It’s winter now, and almost the holidays. Thoughts of snow and warm fires and cozy moments are all around. And while this is the season of giving, it’s also a great time to start looking forward to next years travel plans!
Winter is the perfect time to plan for the new year. Especially once the holidays are over, it’s wonderful to start looking forward to flowers blooming, the days getting longer, and the air a little warmer. While the beaches of Florida are an evergreen escape this time of year, we like to think more globally at Grand European Travel.
Seeing Holland at Tulip Time
Springtime in Holland has the fields looking as if they’ve been touched by an artist’s brush. Quite literally striped in color, it feels impossible to look upon these fields and not feel small in their vastness. Taking time to navigate the fields can sometimes be cumbersome on your own. Why not take a guided vacation then? This drive is ranked by National Geographic as one their coveted, “Drives of a Lifetime.” If you are lucky, you can see tulip fields with an antique windmill in the background, creating a photo unlike anything you’re likely to encounter back home. Apart from being in full bloom, spring also makes Holland a great destination due to the weather. With cool, brisk temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s and sunny days, getting outside is a real treat. You’ll also enjoy the annual King’s Day festival if you travel in April. Complete with music, street food, and traditional dance, there is nothing better to complete your immersive spring experience in The Netherlands.
The French Riviera & Provence
The French Riviera and nearby Provence are simply stunning in Spring. Flowers are in bloom, the sun is warm, and the packed tourist season hasn’t yet begun. Experts say that locals are at their friendliest this time of year, fresh off of a several-month break from the large, sun-seeking crowds. Spend your days on the water, in the water, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, plan your trip around one of the French Riviera’s many springtime festivals. Among them are the Antibes Yacht Show, Monaco Grand Prix, Rolex Masters, The Paris-Nice Bicycle Race, and famed Cannes Festival. Have the French Riviera on your bucket list (don’t we all)? Extend your vacation with a side trip on either end and visit some of the most inviting areas along the Riviera:
Eze– Inhale deeply in this charming hillside town. Eze is a world leader in the perfume industry, responsible for sending fragrances all over the world.
Aix-en-Provence-It might be a student town, but this place has a certain je ne sais quoi. It’s a chic, classy area with cobbled streets and boulevards to make you swoon.
Arles– Step into the sun in Arles, a sun-soaked village known for inspiring master painter Vincent VanGough. In fact, he so loved Arles that it’s vistas appear across more than 200 unique paintings by the artist. There is also a stellar Saturday market here worthy of getting lost inside!
Nice– Known for an enchanting promenade along the Mediterranean, you can’t beat the sunbathing and beaches of Nice.
Carcassone- This hilltop fortress town is the stuff of medieval fantasy. With watchtowers and double walled facades, this UNESCO World Heritage Centre is off the beach trail, and worth every step.
Monaco– Just a short jaunt from the traditionally thought of French Riviera towns, Monaco offers famed gambling to put even Las Vegas to shame. Dress to impress here, as you’ll likely stick out if you don’t!
Costa Rican Eco Adventures
Spring may just be the ideal time to visit Costa Rica. Not yet hot and humid, and coming off of the drier, cooler, winter season- this lush landscape may be at its finest in spring. Framed by the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Caribbean Sea to the east, Costa Rica presents a thick, green jungle environment in the shadow of the iconic Arenal Volcano. The smoky volcanic summits around the country aren’t the only thing competing for your attention though. In addition to the white sand beaches and emerald colored waters of Guanacaste Beach, Costa Rica also plays home to one of the most diverse flora, fauna, and wildlife populations in the world. Plan a visit to the Monteverde Cloud Forest or Tortuguero National Park to seek out things you may never have the opportunity to see again.
Cruising the Nile
Take on one of the great rivers of the world this spring as you set sail down the mighty Nile. Opting for a Nile river cruise is a simple way to get a big bang for your buck since it’s one of the only truly all-inclusive vacation options out there. One price covers your room board, drinks, and experiences. We’re quite fond of the Uniworld river cruise options along the Nile. Many of these routes get you up close and personal to leading world destinations along the Nile including Egypt’s Giza Pyramids, the Sphynx, and the Luxor. With a river cruise, you get many destinations, without having to pack, unpack, and repack multiple times.