The Best Holiday Ideas for September 2020

End of the Asian monsoons and the scenery is lush, green and stunning

Where to go on holiday in September

After the peak in summer temperatures across the Northern Hemisphere and with kids back at school, September is the perfect time to enjoy lovely weather without the peak season crowds and prices. Europe is great to visit with warm, dry days while pretty much the whole of Africa is primed for safari adventures. The monsoon rains are still affecting much of Southeast Asia but there's autumn festivals to tempt you for a visit. It's also a great time to visit the Middle East as temperatures dip to a more bearable number.

Whether you're a nature lover or sun worshipper, there's plenty of choice when it comes to destinations in September. To help you plan your September 2020 holiday, we've put together our recommended destinations and experiences as well as our choice of beaches and wildlife hot spots that are perfect at this time of year.

Our Top Travel Picks for September

Croatia Island Express main image - Zlatni Rat Beach - Brac - Croatia


Summer is coming to an end in Europe and Northern Africa but temperatures are still high enough for a beach or sailing holiday in Croatia and Morocco.

Recommended tour: Sailing Split →

A cheetah in Kenya's Masai Mara


The dry season in southern Africa makes it an ideal time for game viewing in famous national parks including Kruger whilst the Serengeti in East Africa is in the midst of the annual Great Migration.

Recommended tour: East Africa Encompassed →

Chinese Lanterns

Festivals & Events

September is when the Chinese celebrate the mid-autumn festival so expect towns and cities to be beautifully illuminated with colourful lanterns.

Recommended tour: Shanghai to Beijing →

Marine iguana and blue footed boobies on Isabela Island - Galapagos - On The Go Tours

Bucket List Travel

Bird watchers should head to the island of Madagascar for a feathery bonanza while the Galapagos Islands are a wildlife paradise too.

Recommended tour: Galapagos Encounters →

Top Destinations and Experiences in September

Jewels of Greece Express main image - Acropolis at sunset - Greece
Historic cities and spa towns

Sightseeing in Europe

September marks the changing of the seasons across Europe as the heat of summer cools off in preparation for autumn. This makes it a fantastic time to explore the historic cities and spa towns of Europe, whether it's countries like Estonia and Hungary in Eastern Europe or the ever-popular countries of Italy and Greece in Western Europe. Prices are generally lower than the peak summer months yet the weather is still pleasantly warm throughout September. Crowds are also thinner with kids back at school and family holidays finished for another year.

Iguazu Falls in Brazil - South America Tours - On The Go Tours
Good weather and celebrations

Visiting Iguazu Falls in Brazil

If you want to see Iguazu Falls at its most beautiful, September is one of the best months in the year to visit. Water levels aren't at their peak but the cooler temperatures of September generally mean clearer skies so you can snap that perfect picture of the cascades against a blue backdrop. With less water flow you also get to glimpse the rocky terrain over which Iguazu Falls pours. September is also a good month to visit the Amazon or Pantanal with lower accommodation prices in Rio and the south.

Man walking into Nefertari Temple - Egypt Tours - On The Go Tours
Archaeological wonders and good weather

Exploring the Middle East

After the fierce heat of the summer months, September is a fantastic month to explore the Middle East, from the ancient wonders of Egypt to the lunar-like deserts of Jordan, the religious monuments of Israel to the riotous souks of Morocco. Temperatures are pleasantly hot so you can combine sightseeing with outdoor adventure whether it's trekking or Nile cruising. The school holidays in Europe will be over and so prices and availability will be much better after the peak holiday season.

Best Festivals in September

Every month of the year holds its own unique offering of special events and festivals. In the Northern Hemisphere many cultures celebrate the harvest with autumn festivals, while in the south people gather for some unique music events.

Regatta Storica in Venice, Italy

Regata Storica

Where? Italy
When? 6th September 2020

One of the most highly anticipated events in Venice’s calendar, Regata Storica takes place every first Sunday of September. Celebrating one of the city’s best-known traditions, Venetian rowing, the event involves a historic boat parade and a series of exciting races. The boat crews are also decked out in 15th-century costumes, allowing you to experience a slice of Venice’s history for the day.

Lake Malawi

Lake of Stars

Where? Malawi
When? TBC

First established in 2003, Lake of Stars is now Malawi’s biggest music and arts event. Located in Salima, on the palm-fringed shores of Lake Malawi, the festival features three days of incredible music and culture. Malawian musicians and international artists take to the stage to perform, with dance, beach games, sports, poetry and much more taking place on the golden sands.

Park in Bogota, Colombia

Jazz in the Park

Where? Colombia
When? TBC

Held in Bogota in mid-September, Jazz in the Park has been celebrating the city’s thriving jazz scene since 1996. Public parks such as Simon Bolivar and Independence Park are filled with the sounds of saxophones, trumpets and pianos as local musicians showcase their best work. The festival is also completely free, making this a great time to visit the Colombian capital.

Breaching Southern Right Whale - Africa tours - On The Go Tours

Hermanus Whale Festival

Where? Hermanus, South Africa
When? 24 September 2020

Every year the coastal town of Hermanus in South Africa pays homage to the southern right whale with three days of ocean-themed activities and exhibitions. People gather to watch the migrating sea beasts and learn more about them. The event started life in 1991 and it's still the only eco-marine festival in the country. Visitors can also enjoy music, markets, good food and a Whales ‘n’ Wheels classic car show.

Best Beach Destinations in September

The Mediterranean is still good in September with temperatures starting to drop but still warm enough for sailing and beach breaks. It's still lovely along the eastern coast of Africa with plenty of destinations to choose from. The monsoon rains are drawing to a close across Southeast Asia but it's better to wait a few months more for the best weather in this region, while in Central America it's hurricane season so best avoided at this time.

Maldives Beach Couple

The Maldives

The southwest monsoon that affects the Maldives between July and August has now moved on so the weather improves with clearer skies and less rainfall. As it's not the driest season of the year, prices will be reasonable and availability better. It's a good time for surfing and diving is also good on the Western sides of an atoll (coral island) with more plankton and greater chances of encountering dolphins and mantas after the heavier rains.



Croatia's peak holiday season is now over as children across Europe return to school yet the Mediterranean weather is still balmy with pleasant temperatures, warm waters and minimal rainfall. Prices drop a little at this time of year so you can still enjoy a sailing trip without breaking the bank with plenty of opportunities to relax on sandy beaches and explore historic cities along the coast. There's also the added bonus of much thinner crowds across the country.



Spanning a distance of 1,200 miles from the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, Morocco has plenty of coastline to plan the perfect beach break. From Tangier to Agadir, there are plenty of accommodation options and September is the perfect time to visit with hot but bearable temperatures and little rainfall. The more popular resorts are also well-connected with international airports and there are many historic cities to explore.

Sri Lankan Beach

Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka's pristine coast on the northeast side of the island is experiencing its last good month of weather in September before the monsoon hits the region. Now's the time to plan a visit to Arugam Bay and the coastline north of Trincomalee with warm weather and little rainfall. It's still wet on the other side of the island but it's still possible to visit Sri Lanka's Cultural Triangle and its many ancient marvels as well as the national parks.

Best Wildlife Destinations in September

The dry season continues across Africa with minimal rainfall and hot temperatures. It's been a few months since the last rains so the foliage is sparse, making it the perfect time to visit for a wildlife safari and you can take your pick as it's the same story from Kenya down to South Africa. Elsewhere it's a great time for jungle treks and fishing in the Amazon with low water levels, while Sri Lanka's famous elephant gathering is taking place in Minneriya National Park.

Zebra Crossing - Africa Overland Safaris - Africa Lodge Safaris - Africa Tours - On The Go Tours

East Africa

The annual migration of wildebeest, zebra and gazelle is a year-long journey with September one of the busiest months as thousands of beast cross from the northern Serengeti in Tanzania to the adjacent Masai Mara in Kenya. It's a journey fraught with danger, from the sheer drop at the river banks to the hungry crocodiles that stalk the waters of the Mara River. It's one of the best months to visit East Africa to witness the brutal spectacle.


Southern Africa

Game viewing is at its best in Southern Africa as wildlife congregate around the few remaining watering holes after months of dry, warm weather conditions. It's a great time to visit South Africa with southern right and humpback whales breeding in the warm waters off the coast while herds of elephants start to come together in Botswana. Namibia's national parks are also ideal at this time of year before the temperatures soar.


The Galapagos

Between June and November the Galapagos Islands experience a cool and dry season with rougher seas and this is the perfect time for diving as plankton and nutrients are scattered far and wide attracting larger fish and sea birds such as albatross and penguins. In September sea lions are also at their most active as the females come into season and the males begin their battle to win over a partner.



Madagascar becomes a bird watcher's dream in September with the start of the breeding season and arrival of many migratory species. In preparation for finding a mate, birds will become much more vocal, filling the forests with song, and begin to display their most impressive moves and breeding regalia. If bird watching is what you're after, book in advance as lodges in prime birding locations tend to be small and book up quickly.

See more of our Travel Calendar

Hiking in Himalayas - Himalayas Tours - On The Go Tours




December Holiday Ideas - Lapland - On The Go Tours




Abu Simbel temples - Holiday ideas for February - On The Go Tours


Holi festival hands and colour image


Cherry blossom and castle - Bucket List


St Petersburg during White Nights - On the Go Tours


Croatia Brac Beach-Croatia Tours-On The Go Tours