Top Autumn Holiday Destinations in the Sun You Have to See

By Anna

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As the summer fades away, there’s no need to feel like your ship has sailed! Autumn is still a wonderful time to rent a boat and explore some of the world’s most spectacular coasts. Discover our top autumn holiday destinations. Plus: These are our top reasons why autumn sailing is a must:

  • Enjoy perfect weather – low to moderate winds combined with warm water make for ideal sailing conditions.
  • Beat the crowds – visit all the top sites without the hustle and bustle. Fewer people means more spontaneity throughout your trip.
  • Increased availability and reduced rates – secure your dream boat without the need to book months in advance, and enjoy off-season prices.

So why wait? Rent a boat in the most amazing autumn holiday destination on Borrow A Boat for a holiday you’ll never forget.

Best Autumn Holiday Destinations for an Incredible Off-Season Adventure

Croatia – One of our Top Autumn Holiday Destinations

Summers in Croatia can get hectic, while autumn in Croatia gives you a chance to enjoy the crystal clear waters at a slightly calmer pace.

Our top autumn holiday destinations in Croatia: Dubrovnik, Zadar, Solta, Split.

In the image you can see a boat passing by the old city of Dubrovnik and other boats anchoring on the shore

Dubrovnik – The Deep Blue Adriatic!

The beautiful old town of Dubrovnik is packed to capacity during the summer months. The autumn period during the months of September, October, and November however is a tranquil time and there’s more than enough space for everyone. You can swim, sunbathe and explore the city’s old walls at leisure without the burgeoning crowds. Unlike summer, chartering a sailboat in Dubrovnik won’t break the bank!

Weather conditions:

  • September: 22-27°C average temperatures outside and 22°C average sea temperature
  • October: 18-23°C average temperatures outside and 22°C at sea
  • November: 16-20°C average temperatures outside and 20°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Admire the baroque architecture, ancient monasteries, and limestone streets.
  • Take a walk on the towering city walls before sunrise.
  • Cliff jumping is a top attraction so take the proverbial plunge, and then cool off at the sandy Lapad Beach.
  • For sweeping views over the shimmering Adriatic Coast, take the Dubrovnik Cable Car ride.
  • The day ends with a Croatian fish preparation at one of the many waterfront diners.

How to get there? Travel by plane to Dubrovnik airport and take a taxi for 30 minutes to the city centre.

Book your boat: Enjoy the ultimate off-season adventure and charter a yacht in Dubrovnik!

The vibrant city of Split experiences a similar phenomenon during the bustling summer months. However, as autumn arrives, spanning the pleasant months of September and October, a sense of tranquility settles in. This is the perfect time to savour the city’s charms without the throngs of tourists. You can leisurely enjoy its sun-soaked beaches, take a dip in the inviting waters, and explore historic sites like Diocletian’s Palace with more space to yourself. Additionally, the cost of chartering a sailboat in Split during this period tends to be more budget-friendly compared to the peak summer season.

Weather conditions:

  • September: 22-27°C average temperatures outside and 22°C average sea temperature
  • October: 18-23°C average temperatures outside and 22°C at sea
  • November: 16-20°C average temperatures outside and 20°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Admire the modern and contemporary art displayed in Split Gallery of Fine Arts
  • Watch a play at the Croatian National Theatre
  • Take a stroll along the narrow streets of the old part of town and admire historical buildings, including the grand cathedral
  • Finish your day exploring Split by savouring a Croatian fish dish at one of the many restaurants in close proximity to the marinas.

How to get there? Travel by plane to Split airport and take a taxi that brings you right to one of the many marinas you can find in Split and the surrounding areas. This takes you between 15 and 45 minutes.

Book your boat: Ditch the crowds and enjoy Dalmatia without the crowds but with a yacht charter in Split!

Greece – Discover the Mediterranean in Autumn

Greece is another top destination when it comes to sailing in the final months of the year. As September kicks in, the crowds start thinning out, and the country’s walkways and coastal routes clear up considerably. The change of seasons is a glorious time to experience Greece, particularly on the island of Crete.

Our top autumn holiday destinations in Greece: Crete, Attica, Santorini, Corfu, Zakynthos.

You see a beautiful view of the sea from the white terraced houses of Santorini, which makes it one of the perfect autumn holiday destinations

Crete – The Largest of the Greek Islands Makes for a Great Vacation Spot!

Crete has long beguiled visitors thanks to its rich cultural heritage and traditions that have been beautifully preserved. Museums, monasteries, and historic sites are packed to capacity during summer. Autumn in contrast is a laid-back affair and you’ll save time, energy, and money with all those off-season rates. This includes restaurants as well as renting a boat with Borrow A Boat.

Weather conditions:

  • September: 19-27°C average temperatures outside and 25°C average sea temperature
  • October: 16-24°C average temperatures outside and 23°C at sea
  • November: 13-21°C average temperatures outside and 21°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Enjoy the island’s sun-kissed beaches, jagged canyons, and scenic coves.
  • Swim, kayak, snorkel with brightly coloured fish, or cycle through idyllic little villages.
  • Visit the Gulf of Mirabello and the legendary bottomless lake.
  • Enjoy sumptuous portions of local seafood and meat dishes with olive oil and cheese making frequent appearances.

How to get there? Travel by plane to Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos(ATH)and take a connecting flight to any of Crete’s airports: Sitia(JSH), Chania(CHQ), or Heraklion(HER). There are direct flights to Crete from several European cities and the UK.

Book your boat: Charter a yacht in Crete and experience the sunniest spot in the Mediterranean.

Spain – One of the Best European Autumn Holiday Destinations

Who hasn’t heard of world-famous destinations such as Mallorca and the hedonistic Ibiza party strip? Summers are a busy time in Spain but they can be stiflingly hot with temperatures shooting past 40°C while autumn brings a cool respite. Cool off at the Balearic island beaches, soak in the stunning Spanish architecture, and enjoy the relatively empty streets.

Our top autumn holiday destinations in Spain: Mallorca, Formentera, Menorca, Ibiza.

You can see Soller, Mallorca in the picture during a particular beautiful time of day. There are birds flying over the coast, the mountains stand tall behind the city and the blue waters are calm

Mallorca – Jewel of the Balearic Islands

One of the most sought-after autumn holiday destinations in the Mediterranean, Mallorca is highly regarded by charter cruise visitors thanks to its ravishing coastline, azure coves and bays, and limestone cliffs that tower in the distance. An autumn visit will help you beat the teeming crowds and crazy prices, especially at restaurants and wineries. Locals will happily offer you sweet deals and you’re bound to enjoy a more personalised welcome with a boat rental in Mallorca.

Weather conditions:

  • September: 18-27°C average temperatures outside and 25°C average sea temperature
  • October: 15-23°C average temperatures outside and 22°C at sea
  • November: 11-19°C average temperatures outside and 17°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Cycle down limestone bluffs of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Serra de Tramuntana.
  • Find a moment of solitude at the hilltop monasteries.
  • Visit the Gothic Roman Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma.
  • Swim in the clear, shallow waters of Cala Mesquida Beach.
  • Stay for the golden sunset and then dance until dawn at the Punta Ballena party strip.

How to get there? Travel by plane to the Son Sant Joan Airport. From there, take a pre-booked taxi to the Old Town.

Book your boat: See another side of Mallorca when you rent a boat in Palma.

Italy Sail Along the Beautiful Italian Coast Off-Season

Italy is gorgeous at any time of year, but even more so as crowds disperse while the hot weather remains. Work up an appetite sailing around the colourful cliffs before feasting on bowls of pasta, pizza as it’s meant to be, and sipping limoncello well into the evening. This wonderful country is one of the greatest autumn holiday destinations in the Medierranean, because there are fewer crowds and it’s still sunny.

Our top autumn holiday destinations in Italy: Sicily, Naples, Salerno, Sardinia.

You see the coast of Favignana in Sicily, which is one of the nicest autumn holiday destinations in Europe. The little sailboat is surrounded by crystal-clear turquoise water and a motorboat is racing in the background

Sicily – the Med’s Brightest Gem!

Sicily is a melting pot of culture, from food and architecture to warm and inviting people. And sailing in autumn is the perfect way to enjoy the island. It gives you the chance to enjoy the breathtaking surroundings from active volcanoes, through black sand beaches to UNESCO-protected sites. Enjoy perfect sailing conditions on the crystal clear water, and be sure to plan around the numerous food festivals that take place in October.

Weather conditions:

  • September: 21-27°C average temperatures outside and 25°C average sea temperature
  • October: 18-24°C average temperatures outside and 21°C at sea
  • November: 14-20°C average temperatures outside and 19°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Enjoy an opera at the Teatro Massimo.
  • Live like a local and enjoy some native food at a lively taverna or plan your trip around one of the food festivals, including Funghi Festival and Chocomodica.
  • Visit the Wally of the Temples, the protected UNESCO site.
  • Climb Mount Etna, Europe’s largest and most active volcano.
  • Enjoy sublime sands on Mondello beach.

How to get there? Travel by plane to one of the islands four airports Falcone Borsellino in Palermo, Fontanarossa in Catania, Vincenzo Florio in Trapani Birgi. From there, take a pre-booked taxi to the Old Town. From there, grab a bus, hire a car or book a taxi to reach your destination.

Book your boat: If Sicily is calling your name, rent your boat today.

The Caribbean – Explore This Magical Holiday Destination in Autumn

Endless sunshine, glistening water and year-round warm temperatures make The Caribbean a perfect place for a sailing holiday. The off-peak season is the perfect time to visit if you want to catch natural and cultural occurrences such as turtle nesting season and local festivals.

Our top autumn holiday destinations in the Caribbean: Bahamas, St Barts, British Virgin Islands.

You can see a sailboat anchoring in front of the shore in the Caribbean in turquoise water. The coast is lined with rocks and palm trees

BVI – 60 Islands of Unrivalled Natural Beauty!

Wherever you land in the BVI you can expect a warm island welcome. Seafood is plentiful, from lobster to mahi-mahi, as are the rum cocktails. Particularly popular is the Painfuller – a fruity drink that packs a punch. The BVI are the perfect place to island-hop, with each destination offering its own laidback charm.

Weather conditions:

  • September: 24-32°C average temperatures outside and 30°C average sea temperature
  • October: 24-31°C average temperatures outside and 29°C at sea
  • November: 23-29°C average temperatures outside and 28°C at sea

What to experience during autumn:

  • Dance the night away by firelight at a Full Moon Beach Party.
  • Dive into paradise with some of the world’s best snorkelling and scuba diving.
  • Sample delicacies at the Anegada Lobster Festival.
  • Get lost in nature on a hike in Sage Mountain National Park.
  • Or take on the island’s laid-back rhythm and just relax on the beach with a cocktail in hand.

How to get there? There are no direct flights to the British Virgin Islands. The best routes travel via San Juan, Puerto Rico or Antigua, followed by a short domestic flight to Tortola.

Book your boat: Explore island life on the water with a yacht in the BVI.

In conclusion, if you’re not ready to say goodbye to summer, it’s time to choose your sailing holiday destination. Make the most of deserted waterways, vibrant colours and perfect sailings conditions. All you need to do is decide which boat is right for your trip of a lifetime:

  • Bareboat charter – For total control take an autumn bareboat charter – sail yourself and create your own adventure.
  • Flotilla sailing – Why not gather all your favourite people and head off on a Flotilla sailing holiday? With a skipper and a host you can enjoy more space, while still making memories with family and friends.
  • Yacht charter with a captain – For a taste of real luxury, take a skippered charter vacation. You’re still in charge of where you visit, but your friendly skipper handles the stressful bits.
You can see Porto Katsiki in Greece with its majestic white cliffs, surrounded by beautiful blue water