For some, fall signifies a return to “the grind” after a summer of relaxation and lazy days. But for others who are not bound by 9-5 jobs, academic schedules and the like, they may find fall to be the best season to travel.
Crisp air, cooling temperatures, and beautiful colors make for an ideal time to arrive in places like the “stans” of the former Soviet Union (countries in Central Asia ending with the suffix “stan”); cruise the Rhine; get lost in Peru; play cow pokes in Wyoming; or for the super-fit looking for a challenge, cycle from Barcelona to Rome.
Travel agents can offer up far-and-away itineraries like these to their clients as the seasons change:
1. Central Asia and Iran
The countries of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran are woven together like the burnished threads of a fine Persian carpet. From earliest recorded history, these lands have exchanged rulers, architecture, art and religion. Guests explore the bazaars and desert architecture along the byways of the old Silk Road between Tashkent and Tehran. Highlights include: visiting the private studio of a 6th generation ceramicist, exploring the World Heritage Site of Khiva's atmospheric Old Town, touring a working farm that breeds the elegant Akhal-Teke horse, touring one of the most sacred sites of Shi'ite Islam, exploring the fascinating remnants of Persepolis, and discovering the classical Persian Bagh-e Fin Garden.
2. Cruise the Rhine Gorge
Follow the fall colors along the Rhine Gorge, Black Forest and Bernese Oberland on a Rhine River cruise between Basel, Switzerland, and Cologne, Germany, with Riviera Travel. Visits and tours along the way include: the romantic town of Rudesheim (the center of the Rhineland wine trade), the Roman city of Koblenz, medieval Speyer, Strasbourg (the capital of the Alsace region), and lakeside Lucerne.
3. Machu Picchu by Train
Explore the great ruins of Machu Picchu and wander through village markets where ancient traditions live on in the hearts of the Andean people. Meander through the lost city of Machu Picchu, discover the witches' market in Cusco, bargain over tapestries in Pisac, and walk off the beaten path in the rural Andes.
4. Take an Epic Bike Tour
Join Ride & Seek on a ride of historical proportions cycling from Barcelona to Rome. Traverse some of the iconic climbs of the Grand Tours; roll through the vineyards of the Languedoc, Provence, Piedmont and Tuscany; and sample the delights of the diverse gastronomy to be found along the route.
5. Play Cowboy at Luxury Ranch
The 25,000+ acre Red Reflet Ranch in Ten Sleep, Wyoming, is both working ranch and luxury resort. Guests hike, ride horses, skeet shoot, fly fish, mountain bike, dine on gourmet food, and play cowboy on this fun-filled getaway. From cattle drives to branding, the true western lifestyle thrives at Red Reflet.