Open Jaw

I See England, I See France

I see no lineup at the museum entrance

It's Europe's best kept secret.

Come September, many tourists have kissed the Blarney Stone, marvelled at La Sagrada Familia, propped up the Leaning Tower of Pisa and are now back home sending kids off to school, gearing up for hockey season, and mentally preparing for the onset of winter.

Which makes fall a most special time to visit Europe.

It’s less crowded, which means you have an easier time finding a seat at the hottest restaurants, spend less time in lineups for attractions, and enjoy an overall more tranquil vacation experience.

Not to mention that more temperate weather conditions create the ideal ambience for exploring and wandering through a city.

The pricing also tends to be very attractive, not only in terms of the cost of the package itself, but the experiences in the actual destination are of much better value.

"You see a big difference in the price and that matters when you're going to have a European experience and the pocket book is a concern. If you're looking for the best value at an off-season time of year, September and October are a great choice," says Dana Gain, Senior Director, Sales, Groups and Partnerships with Air Canada Vacations.

But the perks of autumn travel go beyond just mellow weather, lower prices and less tourists -- there are unique, seasonal activities and festivals to be had all through the continent that can only be experienced in the fall.

Air Canada Vacations offers many ways for clients to see the old world in new ways, with Fall Independent Escapes in key European destinations, like:

  • London, Great Britain
  • Paris, FranceDublin, Ireland
  • Barcelona and Madrid, Spain
  • Lisbon, Portugal
  • Rome, Italy

"These are the most popular destinations that we see consumers are interested in based on what we're selling," says Gain. "They're already are a hit with Canadian travellers."

In Portugal, for example, an activity exclusive to the fall season is wine harvesting -- September is the month when grapes are harvested all over Portugal and the wine farms – or "quintas" -- are bustling with activity.

Over in Barcelona, the city hosts Catalonia's most grandiose street parade, La Mercè, this year taking place from 20-24SEP. Held in the honour of the city’s patron saint and as an adios to summer this vibrant festival features nearly 600 events over the five days, including a fire run!

In Canada, it may feel like autumn is still light years away as we finally ease into more summer-appropriate weather, but right now is the best time to book fall tours, says Gain. Rates at this time are very attractive and a wide selection of packages is currently available.

"The booking trend used to be three to four months prior but this year, we're seeing a much shorter trend. This has also been validated against what we see with Air Canada flights," says Gain. "People are booking flights much closer in. So starting now, any time right through until August, agents can be actively selling Europe for departures right up until October and November."


Terri Suomi
July 11, 2019 at 22:44

Exciting! I only wish my clients were interested in your European packages instead of FIT


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