Dreaming of a spring fling in Europe for 2021? With blooming trees, fragrant gardens and sunny cities, Springtime in Europe is simply magical. Plus you’ll get the experience with fewer tourist crowds, pleasant weather, and shoulder-season prices. From alpine villages to Mediterranean islands, here are 11 of the best Europe spring break destinations to escape to this season.
1. Lisse, Netherlands
The Netherlands comes alive in spring, making it one of our favourite Europe spring break destinations. Known as ‘the flower shop of the world’, the country erupts with sweeping fields of flowers and beautiful gardens.
One of the best places to soak up the splendour of a Dutch spring is Keukenhof Park in Lisse, known as the ‘Garden of Europe’. Around seven million tulips and 800 tulip varieties are planted at the flower garden every year, turning the park into a rainbow of colours.
Keukenhof Park is easy to reach, with just a short 30-minute drive from Amsterdam or The Hague. The gardens are only open from mid-March to mid-May – perfect for a Europe spring break!
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2. Stavanger, Norway
When you think of Norway, you probably think of snowy peaks and icy fjords. But spring tells a different story, with milder weather and trees in bloom. Stavanger is a great place to start, with rows of traditional houses and pretty blossoms lit up in the sun.
Explore the nearby beaches along the coastline of Jaeren or put on your hiking boots to roam the famous Kjerag mountain. You can also head to Bergen to watch Norway’s nature thaw after the long winter. Discover the waterfalls and glacial treks of the nearby Hardangerfjord region, one of the most peaceful places on Earth.
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3. Tuscany, Italy
Springtime in Europe means blossoming trees and fields of flowers, and Italy is no different. Journey to the hills of Tuscany during the months of April and May, and you’ll find a swaying sea of red poppies. One of the best places to see the gorgeous landscapes is the UNESCO-listed Val d’Orcia region.
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Val d’Orcia offers up rolling green hills, towering Cyprus trees and traditional farmhouses. You’ll also get to soak up all the iconic scenery in the mild temperatures of spring, before the sweltering heat of summer sets in. Che bello!
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4. Seville, Spain
Spain is a dream Europe spring break destination – the hardest part is choosing where to go! We love the Andalusia region, where almond blossoms erupt in spring, surrounded by rolling hills and mountain peaks.
Visit Seville, the land of tapas, oranges, flamenco, Europe’s oldest royal palace, and Santa Maria de la Sede, the largest Gothic cathedral in the world. Stroll through the Plaza de Espana or enjoy the fantastic Feria de Abril (Spring Fair) that takes place in Seville every year in late April.
You can also head to the Basque region in northern Spain, with unique cultural traditions and spectacular nature. Stop by San Sebastián in spring for golden beaches, world-class food, grand Belle-Epoque architecture and fluffy white blossoms in the Old Amara neighbourhood.
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5. Ljubljana, Slovenia
With its Baroque neighbourhoods, gorgeous river and beautiful natural scenery, Ljubljana is one of Europe’s best spring break destinations. We love discovering the capital of Slovenia on a bicycle, taking in the spring blossoms.
You can also go canoeing along the river, lined with relaxed cafes and ice-cream parlours. When you’ve explored the city, you can head to magical Lake Bled, Postojna Caves, Lake Bohinj and the mountain village of Radovljica – all less than one hour from Ljubljana.
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6. England, United Kingdom
Britain is spectacular in spring, with flowering gardens, blooming trees and rolling green hills. Perhaps the most iconic sights, however, are the bluebell woods. Spring is the best season to take a stroll through the English countryside, illuminated in a carpet of bluebells.
Some of the best locations to see the pretty blue and purple hues are Blickling Estate in Norfolk, the Lake District in Cumbria, Sheffield Park in East Sussex, Holwell Lawn in Dartmoor National Park, and Hatchlands Park in the Surrey Hills.
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7. Provence, France
From Paris to Provence, France is a classic Europe Springtime destination. The best time to explore the country is spring before the crowds and heat arrive with summer. You’ll get to see the sweeping lavender fields, lush vineyards, pine forests and olive groves of Provence, while the French Riviera sparkles in the sunlight.
Discover hilltop villages like Gordes and Ménerbes in the Luberon mountains, explore the medieval Palais des Papes in Avignon, and lounge in the glamorous coastal towns of Cannes and Saint-Tropez along the Côte d’Azur. From late June, take a drive to the Dordogne region where you’ll see rolling hillsides of blooming sunflowers – a stunning ode to spring.
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8. Lisbon, Portugal
Lovely Lisbon is a great destination all year round, but it’s particularly wonderful in spring. Pleasant temperatures and sunny days make the city a delight to explore, with fantastic bars and restaurants, beautiful architecture, sandy beaches, and vibrant pops of colour on every cobbled street – usually in the form of historic facades.
It’s also a great base for day trips to magical places like Sintra, Cascais and Evora. We love Obidos, a small medieval town in the countryside, with cobbled roads, whitewashed houses, and rose bushes lining the historic streets.
Obidos is also cherry-growing country. You can visit the fragrant cherry orchards with the bright prink Judas trees at their most vivid in spring. Don’t forget to try some ginja, the delicious local cherry liquor. You can even drink it from chocolate cups in Obidos. Sounds like spring heaven!
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9. Crete, Greece
The beauty of the Greek Islands is no longer a secret, with the peak summer season drawing large crowds. But if you want to experience the Aegean without the tourists and blistering heat, choose Greece as your next Springtime destination in Europe.
You’ll still find dreamy beaches, dazzling blue water and charming villages – but without the heat and crowds. Crete is particularly gorgeous, as over 1,700 species of wildflowers and plants burst into life across the island. Go exploring through the mountain meadows to find fragrant blooms and wild herbs.
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10. Zurich, Switzerland
Switzerland is stunning in spring, as the sparkling lakes thaw and hiking trails start to bloom after the winter. Visit Zurich in April to enjoy Sechseläuten, the city’s Spring Festival. You’ll see colourful parades and the lighting of the bonfire topped with a snowman named Böögg. The legend goes that the faster the fire reaches the head of the snowman, the better the summer will be.
Other beautiful Springtime destinations in Switzerland are Montreux, with budding flowers, clean air and breathtaking mountain scenery. Meanwhile, Zermatt still offers fantastic skiing in April – plus you’ll miss the busy winter crowds!
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11. Dublin, Ireland
If you want to party on your Europe spring break, look no further than Dublin. The capital of Ireland is full of energy in spring, with scores of music, cooking and garden festivals.
If you’re visiting the city in late May or early June, you can enjoy Bloom in the Park, the largest garden festival in Ireland. It’s held across 70 acres in Phoenix Park, one of the most stunning parks in Europe. You can also visit the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland for more pretty blooms, or catch the Dublin Dance Festival or MusitTown festival in the spring.
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Where are you travelling this spring? Let us know your favourite Europe Springtime destinations in the comments below…