October is considered the ‘shoulder season’, in many countries of the world - after the summer crowds and heat have abated in Europe, or at the tail-end of the monsoon season in Asia.

In the northern hemisphere, we associate it with the arrival of autumn. With crisp, cool mornings and a blaze of autumn foliage, making it an ideal time for hiking - especially in the more southerly mediterranean countries, which see less rainfall. Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere, October heralds the beginning of spring - and the advent of warmer weather - for much of South America, and particularly for countries such as New Zealand and Australia.

In countries such as Nepal, India and Thailand, the monsoon season will have abated by October. The landscape is verdant from months of rain, but the weather is settled - it's the start of the hiking season in the Himalayas. In Thailand, the rivers will still be full from the recent monsoon season, so it’s an ideal time to go kayaking or canoeing.

October is also a prime month for visiting Africa. In the northern countries, such as Morocco, the searing summer heat has died down. Meanwhile, African countries in the southern hemisphere - such as Botswana and Madagascar - are heading into the sizzling summer months. It’s a good time to go on safari, October being one of the best game-viewing months in southern Africa, when thirsty animals gather around watering holes.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to visit in October in the world, which showcase the variety of this month. You can be trekking in the Himalayas, island-hopping in Sicily, or on safari in Botswana’s Okavango Delta.

1. The Turkish Riviera, Turkey

Hikers along the Lycian Way in Turkey. Photo: Shutterstock.
Hikers along the Lycian Way. Photo: Shutterstock.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 28°C high, 13ºC low
  • Time zone: GMT+3
  • Currency: Turkish Lira
  • Best for: Swimming in the Mediterranean

The Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast thanks to its sparkling waters, is located in the southwest of the country. Alongside its 620 miles (997km) of shoreline, there are numerous cultural attractions, from the perpetually flaming rocks of Chimera to two of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum of Maussollos in Halicarnassus; and the Temple of Artemis in Ephesus.

There are plenty of opportunities for adventure in the region, whether that’s hiking along the coastal trails of the Lycian Way, sea kayaking to the sunken city of Dolikhiste or SUPing through the Kapuz Canyon.

Hike, Kayak and Sail in Turkey | Much Better Adventures
Join a small group of like-minded travellers to paddle to crystalline coves, wander along the Lycian Way, and cool off in the glittering sea as you go.

October is an ideal time to visit the Turkish Riviera - temperatures across the month average around 20°C, with three to four days of rain across the month. What’s more, the ocean temperature during these months is a balmy 24°C.

How to get there? The coast is served by two airports, both international - Antalya, in the east, and Dalaman in the west.

2. Menorca, Balearic Islands

Sea kayaking in Menorca. Photo: Karetta Expeditions.
Sea kayaking in Menorca. Photo: Karetta Expeditions.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 23°C high, 16ºC low
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: Deserted beaches

Most people visit the island of Menorca to relax - and with hundreds of golden coves tucked into its rugged coastline, it's an ideal place for a beach break. But you can have more active adventures here too, with plenty of quiet hiking trails - the multi-day Camí de Cavalls encircles the island. -or sea kayaking around the island’s coast, swimming and wild camping on beaches only accessible by boat.

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Temperatures are pleasant in October in Menorca, averaging around 19ºC. You may experience a few showers (October has an average of seven rainy days, but only 8.5mm of precipitation spread out across the month), so pack a light rain jacket. The potential of rain might put you off sunbathing on the beach, but it’s an ideal month for watersports and swimming, since sea temperatures are around 23°C.

How to get there? Head to Menorca Airport (MAH), to explore the rest of the island.

3. Abruzzo, Italy

Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a village in Abruzzo, in autumn. Photo: Getty.
Santo Stefano di Sessanio, a village in Abruzzo, in autumn. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 15°C - 23°C high, 7°C - 13°C
  • Time zone: GMT +2
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: Autumn foliage and flavours

The relatively undiscovered Italian region of Abruzzo has three national parks and 37 nature reserves.  “They say the region is the greenest in Europe, because such a big portion of the land is protected by parks or reserves," says Angela Tavone, of Rewilding Apennines.

One of these is Maiella National Park, protecting an area of the Apennine Mountains; karst peaks and limestone caves, enshrouded in verdant forest. The province extends to the coast, where you’ll find sandy coves fringed with pine trees.

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Hike through dense pine forest to reach Anfiteatro Murelle (2596m), an imposing rocky ampitheatre overlooking a lunar-like environment. Canoe up the Tirino River, said to have the cleanest waters in Europe. There are also plenty of cultural landmarks to explore - we recommend the fortified hamlet of Rocca Calascio, with its dramatic castle ruins.

October is a delightful month to visit Abruzzo, with autumn colours beginning to tinge the foliage, and the summer tourists having departed. Come expecting several days of light rain, pleasantly warm days and cooler evenings.

How to get there? Pescara Airport is the closest to the Abruzzo region, but there are more international flights from Rome, several hours’ drive from Abruzzo.

4. The Okavango Delta, Botswana

The Okavango Delta at sunset. Photo: Chris Kearney.
The Okavango Delta at sunset. Photo: Chris Kearney.
  • Season: Dry (summer)
  • Temperature: 37°C high, 20°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Currency: Botswana Pula
  • Best for: Epic safaris

Botswana’s Okavango Delta is one of the world's largest inland deltas (a convex wetland formed when a river flows into a lake or sea - in this case where the Okavango River empties onto a tectonic trough in the Kalahari Basin), and a UNESCO heritage site. This vast network of channels, lagoons, and islands supports an incredibly diverse array of wildlife, including elephants, hippos lions, and countless bird species.

It’s the place to go for a safari with a difference - navigate the rivers with a mokoro (traditional dugout canoe), looking out for animals drinking from the waters. You can camp on one of the delta’s islands, and head out on extended bushwalk safaris through the grassland.

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October is one of the hottest and driest months in the Okavango Delta, with daytime temperatures averaging around 35°C. It’s one of the best seasons for safari, considering that the foliage is dry, making it easier to see animals when they come to drink.

How to get there? Maun is the gateway to the Okavango Delta. You can fly into its small airport from Cape Town or Johannesburg. We recommend visiting it as a destination on a longer road trip - perhaps combining it with a drive through the Kalahari Desert.

5. The Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Hikers in the Atlas Mountains of Morocco. Photo: Aztat Treks.
Hikers in the Atlas Mountains. Photo: Aztat Treks.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 28°C high, 17°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+1
  • Currency: Moroccan Dirham
  • Best for: Mountain trekking

The Atlas Mountains are a series of mountain ranges extending across north Africa, passing through Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia. The jagged, sky-piercing High Atlas in Morocco are perhaps the most well-known. This is where you'll find snow-capped Mount Toubkal, the highest peak in north Africa at 4,167m-high.

There are plenty of treks in Morocco’s High Atlas. Hike between Berber red clay villages, such as Tiziane (1,750m) through verdant forests and along stony mountainsides. October is also a good time to trek to higher peaks such as Toubkal, before the heavy snows of winter make the summit more challenging.

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Explore the remote landscapes and Berber villages of the Atlas Mountains with the support of an experienced guiding team, surrounded by Morocco’s highest peaks.

October is a great time to visit Morocco, as the oppressive heat of summer has finally abated. The Atlas Mountains will see a few rain showers across the month, but temperatures average around 21°C, which is pleasant for trekking. It will, of course, be cooler at higher altitudes - on the summit of Mount Toubkal it can be as low as 4°C.

How to get there? Fly into the international airport at Marrakech and take a short drive south. Imlil, considered the gateway to the Atlas Mountains, is around a 90 minute drive from the city.

6. The Himalayas, Nepal

Mount Ama Dablam seen from Dingboche Village along the Everest Base Camp Trek. Photo: iStock.
Mount Ama Dablam seen from Dingboche Village along the Everest Base Camp Trek. Photo: iStock.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 18°C high, -10°C low
  • Time zone: GMT + 5.45
  • Currency: Nepalese rupee
  • Best for: Soaring snow-capped peaks

Nepal’s Himalayas boast some of the highest peaks in the world, including the iconic Mount Everest (8,848m/29028 ft) and the deadly Annapurna I (8,091m/26,545ft). Only the most experienced climbers ascend these peaks, but there are also plenty of trails for intrepid hikers at lower altitudes.

One of the most well-known is the Everest Base Camp trek, taking you through the forests and suspension bridges of Namche, and then ever deeper into the mountains, passing summer pastures and remote gompas (monasteries), whilst surrounded by glaciated peaks. You’ll end up at Everest Base Camp, at an altitude of 5,380m (17,650ft).

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Another option is to climb Mera Peak. At 6,461m-high (21,197ft) it’s the highest trekkable peak in the Nepal Himalayas. The ascent to the summit will push you to your physical and mental limits - but the sense of achievement is unparalleled.

October is one of the best times of year to trek in Nepal's Himalayas as it falls in the post-monsoon period, often with stable weather conditions and clear skies. Daytime trekking temperatures are pleasant - between 8°C to 18°C - but nighttime temperatures drop below freezing, especially at higher altitudes, so make sure you come equipped with good cold weather gear.

How to get there? Fly into Nepal’s capital of Kathmandu. For both the Mera Peak trek and the Everest Base Camp trek you’ll need to drive to the remote region of Manthali, and from there catch a flight to Lukla.

7. The Aeolian Islands, Sicily

Hiking to the volcanic crater on Vulcano. Photo: Getty.
Hiking to the volcanic crater on Vulcano. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 23°C high, 18°C low
  • Time zone: GMT +2
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: An under-the-radar island hopping experience

The Aeolian Islands are a volcanic archipelago located north of Sicily, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The largest island in the archipelago is Lipari, known for its striking sea cliffs and local wine culture. Two islands within the archipelago, Stromboli and Vulcano, are active volcanoes - you can hike to a vantage point near Stromboli’s regularly erupting crater, or across Vulcano, where you’ll pass steaming fumaroles.

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Join a small group of like-minded adventurers to hike, kayak and swim in the Aeolian Islands, summiting the volcanic peaks of Mount Etna and Stromboli.

The islands offer up a compelling mixture of nature and culture. They’re a paradise for trekkers, with clear offshore waters ideal for swimming and snorkelling. Meanwhile, the islands are dotted with ancient necropolises, prehistoric villages and roman settlements - which you can find out more about at Lipari’s fantastic archaeological park and museum. And don’t forget about the wine - the archipelago has a unique viticulture, using grapes grown in its volcanic soil.

October is an excellent time to visit the archipelago - it's shoulder season, and the summer crowds will have disappeared. The weather is pleasant, with average highs between 23-25°C and cooler evenings (although there may be a few rain showers) - ideal hiking weather. The sea is still warm enough for swimming and other watersports.

How to get there? There are no airports on the Aeolian Islands. Fly to Catania Airport, in Sicily. From here, you’ll need to head to the Sicilian port of Milazzo by taxi, driving or train. From Milazzo, you can take a hydrofoil or ferry to Lipari.

8. Sarawak, Borneo

A proboscis monkey in Bako National Park. Photo: Paradesa Borneo.
A proboscis monkey in Bako National Park. Photo: Paradesa Borneo.
  • Season: Shoulder season
  • Temperature: 32°C high, 22°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+8
  • Currency: Malaysian Ringgit
  • Best for: Jungle trekking

Sarawak is a state in the northwest of Borneo, known for its pristine rainforest - it has more national parks and wildlife reserves than the rest of Malaysia combined. One of these is Bako National Park, an area of small sandy bays, mangroves and rainforest

“This is one of the most famous parks in Sarawak,” says destination expert JC Chua. “It’s quite small, but to get there you need to take a boat. Bako National Park is famous for the proboscis monkey, with the unusual nose. I remember staying overnight there once, and during sunset, seeing the proboscis monkeys jumping from tree to tree, in a herd, carrying their babies. It’s a highlight.”

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There’s plenty of other things to do in Sarawak for adventurous travellers. The Bengoh Waterfalls Trek (near Bengoh Dam), which takes you through an area of virgin jungle likened to Jurassic Park to a series of cascades, is an excellent day hike. Kayaking down the wild Sarawak River also comes highly recommended, as does watching for endangered orangutans at the Semenggoh Nature Reserve.

October in Sarawak sees the end of the dry season and the start of the wet season. There are frequent showers across the month, normally during the afternoon (around 250 mm to 340 mm of precipitation, depending where in the region you are). However, with daytime temperatures in the low thirties, the rain is refreshing and helps dispel the humidity.

How to get there? Travellers to Sarawak tend to fly into Kuching International Airport, the region’s capital.

9. The Cyclades, Greece

A beach on the Greek island of Kythnos, at sunset.
Sunsets on Kythnos. Photo: Personality Journeys.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 23°C high, 15°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+3
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: Island hopping

The Cyclades are a group of 33 Greek islands and islets in the Aegean Sea, renowned for their whitewashed villages, clear azure waters, dramatic sunsets and ancient ruins. The islands are popular with tourists - Santorini and the ‘party island’ of Mykonos are particular hotspots, and prone to overtourism during the summer months. However, it’s still possible to get off the beaten track by visiting some of the lesser-known islands in the archipelago - especially in October, when the summer crowds have disappeared.

The island of Kythnos is known for its unspoilt villages, wild and arid landscape and natural hot springs. Serifos - said to be the island where Ulysses encountered the Cyclops - has some beautifully deserted beaches. And we also recommend the verdant island of Kea, which is scattered with remnants of ancient cities - including the well-preserved ruins of Agia Irini (not to be confused with the town of Agia Irini in Crete).

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One way to navigate between the islands is by sailing boat. This allows you to drop anchor in some of the quiet and most picturesque sites in the Cyclades.

October is an ideal time to visit the Cyclades, especially if you don’t want to spend the entire holiday sunbathing on the beach. Daytime temperatures range between 20°C-23°C, dropping a few degrees when the sun goes down - ideal for hiking and exploring. The sea temperature is still a warm 22°C, so watersports and swimming are possible, and rain is still infrequent.

How to get there? Fly to  Athens International Airport and take a 30-minute taxi to Lavrio Port. From here, you can catch a ferry or yacht to the Cyclades. For islands further from the mainland, it might be more convenient to fly directly to the Cyclades - the two main international airports are on Mykonos and Santorini.

10. Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, Ecuador

Canoeing in the Yasuní National Park. Photo: Adventure Journeys.
Canoeing in the Yasuní National Park. Photo: Adventure Journeys.
  • Season: Shoulder season
  • Temperature: 31°C high, 21°C low
  • Time zone: GMT-5
  • Currency: USD
  • Best for: Exploring the Amazon Rainforest

Yasuní National Park is a 3,792 square miles (9,823 square km) reserve in the Amazon basin in northeast Ecuador, lying between the Napo and Curaray Rivers. It is considered one of the most biodiverse places in the world, where over 650 tree species can be found within a hectare; and where more than 130 threatened animal species can be found.

“In Yasuní there still remain some of the last few uncontacted groups in the whole Amazon,” says destination expert Henry Sisa. “In Yasuni there is an area called the Intangible Zone, where the uncontacted people live, but the closest related to them is the Huaorani - one of the last contacted groups. On our trip we camp with a Huaorani family and spend a night in one of their houses.”

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This epic Amazon adventure trip sees you hike through primary rainforest & camp on the river’s edge in the Yasuni Biosphere Reserve, which teems with wildlife.

Henry recommends going on a guided expedition into Yasuní; camping, canoeing and hiking, with local indigenous guides to show you the wildlife and the trails. “Every person that goes into this part of the Amazon with us says it’s a life-changing experience,” he says.

Ecuador crosses the equator, so there’s little seasonal variation in temperature - it’s warm year-round. However there are differing amounts of rainfall during the year, which varies across different parts of the country. October is one of the drier months to visit Yasuní; but you need to expect showers year round - it is the rainforest, and lives up to its name!

How to get there? Access to Yasuní is via the town of Coca - from there you’ll need to travel by motorised canoe down the Rio Napo to the park entrance. Reach Coca from Quito by driving (six hours), or by a domestic flight (40 minutes).

11. The Caucasus Mountains, Georgia

Mount Ushba in autumn. Photo: Getty.
Mount Ushba in autumn. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 18°C high, 1°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+4
  • Currency: Georgian Lari
  • Best for: Quiet mountain trails

The Caucasus Mountains in Georgia stretch from the Black Sea to the Caspian Sea - a series of dramatic peaks and lush valleys. The wild, remote Svaneti region is particularly picturesque; in its UNESCO-designated mediaeval villages, a traditional way of life has been preserved.

The mountains are an ideal spot for trekking enthusiasts, especially those who like quiet trails. We recommend hiking a section of the newly created Transcaucasian Trail (1,864 miles/3,000km) - the Upper Svaneti stage from Jabeshi to Khalde is particularly scenic.

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Early to mid-October is a good time to trek in Georgia, especially in the lower foothills, where the temperature can be as high as 18°C, and the hills and forests are gilded in the colours of autumn.  As you climb to higher altitudes, it will be cooler - especially when night falls, and the temperature can drop to a couple of degrees - and you can expect rain, or even snow towards the end of the month.

How to get there? Trekkers tend to fly into Kutaisi International Airport or Tbilisi International Airport to reach Georgia’s Caucasus Mountains. You’ll need to arrange a transfer or hire a car to reach the remote mountain villages after this.

12. Utah, Arizona and California, USA

Sequoia National Park in autumn. Photo: Getty.
Sequoia National Park in autumn. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 28°C high, 5°C low
  • Time zone: GMT-7
  • Currency: US dollar
  • Best for: Iconic road trips

The Western United States of Utah, Arizona, and California - offer some of the most iconic landscapes in the country within its national parks. In Utah, the sandstone cliffs of Zion National Park and the multi-hued hoodoos and rock formations of Bryce Canyon offer endless opportunities for hiking. Arizona’s Grand Canyon is renowned around the world.

In California’s Sierra Nevada  you’ll find Yosemite National Park, with its towering granite cliffs, waterfalls and forests. There are plenty of hiking trails here, including the famous Half Dome Trail - and there’s also a shuttle bus taking you to various points of interest around the park. But outdoor guide Ryan Romito urges you not to forget about California’s other, often overlooked, national parks.

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“Sequoia National Park is one of my favourite places to explore,” he says. “It’s in the Sierra Nevada, like Yosemite, so it has similar geographical features. However the main attraction is its giant sequoia trees. It’s really hard to envision just how magical they are until you're face to face with one. They're just so massive.”

To get between the national parks we recommend taking a road trip, beginning in Los Vegas and ending in San Francisco. Make sure you spend some time on the iconic Route 66, passing through stunning natural landscapes and unique attractions such as the ghost town of Oatman. October is an excellent time to visit for hiking - places such as Bryce Canyon and Los Vegas will hover around the mid-twenties, although it will be cooler at higher altitudes such as the Sierra Nevada. In Sequoia National Park, the forest will be transformed by autumn foliage.

How to get there? The best way to explore this region is by flying into a major airport such as Las Vegas (for Utah and Arizona) or San Francisco/Los Angeles (for California). From there, renting a car offers you a lot of flexibility to explore.

13. The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

A marine iguana sunbathes on the rocks of San Cristobal Island, the Galapagos.
A marine iguana sunbathes on the rocks of San Cristobal Island. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Dry season
  • Temperature: 26°C high, 18°C low
  • Time zone: GMT-6
  • Currency: USD
  • Best for: Wildlife viewing and island hopping

The Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of volcanic islands in the Pacific Ocean (and a province of Ecuador), are famous for their incredible biodiversity and unique wildlife. The islands offer visitors a chance to see rare species including the endemic Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguana and blue-footed booby.

"It’s like a paradise here on earth," says Ecuadorian destination expert Henry Sisa. "In the Galapagos, there are two incredible ways to discover animals. One is by walking, and the other one is snorkelling. Half of the wildlife you will see in the Galapagos is by land and maybe the other half is marine wildlife."

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The best way to experience the Galapagos is on an island-hopping adventure. On Santa Cruz, check out the El Chato Giant Tortoise Reserve and the paradisiacal Tortuga Bay. On Isabela, hike the burnt slopes of Sierra Negra Volcano and snorkel at Concha de Perla, a lagoon teeming with wildlife, including sea lions.

October is the dry season in the Galapagos, with daytime temperatures hovering between 20°C to 26°C - ideal for hiking, sightseeing and watersports.

How to get there? The Galapagos Islands are accessed via flights from mainland Ecuador - often from Quito to the airports on Baltra Island or San Cristobal Island. From there, you can join a guided island-hopping tour, or take local ferries between the islands.

14. The Prosecco Hills, Italy

A sunset in the Prosecco Hills in autumn.
A sunset in the Prosecco Hills in autumn. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 18°C high, 8°C low
  • Time zone: GMT +2
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: Wine tasting

The Prosecco Hills, located in the Veneto region between the towns of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, are one of Italy’s best kept secrets - a region of steep hills carpeted in vines, set against the mountainous backdrop of the Pre-Alps, renowned for its Prosecco wine. It’s also beginning to open up to adventure tourism.

“There's a good mix between nature tourism, with quiet hiking and cycling trails to be explored, and of course there’s the wine and the sumptuous food,” says Vania De Paoli, a guide from the region. “Rather than having big commercial wineries, there tend to be smaller, family-run wineries. Most of the best prosecco isn't exported internationally, so to taste the best wine you have to come and visit.”

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A trip to the Prosecco Hills can see you cycling through the region at a leisurely pace or hiking the Cammino delle Colline del Prosecco - - a 31.6 mile (51km) walking trail through the ridges, hills and vineyards of the region.

October is an ideal time to visit, with pleasant temperatures and autumn foliage. You’ll also be able to witness the grape harvest being done by hand, and try local autumn delicacies such as porcini mushrooms and chestnuts.

How to get there? Fly to Venice International Airport. The Prosecco Hills can be reached by car - it’s an hour’s drive - or by taking the train from Venice to Conegliano.

15. Madeira, Portugal

Early mornings in Madeira's mountains. Photo: Getty.
Early mornings in Madeira's mountains. Photo: Getty.

Madeira is a Portuguese archipelago situated in the North Atlantic Ocean. It left behind its image as a destination of ‘the newly wed or nearly dead’ and is now a renowned spot for adventure travellers. People are attracted to its diverse landscapes, from volcanic peaks to rocky shorelines and endangered laurisilva forest; hiking and canyoning are particularly popular activities.

The island has a variety of ‘PR’ hiking routes, many of which run alongside levadas - ancient irrigation channels. These can be linked together to create a coast to coast traverse of Madeira, or can be done as day hikes - we particularly recommend an ascent of Pico Ruivo (1,861m/6,105ft). Canyoning down the network of trails, rivers, waterfalls and natural pools of Ribeira do Lajeado is a fun, adrenaline fuelled activity.

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Join an expert local guide on a hike across the peaks, cliffs and forests of this Atlantic island known as the ‘Hawaii of Europe’, including Pico Ruivo.

Madeira has a mild climate year round, and temperatures will likely be in the low twenties if you visit in October. You might experience some rain (the island receives around 82mm across the month), but you’ll also see far fewer crowds, and the sea temperatures are still warm enough for swimming.

How to get there? Madeira's main gateway is Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport, located near the capital of Funchal. Direct flights are available from many European cities.

16. The Sinai Desert, Egypt

Camels being led through Egypt's Sinai Desert.
Heading into the Sinai Desert. Photo: Desert Divers.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 30°C high, 17°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+2
  • Currency: Egyptian Pound
  • Best for: Desert trekking

The Sinai Peninsula is located in the northeast of Egypt - a sparse desert region surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south. Coastal resorts such as Dahab are ideal spots for scuba diving and snorkelling, thanks to year-round warm waters and abundance of marine life.

Intrepid explorers can also head inland to trek in the vast Sinai Desert. You’ll hike on little known trails boulder-strewn wadis, dramatic switchbacks, remote ravines and lush oases; you can even climb to the rocky summit of Jebel Um Shomer (2,587m/8,487ft) for panoramic views of the undulating desert and the sea beyond. This is an experience we recommend you undertake with a guide. Hiking with a local Bedouin will also enable you to experience some of the traditional hospitality of these semi-nomadic people.

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Join a small group of like-minded adventurers to follow ancient trails with Bedouin nomads as your guides, for a wild expedition through the Sinai Desert.

“The guides who go there know the area really well, so that means they can be safe. They know about any wild animals, or trouble in the area,” Said Khedr, a Bedouin adventure tour operator, says. “You are also able to support the people who live in the area, which isn’t very touristy, by staying in their accommodation.”

Summer in the Sinai Desert is far too hot for hiking, but it’s perfect in October, with temperatures averaging around 26°C during the daytime, and around 10 degrees cooler once the sun goes down.

How to get there? The most convenient entry point to the Sinai Desert is Sharm El Sheikh International Airport, which receives flights from major cities in Europe and the Middle East. From Sharm El Sheikh, you can arrange transfers or join guided tours that will take you into the heart of the desert.

17. Andringitra National Park, Madagascar

Andringitra National Park in Madagascar. Photo: Canva.
Andringitra National Park in Madagascar. Photo: Canva.
  • Season: Dry season
  • Temperature: 29°C high, 13°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+3
  • Currency: Malagasy Ariary
  • Best for: Wildlife watching and trekking

Madagascar is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries. Thanks to its geographical isolation, 260 miles (420km) off the west coast of Mozambique, 92% of Madagascar’s mammals are endemic. These include over 100 species of lemur and the lowland streaked tenrec (a hedgehog-like creature with bright yellow spines).

A good spot for wildlife watching is Andringitra National Park, which is also an ideal place to go trekking. It’s an area of rainforest and towering granite peaks, savannah and stony plateaus. One of the most intrepid treks in the area takes you through the lunar-like landscape of Diavolana ('moonlight' in Malagasy), and up the granite peak of Pic Boby (2,658m/8720ft).

Go Trekking and Spot Lemurs in Madagascar | Much Better Adventures
Join a small group of adventurers on this truly remote ramble through two wild national parks, spotting lemurs as you go. Led by local guides.

The park is also renowned for its unique flora and fauna. As you trek through Andringitra, you may encounter ring-tailed lemurs, the white-spotted Campan’s chameleon and rare birds like the blue-and-yellow sunbird-asity.

October is the end of the dry season, and a good time for wildlife watching thanks to sparser vegetation. Temperatures hover in the mid-twenties during the day, dipping lower at higher altitudes (and during night time), making it an ideal time for trekking.

How to get there? The journey to Andringitra National Park typically begins in Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital. From here, it’s an 11 hour road trip south to the park.

18. The ‘Ring of Fire’, Guatemala

Nighttime eruption of Volcan de Fuego. Photo: Getty.
Nighttime eruption of Volcan de Fuego. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Shoulder
  • Temperature: 24°C high, 14°C low
  • Time zone: GMT-6
  • Currency: Guatemalan Quetzal
  • Best for: Volcano hiking

A spine of volcanic peaks runs down the Central American country of Guatemala, part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. Some of them are still active, belching smoke and flames into the night sky - and there are plenty of trails up to their summits.

The best way to explore these volcanoes is on a guided hiking trip, where you’ll tackle a string of summits including Acatenango (3,976m/13,044ft), where you can see the adjacent Volcan de Fuego belching smoke and flames into the sky, and Tajumulco (4,220m/13,845ft), the highest point in Central America.

Guatemala Adventure: the 5 Volcano Challenge | Much Better Adventures
Join our Guatemala trip to hike on 5 volcanoes, watch Volcan de Fuego erupt & reach the highest point in Central America with like-minded adventurers.

Hiking in Guatemala isn’t all about volcanoes. We also recommend you visit some of the indigenous Maya villages in the highlands, and soothe your aching limbs in the region’s natural hot springs (such as Fuentes Georginas).

October is the end of the rainy season in Guatemala, with rainfall easing off throughout the month, before the dry season in November. The temperature in the highlands is in the mid twenties during the day, making it a good time of year to hike - although on the summits, it’s much cooler, and you’ll need warm layers.

How to get there? Fly to La Aurora International Airport in Guatemala City. From there, the volcanoes are accessible by road - Pacaya, for example, is around a 90 minute drive from the airport.

19. The Andaman Coast, Thailand

The steamy rainforests of Khao Sok. Photo: Getty.
The steamy rainforests of Khao Sok. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Shoulder season
  • Temperature: 31°C high, 24°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+7
  • Currency: Thai Baht
  • Best for: Kayaking and island hopping

Thailand's Andaman Coast is a stunning region known for its white sand beaches, karst rock formations and steamy jungles. Despite its popularity with tourists, you can get off the beaten track in the region by visiting some of the quieter islands. We highly recommend Koh Yao Yai, a quiet island with a majority muslim population, where you can take a guided hike through rubber plantations or visit beaches to rival the Maldives.

The Andaman region also boasts a number of national parks, including Than Bok Khorani National Park; a network of sea caves and lagoons surrounded by twisting mangroves- an ideal spot to kayak in.

Kayak and Hike Wild Thailand | Much Better Adventures
Join a small group of adventurers to explore tropical jungle, islands and beaches, sleeping in unforgettable spots like floating bungalows and forest lodges.

October - before the start of peak season in December - is a good time to visit the region. It’s the transitional period between the wet and dry season, and a good time for paddlesports since the rivers and lagoons are high. There may be infrequent afternoon showers, but you’ll find them refreshing after the midday heat.

How to get there? The main entry points to the Andaman Coast are Phuket International Airport and Krabi International Airport. Another option is to fly into Bangkok and get the night train to Surat Thani, the gateway to the region.

20. Gran Canaria, The Canary Islands

Roque Nublo, in the centre of Gran Canaria. Photo: Getty.
Roque Nublo, in the centre of Gran Canaria. Photo: Getty.
  • Season: Autumn
  • Temperature: 26°C high, 12°C low
  • Time zone: GMT+0
  • Currency: Euro
  • Best for: Exploring a ‘continent in miniature’

Gran Canaria, one of Spain's Canary Islands, is described as a ‘continent in miniature’, thanks to the diversity of its landscapes.

“On Gran Canaria it feels like you're travelling while you stay on one Island,” says hiking guide Rachael Hollwey. “When you hike you go from laurisilva forest to volcanic rock formations to sand dunes. It’s just such a cool island.”

Hike The Volcanic Island of Gran Canaria | Much Better Adventures
Join local experts for a challenging hike in the heart of Gran Canaria. Cross craggy mountains, cool pine forests, sunken calderas and sky-skimming ocean views.

Gran Canaria is one of our top destinations for hiking in Spain, thanks to its diverse landscapes. We recommend a multi-day hike, beginning in the centre of the island near Barranco de Guayadeque. Hike through the Caldera de Tejeda, a massive volcanic crater studded with intriguing rock formations - like the Roque Nublo monolith - and ancient cave houses. From here, hike through ancient laurisilva forest and the verdant Agaete Valley towards the coastal town of Agaete. End your mini-expedition with a dip in the ocean.

October is a good time to visit Gran Canaria - in between the summer and Christmas holidays. Temperatures will be in the mid twenties in the lower elevations, but it’s cooler up in the highlands, likely between 18-20°C; perfect hiking weather.

How to get there? Fly to Gran Canaria international airport, which flies to destinations across Europe and Africa.

Inspired? Check out our adventures departing in October.