Missed out on a summer holiday? Bask in some late summer sunshine in Italy where southern coastlines enjoy balmy sea temperatures and up to ten hours of sunshine per day in the autumn.
With fewer crowds and lower prices, a holiday in September or October can be the perfect last gasp of summer before the nights start to draw in.
For those who prefer to combine beach and poolside relaxation with some gentle sightseeing, holidaying at this time also offers the opportunity to explore at leisure, accompanied by temperatures that are infinitely more comfortable than those of the July and August.
As an added bonus, local food festivals and wine harvest celebrations take centre stage in many towns and villages.
Capo Rizzuto, Calabria
One of the best spots for a late sunshine fix on mainland Italy is the dazzling coastline around the Capo Rizzuto Marine Park on Italy’s elongated toe. Temperatures in September and October are less oppressive than in July and August although still in the high 20’s and the clear blue sea is still nicely warmed by the summer sun.
Beaches range from long sandy stretches to pebbly coves, interspersed by coastal towns rich in archaeological treasures, and framed by mountainous interiors dotted with hideaway villages and breath-taking gorges.
We recommend: Praia Art Hotel
Offering a less crowded and more authentic experience than its neighbouring Amalfi Coast, the Cilento coastline features a string of sandy Blue Flag beaches, set against a backdrop of thickly-wooded hills speckled with medieval hilltop villages.
Temperatures in September and October hover in the low to mid 20’s, offering ideal conditions for some serious beach time and for visiting the historic sites at Paestum and Velia. For a completely different experience, head inland into the national park for some spectacular hiking through beech and oak forests.
We recommend: Hotel Marulivo
Just a ferry or hydrofoil hop from Naples, Ischia offers the ultimate in late summer sun relaxation. With up to eight hours of sunshine per day in September, the island’s sandy beaches and rocky bays are extremely enticing but it is the natural hot springs and fabulous spa complexes such as Negombo and the Giardini di Poseidon that really steal the show.
There is also the option of horse-back treks across Mount Epomeo and wine-tasting amongst the island’s dark green vineyards.
We recommend: Garden Villas Resort
Make tracks for Maratea, a chic seafront town with an attractive yacht harbour lined with shops, pavement cafés and restaurants, positioned on a shoreline of secluded coves accessed either from the sea or from winding roads.
Ten minutes by car up on the hillside, Maratea’s historic centre is home to an extraordinary 44 churches and the towering white ‘Il Redentore’ statue. Temperatures during September and October are similar to those of the Cilento, dropping to an average of 22° in early October.
We recommend: Locanda delle Donne Monache
With high temperatures lasting right into October, autumn is the best time to holiday in Sicily. Temperatures are ideal for sightseeing, beaches during these months are extremely quiet and accommodation and flights significantly cheaper.
Autumn in Sicily allows you to travel comfortably between towns and cities and explore some of the island’s world class archaeological sites. It is also a great time to experience festivals such as the international CousCous Fest in San Vito Lo Capo and the Sagra del Pistacchio in Bronte on the slopes of Mount Etna.
San Teodoro, Sardinia
Temperatures in Sardinia in the autumn are slightly cooler than in Sicily or Calabria but you can still expect up to eight hours of sunshine per day and average temperatures in the early to mid-twenties.
We recommend: Paradise Resort
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