Summer shall soon be a distant memory. FACT. Before you know it, you’ll have to forgo your newfound love of wearing shorts in favour of triple layers and a constant need to always pack an umbrella. If that mere thought alone has sent an icy shiver down your spine (or is that the autumn breeze?), never fear. There are always ways to draw out the summertime just that little bit longer.

While fashioning a makeshift beach in your living room is one idea (albeit hardly the most practical) an even better idea is to grab your passport and follow the real live sun.  Autumn sunshine holidays don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, travelling the opposite side of the world.  Yep, many European destinations are still drenched in sunshine well into late autumn-time. Which means a summer-time extension is a lot closer to you than you think. So hang on to your shorts, it’s time to hit that airport.

Lisbon, Portugal

The Portuguese capital is having a bit of a moment, with many travellers flocking to Lisbon recently… and for a good reason.  This city is one of Europe’s most scenic, not to mention dripping in cultural cool.

Peruse the Berado Museum for a superb collection of modern artworks courtesy of the likes of Warhol, Pollock and Dali. Next, hit great heights by hitching a ride on the iconic Santa Justa Elevator and revel in the stunning views of the city.

Unmissable sights also include visits to the Jerónimos Monastery and the Tower of Belém- two of Lisbon’s most remarkable landmarks. Finally, get your beach fix at Praia de Guincho  (a surfer’s paradise, with massive waves aplenty) and soak up some glorious rays. Yep you bet-cha, through to winter Lisbon has about three times more sun duration than the northern half of Europe. BONUS!

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Malta, Gozo & Comino

Malta may be a relatively small country in comparison to its neighbours, but it’s one that is jam-packed with a whole host of things to see and do. Not to mention an average temperature of 21°C in October to boot!  A country seeped in history, explore the island’s many temples such as the hilltop site of Ħaġar Qi or delve deeper and adventure to The Hypogeum, a unique underground monument that’s utterly intriguing.

Looking for a slice of pure heaven, then hop to sister islands Gozo and Comino, home to some of Europe’s best diving spots. Comino also claims the Blue Lagoon, a sheltered cove complete with a white sandy beach and crystal clear waters. It’s the waters that gave this spot its name- they are so intensely blue you will literally feel like you have stepped right into a postcard. Camera phones at the ready!

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Dubrovnik, Croatia

With balmy days throughout September and October, Dubrovnik is an absolute dream destination for an autumn getaway. At the top of everyone’s itinerary for visiting Dubrovnik has to be walking along the city walls for excellent views of not just the Old Town, but also the Old Port and the sparkling Adriatic below.

Indeed make the most of this coastal city and indulge in an always-popular sea kayaking tour. Or if you prefer to stick to dry land, take a half-day trip to the beautiful Island of Lokrum.  Feeling fit? Why not hike up Mount Srd in time for dusk to watch the sunset. Then take the cable car back down and head to Buža II, a hidden gem of a bar nestled in the cliffs- so cheers to an excellent day’s adventures!

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Sunny Beach, Bulgaria


Looking to blow off some steam before winter hits? Then check out Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach – Sunny by name and sunny by nature well through the autumn months! This thriving coastal resort is a huge hit among young revellers in search of the ultimate party and at Sunny Beach, they have got plenty of options to choose from. From party boats to pub-crawls galore, there are plenty of hedonistic excursions on offer.

Alternatively if you are looking for something more subdued, why not go on a scenic cruise along the coast on a hydrofoil or head to Atanasovsko Lake, home to the natural and wholly therapeutic mud baths – perfect to float or frolic in!

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Andalucía, Spain

Often quoted as Spain’s most beautiful region, Andalucía is known for its fantastic locations, long days and superb light, which altogether makes for the perfect place for a stretch of summertime.

Make sure to check out Cádiz, the oldest city of Europe, which is also home to the largely unspoilt beach of Bolonia. Looking to experience some authentic Andalucía culture meanwhile? Catch a flamenco performance at Tablao El Cardena or visit the awe-inspiring architecture of Mezquita Cathedral de Cordob.

If you fancy a wander, become one with nature at The Doñana National Park or check out the historical mountaintop town of Ronda, the perfect place for a leisurely stroll while taking in the superb views over the incredible ravine below.

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Tuscany, Italy

With the weather still pretty hot well into Tuscany’s autumn (expect highs in October of on average up to 21°C), this is a destination definitely worth considering for a low season escape.

First fall in love with Florence via its many delights that include Botticellis at the Uffizi Gallery and spectacular views atop the famed Duamo to name but a few. Yes, Tuscany’s capital has captivating art and architecture at almost every corner.

Tuscany is also the perfect place to rent a bike and venture into the lush countryside and hilltops – Chianti is an excellent spot for such excursions as it means you can also stop off and check out some the country’s most celebrated vineyards along the way.

Though many natural hot springs occur across this region, Saturnia is the biggest and most famous wilderness pools in Italy. Favoured for the restorative properties of the water, the springs would make for the perfect place to chill after a day’s touring in the sunshine!

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Paphos, Cyprus

Fabulously warm throughout the autumn season, the Cypriot capital of Paphos is a wondrous place to explore for all those history buffs out there, with sites that include the likes of the magnificent underground necropolis The Tomb of the Kings and Paphos Archaeological Park, which features some of the finest examples of Roman mosaics around.

Looking for a day trip? Head to the Akamas Peninsula and visit the loggerhead turtle sanctuary at Lara. Or make like a Goddess and check out the Baths of Aphrodite near Latsi.

The best thing about visiting Cyprus in autumn however has to be its sunsets, which are said to be at it their most specular during these months. Head to the coastline spots such as Coral Bay for hands down the best way to round up your day!

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Palermo, Sicily

Dreaming of dining on delicious food al fresco in the sunshine? Then head to Palermo this autumn where you will be absolutely spoilt for choice in this haven for foodies. Renowned for its food markets, check out Vucciria, Ballarò and Capo for a tempting array of street food on offer, not to mention lively atmospheres that continue well into the wee hours.

Other Palermo sights that are a definite must-see include the Palazzo dei Normanni, home to the world’s most beautiful Byzantine Mosaics and Teatro Massimo, one of Italy’s top Opera Houses and also the setting for one of the most pivotal scenes in the Godfather films no less!

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The Greek Islands

For the ultimate summer extension, island hopping in Greece is an absolute winner. After all, you are looking at average highs in October tipping the thermometer at a rather toasty 24°C.

If you’re looking for glitzy excess, head to Mykonos, a favourite amongst celebrities thanks to its legendary bohemian party scene. For breath-taking scenery, hop a boat to Santorini and check out its black sandy beaches and striking cliffs that came courtesy of a volcanic explosion 3,500 years ago.

For an eclectic array of activities such as beach yoga retreats or hikes along Europe’s longest gorge Samaria- Crete is the place for you. Alternatively, experience the traditional villages of Tinos or feel like you have travelled back in time by venturing to the stunning historic island of Rhodes.

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French Riviera, France

Known for its scorching heat during the summer months, the French Riviera still remains pretty pleasant through the autumn months with the average temperatures swaying between 16 °C – 20 °C.  While hitting the coastline’s many beaches is always an option (they’d certainly be less packed than earlier in the season), there is also plenty more to see and do across this stunning region.

No trip would be complete with a climb up to La Colline du Château to check out the panoramic views. Or head to Grasse and get your nose into overdrive with a visit to the Fragonard perfume factory. Fancy sampling some of the region’s renowned rosé wine?  Then check out the vineyards of Domaines Ott. Or perhaps you’re after a shopping bargain or two? Then explore the boutique- packed, old town alleys of Menton, one of the region’s best-kept secrets. Of course a day-jaunt to Monaco is a definite must see. Even just for a wander through the glossy streets and port- pretending to be a millionaire for the day is always fun!

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Yep, with endless possibilities on the horizon- the summer vibe can certainly stay!

About the author

Aideen ShannonAn Irish born writer living in London with a penchant for burgers, music festivals and spontaneous adventures. Happiest when enjoyed all at once.

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