The snow has melted, and blooms now carpet the landscape in brilliant colors as Europe rolls out the welcome mat for travelers. Spring is the ideal time to grab your passport, pack your bags, and head abroad. March, April and May offer more than just pleasant weather and longer days for sightseeing—the shoulder season also brings more affordable airfares and accommodations. Join the locals as they head outdoors to celebrate the season at five of our favorite springtime destinations:
The Netherlands—The vibrant tulip is one of the most compelling reasons to visit the Dutch homeland in spring. For the best display, go to Keukenhof Gardens, where more than 7 million bulbs burst into color in what has been called the “Garden of Europe.” Along with the impressive floral displays, the Netherlands is also a country of cycling, and springtime is perfect for grabbing a bike and heading outdoors. Pedal throughout Amsterdam where you can picnic in Vondelpark; take a canal cruise; or gather with locals to enjoy beer, good friends and the long-awaited sunshine.
Italy—Spring in Italy is in full bloom with pops of flavor and color. From market stalls, to street corners, to shop windows, just about everywhere you look the sights are bright and new. The flavors of the season are fresh—with asparagus, spring strawberries, and artichokes being the most renowned regional specialties. Enjoy Settimana Santa, or Holy Week, celebrated throughout the country; fairs, festivals and celebrations welcome weather perfect for heading outdoors and strolling along cobblestone streets.
Prague—As the first rays of spring sunshine warm the streets, Prague comes alive. Gardens bloom, children laugh, and music floats through the air. As the temperatures rise, so do the sounds of the world-renowned international musicians who perform throughout the bustling capital. It seems that the whole city gathers outdoors on spring’s first warm day to picnic with family and enjoy concerts in the park.
France—Paris springs back to life with carousels, food stalls and manicured gardens perfect for afternoon strolls. Make your way to Luxembourg Gardens to escape the busy city’s hustle and bustle, or simply indulge in the fine food and lovely weather at a Parisian cafe. Outside the “City of Light,” France hosts the legendary Cannes film festival; the fields of Provence are rich with the scents of rosemary and wild thyme; and local markets throughout the country are bursting with the bounty of the season.
Great Britain—It’s during spring that Britain’s grand manor houses and country estates fling open their doors to visitors. Step inside to explore the stately homes before strolling out into the lavish gardens, or the nearby rolling green hills where birthing season welcomes hundreds of adorable newborn lambs. Drink in the views of dramatic coastlines, or celebrate seasonal festivals at local pubs. Drop by to see the crocuses at the Chelsea Flower Show, or be there when the curtain’s rise at London’s Globe Theatre.
YMT Vacations has a variety of European group tours you can chose from this spring. From land tours to cruises, there are so many exciting ways to experience European springtime. To make your plans to join one of our itineraries, call your travel consultant or YMT Vacations at 1-888-756-9072.