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Where to travel in September

With the children having gone back to school, it's less hectic in the resorts and cities making September the perfect month to travel. It's also a shoulder month bringing cooler temperatures.

Jump to:

Budapest | California | Corfu | Lisbon | Malaysia | Morocco | Sicily


Budapest

Flight Time from London: 2 hours 25 minutes

Time Difference: +1 hour

Daytime Temperatures: 23 ° C

Rainfall: 70 mm

One of our favourite eastern European cities! A city of two halves divided by the Danube. A fantastic place to people watch, immerse yourself in history and even have a relaxing spa. It's an easy city to navigate but if time is limited, then go for the hop-on-hop-off bus as this takes you to all the main sights such as the castle, parliament, Jewish quarter, outlying parks etc.


What to eat in Budapest

When you think of "what should I eat in Budapest", you'll probably think hearty stews - and lots of meat. Here's what you should look out for ...


Lángos: This is perfect food-on-the-go: deep fried doughy flatbread, eaten warm and slathered in sour cream and grated cheese or with garlicky butter.

Goulash: Hungary's national dish. Considered by many as a stew, the authentic version is actually a thin broth made from chunks of beef cooked with onions, paprika and tomatoes. This hearty dish is served with crusty white bread.

Photo by Farhad Ibrahimzade from Pexels

Chimney Cake: this sweet treat can be found in many pop-up places. Made from strips of sugary dough that is wrapped around cone-shaped spits and roasted over charcoal. The sugar from the dough crystallised to form a crispy coating usually dusted with a topping of cinnamon or walnuts. Our favourite way to enjoy was with a slather of nutella on the inside.

Dobos Torta: otherwise known as Drummer Cake. It can be found in cafes and bakeries across Hungary. A Drummer Cake is made of between 5 and 7 delicate sponge layers which are each spread with chocolate buttercream and topped with a thick layer of caramelised sugar. The cake sides are usually coated in ground nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts or almonds.

California

Flight Time from London: 11 hours (to Los Angeles)

Time Difference: - 8 hours

Daytime Temperatures: 34 ° C

Rainfall: 5 mm

September is the ideal weather for a road trip along Pacific Highway One which takes in 656 miles of Californian coastline. Thrill seekers could head to Disneyland Resort or Universal Studios whilst nature lovers could stop by Lake Tahoe or go on a boat trip as it's the best month to spot Blue Whales, Humpbacks and Minkes. Music fans should take in the Monterey Jazz Festival. Oh, and there's always wine tasting in the Napa Valley?


What to eat in California

America's West Coast is said to be the trend-setter of the food scene. Here are just some ideas of what to eat in California ...


French Dip Sandwich: despite the name, this doesn't have much to do with France, except that it's served with a 'jus' (the French meaning for juice / broth). To make the sandwich you'll need thinly sliced roast beef, black pepper, mustard and horseradish on a long white roll or baguette that has been dipped into the pan juices or gravy. Sometimes, roast pork, lamb, turkey or ham is used and cheese is also added.

Uramaki: otherwise known as the Californian roll or upside-down sushi, uramaki is a unique sushi variety which allegedly has origins in Los Angeles. They are prepared with sushi rice, nori, crab, avocado and cucumber. It differs from other types of sushi as the rice is on the exterior with the nori seaweed rolled up in the inner part. It is then rolled in roasted sesame seeds. It is served with soy sauce and wasabi on the side.

Ranch Dressing: This dressing, or dip, is made of buttermilk, salt, garlic, onion, herbs and spices. It can be mayonnaise based. It is the number 1 salad dressing in the USA and is served as an accompaniment or dressing to many dishes.

Almonds: believe it or not, California produces 80% of the world's crop. Of all the nuts, almonds are amongst the highest in calcium so they are important in a milk-free or vegan diet. As well as calcium, they include healthy fats, fibre, protein, magnesium and vitamin E.

Photo by Kafeel Ahmed from Pexels

Corfu

Flight Time from London: 3 hours 5 minutes

Time Difference: +2 hours

Daytime Temperatures: 23 ° C

Rainfall: 81 mm

September is a really pleasant time to visit this Greek isle. The island's capital, Corfu Town, is a warren of cobbled alleys and Venetian-era buildings. It is a UNESCO-listed old town with imposing fortresses, churches, waterfront and port with regular ferries to the Greek mainland. It's also the place to catch an excursion boat to Albania. North of Corfu Town is Kassiopi, a traditional fishing village with charm and character aplenty. The best beach on the island is considered to be Glyfada. It's on the west coast of the island and boasts long stretches of golden sands, tavernas and the opportunity to indulge in water sports.


What to eat in Corfu

Sofrito: this is one of the most popular dishes in Corfu. The name refers to both the dish and cooking style - to slowly fry. Sofrito consists of slowly fried beef and cooked with lots of garlic and a parsley-vinegar sauce.

Pastitsado: a red wine stew of beef or chicken served with pasta and a tomato paste flavoured with paprika to make a warm, slightly spicy sauce.

Fish Bianco: fish simmered with white wine on a bed of pan fried potatoes with garlic and olive oil.

Sikomaida: made with figs pounded in Ouzo, this sweet pie also includes walnuts, spices and pepper, all wrapped in fig leaves.

Lisbon

Flight Time from London: 2 hours 45 minutes

Time Difference: +0

Daytime Temperatures: 26 ° C

Rainfall: 33 mm

Lisbon is a great place to explore. A tourist top-spot is Torre de Belém located high above the seafront of Lisbon quays. The Alfama district is the oldest part of the city with winding streets and alleys. Look out for the old city walls along with some charming hidden squares.


A must-do is a ride aboard the historic (and rattling) mustard-yellow trams. Tram 28 is iconic and has all the hallmarks of best route to take as it works its way up and around the steep, cobbled roads. Try and bagsy a seat to enjoy the view. Top tip: ride the tram early or late to avoid the crowds but beware of pickpockets.


To get away from the city, head to Sintra - a city in it's own right and UNESCO World Heritage site. It's a half hour drive from Lisbon but you;ll be rewarded with baroque churches, mansions and grand palaces.


What to eat in Lisbon

Pastéis de Nata: an eggy custard invented by the monks in Belém. The dark brown caramelisation may look burnt, but it doesn't impact the flavour. You can now buy these delicious cakes in the UK but there's nothing quite like a homemade version so try BBC Good Food's version.

Photo by Magda Ehlers from Pexels

Bifana Sandwiches: a true Bifana uses sautéed, marinated pork which is packed inside a crispy bread roll but if you order it in a restaurant you may get the choice of additional ingredients too.

Bacalhau: this is a Portuguese staple of salted cod. Bacalhau à Brás is scrambled eggs with salt cod, potatoes and olives.

Torresmos: there are different forms to try, but basically they are Portuguese pork scratchings with a very intense pork flavour.

Malaysia

Flight Time from London to Kuala Lumpur: 13 hours 15 minutes

Time Difference: +7 hours

Daytime Temperatures: 33 ° C

Rainfall: 211 mm

Head to the East Coast in September as the West Coast tends to get more rain than usual this month. The Perhentian Islands are just off the north east coast of the Malaysian Peninsula. This pair of islands have bright, which beaches and lush, dense forest-like interiors. It's a peaceful haven as water sports are banned but you can still snorkel and dive.

The Pangkor Islands is a tropical retreat with an abundance of wildlife. Once a base for the Dutch army and also pirates (not necessarily at the same time), the islands are beautiful with small villages and temples. Diving-fans should head to Tioman Island.


What to eat in Malaysia

Laska: this traditional Malaysian dish of noodles and either fish, prawn or chicken in a coconut milk curry.

Karipap: also known as Curry Puffs, this is best described as a Malaysian samosa. A sweetish pastry stuffed full of savoury fillings like potatoes and vegetables - all delicately spiced.

Rendang: Another Malaysian classic which is typically made with beef or chicken. Fragrant and comforting. A must-try when visiting.

Sarawak Layer Cake: this cake is typically served to commemorate a celebration or special occasion. It is usually rectangular but made with lots of different flavours, colour and patterns.

Morocco

Flight Time from London to Marrakech: 3 hours 40 minutes

Time Difference: +0

Daytime Temperatures: 32 ° C

Rainfall: 5 mm

It's still a good time to visit the Atlas Mountains before it gets too cold. Other highlights include a trip to Marrakesh's medina quarter (the old city). Jemaa el-Fna remains the main square and is as popular with locals as it is tourists. Food-lovers could take a culinary tour of Fez with a street food tasting trail taking in breads, olives, honey - even camel meat! For an excusrion, head to Essaouira, which is an attractive town along the Atlantic coast which has an ancient Portuguese fortress.


What to eat in Morocco

Tagine: named after the conical earthenware pot that cooks stews of meat, fish or vegetables, a tagine is fragrant and complex which comes from the aromatic spices that are used. Ras el Hanout is often the spice of choice to create a very distinct taste.

Brochette: if you see brochette on the menu, expect pieces of roast chicken or lamb cooked on skewers.

Pastilla or b'stilla: this dish of minced pigeon meat, almonds and spices served in layers of flaky pastry. Finished with a dusting of icing sugar and cinnamon to provide a sweet and savoury contrast. If pigeon isn't your thing, you may also see chicken and seafood versions too.

Makouda: these are Moroccan Potato Cakes made from fried mashed potato. It's a typical street food that you'd eat on their own or in a baguette with salad. Sometimes they're served as a side dish to a vegetable tagine. They're a tasty eat - crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, but as they're traditionally deep-fried they're not for you if you're following a low-fat diet!

Sicily

Flight Time from London: 3 hours 10 minutes

Time Difference: +1 hour

Daytime Temperatures: 24 ° C

Rainfall: 28mm

There's lots to see in Sicily and not just to sweeping landscape. There are historical sites such as the Agrigento Valley of Temples, Roman Theatre of Taormina or the Baroque cities of Noto, Ragusa and Modica. There are three volcanos on the island - Etna, Stromboli and Vulcano. While away time on the stunning beaches.


What to eat whilst in Sicily

As you'd expect, there's a plethora of fabulous food to enjoy in Sicily. So what should you be eating when in Sicily?


Caponata - this is typical Sicilian antipasto found on many menus. It's a sweet, sour and tangy mix of aubergine, tomatoes,capers and vinegar which is usually served at room temperature. This is one for the vegetarians and vegans.

Arancini - creamy risotto rice that's breaded and deep fried so that it's reminiscent of a golden golf ball! The perfect on-the-go snack.

Photo credit Anna Guerrero

Pasta alla Norma - this is a common vegetarian pasta dish found on menus. Tomato and Aubergine sauce stirred through pasta, topped with ricotta.

Photo credit Monica Turlui

Cannoli - perhaps the most well-known Sicilian dessert. Flaky pastry tubes filled with sweet ricotta and studded with dried fruit and chocolate chips.

Photo credit Valeria Boltneva

These are just a few of the best places to visit in September - we'll be adding to the list the more that we discover.

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