The Best Places to Visit in Europe in the Fall—

Cádiz, Spain

One benefit is cheaper airfare

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…

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