As the northern hemisphere optimistically looks toward the end of the dreaded winter period and the beginning of sunny days, birds singing and shedding layers, it’s time to think about where to head for the first taste of spring in 2016.


1.) Thailand


The period from March to May is one of the best times of year to visit Asia, and Thailand is one of the most popular destinations. Thailand package holidays are a great way of seeing the country. With so many options for what to do in this fascinating country, there is bound to be something of interest for any traveller. Whether you want to laze on the beach, get up close to some wildlife, marvel at colourful, intricate buildings or navigate the crazy streets of Bangkok, Thailand is a perfect port of call – particularly in April, when Thai New Year is celebrated.


Thai New Year, or Songkran, is held from April 13 to 15 and serves as a worthy celebration of bringing in an exciting new year. The traditional cleansing with water has taken on the form of an enormous country-wide water fight, where there are no teams and no rules.

thai street food

2.) Florida, USA


Florida has miles of coastline offering pristine beaches waiting for all sorts of travellers, from those who want to join the Spring Break parties to those who prefer a laid back vacation. It’s a great place for beaches but don’t forget this is also home of many of the USA’s biggest theme parks, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Florida and Legoland Florida.


If you’re looking for plenty of activity and fun in the sun and sand, and are happy to splurge a bit, Florida could be just the right ticket. Tour USA to hit the spot.


3.) Philippines


December to April is the best time of the year to visit the Philippines, not only because of the idyllic beaches, tropical islands and sparkling clear water you will find there – but because of the small matter of typhoons, which do not frequent the area at this time of year.


The best time to discover this little corner of paradise is while the typhoons take a break, and as a bonus the temperature in the dry season is ideal, sitting in the mid to high 20s (Celsius) and providing perfect weather for your skin to enjoy its first kiss from the sun.


4.) Switzerland


Spring is associated with the wonderful season of summer, and therefore the focus tends to be on watching the mercury levels increase and exclaiming over beautiful sunny days, but there is more to this time of year than working on your tan.


Colder parts of the world enjoy beautiful springs where the landscape is completely transformed. Snow melts, rivers run faster and wilder, young green leaves unfurl, flowers pop up in unexpected places, and people tentatively don lighter coats forsaken when they find a sunny café terrace. Switzerland is a perfect example of a country that is beautiful at all times of year, and while May here may not be as hot as what you would experience further south, there is some genuine appeal in the mild temperatures and vivid greenery that characterise this season in one of the most naturally spectacular countries in Europe.

swiss landscape

5.) Netherlands


The Netherlands experiences a similar kind of spring transformation to that of Switzerland – and other European nations of course. But there is one highlight at this time of year that can be found nowhere else.


The extensive parklands and surrounding farmlands near The Keukenhof explode with vibrant colour in mid-March through to May as the famous Dutch tulips begin to respond to the change in season. The flowers’ lifespan is so fleeting that The Keukenhof is only open for two months a year, which makes this an ideal time to tick the Netherlands off the list for anyone that enjoys looking at pretty flowers. The once-annual Flower Parade from Noordwijk to Haarlem also takes place during this time.


6.) Japan


Continuing with the theme of fleeting flowers, spring is the one time of year Japan’s renowned cherry blossoms can be seen. These dainty pale pink and white flowers are as much an icon of Japan as tulips are with the Netherlands, and it is a truly beautiful sight to see trees full of them and gentle carpets of petals fluttering on the ground around grand temples.


Kyoto is one of the best places to see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, with temples such as Daikakuji Temple presenting a postcard-perfect picture, plus lots of other attractions in and around the city, not to mention the prospect of finishing your day with ramen or the best sushi you’ve ever had.


7.) Tunisia


Tunisia is home to a large number of beach resort towns and elaborate hotels that make for a perfect spring vacation destination, and as a bonus for Europeans, there are a plenty of cheap flights here from various parts of the continent. Stepping away from the beckoning blue water and white sand of the beautiful beaches that border the African nation to the north-west, you will find mystical cities and delicious food waiting to be discovered, making this the perfect spot for a more adventurous spring getaway.


Favoured spots include Hammamet, Monastir and Port El Kantaoui.


8.) Southern Spain


For the Europeans among you looking for a quick getaway, the south of Spain is a superb option with not only an abundance of cheap flight options but some of the hottest spring weather around. Parts of southern Spain have been known to reach temperatures of up to 30 degrees Celsius in February, which makes it the perfect place to welcome spring for those impatient for the season to arrive.


Author’s Bio: Courtney Gahan is a serial expat, traveller and freelance writer who has bartered with Moroccan marketeers, seen the sun rise at Angkor Wat and elbowed her way through crowds on NYE in NYC.