The poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow pleaded with nature in penning his famous words: “come the spring with all its splendor, all its birds and all its blossoms, all its flowers and leaves and grasses.”
That’s all fine and dandy but can we throw in a little travel as well?
With high season prices yet to take grip and the stored energy of another hibernated winter at the ready is it any surprise you’re planning a spring getaway?
Though it’s often skipped over when travellers head straight for the seaside, Zagreb has everything that makes up a good capital city: architecture, gastronomy, music, and arts. Croatia’s biggest city is best explored on foot through the secret passages of its upper town found on the slopes of Medvednica Mountain.
While you won’t get the boiling temperatures of summer it’s hard to beat this historic area made famous by Flamenco and bullfighters. Going to any or all of the big three of Seville, Cordoba, or Grenada gives a rare opportunity to soak up centuries of culture and conquest from the comfort of sangria stocked table in any of the cities’ squares.
El Quseir, Egypt
With nearby Sharm el-Sheik full to the brim with spring sun seekers those looking for a similar experience with less hassle should consider this 5000 year old port town. The optimal diving spots on the Red Sea and charming centre full of bazaars and colonial buildings are second to none.
It’s never a bad idea to go tropical for your next holiday, and this nation made up of more than 1000 coral islands never hesitates in surrendering its turquoise water, white sand beaches, and splendid sun. Relaxation is found virtually anywhere on the island, especially in the peaceful tea rooms of its capital city Malé.
The former imperial capital of Japan has a vibe all to its own – the city made famous by its all too visible Geishas, classic wooden houses, and plethora of traditional Buddhist temples is a top spring spot. April brings cherry blossom season and there are few views as beautiful as the one you’ll find at Maruyama-koen Park.
You wouldn’t be alone if all you knew about this city was from the British-American black comedy In Bruges. What isn’t funny about this city untouched by time though is its relaxing canal-side beer garden culture, something that really comes alive in the spring months. A good day here is as simple as a serving of classic french fries with mayo and leisurely canal cruise.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel’s seaside gem was hailed the ‘Mediterranean Capital of Cool‘ by the New York Times and it has showed no signs of slowing down ever since. The ritzy beach hotels and vibrant 24 hour night life here really come into their own in May, though if that’s not your scene you can easily get lost in the world class shopping and cafe-bars of the city’s north end.
It might get passed over for bigger players like Madrid or Barcelona but anybody who does any reading might ask themselves how that can be. Europe’s best budget city offers gastronomic delights that would cost twice the price in London or New York. It’s also one of the few European capitals that offers the opportunity to go surfing or head out for some sailing.
Some people just don’t want to let go of winter so here’s one for them: Europe’s highest ski resort. This Swiss mountain resort usually stays open well into May, with some of the highest glacier runs running through to summer. The view of the Alps from Klein Matterhorn is breathtaking.
This slowly dying secret on Colombia’s Caribbean coast is a classic colonial walled city with the cobblestone streets and the imposing churches to match. What sets Cartagena apart though are the 19 kilometres of beaches in the metropolitan area. It’s here that you’ll find water sports and beach clubs right out of Miami Vice – without the wallet scorching prices.
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