Our Guide to the Most Amazing Places to Visit in Spring
From wildflower-filled valleys to whale-watching and wine tasting, spring is packed with incredible adventures
Spring travel is in. No longer reserved for retirees and backpackers, anyone and everyone can experience the season of new beginnings. Witnessing colourful blooms are a given, but spring is also great for festivals, wildlife spotting, and underwater activities. We here at Plum Guide have done all the research, and put together a comprehensive list of best places to visit in spring just for you. You can thank us later, but for now, take a look at our guide to start planning your next spring break.
There’s really no better place to be in spring than Amsterdam. The whole city comes alive with colour and festivities, as the annual King’s Day (or Koningsdag) celebrations take place (get there for the last Saturday in April each year). April also marks peak tulip season, and this is not something to ignore - the best place to see these beautiful blooms is the infamous Keukenhof Tulip Gardens. Step into a mosaic of colour as millions of tulips carpet one of the largest flower gardens in the world.
Mount Yoshinoyama, Japan
Mt Yoshino is probably Japan’s most well-known cherry blossom destination - legend has it that the very first cherry blossom trees were planted on its slopes over 1,300 years ago. Today, more than 30,000 cherry trees cover the mountain, and you can admire the views by visiting Yoshino’s pretty town with its temples, shrines, parks, and viewpoints.
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year to visit this popular beach resort in Turkey’s southern Mediterranean region. Temperatures are still bearable, the summer crowds haven’t yet taken over the beaches, and the scent of jasmine and orange blossoms waft through the streets. Whether you want to relax on Konyaalti Beach, wander through the Old Town, or take a boat out onto the Mediterranean sea, there’s no better time to do it.
If you’re a keen cyclist, spring is the best time to visit this coastal city in southern Sweden. With over 500 kilometres of bike lanes, you’ll be spoilt for choice, whether you're looking to traverse through fields of wildflowers, soar along the coast, saunter through green forest, or even just sightsee around the city. After all that cycling, unwind in true Swedish style at a classic sauna. The 19th-century Ribersborg Kallbadhus is a beloved institution with saunas, steam room, and spa.
Want to experience spring all year round? Madeira is the place to be - explore the island’s lush, volcanic interior as you bask in the delightful weather. Locals take this season very seriously, with the annual Flower Festival and carnival taking place every spring. It’s a truly incredible sight to see every inch of streets and towns covered in flowers, performers in colourful flower costumes, and huge floral floats parading through the capital Funchal.
Each spring, Hangzhou transforms into a watercolour painting. The city’s downtown area is built around the beautiful West Lake, famous for inspiring poets and painters throughout Chinese history. Its many temples, shrines, pagodas, and romantic bridges are especially beautiful when lit up at night. Stroll along the Su Causeway, or take a boat ride across the lake to admire the flowers and peach trees in full bloom.
Pembrokeshire has to be one of the most magical places in spring, when nature erupts in a picturesque display of colours, sights, and sounds. The best way to experience this is by walking along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path for views of majestic cliffs, pretty beaches, and wildflower meadows. For a less physically intense experience, take a boat trip to Skomer Island - find an abundance of birdlife such as puffins and razorbills, as well as dolphins and seals.
The Maldives are one of the best spring travel destinations, with the greatest weather between January and March. This is when the skies are a permanent blue and the water is at its calmest, with excellent visibility making it ideal for snorkelling and diving. When you’re not exploring underwater, or surfing on top of it, be sure to go island hopping - visit markets where you can find locally-made crafts and jewellery.
Spring is the perfect time of year to enjoy Barcelona’s cultural offerings, from Easter celebrations and festivals, to sporting and art events. There’s something for everyone, whether you want to live it up at the Barcelona Beer Festival, get active at the Barcelona Marathon, or indulge in sweets at the Sant Medir Festival. There are also plenty of traditional Catalan celebrations - such as Sant Jordi (similar to Valentine’s Day), and Semana Santa, which celebrates Easter.
Spring is the best time to visit Morocco, when you can swap out the searing hot sun for balmy and crisp temperatures. Start your journey in Marrakech, and wander through the alleyways before practising your best bargaining skills at the Bab Doukkala market. For an outdoor adventure, head into the Atlas Mountains for raw and spectacular scenery, dotted with Berber villages, canyons, and ravines.
Lake Tahoe, USA
As the snow turns into waterfalls and raging rivers, spring is one of the most picturesque times of the year to visit Lake Tahoe. As well as fewer crowds, the weather is generally mild and sunny, making it ideal for all the outdoor activities on offer - think spring skiing, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, stand up paddle-boarding, and relaxing in hot springs.
If you’re a wine connoisseur wondering where the best place to visit in the spring is for you, then look no further Mendoza. This city in Argentina’s Cuyo region is at the heart of wine country, known for its Malbecs and other reds. There are over 1,200 bodegas (wineries) in the area, so you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to tours and tastings - you can even tour the wineries by bicycle.
Lake District, England, UK
Woods carpeted with bluebells, wild garlic in bloom, lambs grazing in wildflower-filled pastures - this is what spring in the Lake District is all about. The same daffodils that inspired William Wordsworth can be spotted for miles, whether you’re strolling along a lake, cruising on a historic steam yacht gondola, or hiking on the fells. With outdoor festivals and fairs celebrating everything from food to art, this is the perfect time to visit.
Photogenic Budapest is worth a visit any time during the year, but spring is best for mild weather, blossoms, and countless festivals. The Budapest Spring Festival is packed with all kinds of events - think concerts, art exhibitions, dance performances, and operas. The fun continues with even more festivals, like the Cherry Blossom Festival, Hungarian Jazz Festival, and Hungarian Folk Dance Festival - plus numerous Easter fairs.
When it comes to the best places to visit in spring, few places offer something as special as Provence. Fields transform into oceans of wildflowers, vineyards glow all shades of green, picturesque villages become lively and bustling, and farmers’ markets fill up with fresh spring produce. The moors along the pretty coastline are filled with the scent of rosemary, wild thyme, and Mediterranean pine, while the warm spring sunshine basks the glittering sea in a beautiful light.
Glacier Bay, Alaska, USA
Spring is feeding time for the whales in this National Park and Preserve. Covering 3.3 million acres of mountains, glaciers, fjords, rainforests, and coastline, Glacier Bay is the best place to spot orcas, minkes, humpbacks, and grey whales. On your whale watching excursion, you may also get to see harbour seals, porpoises, sea otters, puffins, and a variety of mammals - including Alaskan brown bears.
Venice can get notoriously crowded during the summer months, so visiting in spring allows you to admire the beauty of the city without the hordes of tourists. Wander down the charming streets, embark on a gondola ride, or enjoy a coffee in Piazza San Marco. Spring is also a great time to visit the neighbouring islands of Murano, Burano, and Lido.
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are one of the best places to visit in spring for wildlife watching. This is the perfect time to spot iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies doing their mating dance, turtles hatching, and the famed waved albatross. Snorkelling and diving is ideal in spring, so be sure to visit Camaño Islet on Santa Cruz island - spot marine iguanas hunting for food underwater, or El Arco on Darwin Island to see sharks in action.
With the last of the snow melting away and the mountain slopes turning green, spring is a beautiful time in Tyrol. Pastures fill with wildflowers, inviting you to hike or cycle through the valleys. For those looking for something a little more relaxing, why not take a stroll through the blossoming apple meadows, or indulge in the traditional Austrian treats made during the Easter celebrations.
Spring is one of the two main trekking seasons in Nepal. This is the best time to finally complete that Himalayan trek you’ve been dreaming about. Even if trekking isn’t your thing, the bustling capital of Kathmandu offers temples, markets, and delicious food. Chitwan National Park’s rainforests and grassy plains are best for safaris - spot rhinos, elephants, crocodiles, and even the elusive Bengal tiger (if you’re lucky).