Summer’s end doesn’t have to mean the end of travel season, and if you’re a savvy adventurer, you’ve probably already taken advantage of great deals on flights this time of year. Europe reveals its best self in September—the hordes have gone home, the weather is still warm but pleasant, and wine aficionados can enjoy the buzz of harvest season. If swimming with whales is on your bucket list, September in the South Pacific boasts cooler temperatures, clear visibility in the water, and hundreds of migrating whales. Wildlife safari calling? The dry season is at its peak in Southern Africa in September, which creates the ideal scenario to get close-up views of big game. Take a look at some of our favorite September journeys.
September in Spain is sensational. With pleasant daytime temperatures, far fewer crowds than in summer, and autumnal colors just beginning to burst, this is the perfect month to journey across a landscape alive with legends. Our 9-day adventure along the best portions of Spain’s Camino de Santiago allows you to hike as much or little as you like, welcomes you each night in carefully selected hotels and paradors (no crowded hostels!), and brings you all the way to the earth’s end, Finisterre, where you can take the traditional pilgrim’s barefoot walk along the beach, soaking up the sun and the lovely September breeze.
On the world-renowned Amalfi coast and the isle of Capri, la dolce vita is best enjoyed when the coastal trails are relatively quiet, Mt. Vesuvius is free of crowds, and the locals are happy to see you. September brings a calm quiet to this breathtaking region of Italy that makes it even easier to enjoy. Not only that, but with the heat a bit less intense than in summer, your hikes on the spectacular coastline will be bellisimo. Sip a limoncello, dine on scialatielli with fresh-caught seafood, and take in the eye-popping views of the azure coast in the quiet month of September. Saluti!
Every year from around mid-June to October, humpback whales migrate from Antarctica to Tonga to court, mate, and give birth. While you can interact with the whales in the waters of Tonga throughout this season, September is the sweet spot. Here’s why: by September, the whales have settled in and are more relaxed. The calves are always curious, but the mothers are hesitant earlier in the season to let them interact with people. Later in the season, the mothers allow people to get much closer. Since the whales start to leave in October, September is the ideal month to seek out encounters with these magical creatures.
In the small country of Georgia where hospitality is a way of life, the warm Georgian welcome will make you feel at home any time of the year. In general, though, it’s best to avoid the summer heat of lower elevations as well as the cold winters up in the Caucasus Mountains. September brings cooler temperatures in the lowlands while the mountains are still warm enough to enjoy. An added bonus: Kakheti is one of the world’s oldest wine-growing regions and autumn is harvest season. In September, you can join in the feasting and festivities of this country’s national pastime!
As southern Africa’s winter turns to spring in September, Cape Town is bursting with color and thousands of plants are in full bloom. Table Mountain displays carpets of wildflowers, and whales are still visible along the coastline. In Greater Kruger and Hwange, spring arrives a little later so vegetation is still sparse after the dry winter. This is ideal for safaris—limited foliage means great visibility. Wildlife gathers in great numbers around the fewer water sources left at this time of year, making for incredible opportunities to watch animals in action. September is also one of the best months to visit Victoria Falls—it’s not too hot and the falls are still flowing on both the Zimbabwe and Zambia sides.
For a thrilling safari that takes you deep into the remote corners of Zimbabwe, our Wild Zimbabwe adventure is also an excellent choice this time of year—active days are balanced with gorgeous overnights in award-winning lodges, and it’s the optimal time to view the “big five,” including one of the world’s largest elephant populations.