Mid-September is the start of the peak season in Jordan, as the weather starts to cool off. Voyage Jules Verne have a package that includes return flights from Gatwick, three nights at the Petra Palace, four nights in Aqaba and a tour of the Dead Sea. For an extra £65, they will also give you a night-time tour of Petra, although they can’t promise that they will have the local constabulary illuminate the place with their headlights, as they recently did for Madonna. (Price for the 13 October trip is £647 per person. Tel: 0845 166 7035, www.vjv.com.) Alternatively, stay at the stunning Ma’In Six Senses. Set in the bare mountains 264m below sea level, an hour’s drive from the airport and 30 minutes from the Dead Sea, it has a natural hot spring waterfalls that drop into the spa complex. Rooms from £232 per night. www.sixsenses.com/Evason-Ma-In
La Mamounia opened as a hotel in 1923 and since then, guests have included Charlie Chaplin, Omar Sharif and Nelson Mandela. Following a three-year refurb, it reopens on 29 September, with 136 rooms and 71 suites, serviced by two restaurants – each run by a Michelin-starred chef – spinning and yoga classes, a hammam, ozone-treated swimming pool, and even table tennis tables. From £432 a night, see: www.mamounia.com. If you are planning a late autumn trip, then the Royal Mansour is opening in December. Located in the medina, it’s in three hectares of gardens and a 2,500 sq m spa, and the 53 riads are linked by undergroud tunnels that are accessible only to staff. A three-night stay for two will cost around £1810pp, including flights. Contact Eden Collection on 01244 567 000 or go to www.royalmansour.ma.
Year-round sunshine, beaches, souks and history in spades (think Carthage, Tunis and Jerba Island for plenty of all four) makes Tunisia a vibrant country and a sure bet for autumnal tanning. Though your boutique hammams and riads are best found in Morocco, if you’re going to splash your cash on opulence in the sun, go for the Residence Tunis on the Cote de Carthage – all marble, Moorish arches, palm trees and cocktails by the pool with African aristrocrats. Rooms from £200 per night; www. www.theresidence.com or call +216 71 910 101. For something more intimate, try the Dar Said, a 19th century mansion in the ancient village of Sidi Bou Said. Think jasmine-scented courtyards and breakfast under the orange trees by the swimming pool. With only 24 rooms, this is rather a find in Tunisia. Rooms from £130; www.darsaid.com.tn. Thomson flies to Tunisia (Monastir) from £200, flights.thomson.co.uk.