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.

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7 Nights

Amalfi Coast Walking

A relaxed walking holiday exploring the spectacular Amalfi Coast.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Naples Airport
Ends:Naples Airport
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy to Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1035pp excluding flights £148 per night View
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7 Nights

Moscow and St Petersburg

On this short trip, we explore Russia's two most important cities in-depth. In Moscow, we take-in the Kremlin, the 16th century Saint Basil's Cathedral and have the chance to see Lenin's embalmed body in its Red Square mausoleum.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Moscow
Ends:St Petersburg
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £980pp excluding flights £140 per night View
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9 Nights

Cycling in Georgia

A cycling adventure in the Caucasus - a beautiful land steeped in history that straddles two continents.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £30pp
Starts:Tbilisi
Ends:Tbilisi
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1490pp excluding flights £166 per night View
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4 Nights

Discover Chernobyl

Spend an exciting long weekend like no other — exploring the incredible abandoned sites reclaimed by nature on a Chernobyl tour in the Exclusion Zone.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £15pp
Starts:Kiev
Ends:Kiev
Group Size:4- 14
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £750pp excluding flights £188 per night View
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10 Nights

Highlights of Albania

Still emerging from isolation Albania's wealth of historic sites, charming rural villages and the colourful capital, Tirana, are all waiting to be discovered.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £19pp
Starts:Tirana
Ends:Kruja
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £930pp excluding flights £93 per night View
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14 Nights

Turkey in Depth

This all-encompassing trip takes-in Istanbul, impressive ancient sites, the unusual terraces of Pamukkale, and visits the World War I battlefields of Gallipoli.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Istanbul
Ends:Istanbul
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1030pp excluding flights £74 per night View
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8 Nights

Best of Bulgaria

Admire century old church frescoes, ride on a mountain railway and explore the Black Sea coast on this comprehensive Bulgaria highlights tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £22pp
Starts:Sofia
Ends:Sofia
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:FullOn
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1099pp excluding flights £137 per night View
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8 Nights

Hiking in the Caucasus

The trips offers the chance to trek in a fascinating, off-beat region that's just being discovered by tourism.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Batumi
Ends:Batumi
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:None
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £995pp excluding flights £124 per night View
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7 Nights

A Taste of Puglia

Discover the superb cuisine and wines of Puglia and enjoy easy walks with wide panoramas of gently rolling landscapes.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £25pp
Starts:Altamura
Ends:Monopoli
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1235pp excluding flights £176 per night View
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14 Nights

Ancient Macedonia

Journey through eastern Bulgaria, northern Greece and Macedonia to uncover the lost empire of Alexander the Great.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £30pp
Starts:Sofia
Ends:Sofia
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1490pp excluding flights £106 per night View
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14 Nights

Grand Tour of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria

In two-weeks experience the highlights of Romania, Serbia and Bulgaria.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £33pp
Starts:Bucharest
Ends:Bucharest
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:FullOn
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1640pp excluding flights £117 per night View
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15 Nights

Former Yugoslavia Rail Adventure

On this sixteen-day adventure we will discover Europe's newest countries and travel by rail through some of the Balkan's most inspiring scenery.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £38pp
Starts:Ljubljana
Ends:Pristina
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1899pp excluding flights £127 per night View
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13 Nights

Highlights of Eastern Europe

On this trip we discover the historic European cities of Krakow, Budapest, Bratislava, Vienna and Prague.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £36pp
Starts:Krakow
Ends:Prague
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1790pp excluding flights £138 per night View
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7 Nights

Walking in Portugal - Eastern Algarve

Based in the historic town of Tavira, this walking trip combines scenic coastal and inland walking.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £15pp
Starts:Tavira
Ends:Tavira
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £770pp excluding flights £110 per night View
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7 Nights

Walking in Slovenia

On this centre based walking holiday explore the dramatic peaks, valleys and lakes of stunning Slovenia.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £23pp
Starts:Ljubljana Airport
Ends:Ljubljana Airport
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy to Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1140pp excluding flights £163 per night View
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7 Nights

Baltic Capital Cities

This trip is the perfect introduction for first time visitors to the Baltic state capitals.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Vilnius
Ends:Tallinn
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £995pp excluding flights £142 per night View
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11 Nights

Best of Romania and the Danube Delta

Enter a land of remote villages, ancient customs and beautiful scenery on this Romanian adventure.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £30pp
Starts:Bucharest
Ends:Bucharest
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1520pp excluding flights £138 per night View
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7 Nights

Discover Georgia

This short trip into the Caucasus region of Eurasia discovers one of the fascinating former states of the USSR.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £26pp
Starts:Tbilisi
Ends:Tbilisi
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:FullOn
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £1295pp excluding flights £185 per night View
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7 Nights

Krakow to Budapest Adventure

On this trip we discover the historical European cities of Krakow and Budapest.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Krakow
Ends:Budapest
Group Size:4- 18
Difficulty:Full On
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £995pp excluding flights £142 per night View
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7 Nights

Canary Islands Walking - Lanzarote

Discover the unique landscape of Lanzarote, and enjoy some winter sun, based in Costa Teguise

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £18pp
Starts:Puerto Del Carmen
Ends:Puerto Del Carmen
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy to Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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compareCompare £895pp excluding flights £128 per night View
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