Where to Go In September
As the summer crowds recede and the heat subsides, September is one of the best months of the year for a city break. While for those seeking some late summer sunshine, southern Europe is still warm enough to enjoy sightseeing without the peak season visitors, a delicious al fresco lunch or dinner, and perhaps a refreshing dip in a swimming pool – or in the Mediterranean, which is at its warmest in the autumn.
This is also the time when the grape harvest – or vendage – normally takes place in some of the main wine regions including Burgundy and Bordeaux. Visit Dijon or the surrounding vine-draped countryside during this period and you can sample fine wines, enjoy delicious cuisine and witness the enormous operation of the harvest in action. We recommend a stay at the excellent Chateau de Gilly (4* Superior), in the heart of the Vougeot wine region, or the wonderfully charming Hotel Le Cep (4* Deluxe) in Dijon itself.
September sees the beginning of the new opera and ballet season at most major theatres, and perhaps nowhere has a more impressive annual schedule than Vienna. The magnificent State Opera hosts world-class opera and ballet performances almost every night of the season – from early autumn through to late spring – including several concurrent productions. This means that you can visit Vienna on a four night short break and take in a different performance every night – should you so wish – and that’s without including the other theatres: there is a second opera house, the Volksoper, numerous concert halls including the famous Musikveriein, chamber music recitals at the Hapsburg palaces around the city, the Vienna Boys’ Choir… Whether you are a classical music aficionado, or a mere novice, you mustn’t leave without taking in a slice of this extraordinary musical history. Don’t forget, there is also the famous Spanish Riding School, and an exceptional collection of museums and galleries – speak to the Kirker Concierge to help make the most of your time with pre-booked tickets and perhaps a morning with an expert guide.
One of Europe’s other great cultural cities, Florence is also at its best in September – when the compact historical centre is less crowded, but the days are still warm enough to enjoy a day trip to the Tuscan countryside, or the Chianti vineyards. Restaurants – some of which close in August – reopen with seasonal menus which celebrate local produce: autumn is when mushrooms are gathered, the game season begins and the grape harvest is collected for the new season’s vintage. Stay at one of our favourite hotels such as the Antica Torre (a boutique residence) or the Santa Maria Novella (4* Superior), where you will be sure of a warm welcome and be perfectly placed to enjoy the city’s art galleries and new exhibitions – the Kirker Concierge can recommend the best current events and arrange fast track tickets in advance.
The Amalfi Coast & Provence
If you are still seeking a few rays of sunshine at this time of year, it can be an excellent time to visit classic summer holiday regions such as the Amalfi Coast or the countryside of Provence. As the school holidays finish, prices at some coast and countryside hotels in popular destinations become far more reasonable – and Kirker clients can often benefit from seasonal special offers. The temperatures are also more mild, yet still warm enough for an alfresco lunch overlooking the rolling hills and mediaeval villages of the Luberon at the wonderful Crillon le Brave (5* Deluxe) or the charming Bastide de Gordes, or a perhaps dinner on a terrace at the Belmond Hotel Caruso (5* Deluxe) in Ravello or the Hotel Poseidon (4* Deluxe) in Positano with views across the dramatic Bay of Naples.