Seasonal Guide: When to Travel to Europe

You may dream of visiting the beautiful lavender fields of Provence, France, enjoying a magical white Christmas, or simply avoiding the seasonal crowds for a more relaxed exploration. Each season in Europe has its own charms, find out more about what you can experience in each season in Europe.

SPRING – March, April and May

See the region come to life with spectacular colours as the fields and villages become blanketed with blooming flowers. There are fewer crowds during springtime as compared to summer. Depending on how “long” winter has been, spring in western Europe can be quite cool with some rainy days. Springtime is the best time to cruise in Belgium and the Netherlands as it coincides with the tulip season.

Netherlands TulipsWhat’s on

Between late March and mid-May, Amsterdam is awash with vibrant tulips. The Budapest Spring Festival is held each year from mid-March to the start of April. It is regarded as the greatest of Hungary’s cultural events. The city’s cherry blossoms are also in bloom in April.

Average daily temperature range A daily low of 5°C to a high of 14°C

SUMMER – June, July and August

Days exploring are longer with more open-air activities. Wildflowers may still be in bloom and it’s one of the best times for hiking. Hot summer days are perfect for relaxing in the sanctuary of your Cruise Ship between touring. Temperatures tend to peak in August, so if you prefer warm and sunny but not hot, plan to travel in June.

What’s On 

The lavender fields of Provence are most typically vivid in July and the Lavender Festival is held for five days to coincide with this.

Average daily temperature range 

A daily low of 14°C to a daily high of 26°C (up to 34°C in some areas)

AUTUMN – September, October and November

This season is all about the hues of autumn leaves and fewer crowds. In Amsterdam, Budapest and Paris, delight in the crunch of leaves beneath your feet. Temperatures begin to fall, so this is a popular time to explore Europe. It tends to stay warmer longer on the lower Danube and on the Douro in Portugal.

What’s On 

Autumn is one of the best times to visit winemaking regions such as Bordeaux, when the vineyards are in harvest. Visit the Budapest Wine Festival in early September.

Average daily temperature range 

A daily low of 7°C to a high of 15°C

WINTER – December, January and February

Experience the smell of roasting chestnuts and glühwein, and wander streets with buildings sparkling with fairy lights. A visit to Europe at this time will see you revel in centuries-old Christmas and New Year traditions. Yes, it is colder, but your Cruise Ship will envelop you like a warm blanket.

What’s on 

The magic of a European Christmas and its traditional Christmas markets in destinations such as Austria, Germany and Switzerland will provide unforgettable festive moments.

Average daily temperature range 

A daily low of -1°C to a high of 5°C(can be up to about 13°C in some areas)

If you’re flexible with your travel dates, you may like to plan your cruise around the highlights of each season.