From the Spooky to the Spectacular – The Best Places to Travel in October

Feeling the ruffle of leaves beneath your feet is a sure sign that October has arrived. Becoming a more popular month for travel, there are many ways to enjoy yourself this month, be it a family break over midterm, visiting the warmer parts of the world for some autumn sun, or just enjoying the lack of stress that comes with an off-peak holiday.

October is also home to several festivals around the world, from arts and culture to food and the extraordinary. Halloween also falls on the last day of the month, with the build-up taking place a few weeks in advance. So feel free to add a spooky element to your travels.

Albuquerque, New Mexico

One of the biggest draws to New Mexico is the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, a world-renowned attraction that has approximately 700 balloons taking part every year. Since its inception in 1972, this 9-day event has become the largest hot air balloon festival in the world.

One of the festival’s biggest events is the Mass Ascension, where hundreds of balloons are released into the sky in two spectacular waves. This year, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is taking place from October 7th- 15th.

London, England

London is a city that caters for all interests and visitors are nearly guarenteed a great trip at any time of the year. In October, the city celebrates London Cocktail Week, which takes place this year from the 2nd to the 8th.

London also boasts a huge amount of famed indoor attractions for when the weather takes a turn for the worst. With an abundance of museums, theatre shows and shops, you’ll never have a boring and uneventful stay in London.

Halloween is at the end of the month so add a spooky element to your trip by visiting the Tower of London and the London Dungeons.

Santorini, Greece

Escape the cold and wet weather in favour of some October sun in Santorini. With pleasant temperatures of 22 degrees, you can easily walk around and explore all the island has to offer.

Be adventurous and hike along the steep plunging cliffs, or if preferred, you can choose to take a donkey ride. Whatever, you do, make sure to soak up the island’s famous sunsets, while also exploring the archaeological remains of ancient civilisations.

Mumbai, India

Diwali, India’s biggest and most important holiday of the year, falls every year in October. This illuminating five-day festival of lights is full of feasts and firework displays, and represents new beginnings and the triumph of light over dark.

This year, Diwali begins on Thursday October 19th, with the third day of the festival, New Moon Day, being the most significant.

Melbourne, Australia

Unleash your artistic senses with the Melbourne International Arts Festival, held this October from the 4th to the 22nd.

First staged in 1986, the Melbourne Festival combines arts, culture, food and music. Highlights at this year’s festival include, ‘A Requiem for Cambodia: Bangkok’ – a major symphonic work with film; ‘please continue (Hamlet)’ – a unique criminal trial with real lawyers; and the Melbourne art trams, with exhibitions from eight artists.

Transylvania, Romania

The enchanting Romanian region of Transylvania, home to majestic gothic castles and the popular Dracula legend, is the perfect place to visit in October.

For an experience like no other visit Bran Castle, the mythical home to Bram Stoker’s famed vampire Dracula.

But don’t just stop with one because there are many more castles in the region that are just waiting to be explored. Architecture lovers will be in their element exploring these spectacular windows to the past. Also worth visiting is the UNESCO town of Sighisoara and the unique Transfagarasan highway.

Seville, Spain

The southern city of Seville reaches near unbearable temperatures during the summer months, so October is the ideal time to visit this Spanish city.

Located in the region of Andalucía, enjoy the October sun as you walk around exploring the Alcazar, cathedral and much more.

If you have a car with you, or don’t mind trying out the public transport, try and visit the nearby historical centres of Granada and Córdoba as you’re in the region – it’s not something you’ll regret.

New Orleans, USA

With its European architecture and vibrant music scene, New Orleans will draw you in and capture your heart.

This port city plays host to a number of festivals in October, including the New Orleans Film Festival, Oktoberfest, Louisiana Seafood Festival and the Voodoo Music and Arts Experience.

If you’re visiting New Orleans during Halloween, be sure to visit the Cities of the Dead (cemeteries). People are buried above ground in elaborate stone crypts in New Orleans and the city offers a number of tours through these unique burial grounds.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Visit Amsterdam and experience the history and culture of the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and some of the city’s darker attractions.

Test your bravery with a visit to the city’s Torture Museum, a place that takes visitors on a trip through medieval torture practices.

While this is not for the fainthearted, the Amsterdam Dungeon is more of a fun and terrifying interactive experience through the city’s history.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

October

If there was ever a place to visit in October, it’s Salem. Home to the infamous witch trials of 1692, Salem’s rich history attracts those in search of some supernatural activity.

Explore the museums offering detailed accounts of the past, including the Salem Witch Museum and The Witch House, home to Witch Trials Judge Jonathan Corwin.

Finish your Witch Trial experience by taking a moment to remember the innocent at the city’s Witch Trials Memorial, a poignant site where stones are inscribed with the names and final words of victims.

FEATURE BY SARAH GLASCOTT

Sarah has always had a great love of travel, food and photography. Following her journalism degree at DCU, she developed a passion for travel writing while living in Spain.

Sarah loves exploring new places and sampling the local cuisine. Working with TheTaste.ie combines her love of food and travel.

Sarah Glascott Sarah Glascott

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