It’s not too late to take those fall vacations…

Where has the summer gone? So often it’s jam-packed with fun-filled days of swimming, boating, walks in the park, bike rides, golfing, and other outdoor activities. If you find yourself wondering where the time went and wishing you had taken that European trip you’ve been longing for, no worries you still have time. In fact, there are many reasons why now is the perfect time to take that fall vacation to Europe.

Fall Vacations are Less Crowded

With children headed back to school, families tend to travel less. Popular attractions, which were crowded during peak summer times, offer opportunities to visit with fewer people.  You’ll be able to take advantage of shorter or no lines at many landmarks. On your fall vacation, notable attractions are typically less crowded allowing you the opportunity to take pictures, leisurely wander through architectural sites, spend more time visiting museums and truly take in the ambience at your own pace. Spend more time with docents who have vast amounts of knowledge, yet often don’t have sufficient time to dig deeper into the subjects where they are experts.

Tuscany, Italy

Villa in Tuscany, Italy

Fall Vacations offer a Greater Value

The fall represents the “shoulder season” where prices drop from the summer, but are not as low as winter months. With that, the hotels offer preferred pricing and greater availability. Rooms in the city center are more obtainable and offer easy access to attractions, landmarks, local restaurants and other pleasing experiences. Plus, as numbers are lowered, hotel staff offer better service when they can spend a little more time with each customer. Perhaps a specific property is on your bucket list, such as an historical hotel or castle, but you haven’t been able to stay there because it was filled to capacity. Now may be a great time to visit.

The Weather

If you can’t stand the heat of the summer, you’re in luck. Fall can still offer great weather, but at lowered temperatures making travel more comfortable for you. Since most attractions do not offer central air conditioning, traveling during this time can be a real bonus. Often, you only need a light-weight jacket or sweater as temperatures dip during the early morning or evening.

Market, Italy, Vegetables, Fruit, Fall Harvest

Market in Italy

More Intimate Experience

The less hurried pace gives you the opportunity to talk to the locals getting a greater understanding of their history and customs. During summer months, the local markets are crowded with tourists. But during the fall, more locals shop the markets giving you a chance to discover more about them. You’ll also have the option of interacting with the various vendors while enjoying local cheese, fruits, breads, wine and other local delicacies. Also, you’ll likely meet other travelers who relish the experience of a slower pace, too.

City Park, Amsterdam (Courtesy: The Netherlands Tourist Board)

City Park, Amsterdam (Courtesy: The Netherlands Tourist Board)

Fall Vacations Offer Spectacular Scenery

Like the northern parts of the United States, Europe can offer a dazzling display of colorful trees.  Take in the splendor of Mother Nature’s show by going on a hiking trip, cruising down a lovely river or visiting the mountains and hills for a panoramic view. You won’t be disappointed.

Lemoncello, Italian Riviera


Fall Harvests

Autumn provides an abundance of fall crops so why not enjoy the bounty? Visits to wineries, where you can talk to the vintners and gain an insider’s perspective of wine making, provide experiences beyond the ordinary. What about truffle hunting with locals and their prized pigs? Olives are ready for picking and making into olive oil and lemons reach their peak for limoncino (lemoncello)!  And don’t forget the apple orchards where ripe apples are plucked from the trees for you to taste. Many restaurants offer locally produced foods, so enjoy the fruits of the season!

Bavaria, Germany, Festival

German Parade, Bavaria

Autumn Festivals

Festivals celebrating abundant fall crops go way back to the earliest of times. Today, many local festivals continue these celebrations. Of course, there are the famous celebrations such as Octoberfest in Munich, the Braemar Gathering (Highland Games) in Scotland, the Regata Storica in Venice, Italy and the Galway Oyster Festival in Ireland.  Often local communities celebrate historic events in which you can partake. Many cities offer music festivals that range from classical to contemporary music—something for everyone!

Don’t let another year pass before you experience all the glories that a fall vacation in Europe has to offer. You won’t regret traveling at a slower pace and surrounding yourself with the beauty and intimacy of the many special places for you to discover.