Spring and autumn are great time of year to travel to Europe. Especially to the southern part, when there is warm enough to wear summer clothes, while in the rest of Europe can be quite cold.
We tend to travel in Europe in this periods because in summer it’s peak season at our jobs and we can’t take time off like everyone else. And we don’t complain at all! Spring is absolutely beautiful because the nature is waking up and everything blossoms. Autumn, on the other side, is gorgeous as well with totally different color palette in the nature, with leaves getting different colors every day. And the best part of it? In these two seasons you can get some great deals as the prices go down, there are no numerous sightseers anymore (some european places can get REALLY busy in peak season) and you can have places just for yourself! Who wants to stay in crowds anyway?
We picked five destinations in Europe to visit off season. We really liked them and they are great for kids too. They are easy to travel, safe and fun!
This chill out island is one of the Canary islands and part of Spain, but situated in Atlantic ocean 100 km of the north coast of Africa. It’s known for year-round warm temperatures cooled by continuous wind. It has a beautiful coastline, white sandy beaches, interrupted by cliffs and the atmosphere is very laid back as this is one of the most popular surfing places in Europe.
But despite the fact that in some parts there can be really good waves for surfing, you can find nice lagoons and beaches for families with small kids as well.
Although most of people come to Fuerteventura for beaches, this island has an amazing volcanic scenery that you just can not miss and great sand dunes at Corralejo where you can stay for a while, discover them and play.
The easiest way to see the island is by renting a car and in your 5-7 day itinerary you can see the whole island: form the old town of Betancuria for some history, the windmills at Tefia, whale skeletons in Las Salinas or Morro Jable, the charming coastal village of El Cotillo, to sand dunes at Corralejo. You can even find chipmunks by the road from La Pared to Pajara.
2. ALGARVE, PORTUGAL
For us Algarve is one of the most beautiful regions in Portugal. It’s the southernmost region of the country, well known for fascinating coastline and charming villages. On our road trip we enjoyed so much on the golden beaches with turquoise water that are surrounded by cliffs. From beaches we would highly recommend Praya de Bordeira, Praia da Marinha and Praya do Amado to name just a few.
One of the must see sites in Algarve are the Benagil cave, the fascinating Cabo de Sao Vincente and surroundings with its dramatic cliffs and a visit to a small village like Cacela Velha.
Since the region has one of best surfing spots in this part of Europe – you can give it a try! There a lots of surf schools and places that are great for beginners.
3. ANDALUSIA, SPAIN
Located in southern Spain, Andalusia has a great variety of places to see. We spend quite a lot of time in this diverse region on our road trip to Iberian peninsula and could talk for hours about it. There’s something for every taste – sea, mountains, nice villages, amazing cities, rich history, good food, jaw dropping views and accomodation for all budgets.
Kids (and their parents) will really like the beautiful beaches in Cabo da Gata, the beautiful historical towns of Grenada and Alhambra, strolling trough the iconic white hill villages of Olvera or Casares and discovering the world of bull fighting or admiring the deep river gorge in Ronda. There’s a really nice ZOO in Bioparc in Fuengirola too for a little taste of the animal world.
Tuscany is an iconic region. Its historical towns, small little villages and an unique landscape make it a must see destination for every traveler.
Since we live not far from Tuscany, we’ ve been there many times. Once we have visited the most famous places like Firenze, Pisa, Siena … we keep returning and discover other, less known sites. You can read about our favorite places south from Siena here.
And your journey to Tuscany doesn’t have to be expensive. If you choose to camp and cook for yourself once in a while, you can low your costs and still have great time. There are many working farms (agriturismo) where you can stay or camp and experience a rural tuscan life.
Sardinia is an island in Tyrrhenian sea on the west side of Italy. It’s known for glamour, yachts and celebrities. But beyond that it’s a beautiful island, where you can find peace, tranquility and interesting things to see, like many different ancient ruins from various ages.
The west coast and the north west are our favorites in Sardinia. There are places where we think even in the peak season you can find a nook for yourself. Look for Piscinas, near the small town of Arbus or Porticciolo and its surroundings.
Give it a try and visit some of the above destinations in off season. Trust us – they are all very popular holiday destination and especially with kids we always want to stay out of the crowds.
Read more: Discovering “European Tibet”