By Lauren Jade Hill
As we shake off the winter chill, it’s time to welcome in the balmier months of spring. With blossom in the trees and seasonal celebrations, this is considered one of the best times to travel to a number of enticing locations around the world. We take a look at the best places to travel in the springtime to make the most of this glorious time of year.
Spring is undoubtedly one of the most rewarding times to travel to Japan, with the annual arrival of hanami. As the country’s parks and temple complexes flourish with cherry blossom, families and friends come together to appreciate its beauty, and to picnic and drink sake beneath the trees. To experience the best of this season, wander through Tokyo’s Imperial Palace Gardens, find a space beneath the trees of Shinjuku Gyoen or Yoyogi Park, or seek out the most spectacular views that can be reached on a day trip from the capital, such as Kamakura Daibutsu, or Lake Kawaguchi for views of Mount Fuji.
Where to Stay: As well as being home to some of the largest suites in the city, The Peninsula Tokyo has impressive views over the Imperial Palace Gardens, Hibiya Park and across the vast metropolis.
Paris in the springtime is celebrated far and wide for good reason; The City of Light truly comes to life at this time of year with parks and boulevards displaying the season’s foliage and blossom, and Parisians heading outdoors to savor the warmer days. And what better time to peer up at iconic sights such as the Eiffel Tower than when the city is in full bloom. Explore the city by taking a walk along Canal Saint-Martin, strolling through Jardin du Luxembourg, and seeking out the gardens of Musée Rodin and Notre Dame.
Where to Stay: Stay in one of the luxurious Prestige Suites of Ritz Paris, which have each been designed to represent the hotel’s most esteemed guests, from Chopin to Coco Chanel.
Douro Valley, Portugal
The warm days this season brings makes spring is an especially enticing time to explore the Douro Valley, with the added appeal of the pink and white almond blossom that graces the valley’s slopes of flourishing vineyards. Spend each day here stopping by the valley’s famous vineyards, tasting each winery’s port, and getting to know the UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto.
Where to Stay: The 19th-century renovated manor house of Six Senses Douro Valley sits on a hill overlooking the rolling vineyards. Here, the serene spa, and cuisine that celebrates the produce of the region, ensure an exceptional stay.
It’s often said that spring is the most rewarding time to pay a trip to the Andalusian city of Seville. Balmy days draw people back outdoors to gather in outdoor cafes and the orange blossom filled plazas. What’s more, this season sees the return of some of the city’s biggest celebrations, Semana Santa and Feria de Abril, when costumed parades bring renewed energy to the city’s streets.
Where to Stay: Not only is the opulent Hotel Alfonso XIII considered the most luxurious place to stay in Seville, it’s also a fine example of Andalusia’s Moorish architecture, with a collection of top-rate bars and the Restaurant San Fernando.
Washington, DC, United States
With its annual show of spring blossom, Washington, DC is especially popular at this time of year, with just the right climate between winter and the rising heat of the summer. So marking this time, the city hosts its annual Cherry Blossom Festival celebrating both the season and the city’s friendship with Japan. The festival showcases both contemporary and traditional arts and culture, as well as leading tours around the city.
Where to Stay: Four Seasons Hotel Washington, DC, provides guests with sumptuous, art-filled surroundings to stay, in the midst of the city’s historic sites.