Where to go for spring sun

Updated March 27, 2023
Published April 14, 2022

Spring sun? Done! Get your dose of vitamin D in captivating cities from Las Vegas to Dubai, or return to beach break favourites in the Canaries, Turkey and beyond. Here, we round up some of the best destinations for spring sunshine, whether you want to treat yourself to a seven-night beach holiday or soak up some sun on a shorter city break.

1. Cyprus 

Spring in Cyprus feels a lot more like summer in many other parts of the world – rain is rare at this time of year and the mercury can hit a beach-perfect 25C. The fact that prices can be much cheaper is a welcome bonus, too.

Unless you’re looking for the rowdy nightlife that comes with summer crowds, it’s an excellent time to visit. Instead, get to know Cyprus’ secret side, where wild, untouched beaches, a lush hinterland and abandoned cities await.

2. Canary Islands

There’s never a bad time for a holiday to the Canaries if you’re looking to swap grey skies for sun. Choose Tenerife for a good mix of everything: beaches, golf courses, waterparks and nightlife are easy to find here, although be aware that the island will be quieter in spring than in the peak summer season.

Looking for something even more sedate? Fuerteventura just might be for you. Some of the archipelago’s best stretches of sand are here, so hire a car to discover them all. Lovely Lanzarote should also be on your radar for its otherworldly landscapes and quirky art and architecture by Cesar Manrique.

3. Crete

Crete really starts to warm up during May, so if you are looking for a late dose of spring sun and a holiday without the crowds, consider visiting before the peak tourist months of July and August. If sunbathing isn’t your top priority, April temperatures reach a t-shirt-and-shorts-friendly 20C.

For history buffs, the island’s showstopper attraction is the Minoan palace, Knossos, where the legend of the minotaur began. Keen walkers, meanwhile, will enjoy the rewarding views when exploring Samaria Gorge.

4. Malta

The best way to see Malta? Hire a car and explore at your own pace. It takes less than an hour to cross this tiny island, giving you more than enough time to see its top sights and relax on some of its best beaches.

With temperatures hovering around 20C in May, spring is also a great time to add a city break to your holiday. Visit capital, Valletta, and discover the highlights of this fascinating, historic city. The Grand Master’s Palace and St John’s Co-Cathedral are top picks. If you have time, it’s worth taking the ferry to the Three Cities – take the elevator from the Upper Barrakka Gardens to get to the port.

5. Antalya

Pack your swimwear for a spring holiday to Antalya – highs reach between 21C and 26C in April and May. Beaches are beautiful in this part of Turkey (it’s not called the Turquoise Coast for nothing!), and nearby favourites include the huge sweeps of sand at Konyaaltı and Lara Beach on the city’s outskirts.

Stay in the city itself for a buzzier energy, or head to its neighbouring towns for a classic resort vibe. Side, Belek and Lara Beach are all popular picks for holidaymakers.

6. Barcelona

You’ll find one of Europe’s best urban beaches in the Catalan capital of Barcelona – ideal if you want some dedicated sunbathing time on your city break.

You may want to keep your beach time short, though. This city was Antoni Gaudi’s playground, after all, and it’s worth following his footsteps. A whistle-stop tour of his best work should include the still-unfinished Sagrada Familia, the fairytale Casa Batlló and quirky Park Güell.

7. Athens

Athens is often overlooked by holidaymakers dreaming of a holiday to Greece. But you’ll be missing out to skip it for the country’s famous islands. This ancient capital is brimming with fascinating sights, such as the Acropolis; straight-from-a-movie streets, especially around the Plaka neighbourhood; and delicious, fresh food (think, dolmades, souvlaki and seafood).

You won’t miss the seaside in these parts, either. The revitalized Athens Riviera is just a short drive away, where you'll find postcard-pretty turquoise waters and golden sands. With highs of 26C in May, it’s a great time to explore both areas.

8. Marrakech

Marrakech certainly lives up to its busy reputation, but you don’t need to stay in the thick of it on a holiday here. For a resort-style stay with all the perks of being near the city, the Palmeraie area is a good pick, and many hotels offer a free shuttle to the medina.

In town, dive into the bustle at Jemaa El-Fnaa square, get your haggle on at the souks and visit the stunning Bahia Palace before returning to your retreat outside the city – with temperatures rising as high as 29C in May, you’ll appreciate having a pool to splash in!

9. Dubai

Temperatures start to creep into the low 30s in May in this larger-than-life city, making it the last month of pleasant weather before the sweltering summer months arrive. So, whether you want to soak up the sun all day on a beach, try your hand at some watersports or sandboarding, or look around impressive sights such as the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa, spring is a great time to visit Dubai.

Need a break from the sun? Indoor activities include shopping until you drop in marble-clad air-conditioned malls, sampling delicacies in some of the world’s finest restaurants or even whooshing down an indoor ski slope at Ski Dubai.

10. Las Vegas

Holidays to Las Vegas are everything you’d expect and more. Extravagant, kitschy and wildly fun, embrace the opulence of Sin City’s Strip and hotel hop for your daily entertainment – the Bellagio’s fountain show and the Venetian Resort’s gondola rides are famous for a reason.

Break up the neon-lit nights with days exploring the city’s museums and galleries, stuffing yourself silly at a buffet or enjoy scenic day trips into nature. If you won’t have time for the four-hour round trip to the Grand Canyon, Red Rock Canyon is just 20 minutes away.

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