For many people, it’s the golden, harvest months of autumn when the Mediterranean islands are at their absolute best. The tourist hordes have returned home, you’ve the beaches, streets, and landscapes pretty much to yourself and the temperatures are comfortable enough that you can enjoy the great outdoors even at noon.
There’s something about the colours here, too. Come September and October, the air has cleared which lends the surrounding sea with a depth of colour that’s far richer, more midnight than azure blues.
Here, we’ve rounded up some of the best things you can see in the Mediterranean’s most beautiful Greek, Spanish and Italian islands during autumn.
Go Hiking in Crete
There are a whole host of walking trails through the island suitable for every activity level, from old, cyclopean paths of Ancient Krane near Argostoli, visit the Venetian fortress in Assos, cool down in the Potisti waterfalls between Skala and Poros or an incredibly easy saunter along a riverbed near Sami where you’ll find the ruins of old watermills.
For those wanting a bigger challenge, though, then Mount Ainos (pronounced ‘Enos’) is, at 1628 metres above sea level, is Kefalonia’s tallest mountain. Climb to the top and you’re afforded not just the best views of Kefalonia, but neighbouring Zakynthos, Ithaki, and the Peloponnese. It’s only a 6.6-kilometre loop through fir, black-pine, and holm-oak forests, where the smells of thyme and wildflowers will surround you whilst walking this moderate trail. Look out for the short-tailed eagle or honey buzzard which can circle above.
Drink Local ‘Hooch’ in Crete
To say that Creten raki, or Tsikoudia is synonymous with the island is no exaggeration. Enter any Cretan home, or restaurant, and you’ll be handed a small glass to toast good health and enjoy this traditional staple. Made during the late autumn months once winemaking is over, the crushed grapes, skins and seeds following grape pressing are gathered and fermented in barrels to make this delicious drink. If you’re yet to sample this local delicacy, then it’s most akin to the Italian ‘grappa’. Yia Mas (cheers!).
Go Cycling in Mallorca
That cycling is big business in Mallorca won’t be news to anyone. It’s road surfaces and terrain make it one of the best cycling destinations in the world. Come the shoulder months of spring and autumn, athletes, professional and amateur, gather to cycle the beautiful paths of the island, the Sa Colobra and Cap de Formentor arguably the most popular routes.
Whether you’re a Chris Froome or Katie Archibald or someone who just loves getting out and about, there’s are a plethora of cycling hire shops in the island, particularly in Alcudia or Pollenca. As the saying goes, if you can’t beat them, join them! Enjoy.
Get Cultural in Sicily
There are six heritage sites in Sicily that have UNESCO World Heritage status: the ancient city of Agrigento, the late Roman villas in Casale, the Aeolian Islands, the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, Syracuse, and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica, Mount Etna and the Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalú and Monreale.
Whilst you may not want to leave the pool to visit all of them during your villa stay, you’ll be able to enjoy them for longer and in more comfortable temperatures than August or July would allow.
Even wandering the streets of Palermo and Catania is a cultural joy!
Do The Camí de Cavalls in Menorca
One of the best things to see and do in Menorca is to complete the circular 185-kilometre route around the island, the Camí de Cavalls 360. Tracing a historic route passing through some of the island’s most picturesque villages, towns, and landscapes, it’s best done outside the heat of the peak summer months. How you do it is up to you – the more athletic might want to complete this by bike, by foot or even by horseback, although it’s entirely possible to ‘dip in and dip out’ of the suggested route, visiting secluded beaches, enjoying a meal at a local restaurant, or heading back to your villa for a well-earned siesta after a busy morning.
If you’d like to know more about any of our villas or what there is to see and do in our destinations, we’d love to hear from you! Call us on +44 1789 297705 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org