Put a spring in your step - our favourite walking holidays for the springtime
With the arrival of March, the daffodils coming into bloom and the evenings getting lighter, it feels like time to come out of hibernation, dust off the walking boots and start planning a spring break. If you’re also craving sunny days and long walks, here's some of our favourite springtime walking and trekking holidays to inspire you.
Annapurna flowers and mountains by J Barenblatt
The spring months are prime time for trekking in the Annapurnas due to the warm sunshine, emerald green rice terraces and trails lined with a colourful profusion of rhododendron and marigolds. And there’s no better way to first experience the magnificent Annapurnas then by trekking between luxury lodges on gentle trails that showcase the stunning Himalayan scenery.
Late spring is one of the best months to visit Japan as it’s warm and sunny in most of the country but not too hot, rainy or humid as in the summertime. In fact, it’s just perfect for trekking and seeing the sights. The cooler hills of the Kiso Peninsula with their ancient, sacred trails and the fascinating centres of Kyoto and Nara provide a wonderful range of contrastsin a country that is once again proving very popular.
Kailash trek by S Findlay
The annual Saga Dawa Festival at the end of May, is a thrilling event. Set beneath the imposing peak of Kailash it is a vibrant, colourful affair that will assault the senses. The festival is the culmination of a superb trek that circumnavigates the base of sacred Mount Kailash in the company of devout pilgrims from many different religions.
Although you can climb Toubkal all year round, spring is arguably the best time. You won’t need ice axe or crampons as in the winter months, the little snow that remains covers the loose scree making it easier to walk on and you won’t be exposed to the hot summer heat. Avoid the busiest trails to the summit on this longer trek and also discover the fascinating land of the Berbers.
This trek in the Indian Himalaya was once popular with the officers of the Raj who escaped the heat of the Indian plains for the cooler mountain air. With commanding views of Kangchenjunga and other Himalayan giants, and trails ablaze with spring colour you too can enjoy a superb springtime escape.
Outside of the hot and hectic mid-summer months spring is as good a time as any to hike the steep slopes of Etna to its fiery summit. It’s also a delightful time of the year for day walks on the neighbouring Aeolian islands and to enjoy the delicious local cuisine including an icy cold granita made with fresh oranges and lemons.
As with much of the Himalaya, the spring months in Bhutan are the best time to visit and trek. The higher walking paths are open again after the winter snows have gone, the days are mainly dry and sunny and the trails come alive with the bright colours of spring flowers. The Chorten Path Trek makes the most of these conditions and also has the added bonus of a visit to the Paro Festival – Bhutan’s premium tsechu that sees the impressive unfurling of the giant, sacred thankha.
Walking the fascinating route from Camino del Norte to Santiago de Compostela is best done during the spring months as the temperature will be warm but not too hot for walking.The trail will also be a lot quieter than the busy summer months meaning that overcrowding won’t be an issue.The Camino del Norte has the benefit of being more peaceful than the alternative pilgrimage route to Santiago - the Camino de Frances, yet still offers excellent food and accommodation and is a fabulous trekking experience.
Nyika National Park
The spring months in Malawi bring warm days and showcase the beautiful destination at its best – just after the rainy season.The end of the rains sees lush vegetation and sparkling views and there is also a greater variety of birdlife to enjoy.To make the most of the wonderful wildlife and scenery, this holiday takes you on game drives and walks in the vast plains before embarking on the three-day Livingstonia trek through verdant grassland and forest. Finally, you follow the Liwonde Safari Trail on an immersive three day trek to reach the wildlife rich floodplains of the Shire River.
Travelling to Patagonia during the spring may be cooler, but the high wind speeds you can often experience at other times of the year will be largely reduced.On this trip you will have eight days of fantastic walking during which you will take in the highlights of the striking Torres del Paine and Los Glaciares National Parks. The gentler climate from March to May also makes spring the best time to visit the capital of Argentina, Buenos Aires, where this fantastic holiday ends.