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Cape Town, South Africa

October sees the beginning of summer for South Africa, bringing warm weather. With its iconic flat-top mountains and navy blue seas, Cape Town is a picture postcard destination.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 14°C, max. 24°C
  • The wind begins to ease and days are mostly sunny, especially as the month progresses.

Season

  • Just before peak season, beginning to get busier.

Good for

  • All ages, nature lovers.

What’s there

  • A harmonious balance between natural and urban life, Cape Town features a busy harbour, a cosmopolitan city and the famous Table Mountain. Moderns art galleries, restaurants and shops add a hip cultural vibe.

What’s on

  • Whale watching season, spring temperatures, Cape Town Fringe Festival, Cape Town International Kite Festival.

Flight time from UK: 11h 30m

See our guide to Cape Town with kids

Amalfi Coast

50km of Mediterranean coastline is scattered with mountain towns and Italian fishing villages. A hit with the A-listers, drive along this famous winding road while it’s quiet in October.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 18°C, max. 25°C
  • Mostly sunny, especially at the beginning of the month, with cool evenings.

Season

  • Off-peak

Good for

  • All ages, Roman history fans.

What’s there

  • Clustered towns climbing the mountainous slopes, including the famous Positano, Ravello, Sorrento, and of course, Amalfi. Day trips to Capri and the historic icon Pompeii will add an extra dimension to your luxury adventure.

What’s on

  • The Chestnut Festival in Scala, October Wine Harvest Festival in Tramonti and boat tours.

Flight time from UK: 2h 35m to Sorrento

See our full Italy Family Holiday Guide


Events and activities

Ireland

Ireland isn’t called the Emerald Isle for nothing. Its lush green landscape provides a natural playground for outdoor activities, while October brings a host of autumnal events.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 8°C, max. 13°C in Dublin
  • Mostly overcast with 80mm rainfall.

Season

  • Shoulder season.

Good for

  • All ages, those who prefer to exercise in cooler weather.

What’s there

  • The great Irish outdoors provide rock climbing, walking, hiking and mountaineering, and a cool climate to practice them in. Natural wonders like the Cliffs of Moher, and the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland, make exciting day trips if you fancy a rest day.

What’s on

  • The Bram Stoker Festival, Footfalls Wicklow Walking Festival, the Imagine Arts Festival.

Flight time from UK: 1h 20m to Dublin, or travel by Ferry

See our full Ireland Family Holiday Guide

Romania

With Transylvania and Bran Castle, most people know Romania as Dracula’s home – but its vast countryside, mountains and caves, it’s also a unique destination for a family activity holiday.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 5°C, max. 18°C in Bucharest
  • A mix of sunny and rainy days with 30mm rainfall

Season

  • Off-peak

Good for

  • All ages
  • Families wanting a more off-the-radar experience.

What’s there

  • Several mountain ranges where you can hike, cycle and climb, as well as explore the bat-filled caves. There are peaceful villages to discover, or the lively city of Bucharest to let loose in.

What’s on

  • The ASTRA International Film Festival, Halloween festivities, and other cultural events.

Flight time from UK: 3h to Bucharest

See our extraordinary family adventure holidays in Europe


To tick off my bucket list

Vietnam

The terraced rice fields sweeping down from mountains, karst scattered bays; endless rivers and enormous caves; deserted beaches; ancient cities and graceful pagodas and temples are more momentous in reality than you couple possibly imagine.

Weather

  • 30°C from April to October in North Vietnam
  • South Vietnam averages 27°C all year round.
  • By travelling in October, you’ll miss the wet months.

Season

Good for

  • Travelling around Vietnam depends on the type of holiday that you’re planning. Manage a packed itinerary or young children with short domestic flights, whereas teens will love the trains that run the length of the country.

What’s there

  • Much of the country’s astounding natural landscape is protected in 30 national parks and is often very accessible. Vietnam also has eight UNESCO World Heritage sites including Ha Long Bay and Trang An.

What’s on

  • For teen focused-activities, sail on the Mekong Delta, kayak found Ka Long Bay, hillwalk in Sapa, cruise the Red River or cave in the Nha-Ke Bang National Park.

Flight time from UK: Just over 12 hours to Ho Chi Minh City

See our full Vietnam Family Travel guide

Orange County, California

From beaches to theme parks, California is a magical place to take your kids before they grow up. Enjoy the more moderate temperatures by visiting for a break in October.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 14°C, max. 27°C
  • Generally dry and clear skies with a low chance of rain.

Season

  • Most head to the county from June-August so take advantage of reduced fairs and less queues.

Good for

  • With accommodation to suit all, whether it’s a Disney Park Hotel or a beachside stay, Orange County is a truly family friendly destination.

What’s there

  • You can’t come to the OC and not let your kids hang out at Laguna Beach. Surf lessons with a pro-instructor are all part of the fun, and the pretty seaside town itself is destined to charm you completely. Or take a trip to Disneyland, just a short drive away from the 42 miles of glistening beaches. To extend your holiday, think about staying in both Los Angeles and San Diego as well.

Flight time from UK: 13h 25m

See our full California Family Travel guide


Off-peak season

Douro Valley, Portugal

Journey to the heart of heart of Portugal and discover the best food and wine it has to offer, set against a backdrop of the stunning Douro Valley.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 12°C, max. 21°C
  • Generally sunny days in Portuguese autumn.

Season

  • October forms part of the shoulder season for Portugal, whilst the temperatures are still great at this time, the country will not be packed with tourists.

Good for

What’s there

  • Explore the river itself by taking the 6 bridges cruise tour on the Douro river, it will give little ones a chance to rest their legs after walking through the historical city, whilst you can learn more about its past.
  • For the adults, take a tour of one of the vineyards or indulge in some regional wine tasting.

What’s on

  • The Biological Park in Gaia is a great place to go and spot some wildlife with your little ones. Buy a family ticket for just over 7 Euros and make day of it. The Zoo is also a great place to visit for animal lovers. Prove your skills at the mini golf course set in Passeio Alegre, a beautiful garden in Foz. The tickets are cheap and the scenery lovely.

Flight time from UK: 2h 15m

See our full Portugal Family Travel guide

Padstow, Cornwall

Don’t feel you have to travel abroad in October, Padstow is suitable all year round. Explore the dozens of castles or rampage along cliff tops.

Weather

  • Temperature: min. 9°C, max. 13°C

Season

  • October falls after high season but there is still life in Padstow. Pubs, cafes and shops will all be open and the crowds will have gone.

Good for

What’s there

  • Expect beautiful beaches and coastal footpaths, brilliant for some hearty walks. If cycling is more your cup of tea, The Camel Trail is an 18 mile car free track that’s brilliant for all ages, and the flat path means all fitness levels will enjoy the ride.

What’s on

  • Take crab lines and take kids to catch baby crabs in the harbour, or drive further afield to visit places like the Blue Reef Aquarium, Eden Project and Newquay Zoo.
  • Don’t forget to enjoy some fish and chips on the beach too – the quintessential British experience.

See our full Cornwall Family Travel guide