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Where to go when - Spring

21 May 2020

As winter snows thaw, welcome spring at one of France or Italy's largest street parties - Venice and Nice carnival - or soak up the colours of a million freshly opened tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens. Spring is a time of reawakening and celebrations across Europe while across the pond, the Americas gear up for Fat Tuesday, more commonly known as Mardi Gras.

 

March

The Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands only open for three months of the year, unveiling a kaleidoscopic display of more than 7 million tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, orchids, roses, carnations, irises, lilies and more! While you can enjoy a digital visit still this year, being there in person amid the delicate fragrances and informative stands is a much more immersive experience.

Cherry blossoms are synonymous with Japan in the springtime and are a wondrous sight to behold. Locally known as 'sakura', these emblematic pink blossoms blanket Japan's landscapes each spring, adding a dreamy white and pink hue to the destination's already stunning scenery. The cherry blossom forecast varies depending on weather and must be confirmed each year by dedicated officials. Generally, though, they can be seen between March and May, appearing in Okinawa at the beginning of the year and sweeping across the nation throughout the season.

The Italian lakes are often a popular holiday spot for tourists in summer. Go in spring though and you're in for a treat. With picture-postcard views, pleasant temperatures and far fewer tourists, the lakes are an ideal choice for those seeking a little springtime serenity. Lake Como in particular is at its most enchanting, with lush vegetation, bright skies and a certain stillness that is impossible to find in the summer months.

April

Though not technically spring, April is a fantastic time to visit Australia. Long-haul flights tend to be quieter, and there's little rainfall at this time of year. As temperatures start to rise comfortably, you're free to make the most of the great outdoors. Spend a night under the stars at spiritual Uluru, go snorkelling along the Great Barrier Reef or soak up the eucalyptus-rich air of the Blue Mountains.

Spring in the Great British Isles is most welcome, with the first hint of early sunshine bringing some much-needed winter respite. It's the UK's best season for migrating birds, and as temperatures slowly beginning to rise, meadows burst to life with wildflowers. Daffodils, in particular, are a quintessential springtime flower and are celebrated enthusiastically on St David's Day (March 1st) in Wales. A jovial shade of yellow, the golden flowers grow in woodland and grassland across the country and are an uplifting sight indeed - so uplifting, in fact, that they were the source of inspiration for William Wordsworth's poem, 'I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.'

Before being engulfed by the heat of summer, roll the dice and take a chance on the desert resort of Las Vegas in spring. Filled with ingenious ways to spend your time, there's live shows every night, decadent buffets, imaginatively-themed hotels (you can easily visit Paris, Venice and Egypt all in one day) and relaxing spas. You can also enjoy day trips to the incredible Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam or even venture as far afield as Los Angeles.

May

If you enjoy being active, May is a great time to get dig out your walking shoes before it gets too hot. There are lots of popular (and busy) rambling trails across the continent, so if you want to go somewhere a little off the beaten path (in terms of walking holidays), you might like to try Croatia. Boasting miles upon miles of stunning coastline, old-time charm and eight national parks, Croatia's natural beauty lends itself perfectly to discoveries on foot. You can easily spend more than a day strolling through the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park, exploring the 16 sparkling lakes connected by a series of cascading waterfalls and accessible via a series of wooden walkways.

The Oberammergau Passion Play was due to take place in 2020 but has been postponed until next year thanks to the ironic impact of Coronavirus. This gives you a chance to get a much-coveted ticket while there's still some to be had. Performances of the engrossing five-hour bible story, produced and performed entirely by locals, kick off in May and the show promises to be the event of the decade.

You might be the kind of person who prefers taking a handful of short breaks throughout the year, instead of having one big holiday blow out. So, if May marks the start of your yearly adventures, we suggest heading north to the Faroe Islands. Just an hour's plane ride from Edinburgh, these rugged isles offer unique landscapes that have been largely unspoiled by human hands, as well as long spring nights, perfect for squeezing the most out of your itinerary, and even a Michelin-starred restaurant!