The 7 most spectacular autumn holidays to book now

Posted by
Sarah Biddlecombe
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Summer might be the traditional time of year to pack up and head off on an adventure, but autumn offers its own set of unmissable holiday experiences.

From celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico, to scuba diving around the Great Barrier Reef or spotting penguins in South Africa, there’s plenty to be said for saving your annual leave until the cooler months.

And if you are in the satisfying position of looking to head off just as the weather starts to turn, the travel experts at National Geographic have chosen 10 of the best trips to get booking.

Read on for more inspiration...

Images: iStock / Rex Features / Instagram

  • Lizard Island National Park, Australia

    Fans of scuba diving and snorkeling will find plenty of hidden underwater gems to explore on The Great Barrier Reef’s Lizard Island.

    The National Park, which houses Australia's most northern island resort, is made up of six unique islands (Lizard, Osprey, Palfrey, South, Seabird and Eagle), all of which are surrounded by beautiful coral reefs and quiet, sandy beaches.

    Stay in the Lizard Island Resort for a truly luxurious experience. For more info and to book, click here

  • Zion National Park, Utah

    Autumn colours come alive in Zion National Park, renowned for its stunning red cliffs, Emerald Pools and a hanging garden.

    Follow hiking trails along the Virgin River, which flows right through the park, or simply explore this lush, expansive landscape at leisure.

    Experience a night in the cliffs at the Cable Mountain Lodge. For more info and to book, click here

  • Cape Town, South Africa

    Head to Boulders Beach for a once-in-a-lifetime experience getting up close and personal with the resident African penguins. It’s the only place in the world where you can get so close to the penguins, who live in a protected colony on the beach.

    Why not stay at the beautiful Birkenhead House? For more info and to book, click here

  • The Mufwe Lodge, Zambia

    Yes, that is an elephant strolling through the middle of a hotel.

    Head to the Mfuwe Lodge in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park to catch a glimpse of the magnificent creatures, who regularly pay visits to the lobby and dining room.

    For more info and to book your stay at Mfuwe Lodge, click here

  • The Vougeot Castle, Burgundy, France

    Beautiful landscape – check. Fascinating history – check. Unlimited wine – check. What else could you need for a dream autumn holiday?

    The Vougeot Castle was built in the 12th and 16th centuries and sits beyond a vineyard in Burgundy, France. Head here for the wine tasting, stay for the views.

    Continue the historic side of your trip with a stay in a 12th century abbey. For more info and to book, click here

  • Sa Pa, Lao Cai, Vietnam

    Those on the hunt for stunning scenery this autumn could do far worse than a visit to Sapa in Lao Cai, Vietnam,

    From mountains to waterfalls, there are plenty of Instagram-worthy spots to discover.

    Relax after a day of hiking with a stay at the Victoria Sapa Resort & Spa. For more info and to book, click here

  • Oaxaca, Mexico City

    Day of the Dead, or All Souls Day, is a Mexican celebration not to be missed.

    Dress up in a ghoulish costume, indulge in traditional face paint and spend the night in a local cemetery – if you dare.

    This year, the holiday falls on 2 November, so mark the date in your calendars.

    Book a stay at the Quinta Real hotel. For more info and to book, click here