With its abundance of flowers and lush greenery, good selection of bank holidays and the promise of new beginnings in the air, spring is a great time to travel. A weekend trip somewhere with warmer climes is the perfect occasion to make a smooth transition from the cold months of winter to the hot season of summer. Here are our recommended getaways in Spring along the Mediterranean.
1-Provence in Spring
When it comes to French getaways, Provence is an easy choice. Known for its quaint villages, rolling fields of flowers and magnificent cuisine, there are so many reasons to visit the region this springtime.
Let’s start with the food. April is the ideal moment to sample one of the country’s rarest but most delectable delicacies: the white asparagus. Since this beauty only grows under certain conditions, you can only sample it once a year and trust us: once you’ve tried it, you’ll never forget it. Traditionally served with olive oil, a drizzle of lemon, black pepper and lashings of hard, salty cheese, the white asparagus is the epitome of a springtime dish in France. It’s also the season for artichokes and strawberries, the most famous variety of the latter being the gariguettes: small but impossibly sweet kisses of perfection.
It goes without saying that Provence is home to some stunning landscapes and this is never more evident than in springtime. Trees burst into life in an organza of cloud-like blossom, the moors are suddenly overwhelmed with red poppies and yellow broom while the air is filled with the heady scent of rosemary, wild thyme and Mediterranean pine. These herbs make their way onto plates across the region, too, particularly on Easter Sunday when roast lamb is traditionally served alongside fat sprigs of fragrant rosemary.
As if all this wasn’t enough, some of the region’s most legendary cultural events happen in April, including the classical music festival in Aix en Provence, the Monte Carlo Tennis Open and the Monaco Grand Prix.
Springtime and early summer in Santorini are truly a magical time. The old, cobbled streets, not yet bustling with hoards of summer tourists, are your playground as the small towns present myriad opportunities to explore the island during its more tranquil months. As things start to open up and residents prepare for the summer season, it’s the perfect time to pop into a taverna and get chatting to the locals. The beaches are quiet and late May temperatures can reach a highly respectable 30 degrees, meaning you can very much justify going for a dip in the serene ocean.
Santorini’s azure blue waters and the white façades of the buildings are afforded a particularly wonderful charm in Spring as cascades of bougainvillea blossom into jaw-dropping shades of magenta and violet.
Easter in Greece is the most important religious festival and in Santorini you’ll witness a spectacular show if you visit during this period. Think hot ovens churning out soft brioche and Easter cookies, locals playing games with red-painted eggs and lines of people marching in the streets to the beat of a drum and the sway of folk music, while smoke from incense and candles wisp dreamily through the air.
Shimmering Tunis is a real surprise in the Spring. The city is suddenly alight with the luminous hues of green, pink and yellow from new leaves and abundant flowers. A visit to Tunis in April lets you understand why Paul Klee, who visited in the same month in 1914, was so enthralled by the scenery, prompting him to paint some of his most vibrant works.
Pick up a springtime bounty at the Tunis Central Market, replete with a festival of aromas and colours, or visit the ancient archaeological sites at Carthage and have plenty of space to wander without the summertime crowds. Escape the heat of a warmer spring afternoon by meandering the cool corridors of the Bardo museum, famous for its stunning Roman tile murals. For a real treat, take a day trip to Sidi Bou Said whose buildings boast glowing white and indigo façades, even more breathtaking when set against the jaw-dropping beauty of a cascading purple bougainvillea. You can also venture to the North of Tunis, where you’ll find sprawling beaches dotted with coves set against aquamarine waters.
For many of us, the past months have been a long and difficult journey. All the more reason to treat yourself and start dreaming of a weekend getaway in Spring 2021. Our three Mediterranean destinations each feature a myriad of tempting reasons to visit; now the only challenge facing you is deciding which one to pick!
Follow our insider recommendations to Stay as a local in Tunis