After a long, icy winter, you’re probably looking forward to taking a break from school and going on spring vacation. Luckily, April break starts next Friday!
Just in case your parents haven’t booked tickets yet (or you just want to daydream), here are five of Europe’s best destinations for this time of year.
1: Crete, Greece
Crete is a stunning Greek island famous for its clear waters and beautiful beaches. You can relax on the beach, hike up the picturesque mountains, and enjoy the fresh Mediterranean cuisine. Flights from Bucharest to Crete are 3 hours long (including one layover in Athens), starting from 750 lei. The weather in May varies from 15°C to 24°C.
Things to do in Crete:
- Head for Mirabello Bay, the largest bay in Greece. This is one of the less populated areas on the island, making it perfect to jump in for a refreshing swim or rest on the shores at any time during the day.
- Walk along the Samaria Gorge, a natural park full of diverse vegetation and wildlife. If you are up for a challenge, go for a hike along the rocky passageways and observe the gorgeous scenery.
- Explore the marine life. The island is full of diving sites and snorkeling programs for people with various experience levels. Discover the Mediterranean fish and black corals – gems of the sea unique to Crete.
2: Venice, Italy
Image source: independent.uk
In this fascinating coastal city of Italy, there are no roads – only waterways. Instead of using cars, people get around the city by long and narrow Venetian boats called Gondolas. Venice also has a long history dating back to 400 AD, which shows in their architecture. It’s an exquisite melange of Gothic, Byzantine, and Islamic styles: a little bit of everything. Direct flights from Bucharest to Venice takes about 2 hours, starting from 800 lei. The weather in May varies from 13 to 22 degrees.
What to do in Venice:
- Spend the afternoon at Piazza San Marco, the most famous public square in the city. Climb up the 99-meter-tall bell tower for a full view of Venice, or find a cafe nearby for a cup of Italian espresso.
- Go on a gondola tour. You will get to ride through the narrow canals, take aesthetic pictures, and even learn some short Italian phrases from your gondolier.
- Walk on the Rialto Bridge, also known as the heart of the city. The bridge is made of 12,000 wooden pilings and has been standing strong for 428 years.
3: Mykonos, Greece
Image source: greekcitytimes.com
Yes, this is the second Greek island on the list, but it’s with good reason. Mykonos is particularly famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. At night, the beaches quickly fill up with dance music and party bars – making it an ideal destination for those who miss the fun summer atmosphere. Flights from Bucharest to Mykonos last around 3 hours (with one layover in Athens) and cost about 1200 lei. The weather in May varies from 17°C to 23°C.
What to do in Mykonos:
- Take a short trip to Delos, an island next to Mykonos accessible by ferry. Walk along the ancient Greek ruins, and don’t forget to visit the Doric Temple of Isis (built around 200 BC).
- Try out some new water sports. Platis Gialos Water Sports Club offers several water activities at the beach. You could take water-skiing lessons, rent a jet-ski, or go on a tube ride with your family.
- Discover the Mykonos windmills, one of the most recognized landmarks on the island. Many are restored as homes, bakeries, and even agricultural museums open for tourists.
Image source: isic.com
Spend a week in this majestic city with gorgeous canals and world-famous museums. If you’re a fan of art, history, and shopping, this city is a perfect match for you. Direct flights from Bucharest to Amsterdam last around 3 hours, costing around 600 lei. The weather in May varies from 8°C to 16°C.
What to do in Amsterdam:
- Visit the Anne Frank House, a biographical museum that used to be a hiding place for young diarist Anne Frank and her family during WWII.
- Enjoy the art collections. The Rijksmuseum holds more than 8,000 European art masterpieces, including Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. If you’re a fan of post-impressionist paintings, try the Van Gogh Museum – the world’s biggest Van Gogh collection.
- Stop by the Dam Square, where the Royal Palace and the National Monument are located. There are many shops (perfect time to try the stroopwafels!) and Dutch traditional restaurants nearby for a fun, memorable evening.
5: Istanbul, Turkey
Image source: hurriyetdailynews.com
Located right in between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is an exotic city full of rich culture and amazing food. Observe the impressive architecture of the mosques, and step inside for a new religious experience. You can also stop by a street vendor for a refreshing cup of pomegranate juice. Flights from Bucharest to Istanbul only take 1 hour, costing about 500 lei. The weather in May varies from 12°C to 21°C.
What to do in Istanbul:
- Shop in the Grand Bazaar. There are more than 5,000 small shops in the bazaar, selling all sorts of treasures like the Turkish delights, handmade pottery, and Kilim rugs.
- Visit the Blue Mosque, built during the Ottoman Empire and still in function today. Its interior is decorated with more than 20,000 tiles of mesmerizing geometric designs.
- Go to the Bosphorus, a narrow natural waterway that divides Europe with Asia. Take a ferry and try to spot the dolphins (yes, there are dolphins!) in the waters.
Tell us: What are your plans for the April break? Share with us in the comments below.