Hidden Gems in Spring

Spring is the perfect time to be in Europe. The sun comes out, the days get longer and all the plants begin flowering. It’s also the perfect time to get away from busy European capitals and enjoy the out of the way secret locations and green spaces of the world. Make your way to Belgium for the Greenhouses of the Royal Palace at Laeken, Brussels. Beauty can be found at the Winter Garden in both its plant life and Art Nouveau architecture; the massive greenhouses with their ironwork frames are home to many rare and beautiful plants. They cover six acres of striking rotundas, domes and galleries. Twenty full-time gardeners meticulously tend this impressive collection.

The royal greenhouses in Brussels and surrounding gardens are home to many beautiful plants as well as Art Nouveau architecture.

If you’re looking for things to do during the Easter holiday, search out the Hauptmarkt, Germany’s biggest market in Nuremberg. More than 100 stalls are set up selling Easter decorations, clothes, dishes and household goods, as well as food. It’s a fun place to do some shopping in the open air.

When the sun melts the snows in Poland the beautiful crocus flowers bloom in the sheep pastures and the shepherds move their flocks in a grand celebration of the beginning of spring and St. Adalbert’s Day (April 23) called the trailing of the sheep. It’s a grand spectacle that’s definitely worth seeing once in your life.

Pick up some fresh foods and handmade goods at Nuremberg’s Easter market in the Hauptmarkt.

Head to the island of Ærø, off the South Coast of Funen Island, and see why Ærøskøbing is often called Denmark’s fairytale town. Ærøskøbing is over 750 years old, and many of the old buildings there have been restored to retain its old world charm. Go in Spring on a warm sunny day and enjoy the quaint island life.

Spend time in Estonia in mid to late May and you’ll be in a prime position to see one of the planet’s most spectacular bird migrations. Every year, millions of birds of dozens of different species flock to Estonia on their way to breeding grounds further up north. It’s a spectacle not to be missed.

Over hundreds of years the River Salaca in Latvia has worn away at the sandstone creating these impressive cliffs and outcroppings.

Spring is also the best time to visit The Skaņaiskalns Nature Park in Latvia, located on the right bank of the River Salaca downstream from Mazsalaca. The park has a special path named after one of Latvia’s most well known folk-heroes Kurbads, which features 50 wooden sculptural images telling the story about the legendary strongman. Also in the park is the Neļķi Cliff – a stunning red sandstone outcrop 20 meters high and 300 meters long.

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Mountains of Fun

The snow-white scenery of the Dolomites is an ideal destination for those who love skiing, snowboarding, ice-skating, climbing, snowshoeing and trekking. Internationally famous for its ski resorts, it’s a magic realm offering numerous slopes in one track for hundreds of kilometers while being surrounded by magnificent heights and enchanting landscapes. There are so many sports to practice on Mount Rosa and its valleys; the three valleys of Ayas, Gressoney and Valsesia have some of Italy’s biggest ski resorts.