For those looking to make the most of the shoulder season after the summer crowds fade and fall foliage emerges, head to some of these incredible destinations, including Spain’s Camino de Santiago for a pilgrimage experience, hiking in Slovenia and the Alps, and searching for mountain gorillas in Uganda.
Check out our full list of places to explore in September below.
The climate in Uganda is considered “modified tropical”, with high humidity, especially in the forests. September is much like springtime in the US. The jacaranda and other trees are bursting into blossom and the days are warmer. We enjoy our adventures here with comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds.
Whether you’re exploring the bustling city of Istanbul or the remote Turquoise Coast, Turkey’s weather during September is quite pleasant. Because you’re in the Mediterranean, expect warm days as the summer season ends. If you’re on the coast, you’ll also enjoy nice breezes and cool evenings.
September is a great time to visit Mongolia, when the leaves begin to change, and the Golden Eagle Festival takes place in Ulgii. Days tend to be cool and dry, with blue skies, and clear nights, perfect for stargazing over the Gobi Desert.
Migrating humpback whales who visit these waters make September one of the best times to be in Tonga, with temperatures ranging from the high 70s°F to the low 80s°F. Whale calves are slightly older and far more curious during this time, so you’re more likely to experience amazing up-close encounters with these magnificent creatures.
Slovenia’s mountain climate is generally sunny and warm in September. We avoid most of the summer crowds, while enjoying hikes on remote mountain trails, exploring the back streets of the fairytale capital, Ljubljana, and taking a refreshing dip in the famous Lake Bled.
We timed these journeys to the Camino to take advantage of the beginning of autumn, avoiding those crowded and hot days on the trail during the height of summer. September is a wonderful time when the temperatures begin to cool and the rain is still scarce, plus we can see some harvest activity during our walks.
We timed our trips in Yellowstone for September, when the valley edges into its autumn glory and the bugling call of the bull elk echoes across the valleys. There are far fewer visitors compared to the height of summer, but daytime temperatures are still pleasant, with cooler nights.
September in Bolivia’s high-altitude realm has many sunny days and very little rain, perfect for exploring the surreal landscapes and fascinating indigenous cultures this stunning nation offers. Daytime temperatures range from a low of 40s°F to a high of 66°F in La Paz, Sucre, and the Salar de Uyuni desert. At times it can be even colder at night, especially in the desert.
Our journeys in Indonesia are primarily water-based, and September is a wonderful time to explore the pristine reef ecosystems in the Coral Triangle. Because we’re close to the equator, temperatures rarely change. Fewer crowds mean you’re likely to have bays all to yourself and daytime temperatures—both above and below water—are quite pleasant.
Many think of the Alps as a summertime-only destination, but the shoulder season in September is a wonderful time to visit. Long, clear days lead to gloriously vibrant sunsets and temperatures are still pleasant, with warm days and cold evenings. As with any Alps trip, remember to pack layers.
We love France in September, when mountain temperatures tend to be in the mid-high 70s°F. Along the coast, we experience a maritime climate with temperatures moderated by the Atlantic so it is never extremely hot or extremely cold. There are also far fewer travelers during this time, so you’re likely to have trails all to yourself.