The fall is one of the best times to visit Europe, with far fewer tourist crowds and relatively mild weather. Many of Europe’s natural parks and scenic landscapes are simply jaw-dropping at this time of year as leaves turn shades of yellow, orange and red. Here are some of the most beautiful and underrated European towns you should visit to revel in fall’s seasonal charm.
The Mediterranean climate of Buje makes it an ideal wine-growing region, with some 23 wineries to be found in the area. The fall is prime wine-making season and a great time to get to know some of the local vintners and their produce.
Mostar, Bosnia & Herzegovina
One of the most ethically-diverse towns in Bosnia & Herzegovina, Mostar bears the scars of its troubled past but also harbours a beautiful Ottoman-era bridge which gives the town its name: the Stari Most or ‘Old Bridge’.
Located on the Adriatic coastline, Piran has been described as Slovenia’s Vienna thanks to its wonderfully well-preserved Venetian Gothic old town centre. While summertime can be rather crowded, the fall is the best time to visit Piran for warm weather and half the crowds.
Listed as one of the most beautiful villages in France, Angles-sur-l’Anglin is a picturesque French town centred around the Anglin river and the ruins of a Medieval castle. The fall is a great time to admire the changing colours as you stroll along the river, which is also ideal for a relaxing canoe ride.
A quaint Alpine village set on the shores of a beautiful lake which shares the same name, Hallstatt is the epitome of Austrian mountain charm. Come when the trees have donned their autumnal coats but have not yet been covered in a blanket of snow for some spectacular scenery.
This quaint German town looks like something straight out of a fairy-tale and was actually where Walt Disney got the inspiration for Pinocchio. The old town is endlessly romantic thanks to its Medieval architecture and is one of the stops along the so-called ‘Romantic Route’ which traverses Germany and is particularly enchanting at this time of the year.
Orta San Giulio, Italy
The Piedmont region in northern Italy is a veritable foodie’s paradise in Autumn when mushroom season sees some of the world’s finest truffles pop up everywhere. Orta San Giulio is where the philosopher Frederick Nietzsche is said to have fallen in love and it’s easy to see why romance flourished in this romantic lakeside village.
Skipton, United Kingdom
Nicknamed the ‘Gateway to the Dales’, Skipton is a historic market town located on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales which gets its name from the Old English ‘Sheep Town’. The fall is a wonderful time to explore the Yorkshire Moors, especially when the heather is in flower, and a trip wouldn’t be complete without a visit to a traditional pub to warm up by the fireplace.
The Catalan countryside is home to a number of fairy-tale villages, but Besalú has to be one of the most magical. A former Roman settlement, the town centre has preserved much of its Medieval architecture including the picture-perfect bridge which gives access to the town.
Český Krumlov, Czech Republic
A UNESCO World Heritage village, Český Krumlov is a fine example of Czech Renaissance and Baroque architecture – like a mini-Prague. Its most famous site is the Český Krumlov castle but there are also a number of lively bars and restaurants dotted across the town.
Traditional Alsace houses, crisp white wines, colourful floral displays and romantic canal-side walks are just some of things you can look forward to as you wander along the cobbled streets of Colmar. Located close to the border with Germany, the town is rich in history and culture which residents are only too happy to share with visitors.