It’s hard to narrow down the best places to travel in September, but our travel experts are up for the challenge. September is a great month to get out and explore the world. The summer holiday crowds have mostly vanished, returning back to work and school. Many regions across the globe are experiencing some of their best weather of the year. These are Ker & Downey’s best places to travel in September, including one in our own backyard.
September in Kenya is high season for a reason. It’s an incredible time to go on safari. Clear skies, low chance of rain, and less mosquitoes make it an ideal time to head out on game drives. The Great Migration passes through the Masai Mara from July to October, which is a big draw to East African country. Travel to Kenya during September with Ker & Downey for a more personal and intimate experience of the Great Migration away from crowded safari lodges.
There are so many reasons to visit Brazil in September: it’s shoulder season so the prices are right and the weather is warm without being stifling or rainy. While the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema of Rio de Janeiro are sure to be delightful, we suggest heading inland to the Pantanal, Brazil’s wetlands, to witness the elusive jaguar during prime wildlife viewing season.
Extending till October, green, olive ridley, hawksbill, and loggerhead turtles emerge from the blue deeps of the Arabian Sea to wander onto the beaches of the Ras Al Jinz Turtle Reserve to lay eggs. It’s quite the sight to watch them nestle into the sand and see the newly hatched little ones scramble to the open waters.
The Northern Territory in Australia is one of the best places to travel in September. The ninth month of the year brings about longer daylight hours, which is great for exploring the Northern Territory – Australia’s real Outback. Set out on an adventure with our sixteen day Luxury Outback Safari through some of Australia’s great outdoors.
South Africa is a pretty phenomenal destination year-round, but September is particularly magical. It’s the start of the Cape’s spring, so the world-famous Namaqualand daisies are in bloom and in the game reserves, you will encounter lots of newborn animals on your game drives. It’s also an ideal time for whale watching in Hermanus as the Southern Right Whales return to the bay for calving and mating season. If you’re there on the last day of the month, you can also participate in the annual Hermanus Whale Festival – a three-day celebration that sees thousands of visitors flock to the seaside town for some of the best land-based whale watching in the world.
Head to Beijing in September for the beginning of autumn when it’s less crowded. The weather is starting to cool down and there’s less rainfall. Make a trip to historic Pingyao, a UNESCO-recognized ancient city and China’s financial center during the Qing Dynasty. The Pingyao International Photography Festival also takes place in September. During that time, the city is transformed into a large open-air photo gallery with exhibits from professional and amateur photographers from all over the world.
The Atacama Desert is a year-round destination through and through. As the driest desert on Earth, this 70,000-square-mile playground is a lunar-like landscape full of giant salt flats, active geyser fields, luxurious hot springs, and numerous archaeological sites. For a true “fire and ice” vacation for the whole family, pair the heat of the desert with the ski-ready powder of the Andes—the perfect escape before the back-to-school rush.
September is a great time to travel to New Zealand. It’s the beginning of spring, wildflowers are in bloom, and you can take advantage of shoulder season rates. Get out and smell the flowers with walks through the botanic gardens. Be sure to travel before the last week of September to avoid a two-week school holiday.
Texas, United States of America
September is a great time to travel to Texas. Days can still be warm, but the nights are cool. And if you are interested in music, it’s a great time to travel to the Lone Star State. At the end of the month, you’ll find Austin buzzing with excitement for the Austin City Limits Musical Festival, and out west in Marfa, you can attend the Trans-Pecos Festival of Music + Love.
While the weather in London is notoriously unpredictable, September can be an absolutely beautiful month in the Big Smoke. The days are longer, kids are back in school, and the city becomes a storehouse for global and innovative design during the London Design Festival. From September 14 – 24, travelers will find London exploding with a slew of installations, exhibits, festival stages, lectures, and pop-ups. The festival is a rich, relaxed affair, generally highlighting the work of London-based artists and inviting visitors to interact with everything from housewares to fashion accessories to children’s toys in London’s best “design districts.”
September is one the best times to visit Greece, as it offers sparse island beaches, uncrowded ancient sites, lower prices, and ideal weather clear of the brutal summer heat. We recommend taking to the islands, whether the luxurious hot spots of Mykonos and Santorini or the eastern Mediterranean spectacle of Crete where warm days and cool evenings meet rich culture, age-old palaces, and natural beauty galore.
Gulf of Chiriqui, Panama
Between July and October, the Gulf of Chiriquí in Panama is home to one of the largest migrations of whales in the world. Panama is one of the few places in the world where both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere Humpback Whale families migrate 16,000 miles to breed and birth their young. The Gulf of Chiriqui National Park, a 14,740 hectare marine park, is the perfect place to see the Humpbacks up-close during their migration-breeding routes. Panama waters are also home to over 30 species of cetaceans, so you may even see dolphins, manta rays, and sea turtles while whale watching.
September is festival season in Berlin. From Berlin Art Week to the free State Opera for All open air concert, there are plenty of opportunities to take in the vibrant art scene of the the city.
For all the wine lovers out there – don’t miss out on the opportunity to taste the best Hungarian wines at the time of harvest, typically every September. Soak the atmosphere in during Budapest’s wine festivals at the Buda castle and try a Danube river cruise.
Ardennes is home to a wide diversity of plants and animals. From mid-September to mid-October, the tranquility of the majestic Ardennes forests, situated in the south-east of Belgium is disturbed by frequent, irregular calls of rutting red deer stags. Enjoy a walk in the forest with a naturalist tracking the savage sound and other local fauna in a natural unspoiled area with vast forests of broadleaf and fir, hills and fast flowing rivers.
Barcelona is especially perfect in September as residents return from their holidays and attempt to soak in as much of the summer sunshine that’s left. The month also plays host to the city’s biggest annual fiesta, La Mercè, an official holiday honoring the patron saint of Barcelona that takes the form of more than 600 indoor and outdoor events, most of which are free. The city’s famed rooftop terraces are typically only open during the summer months, so September is also your last chance to take in the 360-degree views of the city from here.
The beaches are rarely crowded and bonus points for the still warm weather well into the autumn months, yet it’s cool enough for exploring the medieval towns. September is also the best time for fresh and absolutely delicious produce from Etna’s rich national parks.
This month brings rtveli – the grape harvest and the perfect time to visit the birthplace of viticulture. With over 500 original grape varieties, Georgia has the oldest unbroken tradition of wine making in the world and you will be there to see it first-hand. Visit local winemakers to taste their wines and learn about their unique method using kvevri, the oldest known method of wine production. These giant terracotta vessels are buried in the ground to achieve the perfect temperature and promote fermentation. While you are there, try your hand at making khinkhali, the ubiquitous dumplings served at nearly every meal and churchkhela, a dessert made of walnuts dipped in a thick grape paste.