Five glorious destinations for this Autumn
Travelling in Autumn means escaping the crowds, mild weather and the opportunity to experience the beauty of valleys covered in carpets of rich red leaves. From the Blausee lake in Bernese Oberland to France's picturesque city of Toulouse, here are five fine destinations you won't want to miss this season.
One of the most peaceful and serene countries on the planet, Switzerland is home to vast forests and natural parks that turn a vibrant orange during the Autumn season. One of its highlights is the crystal-clear Blausee lake in Bernese Oberland, which during this time of the year reflects the surrounding crisp golden trees. Located next to the Blausee hotel and spa, this little getaway entices visitors with the promise of a cabin retreat well into the natural park, offering plenty of hiking opportunities through the lush golden forests surrounding the lake. Meander along the banks of the river Kander and go off the beaten path to discover natural wonders. Follow the four-hour Kander hiking route which starts at Kandersteg Village and travel up to the Hoh lookout area, before descending towards the Blausee.
Greece is an obvious choice for those after a historical adventure in nature. Going in Autumn will also be a good idea for those wishing to steer clear of the intense Greek heat and hectic streets.
The trail to the Tomb of Kleobolus in Rhodes makes for a thrilling experience. In Autumn, the climate is less intense, allowing one to enjoy this simple two-hour walk without the uncomfortable sun beating its rays down. Starting by the main beach, the trail will take you up rocky terrain and smooth hilltops to reach the ancient tomb. Built during the 2nd Century BC, this relic of a bygone age will be the greatest reward for hiking through the rocky hillsides.
From one wonder of the world to another, it is now time to venture into the bountiful lands of Peru in South America. The main attraction here of course is the Machu Pichu. Traverse the ruins of the mighty Inca civilization and imagine what the bustling city was like when it held its inhabitants all those hundreds of years ago.
The Lost City of Choquequirao (meaning 'the Cradle of Gold') is also a great alternative to explore if you have the stamina. A four to five-day trek, it will take you across the Apurimac Valley, facing the many archaeological sites of the old city which is much larger than Machu Pichu. Venturing down the Apurimac canyon and river, the serene Autumn sun will illuminate the very green but rocky pathway to the ancient city. By night the stars will be in much greater numbers as the absence of pollution and the escape from city life gives way to witnessing the clearest skies in all of South America.
There is more to the infamous city of Hiroshima than its dark history. You will be surprised by the welcoming and friendly atmosphere, and while it is a vibrant city it isn't as overwhelming as Tokyo or Osaka. Its traditional Shinto temples and of course the ruins from the atomic bomb blast in 1945 are a couple of the main attractions.
Take a boat up to the mountain island of Mt Misen where you might spot the country’s rather famous deer. During the Autumn months, the once-green pathways that take you up the mountain will be littered with fallen golden leaves, creating an idyllic path up the mountainside. Be prepared for a much chillier climate at the top, where you'll find Shinto shrines, stalls to buy water and benches to relax and enjoy the scenic views of the rocky cliffsides on one side and the dense forest on the other.
You'll be surrounded by a deep blue ocean sparkling against the sun and as you look down, you'll see a seemingly never-ending sea of orange trees below. Enjoy the sunset over the mountain tops as you descend from the mountain.
Located in the South of France, Toulouse is the perfect escape away from the hustle and bustle of the capital, known for its picturesque squares, ancient palaces and vibrant food markets.
Just an hour east of Toulouse lies the town of Gaillac Epic, where you can embark on a two-day hiking trek that begins at Gaillac station and ends at Cordes-Vindrac station, crossing through sunflower meadows, farmlands and small country towns. Be prepared to tackle some mud along the way and wrap up well during the nights. But it will all be worth it: As you watch the early sunsets over fields of sunflowers, you'll feel like you've been immersed in a Vincent Van Gogh painting.
Credits for the Main photo: © Vadym Lavra on Shutterstock