Here’s a little secret: The best time of year to travel to Europe is...right now! September (and even early October) still has beautiful weather, but crowds are fewer and prices generally lower. And now that the tourists have gone home from the major destinations, the locals come back out to enjoy festivals, harvests and cultural events. Here are six places to consider a trip this fall:
We keep seeing more and more interest from clients about visiting Portugal, and it’s easy to see the reason why. Make that reasons, plural: It’s one of Europe’s most easy-going and affordable destinations. Lisbon’s old-world charm is intact but there’s also an exciting contemporary design scene. The food is fantastic (exceptional seafood, succulent, Alentejo pork, sweet custard tarts called pasteis de nata) and the wine even better. Abundant sunshine warms Portugal’s many beaches—Lisbon has more sunny days per year than Athens.
So how to do it right? Here’s what we usually recommend:
Effortlessly sexy and elegant, the Amalfi Coast summons all the sepia-tinged nostalgia we have for the days of Federico Fellini and Sophia Loren. It’s Italy at its most joyfully Italian—think colorful buildings, twisting cliffside roads, bronzed Italians basking under bright yellow umbrellas. With designer sunglasses on your face and an aperol spritz in your hand, you'll fit right in.
Okay, shoulder season in Europe isn't exactly a secret, but most travelers ignore the lower-cost period between high season hordes and low season doldrums—to their detriment. Want to see the Acropolis without crowds? Visit the South of France in full bloom? Ski in a t-shirt in the Swiss Alps? We've got your back.
When some bemoan the slushy streets, others bounce down them on the balls of their feet. Frozen toes mean just one thing to this crowd—the powder days are coming. We've said it before, but this season's snowfall is record-breaking—and spring is coming, so get it while you can. Here are our favorite places to stay on the slopes—and where to head if the snow makes you shudder.