Ah, springtime: the time for budding leaves and flowers, for freshly hatched butterflies, and new love. It’s the season of rebirth, when the world shakes off the icy grips of winter and starts the warm-up to summer. It’s when sweet winds blow again and the day’s length starts marching back up toward solstice.
The magic of spring transforms a lot of places from cold and lifeless landscapes to vibrant environs bursting with life, but some places receive an extra shot of springtime awesomeness. Here are nine of the most beautiful places in the world to visit in the spring.
(Text: Shea Gunther)
Located in central Italy, Tuscany is considered the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and is packed with culture. It’s well-regarded around the world for its art, landscapes, food and people. It was the home of Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Botticelli, and has many top museums and a high concentration of Renaissance art. It’s also stunningly beautiful in the springtime. Visit Tuscany in the spring and you’ll find yourself lost in the splendor of all that the region has to offer, from the neat rows of farmland to the simple pleasure of a stroll through a small storybook village.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park (aka RMNP) sits straddling the Continental Divide in Colorado’s northern Front Range. Its 265,828 acres hold 359 miles of trails, 150 lakes and more than 60 named peaks with an elevation higher than 12,000 feet, including the 14,259-foot-high Longs Peak. The park’s higher elevation means that springtime rolls around a little later than your average U.S. state — the best time to visit to catch the newly blooming flowers while avoiding the worst of the end of winter storms is mid-May. You’ll still want to dress warm, but if you make a springtime visit to RMNP, you’ll enjoy the sight of elk dropping their antlers, bighorn sheep grazing on the cliff sides, and fields of newly opened wildflowers.
How can you write an article about beautiful places in the spring and not include Paris? The French capital is known as the city of love and has endless gardens, tree- and flower-lined streets, and outdoor cafes to explore. The temperatures can be a little chilly in April — bring a jacket — but warm up nicely in May. If you find yourself in Paris in the spring make sure to visit the Jardin du Luxembourg (the Garden of Luxemborg), a 60-acre park featuring the gorgeous Luxembourg Palace and miles of walking paths through well-maintained master gardens.
When discussing travel to Finland, it’s helpful to split the country into its northern and southern halves. In the north, or Lapland as it’s known, the sun doesn’t appear above the horizon for the entire winter and doesn’t set all summer long. It’s beautiful and extreme and should be on anyone’s list of future travel destinations. Southern Finland is a little less arctic and, like its northern half, is a nature lover’s paradise. Finland has 187,888 lakes and is covered by forest on 86 percent of its land. You’ll want to dress warmly, as temperatures in southern Finland in May range in the 40s and 50s — but it’s worth the extra layers. The climate in Lapland is about a month behind that of the south, so if the northern half of the country is your destination, make sure to plan accordingly if you’re aiming for the spring. The sun comes up for the summer in mid-May.
Amsterdam is another place that’s worth packing an extra sweater on your springtime visit. Compared to summertime, you’ll find cheaper prices now as the city shrugs off winter.The weather in May is beautiful and the air is sweet with the scent of the blooming trees and tulips the city is known for. May is also when both National Windmill Day and National Cycling Day take place, which is a great excuse to schedule a bicycle tour of Netherlands’ windmills.
Minorca is a small island that sits in the Mediterranean Sea off the eastern coast of Spain. It’s paired with the better-known island of Majorca and is about 125 miles from seaside Barcelona. It’s also absolutely gorgeous in the spring.An average high of 70 degrees means it might not be a terrible idea to pack a bathing suit, if only to soak up the sun better.A stay in Minorca in the spring means eating good food, meeting friendly hospitable people, and taking in a landscape covered in wildflowers and butterflies.The island has world-renowned birding and golden sandy beaches accompanying brilliant blue crystal clear waters.
Victoria Falls, Zambia/Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls in Africa is considered by some measures as the world’s largest waterfall and is listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.It sits on the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe and is remarkable for its mile-long width. It’s fed by the Zambezi River and is a great place to visit in the spring.The rainy season ends in early April, and the following six weeks are when the river flow peaks and the falls are raging. The thundering spring waters can make viewing the falls from the ground difficult but greatly enhance the view from above — sightseeing helicopter tours can be had for as cheap as $120.
The Pyrenees Mountains sit high on the border between France and Spain and are a scenic wonderland of towering mountain cirques, tranquil alpine lakes, and iconic views.In the spring, the Pyrenees explode with life as bears shake off winter’s slumber, predatory birds take to the sky, and hundreds of different kinds of flowers bloom.To take in the splendor of the Pyrenees you can choose to approach from either France or Spain, or take another route entirely and visit the tiny country of Andorra, which is a little more than twice the size of Washington, D.C., and is surrounded by the mountains.
Ms Johnnie Wright
Founder – Coastal Christian Team
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