Want to put the spring back in your step after the dark doldrums of winter? We've got just the ticket, and with Easter plus two May bank holidays, spring is one of the best times of year for an epic escape. Here's where to go in spring 2020...
Israel seems to the be the hottest ticket in town right now and understandably so. It's home to not one but two of the world's great cities in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, as well as some staggeringly beautiful natural wonders in the form of the Negev Desert and the Dead Sea. The climate in Israel does vary based on where you are but late Spring is a pretty safe bet with generally mild temperatures, and it's perfect for everything from a Big Short Break to a longer trip combined with Jordan. And whether you're with a specialist guide peeling back the innumerate layers that comprise Jerusalem's religious and cultural history or on a walking street art tour of achingly trendy Tel Aviv, we defy anyone not to fall in love with this hypnotically captivating country.
2. Sri Lanka
There's no getting away from the fact that Sri Lanka has had something of a tough time of late, but it remains one of our very favourite destinations for a spring holiday. To the north and centre is the iconic Cultural Triangle, once the epicentre of the ancient Sinhalese civilisation, as evidenced by the ruins of the formerly great metropolises, monasteries and monuments that are dotted throughout the region, which was previously known as the 'King's Land'. To the south is the historic trading port of Galle, whose list of past occupiers reads like a who's who of 19th century colonial powerhouses, all of which have left indelible cultural marks on the city. And framing the whole country is a beautifully (and refreshingly) wild coastline lapped by the Indian Ocean, where you can enjoy some authentic R&R after all that cultural exploration. With warm sunny days and only the occasional rain shower, Sri Lanka is perfect for a spring holiday.
If there's one thing you can guarantee when visiting Portugal it's that there will be some sort of festival happening. The Portuguese love a celebration, be it a relatively low-fi local village procession for a saint's day or a full-bore five-day fiesta attracting thousands from around the globe. And spring is a great time to embrace the festival spirit with some excellent offerings, particularly if you're travelling at Easter. During Semana Santa (Easter holy week), religious celebrations and processions abound; Braga is home to perhaps the best known of these celebrations with atmospheric night-time religious processions occurring throughout the week, but there will be celebrations wherever you go at this time of year. Otherwise in spring, Lisbon plays host to the Peixe em Lisboa, a ten-day celebration of fish and seafood with amazing markets, cookery lessons by famous chefs and wine pairings. Meanwhile the end of April sees the International Chocolate Festival in the medieval town of Obidos, perfect for anyone with a sweet tooth.
The words 'spring' and 'Mexico' may conjure images of American college kids partying like Berlusconi but the weather is great at this time of year, particularly in the south, and the Spring Break meccas of Cancun and Cabo San Lucas are easily avoided, although if partying is what you're in the market for we can advise on all the chicest places to go in Cabo's classier neighbour, San Jose del Cabo, where you're more likely to bump into an A-list celebrity than a boozed-up frat boy. Instead, combine the ancient Mayan ruins of the Yucatan Peninsula with a deeper cut such as Oaxaca, which is known for its indigenous culture, traditional towns and epicurean delights. Finish up with some serious relaxation on the talc white beaches of the Riviera Maya for the ultimate spring break.
Japan's cherry blossom season is one of those iconic travel experiences that most people will have somewhere on their bucket list. No surprises, then, that you need to book early doors in order to secure the best hotels and experiences, so now is the time to be booking for sakura (the Japanese word for cherry blossom) season 2021. And what an experience it is; the Japanese turn positively potty for the pretty pink petals throughout sakura season with everything from a dedicated blossom forecast on the TV to sakura-flavoured KitKats and coffees. Book now to avoid disappointment!
Thinking of a spring holiday in 2020? Get in touch with our experts and start planning.