Days become longer and the weather becomes warmer during spring time, flowers begin to bloom and plants begin to grow, and the days generally seem to become more pleasant. Why not see the beauty of spring elsewhere this year and head for a well-deserved break?
Set in the south of the Alps, the Italian lakes extend over four different regions of northwest Italy: Piedmont, Lombardy, Trentino and the Veneto.
Lake Maggiore is the second largest lake in Italy and boasts a picturesque setting, with backdrop of greenery-filled mountains with the charming Borromean Islands accessible by boast. There is more rainfall during springtime but temperatures are moderate and the showers are often light and shirt-lived.
Lake Como is shaped somewhat like an upside-down Y, its neighbouring mountains delve into the deep waters and picturesque villas and palaces sit on the lakeside. Lake Como is warm and sunny throughout spring and its blooming flowers and plants fill the air with a divine scent.
Lake Garda is the largest lake in Italy and perhaps the most idyllic. The mountains of the Northern Alps stand over the water’s edge, and in spring, lemon and olive trees dominate the hillsides as scattered vineyards (perfect for a wine tasting venture) take up residency in the landscape and with such stunning scenery, it’s no surprise that poets and artists from around the glove have flocked to Lake Garda for inspiration.
The Hungarian capital of Budapest comes into its own during spring time. The Budapest Spring Festival is the major annual arts festival of the city and features music, opera, and folk music, ideal if you’re after a taste of authentic Hungarian culture.
If you’re looking to rejuvenate your batteries then Budapest is the perfect city to do so, the capital is known as a spa city and features a wealth of well-reviewed baths, spas and health and beauty treatments.
Not only does the Szechenyi Baths feature some heavenly thermal baths and spas but spring affords longer evening and many will use that as an opportunity to play chess long into the evening. The banks of the Danube and the Castle district of Buda are Unesco World Heritage Sites and a must see.
The Danube Bank features a moving memorial, with sixty pairs of old fashioned shoes sitting on the bank to honour those who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II.
Amsterdam seems like a city that was designed with spring in mind, tulips, bicycles and canals, could the city and season be any more of a perfect match? A walk or bike ride along the canal is the perfect way to explore the capital, or take to the water and hop on a boat or if you want to be truly Amsterdamisch, a gondola.
The city has endless cafes, so sit outside with a coffee and watch the world pass by. The Van Gogh Museum has not long been renovated so head over and see some of the famous artist’s mesmerising work.
Don’t forget the Tulip Museum to see Holland’s love affair with the flower in full bloom, if you pardon the pun. The museum showcases the tulip in all of their technicolour, and what’s better, it’s opposite Anne Frank’s house so you can complete the sightseeing without trawling the city.
Amsterdam has plenty of affordable accomdation, but if you are looking to visit the famous European City on a tight budget be sure to tweet Owners Direct and ask about what offers they have going.
Spring in the Mediterranean means long sunny days yet uncrowded resorts and a friendly welcome as locals beginning to prepare for the hectic summer season. Malta is the hidden gem of the Mediterranean with scenic bays, stunning beaches, a hot climate and buzzing local nightlife. Head to Comino to take a dip in the clear waters of the Blue Lagoon, perfect or diving and snorkelling.
In the centre of Malta is Mdina, a typical medieval town, which features some brilliant Norman and Baroque architecture. The island features an endless supply of squares and narrow alleyways so there is sure to be something new to explore every day.
Last on the list, but by no means least, we come to France. With many idyllic locations to choose from, all offering unqiue experiences, it is a country you simply must visit in your lifetime.
For next spring, why not start your exploration by visiting the beautiful Normandy? With historical World War 2 landmarks, serene rivers and chocolate box half-timbered houses in the city of Rouen, it is perfect for those itching to experience the culture of france on a whistle stop tour.
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