Best time to visit Europe

Updated: 09th December 2020

Seasons and Weather in Europe

The best time to visit Europe depends entirely on how you plan to spend your trip. The summer months are best for a beach break or an island-hopping cruise in Greece or Croatia. Whilst winter is good for a snowy adventure in Iceland. Europe’s weather patterns generally follow four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Each of these seasons affects countries differently and has its pros and cons when it comes to travelling. Read on to find out more about the best time of year to visit some of our European destinations.

Norway's fjords are beautiful in spring - Best time to visit Europe
Spring is the perfect time to explore Norway's dramatic fjords

Spring in Europe

Spring (March to May) is often considered the most beautiful season as it is when the plants and flowers start to bloom after losing their leaves during winter. Landscapes are transformed by the vivid green and splashes of colour they produce. Across the continent, countries will be warming up, allowing travellers to go sightseeing, hiking and exploring the continent’s natural beauty to their heart’s content without being too hot or cold. It's a great time to check out the wonders of Iceland’s lagoons and glaciers, Turkey’s hot springs and calcium travertines at Pamukkale, and the Fjords of Norway while the heat from the sun is pleasant but not unbearable.

Thinking of visiting Europe? Download a copy of our Europe brochure for inspiration.

Recommend tours and trips to Europe in spring

HandpickedEruption at Strokkur | Golden Circle | Iceland

Iceland Circle

8 Days FROM £2,645
SignatureCappadocia | Turkey

Turkey Unplugged

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Croatia's beaches are perfect in summer - Best time to visit Europe
The summer months are the ideal time for a sailing holiday in Croatia

Summer in Europe

If you are looking for sunshine and beaches then a trip to Europe during the summer (June to August) is ideal. In northern Europe this is the perfect time to go hiking through the beautiful wilderness, looking for birds as you go. The summer months are also the best time to spot whales off the coast of Norway and Iceland. In southern Europe travellers can look forward to relaxing on golden beaches, jumping into the warm Adriatic Sea and soaking up the glorious sunshine. Summer presents endless opportunities for fun in the great outdoors without those pesky winter layers of clothing. It's peak season across many countries with sailing holidays in Croatia particularly popular at this time of year. A number of festivals and summer events are held across Eastern Europe at this time of year too with long days of sunlight extending sightseeing potential in northern Europe.

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