October is a month marked by festivals and celebrations in many parts of the world. It could be because the weather is balanced between the warmth of summers and the chill of winters or it could be because of the harvest season which forms the basis of many folk festivals. If you are planning to take a break this October, here are ten best holiday options.
- Seville, Spain
Famous the sunny city of Andalusia in Spain, Seville is a great time to visit in October. Now you can explore all its vibrant street life and opulent Moorish architecture without feeling drained by the sun and heat. Among the must-sees in Seville are beautiful Medieval palace of Alcazar , the stylish Plaza de Espana, the Catedral de Sevilla, Giralda Tower, Museum of Fine Arts, the Maria Luisa Park and the Church of Iglesia Collegel del Salvador among others. Don’t forget to take in a performance of the spectacular Flamenco dance or sample the exotic flavors of Andalusian cuisine.
- Velha Goa, India
India is a great place to visit in October when the monsoons are on their way out and their weather is getting cooler. While Goa in Western India is primarily known for its long sun-kissed beaches, Velha Goa in the state’s northern district is equally famous for it’s a historical significance and harks back the splendors of sixteenth to eighteenth centuries when it served as the capital city of the Portuguese colony. The main attraction in Velha Goa are its numerous churches like Se Cathedral which constitutes the seat of the Archbishop of Goa, the church of Se Caetano, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi and most famous of all the Bom Jesus Basilica. The Basilica houses the incorruptible body of St Francis Xavier, the sixteenth-century Christian missionary and today the tomb is an important pilgrimage destination for Christians from all over the country and even the world. Visitors to Velha Goa generally put up at Panaji, the capital of the modern state of Goa and make the nine kilometer trip to the old city.
- Wildlife Safari, Botswana
Relatively untouched by civil war that has seemed to wreck most of the African nations, Botswana has a thriving wildlife-centered tourism industry. The Okavango Delta of Botswana is one of the world’s largest inland deltas and is home to a variety of wildlife like prides of lions, herds of buffaloes, giraffes, elephants and baboons. The two major safari camps in Okavango Delta are Xigera and Duba Plains. Xigera is especially picturesque being located in the Moremi Game Reserve and overlooking a river. For tourist accommodation, the Xigera safari camp has ten tented rooms with private bathrooms. Tourists in the camp can not only go for treks, on foot or in vehicles, to see the animals but also settle for mokoro canoe trips or motor boat rides. The nearest big city to the Xigera safari camp is Maun.
- Luxor, Egypt
For visitors planning a trip to Egypt this October, a must-see is the Valley of Kings in Luxor, a UNESCO World Heritage site. This valley on the west bank of Nile, opposite Thebas is one of the largest burial grounds of ancient Egyptian kings and is thus a major symbol of Egypt’s history, archeology and culture. For over 500 years, From sixteenth century to eleventh century B.C the most important royals along with a few high-ranking nobles continued to be buried in the Valley of the Kings. Today the Valley of the Kings in Luxor has 63 tombs open for view, which range from a simple pit to the most elaborate burial complex containing 120 chambers. Scenes from Egyptian mythology decorate the walls of the royal tombs and are an important indicator of the beliefs and funeral customs of Ancient Egypt.
- Beijing, China
Located in the heart of Beijing is the Forbidden City which is a prime destination for all tourists visiting China. Known as Gu Gong in Chinese, the Forbidden City was the imperial palace during the Ming and Qing dynasties. It is still acknowledged as the largest palace complex in the world and is spread across 74 hectares. The palace complex in the Forbidden City is reputed to house 9,999 rooms and is clearly divided into two sections. One is the Outer Court located in the southern section from where the Emperor exercised his royal powers and formally carried out affairs of the state. The other section is the Inner Court in the northern section where he resided with his family. The Forbidden City now houses the Palace Museum which has vast range of imperial treasures from the bygone days.
- Outbacks of Australia
Before the weather gets uncomfortably hot Down Under, adventure-lovers can plan a holiday at the Australian Outbacks. Australia’s Queensland region is the place to head for if you feel like having a journey on the wild side. There are several ways to enjoy the outback, like going for a camel ride, staying in one of the cattle ranches or even joining a cattle muster. Those with deeper pockets can take a scenic flight over some of the most fantastic points in the outback like Uluru, Kata Tjutu and the Kimberley. Some of the main outback towns in Australia stretch from Broken Hill in New South Wales to Longreach in Queensland. Here unending vistas of scorched and arid landscape are dotted by unexpected patches of purple vegetation or lush green waterholes. And if the isolation gets too much for you, there are rustic pubs where locals spin out timeless yarns and time seems to stand still.
- Munich, Germany
October is the month to be in Munich if you want to participate in the largest open-air beer festival in the world. The sixteen-day annual Oktoberfest is one of the biggest travel draws in the Bavarian region of Germany. Every year visitors at the festival down as much as six-million liters of beer as well as consume around half a million chickens and hundred oxen. Sauerkraut, spaetzle and schnitzel are the usual favorites among traditional German foods while most festgoers prefer the special Oktoberfest beer which is brewed only from August through October. Apart from beer and music, Oktoberfest is also famous for its many cultural attractions. Venues are often brimming with dancers enjoying the polka while bands belt out lively strains of folk music. For families, there are children’s games, magic shows and colorful parades.
- Vermont, United States
If you don’t wish to venture too far on your holiday, why not witness the colors of the fall which are at their most vibrant in October? One of the best regions to view fall foliage in the United States is Vermont in New England where the oaks and maples are ablaze in shades of red, orange and brown. One can explore the flaming colors of Green Mountains or plan an itinerary consisting of Route 9 from Brattleboro to Bennington. Alternatively nature lovers can also trek through Smuggler’s Notch State Park to take in the wonderful colors of the season. For those keen to catch the colors of a New England fall, it is a good idea to plan a stay at the capital city of Montpelier or participate in the numerous fall foliage festivals in Vermont like Northeast Kingdome Foliage Festival, Stowe Foliage Arts Festival and Manchester Fall Art and Craft Festival.
- Hong Kong
Shopaholics of the world usually find this tiny Asian city-state a great place to vacation since Hong Kong is one of the most important retail and commercial hubs of the region. Shoppers from all over the continent come to Hong Kong to browse through an amazing variety of products and take back the best deals. Shopping destinations range from swanky malls like Central and Pacific selling the latest in designer wear, electronics and accessories to street markets and themed shopping districts where buyers can pick up antiques and collectibles. Ladies’ Market and Temple Street Night Market are ideal for buying inexpensive clothing, accessories and electronics while the busy food stalls of the latter should not be left untasted. If one is looking for Chinese handicrafts, curios and traditional gift items, Stanley Market is the destination to head for.
- Bloemfontein, South Africa
October is a good time to visit South Africa since it marks the beginning of the summer. One place where you can witness the best of South African spring is Bloemfontein, which is actually Dutch word for “fountain of Flowers”. Even though Bloemfontein is the capital of the Free State Province of South Africa and judicial capital of South Africa, it is best known its rose gardens and the annual festival of Roses. The Bloemfontein Rose Festival usually continues for eight days in October with the festivities centered around the Loch Logan Waterfront, which is perhaps the premier shopping and entertainment district of Central South Africa. More than 15000 species of roses are usually put up on display here along with other top of the line entertainment and dining options. However if you wish to view the splendid beauty of roses in their natural surroundings, the place to head for would be the Kings Park. The rose garden in the park has more than 4000 rose bushes and the park has other attractions like a zoo as well as an Arts and Crafts Market held on the first Saturday of each month.