As summer is already gone, you may be looking to get away from the beach and make the most of the countryside before winter sets in. Here are a few beautiful places across the world we’d love to visit this autumn:
During dry season – usually between September and December – you can experience the Victoria Falls up close and personal, if you’re brave enough, by swimming in Devil’s Pool. This naturally formed pool sits next to Livingstone Island on the Zambian side of the Zambezi River. When the river’s level drops, a natural rock wall just below the surface allows you to come within inches of the waters cascading down the largest waterfall in the world.
The Masurian Lake District is packed with things to do for visitors who love outdoor activities, and September and October is one of the best times of year to visit when you can take in the stunning autumnal foliage in this land of thickly forested islands nestling among over 2,000 lakes. The lakes are connected by rivers and canals, providing an extensive waterway system for boating enthusiasts, canoeist and kayakers as well as anglers, hikers and bikers. In fact, cycling and boating are the best ways to get around. For a more sedate activity, try mushroom and berry picking in the large forest areas in autumn.
Hokkaido is the second largest of Japan’s islands and is also the most northerly – meaning autumn touches here first, transforming the forested mountains with a riot of colour. Hokkaido has many great national parks offering unlimited hiking opportunities and is favoured with many cycle paths. The scenery’s unspoiled nature offers such delights as viewing the autumnal colours from canoes on Lake Shikaribetsu in Taisetsu National Park; or watching bears roam and bathe in hot waterfalls in Shiretoko National Park.
The pristine, untouched landscapes of Fiordland National Park in south west New Zealand are one reason why it’s known as the ‘walking capital of the world’. With many excellent tracks, there are hiking trails of all lengths to suit everyone. Some of the most popular are the Great Walks – the Milford, Routeburn and Kepler Tracks. Walking routes give visitors access to snow-capped peaks, lakes, alpine plateaus and rainforest. September to November is spring here, so expect temperatures of 10 to 12oC (50-54oF) early in the season, rising to 16-19oC (61-66oF) in November. Always be ready for rain, though, which is what makes the scenery so lush and verdant.
When autumn comes to San Diego, the worst of the summer heat and mass tourism are replaced with sunny, milder weather, making it altogether more comfortable to visit desert landscapes such as those in Borrego Springs, which is completely surrounded by Anza-Borrego State Park, California’s largest. Or for more rugged terrains for hiking, picnicking and camping in autumnal meadows and forests, visit Palomar Mountain State Park – also home to the Palomar Observatory and the giant Hale telescope. For a change of pace, visit the pristine scenery surrounding Lake Cuyamaca, which sustains an all-year-round stock of trout for anglers.