19 March 2024

Blossoming trees and blooming flowers make Spring a whimsical season, when cities come to life with the most vibrant colours. The warmer temperatures and longer days just add a touch of energy and magic to this time of year, perfect for exploring new places and cultures. From March to June, you can travel to the coveted Sorrento and bustling Lisbon, while escaping the immense summer crowds – it is that simple!

Because we want you to make the most out of this upcoming Spring, we have carefully selected a list of ten stunning cities to visit in Italy, Portugal and Spain that will make your European adventure unforgettable. Shall we start?

1. Lisbon

1. Lisbon 222

Come March and April, the warm sun of Spring days shines light on picturesque Lisbon, a multifaceted city waiting for your wandering eyes. The vibrant purple hue of jacarandá trees line the avenues and small squares of the home of Fado Music, conferring them an even more idyllic aesthetic!

At the Botanical Garden in Ajuda neighbourhood, you can observe two of the first trees of this kind (brought from Brazil) to be planted and acclimated in Lisbon. This site is especially fascinating in the Spring with the lush vegetation and the different flower species inviting you into the natural blossoming beauty so characteristic of this season. A visit to this site will set you in the mood for more adventure!

Want to experience Spring closer to the river? Follow along the Tagus River and enjoy the mild temperatures of this time of year, averaging 20ºC and 25ºC. The Belém quarter is a special highlight for its scenic monuments and surroundings dominated by the blue hues of the sky and river. Here, the Jerónimos Monastery and the Belém Tower are two key landmarks to watch out for. 


2. Val d'Orcia

2. Val d’Orcia

Rolling green hills, strong-standing cypress trees, vineyards and olive groves paint a picture-perfect Italian landscape. Characterized by its natural surroundings, the Val d’Orcia region, designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, charms the onlooker with its timeless beauty. In Spring the Tuscany magic shines even brighter in the flower roads and artistic gems scattered across the different small towns.

Pienza, also known as the “ideal city of the Renaissance”, is a utopian medieval village set atop a hill overlooking the green Tuscan countryside. Even though small, this destination is packed with historic squares, churches and palaces worth visiting, including Piazza Pio II and Santa Maria del Fiore.

2. Val d’Orcia 2

Vineyards are one of the top attractions in the Tuscan region. Due to their popularity, they are exponentially welcoming in the Spring. As you pass by the expansive sunflower fields, Montalcino will emerge as an obligatory stop. This stunning town is known for the traditional Brunello di Montalcino – a red wine made from Sangiovese grapes, which confer a deep color and complex flavor. Montepulciano, in the province of Siena, is another wine-producing town in the Val d’Orcia region worth exploring in the Spring. The Vino Nobile di Montepulciano is the top attraction here, tasted in the local cellars and wineries.

As you explore this Tuscan utopia, you will feel ever connected with the Italian culture and idyllic countryside cherished for its serenity and warmth!


3. Córdoba

3. Córdoba

Córdoba is one of the stars of the Spanish Andalusia region, beckoning travelers from around the world all year round to absorb its history and cultural diversity. About 140 kilometers from Seville, this town thrives in the diversity of its community where once Moors, Christians and Jews lived in harmony and peace for over 300 years.

Visiting Córdoba in the Spring is even more magical. Over the first two weeks of May, the townspeople open the gates of their courtyards and decorate them with vases of flowers of different kinds, such as carnations and jasmines, which contrast with the whitewashed façades. These can be visited any time of the day and are invited to join in on the festivities whilst savoring delectable tapas. Since this festival attracts great crowds from different parts of the globe, it is vital to book your visit in advance!

While in Córdoba, be sure to visit the town’s Mosque-Cathedral, lose yourself in the colorful Jewish quarter and take a picture near the iconic Calahorra Tower!


4. Arouca

4. Arouca

As the Winter chill dissipates, Arouca unveils a mesmerizing mosaic of thriving flowers and resplendent greenery, creating a visual symphony like no other. Easily accessible from the Portuguese town of Porto, either by train (one hour) or car, the town’s crown jewel, Arouca Geopark, surfaces as a true showstopper that comes alive in the vibrant hues of Spring.

With the sun getting warmer, the town’s geological wonderland invites you on a quest along the transcending Paiva Walkways – an eight-kilometre pathway located within a natural sanctuary of rock formations and cascading waterfalls. Imagine walking along a wonderland of towering trees and fresh unpolluted air where the sunlight permeates through the branches.

Yet, Arouca’s charm is more than just natural beauty – it is also about the warmth of its people, who make this dazzling destination an even more rejuvenating and authentic escape from Portugal’s bigger urban centres.


5. Sorrento

5- Sorrento

Even though the winters in Italy can get rather chilly, as soon as Spring starts setting in, the Amalfi Coast rises as the perfect destination to enjoy the milder temperatures while marveling at the Italian Mediterranean Coast. As one of the main towns in this region, Sorrento catches the eye with its soaring cliffs and striking, crystal-clear blue waters.

One way to enjoy Spring’s glorious sunny days is to set out on a boat trip along the coast or enjoy a deliciously decadent traditional meal at one of the town’s restaurants. With each bite accompanied by the breathtaking vistas, you will feel part of the glamourous fairytale of Italy’s Amalfi Coast.

While out on the town, you might also consider perusing the street markets and visiting some of the museums. Since the spring months land on the off-peak season, you can enjoy these sites away from the busy crowds. The Museo Correale and the Museo della Tarsia Lignea are especially noteworthy for their distinguishing collections.


6. Cáceres

6. Cáceres

Cherry trees take center stage in Cáceres and its surroundings marked by the underrated spectacle of the Spanish Extremadura region. Every Spring, the cherry blossom in the Jerte Valley is a true spectacle of bursting, blooming beauty and scentful aromas. Starting at the end of March this somewhat festival brings culture, music and gastronomy around the tree to celebrate the new season.

Also in the Spring, the Jerte Valley is the scene of the fruit-picking season. Between March and May, cherry-related activities of the most diverse origins take place to help visitors better understand the importance of these fruits to the local economy and identity.

The town of Cáceres is equally worthy of mention. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, it is defined by an ancient medieval wall which confers it a transporting ambience, so characteristic of Spanish historical towns. While strolling along the cobblestone streets of this Spanish town, keep an eye out for the bust of the famous writer Miguel Cervantes, author of “Dom Quixote de la Mancha”.


7. Matera

Matera 222

Green spurring trees and colorful flowers embellish the houses of Italian Matera. Hidden in the Basilicata region, the town hinders the intriguing past of the Paleolithic era and the first settlements occupying this plot of land in Italy. The otherwise mono-coloured landscape breathes new life in the Spring with the blossoming of the flowers around and between the houses.

Considered one of the oldest cities in the world, Matera makes up the perfect destination to spend your Spring holidays. The surrounding rugged and mountainous landscape confronts the reality of nature with man-fabricated constructions, creating a landscape worth admiring. 
Sassi is the city’s greatest symbol. These are houses or caves dug into calcarenitic rocks where people lived until around the 1950s. Listed as a World Heritage Site, the caves are a top attraction in this town that you can visit to learn more about the destination’s storied past.


8. Foz Côa

Foz Côa 222

The Foz Côa Valley in northern Portugal is an important Paleolithic rock art site and an exquisite location graced by nature’s simplicity and beauty. Benefiting from a specific micro-climate, favourable to agriculture, the site gathers perfect conditions for growing almonds. Between late February and the beginning of Spring, these blossom into a spectacle of color. Pink and white delicate flowers cover the hills, turning the natural landscape even more glamorous!

One way to admire this phenomenon is to see it from the village’s privileged location. Located on a plateau cut by valleys, Foz Côa offers wonderful views of memorable lush green and colorful vistas. One of its other advantages is its proximity to the Douro Valley, one of the country’s most popular sites to venture on exciting wine cellar visits and cruises along the river.

So, in Vila Foz Côa you can enjoy the quiet of a hidden gem in one of Portugal’s most coveted regions!


9. Madeira Island

Madeira Island 222

In the spellbinding Madeira Island, the end of winter is honoured with exuberance and festivity, making it an unavoidable place to visit in the Spring. Renowned for its lush landscapes, the destination becomes even livelier during this time of year with the explosion of floral beauty.

Dating back to 1954, the Madeira Flower Festival is a celebration that attracts tourists from all corners of the globe. Taking place in late April and May, the event gathers children and adults dressed in flower-themed fashion to parade along the streets of Funchal. Enchanting floral carpets and decorated shop windows set the mood for a blissful journey through the colours of Spring!

Yet, there are other places where you can admire Madeira’s natural beauty. The island is filled with engrossing gardens worth visiting. The botanical garden stands out for its outstanding collection of over 2000 plants from different parts of the world.


10. Lago di Como

10. Lago di Como

The off-peak season demands a visit to the dreamy Lago di Como. Translating to Lake Como, this Italian destination concealed in the Lombardy region is a romantic destination heightened by a mountainous backdrop and blooming gardens in the Spring.

Come April, May and June, this place, only a train ride away from cosmopolitan Milan, marvels the eye with its 1350-foot-deep lake, one of the largest in Europe, and surrounding blooming villas. This scenery captured by creative minds in the film industry is characterized by the striking contrasts of the blue of the water with the vibrant green of the forests.

One way to best enjoy a trip to Lago di Como is to visit its poetic villas. Located in Como, Villa Olmo is the place to go to admire beautiful gardens and observe the lake from a different point of view! Villa Carlotta in Tremezzina and Villa del Balbianello are also praised for their green spaces, exponentially stunning in the Spring.


A European festival of colour

With warm temperatures and longer days, it is time to escape the summer crowds and set out on an unforgettable adventure. From Sorrento to Lisbon, Matera to Cáceres, vibrant blooming flowers cover the streets with an enchanting atmosphere, perfect to create memories that linger long after the turning of the season. Our list of ten stunning cities beckons you to embark on a memorable European adventure. Why not plan it now?



Topics: portugal, spain, self-guided, madeira island, Madeira, vacations, spring, tourtailors, tours, Italy, tourism travel

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