Where to go in
September

A month for hikers and nature lovers, adventure seekers and city breakers. September holidays give you a chance to explore as the weather cools but remains sunny and warm.

Highlights

Where’s hot

Europe drops off the list of places to chase the warm weather in September, so you need to venture further afield to Asia or Africa. And the Caribbean comes back into play even though the rains still fall, as they don’t hang around for long…

TOWN, Country Temperatures Min° Max° Wet Days
Bombay, India 25 33 3
Tahiti, French Polynesia 22 32 9
Vientiane, Laos 22 32 7
Phuket, Thailand 26 31 20
Cairo, Egypt 19 31 0
Windhoek, Namibia 16 30 2
Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania 22 30 7
Hanoi, Vietnam 23 30 9
Praia, Cape Verde 25 30 3
Marrakech, Morocco 15 29 4

Where to go

Africa is a nature lover’s dream in September with a huge variety of environments and wildlife hitting their peak. It’s a good time to head to popular destinations as the crowds die down but the weather remains, whilst it could be argued to be the best month for hikers with so many iconic challenges in prime season…

  • Madagascar
  • Selous Game Reserve
  • Zimbabwe
  • Maldives
  • South Korea
  • Sri Lanka
  • Georgia
  • Île De Ré
  • Slovakia
  • Maine, Portland
  • Tahiti
  • Venezuela

Africa

Madagascar

Madagascar is a destination that can be enjoyed all year round, but if you’re planning on some whale spotting, June through to September are the best months to go. The ocean’s humpback whales are abundant at this time of year, and the beaches are also wonderful too. The seaside village of Ifaty boasts temperatures of 17-29°C, whilst the island of Nosy Be has highs of 31°C and over. Although the rainy season officially starts now, there is unlikely to be much rainfall and showers rarely last long. With kids back at school around this time, the resorts are guaranteed to be nice and quiet, making it the ideal escape for couples in search of some romance.

Further Reading – Along Dusty Roads

Selous Game Reserve, Tanzania

The Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania is one of the largest faunal reserves in the world, and it offers top-notch wildlife viewing in the month of September. From June to October, it is Tanzania’s dry season, which means that animals are often found gathering around watering holes. This makes them extremely easy to spot, increasing the chances of seeing every major species in the reserve. Whilst September is the peak season for tourism, the southern parks don’t attract the same crowds as the north so you can enjoy peace and quiet in the Selous campsites.

Further Reading – Getaway

Zimbabwe

Go at the beginning of the month to catch the Victoria Falls at its best. September is the shoulder month before the wet season officially begins, and visibility is excellent at this time of year. It may not be worth crossing the bridge to the Zambian viewpoints though, as the water could have already dried up on the other side. There’s also fantastic game viewing opportunities along the Chobe River and other reserves, so this is the ideal trip to combine with a nature safari. Later into the month can get very hot though, averaging 35°C and sometimes reaching 40°C and higher in the daytime.

Further Reading – Anita Hendrieka

Asia

Maldives

The Maldives promises fantastic weather all year through, but if you want to avoid the tourist crowds then try to travel outside of peak season. The most popular times to go are from December to April, making September a lovely month for quiet and total relaxation. As the school term begins, the resorts will clear out and you will have plenty of space to sunbathe in private on the beaches. And as this is officially the wet season, hotel prices are often reduced so you can easily find a great travel bargain. Daytime temps will range from 28°C to highs of 30°C, dropping to a comfortable 25°C in the evening, and you will have at least 7 hours of sunshine every day.

Further Reading – On Time Travel

South Korea

If you want to escape the summer heat, travelling to South Korea in September promises a more manageable climate. Ranging from 17°C lows and 26°C highs, this month marks the start of autumn so you can enjoy walking around and sightseeing in a pleasant temperature. Whilst it can get a bit muggy due to the humid atmosphere, coastal resorts around the Busan area can offer a refreshing respite, as do the National Parks such as Seoraksan. There are also some great festivals at this time of year to check out, including World Club Dome Korea in Incheon City and the Harvest Moon Festival which takes places across the whole of the country.

Further Reading – Aussie on the Roads

Sri Lanka

September brings great weather to the east coast of Sri Lanka, making it the perfect time for a beach break. Some of the best east coast beach towns to visit are Trincomalee, Uppuveli, Nilaveli and Arugam Bay. On this side of the island nation is also Kumana National Park, one of the top places for seeing Elephants, Crocodiles, Buffalos as well as birds such as Herons, Kingfishers and Storks. Visitors may also spot the occasional Leopard whilst on safari, and one of the greatest viewing points is near the mangrove swamps. Avoid the southwest region as September is the last month of monsoon season there, and it can be wet around this time of year.

Further Reading – Seth Lui

Europe

Georgia

Visiting Georgia and its capital, Tbilisi, is one of the best things to do at the end of summer. Not only will you be able to find cheap flights to this former Soviet republic, but the weather will be delightful too. From early Sept to mid-Oct, the climate is warm and sunny with highs of around 27°C, rarely dropping below 15°C. Georgia is located at the intersection of both Europe and Asia, giving it an exotic mix of culture, and diverse architecture can be witnessed everywhere in the capital city. The start of autumn also brings the festive wine harvest in Kakheti and you will find some of the best hiking trails at Amicalola Falls State Park or Stone Mountain Park around this time.

Further Reading – Independent

Île De Ré, France

This charming little island is located off the west coast of France and is best known for its fabulous mix of beaches, sand dunes and salt marshes which are brimming with wildlife. The weather here is nice and balmy at the end of summer, making it comfortable for a family or elderly travel, and Parisians are known to flock here every year to escape their city lives. Visiting the quaint town of Rivedoux-Plage is a must, and the Abbaye Notre-Dame-de-Ré dite des Châteliers is a great place to take photographs (particularly if the surrounding poppy field is in full bloom). The main town of St-Martin-de-Ré makes an excellent base and has a number of lovely outdoor cafes overlooking the marina.

Further Reading – LOREM IPSUM

Slovakia

From soulful trekking in the mountains to walking the quaint cobbled streets of its cities, Slovakia offers so much charm and beauty as a destination, and it’s suitable for couples, groups or families with children. September brings a pleasant climate with highs of 22°C and lows of 11°C, but no more rain than the previous months of July and August. Making it an ideal time to go exploring and to experience Slovakia’s great outdoors. Both Bratislava Castle and Spiš Castle are wonderful at this time of year, and some of the best mountain climbs include Jahnaci Stit, the Rycy summit and Priečne Sedlo.

Further Reading – Hand Luggage Only

Americas

Maine, Portland

Temperate weather and a low chance of rainfall makes September the perfect time to book a holiday in Maine. For those who enjoy a spot of sightseeing, we recommend spending a few days in Portland, a stylish city set on the peninsula of Casco Bay. The waterfront area is one of the coolest dining spots for young, hip couples and features a row of converted warehouses with a fantastic choice of shops and restaurants. You can also soak up the spectacular river and mountain views from Western Promenade, or travel back in time to the Victorian era at Portland’s West End area.

Further Reading – LOREM IPSUM

Tahiti, French Polynesia

The weather for Tahiti and French Polynesia is said to be at its best in peak summer months when the climate is warm and dry. However, the summer season is also the busiest and beaches can often get crowded. If you want to beat the holiday rush, travel in a shoulder month like September. When the daily temps are a fabulous 19-22°C and the wet season is still yet to begin (due around November). Take advantage of September’s low prices and quiet resorts, and if you’re looking for luxury and romance, book your stay at one of the island’s amazing overwater bungalows.

Further Reading – LOREM IPSUM

Venezuela

This South American destination features a diverse offering to travellers. From tropical resorts along its Caribbean coastline to the striking Andes Mountains and its jaw-dropping national parks, Venezuela is a paradise for nature lovers. This is technically the backend of the wet season, but as the locals will tell you themselves, rain showers can happen throughout the year (even in the driest months) so there’s no bad time to visit! Temperatures can be very warm, often ranging from 22°C in the morning and reaching 28°C or more in the afternoons.

Further Reading – LOREM IPSUM

Holiday types

September is the month for activity lovers and adventurers, with iconic treks abound and perfect weather for a challenging trip. For those with a slightly more relaxed idea in mind, there are plenty of options for beach breaks, though you walk the tightrope in Europe if you’re chasing the sun…

Family Holidays

Cornwall is so lovely at this time of year. Catch the last heat of the summer and spend some quality time with the family in a beachfront cottage.

There’s no better way to explore beautiful Iceland than a fly-drive holiday. For waterfalls, glaciers and out-of-this-world scenery, take your hire car along the country’s rugged south coast towards Jokulsarlon.

Autumn is truly spectacular in the Canadian province of British Colombia. Yoho National Park is a sight to behold in this golden-hued season, whilst Vancouver offers comfortable weather for kids.

Activity

Drive the Garden Route in South Africa to experience the 300 kilometre stretch of stunning coastline. Start your journey at Mossel Bay and finish in the iconic Table Mountain in Cape Town.

September is a great month to climb the notorious Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania when it is generally a bit cooler and there’s the promise of dry weather.

This is the dry season in the Peruvian Andes, making it the perfect time to discover Peru by bike. Cycle with the mountain views in the background and experience the best dirt road touring on the continent.

City Breaks

Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is a superb destination for a city break. With its cobbled streets and spectacular architecture, you’ll feel completed charmed by its unique beauty.

This is a great time to explore the city of Copenhagen, one of Europe’s hippest destinations for foodies, culture vultures and art lovers. If the weather is good, make sure you hire a bike and cycle around the centre.

The weather is still lovely and warm in Bordeaux, France and this is the perfect time of year to go sightseeing in the city or a wine tasting tour of the region.

Nature Breaks

Track gorillas in Rwanda in the dry season, when viewing is at its best and the terrain is easy to arid, compact and easy to walk on. There are also fewer mosquitoes and therefore a lower risk of malaria.

Plan a lemur tracking trip to Madagascar in late September, the prime time to spot these adorable primates which are endemic to the island and cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Fiji is one of the best places in the world to see turtles, and it is home to a number of turtle conservation sanctuaries (including Kula Eco Park which is family-friendly).

Honeymoon

The island of Halkidiki is perhaps Greece’s best-kept secret, with glorious weather in September time and fantastic discounted travel deals. Highs of 26°C or above make it the perfect time to relax on its beaches.

September weather ranges from 22°C to 26°C on the island of Sardinia and being outside of peak season, you can avoid the busy crowds particularly in the most popular areas of Porto Cervo, Olbia or Cagliari.

The Maldives in September is lovely and quiet and is ideal for romance. The resorts are often child-free at this time of year too with unobstructed access to the beautiful beaches.

Events and festivals

September is a good month for festivals, with the whale migration in South Africa taking centre stage. Fewer iconic festivals than in some months, but plenty of intriguing new events to explore that don’t get the coverage they deserve…

Dashain

Nepal

September

Nepal’s longest and grandest festival takes place in the Nepali Ashiwin month (from September to October) and is celebrated in honour of the goddess Durgar and her victory over Mahishasura the demon. Events include kit flying, flower displays and lots of great festive dishes.

Braderie De Lille Flea Market

Lille, France

1 September

Every first weekend of September sees the biggest flea market event in Europe, selling everything from vintage and retro items, antiques, furniture and home décor, gifts, bric-a-brac and much more. Both the atmosphere and weather are fantastic, making it perfect for shopping.

La Mercè

Barcelona, Spain

24 September

This annual festival is suitable for the whole family and will appeal to all ages. Taking place in the city of Barcelona each year, it features a program of events and festivities across the course of a week. Including costumes and artistic presentations, live music and traditional drumming, circus acts and more.

International Mariachi & Charreria Festival

Guadalajara, Mexico

26 September

A lively festival of colour, culture and tradition, celebrating Mexico’s flamboyant Mariachis and bringing live music to the streets of Guadalajara. Enjoy signing and performances in the city’s main squares and don’t miss the big parade.

Hermanus Whale Festival

South Africa

28 September

The stars of the show when it comes to the Whale Festival in Hermanus are the Southern Right Whales, which migrate at the same time every year. As well as excellent whale watching, there will also be live shows and entertainment, street parades, film, music, and superb seafood on offer.

Southern Decadence

New Orleans, USA

30 September

Take part in this six day event in New Orleans and celebrate with the gay and lesbian community, with street parties and live music, a colourful parade and exciting performances all over the city. There are things happening day and night, including DJ nights that run into the early hours.

Places to avoid

As we move out of the summer season and towards Autumn in many places the weather is less reliable and brings with its places to avoid.

You’re still in with a good chance of getting good weather and riding your luck, but the places below come with some risk…

  • The Caribbean – it’s hurricane season so the Caribbean Islands aren’t your best choice in September. They can be severe too, so the risk isn’t just limited to bad weather.
  • Central America – also suffering from the hurricane risk, as well as not being a great time for the weather, we’d leave the Central American region off your list for September.

Here’s what we would do

Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

September is all about trekking and is the perfect time to scale the iconic Kilimanjaro. It’s not for everyone, but if you like a challenge then this is the time to do it.

The exhilarating experience of reaching the roof of Africa is like no other and, whilst it needs some preparation and training, it is achievable for anyone who is in relatively good shape.

And once you’ve completed the challenge of a lifetime, you can enjoy some more of Tanzania’s attractions, such as the Selous Game Reserve which is in its prime but doesn’t get the same crowds as the other National Parks in the country.

It’s not easy, but September can be a bucket list month, and one you’ll never forget.