After endless summer heat and waves of tourists, Europe returns to a calmer, cooler state by the beginning of Autumn. With a similar climate to much of New England, Europe offers leaf peepers the chance to check out the fall foliage across the pond. In addition, you’ll find Europeans harvesting their bounties, especially the grape-drenched vineyards across the continent. The best part? Fewer tourists, milder weather and cheaper prices all accompany the spectacular autumn scenery.
Check out a few of Europe’s most photogenic places to visit in the fall:
Switzerland is a serious contender for Europe’s most photogenic destination at any time of the year, but the fall scenery here is something extra special. During the autumn months in the lakeside town of Lugano, the trees lining the waterfront boardwalks are full of orange and yellow leaves that create a blanket of color on the ground.
While the lake is the obvious backdrop for fall photos, turn your cameras toward the town itself and you’ll find architecture full of Mediterranean flair. Take one of the many hikes through the Alpine nature surrounding the city to bask in panoramic views over it all.
So when is the best time to visit Lugano in the fall? Every year in late September/early October this city celebrates the beginning of autumn for three days with the help of thousands of visitors. Expect an abundance of wine, local delicacies (think: risotto, gnocchi, polenta stews) and live music.
Home to the oldest grapevine in the world, Maribor, Slovenia takes its winemaking very seriously. This means that a visit during the grape harvest is a particularly festive—and photogenic—time to visit.
Like Switzerland, Slovenia is truly gorgeous year-round but the autumn months here rival the best of Europe. Fall colors are everywhere and in the wine region, grapes hang sumptuously off the vine. Beyond the ever-pleasing vineyard photos that you’ll be able to take, you’ll also capture the joviality of the harvest celebrations with Slovenians enjoying brass bands, folklore groups and traditional feasts.
Beyond the wine region, enjoy the fall nature in the Julian Alps where you’ll be able to relax at popular Lake Bled without the crazy crowds of summer.
The Lake District, England
Yes, England’s Lake District is as charming as it sounds. And a visit here during the autumn months will impress even the most serious leaf peepers out there. Visitors can enjoy the Lake District on leisurely drives, stopping off in local pubs or spending the night at family-owned inns, or they can venture into nature on an endless array of simple walks and challenging hikes.
During fall, the Lake District becomes an autumn-hued wonderland with ultra-vibrant shades of reds, yellows and oranges drenching the landscape. Enjoy a walk through the orchards at Acorn Bank to spot trees heavy with the weight of their ready-to-pick fruits. Now is one of the best times for wildlife spotting in the region as all the Lake District’s creatures are hurriedly preparing for winter.