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​Best places to visit in September

Why not take advantage of 2016's last stretch of sunshine, convincing yourself that summer is still well and truly alive for another week with a last minute holiday to get you through until the Christmas festivities begin.

There are many advantages if you take your European summer holiday in September. The sea and skies are still blue, the water is still warm and since most tourists are back home, everything is much quieter, not to mention you can get better deals.

Sicily, Italy

To be honest, is there ever a bad time to go to Sicily? The warm breeze which blows from Africa across the Mediterranean keeps Sicily hot well into autumn however it does cool down slightly, allowing you to enjoy exploring Sicily's charming and decorative towns. Sicily’s beautiful beaches are hardly every crowded in September and it’s a great time of the year for fresh produce.

Milan, Italy

You may be surprised to learn that it rains more in Milan than it does in Manchester, however September has the fewest rainy days of Milan’s yearly season and you will have an average temperature of 24 C / 75 F. You can go shopping for the newest fashion season or spend your time in Milan’s many chic cafes and restaurants.

Corfu, Greece

The most pleasant times to visit Corfu are either April to May or September to October. The Ionian Sea is beautiful in September, where a morning swim is a warm and delightful experience. The island’s forest areas are still green and inviting for afternoon naps beneath its olive and oak trees.

Cotswolds, United Kingdom

The Cotswolds are one of the loveliest places in the UK to visit – no matter what time of year it is, with its drystone cottages surrounded by wild gardens; its dribbling waters and wild birds; soothing landscapes and charming villages. September time brings in the harvest when the local produce it at its sweetest – enjoyed best in a local tea shop or pub. 

​An Italian road-trip

The beautiful country of Italy offers the perfect backdrop for a romantic and rustic road-trip.

Begin your journey with a visit to Florence, the capital of Italy’s Tuscany region and the birthplace of Renaissance, before taking off into the Tuscany countryside.

The next stop is Orvieto, a hilltop town well known for its Gothic cathedral, caves and Classico wine. If you leave your car at the bottom of the hill, you can park for free and make your own way up to the Medieval town.

If you don’t mind taking a slight detour, Rome is less than 80 miles from Orvieto…

We next recommend that you loop around some of Italy’s lesser known (and less crowded) but equally as beautiful coastal towns, starting with Talamone which is a fishing village with an impressive castle looming over it.

From Talamone, hop back into your rental car to the beaches of Marina di Grosseto and the Riserva Naturale Scarlino in Follonica, both being worthy of stopping for.

Then head back towards Florence, stopping first in Siena and Castellina in Chianti which is known for its vineyards and wine. 

If you manage to complete the entire trip without any detours, which will be difficult as the region has many distracting and enchanting towns and stops, the journey is around 340 miles.

​Roadside attractions in Ontario, Canada

Quirky and fun roadside attractions not only offer a bit of a breather during long trips but they also are a great representation of the cultural background of the area you are visiting.

Below you will find a list of 6 Ontario roadside attractions that you are going to want to stop for.

1.) Wawa Goose Monument
The Wawa Goose Monument is Algoma’s most famous roadside attraction. Located on Highway 17, Wawa has been welcoming visitors since the 1960’s.

2.) Algomy Red Chair
This 18 ft, fire truck red wooden Muskoka chair is just west of Thessalon. The chair was built by high-schoolers and is the largest Muskoka chair in Northern Ontario.

3.) Winnie-the-Pooh Statue
White River is the home of the real black bear which inspired A.A. Milne to create her most beloved character, Winne-the-Pooh. There is now a statue of Winnie to commemorate the writer and her bear.

4.) Arctic Watershed Marker
The rather unique marker on Highway 129 in the Mississagi Valley is simply a cool and fun roadside attraction where selfies are a must!

5.) The Loon Dollar Monument
The big “Loonie” located in Echo Bay is dedicated to the artist, Robert R. Carmichael who is responsible for the Loon Dollar design.

6.) Canadian Bushplane
It would be rather difficult to miss the Canadian Bushplane Museum, with its huge bushplane displayed just outside the museum’s doors. In the museum you will not only be able to take pictures of real bushplanes but you will also be able to explore inside of them.

Inexpensive and quieter holiday destinations

If you’re trying to find somewhere new to explore, we have a few gems for you where you’ll find less crowds, some good deals and bucket-list worthy sights!

The Scottish Highlands are filled with endless moors covered in heather, hazy skies and locals with thick accents who love to share a good laugh in a pub. You must explore Britain’s largest national park - Cairngorms National Park – with particularly reference to the parks southern edge. Take a stroll around the rugged Highland tracks, enjoyed on a pony or mountain bike, or fish for wild brown trout or salmon in the Scottish peaceful lochs or rushing rivers. Stop off at Scotland’s traditional distillery, Eradour, to warm up after a day spent exploring outdoors.

Cesky Krumlov, one of the Czech Republic’s oldest villages, is only a 2 hour drive from Prague and is set in Bohemia, a valley south of the Blansko Forest, surrounded by the Vltava River. The village has developed throughout the years around its 13th-century Gothic castle which is now used as a famous performing arts location. The cobblestoned streets are lined with Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance buildings which now host cafes, B&B’s and art galleries. The best way to fully experience the town is by taking a ride on the Vltava River by boat.

If you’re into your food, then Birmingham in the UK is the place for you. The city is very passionate about their inventive cuisine and locally sourced ingredients. The Balti style of booking Kashmiri curries in artisanal amounts rather than in one large pot was created and honed here in the 1970’s. The district, Balti Triangle, serves these delicious varieties at inexpensive prices. There is a great variety of restaurants and cafes available, from Indian to Italian, Chinese and contemporary English dishes – you will certainly be spoilt for choice.

Split in Croatia is where history comes to live on the Mediterranean. The roman emperor, Diocletian, built an impressive palace (completed in A.D. 305) and to this day it remains one of Europe’s best collections of Roman ruins. Split has done a rather remarkable job of preserving its past; making it a perfect destination if you want to completely immerse yourself in history or you can create a balance of nightlight and beaches with visits to the city’s Roman ruins, medieval forts and Romanesque churches – many dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries. 

Visit the magical city of Prague

The magical city of Prague is filled with bridges, gold-tipped towers, cathedrals and church domes which are beautifully reflected in the swan-filled Vitava River.

Prague’s medieval architecture is a lovely mixture of walled courtyards, cobbled streets and church spires – all of which are in the shadow of Prague’s royal 9th century castle.

However, don’t be fooled – Prague is very much a vibrant and modern city filled with art, music, restaurants and events which cater to the independent traveller’s desire for excitement and exploration including theatre, art and music.

Many regard Prague as one of the most delightful and alluring European cities, being a popular tourist hot spot.

What to see

A visit to Prague isn’t complete without seeing the seat of Bohemian Kingdoms as well as the presidency of Václav Havel. From here, we would recommend St. Vitus Cathedral and the Prague Castle however if history isn’t your cup of tea, you can also just commune with the country’s history in one of the many medieval pubs located in the Staré Město district.

You can also see Prague’s modern district at Náplavka, a Vltava riverbank in Nové Město where pop-up bars, music and a farmers market attract international travellers of all ages.

Best time to visit

Prague is transformed in the spring as the sun starts to warm people’s faces and plants begin to blossom. June to August, while usually receiving the best weather, also has the most visitor traffic. Autumn is also a lovely time to come as most of the tourists are gone and the weather is much cooler. If you are looking for a winter get-away, the snow-capped medieval spires are beautiful in winter.

Local customs

By law, you are required to always carry a personal ID in the Czech Republic, so make sure to keep your passport with you!

You can address the locals by using ‘dobrý den’ for ‘good day’ or ‘dobrý večer’ for ‘good evening.’ However most Czech’s in Prague do speak English – but that’s no excuse for not trying new things! The locals will appreciate your attempts to speak their language, even if it’s just ‘prosím’ for ‘please’ or ‘děkuji’ for ‘thank you.’