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

Cross-Country Skiing at Leutasch and Seefeld

Cross-country skiing in a winter wonderland and enjoy on this tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £19pp
Starts:Leutasch
Ends:Leutasch
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Multi-Level
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £959pp excluding flights £137 per night View
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5 Nights

ANZACS On The Western Front 2022

From the trenches of Ypres to monuments marking The Somme, our ANZAC tour maps Australian and New Zealand troops' movements in WWI - delving into the stories of the soldiers' involvement in the battles of the Western Front. With poignant visits to cemeteries and national memorials on the agenda, this history-themed journey is perfect for those wishing to learn more about their countrymen who fought and died in The Great War.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £26pp
Starts:Lille
Ends:Lille
Group Size:6- 18
Operator:Back-Roads Touring

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7 Nights

Cycling from Amsterdam to Brussels

This linear cycling trip takes in the capitals of Holland and Belgium as well as historic cities en route.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Amsterdam
Ends:Brussels
Group Size:1- 12
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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5 Nights

Chablis Vineyards Activities

Two activities in one single centre holiday - choose to walk or cycle through the famous vineyards of Chablis

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £23pp
Starts:Chablis
Ends:Chablis
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely
Operator:Exodus

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7 Nights

Winter Activities in the Dolomites

Enjoy the stunning snow-covered jagged mountains of the Dolomites with downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snow shoeing and more.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £35pp
Starts:Armentarola, San Cassiano
Ends:Armentarola, San Cassiano
Group Size:2- 30
Difficulty:Multi-Level
Operator:Exodus

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5 Nights

Cycling from Utrecht

The daily routes on this holiday head out of the city in four different directions giving you an opportunity to discover .

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £15pp
Starts:Utrecht
Ends:Utrecht
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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7 Nights

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk

Walk along the peaceful Loire and Cher rivers through sunflower fields, forest and vineyards.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £30pp
Starts:Blois
Ends:Amboise
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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7 Nights

Finnish Wilderness Week

Mixed activity week in a remote part of Finland on this tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £33pp
Starts:Basecamp Oulanka
Ends:Basecamp Oulanka
Group Size:4- 20
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £1799
£1649pp excluding flights
£236 per night View
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7 Nights

Cycling from Brussels to Bruges

Visit the iconic cities of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent and Bruges

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Brussels
Ends:Bruges
Group Size:1- 12
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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4 Nights

Chateaux Of The Loire Walk - Short Break

Walk along the peaceful Loire and Cher rivers through sunflower fields, forest and vineyards.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £20pp
Starts:Blois
Ends:Amboise
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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6 Nights

Cycling the Vineyards from Beaune to Macon

Cycle through vineyards and villages in Burgundy from Beaune to Macon while enjoying incredible food and wine.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £29pp
Starts:Beaune
Ends:Macon
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Leisurely
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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11 Nights

Western Explorer

Visit five breathtaking National Parks in the USA in this tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £76pp
Starts:San Francisco
Ends:Las Vegas
Group Size:6- 13
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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11 Nights

Walking from Coast to Coast East

Follow in the footsteps of Wainwright through the Yorkshire Dales and North York Moor National Parks

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £22pp
Starts:Kirkby Stephen
Ends:Robin Hood's Bay
Group Size:2- 6
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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14 Nights

Canadian Wildlife & Vancouver Island - Reverse

Enjoy the mountains, coastline and wildlife of Western Canada on this tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £86pp
Starts:Vancouver
Ends:Calgary
Group Size:6- 13
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £4299pp excluding flights £307 per night View
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7 Nights

Cycling from Bruges to Brussels

This linear trip takes in some of the most important cities in Belgium - Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Bruges
Ends:Brussels
Group Size:1- 12
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

What’s included
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7 Nights

Walks of the Cinque Terre and Portofino

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

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £23pp
Starts:Moneglia
Ends:Moneglia
Group Size:4- 15
Difficulty:Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £1149pp excluding flights £164 per night View
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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 £20pp
Starts:Naples Airport
Ends:Naples Airport
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Easy to Moderate
Operator:Explore!

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7 Nights

Walking on the Greek Islands

Discover three idyllic Greek islands.Walks on Santorini, Paros, and Naxos.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £26pp
Starts:Athens
Ends:Athens
Group Size:4- 16
Difficulty:Leisurely
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £1299pp excluding flights £186 per night View
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14 Nights

Tour du Mont Blanc Hotel Trek

Walk the classic circuit through France, Switzerland and Italy and enjoy on this tour.

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £62pp
Starts:Chamonix
Ends:Chamonix
Group Size:4- 14
Difficulty:Moderate / Challenging
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £3099pp excluding flights £221 per night View
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6 Nights

Pearls of Holland Cycling

Discover the Pearls of Holland on this mostly gentle circular cycling trip

Members are eligible for cashback on this trip of up to £21pp
Starts:Amsterdam
Ends:Amsterdam
Group Size:1- 12
Difficulty:Leisurely / Moderate
Operator:Exodus

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compareCompare £1039pp excluding flights £173 per night View
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