Springtime—it’s the reward that comes from slugging through another cold winter of wool sweaters, slushy roads, and shoveling driveways. When the icy grip of winter finally relaxes its hold and tiny green shoots peek their heads above a brittle verge of withered grass it’s a time for jubilation the world over. To give yourself something to look forward to during those frosty winter mornings, why not plan a delicious springtime trip to Europe next year? Not only is springtime in Europe stunningly beautiful, it’s also a great time to visit the sights before throngs of summer tourists flood the cobblestone streets and terraces of popular destinations. Many hotels and restaurants use the doldrums of winter to make renovations—so spring is the perfect time to get first crack at fresh hotel décor and innovative spring menus. To keep your sprits up during those long winter nights, planning your Country Walkers springtime tour of Europe is just the thing!
Early April: Easter Celebrations in Southern Europe
European Easter traditions are old as the hills, castles, and vineyards that celebrate them. Easter dates vary each year, and in 2023, Easter Sunday falls on April 9. While that’s a little early for Country Walkers trips to northern Europe, Easter 2023 is a perfect time to experience the vibrant springtime in Sicily. In our Italy: Sicily Guided Tour, an early April departure brings you to the slopes of Mount Etna, with high pastures of pink clover, yellow mustard, blue flax, and sharp bursts of blood-red poppies—as gaudy and vibrant as any Sicilian donkey cart. Each Sicilian town has its own ancient traditions for Holy Week—often involving costumed parades and pageants amid apple and peach trees blooming against the silvery stand of olive groves. Here, you’ll find your spirits buoyed upwards by the scent of almond and orange blossoms set against the backdrop of the Ionian Sea.
You can also experience Easter 2023 in Europe on our Spain: Balearic Islands, Mallorca & Deia Guided Tour, where local Mallorcan families spend Easter Sunday enjoying family picnics along the island’s spectacular coastline. Or, you might join our Portugal: Sintra & Rota Vicentina Self-Guided Tour where you can experience an authentic folar—a traditional Portuguese easter bread that incorporates boiled eggs gently nestled in the dough for a pastry reminiscent of a traditional Easter basket.
Late April and May: Springtime Colors of the Mediterranean
With mild temperatures and flowers in full bloom, there’s nothing quite like the shores of the Mediterranean in springtime. Villages tend to be more lively at this time of year, the fresh scent of blooming macchia fills the air and many villages hold local spring festivals. When you join our Italy: Pompeii, Capri & the Amalfi Coast Guided Tour you’ll stroll along paths lined with wild blooming orchids and vibrant yellow tufts of Scotch broom. Or, explore orchards of flowering almonds when you join our Italy: Matera, Otranto & the Puglia Coast Guided Tour, as the waters of the Adriatic Sea sparkle and blue waves contrast against the white limestone shores. While Greece is a popular summer destination for European vacationers, a springtime trip to Greece: Athens, Delphi & Meteora Guided Tour will reveal the vibrant spring colors of the Grecian isles before they’ve dried out in the summer heat. When you visit in the spring, you’ll have the opportunity to experience the burst of spring colors among the whitewashed villages and experience the natural pace of island life. And while May is perhaps a bit early in the year to swim in the waters of the Mediterranean, fewer crowds and flowering purple bougainvillea make this the perfect time to join our France & Italy: Nice to Genoa Guided Tour.
Late May and June: From the Emerald Isle to Apricot Orchards
The springtime gardens of Budapest and Vienna are lush with blossoms, and the orchards of the Wachau Valley are a riot of blooming apricot orchards. As our Hungary, Slovakia, Austria & Germany: The Danube River Guided Tour progresses, you’ll discover the fresh green of springtime in the Bavarian forests. Farther to the west, the northern coast of France is abuzz with activity, as Norman apple orchards burst into bloom. And there’s simply no better time to walk through the British Isles than springtime—where the fresh green moors are dotted with pure white lambs gamboling in the heather. You might choose to experience the incredible green of the Irish coast in the spring when you join our Ireland: Cork, Killarney & Dingle Guided Tour. Across the Irish Sea, you’ll find England gardens are a point of pride and meticulous care in the charming sandstone villages of the Cotswolds. Stroll past thatch-roofed houses and hung with climbing roses—and stop for a pint and a ploughman’s hearthside lunch in a quaint local pub when you join our England: Bath & the Cotswolds Guided Tour.
Whichever springtime adventure you choose, you’ll find the air clean and fresh, and the spirits of the locals bright and cheerful after a long dull winter.