There’s never a bad time to go on holiday, but it cannot be denied that some places are at their best at certain times of the year. Here are some of the great things you’re missing out on if you choose to stay at home this spring…
In spring rural areas of the Netherlands undergo a startling transformation; the beautiful tulip fields that hibernate through the winter months bloom into a mass of vibrant colours that draw visitors from all over the world. The most famous location is the Keukenhof estate near Lisse, the world’s largest flower park with over 7 million bulbs planted annually. Another incredible homage to spring comes in the form of the annual Flower Parade, a procession of floats, cars and marching bands which covers 42km on its journey from Noordwijk to Haarlem. Amsterdam boasts its own claim to fame during the summer months, when it hosts the world’s only floating flower market on the Singel canal.
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Its meandering streets and hidden gems make Paris a perfect city for wandering, and there is no better time to do this than in spring. Winters are notoriously gloomy and chilly so as the days get longer and temperatures rise, locals welcome the new season with open arms. The gardens and tree-lined avenues that look so sparse in winter bloom into beautiful splashes of colour, and the revival of outdoor café culture brings new life to the streets. Al fresco dining isn’t limited to cafes either; for a cheap but elegant meal, take a picnic to the Champ de Mars and eat on the grass in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower.
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If you’re thinking of a holiday in Portugal this year, head to the island of Madeira for their annual flower festival. Every year in May the city of Funchal pulls out all the stops to celebrate the start of spring. Events include flower exhibitions, classical music concerts and a ‘best-decorated shop window’ competition. The highlight of the festival is the parade featuring floats, dancers, musicians and over 1000 participants in all. Be sure to catch the Wall of Hope Ceremony, in which the town’s children build a mural of flowers symbolising hope for a more peaceful world.
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Spring is well-known as a peak time to visit Japan due to the beautiful cherry blossom (sakura) trees that flower in abundance throughout the country. Japan is a scenic country even in low season, but photo opportunities are particularly frequent between March and May when the sakura trees bloom in countless shades of pink. Some of the best places to view the blossoms include Tokyo, Kyoto, and the famous Mount Fuji. Visiting Japan in spring has added benefits; summer can be uncomfortably hot and rain is frequent during June and July so spring offers peak weather conditions.
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By Kate Moxon – Online Marketing Assistant at icelolly.com