14 sunny escapes for spring

As winter fades and spring approaches, we are all starting to daydream about holidays in the sun. With fewer crowds, spring is the perfect time to get away to some of the most popular sunny destinations. Thanks to cooler temperatures than in the summer, the weather is also perfect for travelling with young children and ideal for cycling, walking and exploring without worrying about sweltering heat. Here are 14 of our favourite destinations to get some spring sun!

  1. Mexico
  2. The Caribbean
  3. Santorini
  4. Turkish Riviera
  5. Split
  6. Dubai
  7. Malta
  8. Seville
  9. Sicily
  10. Nice
  11. Algarve
  12. The Canary Islands
  13. The Balearic Islands
  14. Morocco

1. Mexico

Depending on where you go, spring temperatures in Mexico can peak at around 32°C. Perfect for long days of swimming, snorkelling and scuba diving on the beaches of Akumal, Cancun or Tulum. In Tulum, you can also explore the well-preserved Mayan ruins of El Castillo and the Temple of Frescoes or escape the midday heat by heading underground at LabnaHa Eco Park. There's a photogenic canopy of stalactites inside these sacred caverns.

One thing you can't miss: Feria San Marcos in Aguascalientes, one of the most popular festivals in the country that takes place from April to May

2. The Caribbean

With little rainfall and temperatures sitting between 23°C and 30°C, springtime is the perfect time to visit the Caribbean. Whether you head to Barbados or the Bahamas, Grenada or Jamaica, Antigua or Aruba, you’ll be sure to find some of the most incredible beaches in the world. For a taste of culture, explore the history of Nassau in the Bahamas or raise a glass in the rum distillery of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados. Fancy yourself an adventurer? Dive among the pristine reefs of the Cayman Islands or go ziplining in tropical forests in Jamaica.

One thing you can't miss: Trinidad and Tobago Carnival. It's the biggest in the Caribbean. 

3. Santorini

With fewer crowds than in the summer and temperatures reaching 22°C, spring is the perfect time to explore this Greek island. Hill walks reward you with lavish displays of colourful spring flowers or you can hike up from Perissa to the Byzantine and Roman ruins of Thira. Fira and Oia have pretty streets for daytime wanders and in the evening, watch the sunset over the blood-red cliffs of Ammoudi.

One thing you can't miss: Good Friday in Pyrgos. The whole hillside village is lit by hundreds of candles. 

4. Turkish Riviera

Stretching over 1000km along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas, the Turkish Riviera is a top destination for soaking up the sun from early spring. With endless beaches and temperatures ranging from 18°C to 26°C, the entire coastline is ideal for swimming and sunbathing. Antalya, in particular, has a range of stunning sandy beaches and is perfect for families with kid-friendly fun at Aqualand and The Land of Legends Theme Park.

One thing you can't miss: Kurşunlu Waterfall – this charming nature park has some incredible trails and views.  

5. Split

Bask in some spring sunshine in Split. By May, flowers in the city and surrounding countryside are in full bloom while the days are perfect for long walks on the beach or wanders around Marjan Forest Park. With temperatures peaking at 23°C, you'll be more than comfortable wandering the narrow cobbled streets inside the walled Diocletian's Palace. Look out for hole-in-the-wall restaurants serving local delicacies such as cuttlefish risotto.

One thing you can't miss: Festival of Flowers at the beginning of May. The cellars of Diocletian's Palace overflow with floral displays. 

6. Dubai

With summers in Dubai generally being unbearably hot, early spring is the best time to visit Dubai. Ranging between 18°C to 29°C in March and 21°C to 33°C in April, beach weather is guaranteed. Brush up on your paddle boarding and surfing skills before escaping the midday sun in Dubai's marble-clad malls. Ride to the top of Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building or wait until after dark and enjoy the colourful magic of the Dubai Fountain. For something a little different, Dubai even has an indoor ski slope!

One thing you can't miss: Dubai Food Festival in March. Enjoy a gastronomic journey through Dubai's best food. 

7. Malta

Spring temperatures in Malta see highs of 24°C, warm enough for sunbathing, but also cool enough to comfortably wander the many historic charms of the capital, Valletta. History buffs should also be sure to visit the UNESCO-protected Ġgantija Temples in Gozo, while adventurous travellers should spend an afternoon hiking the scenic Dingli Cliffs. For some of the best beaches in Malta, head to Mellieha Bay.

One thing you can't miss: Malta Fireworks Festival on 14th April. The sky fills with pyrotechnic displays set to music.

8. Seville

In spring, this city of Moorish architecture, flamboyant flamenco and vibrant street life really comes to life. The scent of orange blossom is ever-present while the Real Alcázar, Catedral de Sevilla and Museo de Bellas Artes are pleasantly crowd-free. The children won't be queueing for the waterslides at the Aquapolis Waterpark either. Seville is more crowded during Semana Santa but the pomp and processions are worth it.

One thing you can't miss: Feria de Sevilla in May. Drink, eat and watch parades of carriages, floats and horses. 

9. Sicily

With temperatures in the mid-twenties, Sicily makes a fantastic spring escape. This large island is a fascinating mix of ancient relics, lush landscapes and beautiful beaches. Etna, with its constant whisper of smoke, provides a background to Catania while the vibrant capital Palermo is a mix of historic attractions and modern culture. Visit at Easter and sample rich dishes of slow-cooked lamb stew and traditional desserts such as cassata.

One thing you can't miss: The Island of Ortigia, which promises fantastic views of the Mediterranean and stunning architecture. 

10. Nice

In summer, Nice is the place to see and be seen, but in spring you get all the glamour without the crowds. With temperatures of up to 24°C, it's warm enough to enjoy city beaches but still cool enough to explore the French and Italian architecture of the Old Town. Cycle along the coast to Cannes or visit the lavender fields of Grasse and Vence. As spring progresses the fields turn into a patchwork of colour.

One thing you can't miss: Castle of Nice, a hilltop garden with gorgeous views of Nice. 

11. Algarve

With its golden beaches and unspoiled nature, the Algarve has it all. In spring, when temperatures move into the twenties, head to Marinha Beach or Praia da Rocha, two of the best beaches in Europe. On cooler days, wander through the narrow streets of the capital Faro or discover the remains of the Moorish Castle of Tavira. Ponta da Piedade is also a must – this gorgeous landscape is best at sunset.

One thing you can't miss: Cabo de São Vicente – a scenic spot by the cliffs and ocean. 

12. The Canary Islands

Temperatures in the Canary Islands can reach highs of 25°C by May, making these islands the perfect destination for some sunshine. For glorious beaches and picturesque landscapes, head to Tenerife. Trek in the Mount Teide National Park or explore the history of Santa Cruz. Fuerteventura and Lanzarote are quieter, especially in spring, and perfect for leisurely walks and fun on the beach, while Gran Canaria is home to the astonishing Maspalomas Dunes.

One thing you can't miss: Santa Cruz Carnival in February and March with its Latin dance music and lavish costumes. 

13. The Balearic Islands

With temperatures reaching highs of 23°C, fewer crowds than in the summer and wildflowers at their best, spring is an ideal time to visit Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza or Formentera. Spend a few days exploring Mallorca's historic capital Palma with its mix of Moorish and Renaissance architecture then take the vintage train to charming Sóller with its nearby port and beaches. In Menorca, enjoy some more secluded and scenic beaches such as Cala Pilar and Cala Trebalúger. If you prefer an even more remote and tranquil feel, head to the picturesque Formentera. Last but not least, there’s Ibiza, which mixes bohemian charm with white sandy beaches. Check out our guide to find out which island is right for you.

One thing you can't miss: A Majorcan winery tour and tasting – Bodegas José L. Ferrer and Bodega Ribas are two great options.  

14. Morocco

With temperatures ranging between 12°C and 29°C throughout March, April, and May, spring is the perfect time to take a group excursion into the desert, hike the Atlas Mountains, laze around on the Taghazout coastline or surf in Essaouira. In Marrakech, hunt for souvenir bargains in narrow souk streets or grab a bite at one of the food stalls in Djemaa El Fna, the ultimate place for foodies. In Tangier, the palace of Dar el Makhzen is home to the fascinating Kasbah Museum of Mediterranean Cultures. To really soak up the Moorish mood, why not stay in a traditional riad built around a flower-filled courtyard?

One thing you can't miss: Ouzoud Falls – breathtaking waterfalls with hiking trails and wild macaques. 

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