Last updated: 07:00 AM ET, Wed October 21 2015

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  • Sam Schuler | October 21, 2015 7:00 AM ET

    3 Fall Festivals in Europe You Won't Want to Miss

    3 Fall Festivals in Europe You Won't Want to Miss

    PHOTO: Guy Fawkes fireworks. (courtesy Auto Europe)

    Summering in Europe certainly has quite a bit of glamour to it, but peak season prices are enough to snuff out almost anyone’s fire for travel. Lower prices, thinner crowds and milder weather make fall the perfect season for visiting historic cities, Mediterranean beaches, and charming mountain villas across the continent, but the real selling point of autumnal travel in Europe is the fabulous festivals you can attend. Get ready to fall in love with three destinations you’ll see in an all-new light.

    Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair

    Fall is nothing if not the season of harvest, and you will find countless celebrations of autumn bounty in many nations. As we march steadily toward winter, it may be a bit too late to catch the Fete de Vendanges or one of France’s other wine harvest festivals, but the Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair doesn’t kick off until Oct. 30, making it a perfect late fall foodie fest. More than 600 vendors highlight wares from around the world, and there is no better place for it than Dijon. After all, the town is practically synonymous with gourmet fare. Cooking contests and demonstrations abound, as do gougeres and Burgundy wine. Later in the fall, keep an eye out for the release of Beaujolais Nouveau, the much-anticipated young red wine that keeps oenophiles on the edge of their seats year after year.

    Truffle Days

    For a more unique take on harvest season, get down and dirty in Croatia. Throughout October, this Balkan country hosts Truffle Days, an international gourmet expo showcasing the earthy delight all foodies crave. Whether white or black, truffles translate into a variety of delicacies, which you can taste alongside premium Mediterranean wines. You will also get to sample other local wares, like honey, olive oil, ham, cheese and homemade brandies. Purchase a wine-tasting glass and be entered in the festival’s raffle – the grand prize winner will receive a romantic weekend for two. But the fun hardly stops there. Visitors can join a licensed truffle hunter and his dogs for the once-in-a-lifetime experience of truffle hunting. Can you sniff out this difficult-to-find tuber in the Motovun forest?

    Guy Fawkes Night

    Fall in the UK is an explosive affair – literally. The night of Nov. 5 in England, Scotland and Wales marks the annual commemoration of a 17th-century plot to take down the British Parliament and King James I. Named for a central member of the failed 1605 Gunpowder Plot, Guy Fawkes Day is often celebrated with fireworks, bonfires and burning effigies. History buffs will be interested to know the religious implications of the festival – Guy Fawkes and his conspirators were Catholics attempting to oust James the Protestant king close on the heels of the English Reformation. Their failure can be considered one of the crowning moments of religious conversion in England. For most revelers, however, it’s a good excuse to kick back, enjoy a pint of Britain’s finest and set fire to a scarecrow.

    When you’re ready to discover some of Europe’s most unique and fun fall festivals, renting a car is an absolute must. At Auto Europe, we specialize in helping travelers make the most of their time abroad. Whether you hope to arrange a one-way car rental to make sure you see as much as possible during your trip, want to rent a van with enough space for all your friends or, even if you just have questions about what is covered by your credit card when renting a car abroad, our friendly and knowledgeable team looks forward to helping you make memories at Europe’s most exciting fall festivals.

    Danielle Bricker contributed to this story.


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Sam Schuler Europe by Car

Sam Schuler Sam Schuler is a travel writer, photographer, graphic artist and a member of Auto Europe's marketing team in Portland, Maine. An Oregon native, Sam has enjoyed trips to France, Italy, Bermuda, and Mexico on multiple occasions. Sam continues to draw creative inspiration from his travels, documenting many of them in a variety of mediums, including travel blog writing and photographic exposes.
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