5 superb September sun destinations

Not been away yet? Don't worry, there's still time to catch the sun...

If you opted to stay in the UK this summer but found yourself soaking up more rain than rays, you may be weighing up a late summer dash to the continent.

Quidco Discover checks out five great destinations for those in search of September sunshine.

Florence, Italy

Average September temperature:  21 degrees
Average daily sunshine: 
10 hours

Florence [lead picture] often roasts between July and August, but by September the temperatures have cooled and the crowds have thinned making it the perfect time to visit the city’s myriad museums, galleries, churches and cathedrals. It’s still warm enough to dine al fresco and for the locals to stroll the Arno river with their bare legs on show, but if you do get stuck in a queue outside the Uffizi gallery you won’t be drenched in sweat before you’re confronted by its imposing collection of Renaissance art.

September is also a month full of Tuscan celebrations with the Festa della Rificolona a magical procession of paper lanterns which lights up the city. There’s also a huge food market held in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, where street performers and musicians play amidst the gastronomes.

Marrakech, Morocco 

Average September temperature:  25 degrees
Average daily sunshine: 
9 hours

Another undeniably exotic destination, Marrakech is famous for being a foodie’s paradise with many well-priced restaurants, cafes and bars, offering excellent Moroccan and European cuisine. Like Istanbul, shopping is another major attraction – it’s souks are world famous – while the Majorelle Gardens and Bahia and El Badi Palaces are also well worth visiting.

For those who enjoy a round of golf, Marrakech offers three world class courses, Royal Marrakech Golf Club, Golf d’Amelkis and the Palmeraie Golf Club. For families the Oasiria Water Park is a great day out, while those eager for an adventure could take to the Atlas Mountains for a 4×4 safari and trekking.

Marrakech, Morrocco

Palermo, Sicily

Average September temperature:  23 degrees
Average daily sunshine: 
8 hours

September is arguably the best month to visit Sicily. Perfect for a late summer beach fix, the weather is also pleasant enough for a bit of in-land exploration. Palermo, the capital of the island, is an intimate city drenched in history and buzzing with a local population far more friendly than its mafia associations suggest. Full of graceful churches, sombre palaces and majestic squares it bears the scars of rule by Greeks, Carthaginians, Arabs and Normans, the French, the Spanish and even the British.

As you’d expect with Italy, food and drink are an important part of day-to-day life and you’ll never have to go far to stay well fed. If you’re a photographer, you’ll also be blown away by the views of the Conca d’Oro, or Golden Shell, formed by Monte Pellegrino on the northern side and Capo Zafferano on the southern.

Crete

Average September temperature: 24 degrees
Average daily sunshine:
10 hours

It may have developed a reputation as a party island, but Crete’s gentrification in the last fifteen years means that the Aegean island is now far better equipped to host tourists of all types. There are still plenty of beach bars for the young-at-heart to boogie late into the night, but for those eyeing a more sedate break there are plenty of tranquil delights to be enjoyed.

Heraklion has smart and trendy cafes and a major archaeological museum, the town of Chania exudes Venetian charm, while further inland visitors will find exquisite frescoed country chapels of the 14th and 15th centuries, ruined Minoan palaces and towns, plus top-drawer hiking and botanising opportunities.

The golden sandy beaches of Crete

Istanbul, Turkey

Average September temperature: 20 degrees
Average daily sunshine:
9 hours

A sprawling metropolis and exotic cultural melting pot, Istanbul is a must visit for those who want to enjoy the best of European and Asian cultures while basking in sunshine. A perfect destination for a weekend break, visitors are often astounded by the architectural beauty of the Blue Mosque and the neighbouring Hagia Sophia and Suleymaniye Mosque.

For couples a walk along the Bosphorus is a romantic way to spend an afternoon, while shoppers will delight in the city’s Grand Bazaar and its 4000 shops! A vibrant city with a young population, Istanbul also offers hedonistic nightlife for those eager to enjoy themselves after dark; there are bars, clubs and restaurants aplenty and they’re mostly open until the early hours.

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Andrew Allen / Editor

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