Easter may bring falling leaves and cooler nights but in the Northern Hemisphere it's Spring and for me a favourite time to visit. It means less crowds, lower Airfares and Mother Nature is totally on show. The perfect time for an international festival that focuses on the new season's blooms.
Think of the world famous Cherry Festivals in Japan, where pink,white and green is the predominant colour scheme. To take advantage of this seasonal attraction you can either book a cruise or a guided coach tour but as the season is short do book early.
Across the world in Washington, D.C cherry blossom viewing also welcomes Springtime by way of the national Cherry Blossom Festival. The U.S. capital is lit up by day with avenues of pink blossoms and the celebrations are highlighted with music,art and parades.
A flower-themed festival with a different hue is tulip time in the Netherlands. Aim to be onsite in late March through May to witness the magnificent floral extravaganza and if you're an independent traveller, take note of the official 'Bulb Route' beginning in Amsterdam. You may cycle out to the massive tulip fields daily or train there instead. A highlight is a visit to the renowned Keukenhof Gardens where so many varieties of tulips are displayed,including the famous 'almost black' bloom. As Holland's canals are a maze of waterways you can also experience the spectacle waterside. There are even tours that entail both crusing and cycling with your hotel being a comfortable canal boat. Each morning you may disembark,cycle through tulip fields and stop by tiny villages seemingly untouched by time. After spending a day on the road your floating hotel greets you at the next town.
A great way to take in all that is synonymous with Dutch culture – tulips,cheeses,clogs and the all-important dykes.
If you're interested in spending Easter in Great Britain or Ireland hire a car and head to the countryside for a relaxing road trip. You'll pass by meadows brimming with wildflowers, bubbling brooks,hedgerows and ancient churchyards dripping with lilac-and if lucky you may stumble across a reenactment of the ancient Passion Play in a quaint English village.
Easter is synonymous with chocolate and being a fan myself I have to say that both Paris and Vienna excel. Their colourful and creative Easter window displays will surely tempt you inside to taste their chocolate works of art.
On that yummy note a Happy Easter to all!
To plan your travel itinerary contact Anne Van Dyke: www.annevandyke.com
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