Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

"Стоит только поверить, что вы можете – и вы уже на полпути к цели." Теодор Рузвельт ©
Время на прочтение: 6 минут(ы)

The sunshine might be fading as the kids go back to school – but, elsewhere in the world, summer just keeps on shining on. In fact, September is probably the finest time to hit southern Europe, as both sand and sea stay hot, but crowds filter out. Greek and Spanish islands and popular coastal towns are suddenly pleasant again: their restaurants and bars still open, the mercury sitting comfortably above 25°C. In the southern hemisphere, spring is springing – perfect for wildlife spotting and beach hopping – while, over in the Americas, a couple of unforgettable beach destinations hit their prime.

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    1. ITALY’S LAKE DISTRICT

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 21°C

    There’s a reason Italy’s lakes have been fashionable since Roman times: they’re bloody gorgeous. Whether that’s snow-dusted Alps peeping over Lake Maggiore, luxurious lakeside villas lining Como or the low-key romanticism of Lake Iseo, there’s not a duff spot in the region. And while high season lingers into early September, it provides just enough buzz to keep things interesting, without rendering everywhere frustratingly full. For something decidedly local, give Iseo a go. Traditional trattorias specialise in lake fish, polenta and flutes of local Franciacorta sparkling. Family-run Hotel Rivalago, right on the lakefront, has a heated pool and serves sunset aperitivo in the garden.

    Best hotels of the Italian Lakes

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    2. RHODES, GREECE

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    If your understanding of Rhodes only extends as far as Faliraki, you’re in for a surprise. The largest of the Dodecanese, this perennially summery island has plenty of secluded, sandy beaches; picturesque, hilltop towns spilling white, sugarcube houses; and, in the Old Town, one of Europe’s best-preserved medieval cities. Far from the Faliraki frenzy, and just steps from the maze-like town of Lindos and its crowning acropolis, the Melenos Lindos is an atmospheric boutique hotel with sweeping Mediterranean views, a twinkly terrace restaurant and Ottoman-esque styling (raised wooden sleeping platforms; hand-painted tiles). Bonus: it’s right by one of the island’s most striking beaches, at St Paul’s Bay.

    The best Greek islands to visit in 2021

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    3. PORTO AND DOURO VALLEY, PORTUGAL

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 23°C

    Lisbon’s little sister is having a moment. There’s always been lots to love about Porto’s crumbly medieval streets and petiscarias (Portuguese tapas bars). But a new energy is now giving this stubbornly old-school enclave some contemporary pep. Local street artists such as Hazul and Costah have made an outdoor gallery of its cracked façades. In Serralves Park, there’s the super-minimalist Museu de Arte Contemporânea, by Pritzker-winning Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. The food scene, too, is fizzing. Semea by Euskalduna is the latest must-get table, focussing on Portuguese produce. Then escape to the Douro Valley’s vine-covered hills – its Six Senses hotel complex, spread over a 19th-century manor house, is a stunner.

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    4. ALACATI, TURKEY

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 26°C

    The Turquoise Coast is still simmering in September, though temperatures are more manageable than summer’s blazing heat, and the high-season crowds have gone home. Bail on Antalya and Bodrum to discover Alacati instead: widely labelled ‘Istanbul’s answer to the Hamptons’, it’s where urban elites come to soak up the simplicity of an unspoilt fishing village, and relax in some rather lovely hotels. La Capria, in particular, is a beauty, with Moroccan-style daybeds around the pool and pretty gardens lit by Turkish lanterns. And if you can rouse yourself from lingering over coffee in bougainvillea-filled streets or snoozing on chalk-white beaches, it’s one of Europe’s finest kite-surfing destinations, too.

    The best of Alaçatı

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    5. CROATIA

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    If hygge best describes the Danes’ cosy contentment in winter, then the Dalmatian fjaka is a byword for Croatia in September. It’s the feeling of lazy, hazy days in the sunshine, when the water’s warm and the sun is warmer – and there’s not a tour group in sight. Of course, Croatia is such a mainstay now that Dubrovnik is always crowded. So, if you really want to feel the fjaka, best escape to an island. Dugi Otok, maybe, with its hilltop hamlets and toes-in-the-sand beach bars; or Rab, where Edward VIII once whisked Wallis Simpson. Here, harbourfront Arbiana hotel is a gorgeous throwback, with elegant rooms dressed in cream and a candlelit garden restaurant.

    Croatia islands: the 15 best

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    6. SOUTH AFRICA

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 25°C

    Spring has arrived in South Africa, and what a glorious season it is. The weather is warm in all regions, making it an ideal time to explore everything on offer: southern right whales breaching off the coast of Hermanus; the Garden Route at its lushest; and optimum game-viewing, particularly as newborns begin taking their first shaky steps. Combine the country’s most famous road trip with primo surfing at Mossel Bay en route; close to Mossel, Gondwana private game reserve has guests track the Big Five in 4x4s, on horseback and on foot. Thrilling safari days end in the Gondwana spa, swimming pool and suites-on-stilts.

    Incredible safari lodges in South Africa

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    7. MALLORCA, SPAIN

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    With its classic Mediterranean good looks – golden sands, pine-peppered cliffs, sapphire seas – this Balearic beauty is enduringly popular. But a newly glamorous side to the island poses a chic alternative to its built-up resorts. Five-star boutique hotels such as Predi Son Jaumell, set in forested seclusion on a 17th-century estate, offer Michelin-starred food and yoga programmes; Purobeach Palma, an all-white beach club propped on a peninsula, gives Ibiza’s finest a run for their money. And, with more than 260 beaches to choose from, finding your own secret slice of paradise is easy. The island life fantasy, but for real.

    The best hotels in Mallorca

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    8. COSTA RICA

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 27°C

    While the rest of Costa Rica hunkers down for rainy season, the Caribbean side enjoys its best weather. This is also the lesser-visited shoreline, which means cheaper rates, relaxed boutiques rather than resorts and terrific Caribbean food, spiked with sunny flavours such as coconut and ginger. The wildlife so many come to Costa Rica to see is every bit as abundant: Tortuguero National Park is chock-full of green turtles, exotic birds and, yes, sloths. Better still, they’re best seen by canoe. Then, when it’s time to relax, retreat to the rainforest in wall-free, stilted suites at family-owned eco retreat Almonds & Corals, or hole up in Banana Azul’s beachfront villas.

    Costa Rica’s new groove

  • 9. LOS ANGELES, USA

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 28°C

    The summer never ends in Southern California – particularly Los Angeles, which is basically a sun-drenched party packed with good-looking people year-round. Peak tourist season has been and gone by September, leaving you free to live the Cali dream in peace. Give Hollywood a miss and do as the Angelenos do: pair seafood with Santa Monica sunsets at Blue Plate Oysterette, or brunch at Malibu Farm Restaurant, run by model-turned-farmer Helene Henderson (natch). The preachy bleat of ‘No culture!’ is fast receding, thanks to big-hitting art museums such as the Getty Center and The Broad. Or you could just grab an In-N-Out Burger and rollerblade a boardwalk or two – your call.

    Venice Beach, Los Angeles: the neighbourhood guide

    For where’s hot in other months, see our guides below:


    WHERE IS HOT IN JANUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN FEBRUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN MARCH | WHERE IS HOT IN APRIL | WHERE IS HOT IN MAY | | WHERE IS NOT TOO HOT IN AUGUST | WHERE IS HOT IN SEPTEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN OCTOBER | WHERE IS HOT IN NOVEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN DECEMBER

    In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. Open my cookie preferences.

    Liked this? Now read…

    Where to go in September

    Where to go in September: 25 top destinations

    Where is hot in October?

    Where is hot in October? Our top 10 destinations

    The best bikinis for summer

    The best bikinis for summer 2019

  • Where is hot in September? Our top 10 destinations

    10. QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA

    AVERAGE SEPTEMBER TEMPERATURE: 24°C

    Home to the Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsundays, this north-eastern state is Aussie paradise found. And the spring shoulder season might just be the best time to go. Sunny, dry days and mild evenings are especially excellent for exploring the Sunshine Coast’s chic seaside towns. Noosa, greened by subtropical rainforest and blessed with crystalline waters, is relaxed, refined, and winningly diverse: offering up designer boutiques around one corner, and wild coastal trails dotted with koalas the next. Brisbane, too, is worth a linger: newly cosmopolitan, with smart galleries, a shiny new riverfront development and slick design hotels such as The Calile – a seductive package with poolside cabanas and cork-and-concrete rooms.

    The Calile, Brisbane hotel review