Spring is when the white of snow gives way to blooming flowers and lush green fields. The vivid colours of nature surround you, symbolising new life, hope and love. Is it any wonder that spring has inspired poets since time immemorial?
Snow is still white in the fields
But spring is in the water’s voice.
Running, the waters wake the sleepy banks.
They run, they glisten, they rejoice.
Spring is coming, spring is coming!
~ Fyodor Tyutchev
Today, spring travel has emerged as a hot favourite with travellers seeking destinations ablaze with colour and pleasant weather. We have picked for you 8 spring destinations that are sure to dazzle you with their beauty in spring.
1. Enjoy Paris in Spring
Frank Sinatra’s “I never knew the charm of spring, Till April in Paris” has inspired travellers and lovers alike. For Paris is breathtaking this time of the year – blue skies, comfortably warm days, and the city’s manicured gardens bursting with colors. The streets come to life after the winter with clowns, musicians and other street entertainers. Enjoy the Cafe culture, stroll through the famous Luxembourg Gardens and soak up the Parisian lifestyle. Indulge in a typical Parisian alfresco meal. Attend the Easter mass at the famous Notre Dame, take part in egg hunts in the many parks, or enjoy the springtime classical music concerts at La Sainte-Chapelle. Enjoy Paris in spring!
When to go – March to June
2. Japan – Cherry Blossom Festival
Welcome the spring this year with the famous Cherry Blossom festival in Japan. Celebrate the joys of life the Japanese “Hanami” way. This is when the country is draped in hues of pink and white cherry blossoms in full bloom. The “Sakura” trees flower for a short two-week period. So plan your travel to follow the flowering season as it moves northwards from Kagoshima in south to Kyoto and Tokyo. Gather under cherry blossom trees for food and togetherness, and celebrate the spirit of life. Check out the Hanami spots of Tokyo, roam the Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park, or the promenades of Sapporo. In love? Do not miss the yozakura night-time cherry blossom ritual.
When to go – March to May
3. Netherlands – Tulip Festival
Take a springtime break to visit the stunning land of the Netherlands, when flower fields break into a riot of colours. Millions of vividly coloured blow-out tulips fill the landscape for a visual feast. Celebrate the tulip festival in full glory. Visit the Keukenhof Gardens or trace the Holland’s flower route, home to the world famous Dutch tulips. Follow the tulip trail by car or bicycle. Tour the lowlands along the 20-mile bloemstreek (flower district) between Haarlem and Leiden. Fly over Noordoostpolder for best aerial views of the vast flower mosaic, inspired by Dutch artist Mondrian. Be a part of the ‘face of spring’ Corsoweek Flower Parade in the Bollenstreek, where floats are constructed exclusively of bulb flowers. Top your spring visit with the flower auction in Aalsmeer, south of Amsterdam and throw in a windmill day trip.
When to go – late March to May [Mid-April – Flower Parade, May – Noordoostpolder flower mosaic]
4. Rose Valley, Bulgaria – Rose Festival
South of the Balkans is the famous Rose Valley of Bulgaria, where the land bursts into rose pink every spring. This is the best place in the world to enjoy a long springtime in the midst of colours of nature and the fragrance of Bulgarian damask roses. The roses are the pride of Bulgaria, source of the world famous Bulgarian rose oil more expensive than gold!
Watch the rose oil making process at Kulata museum. Indulge in shopping for rose products at bargain prices. Plan to be there for rose picking when the entire valley celebrates the harvest with dance, rose decor and rose essence spraying from the fountains. Don’t miss the Rose Festivals of Kazanluk and Karlovo, that culminate in the grand Rose Parade.
Time to visit – March to May, end of May ( rose-picking), last Saturday in May (Karlovo Rose festival), first weekend in June (Kazanlak Rose Parade)
5. Kauai, Hawaii – The Garden Isle
If Kauai is in your travel bucket list, then there is no time like the spring to visit the island, when festive events line up in the backdrop of lush greenery. It is dubbed as The Garden Isle for the green cliffs and lush jungles – a popular setting for many movies. The Lawai Valley lush greenbelt is home to gardens that showcase plant evolution at its vibrant best. Travel the McBryde Garden Biodiversity Trail for wonders like the famous fig trees and Manawaiopuna waterfalls from Jurassic Park.
Easter church services couldn’t be more beautiful with locations ranging from sea-side churches to beach parks. Enjoy Hawaiian delicacies and dance to the hula at the many springtime festivals.
When to go – March to May
6. Mojave Desert, California – The California Poppy Tour
Discover the beauty of spring in the desert, when the arid land breaks out in vivid colours of nature. The Mojave Desert in California is one of the most beautiful places to be in springtime. Spectacular wildflower blooms and tall Joshua trees indigenous to the region. Everywhere you find the desert has magically sprung back to life after a winter of rain. Occasionally you are greeted with a sea of gold, purple, and pink flowers, making you forget you are in the desert. The endless stretches of huge sand dunes dotted with fiery red blooms of cactuses, against the backdrop of purple mountains are sights to behold. Visit Joshua Tree National Park and hike the dunes. Or drive through the Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve for views of endless orange California Poppy. The magnificent scenery is worth the trip.
When to go – mid-February to April
7. Cotswold, England – Flower Countryside
Daffodils symbolise rebirth and new beginnings, synonymous with spring. And what better way to usher in a new start than connecting with the vibrant colours of nature at Cotswolds? This is the Cotswold season of flowers. Catch the late winter blankets of snowdrops, or see the golden daffodils in their spring glory. Witness the flowering of magnolias and Japanese cherry trees. Get up-close with carpets of bluebells as April gives way to May. Visit historic village castles, walk through gardens and arboretums, and indulge in champagne afternoon teas. Cotswold is filled with quintessential English villages of stone houses, magnificent landscapes with historic gardens, ancient woodlands and wildflower meadows in their spring glory.
When to go – March to May
8. Tuscany, Italy
If you are an outdoor buff, then Tuscany in spring beckons you. The picture postcard is best enjoyed during this shoulder season, when swathes of wildflowers across the countryside greet you. Clusters of tiny pink cyclamens, wild purple orchids, anemones and crocuses cover the landscape. Coastal Maremma is most beautiful, with fields of vivid yellow sunflowers, orange poppies between vines and yellow Marguerite daisies. Roads are flanked with banks of pale pink wild roses, and the coast carpeted with shocking pink Sour Figs flowers. Take a walk along mountain paths, cycle down rolling hills or just enjoy the morning mist of spring. Indulge in outdoor thermal baths, and explore vineyards in the gentle sun. Top-up your amazing Tuscany holiday with the food festival Sagra.
When to go – March to May. Plan your visit to fit in a local festival.