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Where to go on holiday in September: 19 best destinations

Contiki travellers in Portugal Photo: Contiki

September is arguably one of the best times to go on holiday. You’ve still got the warm summer weather, but it’s not sweltering enough that you’re sweating through all your clothes, and this is also around the time school is back in session, so you won’t be bothered by as many crowds. You get the picture, so let’s get right into it: these are the best holiday destinations in September around the world!

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1. Greece

Of all the places to visit in Europe in September, Greece must make the list! It’s still incredibly warm, especially if you’re hopping along the gorgeous Greek islands, and you’ll be able to enjoy the many white sand beaches and boat rides with fewer people. 

Picture this: sipping a fruity drink with your toes dipped in the glittering water, a streak of sunscreen on your nose (sun protection is important guys), your tummy grumbling for fresh seafood and tzatziki – bliss. 

Contiki travellers in Greece

Image source:Contiki

2. Venice, Italy

With average temperatures still around 24°C, the blue lagoons of Venice are calling your name – can’t you hear them? Undoubtedly one of the best holiday destinations in September (and the rest of the year, really), you can zip around the canals in Motoscafi, or cruise leisurely with an authentic gondola experience while the weather is nice and the streets calm. September is 100% one of the best times to visit Italy

Indulge in good food and wine, embark on art tours of the city, and just generally let yourself bask in the immaculate vibes of the northern Italian city. September in Venice is home to occasional rainfall, so pack an umbrella in case, but the sight of rain pattering onto the surface of the canals sounds pretty serene to me.

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3. Cairns, Australia

September marks the start of Australian spring, so if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere and are in need of a change of seasons, this is one of the most ideal holiday destinations. Head to Queensland, up north, and end up in Cairns where you can have the most beautiful nature retreat. 

With both the Daintree Rainforest and the Great Barrier Reef at your door you’ll be surrounded by the sounds of bird calls and whales breaking over waves in the ocean. Admire the coral reef – one of the top bucket list views, ever – and maybe even book a snorkelling or diving class so you can see it up close. With spring being Australia’s dry season, you’ll be wanting to spend as much time in the water as possible!

4. French Riviera

Still wondering where to go on holiday in September? Why not hit up the French Riviera. You may have plans to cruise the coast in July or August, but this is the area’s busiest season and with a few of the charming towns and villages being on the smaller side, it’s gonna be a lil crowded. The end of summer is your best bet.

Swim in the glittering sea near Menton and Antibes, follow the footsteps of your favourite celebrities and stars in Cannes and St. Tropez, or splash the cash in glitzy Monaco! Just imagine, while the kids are back in school, you’re living your best life in France. 

5. Jaipur, India

In the mood for something different? One of the best holiday destinations in September is India’s colourful city: Jaipur. Also known as the pink city, Jaipur is filled with some truly stunning architecture, the likes you’ve probably never seen before. Between July and September is typically India’s monsoon season, however Jaipur doesn’t see that much rain, making this the perfect time to visit as your activities won’t be encumbered. 

Discover something new, devour the spicy tastes of India, purchase intricate textiles as souvenirs, and let the hot Asian sun warm you inside and out. You can visit Jaipur, and so much more, on our Eternal India trip! 

Contiki travellers in India

Image source:Contiki

6. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Want to visit Rio without melting under the scorching sun like a popsicle? September is the perfect time of year to make the trip. Temperatures settle at a high of 25°C, so you can enjoy hang gliding over the lush landscapes, admire the epic Christ the Redeemer, and hit up the beautiful beaches without breaking much of a sweat. Brazil is one of the best holiday destinations in September for sure, and if it’s not already on your bucket list, add it now! Our Argentina and Brazil Highlights trip will show you a magical time. 

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7. Thailand

What better way to bring summer to a close than by heading to Thailand for a week or two? While it can get humid in September, the sea stays warm so you can sweat it off with daily island swims, and you’ll be treated to many long hours of sunshine to top it all off.

Have some meaningful encounters with wildlife at the many ethical Elephant sanctuaries in Phuket and Chiang Mai, revel in the vibrant nightlife, and trek to some of the world’s most beautiful temples. A key highlight of Thai summers is of course the fruit: you’ll have juicy mango dribbling off your chin for the entirety of your stay, it’s just that delicious.

elephant sanctuary in Thailand

Image source:Contiki

8. LA, USA

The end of summer calls for a return to wellness: sunrise yoga on the beach, hikes around LA’s many National Parks, jogs along the seafront, etc. You name it and you can probably do it in LA! Pad out the rest of your days cruising palm-tree lined streets and checking out the high end stores for some idyll window-shopping. The seasons don’t change all that much in California, so you’ll be blessed with sun and gentle ocean breezes. So step into Autumn with an LA Explorer!

9. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona presents the perfect blend between city life and beach life, so for those travellers who don’t quite know what they want, this is the best holiday destination for September! Pack your flowiest linens and those flip flops you have yet to break in, and traipse through the neatly organised streets of the city, past the looming Sagrada Familia, the funky architecture, the Gothic Quarter, and spend some time licking up ice creams on the beach. 

Spain has plenty of beautiful sights and amazing cultural activities for you to experience, and let’s not even mention the food that is beyond delicious. Let the days swim away as you enjoy the Best of Spain

10. Morocco

By visiting Morocco in September, you’ll be escaping the crushing heat that comes with the peak of summer. At the end of the season, the temperatures linger between 20 and 28°C, with the midland cities like Fez and Marrakech being hotter, and the coastal cities of Casablanca and Rabat being cooler. So the choice is yours: sun yourself by the shore, or wind through the souks and explore?

11. Kenya

Wildlife lovers gather around because September is one of the best times to visit Kenya, and Kenya is one of the best places to go on many, many, safaris. From lions to zebras to gazelles, and wildebeests, you’ll be up to your ears (though hopefully not) in animals. This time of year is perfect to hop on our Kenyan Highlights trip because this is the best time to see the famous Great Migration happen, and you really don’t want to miss it.

Apart from wildlife, Kenya has some amazing hikes and national parks, vibrant cities with unique cultures to discover, and plenty of local communities to meet. There’s really no reason not to visit, but if you’re looking to be convinced read why you should visit Kenya here.

Safari in Kenya

Image source:Contiki

12. Mexico City, Mexico

Anyone up for a party? If there’s one thing we know about Mexico City is that it’s one of the most exciting places on Earth, and it’s worth a visit at least once in your life (if not four or five times). Let loose and explore the streets, get all that delicious street foodMexican food is king, in my humble opinion – and swallow some authentic tequila for the hell of it. Why not? It’s the end of summer, so you may as well go out with a bang.

But more than all the flavours, Mexico City is one of the best holiday destinations in September because of the mild heat and the rich history. From Frida Khalo’s art gracing the area, to the nearby Teotihuacan that’ll blow your socks off, you’ll be spending a few eye-opening days here.

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13. Tokyo, Japan

Japan is gorgeous 24/7, 365/365, from Mount Fuji to the cherry blossoms in spring and the golden gingkos in autumn, there’s so much to see and do all year round, but September is an especially good time to visit as you’ll be able to see Tokyo and the surroundings with fewer crowds, and some unique gems.

For example, the Grand Sumo Tournament takes place during this time of year, so if that’s something that tickles your fancy, you know when you book your plane tickets for. Other than that, Japan is its usual glorious self: delicious and fresh food, eccentric fashion niches juxtaposed by the hallowed traditional grounds. There’s loads to do, so get planning.

Contiki travellers in Japan

Image source:Contiki

14. Vietnam

Not a fan of humidity? Well, you’ll be pleased and surprised to learn that September marks the end of Vietnam’s humid season, and instead transitions into gentle heat and rainfall! This tropical weather casts the perfect backdrop for exploration among Vietnam’s iconic hikes – like Sa Pa – and idyllic beaches. On the sunny days head out to catch those last tanning chances before the winter, and on the rainier days keep it lowkey and discover the food and the culture, chat to some locals and become one yourself. 100% one of the best holiday destinations in September, you need to book that trip to Vietnam ASAP (and do it with Contiki!).

15. New Zealand

A September holiday destination for those that want a completely different vibe: New Zealand enters spring, and the temperatures are on the cooler side. You’ll have sun, but you’ll also get rain and cold nights, depending on which island you choose to base your stay. But this shouldn’t stop real explorers from making the trip!

New Zealand is possibly at its most stunning when nature once again starts to wake up. The lakes are mirror-like without the cloud cover, purple and lilac lupins start to bloom, and the mountains are forever lush with both green trees and a dusting of snow. Grab your hiking boots and get yourself to New Zealand for a totally unique end of summer.

Contiki travellers in New Zealand

Image source:Contiki

16. Türkiye

The best thing to do in Türkiye in September is to head out on a boat and enjoy the syrupy sun at sea. History and relaxation is the vibe you’ll be getting. While on the boat you can let the waves rock you as you nap under the sun, and back on land you can trek to some ruins built into the land and make a quick trip through time. Don’t forget the iconic Turkish spas and baths to take advantage of, and of course the mouth-watering food. What’s better than a full belly, a ship under the bluest sky, and crystalline waves? Discover our Turkish Sailing trip for a taste of paradise. 

17. Jordan

September is the best month to visit Jordan as, like Morocco, it boasts some warm weather that’s a lot more manageable than in the peak of summer during July and August. Breathtaking sites like Petra, one of the seven Wonders of the World, and Wadi Rum (both featured in the blockbuster Dune), are made pleasant to roam around during this month – though remember to bring loose linens that’ll cover your shoulders to remain respectful. 

Eat traditional food, purchase some brightly coloured handicrafts and souvenirs, and practise your sand walk – Jordan promises a great time!

18. Lisbon, Portugal

Pastel de nata, pastel de nata, pastel de nata! That’s all you’ll be chanting during your stay in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, which is one of the most enchanting European cities. Decorated in the traditional blue tile, looked over by pleasant weather, and completed with a port and lots of boats; you can enjoy the city and the beach here in September. The great thing about Portugal is that it isn’t huge, so it’s quite easy to get around to the neighbouring cities and coasts. A quick train to Porto for some wine, or to the Algarve for blindingly white buildings and pristine beaches – the possibilities are endless!

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19. Berlin, Germany

After an urban stay? Berlin may be your best port of call. Better known for its history (and of course the grungy club scene), Berlin is a great escape for those wanting a holiday that serves the best of both worlds. There’s a ton of culture when it comes to the art and history. You can spend a few days lingering in the halls of all the museums – and then hitting the clubs in the evening. The weather in Berlin will be warm but not too warm, and perfect for a long September weekend, or the starting point of a longer European crawl. Check out our Berlin trips to see where you could go. 

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