Postcards & Passports

Top Seven European Destinations for Fall Foliage

This post was most recently updated on January 13th, 2020

Europe is popular for sunny days at the beach, wandering through medieval cities, or enjoying wintry landscapes. Tourists swarm Europe in the summer. During winter, adventure junkies and savvy travellers flock to famous winter destinations. There is that little gap between summer and winter, which is perfect for you to plan your vacation to Europe. At this time of the year, European destinations for fall foliage take center state.

Autumn is the ideal time to reconnect with nature — you can be a leaf spotter, a photographer, or a wanderer, enjoying the lush wilderness and wildlife. Europe has some pretty amazing places to visit during autumn so you’ll find a multitude of Europe tour packages to choose from. It’s the perfect way to recharge your batteries before you head back to the daily routine of life. Here are our handpicked places that will ensure you never forget your European autumnal holiday.

Foliage in Switzerland

Switzerland is unarguably a destination best known for its snow clad mountain Alps and picturesque wintry scenes. But autumn in Switzerland is as stunning as its snow-covered landscapes. It’s much more comfortable to travel in a warm climate and view natural vistas painted in crisp colors of orange, yellow and green hues. Take pleasure in rewiring with nature through a hiking tour on Swiss nature trails at Rochers de Naye, Mt. Rigi, Lavaux, Zermatt, Montreux, and Locarno.

Explore the magnificent assortment of colors nature has in store for you. Switzerland is also well-known for its scenic rail tours, and that is one of the finest ways to experience fall foliage in Switzerland. The Gotthard Panorama Express, Golden Pass Line, and Bernina Express let you witness incredible panoramic sceneries of fall foliage and with majestic mountains as its backdrop.

Fall Colors in Scotland

Autumns are spectacularly beautiful in Scotland, as it’s covered in lush forests combined with rustic castles and country flair. Fall is when the Scotland Highlands and countryside come alive in resplendent shades of fall foliage and the ambiance feels crisp and refreshing. There are lots of places in Scotland where a walking tour is the best way to view these colorful clusters of foliage.

The Royal Botanic Gardens in Edinburgh is a fantastic place to start your autumn trip. Scotland’s sprawling expanses of forest parks are ideal for viewing the magic of nature where the trees put up a brilliant display of fall foliage hues. Tay Forest Park has some of the best viewpoints to experience autumn’s beauty. The Hermitage, Faskally Wood, Craigvinean, Perthshire, Pitlochry, Argyll Forest Park, Yair Forest, Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, and Loch Katrine are some other spots perfect for a stroll and clicking some amazing photographs on a beautiful autumn day.

Germany’s Autumn Show

It might surprise you to think of Germany as an autumn destination but the country has some truly excellent scenery.  The Bavarian region and Southern Germany should definitely be on your travel list.The charming countryside villages with dense forests, rolling meadows and mountains will enthrall you with their red, orange and golden tones. Hiking on nature trails lets you explore the stunning landscapes up close. The fairytale setting of Neuschwanstein Castle is enchanted as its surroundings transform into a beautiful autumn sight. The Rhein and Mosel River valleys and the famous Romantic Road are a few of the finest spots in Germany to witness Europe’s most beautiful fall colors.

Foliage in Slovenia

Slovenia usually does not come up on a Europe travel list; however, a visit to this charming country during autumn season is one journey you will never forget. One of the world’s most picture postcard perfect destinations is Lake Bled. I love its misty ambiance with still lake waters reflecting the surrounding majestic mountains. The tiny forested isle with a castle on it is absolutely stunning! Located in the foothills of the Julian Alps, in the Triglav National Park, this scenery is beautiful any time of the year, but there is a burst of intense colors during autumn which makes this scenic lake exquisite.

Autumn in Romania

You’re also less likely to think of Romania when you consider European destinations. But it’s a hidden gem that has some pretty interesting locations and attractions to captivate. Romania is steeped in rich history as seen in its medieval towns and architecture. Fused with its modern lifestyle, Romania is a perfect fusion of old and new.  But it is the fall season in Romania that brings out its real charisma. The medieval town of Transylvania has magnificent castles, verdant forests, and misty mountain terrains. All of these are painted in a brilliant palette of fall foliage colors. The botanical gardens in Cluj, Bran Castle and Peles Castle are some must-visit places in Romania during the autumn season. A drive through the Fagaras Mountains or a hike in the stunning landscapes of Craiului National Park offers awe-inspiring panoramas.

French Foliage

France is all about Paris, Nice, and Cannes, but these cities fade compared to the beauty of autumn’s colorful landscapes. The gardens in and around the cities drape themselves in fall colors. But you’re going to want to travel to the Loire Valley or southern France to see what fall offers. The countryside of Champagne, Montségur, Provence, and Alsace display scenes of splendid autumnal shades.

Foliage in Italy

With the hot summer days coming to an end, Italy is one of the best fall vacation spots to visit and all you need is your Italy tourist visa to explore this country’s enchanting nature troves and fantastic food.  Italy is famous for its walking trails and you’ll be quite comfortable outdoors in crisp, cool settings. The regions of Lake Como, Foreste Casentinesi in Tuscan, National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise offer spectacular splashes of vibrant fall colors. The mild climate, teamed up with beautiful landscapes, is so enjoyable. You can top it off with delicious fresh Italian cuisine and have the loveliest time ever.


Autumn in Europe is a great way to embrace nature and appreciate its pristine beauty. You can enjoy your travels in calm surroundings filled with refreshing vibrant colors of nature. Crowds are minimal, expenses are lower, and the temperatures are moderate. You’ll be able to stroll without lots of layers of clothing. You might even take a dip in a beautiful lake or river. And finally, you will be bewitched by the unforgettable sight of intense fall panoramas. September until early November is the ideal time for fall foliage vacations in Europe. These vacations go beyond leaf peeping and foliage viewing. Europe also gears up for harvest events, food and drink festivals and cultural fairs. The surreal scenery of fall foliage will make it one of the most fascinating journeys of your life.

fall foliageI’d like to thank Priya Ghatol for this guest post. Priya is an avid travel writer specializing in adventurous travel writing. Her blogs and articles give deep insight into various tourist locations and serve as a perfect guide when traveling to a place for the first time. She has blogged extensively about her travel experiences in Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, Europe, Dubai, the USA, Canada, and beyond.

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fall foliage


18 thoughts on “Top Seven European Destinations for Fall Foliage

  1. Christina

    Wow, what a fabulous collection of fall destinations. My pick would be Germany or France but I love fall so I would be happy to go to any of those places.

  2. Barb

    These all look very beautiful. England has some beautiful fall scenery too. I feel like it should have been included in the post.

  3. Megan Jerrard

    Fantastic list! Autumn (as we call it in Australia!) is one of my favorite seasons for the color. I’ve visited Neuschwanstein Castle before though it was in winter, and I would love to travel back to see it surrounded by fall foliage – how stunning!

  4. Natasha

    These countries truly do have some beautiful foliage. My favourite has to be Scotland as that’s where i’m from haha! The photo of the Scottish foliage looks very similar to a location not far from where I live. Germany also looks beautiful and Neuschwanstein Castle is somewhere I would love to visit as it looks breathtaking.

  5. sherianne

    Such a great round up and beautiful images! I have been to a few of the places at different times of the year, amazing what a change in season can do

  6. Cindy Collins

    I have been to most of those places but mainly in summer or winter months. I can imagine Lake Bled and the Bavarian Alps being incredible in Autumn. Your photos are the proof of that. Next time we’ll make sure to visit in Autumn.

  7. Paige W

    When I think of leaf season, I only think of the U.S. but that’s silly since it’s fall in more places than here. HA! I think Scotland looks like the best! So stinkin’ stunning!


    I honestly never even considered Europe for fall! That may be stupid but I only think about America for foliage! I love the foliage in Scotland and France the best!

  9. kristelle

    Spectacular! I have been in Europe during summer and winter time but haven’t had a chance to see the foliage… my greatest dream. looking forward to it and ohh Swedish foliage is so beautiful. also my boyfriend sent me beautiful fall pictures from his country.

  10. Sandy N Vyjay

    Europe donns a different avatar in Fall. The towns and countryside bloom in fascinating colours. For some reason our European trips have never been in the Fall season. We would love to see France, Switzerland and Italy in the fall and bask in the colours of Fall.

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