As the air cools and the leaves start to turn in the US, our mind wistfully turns to thoughts of pumpkin patches, cozy sweaters, and spiced lattes. But we cannot deny that there is also that lingering desire to dip our toes in crystal clear waters as the sun dances on the waves just one last time before we dive headfirst into crisp mornings and festive cheer. If you, like us, are aching to catch the last of the sun’s rays before we bid it adieu for another spin of the Earth’s axis, then check out these fabulous destinations in which to indulge in the last of the summer sun in 2021. These destinations are warm, welcoming, and open to US travelers!
Is there any place more iconic for its white-washed, stone buildings being lapped by the warm, blue, Aegean Sea than the island of Santorini? Enjoy beach-hopping by boat in the heat of the day’s sun and relax with fiery sunsets viewed from domed cliff top perches in the evenings to truly enjoy every last drop of summer.
Or, if you’re looking for an island that is still retaining its summer heat and offers all kinds of wonderful discoveries, from the archeological site of Knossos, with roots in ancient myths, to ghost villages such as the island of Spinalonga or the small town or Ardena, then Crete is the ideal location to worship the last sun beams of the season. Ferry from Elounda to Spinalonga to visit the abandoned island and gain a bird’s eye view of Crete, and take in the home of the Minotaur while experiencing the beauty and serenity of the Mediterranean. Get inspired here, and then call our Travel Experts to plan your perfect autumn getaway on 1-800-22-SWAIN.
United Arab Emirates
Best known for its luxury metropolis in the desert, Dubai, the UAE is perfect for those seeking guaranteed sunshine. The UAE is comprised of 7 principalities, or Emirates as they are called in the Arab world, including Dubai and the UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi.
Famous for the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and shopping malls that come complete with mammoth aquariums and indoor ski slopes, Dubai also offers many cultural highlights and things to do. Marvel at the modern and beautiful Arabic architecture, discover the history and culture of the emirate, swim with dolphins, enjoy a day at the waterpark, embark on a desert adventure or get your heart racing with some adrenalin activities. If you are looking for a short holiday with some R&R time on the beach to a more in-depth vacation that includes city, beach and desert this is the place for you.
Due to its conservative culture and strict laws, the UAE is not for everyone, but its undeniable allure of luxury and guaranteed sunny weather makes it a terrific stop on route to other destinations, even if it’s not the final destination on your perfect vacation. More inspiration can be found here.
This island nation in the Eastern most area of the Mediterranean is anything but chilly in the autumn months. Cyprus keeps its heat well into the autumn season, with average temperatures between 75-85°F and the sea remaining a balmy 68-75°F as well.
Infamous as the birthplace of the goddess, Aphrodite, enjoy pebble beaches of mythological fame as you view a sea stack named Petra tou Romiou, or “Aphrodite’s Rock”, from a nearby hillside or at beach level on the shore between Limassol and Paphos. Explore unique rock cave formations carved by the sea by visiting Cavo Greco, just outside Ayia Napa. Or combine the blissfully warm beaches of the island with the cooler temperatures of the inland mountains for the best of both worlds. Discover ancient monasteries and the fall foliage of the Platania Forest in Cyprus’s Troodos Mountains for the perfect autumnal excursion.
For a unique experience of some of the lesser known but wonderfully adventurous parts of Mexico, check out San Miguel de Allende, which was selected by Condé Nast Traveler as the Best Small City in the World and is ideally set in Mexico’s Colonial Heartland. The quaint UNESCO World Heritage City is a thriving center for art, culture, and history, where the streets are lined with well-preserved buildings that have become home to various art institutions and galleries over the past 60 years. Beautiful cathedrals and restaurants serve as the perfect backdrop for the many live music and arts events that visitors are likely to encounter.
Have a look at our Food, Wine, and Tequila sample itinerary, which is ready and waiting to be tailored to your specific tastes. It is a foodie’s dream come true, and includes a full day VIP tour of the area of Tequila, and all its wonderful products, that you will not forget (…unless you overindulge of course!).
The Algarve, Portugal
Whether you’re after traditional Portuguese architecture abutting the Mediterranean, the perfect temperature to golf some of the most picturesque courses in Europe, or a surfer’s paradise; the Algarve, Portugal’s southernmost coast, is the ideal location for your sun seeking vacation this fall.
For some, the slightly cooler temperatures of the fall season (on average between 65-70°F) are a welcome respite when combined with the activities that are popular to the Algarve region. Golfing, cycling, hiking, and tennis are all much more enjoyable in the cooler temperatures, but the days are still sunny and warm enough for beach and sea activities as well.
As a popular tourist destination amongst Europeans, the autumn also offers a calmer, more laid back Algarve with less crowds and more opportunities to sample the local delicacies, such as Conquilhas à Algarvia, a wonderfully fresh dish of locally sourced clams and cockles, in the peace and quiet that comes with the off season. Discover more of Portugal here.
Old-world and new meld wondrously in this destination; an influence of Europe and Sub-Sahara known as the gateway to Africa.
Bustling medinas bursting with vibrant colors, locally crafted wares, and traditional bath houses give way to majestic mountain ranges and sprawling desert landscapes. For the adventurous traveler, Morocco does not disappoint—labyrinth-like souqs brim with exotic spices, hand-woven textiles, and snake charmers, whilst intricate mosaics and fortified citadels impress the architectural buff. Plunge down a sandy slope in a dune buggy, or swap four wheels for four legs and a hump with a camel trek through the suntanned plains.
Taste the flavors of a slow-cooked lamb tagine and sip a coffee or mint tea as you people watch from a shaded street café. Get inspired with our Imperial Cities of Morocco sample itinerary, ready to be customized to your personal tastes, then give our Travel Experts a call to start planning on 1-800-22-SWAIN.
The Amalfi Coast, Italy
As fall descends over the European continent, the air starts to cool there too, but the Amalfi Coast remains a blissful retreat full of sunlight and crystal blue waters of the Mediterranean. Perhaps not as warm as some of the other destinations on the list, the fall months are still a fabulous time to take in the Amalfi Coast as it remains relatively warm (between 65-72°F), and being able to enjoy the narrow, cobbled streets and the pristine beaches without the crowds is well worth the tradeoff for cooler weather.
Take a boat tour from Amalfi to Positano for the best entrance to a village that you may ever experience, and allow the steeped beauty of Positano to take your breath away as you view it from the sea. Enjoy Italian seafood dishes in abundance and explore the island of Capri, best known for stunning, untouched lagoons and charming coves filled with the most beautiful yachts of the Mediterranean.
Let us take you on an epic journey around Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast, the perfect combination of seasonal beauty in the Tuscan countryside and the seaside splendor of the Mediterranean.
Katie Manly is Swain’s VP Sales & Marketing, and loves all things digital marketing and travel. Katie has lived both in the US and the UK, traveled Europe extensively, as well as parts of Africa and Asia. Working at Swain Destinations is the perfect fit for this travel-loving marketer, and there is nothing she likes better than sharing stories of the wonderful people, places, and wildlife that she’s seen on her travels.