is the "best" time to go?
The best time depends on what you are looking
for in a European vacation. It could be the least expensive time,
or the time with the best weather, or the time when the place is less
crowded. Remember, least expensive often correlates to least desirable
(weather less than ideal) and best weather often correlates to most
To get an idea about the "best" time
to go to the destination of your dreams, contact
me to provide guidance customized to what you are looking for in a
Meanwhile, here is a short list of the best
times to go various places. If a place you fancy isnt on the
list, let me know and
Ill tell you the best times for that place.
November & December Europe is usually deserted
at Christmas and Thanksgiving. Hotel rooms go for a song (well,
at least cheaper than usual), and, especially in Paris, there are
amazing sales at trendy boutiques ordinarily out of reach.
cheapest airfares and fly-hotel packages are available from November
1 to mid to late March. There are also fewest tourists in the way
of having a great time there. But you need to check with me before
you finalize your plans; many tourist attractions close or have
reduced hours during part of the winter. If there is a place you
especially want to visit, you dont want it to be closed when
Europe (Italy, Greece, etc) the climatic regime
is winter wet, summer dry so the best time to go there is in the
spring and fall (April-May and September-October). Spring is especially
beautiful because the winter rains make the hills lush and green
and covered with wildflowers in bloom. Plus, the locals are still
around, and the tourists havent arrived in droves yet.
France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Turkey - The
months of May, June, September and October are the best months to
enjoy the rural areas of these countries. The weather is generally
good (not too hot), the locals are in town, and the summer crowds
have either not arrived, or have returned home.
May-June and September-October are the best times to visit
central Spain (Madrid, Toledo, etc.): it's not really crowded yet
and the weather isn't sweltering (as it gets in July & August
which is when and where Europe's highest temperatures occur).
- Oktoberfest in Munich occurs from the last 2 weeks in Sept. thru
the first weekend in October. (Yes, I know that it makes no sense
that the Oktoberfest mostly isn't in October. That's why, if you
want to experience the Oktoberfest I would never send you to Munich
later in October; you'd miss it!)
- Summer has the best weather and long days for sightseeing. But
if you go in August, many of the natives will be elsewhere having
their own vacations.
The first Saturday in September is the Bloemencorso (flower
May is the very best month to be there: gardens are in bloom,
and there not so many tourists.
- The most popular time is August and Septemberwhen the Edinburgh
International Festival is in full swingbut it is also the
busiest time and the prices are at their highest. Many people like
to travel in the "shoulder" season - May, June and October
when things are a wee bit quieter and the value is better. You shouldn't
discount traveling in the winter months either; Scotland has some
beautifully sunny and crisp days during the winter.
Paris, Rome, & Florence are best visited in off-season,
from September through May, in order to avoid tourist crowds, higher
prices, and the heat of summer.
Tips for Travel.