Lederhosen and lager are order of the day at Oktoberfest

Whether you’re looking to eke out the summer on a sizzling beach or drink your own body weight in German beer, we’ve got your October getaway covered.

For beach bums...

Short haul: Malta

October is the perfect time to visit Malta. Not only is summer still in full swing, but, with the school holidays over, you won’t be jostling for space on its golden beaches.

Aside from sultry temperatures, sandy shores and historic port cities, the archipelago offers some of the finest waters in the Mediterranean in which to go swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving.

Visit Malta in October and you may also catch the famous Valletta Grand Prix, a glamorous classic car race which captures the golden age of motor racing and features live music, period costume and street food.

October is a great time to bask on Sri Lanka's palm-fringed beachesOctober is a great time to bask on Sri Lanka's palm-fringed beaches
toxaww / Thinkstock

Long haul: Sri Lanka

High season temperatures and low season prices combine to make Sri Lanka a prime destination for an October sojourn.

Described by Marco Polo as the ‘Pear of the Indian Ocean,’ this teardrop-shaped island off the southern tip of India is surrounded by palm-fringed beaches and limpid tropical waters.

Back on the radar after a bitter civil war (1983-2009), pint-sized Sri Lanka is not just about beaches; coral reefs, verdant tea plantations, Buddhist temples, national parks and the island's iconic stilt fishermen are welcome distractions from the sweltering sands.

For city slickers...

Short haul: Munich, Germany

Misleading from its name, Oktoberfest starts at the end of September and continues until the beginning of October. The world’s largest fair, Oktoberfest attracts lager lovers from around the world, who unite to chug beer, quaff German food and, perhaps inadvisably, jump on hair-raising fairground rides.

Parades and performances also happen throughout the two-week event. Though the festival is based heavily around the alcohol, rides and events for children help make the event family-friendly.

Long haul: Mumbai, India

October is a month of festivals in MumbaiOctober is a month of festivals in Mumbai
Chidanand M / Thinkstock

An exciting time to visit Mumbai, is October, when this frenetic city plays host to two major festivals. The Mumbai International Film Festival (14-21 October) kicks off proceedings, presenting everything from India cinema to international documentaries.

This is followed by Diwali (Octover 23), the ‘festival of light,’ a vibrant gala which can last for up to five days. Residents put on a spectacular show, adorning their city with lamps, candles and flowers. Epic firework displays add to the sense of occasion.

Aside from the festivities, India’s largest city offers grand colonial architecture, stunning restaurants and a vibrant nightlife. If this mega metropolis gets too much, escape to one of the peaceful parks, hindu temples or world class museums.

For thrillseekers...

Short haul: Algarve, Portugal

The Algarve might be better known as a destination for badly dressed golfers and ageing second homers, but Portugal’s southernmost region is also home to a growing number of adventure companies offering anything from skydiving to blowkarting (wind powered karts, in case you wondered).

The masses have largely disappeared from the Algarve by October, which means prices are lower, but temperatures remain buoyant. A prime time for experiencing the local adventure activities which include horse riding, off-road driving, paragliding, microlighting and dolphin watching from a seaplane.

Long haul: Salem, USA

A menacing effigy hangs in the spooky streets of SalemA menacing effigy hangs in the spooky streets of Salem
Creative Commons / Christine Zenico

Salem, Massachusetts is not a place for the faint-hearted in October. Home of the infamous Salem witch trials, this city is purported to be one of the spookiest places on Earth – perfect for a Halloween getaway.

Salem Haunted Happenings is a month long festival that celebrates Halloween. There are parades and events for all ages, including haunted tours, a carnival, and even a mock witch trial.

Food and fancy dress add to the sense of occasion, while local attractions such as the Salem Witch Museum get into the spirit of things by opening late. Be sure to visit the House of Seven Gables, a spooky residence made famous by the author Nathaniel Hawthorne.

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