Our recommendations: telegraph.co.uk/tt-viennagp /
Septem September is always expensive in Paris – hotels are heavil heavily booked for trade tr and fa fashion sh shows. Go in O October ins instead, when the cro crowds diminish a and the cultural seas season kicks off. If you have stamina, Nuit Blanche (this y year on Oct 6) is an all-night hap happening with installations, video projections and art events going on all around the capital (quefaire.paris.fr/nuitblanche). Alternatively, you could save your energy for the two blockbuster exhibitions at the Grand Palais (grandpalais.fr): Magnificent Venice Croatia’s southernmost seaside resort, pretty Cavat (12 miles from Dubrovnik) perches on a rocky peninsula, with a pebble bay to each side. Snooze below pine trees, swim off the rocks and drink sunset cocktails at Little Star beach bar (beachbarlittlestar.com) or catch a water-taxi to Dubrovnik for sightseeing and a return stop at Mlini beach. Explore rural Konavle, lunching next to waterfalls at Konavoski Dvori (esculaprestaurants. com), or hiking the Čiro trail (wine-tasting and picnic included) with Piknik Dubrovnik (piknikdubrovnik.com).
Hotel Croatia in Cavtat (doubles from £181 a night; telegraph.co.uk/ tt-cavtat); easyJet (easyjet.com) flies to Dubrovnik from Bristol, Edinburgh, London and Manchester till late-October. Sun, sand and warm sea (average 78F/26C) make Rhodes a perfect autumn choice. The crowds have dispersed, leaving hideaways such as whitewashed hillside Lindos, overlooking Pallas and St Paul’s beaches, romantic and serene, and the wide golden sands of Tsambika, semi-deserted and balmy, while on Rhodes’s southern tip, Prasonisi winds are still optimum for surfing and kiteboarding (prasonisicenter.com). Explore Rhodes’s enchanting medieval Old Town, and catch a ferry to Symi island, with its neoclassical mansions and tranquil pebble coves backed by tamarisk trees.
Thomas Cook (thomascook.com) offers various packages based in Lindos in Rhodes; easyJet (easyjet. com) flies to Rhodes from Liverpool, London and Newcastle till lateOctober Autumnal sunshine combines with modern art on the glamorous Côte d’Azur. Base yourself in Nice, to bathe at beaches ranging from the stunning three-mile sandy Plage de Pampelonne just outside St Tropez to the chi-chi Paloma private pebble beach at Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. If the weather breaks, check out museums celebrating 20th-century painters who resided here, including Matisse, Picasso and Chagall, and drive into the hills of Provence to the enchanting Fondation Maeght (fondation-maeght. com) exhibiting Miró, Giacometti and others, in Saint-Paul-de-Vence.
EasyJet (easyjet.com) flies to Nice from Belfast, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Newcastle until late October, and from Bristol and London all year. In dreamy Positano on the Amalfi Coast, pastel facades draped in bougainvillea hug a cliffside, with steps leading down to a shingle beach – overcrowded in summer, but mellow come September. Along the coast, you have a long sandy beach at Maiori, and in the fishing village of Cetara, a pebble cove rimmed by seafood eateries. Sample the local tipple, limoncello, at Il Gusto della Costa (ilgustodellacosta.it) in Praiano, visit hillside Ravello for views over the Gulf of Salerno and catch a boat to Capri.
Italian specialist Citalia (citalia. com) offers one-week October breaks flying from Gatwick at the Minori Palace in Maiori, from £732 or a week at the Marincanto Hotel in Positano from £1,115.