French Riviera and enjoy that last bit of summery warmth?
Perhaps we've been a bit euro-centric in this list, so let's whizz over to the other side of the world for this final entry in our list. Like Italy, China can be stiflingly hot in the summer - sadly, its cities are some of the most polluted in the world, and this can be felt hard in the warm seasons. In October, however, it is nearly perfect. The season is beginning to wind down, and winter hasn't fully got its grip on the country. The lingering heat of the summer means that autumn is actually a warmer time of year than spring. With sites that require a fair amount of walking - the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, and the Forbidden Palace to name a few - October is the ideal time to enjoy these whilst not freezing or dissolving in sweat.