Spring Escorted Tours

5 Reasons To Tour Europe In Spring And Early Summer

There are so many great reasons to travel to Europe in spring and early summer, whether you’re keen to escape the long British winter, eager to see the sights before the summer crowds arrive, or simply looking to snap up a bargain

1. City breaks without the crowds

There is a lot to be said for visiting Europe’s top city break destinations out of season, as anyone who’s been to Venice in the height of summer will attest. Summer in the Med brings cruise ships, backpackers, stag parties and families on school holidays, and the beautiful old towns of Dubrovnik, Prague and Lisbon are often packed to bursting with tourists. In spring, however, you can enjoy the continent’s most popular cities without the crowds.

Tauck offer a fantastic ‘Heart of Italy’ small group tour visiting the cities of Venice, Florence and Rome during the spring months, with exclusive experiences such as an after-hours tour of the Vatican and lunch with a countess at a Venetian palazzo. Solo travel specialists Just You have some great options too, including an in-depth exploration of Lisbon, Cascais and Sintra. The Portuguese capital is back in fashion right now, and this tour allows you to enjoy the city during the quieter spring months.

2. Spring sunshine

Spring and early summer is the perfect time for those who like it warm but not too hot, with pleasant temperatures that are ideal for sightseeing. This is a great time to visit islands like Cyprus, Sicily or Crete, where temperatures range from the high teens to the low twenties Celsius during April, and it’s also a great time for a city break in southern Spain or Portugal.

Adventure experts Explore! offer an appealing 7-day self-guided walking tour of south west Crete, including coastal trails, gorgeous villages such as Omalos and Loutro, and the impressive Samaria Gorge. Another exciting option is Prestige Holidays’ ‘Cyprus Highlights’ escorted tour with former MP and journalist Martin Bell OBE. Departing in April, this one-off tour includes visits to Kyrenia Castle, the Troodos mountains and the fascinating divided city of Nicosia.

3. Europe in bloom

Spring is tulip season in Belgium and the Netherlands, when the countryside lights up with a rainbow of vibrant colours. This is the time to enjoy those classic Low Countries landscapes of windmills, dykes and tulip fields, with the blooms generally at their most dazzling around the end of April. Opt for a tour that includes the famous Keukenhof Gardens, such as Leger Holidays4-night ‘Dutch Bulbfields and Delights of Amsterdam’ tour. This UK coach departure is the perfect option for a springtime short break.

Late April and early May is also a great time to visit the Portuguese island of Madeira, when the Flower Festival fills the streets of Funchal with fragrant blooms and lively parades. Titan Travel offer a special 7-night tour to coincide with the festival, which includes trips to botanical gardens, pretty villages and the Madeira Wine Company.

4. Atlantic wildlife

Iceland has become hugely popular in recent years, and this small, sparsely populated island can feel a little crowded during high season. Spring and early summer is a great time to visit, when the winter snow has melted, daylight has returned and the crowds are yet to arrive en masse. Early April is the beginning of the puffin season, when 60% of the world’s Atlantic puffins come to the cliffs of Iceland to breed. And these loveable little birds aren’t the only wildlife attraction at this time of year, with whale watching trips from Husavík starting in May.

Well-established operator Collette offers a number of Iceland tours highlighting different aspects of the island. ‘Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice’ ticks off the classic sites of the Golden Circle and the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, along with a trip to the volcanic beach at Reynisfjara, where the cliffs are alive with seabirds. Alternatively their ‘Icelandic Adventure’ tour focuses more on the north, including Akureyri, Lake Mývatn and whale watching in Husavík.

5. Shoulder season savings

With the exception of the Easter weekend, the spring months tend to fall into the travel industry’s ‘shoulder season’. Although prices are higher than in winter, they can still be significantly cheaper than the summer peak season. There are always bargains to be had for those with a little flexibility, especially if you’re able to travel outside of school holidays. You can also squeeze maximum value out of your annual leave allowance if you’re canny with the bank holidays in May!

And if you still haven’t booked your spring holiday for 2018 then now’s the time, with some great last minute offers available from some of our favourite escorted tour operators. Take a look around the TourHound website and you’re sure to find something to tempt you - simply Search, Compare, Select.

Find Tours to Europe

7 Nights

Corners of Cornwall 2022

From windswept moors and wild coastlines to historic cities and picture-perfect fishing villages, the county of Cornwall is filled with evocative sights and fascinating stories. Join us as we seek out the maritime heritage, rural beauty and culinary pride of this unique corner of South West England on a scenic eight-day tour.

Starts:London
Ends:London
Group Size:10- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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£2149pp excluding flights £307 per night
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12 Nights

Italian Indulgence 2022

An intoxicating mix of ancient cities and imagination-firing landscapes, Italy is a land where unforgettable experiences lie around every corner. Savour every moment of this Back-Roads adventure as you journey from enchanting Tuscan villages to tranquil lake-side retreats - sampling an abundance of tantalising flavours and local wines along the way.

Starts:Rome
Ends:Venice
Group Size:10- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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£3329pp excluding flights £277 per night
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9 Nights

A Scottish Journey 2022

Towering mountains and enchanting lochs. Dramatic castles and quaint villages. Infamous battles and gripping legends. This Scottish Journey takes us from coastal cities to Hebridean islands, seeking out one-of-a-kind landscapes, mesmerising history and undeniable charm.

Starts:Edinburgh, UK
Ends:Edinburgh
Group Size:10- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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£2629pp excluding flights £292 per night
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12 Nights

The Emerald Isle 2022

From north to south, this is one Irish journey that delves into the Emerald Isle's fascinating history, rich traditions and cultural heritage like no other. Starting with the legendary Giant's Causeway, our road will lead us to Ireland's rugged peninsulas, quaint villages and ancient landmarks - all while drawing on local knowledge to transport you to the heart of this captivating country.

Starts:Dublin
Ends:Dublin
Group Size:10- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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£3059pp excluding flights £255 per night
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9 Nights

Discover Portugal 2022

From charming medieval villages to the cobbled streets of Porto, the empires of the past have left their mark on this captivating Iberian nation. Uncover the real Portugal as we journey from Gothic cities to cinematic rural scenery - taking in world-famous pilgrimage sites, sumptuous local cuisine and ancient customs as we go.

Starts:Lisbon
Ends:Porto
Group Size:10- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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£2679pp excluding flights £298 per night
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4 Nights

Hilltop Villages of Provence Cycling - Short Break

Discover the famous hilltop villages and breath-taking scenery of the Luberon region.

Starts:Pernes-Les-Fontaines
Ends:Pernes-Les-Fontaines
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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£1119pp excluding flights £280 per night
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14 Nights

Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn

Trek the classic 'Haute Route' from France to Switzerland in this tour.

Starts:Les Bossons
Ends:Randa
Group Size:6- 14
Difficulty:Challenging
Operator:Exodus

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£2499pp excluding flights £179 per night
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3 Nights

Mull, Staffa & Iona

The Isle of Mull is a place of tumbling burns, high peaks, dramatic views and a silent, lonely beauty.

Starts:W Highland Way, Crianlarich FK20, UK
Ends:Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
Group Size:6- 25
Operator:Brightwater Holidays

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£795pp excluding flights £265 per night
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8 Nights

Walking the Wine Villages of Piedmont

Explore the beautiful, tranquil Langhe region of Piedmont, a gastronomic gem.

Starts:Benevello
Ends:Benevello
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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£1539pp excluding flights £192 per night
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5 Nights

Hiking the Azores

Spend six incredible days hiking this famous archipelago, and experience a side that few ever see.

Starts:Ponta Delgada
Ends:Angra do Heroísmo
Group Size:12- 16
Difficulty:3 - Average
Operator:G Adventures

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£743pp excluding flights £149 per night
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-100

7 Nights

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

Walks on Italy's stunning Ligurian riviera and enjoy on this tour.

Starts:Moneglia
Ends:Moneglia
Group Size:4- 15
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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£1349
£1249pp excluding flights £178 per night
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8 Nights

Premium Venice to Split

Spectacular natural beauty and fascinating cultural heritage go hand in hand in Slovenia and Croatia

Starts:Venice
Ends:Split
Group Size:1- 12
Operator:Intrepid Travel

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£2590
£2072pp excluding flights £259 per night
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9 Nights

Portuguese Camino

Challenge yourself to a journey from pretty Porto to the historic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on an 11-day alternative coastal Camino trail

Starts:Porto
Ends:Santiago de Compostela
Group Size:1- 12
Operator:Intrepid Travel

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£1425
£1069pp excluding flights £119 per night
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14 Nights

Premium Turkey in Depth

Get to the heart of Turkish culture and history on this 15-day Intrepid Premium adventure

Starts:Istanbul, Turkey
Ends:Istanbul, Turkey
Group Size:1- 12
Operator:Intrepid Travel

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£2330
£2097pp excluding flights £150 per night
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7 Nights

Mountains & Villages of Evia

Discover the real Greece on the island of Evia with walks through coastal paths, forests and gorges.

Starts:Athens
Ends:Athens
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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£1199pp excluding flights £171 per night
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6 Nights

Crete Family Holiday

Discover a land of ancient legends, delicious cuisine and pure sunshine on a 7-day family adventure in Crete

Starts:Chania, Greece
Ends:Heraklion, Greece
Group Size:1- 16
Operator:Intrepid Travel

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£1685pp excluding flights £281 per night
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11 Nights

Christmas Turkey - 12 days

Enjoy and explore the adventure on this Christmas Turkey - 12 day tour.

Starts:Istanbul
Ends:Istanbul
Group Size:2- 24
Operator:On The Go Tours

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£1145pp excluding flights £104 per night
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5 Nights

Cycling The Chateaux Of The Loire - Deluxe Short Break

 Explore the Loire Valley's majestic forests, vineyards, poppies and sunflower fields.

Starts:Blois
Ends:Blois
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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£1359pp excluding flights £272 per night
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7 Nights

Walk the North West Highlands and Skye

This three-centre walking holiday showcases the stunning natural beauty and wild nature of Scotland's North West Highlands and Skye

Starts:Inverness
Ends:Inverness
Group Size:4- 8
Difficulty:None
Operator:Explore!

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£1850
£1650pp excluding flights £236 per night
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14 Nights

Copenhagen to Northern Norway

From beautiful cities that seamlessly blend historic architecture and modern design to sprawling landscapes of pristine natural beauty, Scandinavia has a lot going for it

Starts:Copenhagen
Ends:Tromso
Group Size:1- 12
Operator:Intrepid Travel

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£3575pp excluding flights £255 per night
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