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Top 10 places to go in Europe in September

Updated: Aug 31, 2020


Street Art: Calella de Palafrugell
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Kefalonia

Malta

The Algarve

Barcelona

Tenerife

Paxos

Favignana

Carcassonne

Costa Brava

Alghero


September in Europe is a fab time to travel for many reasons, but the one thing that’s guaranteed for all destinations is fewer crowds and cheaper prices than the summer months of July and August. Schools return and work looms again for many, so this is a great time to take advantage of less peops, less queues (while social distancing of course!) and stunning locations. If you’re heading south, you’re in for great weather too.


If we’ve managed to get you a little excited about September travel, here are 10 of our favourite September destinations in Europe, just to tempt you that extra bit more ☺


Happy reading … 😄



Kefalonia, Greece

Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Kefalonia is just a joy ... Crystal clear waters, pristine beaches and idyllic harbour villages.

There are some truly beautiful spots on this fabulous Island in the Ionian sea. Depending on what you’re looking for you can find idyllic and calm, upbeat and lively, or something in between. This really is a fab destination for all.

Highlights include:

  • Fiskado. A picturesque harbour and village at the north eastern tip of the island with a buzzing energy. There are seafood restaurants a plenty along the water side.

  • Assos. At the north western side of the island, Assos is a charming and secluded village on the calm waterfront, surrounded by cyprus and pine trees. You’ll never want to leave! Oh, and don't miss some of the beautiful views on the way to Assos from Argostoli, including a little detour to nearby Myrtos beach and the view across the water.

  • Get in the car and discover the whole island at your leisure. You’ll find beautiful hidden pristine beach spots with local restaurants nearby serving the most amazing greek salads and fresh fish. There are some great little sneaky places in the south.

Assos, Kefalonia
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

If you search around you can find some amazing accommodation prices, car hire deals (would recommend this so you are free to discover the island as you please … and you’re going to want to!) as well as some great September flight deals with low cost airlines!


A perfect addition … Ithaca!

Ithaca
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

If you have time, we can’t recommend highly enough a visit to the small neighbouring island of Ithaca … if you’re looking for real tranquility and a step back in time, this beautiful island really merits a holiday all in its own right, but hey, we don’t all have time to do everything …

You’ll need a car to be honest… if you have one already in Kefalonia, check the car rental info carefully! It’s really not automatic for insurance to be included on island ferries so please be careful, some companies actually forbid it! But you can hire a car in Ithaca and there are even companies that will bring the car to meet you at the ferry - be sure to specify which drop off point!


 


Malta and Gozo

Gozo
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Malta is a small and totally unique archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean sea, it’s rich in diverse culture and history with beautiful beaches and tranquil spaces.


Malta is the biggest of the islands and sees the most tourists. It provides a really varied holiday experience, mixing culture and relaxation like no other place in Europe. From ancient megalithic temples to scuba diving, no day will be the same on this trip!

If you’re really looking to get away from it all, the smaller island of Gozo is much quieter than Malta and highly recommended. The even smaller island of Cominio is home to the beautiful turquoise waters of the Blue Lagoon, but be warned, you will not be alone here, even in September! Both Gozo and Cominio are easy to reach by regular ferries from Cirkewwa at the northern tip of Malta.

Highlights include:

  • Mdina. Known as the silent city, it’s the old fortified capital city of Malta and well worth a visit. For those Game of Thrones fans, I think you may recognise the city entrance :)

  • Valetta. The capital city of Malta is a must visit for restaurants, museums, harbour boat trips and more.

  • Marsaxlokk. A picturesque fishing village in the south of the island, perfect for strolling along the harbour and the Sunday fish market.

  • Gozo. Absolutely THE place for beauty, peace and tranquility.


Marsaxlokk, Malta
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 


The Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Spectacular coastal paths, quaint fishing villages, bustling resorts, typical hill top villages and sandy beaches. It’s a pick and mix of a destination to suit you.

The Algarve is the southern most coastal area of Portugal loved by locals and tourists for its warm climate all year round. With the summer crowds returning home, September is a fab time to discover this region. Resorts towns such as Albufeira and areas rich in golf courses may be just what you’re looking for or maybe it’s the complete opposite, preferring small cobbled street fishing villages, small coves and wild coastline paths. There’s something for everyone here at really affordable prices, if you look in the right places!


Highlights include:

  • Burgau, a quaint fishing village with whitewashed fisherman’s cottages and cobbled streets directly to the sea. A lovely costal walk to/from Praia de Luz and close to Lagos, both of which are great options for accommodation.

  • Fortaleza de Sagres, also known as the end of the world! A wild headland with spectacular views where it’s believed Henry the Navigator established his school - it’s likely to be windy up there above the sheer cliffs! -

  • Monchique, a lovely narrow cobbled street hillside town known for its spa water, local crafts and an area surrounded in nature and cork trees.


The Algarve
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 

Barcelona, Spain


Barcelona, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

The perfect September city break. Warm weather, vibrant atmosphere, less crowds and being social distancing aware of course, street festivals a plenty.


Barcelona is a really vibrant cosmopolitan city with a real mix of old and new. The gothic quarter is a flaneur’s dream spot, with many a street to saunter along and tapas bar to lounge in. The highly recommended Picasso museum is nearby and, of course the Rambla, for an entertaining walk towards the beach for those last of summer days.


Highlights include:

  • La Merc festival. Being Covid safety aware of course, the 24th of September (and including a few days before) sees this famous festival take place with the infamous human towers. It’s a must go to if you’re in the city at this time!

  • Anotoni Gaudi sights. You can’t miss Gaudi’s art nouveau all over the city. Casa Mila, Park Guell with great views over the city, and of course, the ongoing Sagrada Familia are all highlights.

  • La Boqueria indoor market. Selling a variety of meat, fish, fruit, veg and other specialist foods this is a must go to bustling market. Whether just to browse or to pick up picnic/tapas treats, it couldn’t be easier to find as it’s just off The Rambla :)


Barcelona, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 


Tenerife

Tenerife
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

An absolute all-rounder! Whether you’re looking for stunning natural landscapes, getting back to nature, relaxing beach time, lively nightlife or the perfect family destination, this fabulous volcanic island is it.

Known for an all year round warm climate, Tenerife is the perfect destination from September through winter for sunshine and less crowds. Tenerife is the largest of the canary islands and a popular holiday destinations for all types of trips - no day will be the same if wish to do all Tenerife has to offer. From spectacular volcanic landscapes in Mount Teide National Park, beautiful hikes and walks, stunning beach spots, a stroll around medieval villages, street art in Puerto de la Cruz to waterparks for the kids … oh and don’t forget the pyramids of Guimar!!


Highlights include:

  • Mount Teide National Park. Both the drive up and through the park are spectacular, particularly from the North of the island. If you wish to go to the summit, it’s possible to hike or go by cable car but book in advance (months in advance if requiring a permit to go to the crater), get there early and be aware that sudden wind changes can cause an abrupt end of the cable car service due to safety reasons. The upper station is located at 3,555m altitude so be prepared for a change in temperature!

  • Street art in Puerto de la Cruz. With the old town offering a quaint fishing port, narrow cobbled streets and colonial style cafes, the street art walk is a real added bonus. Free map and art locations at the tourist office.

  • Coastal Paths and medieval villages. Tenerife is dotted with old fishing villages and medieval towns all over the island and with coastal path walks in abundance, these offer you an insight into the ‘real’ Tenerife.



Tenerife
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club


 


Paxos, Greece

Paxos, Greece
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Paxos is a tranquil, laid back, step back in time, olive trees in abundance, picture perfect delight of a Greek island. If you need to stop and experience a little bit of paradise, go to Paxos!

Paxos is the perfect destination to take the pace down to zero! It is a small island close to Corfu, which is a really popular holiday destination. With many low cost airlines arriving in Corfu, Paxos is a really affordable option. There are regular boats to the island making this an easy escape from the crowds staying on Corfu. Tranquility awaits you on the island of Paxos. Get ready for idyllic fishing villages, small pebble beaches, coves, crystal clear waters, harbour side taverns and olive groves … heaven! The island is just 7 x 3 miles in size!

Highlights include:-

  • Loggos. Everything you ever dreamed of in an Idylic, off the beaten track paradise fishing village. Seafood tavernas on the waterside and beaches either side of the harbour, the eastern side, only accessible by foot or boat! Why wouldn’t you!

  • Gaios. The main town on Paxos, and where you will arrive from Corfu, this is a quaint town with a picturesque pedestrian square alongside the waters edge. You will receive a warm welcome here and local cuisine is in abundance. Enjoy ambling the side streets and just taking life easy. A lovely swimming spot just 10 minutes walk to the east.

  • Antipaxos. This neighbouring tiny island boasting pristine beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters is perfect for a day trip from Paxos. Taxi boats go from Gaios and maybe still from Loggos and Lakka in September


Paxos, Greece
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 


Favignana, Sicily

Favignana, Sicily
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Favignana is the largest island in the Egardi archipelago and is perfect for a real get away destination in its own right, or for 2/3 days combined with a trip to Trapani and/or Palermo. Beautiful beaches, clear blue waters, rocky coastline, walks in nature, ice cream and Sicilian pastries

This serene island is close to Trapani with several ferry options departing every day, so it’s a really accessible destination. The island has been described as a butterfly shape and is most well known for it’s tuna fishing heritage. The island itself is largely flat making it great for getting around the entire island on a bike … a very appealing and affordable option. If you feel like going a bit higher however, the Santa Caterina castle is a good 45 minutes UP, on foot - it’s possible to go by bike some of the way! Don’t forget to take the snorkelling gear and diving is also a good option here.


Highlights include:-

  • Hire a bike. There are several competitive options to hire a bike when you arrive in the main town, or if luggage is an issue, your accommodation can organise for you once you’re settled in. This really is a magical island to see by bike.

  • Main town square - while away the hours with ice cream and Sicilian pastries sitting alongside older locals, deep in conversation with each other, while watching the younger ones play football.

  • Beaches and coves. The coastline around Favignana is magical with a variety of sandy and pebbled beaches as well as rocky sections and coves. Beautiful swimming and snorkelling spots.


Favignana, Sicily
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 


Carcassonne, France

© 2020 Tan's Travel Club © 2020 Tan's Travel Club


Welcome to Cathar country! This area is steeped in medieval history. You are about to enter an area well known to UNESCO!


Carcassonne is a really affordable magical place with its 2 UNESCO classifications, the impressive fortified medieval city and the Canal du Midi. But that’s by no means it! This entire area is rich in medieval cities and chateau ruins - you are about to be transported back to 13th century! All this is surrounded by mountains, beautiful landscapes, vineyards and historical market towns. If you have more than a few days, a rental car is highly recommended to really see all this beautiful region has to offer. Low cost airlines fly directly into Carcassonne as well as Toulouse and Beziers. Ryanair is the sole airline into Carcassonne and Beziers.

Highlights include:

  • Carcassonne medieval city. A medieval fortified city still inhabited today, a magical experience OUTSIDE OF THE SUMMER MONTHS! It is highly recommended to visit in May/June or September! This is a must visit and THE reason many people come to this area. Carcassonne Cite is one of the biggest tourist attractions in France with 3-4 million visitors every year.

  • Lastours castles - (20 mins from Carcassonne). If you are looking to visit one of the many Cathar castles in the area, Lastours is not only impressive but the nearest from Carcassonne! In fact you’ll get 4 for the price of one! The castles are perched high on a rocky ridge above the village.

  • Minerve (and Olonzac market on Tuesdays). Minerve, (50 mins drive from Carcassonne) is an historic medieval town perched on top of a gorge in the most stunning location. There are some spectacular walks all around this area. Minerve is most well known for the siege of 1210. Despite an heroic effort, the town couldn’t hold out, resulting in 140 Cathars being burnt at the stake! If you go to Minerve on Tuesday, don’t miss the market in Olonzac, selling EVERYTHING! It’s a great vibe. The town is on route to Minerve.

We would also recommend markets in the medieval market towns of :

  • Revel on Saturdays (picnic at Lac de Saint-Ferréol ), 55 mins from Carcassonne

  • Mirepoix (Mondays) 45 mins from Carcassonne.

Lastours
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

 


Costa Brava, Spain

L’Escala, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club


Stunning coastline, quaint villages, warm weather, Romans, Greeks and Salvador Dali!


The Costa Brava in September is just the best. You’ll get the last of the summer days and a great coastal trip for great prices. It has a bustling vibe with less crowds - perfect! We highly recommend hiring a car and with competitive prices from a choice of airports nearby, you’re in for a real treat! Girona airport, Barcelona El Prat, and Reus airport (a little further afield) are all served with low cost airlines. The Costa Brava is just a win win. We have so many favourite places it’s hard to choose, so we’re just going to list a few but there are plenty more - you can’t go wrong here!



Cadaques
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Cadaques.


Situated in the Cap de Creus National Park, Cadaques is a quaint, white washed fishing village with cobbled streets and charming coves. It was home to Salvador Dali - his house is located further round the peninsular at Cala de Portlligat. It is open to the public but pre visit reservations are obligatory so remember to book in advance to avoid any disappointment.


L'Escala, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

L’Escala/Empuries.


A bigger town than Cadaques and a favourite with people coming out of the cities for a coastal break, L’Escala has a lot to offer. It has a variety of beaches form large expanses of sand to charming rocky coves. It’s a buzzing town with lots of activities so great for families. The charming old port area is great to amble and sample bars, cafes and restaurants. And if that wasn’t enough, don’t miss the ruins of Empuries, a settlement founded by the Greeks in 6BC, later taken over by the Romans in the 1st century BC!



Calella de palafrugell, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Calella de Palafrugell, LaFranc and Tamariu.


These charming tranquil and charming coastal villages are within the municipality of Parafrugell. A real getaway from it all destination, with rocky coves, wooden fishing boats on the beaches and stunning coastal footpaths. Take a stroll along this beautiful stretch of rocky coastline and then indulge in your choice of fabulous fish restaurants. Get that white wine chilling!



Tossa del Mar, Spain
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Tossa del Mar.


A stunning fortified medieval town, very busy in summer months, so September is the perfect time to visit this majestic destination. It comprises a labyrinth of streets and alleyways with bars, restaurants, craft shops and more. It’s a delight to wander around this walled town overlooking the sea. There are very pleasant coastal pathways from here too and of course there are the beaches!

 


Alghero, Sardinia

Alghero, Sardinia
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club

Alghero is a beautiful and vibrant medieval city in the northwest of the Sardinia. This historic town is surrounded by harbour walls and the centre is full of cobbled streets, historic buildings, browsable shops and mighty fine restaurants and bars. Long stretches of sandy beaches can be found to the north of the marina full of yachts .

The historic town of Alghero has a real bustling vibe and perfect for strolling around it’s narrow land and harbour walls. You can really bring the pace down a notch or two here. This is a really popular place in the summer months so September is the perfect time to visit with the summer weather still looking good too. There are beaches to the north of the marina and boat rides to nearby caves. There are also some stunning costal places to visit a little further out so well worth picking up a rental car. Buses will take you there, including most other places of interest too if you’d prefer.


Highlights include:

  • Historic town. Strolling around the old town, especially early evening or as the sun is setting, grabbing a tapas or two, and then moving onto one of the many fine restaurants in the town or around the port.

  • Stintino and Pelosa beach. Stintino is around 50km from Alghero and highly recommended. It’s a fabulous fishing village located at the northern tip of Sardinia where you will find cobbled streets, traditional houses and trattorias selling local dishes with local produce. Moving on from here, head to Pelosa Beach. The soft, white sands and the clear, calm, turquoise waters will knock your socks off, great for keeping them dry! There are other beautiful beaches around here and Asinara Island national park too.

  • Nuraghe di Palmavera. The ruins of this ancient fortified nuraghic village, 3500 years old, is well worth a visit and a good combo with some time on one of several beautiful beaches between Fertilia and Porto Conte. A bus from Alghero still runs in September to the ruins.


Sardinia
© 2020 Tan's Travel Club
 

We hope you found this info useful! Feel free to share your travel thoughts on these or other interesting places you'd recommend in September. It's always great to hear about your experiences and ideas.


Happy travelling and stay safe :)

 

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