Dreaming of an endless summer? Get your beach holiday inspiration from our list of the best beaches to visit in October and November…
Average temp: 21°C
Often overshadowed by the Mediterranean’s more popular destinations, Malta is proof that good things come in small packages. Otherworldly landscapes, unique architecture and ancient history can all be discovered in the space of a day, making this fascinating island ideal for short breaks in the sun. Known for having some of the best beaches in Europe, and cleanest waters, choosing the best among them is no easy feat. However, the Blue Lagoon, which lies between two of its neighbouring islands, is easily Malta’s top swimming spot. Its perfectly clear, blue water, combined with caves dotted around the edges of the lagoon, make it a glorious spot for swimming and snorkelling. However, due to shore space being limited, the golden beaches of Paradise Bay on Malta’s northern peninsula are a better choice if you prefer to spend your afternoon on the sand.
Average temp: 22°C
Always a reliable option for European sun, the Canary Islands rarely drop below 20°C, making them a sure bet for an autumn beach holiday. Tenerife, the largest of the islands in the archipelago, is famous for its Playa de las Americas, a resort on the southwest coast of the island that is known for its nightlife and superb man-made beaches. However, Tenerife also does a good line in impressive volcanic landscapes and fantastic hiking trails, offering inspiring views for any visitor keen to get away from the main resorts. The untouched nature and stunning views of Los Gigantes, a secluded resort on the western coast of the island, are visible from its giant cliff formations that shelter the small bays of shimmering sand below.
Average temp: 22°C
Morocco offers autumn sun without the long-haul flight, convenient enough even for a weekend break, while still providing an enchanting setting for longer holidays. Eschew the usual destinations of Marrakesh and Casablanca and discover the beautiful Moroccan coastal city of Essaouira. This friendly and laid-back beach town, with its charming fishing port and its blue and white, sun-washed houses, has been the hang out of hippy travellers since the 60s, a favourited hangout of the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens. Its calmer, artistic vibe can be felt in the small galleries and boutiques around the town and the quiet, well-maintained beaches. The beautiful Diabat beach, with its remains of the ruined watchtower Bordj El Berod, was allegedly the inspiration for Hendrix’s Castles Made of Sand.
Average temp: 22°C
Greece’s largest island, Crete, is said by some to be like no place on earth. Wonderful contrasting landscapes of rugged mountains, hilly villages and peaceful harbour sides, all available to see in a day, are matched only by the warmth and hospitality of the island. With high season in September, and October at a more than pleasant average of 22°C, Crete makes an ideal autumn getaway. Elafonísi beach, with its pink-tinted sands and blue lagoon waters, has an almost tropical feel to it and is a popular choice for anyone and everyone visiting here. Or opt for the wild natural beauty of Balos beach, on the island’s northwest coast, a haven for wildlife and rare flora.
Average temp: 23°C
Tenerife’s more southerly, sister island, Lanzarote, still offers beach weather well into October and ticks all the right boxes for an autumn holiday in the sun. Long-known as a destination for package holidays, Lanzarote has a plethora of great beaches, restaurants and vibrant nightlife. However, if you prefer to get away from the resorts, the island also caters well to independent travellers, with hiking and wine tasting a popular draw for many tourists. Playa Blanca beach, backed by volcanic mountains, lies on the southwest tip of Lanzarote and is one of the island’s biggest resorts, offering laid-back sophistication and white sands. For a more secluded afternoon, head to Famara beach on the northwest coast. Sheltered by towering, pink-tinted cliffs, Famara is a favourite among surfers and made for a dramatic setting in the Spanish film Broken Embraces.
Average temp: 23°C
If you love your beaches then Mauritius is sure to be on your holiday bucket list. Famous for its lagoons and coral reefs, this island in the Indian Ocean has more to offer than just the sea – such as jungle hikes and culinary delights – but its tropical waters and beach activities remain a huge draw for any tourist. Trou aux Biches, one of the island’s most popular beaches, offers the perfect combination of family-friendly shallow waters, white sands and easily explorable coral reefs close to the shore. Opportunities for diving and snorkelling here are fantastic, thanks to Mauritius’ richly diverse ocean life.
Average temp: 27°C
An adventurer’s paradise, Hawaii offers hiking, wildlife, food, culture and, of course, beaches – all ready to be explored. This mid-Pacific archipelago comprises of eight main islands, all of which enjoy temperatures in the lower 30s all year round. Choosing Hawaii as an autumn sun getaway is a sure bet, choosing its best beaches, however, is not such an easy decision. Its islands feature every type of beach imaginable, from glorious white sands and romantic bays to black, green or red sand beaches and untouched, natural shorelines. Maui, famed for some of the biggest waves on the planet, offers glorious sands and calmer coves for snorkelling. Kaua’i delivers on sun, postcard sunsets and dramatic coastal cliffs.