Craving sun on your skin and a balmy breeze? Here’s our edit of the very best places on the planet to get a sunshine fix this autumn
Ain’t no sunshine? The sun is shining somewhere in the world right now, and it might just be cocktail o’clock. Read on for our hitlist of the very best September sun destinations on the planet right now that offer everything from culinary highlights, to cultural immersion and barefoot luxury on idyllic beaches. Book the right trip now and you’ll feel sunny on the inside the whole way through autumn.
Mauritius is justly famous among travellers for its searingly blue waters and white beaches, while a rugged, rainforest interior makes the island a mecca for adventure-seekers and nature-lovers. But it’s the reasonably priced luxury resorts that elevate this island destination beyond that of her pricier neighbours, providing a front-row seat onto some of the most spectacular vistas of the Indian Ocean.
Spend your days doing yoga, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking Le Morne, visiting rum distilleries, learning to kite-surf or simply delving into one of the most creative national cuisines on the planet. Mauritius’s year-round sunshine makes it an all-seasons destination, so you can jump on a good deal without risking less-than-perfect weather.Search flights to Mauritius Search hotels in Mauritius
2. Sri Lanka
With spectacular surf and swim beaches, ancient temples, colonial heritage towns, lush tea plantations and mouthwateringly delicious food, Sri Lanka has been seducing Aussie backpackers for years. But now a string of high-end resorts and boutique properties are paving the way for a new breed of luxury traveller, and they offer serious bang for your buck.
Plus, with a total of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites in a compact space, Sri Lanka is the island destination of choice for travellers who like their beach breaks with a side helping of culture and culinary exploration. Start with the charming fort town of Galle, but mix it up by heading to the hills and staying in quaint colonial cottages amongst the misty tea plantations to the north.Search flights to Sri Lanka Search hotels in Sri Lanka
One of the world’s most alluring destinations, Brazil offers powdery-white sandy beaches, verdant waterfall-dotted rainforests, colonial towns and pulsating metropolises. There’s the beguiling beach idyll of Trancoso in Bahia, a celebrity honeymoon favourite and simply one of the most stylish properties on the planet.
In the rhythmic, culture-dense cities of Rio and Sao Paulo, slick city hotels provide a buzzy meeting place for locals as well as a refuge for travellers, where life revolves around an infinity pool. With unforgettable festivals, a serious sport pedigree, world-class cuisine and a string of bucket list experiences for adventure-lovers, Brazil has it all. Now is definitely the time to pounce on this great-value luxury destination.Search flights to Brazil Search hotels in Brazil
The ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia are high up every intrepid traveller’s list, so if you crave culture over beaches – or a canny combination of the two – the autumn is a wonderful time to explore this must-visit destination. Stretching over 400 square km, the densely forested Angkor Archaeological Park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th century CE. Mind suitably blown, take your tired body south to the idyllic beaches of Sihanoukville to relax in a hammock and absorb the cultural riches you’ve just seen.Search flights to Cambodia Search hotels in Cambodia
5. South Africa
Flanked by mountains, the Western Cape of South Africa has seriously dramatic beaches. The quaint, vibrant market town of Hermanus is just 90 minutes from Cape Town and is home to one of the most varied and affordable culinary scenes on the planet right now. Perhaps pack a picnic and set up camp on the sands before rushing into the deep blue waves. This is a year-round destination, just note that the South African summer is December to February, so September is the best time for sunshine and superb fresh produce in the farmers’ markets.Search flights to South Africa Search hotels in South Africa
The Seychelles are the stuff a million honeymoon photos are made of (including Will and Kate’s) but one island in particular, La Digue, feels like you really have just stepped into a postcard, and Anse Source D’Argent is the go-to spot for film-makers in search of paradise. Even in the winter, the sea is neon turquoise and a bath-like 28°C. Plus the water’s so clear you barely need a mask and snorkel.
A dazzling array of resorts keeps prices pleasingly low, making the Seychelles a particularly good bet when you crave a fly-and-flop beach break, where all that’s demanded of you is that you relax. The year-round tropical climate means there’s never a bad time to visit, but swimming, snorkelling and diving are best during April/May and September/October, when visibility is 30m plus.Search flights to the Seychelles Search hotels in the Seychelles