Spring is the season of new life, new beginnings, beautiful blooms and sunnier days. If you are feeling like you need to escape right about now – these are the best places to visit in spring
Move over Madrid and Barcelona because Valencia is pipped to be the Spanish city of dreams in 2018 and there couldn’t be a better time to visit than in spring. In fact, with a series of new openings, key anniversaries, fascinating events and more flight options than ever before, Valencia is now one of the most exciting short break destinations in the Mediterranean.
Expect the same pretty Spanish scenery you love about Madrid and Barcelona, from the beautiful blooms and quirky culture to the white sandy beaches of the coast and the regal architecture inland, but enjoy it being considerably kinder on your purse strings.
On the south-east coast of the Mediterranean, Valencia is a stunning region of mountains ranges and beaches, but it also has plenty of fascinating culture. With luxurious hotels, museums, galleries and Michelin-starred restaurants keeping it firmly on the map.
You can experience the explosive Fallas Festival– now protected by UNESCO – where huge papier-mâché sculptures take over the city every March before getting burned in a dramatic way. But if you can’t get there now, you can get a taste of the festival any time of the year on a new Fallas tour that meets local artists and visits the now-renovated Fallas Museum.
And visit the city before 17th June and you can even catch a new exhibition marking 125 years since the birth of 20th century Spanish painter Joan Miró, which brings together more than 100 works by the artist from 15 museums and institutions.
In April, Santorini starts to come alive again – warmer temperatures, less rainfall and more daylight add to its stunning appeal. Throw yourself into the beauty of this Greek island – from white washed stone buildings to perfect blue water.
Situated perfectly on the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, Santorini’s historic cliffs, volcanic ruins and black, red and white lava pebbles provide an interesting backdrop for a short break in Greece.
Cafes and restaurants flood the shore line, with a laidback and sedate vibe perfect for wiling away the hours and recharging the batteries. And with an average temperature of around 16 degrees Celsius, it’s much more manageable than the summer heat waves.
A welcome jump back to basics where it’s teeters on being less luxurious but uber-chic nonetheless – you may even spot a few celebrities along the way. In spring, Santorini is much quieter than in summer when you can expect it to get crowded. Accommodation prices are still moderate as well.
Santorini is a great place to indulge in wine-tasting, cultivating its own indigenous grape and famous for its crisp dry white wine. Local vineyards combine the elegant wine with breathtaking views and stunning scenery making for the perfect leisurely afternoon.
Walk, hike or enjoy the warm sea, there are plenty of activities to re-energise your body, but you must visit the museums and experience the ancient landmarks before you leave.
Paris in April is one of the most sought-after travel destinations of the world. It’s the spring you see in your dreams, infused with a romantic charm. Blooms decorate the streets and the moonlight sparkles of the River Seine. It’s so special that Frank Sinatra famously sang about ‘April in Paris’, so what’s the secret?
As the trees turn green and pink flowers outline the streets, it creates picture-perfect scenery as you explore the cultural hotspots of the city. There’s no better time to enjoy the famous Eiffel Tower, as the clear skies open up and showcase its magnitude, or strolling through the iconic streets stopping for coffee.
Relax in one of the cities luscious parks or cycle along the Canal-St Martin – it’ll be more romantic than ever – still cold enough to cosy up to one another but warm enough to take in the beauty of Paris in its entirety – day and night.
And venture across the channel in late spring and you will enjoy the Les Grandes Eaux Musicales – the fountain show at Chateau de Versailles – where water fountains dance to classical music. Spend your days taking in the museums and exploring galleries, plus indulge in some of the finest food you can taste in Europe.
But it’s not all traditional and aristocratic, there’s a young and vibrant culture to Paris from the bars and clubs to the street art and entertainers. Quaint markets will satisfy your need to collect keepsakes and souvenirs, while Paris’ famous shopping streets will fill your closets!
To visit the Italian capital at any time of year is invigorating but spring brings a new life to Rome’s beauty.
Rome is at the heart of the region of Lazio, which offers everything from coastal attractions to good food, history and art. But Rome, itself, is surrounded by hills, lakes, rivers and vineyards making it more than just a city of undeniable culture.
Luscious greenery and pockets of colour liven up the streets and squares, as you experience the monumental influence of history on the Eternal City. A place with worldwide cultural significance – being home to the Vatican and the Colosseum, among many others – so it is always bustling with tourists and visitors, which is a sight to behold in itself.
With so much to see and do in the city that never ends, a few days doesn’t seem enough – from the Piazza Venezia and the Vittoriano, to the Piazza del Campidoglio designed by Michelangelo, Buonarroti and the Capitoline Museums, and the Church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli or the Arch of Constantine. And, of course, the Vatican City, with its renaissance style, Saint Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. It’s much more than cultural indulgence in this city.
Berlin is a vibrant, lively and innovative city underpinned by some of the most significant moments in history. To think this city was once separated by East and West is completely incredible, but some of the most fascinating areas to visit are heavily associated with this time, and the landmarks of the Nazi rule during World War II.
Today, Germany’s capital city is home to some of the most famous museums in the world, three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, an international art scene offering the most unique and sought-after collaborations and galleries, and trendy shopping districts.
While there is plenty of places to explore during the day, Berlin truly comes alive at night – when its assortment of legendary clubs and bars take over the city, bringing in renowned DJs and musician to keep the young up all night.
And not forgetting the food – from street markets to restaurants, Berlin is awash with tempting delights: from the famous Currywurst to the upmarket restaurants near Potsdamer Platz, you will love it all.
Don’t leave without visiting Berlin’s most famous landmarks: the Brandenburg Gate, which became a symbol of unity after the fall of the wall; German Parliament, P Reichstag; the remains of the Berlin Wall; and P Museumsinsel: a collection of five museums displaying over 6,000 years of art and history.
Berlin’s Mitte district is also a fascinating place to uncover, and , this spring, the temporary exhibition “Pergamon Museum: the Panorama” will open across from the Bode Museum, featuring highlights from the city’s antiquities collection and a new panorama by artist Yadegar Asisi.