The harvest season
Truffle hunting, vineyard tours and wine tastings are on the program for a post-summer break in the Tuscan countryside, with a week-long stay at Villa La Massa on the outskirts of Florence. Look for Italian white truffles in the neighboring Strozzi estate – you will be led by an expert hunter and trained dogs. Your efforts will be rewarded with a long lunch rich in truffles. When you’ve had your fill of the harvest, spend some time in Florence. From outdoor bagging to alfresco dining, the mild onset of fall is one of the city’s most appealing seasons.
Elegant Resorts is offering a seven night stay on bed and breakfast from Â£ 1,955 per person including flights. Departure on October 2; elegantresorts.co.uk.
Northern Ireland Trails
Not a sun seeker? So how about a self-guided walking holiday along the Antrim Hills Way, venturing into some of the most scenic sections of the North Irish coast. It includes the Glens of Antrim AONB, historic sites such as Dunseverick Castle, and several popular filming locations including the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which featured in Game of Thrones. And don’t forget the Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. First-time visitors will be captivated by its 40,000 hexagonal basalt columns, formed over 60 million years ago by volcanic eruptions.
Exodus Travel offers a five-day trip starting at Â£ 689 per person, including accommodation, breakfasts, luggage transfers and walking transfers as required. Departures are available October 1-3; exode.fr.
Head to the walled city of Dubrovnik and spend your days exploring the pedestrian-only Old Town, dining at seafood restaurants, and trying out scuba diving or sea kayaking. Royal Neptun, which enjoys a view of Babin Kuk, Lapad Bay and the Elaphiti Islands. October promises sunny days with a sea warm enough for swimming and restaurants and tourist attractions should remain open. The beaches will also be much quieter – a big plus when staying in a hotel with direct access to the Adriatic.
Jet2holidays is offering a seven night stay on bed and breakfast for Â£ 589 per person, including flights from Newcastle on October 17th; jet2holidays.com.