What does the season of autumn mean to you? Over-ripe smells of fruit hanging from trees and shrubs? The wonderful hues of reds, oranges and browns from the leaves?
Or a sense of romance with the evenings drawing in and the chill in the air? For many of us, autumn is a chance to get away and see the season in other parts of the world, and there are certain countries that hold a special resonance with autumn, such as New England and Virginia, where the legendary colours of fall are spectacular. Some are not so well-known, but for anyone who is wanting to take an autumn break this year, we have picked our best destinations. See where you want to go:
New England has to be synonymous with autumn. Situated in America’s north-east, if you haven’t been before, you cannot have failed to seen pictures of the absolutely fabulous displays of fire-hued foliage which dapples the scenery during autumn.
The season is such a massive visitor attraction, that there are even weekly updates on where to find the best foliage scenes are, with details of certain colour spreads, giving visitors a guide as to where they can find areas of reds, oranges, greens and browns.
Closer to home now in good old England, the New Forest is the largest remaining open heathland and forest situated in South East England. As you would expect in a forest, the trees are full of the beautiful colours of autumn, on fire with crimsons, auburns, oranges and reds.
You can not only walk through the New Forest but it is cycle friendly too, and there are also loads of tracks free of car traffic. You’ll find quaint little cafes and tea shops, picnic areas and traditional English pubs. And don’t forget to look out for the wild ponies that roam free through the forests.
If you want to experience a holiday atmosphere where the air is still warm, but you still get the gorgeous seasonal autumnal colours, head for Tuscany, where you get the best of both. The landscapes are simply stunning, with those traditional cream stoned buildings and sprawling pastoral fields.
You can also get involved in the annual wine harvest, the grape festivals and sample some of the great wines, be entertained by the music and dancing, or simply relax in the stunning surroundings.
Switzerland might not be your first choice for an autumn break, as most people associate the Scandinavian country with snow and mountains, but autumn is the perfect time of year to see the gorgeous colours before the snow turns the landscape white.
And as with Tuscany, this time of year sees many festivals, as the Swiss celebrate their harvest. So expect lots of food markets, which include whole towns getting involved, where the locals have fun getting dressed in costumes containing skins and moss.
If the colours of autumn are not the reason you fancy a break during this time of year, why not consider Mexico, and time your visit for their Day of the Dead festival on 1st November. And don’t worry, it’s nothing to do with voodoo charming or devil worshiping, this is actually an official Catholic holiday. It is for people who want to remember their loved ones who are no longer with them, and also to celebrate the joy of life. Expect colorful street parades with food stalls and a carnival atmosphere.
Finally, you could be one of the first people to view the Xihai Grand Canyon in China as it has only just been opened to the public. This canyon is quite often surrounded by clouds and mist, but when you can see it is truly beautiful, with surreal craggy features and unusual rock formations, giving it the moniker of “the Magic Scenic Area”. Many people like to visit it in autumn as the season brings the cooler weather and the changing colour of the leaves adds to the spectacular views.