The season is changing, and travel opportunities – just like spring flowers – are beginning to blossom. And while it seems like we just got back from our winter holidays, it’s really never too early to plan another trip. From late winter wonderlands to idyllic beach breaks, and from scenic seasonal views to ample sips of some of the world’s best wine, these are our top destinations for the months to come.

Chamonix, France

Set in the foothills of Mont Blanc, in southeastern France, Chamonix is a swell destination for anyone who hasn’t yet had their fill of winter landscapes, but also longs for a slightly warmer al fresco vibe. From March until mid- to late April, you’ll find both. Most years, the mountains are still dusted with snow, romantic chalets glow by firelight, adventurous snowshoe walks are still on offer, and the famous ski resorts are far less crowded, since the more hardcore skiers have left for colder climes – so places to eat, sleep and play are all more affordable and easier to find. If you’re into what happens post-pistes, Chamonix Unlimited Festival offers a fun mix of electronic music performances and events on the mountain and in town. It’s held in late March, just before the first signs of the Alpine thaw appear. 

Our Tip: Rest your après-ski legs at the luxurious chalet-style Le Hameau Albert 1er boutique hotel, also home to a Michelin-starred restaurant and a heavenly Mont Blanc-facing spa.

Kyoto, Japan

Two words: sakura blossoms. Kyoto’s peak travel season is well aligned with the cycles of nature, and the period from March to May gives Kyoto its prettiest cherry blossom colours – and the most pleasant weather conditions for seeing and enjoying it all. While the region often gets crowded, due to the brief window when the flowers are in their full splendour, it’s very well worth it. In mid-March, see Kyoto at its magical best in the Higashiyama Hanatouro illumination event. Come April, go for some hanami – the Japanese word for flower-viewing, most commonly referring to the blooms of spring – and join an authentic tea ceremony at the shrine of Heian-jingū. If you’re there in early May, don’t miss the traditional Yabusame Shinji horseback-riding and cultural event at Shimogamo shrine. 

Our Tip: Take a break from the city’s sakura season crowds and board a 90-minute train ride to Amanohashidate, a pine-covered sandbar in Miyazu Bay – and famously one of Japan’s top three scenic views.

Lisse, Netherlands

With its iconic kaleidoscopic, aromatic display of tulips, the Netherlands in the spring is a no-brainer. However, instead of heading straight for the Dutch capital, take a 30-minute detour to Lisse and visit the Keukenhof gardens. Considered among the most stunning spring gardens in the world, each year more than seven million bulbs turn into blooms, and the garden holds flower-related shows and organic art exhibitions from mid-March to mid-May only. For King’s Day, on 27 April, the surrounding villages and towns turn the national colour of orange, throwing parades, parties, live shows and, of course, more flower showers. If your tulip mania starts to wear off, you can visit windmills, take a boat ride along a canal, or visit a 17th-century castle.

Our Tip: A 15-minute drive from Lisse will take you to Noordwijk, a charming beach town perfect for a seaside meal, as well as spotting wild animals in the dunes or taking a brisk walk in the sand with spectacular views.

Iguazú Falls, Brazil and Argentina

No matter how many photos of this natural wonder you may have seen, nothing can prepare you for the overpowering experience of laying eyes on Iguazú Falls for yourself. It is a sight to behold: straddling the border between Argentina and Brazil, surrounded by virgin rainforest, the largest waterfall system in the world sees an average of 1,800 cubic metres of water per second thundering over its precipitous cliffs and disappearing into a cloud of mist. Former US First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt is said to have taken one look at Iguazú and exclaimed, “Poor Niagara!” If you think you’re ready to take it in, April is the ideal month to do so: the dry season is just beginning, so your photos are likely to capture bright blue skies and ephemeral rainbows in the mist, but dwindling water levels won’t have diminished the might of the falls just yet. 

Our Tip: Even if Brazil and Argentina must share the glory of Iguazú, this is one time you don’t have to pick sides: we recommend dedicating a day of exploration to each country’s slice of the falls. Brazil is the place for breathtaking panoramas that offer a sense of its size and scale, while Argentina gets you up close and personal with this force of nature – waterproof gear is highly recommended.


Similarly, April sets the perfect stage for discovering Madagascar: the rainy season is on its way out, leaving lush, green forests in its wake primed for wildlife-watching. The star of the show? The island’s iconic lemurs, of course. Go park-hopping to see these wide-eyed primates in their element, from the sifakas, indris and bamboo lemurs of Andasibe-Mantadia National Park, outside of capital Antananarivo, to the pygmy mouse lemurs scuttling among the forests of the Kirindy Reserve. Due to extensive habitat destruction and illegal hunting, lemurs have found their way onto the endangered species list; responsible ecotourism helps fund conservation efforts and ensure the survival of these fascinating creatures.

Our Tip: Accessible only by boat or on foot, isolated Masoala National Park is replete with everything an intrepid traveller could want: lonely white-sand beaches, hidden waterfalls and coastal jungles heaving with life.

Carlsbad, California

Too far on the other side of the Atlantic for the Dutch flower shows? Carlsbad may be the closest alternative – minus the crowds, and plus the region’s renowned wine and SoCal beaches. Considered one of America’s most colourful spring spots by those in the know, Carlsbad is a relatively undiscovered yet very worthy destination, especially when its vibrant fields are abloom: early March sees the first Giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers arise in the Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch. Wandering among the 50 acres of bright blossoms is the main attraction, of course, but the city also celebrates the season with tea times and dinners in the gardens, as well as activities for kids, outdoor concerts, wellness sessions and wine tastings, all with the Carlsbad coastline as a backdrop. 

Our Tip: Have a sip of the best California vintages from small production wineries at the family-owned Oak + Elixir wine bar.

Essaouira, Morocco

Skip the vast labyrinth of Fez or the crowded medina of Marrakech, and head to the lesser-known but highly picturesque seaside city of Essaouira. Its cool galleries, inviting restaurants and narrow alleyways awash in every shade of blue make it a prime destination for an underrated beach break – and it’s especially ideal for those who plan to pack their boards: November to March marks the region’s best time for surfing, and heading here at the tail end of the season means less chance of rain or battering winds, paired with wide sandy stretches and strong NW currents. Add the mediaeval coral-stone walls, majestic markets and amazing street couscous and tagine, and Essaouira is a paradise for holidaymakers of all kinds.

Our Tip: Take a break from the surf and visit the charming Rue Skala street market, the city’s top venue for shopping local woodwork, ceramics and art – and also the real-world stand-in for Astapor in season three of Games of Thrones.

Mendoza, Argentina

With its world-famous Malbecs, sizzling asados and stunning Andean landscapes, the region of Mendoza is a fantastic destination all year round. But come March, it gets even better. During the first week of the month, Mendoza celebrates Vendimia, Argentina’s National Grape Harvest Festival, where locals and tourists alike can experience the region’s rich winemaking heritage intertwined with fun family activities and lively traditions. It’s also the onset of autumn, meaning beautiful fall foliage and crisp air filled with the scent of freshly harvested grapes. 

Our Tip: Get some rest at the foothills of the Andes at Casa de Uco, a luxurious wine resort overlooking the snow-capped mountain range and home to Argentina’s best Malbec grapes.

Dublin, Ireland

With its rich history, splendid architecture, lively pub culture, world-renowned beer and friendly faces, Dublin makes everyone feel at home – whether they’re spirits lovers, history buffs, party-goers, savvy foodies or even saints. And while Ireland’s fair city is a top destination for any month, March gets bonus points, as the city turns incredibly green and becomes even louder and more animated than usual. Put on your festive hat and join the St. Patrick’s Day parade along Dame Street, while listening to Celtic music and taking a pint (or several) at a traditional pub. When you’re done with St. Paddy’s celebrations, explore the Guinness Storehouse or a whiskey distillery, welcome spring in Phoenix Park, and see the truest green of Ireland in the scenic surrounding countryside.

Our Tip: While you’re there, make a quick stop at Hodges Figgis, Ireland’s oldest bookshop and one of the most historic in the world. The four-floor shop is stacked with everything any bookworm (and curious traveller) could dream of.

Saint Martin

Like two sides of the same coin, Saint Martin is poised to offer everyone their idea of the perfect Caribbean beach break. The Dutch side, Sint Maarten, is the place to let your hair down, with its casinos, nightlife, bars and duty-free shopping. On the French side, Saint Martin, travellers find a more intimate and luxurious escape, the place for refined restaurants, exclusive resorts and serene nature areas. Particularly during the months of March through May, with the lowest rainfall average and the best temperatures day and night, the island comes alive, hosting a renowned regatta, a music festival and an extravagant carnival, in addition to its tailor-made conditions for beach-hopping. Whether you’re looking to dive into adventurous water sports, partake of a vibrant spring break party scene, or simply go for a romantic stroll in a charming colonial town, this island has it all.

Our Tip: Enjoy a fine dining experience and the best cocktails on the island at Le Carré Vert, a lush patio restaurant in the heart of the brightly coloured town of Marigot.

Colorado Plateau, USA

If you’ve ever dreamed of driving the open roads of the Wild West, heading wherever destiny takes you, this is your chance. In mid- to late May, shades of spring green burst against radiant red rock formations, temperatures are comfortably cool, and the summer crowds have yet to descend – which means you can see more of the region’s popular sites with less planning. Land in Las Vegas, rent a camper van, and set off on a desert-bound adventure to the Colorado Plateau, which – despite its name – also extends into Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. From there, it’s choose-your-own-adventure: go mountain biking in the Moab desert, visit the Cliff Dwellings of Mesa Verde, hike among fossils in the captivating Petrified Forest National Park. We would advise checking out the Grand Canyon while you’re in the neighbourhood, but we doubt it will slip your mind – it’s famously hard to miss.

Our Tip: Adrenaline junkies shouldn’t forgo the chance to see the Grand Canyon from a different perspective on a whitewater rafting expedition along the Colorado River.

Adelaide, Australia

This is the time of the year when Aussies host many of the continent’s most well-known arts festivals, but Adelaide takes the cake. Adelaide Festival is the event when it comes to cutting-edge, internationally acclaimed theatre productions, visual arts displays, and music and dance performances. Adelaide Fringe, meanwhile, focuses on the work of emerging but equally talented artists. Sports fan? In Australia, March is the only month in which you can attend both rugby and cricket matches. Looking to relax after a packed day? The wine regions of Barossa and McLaren Vale offer up their best grape harvests of the year. Add to all of that a pleasant autumn climate, and you’re all set for an enjoyably busy travel itinerary.

Our Tip: Take a moment to slow down and relax at the Adelaide Himeji Garden, a Japanese-inspired oasis right in the middle of the city, filled with secret nooks, verdant paths, ornate gates and a serene lake, all designed to invite contemplation and mindfulness.

Delhi, India

While Delhi is a bucket list destination any day of the year, it’s at its best when it’s cool, dry and fun: in March. The colourful Holi festival, on 25 March, sees the city blanketed in multicoloured rainbow powder, along with street parties, ample good food and, yes, even more colour showers. Also in March, India’s premier food festival, The Grub Fest, celebrates the culture, music and gastronomy of the region with a line-up of Bollywood performances, live concerts and local and international food stands. When the party’s over – though it never truly is – visit New Delhi’s famous Red Fort, the beautiful gardens of Lotus Temple, or the iconic Khan Market, for a glimpse of the most authentic Indian dichotomies.

Our Tip: Make sure to include in your itinerary the Hauz Khas Village, a trendy, modern neighbourhood in New Delhi full of top shopping venues, chic restaurants, unique art galleries and a palpably vibrant social scene.

Southern England

There are hotspots for horticulture enthusiasts, for history buffs, for architecture aficionados and for hardcore Downton Abbey fans, but only one destination that can satisfy them all. Within two hours’ driving from central London, the regions of Hampshire, Sussex, Wiltshire, Kent and the Cotswolds are a treasure trove of historic stately homes that will delight travellers seeking to stroll among immaculate gardens, take in exquisite works of art, travel back in time or, perhaps, all three. From the mediaeval allure of Broughton Castle to the vast parklands of Blenheim Palace, from the 17th-century Petworth House to 15th-century Great Dixter, with its gardens conceived by writer and horticulture icon Christopher Lloyd, a number of estates are open to regular visits from the public. And with April showers having brought May flowers, they’re ripe for the picking in late spring.

Our Tip: After soaking up the inimitably English charm of the Cotswolds, bed down in one of the area’s storied manor homes. Built in 1697, Barnsley House and its charming gardens (designed by the renowned Rosemary Verey) will make you feel enough like modern aristocracy to justify the splurge.

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