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Trip planning, locations and time frame for travel in Winter/Spring 2022

My husband and I are trying to plan our spring schedule. We have a number of family events/issues to plan around. In terms of our calendar, February is the best time to go. We can, however, make end of March thru mid/end of April work, though not ideal, in terms of the family calendar.

We do plan to go to southwest France/northern Spain in the fall of 2022. In fact, the trip is almost completely planned.

When we were looking at April, I was thinking about Portugal, and I've been researching/planning for Portugal for quite some time, now. Looking at weather averages, Portugal is not as appealing in February, although when I looked at other destinations like Sicily or Greece, the weather averages did not look significantly different from Portugal, though Portugal would be significantly rainier.

For Portugal, we are looking at Lisbon, Porto, and north. The furthest south we'd get would be Evora. We'd like to spend a fair amount of time north of Porto. We are very interested in enjoying the river and the wineries around Porto. We do plan time in Lisbon, but love smaller to midsize cities and towns which tend to be less forgiving when weather is inclement. We like to do a lot of walking around old town centers and hiking. We are not lay on the beach people.

So, what I'm looking for is suggestions in terms of locations for February travel or whether, though fairly inconvenient, we are better off squeezing Europe in during the late March/April timeframe.

Miscellaneous--We've been to Andalusia. We don't think we are interested in northern Africa right now. Is Easter (April 17) an issue in terms of crowds and closure in Portugal or other areas that might be suggested?

In terms of COVID, we are and need to be fairly conservative in terms of caution, which is why we are not considering Russia for spring next year.

Posted by
5486 posts

February tends to be the most miserable month anywhere in Europe, which is why I go to the Canary Islands then. If it had to be mainland Europe, then Portugal and southern Spain would be my only choices. You may or may not get lucky with other places, but I wouldn’t consider Greece in February.

There is quite a difference in Portugal between early February and late March weather wise. April means school Easter holidays, when accommodation prices and air fares rocket. There are some Portuguese Easter festivities, but they aren’t on the same scale as say Seville.

Posted by
2520 posts

I agree with Jennifer, do as the Northern Europeans do during this time and head for the Islands lol! You could probably consider Sicily or the Balearic Islands. Or head further afield, like Portugal's Madeira archipelago or the Azores.

My personal choice would be Canarias (Canary Islands) as well. They have much to offer, outside of the typical beach resorts, for example the island of Gran Canaria is nicknamed the "Miniature Continent" because of the diversity of landscapes, from sand dunes to green ravines. It's a paradise if you are into hiking and nature. Gran Canaria also has quite a few picturesque towns like Arucas or Firgas that are worth checking out.

From a cultural standpoint, the next door island of Tenerife should be quite exciting, its home to the second largest carnival in the world (after Rio), which usually takes place in February-March, so it's sure to be a festive mood if you go then. The charming town of San Cristóbal de La Laguna, a UNESCO Heritage site, makes for a nice day trip too.

And one can also check out Teide National Park, another World Heritage Site, which is home to Mount Teide, the third highest volcano in the world. Not to mention all the unique and fascinating history and culture of the indigenous Guanche people.

Posted by
1117 posts

You can of course go anywhere in Europe in February, Italy, Greece, Northern Europe, but you'll have to come prepared for cold or rainy weather. Depending on the elevation and the latitude, you might also have snow. Or you could have cold but wonderfully sunny pre-spring days in February, there's no saying.

This is just anecdotal evidence and not a scientific study on the weather averages, but I have been both to Tenerife and to Madeira in February, and both were fairly cold, and we did have pouring rains in both places.

I personally would assume that in terms of weather, the South of Spain is your best bet.

Posted by
4211 posts

I've been to Europe twice in January and had a great time, but they were a different kind of trip where we visited larger cities that are more conducive to weather fluctuations and also visited some places where we "embraced" the winter--Berner Oberland and Salzburg.

So, I get some wonderful idea for February, as this point, I'm learning toward cramming the travel into the end of March/April timeframe.