From the lush rice paddies of Ubud to the magnificent sandy beaches of Nusa Dua, Bali is a destination that delivers. If you're chasing the sun, September offers up Bali's longest hours of sunlight with temperatures of up to 30ºC, plus it falls just before the rainy season so you should skip the daily monsoons of later months. Bali is a slice of paradise to suit every taste, from the spiritual to the wave-chasing. Vegan cafes and incredible surf spots are in rich supply here, as are dreamy palm-fringed white beaches and crystal clear waters - plus if you're in the market for a party, Seminyak's host of stylish bars should more than satisfy any urge for glamour and excess.

Holidays in Benidorm are all about big beaches and even bigger nightlife. It's a town very much dedicated to tourism - in fact, it's a UK favourite - so if you're after an easy life, you could do worse than to head to this Spanish holiday haven. With some of the area's largest Blue Flag beaches, plenty of clubs and bars and a short distance to Alicante, there's a reason for its popularity. Daytime here sees a booming trade in watersports and sun loungers whereas night welcomes tapas, tribute bands and dancing 'til dawn. Visit during September to avoid peak season prices and the school holiday crowds; by this time, kids will have gone back to school whilst temperatures still remain at a pleasant 25ºC and above.

If you're looking for a taste of authentic Spain in the Balearics, make a beeline for mesmerising Menorca. Operating a little differently to its hedonistic sisters Ibiza and Majorca, Menorca enjoys an altogether sleepier pace - and is all the nicer for it, frankly. Tourism is certainly catered for, but hotels tend to be low-rise and restaurants more of the family-run variety, with pine-flanked Blue Flag beaches boasting white sands and pretty off-the-beaten-track coves. September is a smart time to visit Menorca, especially if you're travelling with toddlers; temperatures have cooled to around 24ºC without losing the sunshine, prices are cheaper now the school holidays are over and the flight duration is short - plus crowds will have thinned out too.

If you missed your chance for a summer break but still yearn for some sunshine, a September visit to the magical Greek island of Crete could well be the solution. Visiting in September is a smart way to hack the travel game and beat those midsummer peak-season rates whilst still enjoying temperatures of up to 30ºC. Crete's mythic history jostles against long stretches of sandy beach and lush green countryside. There's plenty of space to enjoy it all - after all, Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and the fifth biggest in the entire Med! That means there's no less the 650 miles of coastline to go around, from the beaches of Lassithi to Chania's Blue Flag beauties - peppered dramatically with historic sites like the Palace of Knossos.

Condé Nast Traveller readers voted Sicily 'The World's Favourite Island' in 2009 and it's easy to see why - Greek amphitheatres, sleepy medieval villages and Roman ruins dance with vineyards, olive groves and breathtaking sandy beaches whilst Taormina's flower-drenched balconies provide the backdrop for winding cobbled streets and ancient Greek ruins like the Temple of Diana (plus it even boasts its very own volcano!) In short: this is an island with serious style, which means that it can be expensive if you don't book carefully - visit in September to guarantee wonderfully warm temperatures of around 29ºC without the school holiday crowds of high season.

Something Different In September

Travelling in September can be a good way to secure reasonable prices - and if you head slightly off-the-beaten-track, all the better. A destination like Puglia in Italy offers up picturesque Baroque towns, bucolic vineyards and some of the loveliest beaches in Italy (but keep it to yourself, as so far this part of Italy has managed to remain a secret from most of the tourist crowds!) Coastal towns like Torre Canne offer hot springs, sandy coves and national parks, whilst historic cities like Ugento houses some of the best ancient history you're likely to find.

Or there are undiscovered gems like Albania, which has only very recently started to open up to tourists. Highlights here include a dramatic untouched coastline, the ancient city of Butrint and its ancient Greco-Roman theatre and the pretty seaside town of Agios Saranda. Prices are shockingly reasonable here and temperatures can reach up to around 26ºC in September.

If you're keen for the heat of the Canary Islands but want to avoid the crowds, but why not consider La Gomera? You'll find deserted beaches, pine-dotted mountains and sleepy villages here; in fact, this is easily one of the quietest Canaries with a size of just 146 square miles, a fascinating history and a decidedly unspoilt vibe.

If there was ever an ideal time to take a city break, September would unequivocally be it. With the chaotic crowds of high season a distant memory and prices following suit, September is a key month to find great deals without having to compromise on the weather (because what's the use of a cheap-as-chips city break if it's too cold to enjoy it?). Popular destinations like Barcelona, Rome and Paris tend to remain at a reasonable 20ºC and above throughout September, plus it's back-to-school time, meaning that the crowds will have thinned out considerably (which roughly translates to: less time queuing for the Vatican!)

Munich makes an alluring destination for a city break; less crowded than its party-centric sister Berlin, it offers up a wealth of museums and galleries alongside some 6,000 restaurants and bars in which to enjoy traditional German food beer and wine. Speaking of which; a visit in late September means that you'll get to experience the madness of the world's largest beer festival, Oktoberfest, which contrary to its name actually occurs mainly in September - think lederhosen, bratwurst and a lot of beer and you're on the right track. Recover from litres of pilsner with a coffee at the outdoor cafes of Marienplatz or brunch at the stylish bistros of the Schwabing district.

Visitors to Chicago will want to come with an appetite - for food, of course (this is the USA, after all!) but also for history, architecture and culture, because it offers up all three in spades. Marvel at cutting-edge design or enjoy panoramic views of Lake Michigan; spend a cheering with baseball fans then the night drinking in the city's legendary blues scene - the Windy City is a charismatic and cosmopolitan metropolis that invites you to do it all. September sees pleasant temperatures and the city's very own Oktoberfest - perfect for washing down those famous Chicago deep-dish pizzas and hot dogs.

Just the name Monte Carlo conjures images of a stylish bygone era. In modern Monte Carlo, the famously tax-free principality surrounded by France and the Maritime Alps, that glamour resolutely remains. This cliffside Mediterranean port has been a playground for a star-studded crowd for over 150 years - but it's not all diamonds at dawn. Amble along the harbour among the yachts, play a hand at one of its famous casinos or tour the colourful Jardin Exotique. More than 1.5 million visitors travel to Monte Carlo each year and it's easy to see why - take a trip in September to beat the crowds of high season.