If it feels like summer has been and gone just a little too fast, and your yearning for a holiday remains strong, don’t worry. The Irish summer – as short as it sometimes is – may have fizzled out but September is still a fine time to take a holiday. It’s an ideal way to ease your way out of summer and into autumn.
If you’re craving a bit of late summer sun, there are plenty of perfect holiday destinations. Read on and let us help you find the best holiday destination in September.
Catalan culture in Barcelona
Barcelona in September is a wonderful experience; like so many other popular holiday destinations, the visitor numbers decline slightly but the weather remains warm. What makes Barcelona such a great place for a holiday is that it combines the very best of both worlds – a culturally rich city break and an excellent beach holiday. You can enjoy one of the many beaches within the city – Barceloneta, Icaria and Somorrostro are all close to the centre, in and around the Port Olimpic area – or explore the coastline of Catalunya. It features well over 100 beaches bearing the Blue Flag mark of quality. If you fancy a day trip, possibly with an overnight stop, Sitges is a lovely resort.
In the city itself, you’ll find numerous bars serving delicious tapas, lively nightlife and bustling streets full of shoppers and entertainment. Plus, of course, some quite staggering buildings to admire – the mark of the visionary architect Antoni Gaudi is everywhere, from the Sagrada Familia to Park Guell.
Depending on when you visit Barcelona, you might find yourself right in the middle of the party. La Merce Festival is a five-day street party held towards the end of the month, while the city celebrates Catalonia’s independence on September 11. Of course, if you’re a football fan visiting Barcelona, in September, La Liga and the Spanish football season is in full swing. Why not take in a match at the Camp Nou, home of Barcelona FC? Don’t forget the city’s other top-flight club, Espanyol.
Chilled island vibes in Ibiza
After the peak of the summer season, serenity returns to Ibiza in September – to a point, at least. With closing parties at the major clubs taking place right at the end of August and into the early week of September, from the middle of the month onwards the White Isle lapses back into a more laidback vibe.
You’ll encounter a beautiful island in an idyllic location – the perfect destination for a late summer holiday for couples and young families. There are some delightful beaches here, some them tucked away in hidden coves. A relatively small island, Ibiza is only just over 40km in length so if you like to hire a car and explore when on holiday, you can get just about everywhere quickly and easily. Perfect for enjoying the complete Ibiza experience.
In terms of the larger resorts, the most popular in Ibiza include San Antonio, Playa d’en Bossa, Playa es Cana and Santa Eulalia. San Antonio is perhaps the busiest, a blend of mellow cafes and clubs located around an open bay with Cala Bassa and Cala Conta notable nearby beaches. You’ll find some wonderful restaurants in Playa d’en Bossa, which boasts a sophisticated side, while Playa es Cana, on the east coast, is generally quieter. It has an inviting stretch of golden sand which is particularly well suited for young children, who can paddle away to their heart’s content. Make sure you visit the ‘Hippy Market’ in Es Cana, where you can browse and buy some real handmade gems.
For high-end shopping, the boutiques of Ibiza Town are strongly recommended. The town itself is a great place to stroll around, taking in a meal at one of the many bars and restaurants and chilling out with a drink overlooking the marina.
Beach paradise in the Seychelles
For a bigger budget, ‘completely get away from it all’, holiday, try the Seychelles. If you’ve saved up all your holiday allocation for the year for that one spectacular trip, the Seychelles will be calling out to you. Don’t resist – it’s among the most popular holiday destinations in the world for a good reason. A holiday to the Seychelles typically means luxury.
The Seychelles is actually an archipelago of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean, located just off the coast of eastern Africa. Not all these islands are inhabited – in fact, the majority are not – but those that are and do welcome tourists, offer stunning scenery, picture postcard beaches, clear blue skies and diverse wildlife. This understandably makes it the ideal honeymoon destination, but why wait for such an occasion to go? You shouldn’t need an excuse to head to the Seychelles – and September is a great time for a visit because the climate is slightly cooler (but well before the rainy season).
Main islands to visit in the Seychelles are Mahe – the largest – Praslin, La Digue, Denis Island, Cousine Island and Silhouette Island. But don’t feel you have to be restricted to staying at just one. Try some island hopping or charter a boat and experience some of the smaller, unspoilt, outer islands.
Magic and mystique in Morocco
As a holiday destination, Morocco is growing in popularity – fast. It’s easy to see why. Morocco is a vibrant and diverse African country, boasting colourful landscapes, vast golden beaches and bustling cities; perfect for a September holiday.
Agadir is a favourite with tourists. Located at the foot of the Anti Atlas mountain range, Agadir has been rebuilt since an earthquake in 1960 and is now a thriving beach resort, with a busy port and numerous bars and restaurants. If you’re looking for sun, you’ll find it here. Agadir reportedly has 300 days of sunshine a year and the coast stretches out as far as the eye can see, and beyond – it’s six miles long.
For less of a beach holiday and more of a city break in September, head to Marrakech. You certainly won’t be bored. Medina, the old town, is a must-see. We’ve described it as a ‘rush of colourful markets, crumbling mosques, traditional cafes and splendid palaces’ and if that doesn’t whet your appetite for spending some time there, how about the amazing array of street food? You won’t taste a better tagine anywhere.
After the hustle and exciting chaos of Marrakech’s streets and squares – the most famous of which is Jemaa El-Fnaa – you might need a spot of rest and relaxation. What better than an authentic hammam, a traditional steam bath and sauna?
Fun and festivities at the Munich Oktoberfest
If you’re looking for a lively city break in September with a relatively short flight time, Munich is the place to be. The famous Oktoberfest kicks off in the middle of the month, running until early October. It’s the world most famous beer festival and will always be associated with steins full of beer – stein is the traditional glass, holding just under two pints – but it’s not just about drinking alcohol. Oktoberfest is a huge festival celebrating Bavarian culture and features live music, parades and a massive funfair.
If you can get a ticket, do. But if not, the atmosphere spreads throughout the rest of Munich anyway. You’ll find the city and its surrounding areas an absolute delight. There is an abundance of museums, churches and buildings; food markets, beer halls – many of which brew their own beer – and plenty of green space; around 700 miles, in fact. Two of the best-known parks are the 900-acre English Garden, and the Olympic Park, which was the site of the 1972 Olympics and includes lakes, concert venues, restaurants, cycle paths, sports facilities and a football stadium.