Fall is the time of olive and grape harvests, tumbling leaves, comfortable temperatures, and an easy pace as the crowds drift away. Read below for our autumnal suggestions of which countries to visit and which tours to try!
Yellow, orange, and red slowly take over the hills and towns of France. The rural areas of the South are especially beautiful for hiking or cycling, and with trails largely deserted you can explore the landscape as if it was your own. With beautiful autumnal shades, it’s the ideal time to indulge in a Loire Valley tour.
Some of France’s most iconic food is harvested and celebrated in the Fall – black Périgord truffles, chestnuts, olives, and grapes. September marks the beginning of “vendange,” the grape harvest. Across the whole country, this fruit (and the world-famous wines it produces) is celebrated with traditional festivals in many villages.
Italians know how to herald the harvest. Fall – or “Autunno” – is welcomed with “sagre” across the country, festivals celebrating regional food and drink. Pick your destination depending on your taste buds! It’s the ideal way to sample authentic cuisine, including white truffles, wine, olives, fish, porcini mushrooms, almonds, polenta, to chocolate. Tuscany and Umbria have excellent grape harvest festivals, and if you stick around until the first week of November you can experience the first pressing of the olives as families come together to make virgin olive oil.
With temperatures getting cooler, this is a great time for a tour. Wherever you go, you can be assured of beautiful scenery. Seasonal colors are showcased especially well in the Borghese Gardens or the Appian Way in Rome, and in Florence’s Boboli Gardens, but a drive or evening stroll through the countryside will give you just as much delight.
Fall is a fantastic time to visit Germany. The summer crowds are at home, local wine festivals have begun, and while temperatures drop, so do airfare and hotels costs. Fall is the best time to visit the Saar and Mosel region of Germany. You see plump grapes on the vines, or the bustle of workers completing the harvest before the first frost. Relax at a riverside bar and enjoy a beer by the Spree in Berlin, or a warm glass of Glühwein, the traditional warm beverage combined with different spices, red wine, citrus, and sugar. If you’re not a drinker, there’s always a refreshing kieba, a unique mix of banana and cherry juice, or you could simply enjoy an apple strudel – unbeatable on a cool fall afternoon.