Beauty Beckons: Picturesque Places to Visit this Autumn

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Famous for its vibrant colours, milder weather, seasonal foods, and much-loved holidays, autumn is a stunning season of transition and transformation, ushering in an irresistible array of new experiences with captivating backdrops. From the enchanting foliage of Maine's Bar Harbor to the subtropical charm of Japan’s hidden gem, our Top 10 list of destinations to visit this autumn traverses continents and climates and is guaranteed to ignite your wanderlust.

Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast who loves the crisp, cosier side of fall and craves mountain vistas or leisurely lakeside afternoons, or a culture connoisseur looking to discover desert mystique or bustling city streets in warmer, far-flung locales, we’ve got you covered.

1. Best for Fiery Fall Foliage: Bar Harbor, Maine, US 

Bar Harbor, Maine

Bursting with fabulous foliage, the charming coastal town of Bar Harbor explodes into a glorious mix of red and gold hues from mid-September to mid-October.

Explore the natural beauty of Acadia National Park and its famous hiking trails, marvel at the autumnal colours that blanket the forest and coastline, and don’t miss the Bar Harbor Shore Path for sweeping waterfront foliage views.
Savour delicious seafood and fresh lobster at local eateries, shop in quaint downtown boutiques, embark on whale-watching adventures, and enjoy a spot of stargazing at the Acadia Night Sky Festival.



2. Best for Lakeside Escapes and Trail Treasures: Finger Lakes, upstate New York, US
Finger Lakes, NYFamous for its fabulous trails, divine farm-to-table cuisine, vibrant communities, and picturesque landscapes, Finger Lakes is a much-loved fall destination, and it’s easy-to-see why.
The eleven long and narrow lakes offer abundant activities, from adventurous water sports to relaxing boat trips, made even more beautiful by the kaleidoscope of autumnal shades reflected in their pristine waters.
The area is also a hiker’s paradise, providing sweeping views of gorges, waterfalls, and dense, colourful forests.
And when it comes to trails, you’ll be spoilt for choice – from history to art and beer to cheese, there is something for everyone. However, enjoying the work of some of the nation’s finest wineries amidst breathtaking scenery is hard to beat.

3. Best for National Park Thrills – Moab, Utah, US
Moab, Utah
Home to the towering red rock wonders of Arches National Park and the sensational sandstone landscapes of Canyonlands National Park, Moab is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise.

Considered high season, thanks to the perfect weather for the world-class hiking, biking, and climbing the parks offer, fall is the ideal time to visit this crimson playground.

Top activities include horseback rides through the winding trails, 4x4 off-roading excursions on challenging terrain, whizzing over the mesmerizing landscape on a zipline, and river rafting through rapids. Or, for a truly unforgettable experience, get a bird’s eye view on a private hot air balloon ride.


4. Best for Mystical Mountain Vistas: Rainbow Mountain, Peru
Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Nestled in a remote region of the Peruvian Andes, Rainbow Mountain is something you must see to believe. Only discovered around ten years ago, the mountain’s unique mineralogical composition has turned it into a multi-coloured delight, with bands of purple, gold, turquoise, and red adorning its majestic peaks.

Fall is the ideal time to visit as the moderate temperatures mean fewer crowds and comfortable trekking conditions, whilst the clear blue skies allow unobstructed vistas of this geological wonder.

We’d recommend staying in Cusco, located around 80 miles away, and enjoying the classical architecture, lively markets full of colourful crafts, and evenings spent salsa dancing with locals in the main square.


5. Best for Balmy Beachside Bliss: Yoron Island, Japan
Yoron Island, Japan
This subtropical island offers unspoiled white sand beaches, shimmering turquoise waters, colourful coral reefs, and a laidback vibe, making it the perfect fall beach getaway destination. With daytime temperatures hovering around the mid-twenties, September and October are some of the best months for swimming in crystal-clear waters and enjoying all that the island offers.
As you’d expect, there are marine activities in abundance, and you can snorkel or dive with tropical fish and turtles, explore coves in kayaks, sail to secret beaches, and fish in the Yoron depths. The island also has a rich culture and history to discover, and we’d recommend paying a visit to Yunnu Taikenkan, as well as taking part in Yoron Kempo, a ceremonial drinking ritual to welcome guests.


6. Best for Desert Dreamers and Star Seekers – Sahara Desert
The Sahara Desert

During fall, the Sahara offers a captivating blend of tranquillity, natural wonder, and cultural enrichment. The scorching summer heat has subsided, and the moderate daytime temperatures make exploring the vast dunes and dramatic desert environment more comfortable.

Enjoy horse or camel treks through the ever-shifting sands, marvel at the endless views of the dunes, or speed along on an exhilarating quad bike or 4x4 adventure.

Far from the glow of city lights, the Sahara offers some of the finest stargazing on the planet. Watch the sunset over the desert from your luxurious private camp before getting lost in the starry night skies. 

 

7. Best for Stunning Cliffscapes and Grand Glaciers – Torres del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

Torres del Paine, ChileSeptember sees the beginning of spring in the Southern Hemisphere, and visitors to Torres del Paine can expect long sunny days, clear blue skies, and little rainfall. Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular National Parks in the world, you’ll be greeted by a vast and varied landscape of ice fields, luscious forests, magnificent mountains, glistening blue glaciers, and the iconic granite towers from which the park's name is derived.
Explore the scenery on horseback, kayak, 4x4, or by foot, spotting native wildlife and spring blooms as you go. As this is shoulder season, the park will be quieter, allowing you to savour the park’s beauty in a more serene setting.


8. Best for Rainforest Enthusiasts and Eco-Adventurers –  The Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Daintree Rainforest, Australia
Located on the northeast coast of Queensland, you’ll find the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Daintree Rainforest, which is one of the oldest and most diverse ecosystems in the world. September and October fall within the dry season, ensuring pleasant weather with lower humidity and minimal rainfall.
Explore lush, ancient foliage teeming with biodiversity, including unique flora and fauna like the elusive cassowary and rare Bennett’s tree-kangaroo.
Take guided tours to discover hidden waterfalls, pristine white sand beaches and vibrant birdlife. Cruise the Daintree River to spot crocodiles lurking beneath the emerald waters and enjoy canopy walks for a surreal treetop aerial perspective.


9. Best for Volcano Views and Marine Encounters - Mount Pico, Portugal

Mount Pico, PortugalWith pleasant weather making it ideal for hikes up Portugal’s highest peak and clear skies providing panoramic views of volcanic landscapes and neighbouring islands, a fall visit to Mount Pico offers the best of this Azorean gem. Many come for the hiking, but be sure to also explore Pico Island’s rich culture, savouring locally produced delicacies and sampling the delicious wares of charming wineries.

September and October also offer spectacular opportunities for whale-watching and the chance to spot a wide range of marine life, including humpbacks, sperm whales, and different dolphin species. For the ultimate experience, we’d recommend a specialist excursion in the company of a resident marine biologist.

 

10. Best for Wondrous Waterfalls - Dudhsagar Falls, India  Dudhsagar Falls, IndiaFound in the stunning Indian state of Goa, the cascading milky-white waters of Dudhsagar Falls are a jaw-dropping site to behold. From late September, the falls are at their mesmerising best, as the monsoon rains have replenished the Mandovi River, resulting in a spectacular cascade over the waterfall’s four tiers.

The sheer force of the gushing waters, framed against the lush green backdrop, showcases nature at its brilliant best. Explore the surrounding Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary for a chance to spot diverse wildlife.

Embark on adventurous treks and jeep safaris, or take a train ride from Madgaon to Kulem or Castle Rock Railway station, passing right past the falls for an unbeatable view.

 

Explore Fall’s Finest Destinations with Air PartnerOffering a personalised service with unwavering standards, an Air Partner private charter jet flight allows you to travel in ultimate comfort, enjoy the most convenient tailor-made travel solutions, and often gives you the freedom to land closer to your destination. If you are interested in booking a fall adventure, no matter where it may be, our expert Private Jets team will be happy to help.

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