Daffodils are out and blossom is slowly appearing on the trees. It’s finally Spring. Many will flock to the Netherlands to see the tulip fields in full bloom but we have some other suggestions for where is best to visit this season. From the blossoms in Japan to wildflowers in Jordan and whales in Argentina, there’s something for everyone.
Hanami, literally meaning ‘flower viewing’, is the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the cherry trees’ blossoms, which signals the arrival of spring. Groups of friends gather for picnic parties and traditional tea ceremonies under the trees with some arriving hours early to reserve the best spots. Typically, the best blooms can be seen from March to mid-April and is a magical sight, with much of Japan being blanketed in pink blooms.
With biting winters and stifling summers, spring is the perfect time to explore the fascinating culture and history of Uzbekistan. The ubiquitous turquoise tiles are set off perfectly by the bright blue sky, making for stunning photographs. Explore the Islamic architecture in Samarkand and marvel at the towering fortresses in Khiva and Bukhara. To truly experience the warm Uzbek hospitality, have lunch or dinner in a local family’s home.
Wildflowers may not immediately come to mind when you think of a desert country, but Jordan in springtime is awash with colourful landscapes. The country has a very dramatic topography and also the most fantastic abundance of flora, setting it apart from the rest of the Middle East: there are over 2,500 species of plants growing in less than 5% of the country, compared to less than 2,000 in the UK. A spring visit to one of the many nature reserves such as Dana or Ajloun will be rewarded with flowers in full bloom.
While the northern hemisphere is waking up to spring, in the south the trees are turning all shades of autumnal red and brown. Patagonia is less crowded than during the summer and temperatures across Argentina are much milder than in the summer. In March, killer whales can be seen at the shoreline around Peninsula Valdes as well as the vast colony of Magellanic penguins with all their young chicks.
Spring is the ideal time for a Morocco holiday: before the heat of the summer arrives but after the cold winters in the mountains. Soak up the sunshine with a mint tea – or something stronger – from the roof of your riad in Marrakech; head to Essaouira on the coast to enjoy the sea breeze and colourful fishing harbour; or up into the Atlas mountains to see the traditional Berber culture and explore the fertile valleys on foot, bike or horseback.