Springtime brings on the urge to travel for many adventurers. With many schools breaking up for the holidays at this time of the year, families also use this window of time to make a quick, post-winter getaway that can often be rewarding in both experience and cost. When looking for a spring holiday destination, the choices are endless.
This list must begin with Paris, France. Although the weather can be unpredictable in terms of sudden showers, Paris has earned the reputation of having idyllic spring weather. Layering a light sweater is all one needs to do in order to be prepared for some still cool days; however, when the sun comes out in full force, the beauty of Paris is at its best. Multitudes of plants are in bloom, so visiting the city’s parks and gardens is a must at this time of year and everyone, especially the locals, is cheered by the fabulous weather.
Keeping with the French theme, the world-famous French Riviera is an excellent place to visit in the springtime. Tourists flock to this area in the summer months of July and August. In spring, however, this is not the case. The sun is still incredibly strong, and the water is already warm enough for swimming. Prices of airplane fares, train tickets and hotel accommodations are greatly reduced during this time of year in popular locations such as Marseille and Nice and in less touristy cities such as St. Tropez, Cannes, Antibes and Monaco. Another even cheaper option for those planning an extended stay is one of the many house rental options available in the French Riviera.
For Brits really looking to get away in the spring, Ottawa, Canada has its annual Canadian Tulip Festival during May. Over three million flowers will be on display during this time, and since Ottawa is not typically known for being a tourist destination, this location could provide an incredibly relaxing holiday experience. Also popular in the spring is Napa Valley, California. During February and March, wine lovers can enjoy prices that are nearly half what they would be during peak season but still have access to the tours, tastings and scenery that Napa Valley is famous for.
Closer to home, tourists should look to Spain for excellent spring holidays. Barcelona is perennially known for its rich culture, nightlife and shopping. What tourists sometimes overlook is one of the most obvious things: Barcelona’s proximity to an amazingly high number of gorgeous beaches, which are ready for tourists in the springtime, as the popular beach bars, open for the season, serving light meals, coffees and cocktails. Beaches in northern Barcelona are trendier and have large waves perfect for early-season water sports, while the calmer, shallower southern beaches are well-suited for families.
Not to be overlooked in Spain is the city of Valencia, much less travelled than Barcelona, but equally beautiful. Seville is also an excellent spring holiday option, since the city will be naturally beautiful with plenty of flowers in bloom, plus the colourful array of costumes at the Seville Fair add to the ambiance of this special season.
If tourists want a typical beach vacation, they need to look no further than the Caribbean. During the months of April, May and June, hotel prices plunge to anywhere from 20 to 50 percent off their peak-season rates. Since the beautiful weather is standard for every time of year, this is an excellent time for tourists to enjoy the beach and avoid the summer crowds.
St. Lucia, for example, has an incredible number of all-inclusive hotels for such a small island. From hiking in the Grand Pitons to lounging on the golden sands, this popular destination can offer tourists everything they would expect of a summer holiday. There will perpetually be plenty of water sports offered, and restaurants and cafés stay open all year.
The Bahamas is also an excellent choice for a springtime holiday getaway. Popular activities include swimming and water sports, which are all readily available even in early spring. Also, tourists can enjoy days of island hopping via plane or boat, while some of the islands even connect to one another by bridge!
Just after hurricane season and just before peak tourist season, the vast collection of the Virgin Islands experiences a lull in tourism around mid-April. Those who are free to travel in spring can take advantage of the lower hotel rates and excellent climate of the Virgin Islands during this time. Scuba diving, snorkelling and swimming are activities that should be experienced in such a paradisiacal location, and spring may be the best time. Prices will likely be lower and companies will not be as busy.
Italian beaches can also be very popular during springtime. Capri is one beach which is popular year round. During the summer, as many people visit the island as actually live there, but the spring is less visited but very beautiful. Likewise, Ischia draws tourists to its thermal spas all year long. Spring is as good a time as any to enjoy the benefits of this island’s volcanic activity. Volcanic mud and natural hot springs are just two of the many therapeutic treatments that visitors can receive.
Santorini Island off the coast of the Greek mainland in the Aegean Sea is another popular springtime destination, while Dubrovnik, Croatia has a fabulous springtime climate that is less severe than the popular summer months. One of the only port cities to compete with Venice, Dubrovnik is one of the most popular tourist destinations on the Adriatic Sea.