It’s official: summer is over, autumn has begun. But rather than pine for beach barbeques and balmy nights, why not embrace autumn instead?
Get out and enjoy the turning of the trees which brings fiery reds, golden browns and bright yellow blazes of colour to the mountains, hillsides and parks of the northern hemisphere.
Skyscanner introduces ten of the best places to sample the trees in all their fall glory, not to mention the pleasures of autumn’s lower prices and lack of crowds.
New England is one of the most popular fall foliage destinations in the United States. In Maine, fall colours come ablaze in the thick forests that cover much of the hilly, sometimes mountainous, landscape. The entire state can make for a perfect autumn getaway but certain places are extraordinary like the western foothills with its old-fashioned charm or the Atlantic coast and Acadia National Park, where you’ll find an interesting mesh of maritime and seasonal traditions. Find cheap flights to Maine
Autumn in the Swiss Alps is an excellent time to visit; the summer crowds have gone home, the winter crowds are yet to arrive and the mountains are blessed with cool, crisp weather and fantastic foliage. As the larch forests begin to change, an impressive rainbow of colour is seen in the hills above the town, which offers hikers an ample choice of trails from short rambles to multiday treks. Find cheap flights to Geneva
Prince Edward Island on Canada’s east coast has a climate that allows for a very long fall foliage season. With the summer crowds gone, the island takes on an extra-relaxed persona in autumn, and visitors can bike, hike or horseback ride on the expansive network of uncrowded trails that wind through colourful woods. Visit Fall Flavours, a food and wine festival in and around Charlottetown that celebrates the culinary culture and harvest-time favourites of Canada’s smallest province. Find cheap flights to Toronto
These eastern mountains are known for their skiing, but before the snow arrives, they explode into a world of colour as the birch, larch and oak trees put on their autumn garb. Zakopane, a pleasant mountain town makes the perfect base for excursions into the mountains, where visitors can enjoy glacial lakes, wildlife and a good range of hiking trails. Find cheap flights to Poland
Lake Bled, Slovenia
As if a crystal clear lake surrounded by wooded mountains, blessed with a solitary island upon which a fairytale church stands wasn’t quite picturesque enough, if you visit Lake Bled in the autumn you’ll also find the glacial waters reflecting the fiery blaze of the turning trees that surround it. Hire a rowing boat and take your lover for a tour – it doesn’t get much more scenic that this. Find cheap flights to Ljubljana
Another Canadian location, but this time at the opposite side of the country, wineries in the south eastern end of Vancouver Island make for a fun stop, as the hillside ignite in harvest hues. Or visit Victoria, British Columbia’s capital, and witness the famous Butchart Gardens come alive with the rich colours of the season. For an escape to the wilderness, try Strathcona Provincial Park, in the centre of the island. Find cheap flights to Victoria
Minnesota’s majestic North Shore region, which edges northeast along the most gigantic of the Great Lakes, Lake Superior, is an area that draws attention at all times of year, but becomes most spectacular in autumn. The hot colours of the trees paired with the deep, inky blue of the lake is a feast for the eyes, and combined with the crisp northern air is a real autumn treat. Find cheap flights to Minnesota
Lot Valley, France
Criss-crossed with walking, cycling and riding paths, the valley’s orchards and vineyards glow with golden leaves come autumn, making it an ideal spot for long walks through the wooded hills. Wildlife abounds here, with several species of birds of prey in abundance in this unspoilt region which is perfect for a quiet autumn retreat. Find cheap flights to Toulouse
Think Arizona, and you might think deserts, canyons and cacti, but there are also mountainous regions that home forests of deciduous trees that turn brilliant colours as temperatures start to drop. The higher elevations around Flagstaff, the White Mountains at the eastern edge of the state, and Superior, with its notable Boyce Thompson Arboretum and nearby Pinal Mountains, are all sure bets for finding photo-worthy foliage. Find cheap flights to Arizona
It’s not just trees that are good for autumn viewing; Bruges’ vine covered buildings create an impressive display of the rich tones of fall in the heart of one of Europe’s most attractive cities. Stroll along the canals or hop on a boat to see the best of Bruges, and don’t forget to sample the beer whilst your there. Find cheap flights to Brussels
Top header photo: Central Park, New York