My favourite autumn/winter breaks
I think this is the first autumn in a while where I haven’t got any travels planned (well, for now. I have my eye on a little adventure over the Christmas break…). I was holding off booking anything due to the whole Brexit uncertainty and of course, money. Turns out, being an adult is expensive!
Autumn is one of my favourite seasons to go on holiday. It’s generally quieter, cheaper, there’s still some decent weather around and it breaks up the super long stint from summer to Christmas. It might only be a few months, but I always find it really drags, especially with the shorter days and darker mornings.
I’ve pulled together my favourite places to visit during autumn and winter in Europe. Take a look!
I know, I’m like a broken record. If you’ve stuck with me over the past few years, you’ll know I’ve been to Prague a couple of times. Once in September 2017 and again at the start of December in 2018. It’s hands down one of my favourite cities.
What’s so great about Prague at this time of year? Autumn/winter is often quieter and cheaper, with some flights as low as £20-£30 each way. Prague is beautiful all year round and it’s even more stunning in the crisp winter sunshine, or in the snow as we found out!
It can be cold (we had temperatures of -4 in December) but there are plenty of bars and cafes to hide away in. I would recommend stopping for a hot drink (or something stronger) and sitting outside. Most cafes/bars have outdoor seating in the street with blankets and patio heaters to keep you warm, which is great for people watching.
Take a look at my Prague travel guide for more tips on where to stay, what to explore and where to eat/drink.
Possibly a controversial choice as the Peak District is often favoured for spring or summer, but we visited between Christmas and over New Year’s Eve and loved it. I’ve heard that over summer, it can become very busy with queuing for car parking spaces and crowded hiking routes.
We were very lucky with dry weather, sunshine and blue skies. Whilst it was still cold, it made for great hiking conditions. There’s so much to see, from local towns to scenic walks, cosy pubs and some of the best views in the UK.
It’s pretty easy to keep the cost down if you explore on foot and choose somewhere self-catered (or go to some of the more reasonably priced pubs). We found somewhere relatively cheap in Bakewell for a few nights. I would highly recommend this village as a base, as it’s lively with enough going on and pretty central for exploring the Peaks.
If you’re looking for a chilled, outdoorsy autumn/winter break, take a look at my Peak District travel guide.
I promise there isn’t some sort of alphabetical ‘P’ theme going on here…! Paris is perfect all year round, in my opinion. I’ve visited countless times over summer, autumn and winter. Nathan and I spent Christmas in Paris one year, and it was as magical as it sounds. (Though, it’s worth noting that lots of places shut over Christmas Eve and Christmas Day).
There are often cheap flights and Eurostar tickets over autumn/winter and if you book early enough or outside of school breaks, you can get some really good deals. We have previously booked via Booking.com and Expedia (though I’m currently looking at a little Eurostar trip somewhere using LastMinute.com as they have some good package deals).
[Just to add, none of this is sponsored! Any companies I’m mentioning are from my own personal experience].
Many of the attractions stay open almost all year round in Paris and there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to cosy up in. The shopping scene is amazing and the Paris Christmas Markets are some of my favourites, particularly the one on Champs-Élysées.
Fancy some winter sunshine? After visiting Seville in the heat of the summer (when it was around 40 degrees Celsuis), I think it would make the perfect autumn/winter break. Autumn temperatures tend to be around low to mid-twenties, perfect t-shirt weather and ideal for lots of walking.
There’s so much to explore, or you can just take it easy, have a few drinks and soak up the autumn sunshine. One thing you have to do if you visit is experience the Flamenco. It’s a great night out and incredible to watch.
Take a look at my Seville guide for more on where to stay, what to do and where to eat.
My others recommendations for an autumn/winter break would include:
- Ireland (I love the south but my family is from there, so I’m a little biased!)
- Edinburgh (although it gets super cold over winter, so take layers)
- Valencia (which is still around 20 degrees in November).
Where else would you add to the list?
Until next time!