One benefit is cheaper airfare
Baltimore, MD (PRWEB) September 13, 2017
Europe is home to stunning landscapes, fascinating cultures, rich history, and iconic landmarks, all of which provide good reason to visit at any time of the year. But the summer often brings higher prices and crowds while in many corners, the winter ushers in cold.
Fall, though...can hit the sweet spot when it comes to lower prices, good weather, and fewer tourists.
The editors at International Living have drilled down to explore and recommend the best spots to visit in Europe in September, October, and November.
Italy in September
Italy has an astounding amount to offer travelers: romantic cities, timeless hill towns, snowy mountains, idyllic islands, vineyard-covered countryside, and a rivetingly beautiful coastline.
“When our family and friends ask when the best time to visit Italy is, our answer is invariably, ‘September,’” says IL Italy Correspondent Valarie Fortney-Schneider. “While we love summer with its frenzy of activities, concerts and festivals, it can be overwhelming; the heat can be oppressive and the prices are higher for visitors, too.”
September is a great time to visit central Italy regions such as Umbria and Le Marche. The hill towns are less packed and the harvest abundance gives a glimpse of Italian traditions still being carried out, just as they have been for centuries.
“Wafts of tomato sauce cooking fills the streets of any hill town in early September, as the annual ritual of making salsa di pomodoro is in full swing,” says Fortney-Schneider.
“The other fragrance that fills the streets in September is the sweet grape juice as the annual crush and fermentation of turning grapes into wine begins. Many families carry out the operation in the street outside their cantinas (the Italian equivalent of a basement). Many wineries are open to visitors to watch and even participate in the grape harvest.”
Spain in October
West of Italy lies boisterous Spain. With beaches, mountains, fabulous cities, colorful festivals, and, of course, sunshine almost year round, it’s not surprising that it is the most popular destination for European visitors. North Americans are coming in greater numbers, too, drawn by the allure of Spain’s laidback, yet cultured European life and its nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, much of it beach.
“By October in southern Spain, the kids are back at school, the beaches are less crowded, and the summer heat has dissipated…but the days are still gloriously sunny,’ says IL Senior Editor, Glynna Prentice. “So, October is a wonderful time to visit.
“And where better to go than the coastal city of Cádiz, on Spain’s Atlantic coast? With its long-time ties to the Americas, Cádiz is the perfect place to celebrate the Día de la Hispanidad, or Hispanic Day, on October 12: the day Christopher Columbus first landed in the New World in 1492.
“Sitting on a peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic, Cádiz is a charming mix of old and new,” says Prentice. “The oldest city in Spain (it was founded by the Phoenicians), Cádiz has a large historic center of narrow, winding streets and cream-colored buildings. Past it is a modern section of broad boulevards and long stretches of beach lined with modern apartment buildings and seaside restaurants.”
Portugal in November
Spain’s next-door neighbor, Portugal, is continental Europe’s westernmost country and boasts excellent food and spirits, gorgeous cobbled cities and medieval towns, and dramatic coastal landscapes. And though modernity is overtaking Portugal quickly, it’s still possible to enjoy an Old World life there on a low budget, especially in November.
“One benefit is cheaper airfare,” says IL Portugal Correspondent Tricia Pimmental. “A roundtrip ticket from New York’s JFK to Lisbon runs around $1,200 during high season, but plan to visit from late October and you’ll find fares cost half that amount. Try to be there on November 11, St. Martin’s Day. The holiday honoring the death of St. Martin of Tours—a Roman soldier turned monk—is celebrated throughout much of Europe.”
This year is a special year for the Palace of Mafra.
“Located 21 miles northwest of Lisbon and 15 minutes from world-class surfing beaches in Ericeira, Mafra is the proud home of one of the country’s largest national palaces,” says Pimmental.
“On November 11, it will celebrate its 300th anniversary. The Palace, referred to locally as ‘the Convento’ (it began life as a monastery), took more than two decades to complete, served as a summer home to the royal family, and received visits from foreign dignitaries. The Basilica—modeled after St. Peter’s in Rome—is home to no less than six pipe organs and carillons comprised of 92 bells crafted in the Netherlands…. We can only imagine what this November will bring.”
The full International Living’s report on Europe in September, October, and November can be found here: Europe in the Fall
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