There are a number of major events taking place across Europe this spring that you can easily join in with. From fashion shows to football matches, if you’re looking for an idea for a holiday this spring then why not tie it in with one of the many excellent events at this beautiful time of year?
Whatever your tastes, whatever your desires – here’s our pick of the top 5 spring destinations across Europe for 2011:
1. FA Cup Final
The FA Cup is the oldest football competition in the world, dating back to the 1871/72 season. The history of the competition and the fact that teams from the lower divisions can play against and sometimes beat the giants of the Premier League all add to the magic of the FA Cup. If you want to check out the final then it will be held at Wembley Stadium on May 14, where you might well see Chelsea hoping to defend the title which they won in both 2009 and 2010.
2. Milan Fashion Week
Milan Fashion Week is held from February 23 to March 1, and marks one of the most exciting events of the year in the fashion industry. Whether you fancy yourself as a critic, or you just want to surround yourself in the glamour of the occasion, a trip to Milan during the week will be full of excitement as the world of fashion turns its eye on the city. If you’re really lucky you might even be able to get an invite to one of the many parties held throughout the week.
3. St Patrick’s Day, Dublin
St Patrick’s Day might well be celebrated all over the world, but if you really want to get into the spirit of the day then you can’t beat making a trip to its true home in Dublin. Although the main event is a huge parade held on St Patrick’s Day itself (March 17), the festivities continue until March 20, with singer Sharon Shannon performing at the National Concert Hall on March 19. There’s also the Gannon Cup University Boat Race on March 17 where University College Dublin and Trinity College Dublin have battled it out for the last 60 years on the River Liffey.
4. El Clásico
There are a few football matches in the world that every football fan should attempt to see at least once, and right at the top of that list is El Clásico, the bi-annual clash between Spain’s two biggest clubs, Real Madrid and FC Barcelona. This spring’s event is hosted by the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu, on April 17 so head to Madrid to experience a level of passion and excitement bordering on hysteria as some of the best players in the world work their magic.
5. Carnival, Various Locations
Carnival, also known as Mardi Gras, is a period of festivity held before Lent in numerous places around Europe and indeed the world. In Europe, the best places to join in the fun are in Portugal, Italy and Spain.
In Portugal, head to Madeira, Ovar or Loulé on March 8 for the best parties where you’ll be able to enjoy numerous street parades. In Italy it is one of the biggest festivals of the year, and as well as the actual date of the carnival on March 8, you’ll also find it celebrated in many towns on the weekend before. You can also find festivities taking place across Spain, with the most important event being the Burial of the Sardine, which is performed in many towns and cities across the country on Ash Wednesday, which this year is March 9.
One Final Idea – The Most Beautiful Spring in Europe
All the above events will provide you with an exciting break over the next few months. However, for something really special, why not head to a place known as one of the most beautiful locations to witness spring in the whole of Europe?
For an unmissable spring extravaganza of natural beauty, visit Keukenhof in the Netherlands. This world-renowned beauty spot is open from March 24 until the end of May. The stunning gardens comprise 32 hectares of 7 million hand-planted flower bulbs and over 2,500 trees, and the website boasts that it is the most photographed place in the world.
As it is located very near to Amsterdam you can combine your trip to Keukenhof with a visit to this relaxing and beautiful city to make your holiday really special.