Some people are squeamish about traveling in summertime. Unless you can afford to travel only in air conditioned cars or airplanes, being on the road in the summer heat is hardly a very pleasant experience. This is why many people prefer to travel in autumn, when you can still enjoy sunlight but the weather is considerably milder. And there’s another pro to autumn travel – the foliage. Taking a trip to the countryside or to small, peaceful towns surrounded by a sea of red and gold leaves doesn’t compare to anything else in the world. So here are some of the best small towns in the world for autumn travel.
Vila do Conde, Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley is famous for its magnificent vineyards sprawled on gently rolling hills, and picturesque cities like the colorful Porto. The valley is drenched in golden light and orange hues come autumn, and although there are not many forests around, the vineyards make up for it with their brilliant colors. The small town of Vila do Conde with its historic center and quaint attractions is the perfect stop when in Douro Valley.
Gujo Hachiman, Gifu Prefecture, Japan
Gujo Hachiman is somewhat off the beaten path, which means that you can be sure that it is a small town that is undisturbed and natural. The many traditional houses and the way people greet each other on the street give off a very warm and welcoming atmosphere. Like many other areas in Japan, fall foliage viewing (koyo) is one of the most important occasions of the year.
Tachuan, Huangshan, China
Although Tachuan is more of a village then a small town, it has become one of the most popular destinations in China for fall foliage viewing. Tachuan is located at the foot of the magnificent Yellow Mountains, and the area is full of Chinese tallow trees and maples, which turn into stunning reddish shades in autumn.
Camden, Maine, USA
Many consider Camden the most beautiful town in New England, and that’s no mean feat. The motto of the town is ‘where the mountains meet the sea’, and the landscape created by the rolling hills tumbling towards the ocean is truly magnificent. Pack a picnic, rent a car or a bicycle and explore the rusty forests on the surrounding hills.
Clayton, Georgia, USA
The mountain town of Clayton is certainly very small (one main street is pretty much it), but it is loaded with a variety of antique shops, restaurants and galleries. The picturesque backdrop is provided by the lush woods of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest.