Travel Expert Jake Messimer shares top destinations in Europe and beyond for admiring fall’s vibrant foliage.
Every fall, millions of “leaf-peepers” travel to Vermont, New Hampshire and other destinations in the northeast to admire the region’s breathtaking foliage. But New England is just one of the many places in the world renowned for gorgeous fall colors. Here are some of the top destinations travelers will love to explore in Europe and beyond.
Paris is famously considered to be a wonderful autumn destination. But for some truly spectacular fall scenery, head two hours southwest of the French capital to the lovely Loire Valley. World renowned for its collection of vineyards and historic chateaux, the Loire Valley is also known throughout Europe for its particularly vibrant fall foliage. Autumn visitors will also enjoy fewer crowds, lower prices and much more agreeable weather than those who visit in summer. Dreaming of visiting castles and vineyards in the fall? Browse our collection of guided tours to France.
Scotland is known for its rugged beauty, and the region of Perthshire, just north of Edinburgh, sports some of the most stunning landscapes in the country. Much of Scotland is relatively treeless, but this mountainous region contains the mature woodlands needed to blanket the landscape with bright colors. Don’t miss the area surrounding the charming village of Pitlochry (included in our Best of Scotland guided vacation) which has become a popular spot for locals to enjoy the fall colors. For travel inspiration, browse our collection of guided tours to Scotland.
This charming “Venice of the North” is beloved for its tree lined streets and canals. There are an estimated 75,000 Dutch Elm trees throughout the city, many of them more than a century old. When the leaves start falling, you’ll find the city’s iconic canals carpeted with bright golden leaves, with canal boats leaving a shimmering trail in their wake. Nothing tops a stroll along Amerdam’s canals as you make your way to the city’s top attractions, including the world renowned Rijksmuseum in Museum square, with an extensive collection of Flemish masterpieces by artists such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. If you enjoy art and nature and have yet to visit Europe in the fall, add the Amsterdam to your list. Browse our collection of guided tours of the Netherlands for inspiration and trip ideas.
Japan is rightly famous for its popular cherry blossom season, usually focused around the month of April. However, the Japanese themselves are just as enthusiastic about enjoying the fiery colors that appear for up to two months in the fall. In fact, there is a Japanese word for this activity: “momijigari” which translates to “red leaves hunting”.
Although most of Japan can be blanketed in autumn beauty, the most renowned place to visit is the region surrounding Kyoto in the central part of the main Japanese island of Honshu. Shrines, temples, gardens and mountain landscapes all erupt in glorious shades of bright red and yellow, attracting millions of people searching for “kōyō” (“leaves changing colors”). To learn more about our guided tours of Japan, click here.
What’s your favorite fall destination? Tell us in the comments below.