The 10 best spring break destinations in Europe


Europe puts on a sensational show for the smallest of crowds in spring. Head here to hike in quiet wonder to dreamy Mediterranean beaches that are all but empty, spot wildlife emerging from its deep winter slumber, and witness the seasonal eruption of wildflowers on mountain slopes, in verdant valleys, and along the coast. There’s a gentle buzz in the towns and cities now, as the weather warms and cafe terraces fill, but the big-hitter sights are nowhere near as packed as they are in summer.

Whether you fancy visiting Northern Mallorca’s honeyed hill towns, Norway’s waterfall-splashed Southern Fjords, or Pembrokeshire’s puffin islands, we’ve got you covered in our round-up of Europe’s 10 best spring break destinations – some familiar, some perhaps less so.

A surfer in a black wetsuit rides a bright blue frothy wave almost at a 90-degree angle on Praia do Beliche in Portugal whilst another surfer in the background looks out to sea for the next wave to catch The Western Algarve has plenty of great surf breaks © fokke baarssen/Shutterstock

Western Algarve, Portugal

If the Algarve makes you think of cheap-as-chips package holidays, you’re missing a trick. Go west and you’ll see a thrillingly wild, less-touristy side to this chunk of southern Portugal. No high-rises just pretty whitewashed villages. Here cliffs nose-dive to the booming Atlantic and great arcs of butterscotch sand ripple through with dunes. And in spring, when the coast is freckled with wildflowers, you might get the beach all to your lucky self. The surfing here is sensational. Come in March to catch the monster waves at the tail-end of the winter season, or April and May for gentler surf.

The turning point is the lighthouse-topped headland of Cabo de São Vicente, the last fleck…

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