Why visit Europe during the autumn

Why Visit Europe During Autumn?

Europe is a wonderful continent to visit at any time of the year. Not only can you travel through multiple countries with ease over a short period of time, you can also appreciate the rich history, stunning architecture and sample the delicious local cuisine. If you’re considering an off-peak trip, September and October are prime times to visit Europe on a deluxe river cruise. From colourful foliage and pleasant temperatures to rich harvests and festivals, here are six reasons to visit Europe in autumn.

1. Colourful Foliage

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times of the year to enjoy the great outdoors. Walk through the charming towns of Germany such as historic Würzburg, the start of the Romantic Road and admire the rich red, orange and golden yellow leaves of the maple trees. During a guided active walk as part of EmeraldACTIVE, you can also admire the brilliant autumnal colours as you hike to castles, or walk through the vineyards and enjoy the stunning views along the way.
Admire the colourful autumn foliage at Heidelberg Castle

2. Pleasant Weather

Visitors to Europe during the shoulder months of September and October, can still typically enjoy pleasant weather with warm days and sunshine. Clocks don’t go back until the end of October in Europe, so there is still plenty of daylight hours to explore the cobblestone streets and historic town centres, and enjoy picturesque riverside walks along the Rhine, Main and Danube rivers. On board an Emerald Waterways river cruise, soak up the sunshine on the Sun Deck and enjoy the organised games and activities during your free time, such as giant tic tac toe and mini golf. We recommend packing a light jacket and layers for the cooler mornings and evenings.
Enjoy the pleasant European weather as you play mini golf on the Sun Deck

3. Festivals

Visit Europe during autumn and you may come across one of the many festivals held at this time of year. Munich is renowned for its annual Oktoberfest beer festival, whilst in Budapest you can enjoy the Budapest Contemporary Arts Festival in October. Escape to Oberammergau and experience the world famous ‘Passion Play’ which is held every 10 years with the next performance in 2020. You can also experience a variety of wine harvest festivals throughout France, whilst in the Bordeaux region, you might come across the Marathon du Medoc, known as the ‘longest marathon in the world’. This route takes in the picturesque vineyards, historic chateaux, delicious food and of course plenty of local wine, with most runners dressed in fancy dress.
Visit Munich in autumn for the iconic Oktoberfest

4. Affordable Pre and Post Night Cruise Stays

Visiting Europe in autumn allows you to make the most of lower prices with greater choice of hotels, particularly when it comes to enjoying pre and post night accommodation for your river cruise. Extend your holiday to Europe with stays in cities such as Paris and Amsterdam or end your holiday with three night stays in beautiful Budapest and historic Prague to really appreciate these iconic cities to the full.
Enjoy a longer stay in historic Prague during autumn

5. Wine Time

September and October mark harvest season for the vineyards in France, and is a great reason to enjoy a France river cruise during this time of the year. In Tain l’Hermitage, enjoy a guided hike through the vineyards as part of EmeraldACTIVE to experience the picturesque vines up close and enjoy a wine tasting of some of the finest local wines of this region.
Hike through the vineyards during autumn in Tain l'Hermitage

6. Cycle Through Amsterdam

What better way to see Europe than on two wheels, particularly in Amsterdam, highly regarded for its beautiful cycling routes and dedicated bike paths. With cooler temperatures in autumn, a guided bike ride to Waterland, as part of EmeraldACTIVE is a rewarding experience with breathtaking scenery of the rural and coastal landscapes along the way.
Enjoy a guided bike ride to Waterland as part of EmeraldACTIVE
Ready to book your river cruise to Europe in autumn? Take a look at some of our favourite itineraries below and view the latest availability.
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Top European River Cruises During Autumn