Wave a Fond Farewell to Summer
As the curtain falls on another summer, so begins the mourning process for our long, light evenings, our rapidly peeling tans, and the indelible sweat stains on our T-shirts. The summer is dead. Long live the summer.
Sorry, that got a bit bleak, didn’t it? The summer might be drawing to a close, but if you’re not heading back to school or university travelling in September can be the ideal time. The northern hemisphere is cooling off and dropping its prices as throngs of tourists return home, while many places in the southern hemisphere are emerging from winter.
Here are a few places that prove travel in September is a brilliant idea.
You can visit Cappadocia at any time of year, its landscape of craters, valleys, fairy chimneys, and table mountains like a permanent exhibition of what other planets might look like.
In September it’s still warm, and while the worst of the crowds have passed everything remains open for business. So you can enjoy the likes of the Goreme Open Air Museum, a UNESCO World Heritage site full of medieval cave churches from the 10th century, marvel at the iconic hot air balloon displays, or take a jaunt to the beach to absorb as much sun as you can before the long winter ahead.
Yosemite National Park, USA
After you’ve learned to pronounce its name in a way that doesn’t rhyme with ‘Marmite,’ you’ll find Yosemite is an ideal choice for September travel. California is still good and warm, but the nights are cooler, autumn colours are beginning to show, and tourist numbers are beginning to dwindle.
Try and visit during the week. The USA does not restrict how many people can enter its national parks at any one time, so Yosemite can get crowded on the weekends.
There’s Half Dome mountain and Cathedral Peak, the giant sequoia forest, the waterfall-laden mist trail and its incredible views from the top. There’s so much to do in Yosemite. Get up early, hop on a shuttle bus, and see as much as you can.
If you visit Costa Rica in September it will rain a lot. We’ll admit that up front. The southern Pacific area can be a complete write-off, with feet (not inches) of rain causing much of the tourist industry to shut up shop.
But! The central region isn’t quite as bad, and the Caribbean side of the country gets sheltered by the Talamanca mountains, so the weather is often fine, especially further south.
The uncertain weather means accommodation and tours are significantly cheaper than at other times of year. Rainy season is also known as ‘green season.’ Flora flourishes, and the rain coaxes out a lot of the wildlife. Plus you can find some excellent surfing conditions. If you don’t mind getting wet, Costa Rica in September is a great shout.
You’ll have noticed a pattern to this article by now. Yes, September sees China’s stifling heat begin to ebb, though daytime temperatures can still exceed anything managed by a UK summer. This makes it a good time to see all the usual tourist sites – the Great Wall, the Terracotta Warriors, pandas – or to head somewhere rural and peaceful.
China is a huge country, and to make the most of it you’ll need to move around. September is a good time to use China’s top notch public transport, as it’ll be a little easier to get tickets (trains in China only sell a set amount of tickets), and you’ll avoid the crush of October’s Golden Week national holiday.
Closer to home, Croatia’s Adriatic coast offers the perfect short break destination before you have to head back to school or university.
Again, the temperatures are coming down, but it’s still comfortably warm enough for long days lounging on the beach and paddling in the sea, or meandering through villages and vineyards, or island-hopping along the picturesque coast.
You’ll miss the summer once it’s gone, so make the most of it while you can.