Spring is the season when most landscapes come alive. The winter chill is fading fast, and some of mother nature's best colors are on full display. With heavy snowfall and winter storms in the past, eager travelers browse their world maps for travel inspiration. Some of the best spring international destinations are well-known, and the peak tourist period falls within April. Other locations are still transitioning to the new season and may not see visitors for another month. Whether you're hoping to connect with the crowds or enjoy nature in solitude, an unforgettable international adventure awaits.
Two weeks after Holy Week ceremonies come to an end, spring returns to Spain and brightens the landscape. Delicate blooms perfume the air, and live music sets the tone for La Feria de Abril, a tribute to the arrival of springtime. Celebrations abound all over the country, but the best party is in Seville. The Alumbrao, the ceremonial lighting of the front gates, marks the start of the seven-day festival, where attendees can marvel at the Portada and meet the locals. Thousands of casetas, or marquee tents, pop up in neat rows to welcome visitors. They add a special blend of color and personality to the fair, each uniquely decorated by a family, group of friends, or club. Outfitted with functioning kitchens, bars, and seating areas, the temporary homes are entertainment spaces where owners share tapas and wine. Don a traditional flamenco dress and check online for festival dates.
Located on the Atlantic coast, Newfoundland and Labrador is Canada's easternmost province with a dramatically beautiful landscape. From the lush woodlands brimming with wildlife to rocky coastlines dotted with colorful seaside villages, this is one of the best places to experience mother nature's splendor. Take a walk along the clifftops on Skerwink Trail, or stay in St. John's and head for Cape Spear Lighthouse. April is the beginning of the iceberg season at Iceberg Alley. The incredible spectacle happens when large chunks of ice separate from Arctic glaciers, sending massive bergs floating south. The idyllic province is only a 3 1/2 hour flight from Toronto. If you've got a rental car, you can take the ferry from Nova Scotia. Additional ferry routes between Labrador and the island of Newfoundland give you access to many of the province's spectacular sites while ensuring you always have transportation.
Most travelers associate tulips with the colorful flower fields of The Netherlands, but their history in Europe begins in Turkey. The Ottoman Empire created Tulip Fever in the late 17th-century when they imported the exotic flower from Iran. Every spring, the government plants about 30 million tulips citywide. From late March and sometimes into May, Istanbul's green spaces erupt in vivid swathes of color. Visit Sultanahmet Square in Old Istanbul to see the largest tulip carpet in the world. The square is adjacent to the Blue Mosque with beautiful views of the Bosphorus. Emirgan Park is the hub of the Istanbul Tulip Festival and a tranquil place to spend an afternoon. Stroll through the gardens, then enjoy a cup of coffee or tea at a stall.
The Andean country of Bolivia is a lush, biodiverse region rich with indigenous culture. From the witch market in La Paz to the rainforests near Trinidad, Bolivia's secrets are well worth uncovering. For a unique adventure, book a tour of Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia's famous salt flats. Perfect in the simplicity of their barrenness, the most extensive salt flats in the world are almost guaranteed to be the highlight of your South American journey. At over 11,000 feet in elevation, clear blue skies and puffy clouds hover over an expansive white ground. Camping on the flats gives you a chance to explore rock gardens and geyser fields, but a unique optical illusion appears during and immediately after the rainy season. A shallow body of water covers the ground, creating the world's largest natural mirror.
Japan's peak tourist season is in April, thanks to the blooming of the cherry blossoms. Travelers from all over the world visit to witness their beauty and to celebrate at the matsuri, or festivals. Japan has more matsuri than most other countries, and April sees some of the most unique and beautiful celebrations of the year. Hit the streets during the 400-year-old Takayama Spring Festival, where gorgeous floats and marionettes fill the streets. The Tateyama Kurobe Alpine Route also opens in mid-April. The scenic winding road provides spectacular views of the Tateyama Mountains and access to the Kurobe Dam. April is the best time to see the snow corridors, where walls of accumulated snow can reach over 60 feet tall.
Morocco is a lively and vivid destination every traveler should experience, and the locals will insist that April is the best time to visit. The winter chill gives way to warmer weather, with average daily temperatures ranging from the low 60s to the high 80s degrees Fahrenheit. The changing atmosphere makes desert excursions and camping a much more comfortable experience. Ride camels over peaked dunes and enjoy the bright spring colors without overheating. If you prefer a more leisurely experience, stay on the Mediterranean or Atlantic coast for unbeatable views and fragrant sea breezes.
An April vacation in Portugal means springtime — and April showers. Head for the Almond Blossom Route in the Douro Valley to see the beautiful pink and white blossoms still in bloom. Local trains run three routes through northern Portugal to observe the colorful fields and terraced hills. The Chocolate Festival in April is a great reason to visit the medieval town of Óbidos. The cobblestone streets are usually busy with locals and tourists enjoying the scenery, but there are plenty of narrow alleys and side paths to explore. Foodies can also stay in Lisbon for the Fish and Flavors festival. The 11-day event showcases Portuguese cuisine and culture and features cooking workshops, folk music performances, and dance.
As spring returns to The Netherlands, the wide-open fields turn colorful with flowers, and the Dutch come out to play. The locals love springtime and welcome the season with a calendar full of celebrations. The Amsterdam Tulip Festival is the most famous and runs all month long. Take a walk through the city, or ride a bike through the fields, where rectangular blankets of bright blooms elegantly stretch. Meibockfestival commemorates the country's spring brews with a wide selection of bottled and draft beer. If you're still in the Netherlands at the end of the month, join in the King's Day festivities. Locals celebrate the national holiday by donning their best orange outfits and partying in the streets, canals, and parks.
South Korea's cherry blossom season, or sakura, is a moving sight to see in the spring. Japan's sakura usually gets all the glory, but budget-conscious tourists might prefer Jinhae on Korea's south coast or Jeju Island, where the blossoms are much larger. Make sure you're in Seoul for Yeondeunghoe, an ancient Korean folk festival, and UNESCO-recognized heritage event. Also known as the Lotus Lantern Festival, the feast celebrates Buddha's coming into the world with a monthlong celebration of live music, parades, and exhibitions. The festival's highlight is the Lantern Parade, which moves through the streets and sees thousands of lanterns glowing along the Cheonggyecheon Stream.
India's vast territory encompasses a myriad of cultures, religions, and languages. Indians commemorate their heritage with many festivals, and April sees one of the biggest celebrations in the state of Tamil Nadu. The Chithirai Festival reenacts the wedding of Lord Shiva and Goddess Meenakshi, Lord Vishnu's sister. The legendary union between two gods representing high and low caste followers symbolizes unity. Locals celebrate with over the top festivities and dramatic reenactments over the final days.