Even the tiniest of audiences can’t resist the spectacular destinations in Europe spring break.
Hike in serene awe to deserted Mediterranean beaches and see animals waking up from winter hibernation. Wildflowers burst out on steep slopes, in beautiful valleys, and along the coast, as the seasons change. As the weather worsens, café patios and hotels fill up, creating a mild bustle in the towns and cities. However, when compared to summer, the big-hitter sites are much less crowded.
Here is a list of the top European spring break spots, some of which may be recognizable and others more obscure to suit your vacation needs. Whether you’re planning a trip to the honeyed hill villages of Northern Mallorca, the Southern Fjords of Norway, or the puffin islands of Pembrokeshire, we’ve got you covered.
1. The Algarve, Portugal
You would lose out if the Algarve was associated with inexpensive package vacations and all-inclusive resorts. If you go west, you’ll find a less touristic, more exciting side to this region of southern Portugal: Picturesque whitewashed villages instead of skyscrapers. Here, dunes tear over vast swaths of butterscotch sand as cliffs plummet into the rumbling Atlantic. The beach may be yours to yourself during spring break if you go while the shore is covered with wildflowers. This is a surfing paradise. In March, you may ride the last of the winter’s giant waves; in April and May, you can enjoy more moderate surf.
As they sailed into the unknown on their formidable caravels, several Portuguese navigators saw the lighthouse-topped Cabo de São Vicente promontory, marking the turning point. Heading north, you’ll find a string of beautiful beaches, including the rocky Praia do Amado, the breakwater Carrapateira, and the crescent-shaped Praia da Arrifana, which is near the Moorish town of Aljezur, capped with a castle. You are in the middle of the Parque Natural do Sudoeste Alentejano e Costa Vicentina. This natural preserve has salt marshes, wetlands, and cliffs and is inhabited by ospreys, lynxes, otters, and wildcats.
2. Sao Miguel, Azores
These gorgeous subtropical volcanic islands dangled like stepping stones in the middle of the Atlantic, are like a Jurassic Park–inspired cloud forest, complete with lichen-fuzzed trees, deep-blue crater lakes, and jagged, waterfall-draped cliffs. The islands may seem far away, but they are still a part of Portugal and Europe.
The largest island, São Miguel, is where you will most likely arrive. It is an excellent starting point for exploring the archipelago. It has a little bit of everything that makes it remarkable. The main attractions are the beautiful gardens of Terra Nostra, which burst with pink azaleas in the spring, the hissing geysers, the turquoise crater lake, and the hot spring pools of Furnas. Sete Cidades entrance and its enormous crater are located to the west. According to legend, a shepherd with blue eyes and a princess with green eyes were lovers betrayed by each other. Their tears made them.
3. Corfu, Greece
Corfu’s natural beauty is displayed during spring break, even if tourists have somewhat overshadowed the island. The arctic season of bright sunshine has arrived, and with it comes a plethora of new sights and sounds: fireflies dancing over olive orchards, owls hooting in the night sky, and the occasional dusting of snow on the mountains of Albania, which lies only 2 kilometers (1.25 miles) across the sapphire-blue Ionian Sea. At Orthodox Easter, lighted parades are a beautiful sight.
Perfect for exploration, the spring weather is mild without being scorching. From Kavos in the south to Agios Spiridon in the north, you may hike a section of the wild 220km-long (137 miles) Corfu Trail (with a GPS or map). You’ll frequently be alone with the shushing waves and ringing goat bells. Alternatively, you may visit the stunning turquoise bays of Paleokastritsa and Myrtiotissa on the west coast, characterized by their cliffs, monasteries, and lack of human interference.
4. German Lakeside Resort
Germany, Switzerland, and Austria are all neighbors of Central Europe’s third-largest lake, Lake Constance. Oh, the exquisiteness of it. If you want to avoid the crowds that summer brings, consider visiting around spring break when the orchards are bursting with cherry and apple blossoms, and gardens along the lake are adorned with rhododendrons and tulips. The neighboring Alps still have a thin covering of snow. At this time of year, you may also enjoy pedaling along the 273 km (170 mi) cycling route that encircles the lake, passing vineyards, a castle, a port, and a half-timbered village. Ferries connect the dots; you may bring your bikes on board if tired.