Where To Head In September

As summer edges closer to autumn, and the kids get back to their school routine, those who can get away in September have the choice of bargain deals and calmer vibes making it arguably the best month for a jaunt. Temperatures are still high, moods have been lifted, and the sea is at its warmest. Even further afield, there are enthralling events and festivals that make September an alternative peak season.

Fancy holding out for a holiday until conditions are optimal? Here are our top picks of where to spend your September sojourn.

Porto, Portugal

While the Atlantic coast of Portugal is well known for its surfing opportunities, the winds die down in September ­­– bad news for advanced surfers, but good news for novices and those who prefer more settled, sunny weather. Pair a coastal city break with one of discovery: an hour and 15 minutes away from Porto by train lies Guimarães, a thriving town with a gorgeous medieval centre that’s worth an exploration – don’t miss Guimarães Castle and the nearby Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. With average daytime temperatures around 24C, it’s just about cool enough to undertake a hike up to Penha Hill if you like to stay active on holiday. If not, the cable car (Portugal’s first) is a more relaxing alternative.

Gdansk, Poland

Despite the name, Oktoberfest is traditionally celebrated in September. And while Germany is the spiritual home of the food and beer festival, it’s not the only place to travel to, especially if you’re up for a different type of experience. With its Germanic history, Poland comes alive during Oktoberfest too, and Gdansk arguably holds the biggest celebrations. Within a typical beer tent, you’ll see traditional costumes and dancing, along with a wide variety of German and local beers, plus sausages, sauerkraut, pork chops, pork knuckle, – and even beer ice cream! Gdansk is well-serviced in the UK, with direct flights from London, Liverpool, Doncaster, Leeds Bradford and Edinburgh.

Whale Coast, South Africa

On the southern tip of South Africa and an hour away from Cape Town, Whale Coast is always a great spot to go whale watching – hence the name. But the waters get particularly active in September. It’s peak time spotting for southern rights and humpback whales, who use these familiar waters for calving and rearing their young. Be sure to visit Whale House Museum in the whale-watching town of Hermanus. It tells nature lovers all about the behaviour, migration, diet, reproduction and communication of our aquatic friends, and features a suspended skeleton of a southern right to show their enormous size. But that’s something you’ll no doubt see in the balmy waters off the coast.

Grand Canyon, USA

In the middle of the Arizona desert, the Grand Canyon National Park is a bucket-list destination – the extraordinary sight of the enormous, arid gorges and rush of the Colorado River below are known the world over. You’ll have seen it in the cinema, in travel books, and if you want to see it in real life, September is the perfect time to go. By the middle of the month, the harsh temperatures and thunderstorms of summer will have dissipated, leaving a cooler and drier air of 21C on average. It’s the perfect temp to get active in the national park – embark on a hiking trail at the top, or try out white water rafting at the bottom. That’s a trip you won’t forget in a hurry.

Wherever you plan on heading this year taking out a Switched On Travel Insurance policy means you’ll have total peace of mind that should you or a loved one fall ill or have an accident while you’re away, you’ll be able to call on our 24/7 medical support services. Find out more here.