7 incredible places to visit this spring

Blue skies, warm sunshine and cherry blossom await in the best places to go in March, April and May

7 incredible places to visit this spring

Isn't it time you planned a holiday? Rising temperatures and longer days in the northern hemisphere make Spring – which officially starts at equinox on 20 March 2019 – the ideal time to emerge from the cold winter months and get some colour. 

In the UK the schools break up for Easter between 8-26 April 2019, so that’s a period to avoid if you possibly can. If the USA is on your mind, remember that Spring Break is a big getaway between 9-24 March, so that's also a time to steer clear of. Your wallet will thank you! 

7 incredible places to visit this spring

1. Tenerife, Canary Islands

It may be thought of by some as a holiday island for British teenagers, but this Canary Island is the ideal place to go hiking and stargazing in spring. 

The quintessential Canarian experience is not drinking heavily in the bars of Los Cristianos (no, really), but 3,718 metres up in Teide National Park, where the steaming peak of the El Teide volcano can be visited at sunrise. 

Take the last Teleférico del Teide cable car up from the plateau the evening before, hike through the light snow downhill to the €25 per night Altavista del Teide Refuge (booked in advance, of course), and hike up to the peak the next dawn. 

Your reward will be a view of a mighty V-shaped shadow of the volcano on top of the clouds below while you’re warmed by the steam coming from the caldera’s edges. Then get yourself down the mountain and you can be back on the beach for breakfast. 

7 incredible places to visit this spring

2. Monte Carlo

If you’ve not yet been to the Monte Carlo Grand Prix, then you’re not much of a European. Though often thought of as exorbitantly expensive, don’t let the super-yachts in the harbour put you off because this is actually one of the most affordable races in the Formula 1 calendar. 

Scheduled for Sunday, 26 May 2019, this last-Spring event is nevertheless best planned carefully. First, book some tickets, swerving the cheap-but-terrible Secteur Rocher public viewing area and splashing-out on tickets for Grandstand K or Grandstand B. 

Secondly, find yourself an affordable Airbnb in Nice, which is only 30 minutes from Monte Carlo by train. Now make a packed lunch. 

7 incredible places to visit this spring

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Welcome to Cambodia’s boom town. Famous for its proximity to the fabulous Angkor Wat complex of 9-12th century temples – many dramatically reclaimed by jungle – April 13 to 15 sees Khmer New Year (Chol Chnam Thmey to locals) celebrated around and within the vast Angkor Archaeological Park. 

A sweltering daily high of 35° Celsius might put you off, but after visiting the huge Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm’s tangle of strangler figs, and the 54 huge serene faces at Bayon, Siem Reap's boozy Pub Street is sure to be a street party for all three days. 

If you want to get away from the tourist hordes, try the jungle-jammed Ta Som and the bizarre labyrinth of Preah Khan.

7 incredible places to visit this spring

4. Alaska, USA

There's nothing quite like the enormity of the Alaskan wilderness, but when you visit makes a huge difference. 

While March and April and great months if you want to ski, go snowmobiling or hunt for the Northern Lights, the northernmost US state truly emerges from winter in mid-May. 

From then, cruise ships appear on its vast coastline, which play host to grey, humpback and killer whales. Try a whale watching cruise from Juneau, the capital city of Alaska. 

7 incredible places to visit this spring

5. Kyoto, Japan

To see cherry trees in bloom does seem like a strange reason to cross the planet, but if you've always wanted to visit Japan, the Land of the Rising Sun never looks better than in Spring. 

Known as sakura season, this national obsession sees the gradual blooming of the country’s cherry trees during the months of March, April and May across the country. However, it’s the cultural capital of Kyoto, 3.5 hours south of Tokyo by Shinkansen ‘bullet’ train, that truly transforms. 

Predicted to occur on 24 March in Kyoto, 'cherry blossom viewing' is best at Arashiyama, Maruyama Park and Heian Jingu Shrine, but book accommodation far ahead since sakura season a very, very popular time to be in Kyoto. 

7 incredible places to visit this spring

6. Jebel Shams, Oman

Think the Middle East is either dangerous or dull? Visit the tiny country of Oman and not only do you reach a super-safe country, but one that couldn’t be more different to the shopping bore-fest of Dubai. 

Although Oman’s forts and deserts are worth visiting in March and April before the temperatures rise, the highlight has to be Jebel Shams – the 'Mountain of the Sun'. A peak of 3,028 metres accessed by road, it towers above a vast 'Omani Grand Canyon' that’s as dramatic as its namesake in the USA. 

Hugging the side of the rift is the vertiginous and unmissable Rim Walk (officially called the W6a), which skirts dramatic overhangs, passes ‘tree goats’, and ends up in a deserted village built into a cliff-face. 

Stay in the only hotel around, Jabal Shams Resort, near the start of the Rim Walk at Al Kateem.

7 incredible places to visit this spring

7. Brecon Beacons, Wales

Though regularly frozen-over in Winter, and Spring sees Wales’ most beautiful region wake up. The quintessential experience is to ascend the highest mountain in southern Britain, the 886m Pen Y Fan. 

There are four ways you can get to it, though the best (and hardest) is the five-hour Horseshoe Walk that also visits the Corn Du and Cribyn peaks. Nearby is the far flatter Waterfalls Country that passes some dramatic sights close to the Penderyn distillery, which does tours with a tasting session afterwards. Visually, spring is a particularly good time to visit this region of Wales since March and April see vast forests of bluebells and meadows of newborn lambs. 

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