A brisk breeze is blowing in, leaves are tinged with reddish hues and everyone’s talking about back to school. Welcome to fall! If you’re daydreaming of traveling to Europe during the Autumn season, here are some stunning spots in Europe where you can indulge in delicious autumn cuisine and cocktails that go well beyond a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

Though the weather in Jerez isn’t as chilly as other European spots in fall, it’s the perfect place to visit for travelers who want to have a fall getaway while still enjoying some leftover rays of sunshine. Known for its delectable sherry, taste fino, manzanilla and oloroso varieties while sampling specialties like almadraba tuna and oxtail. Try to make it to Jerez for International Sherry Week in mid-October.

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Best Places To Travel in Europe During October and September | Winetraveler.com
France’s Loire Valley in early Autumn.

Loire Valley, France

Besides gazing at endless stretches of vineyards and countryside, lightly suffused with autumnal shades, the Loire Valley offers the best kind of fall fun: castles and wine. A medieval-inspired getaway includes visits to castles (over 40 châteaux dot the region), visits to wineries, or better yet, visits to wineries in castles. Make sure to sip some dry white Muscadet and pair it with rillettes, a textured Pâté.

Lake Constance, Germany (or Austria or Switzerland)

One of Europe’s largest lakes, Lake Constance actually borders three different countries: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Besides enjoying the lake views, there’s plenty to do in the area in all three countries — boat rides, castle visits, hiking and more. With various fall festivals happening through the end of the season, plan to sip some wines from the local Müller-Thurgau grape variety and participate in apple and pumpkin harvests too.

Italy in October Where To Go - Tuscany / Siena | Winetraveler.com
Tuscany makes for a legendary getaway during the months of October and September. Especially given that it’s around the time when wine harvest is in full swing.

Siena Province, Italy

Siena is a province in Tuscany, home to a number of small villages diffused through forests, rolling hills, vineyards and more. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking, especially in autumn when the color medley changes from cool to warm. Besides stopping to wine taste (Siena spans part of the Chianti region), hit up one of the many chestnut harvest festivals that happen during October and November.

Europe in Autumn Travel Destinations - Best Travel Destinations in Europe During The Fall Season | Winetraveler.com
Stunning Hallstatt, Austria during October.

Hallstat, Austria

Hallstat’s beautiful lake and quaint alpine houses make the village one of as most photographed spots. Views over the lake and mountains as the leaves change color are truly exceptional, and even better if enjoyed while digging into an apple strudel and some mulled, spiced wine.

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Best Places To Travel in Europe During Fall - Amsterdam | Winetraveler.com
Amsterdam is always a fall treat.

Amsterdam, Netherlands

One of the larger cities on this list, Amsterdam’s charming canals and vivid bike culture are especially welcome in fall. A bike tour through the nearby countryside will introduce you to those famous windmills set among the autumn leaves. A visit to a cheese factory gives you access to endless wheels of Gouda. Plus, the Amsterdam Lights Festival starts at the end of November, where the city’s canals, landmarks and more are covered in twinkling lights.

 best cities to visit in europe during Autumn - Brugge | Winetraveler.com
Brugge almost looks like a painting during Fall.

Brugge, Brussels

Ever heard of pink Brugge? Some leaves actually look a reddish pink when they start to change color in this fairy tale medieval city. While you can go the beer route (they even have a beer museum), Brugge is known for its sugary delights — especially Belgian waffles and chocolate. Katelijnestraat Street is lined with several chocolate shops, so those with a sweet tooth should start there.

Best Europe Travel Destinations During September, October and Novemebr | Winetraveler.com
Scotland is one of the most underrated European Fall destinations.

Perthshire, Scotland

With over 1/5 of the country covered in trees, Scotland is the place to be if you want to admire the leaves changing colors. Perthshire is especially picturesque in autumn thanks to its forests, as well as long stretches of moors, rivers and mountains. You may get  a little chilly, but with several whiskey distilleries in the region, you can easily warm up with a dram.

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Lori Zaino is a travel expert that's lived in Madrid, Spain for over a decade. A self-taught oenophile and culinary connoisseur, she's just as comfortable backpacking through Latin America's wine country as she is demurely sipping Champagne in French castles.

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