05 Dec Europe Through the Seasons: The Best Time to Visit
With the ease of travel in recent decades, the lure of faraway destinations has been strong. For a while, exotic islands and cruises were all the rage. But for a destination that offers everything you could wish for – the sea and mountains, cultural treasures, the countryside and urban life – nothing beats the Old Continent. With so many different countries and climates, it’s not always easy to know the best times to visit a particular destination. Here is some advice on how to get the most of your European vacation.
The time of your perfect Italian holiday depends on what you plan to do there. In any case, it’s wise to avoid August – this is the month of Ferragosto. What does that mean? It’s a summer holiday that marks the beginning of vacation season for many business owners, so a lot of businesses are closed. If you are expecting to take a dip in the sea, September is a good bet to escape the hordes of tourists on popular beaches. When it comes to sightseeing, there is absolutely no time of the year when Italian cities aren’t crowded. The summer months get so crazy that you can’t even come near the main attractions because of all the tourists gathered there. Late autumn and early spring still have the acceptable weather, but see a little dip in the number of visitors.
Norway, with its remote northern position and its climate extremes can be a tricky country to visit. As it is a large and sparsely populated place, distances in Norway can be greater than you imagine. Getting from one place to the next is easiest by car, however, driving is not recommended to visitors from November to March due to extreme winter conditions. While summers are mild, they tend to be rainy. September and May are the prettiest months in most of Norway, apart from the frozen North. May is particularly beautiful in the fjords, when everything is melting. The winter and summer both have an ace up their sleeve, though: winter is the time of Aurora Borealis, and with summer comes the midnight sun.
This gorgeous island in the Mediterranean is the perfect spot for a summer trip – but in May! Summers in Cyprus tend to get insanely hot inland, while the heat is mixed with high humidity on the coast. With mild winters, it never gets truly cold there. May is the perfect time to grab a flight to one of the resorts because the sea is already pleasantly warm for swimming. Every day passes without a cloud in the sky, and the temperatures hover in the pleasant range of 25 to 30 degrees. Miles and miles of deserted beaches seem to stretch on forever, with barely a person in sight. In the summer, Cyprus is strictly a place where you drive from the beach to the comfort of A/C, but May has the perfect weather for walking and sightseeing.
The Cultured Netherlands
With a temperate climate, the weather in the Netherlands can be a bit unpredictable. It is cool and rainy most of the time, so no matter the season, make sure you bring an umbrella and a coat. The famous tulips are in bloom in the spring – the end of March through mid-May is the period to go if you are aiming to visit the tulip gardens. Pleasantly warm summers are the most crowded time of the year, and every landmark and museum is swarmed with visitors. The tourist craze dies down a little in the autumn, and the weather is still not too cold, which makes October a great time to visit.
No matter the time of year, Europe is gorgeous; but a little bit of planning can make your trip even more enjoyable. So, take your time and do your research. Still, leave some space for getting lost in the streets of the new cities you visit.
About the Author: Callum Maclane is a travel writer, foodie and adrenaline junkie whose ambition is to visit every single country in the world. His favourite country so far has been Argentina. He loves those grills!
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