What are the best places to visit in Europe come spring? Here’s a look at our top six favorites.
With warmer temperatures just around the corner, it is not too late to start thinking about Europe in the spring. Many of Europe’s best destinations, including France and Italy, are beautiful this time of year, and offer perks like pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds at popular attractions. Let’s take a look at our favorite destinations for a little ‘spring break.’
Italy can become quite crowded in the summer tourism season. With so many incredible must-see destinations, you could spend an entire week just in Rome, across the country, traveling in spring saves you precious time waiting in lines. The weather is pretty much perfect in Italy in the spring. Not too hot, but warm enough to enjoy the sun. You’ll also enjoy Venice more as a result of the moderate temperatures (the city’s canals, while undeniably beautiful, can acquire an unpleasant odor when summer temperatures soar). You’ll also find that the country is simply filled with life. From the blooming wildflowers to the return of spring fashions, there is a lively buzz to Italy in spring. Looking for a guided tour? Then be sure to check out our collection of Italy vacations.
Maybe it’s not one of the first destinations that come to mind when you daydream about Europe, but we think it should be. The weather in Croatia is at its best between April and September, and the spring rains have all but dried up by early May. While the waters are still too cold for swimming, the sun is warm enough to be without a coat most days, making for empty beaches that are just as beautiful in the spring as they are in the crowded summer. This is also a prime time to visit Plitvice Lakes, one of Europe’s oldest and most unforgettable national parks. A can’t-miss highlights is the park’s winding boardwalk trail – offering travelers a chance to “walk on water” in one of Croatia’s most beautiful settings.
The city of lights comes alive with the changing seasons. As florals bloom and lovers emerge from their Parisian flats, it’s the ideal time to explore this paradise. Wildflower blooms peak from March through May, leaving much of the country covered in color. Local markets open for the season, offering fresh produce and a taste of France’s regional cuisines. So what areas are best to visit? When it comes to France in spring, you can’t go wrong. Our favorite places include Paris, Normandy, the Loire Valley, and Provence, and of course the popular French Riviera (featured on the Best of France). It’s warm enough to enjoy the sun on the beaches of Marseille or a delicious meal al fresco.
Spring in Portugal means clear skies, pleasant temperatures, and fragrant wildflowers blanketing the countryside. Nature comes to life in Portugal in the spring, as well as the seaside capital of Porto, where locals happily venture out after the rainy winter season. This is a great time to plan your trip; fewer crowds of tourists mean easier access to museums and top attractions, and more opportunities to engage with the locals. There are also many options when it comes to exploring; whether you’re interested in sampling regional wines on a luxury river cruise of the Douro, or admiring the lovely floral covered homes of Obidos on a guided tour, you’re sure to find a trip that meets your interests.
Like the other countries we’ve mentioned, Spain enjoys comfortable temperatures and fewer crowds from March to June. In the north, you can enjoy a delightful Mediterranean breeze while exploring the cosmopolitan capital of Barcelona, as well as easier access to popular highlights such as the Sagrada Familia Church, Park Guell, and Las Ramblas Boulevard. A few hours south, Valencia bustles with flamenco dancers and live music. And Andalucía’s Costa Del Sol lives up to its name as the “Sunny Coast.” If you’re thinking of visiting Spain on a guided tour, we think you’ll find that spring is a great time to travel.
For us, Holland in spring conjures up images of tulips and windmills. Rural landscapes overflow with vibrant colors, rivaling anything else you’ll see across Europe. One of the best ways to experience tulip season in the Netherlands is on a river cruise of Holland and Belgium, which showcases the awe-inspiring fields that inspired the paintings of Van Gogh and other artists (just be sure to plan ahead these trips sell out far in advance). A guided tour by motor coach is another popular option, and is a great way to experience the scenic route National Geographic ranks among its top “Drives of a Lifetime.” And be sure not to miss the world famous Keukenhof gardens. Of course, there is more to do than enjoy tulips. In Amsterdam, you can enjoy a bike ride, a favorite pastime in the Netherlands, sample Dutch cuisine, and explore the city’s waterways, art museums, and quintessential architecture.
It’s not too late to plan a getaway. Warmer air and sun drenched days await you abroad, and pending the time of your trip, great deals could be on the agenda as well. To learn more about travel seasons and when you might want to plan your trip, check out our guide on when to visit Europe. And if your travel dates are flexible, we suggest looking into a Last Minute Deal, where you can save up to $1,000 on popular guided Europe tours.
Explore guided tours to the following destinations:
What destination are you dreaming of this spring? Tell us in the comments below!