We get it—thinking about Spring Break right now, when holiday travel has barely begun, seems bizarre. But we guarantee that once you spend a few days escaping the early-winter blues, you’ll start thinking about your next sun-soaked getaway—and you’ll be glad if those March plans were already in place. That’s why we’ve identified a few places that, if you book now, will bring that enviable combo of higher temperatures and lower rates. Whether your Spring Break involves kids or not, here are a few places to consider.
Not to deny Barcelona’s many cosmopolitan charms (or pounce on its recent political turmoil), but I’ve always found Madrid to be the more alluring Spanish city. With its beaches, its sinuous Gaudí buildings, its cafés tucked away in the Gothic Quarter’s cobblestoned labyrinth, Barcelona seems too easy to fawn over—just note the roaming packs of visitors on Las Ramblas. On the other hand, Madrid, while hardly immune to tourism, somehow feels populated less by foreigners and more by Madrileños. These lucky souls live their everyday lives in a city filled monumental architecture, casually superb restaurants and a veritable trove of art. My partner and I recently spent a week moving among them.
Here’s a little secret: The best time of year to travel to Europe is...right now! September (and even early October) still has beautiful weather, but crowds are fewer and prices generally lower. And now that the tourists have gone home from the major destinations, the locals come back out to enjoy festivals, harvests and cultural events. Here are six places to consider a trip this fall:
Ever since Stag’s Leap snagged 1st place from Montrose in the scandalous 1976 Paris wine-tasting conference, Napa Valley has been the go-to for American oenophiles. Now we love Napa, but sometimes there’s a craving for a different terroir. So, here are some of our favorite vineyards, complete with exquisite grapes, stunning views and, of course, superlative-worthy hotels.
For those of you like myself, sometimes a coconut with a straw just doesn’t quite cut it. History always has and always will be the central part of many of my vacations, and, where possible, I like to be as close as possible to the—albeit long-dead—action. Whether it’s a hotel taking over a 12th-Century chapel or one that offers special access to a UNESCO World Heritage site, I present to you my personal list of favorite historical hangouts—all of them providing modern-day comforts as well as direct connections to the past. See them all in our Historical Hideaways collection.
The problem with European beaches? All the Europeans. Just kidding! As a matter of fact, we love a scene-y beach, and no one does beach scenes like the Europeans (think St. Tropez or Mykonos or Ibiza). But sometimes there’s nothing better than a sunny day and a deserted beach. After all, who wants their nap interrupted by an errant soccer ball or their sunshine blocked by a parade of partiers stomping their way to the water? Here are three off-the radar-beaches in Europe for the people-averse.
Apparently, poor Bono and the boys still haven’t found what they’re looking for—even 30 years after releasing The Joshua Tree. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, crawl out from under that rock and get yourself tickets to see U2’s Joshua Tree 2017 Tour, which will have the band performing the classic album in 26 cities across North America and, starting in July, Europe. We’ve had several clients ask us to help plan a European vacation around the concerts, so here’s a little guide to doing it yourself. Go ahead, reach out and touch the flame.
(Tickets? Well, we got ours a while ago, but if you’re looking for a miracle, reach out to one of our agents and we’ll see what we can do.)