Where is hot in October? Best holiday destinations for autumn sun

This is where you’ll find the last of the pre-winter sun

Chris Wilson
Thursday 25 May 2023 20:46 BST
<p>The landscape of Kualoa Ranch in Oahu</p>

The landscape of Kualoa Ranch in Oahu

As the summer months draw to a close, in the UK October brings with it the beginning of cloudy days, colder temperatures and higher levels of rainfall.

While October is rarely a good month for consistently sunny weather at home, several destinations abroad continue to have high temperatures.

With kids back in school and many people avoiding holidays so close to the busy Christmas period, October is an excellent – and often affordable – choice for an autumn getaway.

Southern European cities including Seville and Malta have high temperatures and little rainfall during the month, while Southern Hemisphere countries are beginning to enter their own summer.

These conditions mean that, with careful planning (namely finding out climate information and avoiding the half-term holidays) you can find great value holidays to sun-kissed destinations across the world. We’ve rounded up a list of some of the best.

Seville, Spain

Plaza de Espana, part of Seville’s Maria Luisa park

  • Average temperature in October: 20C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 7

October brings cooler temperatures to continental Europe’s warmest city, with daily highs still reaching a pleasant 26C. This makes it a great month to explore the Andalusian capital, during which you can avoid the sweltering summer temperatures while sightseeing. For a real look into Moorish architecture and influence, start at the Casa de Pilatos before moving onto the Torre del Oro and then the Alcazar and its gardens. Beside it sits the city’s cathedral – a gothic marvel that is among the largest churches in the world – and the Giralda Tower.

For those who prefer to simply wander around, the banks of the Guadalquivir River make a great first stop on any long walk, with llovely places to eat and drink with a view. The María Luisa park – and its centrepiece, the Plaza de Espana – are worthy of an extended visit, as are the numerous sites built for the Ibero-American Expo of 1929 (such as the Plaza de America).

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Seville

Valetta, Malta

The harbour and St. Paul's Anglican Cathedral and Carmelite Church at Valetta

  • Average temperature in October: 21C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 7

October falls in Malta’s shoulder season, but temperatures in the capital remain high enough for an enjoyable, sun-kissed trip. With average highs around 26C, October is a great time to explore the city while avoiding the scorching heat that you may experience in the summer months. The city itself is a Unesco World Heritage Site, with a variety of Baroque architecture and several walls and fortifications providing pleasant sightseeing opportunities as you explore. The main tourist sights include St John’s Co-Cathedral, Fort St Elmo (and the National War Museum) and The Grandmaster’s Palace.

Nevertheless, the city is far more than just old castles and religious sites. The waterfront features a collection of 18th-century warehouse buildings that now house various restaurants, cafes and shops along the promenade, while the Upper and Lower Barrakka Gardens are the city’s main green spaces. October also sees the city’s annual Notte Bianca festival, an arts celebration that takes place in various venues across the city, for example at the City Gates (this year it takes place on the evening of 1 October).

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Malta

Read more on travel inspiration:

Oahu, Hawaii, USA

Waikiki Beach is one of the most famous on the island

  • Average temperature in October: 25C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

While all of the Hawaiian islands are undeniably idyllic, Oahu is first pick due to the dual presence of an American metropolis and dozens of areas of amazing natural beauty. The city of Honolulu (the state capital) has all the classic character of any American city – with skyscrapers rising high and bars and restaurants serving standard American fare – but with the addition of a beachside location with a rainforest backdrop. This combination makes the city one unlike any other.

But despite its unique capital city being the ‘centre point’ of the island, it is far from its biggest draw. Hundreds of incredible beaches line the coasts, with stunning white sands and crystal-clear waters found on beaches including Waikiki and Lanikai. Other natural areas worth exploring include the Waimea Canyon State Park, Kaena Point or the various tours of the (privately-owned) Kualoa Ranch, famous as the filming location for the original Jurassic Park films.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in the USA

Sardinia, Italy

An aerial view of the beautiful village of Bosa in Sardinia

  • Average temperature in October: 19C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

This Mediterranean island has long been a top tourist destination, with its popularity among Italians adding to its reputation as a great pick for a holiday trip. While average temperatures only hover around 20C, average highs still climb to around 25C, making the island a great choice for that last bit of sun. The waters will also be warm, meaning that you can fully enjoy relaxing on the beaches (or taking part in any number of water sports) in areas like the Costa Smerelda or Cala Goloritzé.

While spending all your time relaxing by various beaches may be tempting, part of the lure of Sardinia is the opportunities for exploration. The island contains some of the most picturesque towns in Italy, with Alghero, Bosa, San Teodoro and several others home to medieval buildings, castles and colourful riverside houses. If you’d rather stay in nature, there are also three National Parks and ten regional parks, with Asinara and Gennargentu among the most beautiful.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Italy


A rock arch near Cavo Greco, Ayia Napa

  • Average temperature in October: 23C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 10

One of the warmest places in Europe during October, Cyprus offers average highs in the high 20s at the same time as us Brits are struggling in the wind and rain. Another Mediterranean island, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960 but has an extensive history involving ancient Greeks, Romans and many other historic civilisations. If you want to delve deeper into this history, some of its most famous landmarks include The Tombs of the Kings, Kolossi Castle and the ancient city of Kourion.

While many of its towns and cities, for example Paphos and Larnaca, are also steeped in history, today the island enjoys a reputation as tourist hotspot with pristine, sun-soaked beaches, a healthy Mediterranean lifestyle, beautiful natural surroundings (such as the Troodos Mountains) and dozens of villages (including Omodos and Lefkara) where visitors can experience well-preserved Cypriot traditions, cuisine and culture.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Cyprus

Sharm El Sheik, Egypt

A resort on the coast of the Red Sea, near Sharm El Sheikh

  • Average temperature in October: 25C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

One of Egypt’s top holiday destinations, Sharm El Sheikh is located near the foot of Mount Sinai, opening up onto the Red Sea. One of the warmest destinations on the list, the average daily highs can still reach 32C, and these temperatures present a great opportunity to sample some of the stunning areas on the Red Sea coast, where coral reefs and azure waters meet beaches with gold and white sands. Locations such as the Rat Mohamed Nature Reserve and Titan Island are good choices for snorkelling and diving, as the areas are home to diverse marine wildlife and offer the chance to swim with turtles and dolphins.

If you’d prefer a complete opposite type of activity, there are chances for desert exploration, from jeep safaris to camel riding and quad biking, with the obvious additional attraction of exploring Mount Sinai. For days in the city, sites such as the Al Mustafa and Al Sahaba Mosques, or the Old Market and SOHO Square, will provide enough to marvel at.


A beach on Le Morne, a peninsula in the southwest of Mauritius

  • Average temperature in October: 23C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

As an Indian Ocean island nation, Mauritius is always going to have to compete with the Maldives and the Seychelles in the ‘idyllic beach holiday’ stakes. While the latter two arguably steal the limelight, this African country (found 1,130km east of Madagascar) still contains many of the attractions that make its ‘rivals’ so popular. The weather is still perfect in October – with average highs reaching around 27C – so it’s another great month for sampling the country’s scenic beaches, with soft white sand and crystalline turquoise water abound. Water-based activities are popular too, with opportunities for diving, swimming and snorkelling (along the numerous coral reefs) as well as kayaking or canoeing.

If beaches begin to bore you, fear not: the island also contains several other natural areas, including Black River Gorges National Park (covered in tropical rainforest) and the Casela Nature Park. When you’re ready to return to civilisation, towns such as Flic-en-Flac and Grand Baie possess a pleasant mix of daytime relaxation and lively evenings.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Mauritius

Rhodes, Greece

An aerial view of Lindos, a village on the island of Rhodes

  • Average temperature in October: 21C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

Another one of Greece’s seemingly endless list of important historical locations, Rhodes was once home to the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Nowadays, it is home to a medieval Old Town that is listed as a Unesco Heritage Site, with visitors flocking to the city (and the island in general) to see well-preserved fortifications, narrow limestone streets and historic sites including the Street of Knights, the Palace of the Grand Master or the Lindos Acropolis.

Like almost any Greek island, Rhodes also possesses dozens of impressive beaches and towns. Places like Lindos and Faliraki have gorgeous beaches that are perfect for a dip in the Aegean; with the backdrop of mountainside towns and quaint villages, they’re also a great place to visit a taverna or sample meze at the end of a long day of relaxation.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in the Greek Isles

Cape Town, South Africa

A panoramic aerial view of Cape Town

  • Average temperature in October: 20C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 9

October marks the start of spring in Cape Town, with temperatures rising to pleasant levels and average highs staying at a manageable 24C. One of South Africa’s three capital cities (the legislative capital), Cape Town is a popular destination for Brits looking to travel further afield. Its various neighbourhoods are an eclectic blend of vibrant, lively districts with a mix of locals and tourists, calm beach areas and artistic and creative hubs, with the V&A Waterfront, Camps Bay and Bo-Kaap prime among them.

Many people head to the city for its great mix of city living and natural sites. The Cape Floristic Region and West Coast National Park are nearby natural areas, while the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the most popular sites in the city. Lion’s Head and Table Mountain offer hiking opportunities with amazing views of the city below, but the plethora of sandy beaches and hidden coves may be too tempting to divert from relaxation.

Read our reviews of the best hotels in Cape Town

Antofagasta, Chile

Antofagasta is located in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on Earth

  • Average temperature in October: 17C
  • Hours of sunshine per day: 8

While cooler than some other destinations on this list, Antofagasta has a interesting location within Chile, namely in the Atacama Desert – parts of which have never seen recorded rainfall. This makes it a good bet for anyone looking to avoid showers during their holiday, but average highs of 20C also make it a pleasant destination to avoid sweltering temperatures while enjoying some rather different holiday activities. These may include exploring the aforementioned Atacama, or seeing sights such as the El Tatio geyser or the Valle de la Luna valley.

While day trips to other places in the Atacama (perhaps the Salar de Talar salt flats or the town of San Pedro de Atacama) are also good options, those wanting to stay in the city will have an excellent selection of places to go and things to see. Its Pacific coastline provides a great variety of beaches, including Playa Amarilla and Poza de los Gringos, while the La Portada rock formation is a natural sight a few kilometres north of the city. The best park is found at Plaza Colon, while history buffs can visit the Huanchaca Ruins or the Museo Regional to learn about the region’s past.

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