The height of summer may be gone by September, but there are plenty of places where the sun still shines. And with international travel possible to 36 green-listed destinations (and with no quarantine for fully vaccinated travellers coming back from amber countries), you can plan a holiday in September to avoid the start of British autumn. Here’s where to go to make the most of September weather, from the south of France to green-listed Malta and Croatia.
Remember that all arrivals from green and amber list countries need to book at least two PCR tests on their arrival back in the UK, and every country around the world has its own entry requirements due to COVID-19.
Note: Make sure to get the latest in our up-to-date travel briefing for the UK before booking travel. And for the latest guidance, check Skyscanner’s Coronavirus Travel Advice, FCDO foreign travel advice and local government advice for the country you’re planning to visit.
1. Ibiza, Spain
Average September weather: 24 °C
Even if you don’t feel ready to go clubbing just yet, there are many other things to do in this beautiful Balearic island. Take a walk along the historical centre of Dalt Vila, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take in the 16th-century, Renaissance bastions. Stroll the old marketplace and visit the Archaeological Museum in Cathedral Square (currently closed due to COVID, but with plans to reopen soon). And of course, check out our run-down of Ibiza’s best beaches to take your pick of sand and sun.
Note: Ibiza is currently on the UK’s amber list. Travellers who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. To enter mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands, you must show a negative PCR test or proof of full vaccination.
2. Santorini, Greece
Average September weather: 24 °C
September is the ideal time to visit the idyllic Greek island of Santorini. The restaurants are still open and the ferries are still running, but the throngs of tourists have dispersed a little. The more tranquil atmosphere is ideal in order to enjoy the unparalleled sunsets (especially this season, with fewer tourists than usual). Santorini really does provide some astonishing views, as the sun sets behind the rim of the volcanic caldera, turning the whitewashed houses shades of red and gold.
Head up to the fortress ruins above the village of Oia for fantastic views over the blue-domed churches of the town, or splash out and watch the blazing sun plunge into the Med from the prow of a yacht. Check Santorini Sailing for semi-private sunset cruises, which cost around 165 euros.
Note: Greece is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning that travellers who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. To enter Greece from the UK, you need to have completed a Passenger Locator Form (PLF). You also need either proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test, a negative COVID-19 rapid antigen test or proof of being fully vaccinated at least 14 days before travel.
Check out our guide to 19 other Greek getaways where the weather is still warm in September.
Average September weather: 23 °C
The crescent-shaped Adriatic country is famous for its Gothic Renaissance cathedrals, Soviet Era landmarks and cobblestone old towns. But Croatia is also blessed with endless shores surrounded by lush forests, where you can enjoy an extension to your summer stretched out on secluded coves. Head to Kraljicina beach, on the island of Nin, for its long strip of sand and beach bars, or find the 800-metre long, sandy strip surrounded by pine trees at Sakarun beach.
Note: Croatia is currently on the UK’s green list, meaning that you don’t have to quarantine on your return to the UK (but you do need to book two COVID tests). You need to to present a negative COVID-19 test, regardless of vaccination or recovery status, to enter.
4. Palermo, Italy
Average September weather: 25 °C
Sicily remains scorchio throughout September, so it’s the perfect time to explore the faded grandeur of Palermo. The city’s cathedral is unique. It was built between the 12th and the 18th centuries, and during that time various invading powers left their mark on its construction. It’s an intriguing hotchpotch of Arabian, Byzantine, Gothic and Baroque styles. There are even inscriptions from the Quran.
For more inspiration on what to see and do in the city, including creeping through catacombs filled with skeletons and mummified bodies, read our city guide full of local tips on attractions.
Note: Italy is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning that travellers who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. Until 30 August, you must present a negative molecular or antigen test taken in the 48 hours before entering Italy. You must also self-isolate for five days, at the end of which you must take a rapid antigenic or molecular swab test for COVID-19 and test negative for release.
Average September weather: 25 °C
With no forests or mountains to provide relief from the heat, wherever you go on Malta is hot, hot, hot. But the rich culture and amazing architecture will be your reward. Check out out guide for the best Malta city breaks.
You’re always near the coast, so a cooling dip in the sea is never far away, and there’s plenty of amazing coastline to explore while you’re at it. The Blue Lagoon on Comino Island is a stunning patch of turquoise sea. The Blue Grotto on the south coast of the main island is an astonishing combination of sunlight and phosphorescent flora, creating beautiful shades of blue.
Note: Malta is on the UK’s green list. You need to show proof that you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID at least 14 days before travelling to enter.
6. Marrakech, Morocco
Average September weather: 27 °C
Marrakech may be a long way from the beach, but there are plenty of other ways to relax within the friendly chaos of this North African city. Head straight for one of the city’s luxury hammams for some serious pampering. After wallowing in a steam room, you’ll be lathered with ghassoul (black soap made from natural mineral clay) before being scrubbed to within an inch of your life with a kessa (a kind of rough glove). It’s much more relaxing than it might sound – and you’ll feel cleaner than you’ve ever done before in your life. Les Bains de Marrakech and Hammam de La Rose are a couple of excellent hammams to look out for.
Note: Morocco is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning that travellers who are not fully vaccinated need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. To enter Morocco from the UK, you need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test or proof of being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 at least 14 days before travel.
Average September weather: 26 °C
This pint-size British Overseas Territory is known for its macaque monkeys, English pubs and Mediterranean climate. Which is exactly what you need for your September holiday. Hike up the 426m-high Rock (or take the six-minute ride on the cable car), for views to North Africa and come face to face with the cheeky, free-roaming monkeys of the area (hide your snacks).
Note: Gibraltar is on the UK’s green list. If you’re not fully vaccinated, you’ll need to take a PCR or Lateral Flow test up to 48 hours before arrival, a free COVID-19 rapid test on arrival, and another on day five.
8. Austin, Texas, USA
Average September weather: 27 °C
The US still hasn’t yet relaxed its travel ban for UK citizens. But if this changes by September, the quirky Texan city of Austin makes a great last-minute trip for celebrating alternative culture and creativity.
Head down to 6th Street and watch the pavement artists perform for your delight. Or time your visit to coincide with one of the city’s many festivals – one of which is Fantastic Fest (23-30 September), a celebration of fantasy, sci-fi and action films from around the world.
Note: For now, USA is on the UK’s amber list but the American borders are closed to passengers from the UK.
9. Nice, France
Average September weather: 22 °C
September is the ideal time to head down to the south of France. The hordes of domestic tourists promptly go back to work at the end of August, leaving the beaches blessedly free from crowds. But the Mediterranean waters are still blissfully warm (22°C on average). And the sun is a little more forgiving than during the scorching highs of July and August.
Enjoy the relative quietness of the beach by taking a stroll along the four-kilometre-long Promenade des Anglais which runs alongside it. Or if you’re feeling slightly more energetic, try renting a paddleboard (Glisse Evasion is a good bet) and gliding (or tumbling) across the waves.
Note: France is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning that unvaccinated travellers need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. To enter France from the UK for non-essential travel, you need to be fully vaccinated. You’ll also provide a completed ‘sworn statement’ form self-certifying you’re not suffering from symptoms associated with coronavirus.
10. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Average September weather: 33 °C
Dubai is hands down the hottest place on our list. September is a much better time to visit than August, when the average temperature reaches a mind-melting 36°C. As you’d expect, Dubai’s residents have embraced the technology of air conditioning whole heartedly, and you’ll no doubt spend much of your trip scurrying between blessedly cool shopping centres and restaurants.
Check out some of the best things to do in Dubai, including visiting the world’s tallest building.
Note: The United Arab Emirates is currently on the UK’s amber list, meaning that unvaccinated travellers need to quarantine for 10 days on their arrival back in the UK. To enter Dubai, you need to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Random testing may apply, and if selected you will have to quarantine until you get your results.
Discover where you can go
Making plans to get back out there? Find out which borders are open with our interactive global map, and sign up to receive email updates when your top destinations reopen.