When we think of autumn (or fall for our American readers!), no doubt images of colourful trees and a feel of crisp fresh air come to mind. November is the middle month of this great season (in the northern hemisphere) and there are many places to enjoy the impressive autumnal scenery and the not-too-low temperatures.
Here are a few destinations where you can fully enjoy the beautiful colour palette of our favourite season of the year:
Just like blossom season in spring, kouyou (fall leaves) in Japan is stunning and short. Starting at the end of September, in the northern island of Hokkaidō, and spreading quickly to the south. The ancient capital of Nara (just a short train ride from Kyoto), is a wonderful spot to enjoy the colour-changing foliage. Nara’s vast park explodes with colours of red, gold and yellow along the paths, going all the way up to the Tamukeyama shrine in its northeast corner.
Forest of Dean, England
Formerly the royal hunting ground, the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire is THE BEST place for “foliage spotting”in England. The forest has a mixture of oak, beech and sweet chestnut, which creates a rich colour palette of yellows and reds. You can take a walk through the forest or enjoy a bike ride on the well-organised paths. Whatever your choice may be, you are sure to be WOW’ed.
Lombardy in northern Italy has some ideal spots to see Europe change colour. The countryside of Lombardy is filled with forests, where you can mostly spot the local poplars trees (Populus alba), putting on a stunning show of an endless scale of yellows. If you do not have the time to go foliage spotting out in nature, the vast parks of Milan are the perfect “city slickers” option, beautifully showcasing autumn’s wonder at its best.
Known as the Venice of the north, Bruges is a romantic autumn destination with beautiful, quiet canals throughout the city. The colourful foliage adds more charm to this already picturesque town in the northwest of Belgium. The beautiful historic town offers great architecture and stunning views, gently decorated with yellows and reds in this special time of year.
Napa Valley, California
California is probably not your first option to travel and watch the changing foliage, but you’d be surprised at how beautiful and impressive the vineyards of the valley are when changing into red and yellow. Napa offers beautiful scenery, and visiting the valley in autumn is an unusual experience. Just imagine a wine tasting session on a roofed balcony with thin, light rain and crisp air with the intoxicating scent of freshly hydrated soil, and reds and golds all around you.