As the shoulder season for many regions – with prices and footfall tending to be lower than they are in peak months – October is the ideal time for a stress-free jaunt.
You could gain some serious altitude in Nepal and Albuquerque, beat the crowds in Jordan and Cornwall, meet the Grand Canyon’s match in Mexico or hustle for a truffle in the hills of northern Italy.
Here are Lonely Planet’s recommendations for October travel, courtesy of our experts.
Go trekking in Annapurna, Nepal
Everyone has seen the news reports from the 25 April earthquake in Nepal, but most reports neglected to mention that most of Nepal was untouched by the disaster, including the most popular trekking areas. With the clearing of the monsoon rains, October is once again peak season for trekking, and the Annapurna region is a great, nay epic, place to start.
From the gateway town of Pokhara, which saw little damage from the tremor, classic trekking routes such as the Annapurna Circuit and Annapurna Sanctuary Trek climb breathlessly into the Himalaya, offering the kind of views normally reserved for mountaineers. Pokhara is easy to reach from Kathmandu, also fully open for business, and it’s easy to make arrangements for a trek on arrival. In the process, you’ll be performing a valuable social service, helping Nepal to rebuild after the disaster by investing directly in the local economy.
Joe Bindloss - Destination Editor for the Indian Subcontinent. Follow him on Twitter @joe_planet.
Escape the crowds in Petra, Jordan
Jordan’s tourism industry is in a real dip right now, with visitors put off by conflict in the wider region. So despite the fact that the country itself is still peaceful and (barring a small border area) entirely safe to travel to, Petra has been left practically deserted.
In fact, there couldn’t be a better time to visit the tremendous rock-cut temples and tombs of the 'rose-red city half as old as time.' It’s possible to savour your first glimpse of the iconic Treasury in blissfully atmospheric silence and walk the pathways from one ancient monument to the next with barely another tourist in sight. Jordan’s summer draws to a close in October, leaving temperatures balmy and comfortable for walking and exploring.
Helen Elfer - Destination Editor for the Middle East and North Africa. Follow her on Twitter @Helen_Elfer.
Ride the rails in Copper Canyon, northern Mexico
With the worst of the summer heat over but before the cold of winter arrives, October is by far the best time to visit Mexico’s Copper Canyon. Located in Chihuahua, in the north of the country, this natural wonder might be less known than the Grand Canyon in the US, but it’s equally, dare we say more impressive than its geological counterpart across the border.
The dramatic landscapes of ravines and peaks, forests and deserts can all be enjoyed on hiking trails, bike routes and even horseback, but for most visitors the preferred vantage point is from a carriage on the Ferrocarril Chihuahua Pacífico, the only passenger train service left in Mexico and one of the great rail journeys of the world.
Clifton Wilkinson - Destination Editor for California & Mexico. Follow him on Twitter @Cliff_Wilkinson.
Try an oyster or two in Cornwall, UK
Stretching west like a great arm from Britain into the Atlantic Ocean, Cornwall is wildly popular in summer. Head here in the shoulder season and you’re more likely to have its stunning beaches, craggy cliffs, hiking trails and historic houses to yourself. It may not be as warm, but the autumn colours make this a wonderful time to explore, whether you’re roaming Dartmoor, walking the South West Coast Path or discovering exotic species in the Lost Gardens of Heligan.
If you want a hook to hang your trip on, you could glory in the region’s foodie heritage at Falmouth Oyster Festival. Cornwall’s coolest town (it’s also the world’s third-deepest natural harbour, and is home to the National Maritime Museum) offers demonstrations, music and the chance to sample delicious local shellfish, some of which are still dredged by hand punt.
James Smart - Destination Editor for Britain, Ireland and Iceland. Follow him on Twitter @Smartbadger.
Hunt for truffles in Alba, northern Italy
The northern Italian town of Alba is famed as the home of the most prized variety of white truffle (an edible fungi that is one of the world’s most expensive delicacies). It sits at the heart of the Langhe region, which was named a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2014 for its scenic landscape of vine-striped undulating hills. The best time to visit is the second half of October, when truffles change hands for ridiculous prices at the weekend markets of the International White Truffle Fair (fieradeltartufo.org).
If you don’t have hundreds of euros to spare to purchase your own truffle, you can get your fill of truffle-laced dishes in the town’s many excellent restaurants. For the thrill of the chase, join a truffle hunt with the Consorzio Turistico Langhe Monferrato Roero, and follow a specially trained dog through the woods, sniffing out truffles hidden amongst tree roots.
Anna Tyler - Destination Editor for southern Europe. Follow her on Twitter @Go_AnnaT.
Go hot-air ballooning in Albuquerque, USA
Every October, hundreds of technicoloured hot-air balloons take to the skies of New Mexico for the world-renowned Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. What started as a small gathering of 13 balloons in 1972 has grown to become the largest balloon event in the world. This year marks the 44th balloon fiesta, which takes place from 3-11 October.
The nine-day extravaganza features carnival events, musical performances, a fireworks show, and of course ballooning competitions. The 360-acre Balloon Fiesta Park is packed to the brim with booths selling everything from traditional New Mexican food to balloon memorabilia. And if you’re a ballooning fan, head to the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (balloonmuseum.com), to browse through its impressive collection of memorabilia dedicated to the world’s oldest aviation sport, ballooning.