Delving into fields of multi-coloured tulips and walking beneath a canopy of cherry blossoms together are some of the most romantic things you can do as a couple. But that’s not all there is to look forward to in the spring season — as the earth rouses from its winter slumber to birth new life and the weather turns warmer, the lands invite deeper exploration by beckoning with more easily accessible sights and experiences.
If you prefer to journey at your own time and pace, a road trip is your ideal mode of travel. Spot a breathtaking view to the right? Take the next exit and appreciate the scene. Need more time to wade in beautiful fields of flowers or to climb up to the next peak? There’s no need to hurry. Embrace the best the spring season has to offer with your partner on these five road trips around the world and forge memories as you explore new lands together!
The less-explored region of Patagonia brims with wild and untouched beauty that has a way of sucking you in. Think vast lakes set against tremendous mountain ranges, swooping valleys and massive waterfalls, and verdant greenery and wildlife.
On this incredible road trip along the Route of Parks, you’ll cover a total of 17 national parks from the northern Pumalin National Park to the southern Yendegaia National Park. Hike to mirrored lakes reflecting lofty snow-capped mountains and volcanoes, venture into ancient forests and landscapes teeming with animals such as pumas and tapirs, and enjoy the dramatic views from lookout points. In spring, the weather is cold but the winds are also less harsh, which makes hiking easier. You’ll also likely be one of the first to embark on the trails ahead of the summer crowds, which means you get to keep the abundant beauty of the landscapes all to yourself. If you so wish, you can also snuggle up to each other in one of the several campgrounds.
One of the best ways to fully enjoy the spectacular fjords of Norway is on a road trip. In spring, the whitewashed landscape begins to shed its snow, allowing the greenery and blooming plants to peek through. Journey around the peaceful lakes and towering cliffs, and watch as flower buds begin to emerge from the ground.
Treat your eyes to scenic sights such as thunderous waterfalls, flowering fruit orchards and the actual Hardangerfjord on this route. You may also encounter cherry blossoms in the region if you’re lucky enough! Besides completing picturesque hikes together around mountains and the canyon, seize the opportunity to walk across a magnificent glacier as well. During spring, dishes incorporating lamb and fresh fish are usually enjoyed along with the first harvest of fruits and vegetables such as apples, cherries and potatoes.
For a spring road trip with a winter element, venture to the vast and beautiful lands of Hokkaido. This season, flowers erupt in full bloom and the fields begin to brim with fresh produce but time your trip well and you’ll still be able to catch the tail-end of the ski season!
Along the route from Sapporo to Monbetsu, you’ll get to surround yourselves with hundreds of blooms including delicate cherry blossoms, brightly-coloured tulips and elegant lilacs; flower festivals are also aplenty this season so get yourselves in a celebratory mood! For a unique experience, seek out the vibrant pink moss known as Shibazakura and try spotting a flower with seven petals as it’s rumoured to bring you luck. Certain resorts in the premier skiing destination also operate until early May, perfect for you to experience spring skiing, where you get to indulge in winter fun under warmer conditions. Don’t forget the food — Hokkaido is one of Japan’s top gourmet havens — snow crabs are rumoured to be especially delicious this season with extra roe and vegetables such as asparagus are particularly popular.
Western Cape, South Africa
South Africa enjoys lovely weather during spring. It’s typically relatively dry, which means you get to avoid the rain showers, and temperatures tend to hover around 20 degrees Celsius. Besides the unique indigenous fynbos flowers and wildflowers, the season is also perfect for whale watching.
Dubbed the Garden Route, the drive from Tsitsikamma Forest to Mossel Bay is known for being one of the most picturesque in the world. Traverse mountain passes and roads crowded with multi-coloured flowers of multiple varieties, and alongside the sea as you make your way from point to point. The wildlife enthusiast will enjoy trekking forests in search of birds including kingfishers, going on a whale watching cruise and visiting an ostrich farm. You can also indulge in water sports and cave exploration, or just relax on the beach and visit wineries for a refreshing tipple. No matter your preference, the Garden Route offers something for everyone.
Western Holland, Netherlands
One of the Netherlands’ biggest claims to fame is the famous Keukenhof Garden, which mesmerises with its acres of vibrant tulips each spring. While a stop by Keukenhof is indeed unmissable, other gardens also possess their own alluring charms and should not be overlooked.
As you make your way from Haarlem to Naaldwijk on the Flower Route, stroll hand in hand alongside cheery daffodils, fragrant hyacinths and regal lilies amongst other varieties of flowers before delving into the tulip extravaganza at Keukenhof. Equally worth a visit are the galleries lined with beautiful paintings and historic museums that offer you insight into the local culture. It’s also fruit galore in the Netherlands during springtime; pick your own apples, cherries, strawberries and pears and make a picnic out of it. This is also the season for cheese markets; the Dutch are renowned for being some of the world’s best cheesemakers so you’ll definitely want to pick some delectable wheels up.