Despite it being one the world’s smallest continents, Europe’s got plenty of holiday contenders to choose from for when it’s safe to travel again. Lucy Perrin whittles down over forty countries to just 17 must-visits – along with the best ways to see them.
1. Best for foodies: Amalfi Coast, Italy
The Amalfi coast’s tightly packed hillsides of pastel-hued villages are each as photo-worthy as the next. The coastline they cling to runs from Salerno to Sorrento – with Ravello, Positano and Capri tending to be the big names on the bill. Tick off all three on a Citalia tour which throws in plenty of gourmet experiences – think Limoncello tastings in Praiano, a cooking demonstration in Tramonti and cake-making at the famous Pasticceria Sal De Riso. Full details below.
2. Best for Instagrammers: Golden Circle, Iceland
While Iceland’s dramatic landscapes demand more attention than your average supermodel –its dashing looks more than warrant it. Glacial rivers, spouting geysers and black-sand beaches compete for camera time against gushing waterfalls, spluttering volcanoes and imposing mountain ranges. Snap the best of it on a bucket list tour of the Golden Circle, with highlights including the two-tier waterfall of Gullfoss, Thingvellir National Park’s volcanic rifts and a chance to spot the northern lights with an expert astronomer.
3. Best for Game of Thrones-esque cities: Split, Croatia
Often overshadowed by neighbouring poster girl Dubrovnik, buzzy Split’s got a carefully balanced scale of centuries-old UNESCO World Heritage Site on one side and just-out-the-wrapper bars, restaurants and shops on the other. Hvar, meanwhile, impresses with gothic palaces and squares bracketed by 13th century walls. The spot you probably haven’t heard of is Korcula – an island scattered with olive groves and vineyards. Can’t choose? Don’t choose – see them all with an eight-day cruise of the coast. Full details below.
4. Best for wildlife brags: The Faroe Islands
Despite being just an hour’s flight from Edinburgh, the Faroe Islands and their orange-billed puffin colonies have managed to fly under the tourist radar – meaning you’ll have them mostly to yourself. The 18 islands, floating between Iceland and Norway, are home to plenty of seabirds – so you can expect to spot everything from guillemots, fulmars and storm petrels to the famous Faroe Island puffins. See them on a four-day tour that also ticks off plenty of historical sites and charming capital cities.
5. Best for tradition: Lisbon, Portugal
Of all the up-and-coming destinations in Europe, Lisbon picks up points for being the most authentic with white-domed churches and canary yellow trams snaking their way around its cobbled streets. Accommodation-wise, you’ll find something at both ends of the scale, with luxurious hotels and family-run B&Bs neighbouring each other. And, when it comes to dinner, there are plenty of world class restaurants that plate up Portuguese classic dishes – don’t forget to try Caldo Verde, a tantalizing soup made up of onions, potatoes and kale, cooked with garlic and olive oil. Got longer than a few days? Head on a day trip to Sintra, a town home to a fairytale-worthy castle that spills down the hillside.
6. Best for beaches: Albania
You can easily spot Corfu from across the Ionian Sea, but Albania’s coast is a world away from its Greek neighbour. For beach lovers who want something a little different, explore the laid-back resorts that cluster around the Butrint National Park in the south of the country.
The village of Ksamil is studded with beaches, all of which have the full facilities you would expect, including beach clubs, water sports and play areas. Hire a boat to take you across to the tiny islands in Ksamil’s bay – or you can rent a paddle board or even swim across if you’re a keen swimmer.
7. Best for tranquility: Gozo
Feel time slow down in Malta’s little sister island, which is a magnet for visitors looking for some much-needed tranquillity as well as unusual landscapes and fine beaches. Sleepy Gozo takes you back to a time when life moved at a more relaxed pace, where you can stroll past Roman ruins along the red sands of Ramla Bay and explore the mysterious Neolithic Ggantija Temples.
Take leisurely hikes along trails that offer views of layer-cake cliffs, or discover rich marine life while diving in the Blue Hole. The cuisine is just as marvellous, blending Maltese with Sicilian and Arabic flavours.
8. Best for pretty old towns: Slovenia
Slovenia’s 27-mile coast is tiny but it packs a punch. Travellers wanting to combine history with some beach time should head for the exquisite fishing village of Piran. Jutting into the Adriatic on a little peninsula, Piran’s Old Town is a beautifully preserved warren of Venetian Gothic architecture. Climb the 17th-century bell tower of St George’s Cathedral for wonderful views of the harbour and a sea of terracotta rooftops.
Join the locals on the rocky beach for a swim before checking out the enticing seafood restaurants along the seafront. You’ll be instantly beguiled by Piran’s irresistible mix of Slovenian and Italian cuisine.
9. Best for a buzzing atmosphere: Lebanon
If you love good food and wine – not to mention the buzzing atmosphere of a coastal metropolis – you can’t pass up the chance to see Beirut. Here, life is lived outdoors along the Corniche in its seafront cafés, bars and restaurants, where you can savour superb wines from the Bekaa Valley and some of the best cuisine in the Middle East.
For something a little calmer, head to the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos, one of the oldest in the region. Immerse yourself in thousands of years of history among the ruins left by the Persians, Greeks, Crusaders and Egyptians.
10. Best for variety: Montenegro
Montenegro pretty much has it covered for travellers looking for variety. Want a classic beach holiday with a bit of history thrown in? Try Budva, a busy resort that comes with a lovely Venetian old town as well as the beaches of neighbouring Becici.
In search of compelling culture and history in a breathtaking setting? Explore the medieval and Baroque beauty of Kotor and its hilltop castle. Carry on further south to Bar, whose old town, Stari Bar, is now an atmospheric ruin. Or get away from it all in Lake Skadar, where you can go kayaking in one of Europe’s largest untouched wildernesses.
11. Best for craggy coastlines: Corsica, France
France’s largest Mediterranean outpost deserves its nickname of Île de Beauté. Craggy coastlines harbour sandy beaches and incredibly clear waters backed by towering cliffs. Stylish port towns all around Corsica’s coast offer a bewildering choice of places to visit, including fashionable Calvi on the northwest coast, Genovese-style Ajaccio on the western side and the mind-boggling sight of Bonafacio clinging to the cliffs on the southern tip.
Oddly, Corsican cuisine looks to its mountainous interior for inspiration more so than the sea: expect to find full-flavoured wild boar saucisson and pungent sheep’s milk cheese, accompanied by exceptionally good rosé.
12. Best for dramatic landscapes: Santorini, Greece
Santorini’s volcanic landscapes are pure drama, from the caldera’s stark reddish-brown cliffs to its black-sand Aegean beaches to the familiar blue domes and whitewashed houses of its villages. Clinging to the edge of the caldera is the village of Fira, from where you can take a jaw-dropping zigzagging path that slices through the cliff down to the port.
For the classic blue-and-white view of Santorini, head to the northwestern village of Oia, whose whitewashed cottages seem to tumble down the cliff. The island produces some of Greece’s finest wines, which you can discover for yourself on a tour of the cellars.
13. Best for fancy capitals: Corfu, Greece
One of Greece’s greenest islands, Corfu also has one of the most attractive capitals. Unesco-listed Corfu Town mixes a handsome Venetian heritage with 19th-century contributions by the British. Head to the town’s easternmost tip to Palaio Frourio, a 16th-century Venetian fortress that offers far-reaching views as well as a small Byzantine museum.
Corfu’s northwest coast has sandy beaches tucked into olive-covered hills and plenty of places to relax, such as Agios Georgios and Afionas. If you want to follow in the footsteps of the Durrell family, you’ll find some of their old haunts around Kouloura cove on the northeast coast.
Oia Santorini Greece
14. Best for pretty squares: Ibiza, Spain
Put aside for a moment Ibiza’s reputation as the party capital of the Mediterranean and discover the serene beauty of this Balearic island. Its cove beaches, known as calas, are truly lovely, while thick pine forests smother the island’s hilly interior. Duck behind the medieval walls of the Unesco-listed capital, Ibiza Town, and explore cobbled streets and pretty squares such as Plaça de Vila. Take in panoramic views of the harbour from the hilly vantage point of the 13th-century cathedral.
Cala Jondal on the southern coast is one of the island’s most chilled-out beaches and lies in the shelter of pine-covered hills.
15. Best for glamour: Sardinia, Italy
Sardinia’s countless sandy beaches are among the whitest in Europe. You’d almost think you had landed in the Caribbean when you stroll along the pale sands of Su Giudeu on the Costa del Sud. If you prefer a taste of glamour, head to the glittering beaches of the Costa Smeralda squeezed into its northern jagged coastline. History buffs can explore the Phoenician ruins at Nora or the nuraghic site of Su Nuraxi.
Catalan flavours infuse the flavours of Alghero’s cuisine, while in the south, the island’s capital, Cagliari, makes the most of the fruits of the sea.
16. Best for botanical gardens: Madeira
Seemingly marooned in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco, this mountainous Portuguese archipelago has an enviable subtropical climate and an exotic lushness to match. Take in some of the finest views on the main island from the slightly scary viewpoint of Cabo Girao, where there’s a glass-bottomed balcony for the brave. Explore the capital, Funchal, by taking the cable car up to the Botanical Gardens.
Take the ferry to Porto Santo, where you’ll find many of Madeira’s best beaches. And don’t leave without raising a glass of the fortified wine that takes its name from the islands.
17. Best for historical capitals: Malta
Tiny Malta, closer to Tunisia than to mainland Europe, is a fascinating hotchpotch of historical influences that have built up over seven millennia. Its equally diminutive Baroque capital, Valletta, sits snugly behind 16th-century bastions and spent 2018 as the European City of Culture, showing off its legacy as the city built by the Knights of St John.
Malta‘s sister island of Gozo has some astounding natural wonders built into its unusual coastline, as well as prehistoric temples that nobody can quite explain. Add to the mix some sublime beaches and a cuisine that blends Sicilian, Arab and Italian flavours.
Those looking for ideal destinations in Europe for the month of May have nearly endless choices. The May weather is warm enough to be nearly perfect in all but the most northern cities, and yet tourist crowds are still small since many people can’t get away until June or later.
Even though it’s “warm” in most of Europe in May, the only places warm enough for sunbathing are in the far south and the Mediterranean. Those looking for a hot-weather destination in May should be thinking about Asia or the Caribbean.
May is the first month of the year that southern Spain has reliable enough warm days that you can book a beach trip for sunbathing. Most people have at least heard of Spain’s famous Costa del Sol, which is a group of beach towns just west of Malaga and the Malaga Airport. Each town has its own vibe and style, with Marbella being the most famous and most upscale of them.
Since the season doesn’t really begin until June, hotel and apartment rental prices in this area can be very good in May. And cheap flights into Malaga are easy to find on various discount airlines all over Europe in May. If you are coming from North America it’s probably cheaper to fly into Madrid or Barcelona and then book a separate flight from there to Malaga. On the other hand, if you are coming from North America it might not be worth stopping in this area at all. It’s a place most people visit simply to relax and sit in the sun.
The Canary Islands are warm pretty much all year round, and May is one of the better months because it’s warm enough for sunbathing but still not so warm that it can get uncomfortable. Tenerife is the largest of the Canary Islands, and the most popular island for English speaking tourists, but you could get similar weather in any of them.
Hotels and apartment rentals are good deals in Tenerife all year round. The best area that usually has the best weather in Tenerife is along the southwest corner of the island, in Los Cristianos and up the coast from there. Flights into either Tenerife airport are pretty cheap from the European continent. Often the flights into the North Airport are cheaper, and there is a public bus that connects it with the South Airport in one hour. Air+hotel package deals from major cities in Europe can be great deals as well.
Antalya isn’t technically in Europe, but nearly all the guests who come here are European and it’s a fairly short flight from many large European cities. This is a historic city with interesting sights and ruins on display in the Old Town center, but most people who come here head straight to one of the larger beach hotels in either direction from the city center.
The value at hotels here is excellent, especially as the value of the Turkish Lira has struggled recently. Some areas in greater Antalya are popular with certain nationalities, so that’s worth looking into if you prefer to fit in. There are beaches where Germans or Brits or Russians or Swedes dominate, particularly at all-inclusive resorts. Many Europeans are skipping all of Turkey in the current political climate, which has helped bring room rates down even more. There have been no reports of any problems for tourists in Antalya, though it never hurts to check the news before you book.
The warmest summer days in Rome can be brutal, but May is pretty much lovely from start to finish so it’s the ideal time to come. Many of the famous sights here are outdoors, so being able to see them in pleasant and dry weather is a huge plus, and you get that all month long in May.
The busy tourist season in Italy starts in June, so May is really the perfect month to visit as you’ll get cheaper flights, cheaper hotels, and smaller crowds even though the weather is perfect. If you have extra days you might consider taking a train down to Sorrento for a few days along the Amalfi Coast nearby, which is also wonderful this time of year. It’s worth noting that Rome can be a rather hectic place to visit, so many savvy travelers prefer to stay only a few days and move on to someplace more relaxing.
For most people who start their first Italy visit in Rome, the wonderful Tuscan city of Florence is their next stop. You get a bit more rainfall in this area, but it’s still dry most of the time here, and most of the sights here are indoors anyway.
Since Rome can feel a bit chaotic, it’s nice to linger in Florence if you have extra days. You can do a day trip to Pisa or Siena from here, as well as the Cinque Terre. There are also some very nice hill towns just a short train ride away, so Florence is an ideal hub for sightseeing in the central Italy region.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €72 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €103 for two people
If you are going to Rome and Florence then you should head next to Venice. The May temperatures are very pleasant, which will help you deal with the crowds here. The key to a good Venice visit is to stay for one or two nights on the main island so you can do most of your sightseeing in the early morning and evenings, before or after the day-trippers are here.
Hotels on the main island are understandably more expensive than those on the mainland, but they are worth it at least for one night to avoid the crowds. The main sights can be seen in less than a day, and it’s so crowded that you really won’t want to linger for more than two days, although Venice is so unforgettable that no one regrets a visit.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €97 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €177 for two people
As far as Croatian cities are concerned, Dubrovnik, is far better known, but Split is really the better choice for most visitors. Dubrovnik is a popular cruise port with a small (and stunning) walled city at its core, so it’s far more crowded and expensive than Split, which is actually a bit older with more interesting sights.
Split is also the main travel hub along the Croatian coast, as the train comes here but doesn’t reach Dubrovnik. There are also ferries in Split that can take you to the various nearby islands. The May weather may not be warm enough for sunbathing every day, but on some days it will be. And since the main tourist season doesn’t start until June, hotel prices and apartment rentals (called ‘sobes’ here) are very reasonable.
Paris is farther north than you might realize, so it’s cooler in May than most of Europe, but it’s still pretty much a perfect month to visit. This city is popular all year with tourists from all over the world, but the May crowds are lighter than the June crowds, so it’s easier to hit the main sights in less time. Speaking of that, if you want to see the famous sights in a few days you should consider a Paris Pass.
Hotel prices are moderate in May, but this is also a major business capital so many of the 4-star hotels in the city center will be full for most of the month. You should be able to stay reasonably in non-business neighborhoods such as the glorious Rue Cler or the more edgy Montmartre.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €96 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €121 for two people
Visitors who fly into Paris and want to see something else in France will often end up in Nice. This Mediterranean city is packed all summer with French people on their annual holidays, but that doesn’t start until late June, so May is a perfect time to visit.
The city of Nice itself is a very worthwhile destination, but it’s also a great stop because it’s a 20-minute train ride from Cannes to the west and from Monaco to the east. Both of those cities are fascinating day trips, yet the hotels in both are quite expensive so Nice is the ideal base. The Cannes Film Festival is held in May so some people come to see the stars and that can fill up some hotels in Nice since it’s so close.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €74 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €116 for two people
London is famous for having only a few good weeks of weather each year, so the best you can hope for is to avoid the coldest and rainiest months. May is a very good month to visit because the crowds are smaller than they are in summer, and yet the weather is still warm enough and the days are long enough to do whatever you like.
Flights into London are particularly cheap for Americans these days, so it’s an ideal first stop for a European vacation. You can easily take the Eurostar train from here to Paris in a bit over two hours, and then be in Amsterdam in a bit over 3 hours from there. London hotels are expensive all year round, but you should have a better chance of finding a decent deal in May compared to July or August. The London Pass can be a good choice for those who want to do a lot of sightseeing in a short time.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €66 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €128 for two people
You might expect Barcelona to be warmer in May than the temperatures listed above, but it’s farther north than you might expect, even though it’s on the Mediterranean. This city has become so popular with tourists that visiting in a mild-weather month is best because it’s easier to deal with the crowds at Sagrada Familia and along the Rambla than in summer.
Flights into Barcelona can be cheap, especially from within Europe, but even from the US and Canada the fares are reasonable. If you are visiting Barcelona you should really also visit Madrid (see below) and get there on the high-speed train in only 3 hours. Both cities are huge and quite different from one another.
In recent years it’s Barcelona (above) that has taken most of the spotlight in Spain, but Madrid is still a gorgeous and fascinating capital city. You should absolutely plan on spending about 3 days in each of them because they are so different and both so filled with worthwhile sights.
The May weather is pleasant enough for sightseeing in the day, and the evenings are mild enough that staying out late is still comfortable if you bring a jacket or sweater. You can get to nearby Toledo on a short train ride so it’s a popular day trip, and connections to Seville and Granada are also good so Madrid is an ideal hub for a full visit to Spain.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €45 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €126 for two people
Speaking of the Iberian Peninsula, Lisbon might be the most underrated capital in Europe. The remote location makes it difficult to combine with other cities unless you fly in or take the night train from Madrid. But those who do make the trip are rewarded with a lovely and interesting city that is also an unusual bargain.
Hotels and hostels in Lisbon are known for high quality at moderate prices, and May is one of the better month for deals before summer begins. The warm but not hot weather is also ideal for sightseeing in this hilly town. This is a good city to start a Europe tour in this month, because temperatures will get warmer as you move north and east as June approaches.
Berlin is another huge tourism success story for Europe, as it’s now one of the continent’s most popular cities for holidays. The May weather might look a bit chilly, but it is pleasant enough and very nice as you avoid the even larger crowds starting in June.
There are a lot of outdoor attractions in Berlin, but at least May is a fairly dry month so you should be able to spend all day outside and be comfortable. One of Berlin’s many charms is that it’s one of the cheapest capital cities in western Europe. Hotel deals here are still quite good, especially in the areas of the former East.
Those temperatures above might not look too appealing, but Amsterdam is another city that is so crowded from June through August that it can feel unbearable at times. May is a perfect month to come for decent temperatures and moderate rainfall. This is mostly an indoor city, but of course you’ll want to do a canal tour and perhaps a walking tour, so you can schedule those on the best weather days of your stay.
Flights into Amsterdam can be reasonable from all over the world. And if you are already in Europe you’ll find that trains here are wonderful. The high-speed train from Paris takes only a bit over 3 hours, and Berlin is only a bit over 5 hours away. A new hotel tax that launched in 2020 has made it even more expensive than it already was, but Amsterdam is amazing enough that it doesn’t sting as much as it might elsewhere.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €125 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €162 for two people
We consider Krakow to be Europe’s best big city travel bargain, and May is a great month to visit before the larger summer crowds descend on the place. There are a few cheaper large big cities in Europe, but none of them are this nice or interesting. Krakow has also become popular with the party crowd who fly in for weekend breaks to enjoy the cheap hotels, food, and drinks.
One of the reasons that Krakow isn’t even more crowded is that the trains are still fairly slow in this part of Europe, and the closest other large cities are Prague and Budapest. For that reason you might want to fly into Krakow, but you can also consider buses because they are usually cheaper and often just as fast as trains around here.
Many of us grew up with an image of Istanbul being surrounded by desert, but it’s actually on a similar latitude to Chicago, Rome, and Barcelona, so the May temperatures here are still mild. Easily one of the most fascinating and historic cities in the world, Istanbul had become somewhat expensive for a few years, but a fall in the currency here and drop in visits due to a few political protests have put it back into the bargain category.
Hotel prices in Istanbul in 2020 are now shockingly low, and restaurant prices are very reasonable as well. You’ll be amazed at how far your tourism fund goes in Turkey, as every other place is even cheaper than Istanbul. Consider a visit to the stunning Cappadocia area if you’ve got 2 or 3 extra days.
The May temperatures in Prague don’t look great, and it does rain a bit this month. Still, the crowds in Prague have gotten so out of hand in summer that you’ll be far better off visiting before the main crush begins in June. The main sightseeing corridor in Prague is now almost like Venice in that it can be exhausting during peak season, so May is more enjoyable.
While Prague hotel prices have gone up in recent years, it’s still possible to get a well located hotel with good rates. And food here is still cheap as long as you avoid the most touristy places with the big English-language menus out front. If you have 2 or 3 more days in your trip you should consider a side trip to the wonderful small town of Cesky Krumlov, which is 3 hours away on a scenic bus ride or train.
If Krakow is our best big-city bargain in Europe, Budapest is probably right behind it. The May temperatures are warm enough for sightseeing and the hotel rates here this month are still very modest. As long as you stay a bit away from the river, you can get excellent bargains in both accommodation and food.
The nightlife in Budapest is also a highlight, even for those who speak no Hungarian. The famous “ruin pubs” are like nothing you’ve seen before, with several forms of entertainment going on at all times, along with cheap drink prices.
The month of May is perfect in Athens as it’s plenty warm enough to enjoy the outdoor sights such as the Acropolis, but not yet so hot and crowded that it can get miserable. May is also the first month of the year that visiting the Greek Islands is worthwhile, so many people will spend 2 or 3 days in Athens and then take a ferry or flight to an island for some serious relaxation.
Greece has hundreds of islands with hotels and tourism, spread over a large area. There are a few within a short ferry ride to Athens, but the most famous ones are farther out. If this is your first visit to Greece you should consider Santorini, Mykonos, or Rhodes. They are the most popular and can be reached by ferry or air.
If you aren’t British or Maltese, you might not know much about this former British possession. This small group of islands is located just south of Sicily, and it has some of Europe’s best year-round weather. There aren’t many sandy beaches on these islands, but there is plenty of sunshine and places to enjoy it.
The value in Malta is also very good, as you can get hotels and meals even in the tourist-friendly areas such as Sliema at very appealing prices. Valletta itself is the small historic capital district with only a few hotels, so most people stay elsewhere on the coast and visit Valletta for a few hours here and there.
Many people know they want to visit somewhere in Switzerland, but they aren’t sure where. That’s the main reason I wrote an article called where to go in Switzerland on a short visit. If you are thinking about Switzerland I hope you read it, but the short version is that you should probably head to the Interlaken area, and also Lucerne if you have more than 3 days or so.
Interlaken is Switzerland’s top outdoor sports capital, with skiing and snowboarding for almost half the year, as well as hiking and paragliding among other things for the rest of the year. May is usually too late to ski, but a perfect time for the non-snow adventure activities. The Alps views here are the best in Europe, particularly the Schilthorn cable car and observation deck, and the Jungfraujoch railway.
Good 3-star hotels in May from €78 for two people
Good 4-star hotels in May from €156 for two people
Sapa is one of the most attractive and famous destinations in Vietnam. Coming to the mountainous town in the Northwest, you should choose the best month to visit Sapa Vietnam in order to get the best memorable experiences during your trip. This article below will show you the best time to visit and suggest some must-visit sites there.
The best month to visit Sapa Vietnam
Due to the topographic and the climate of Northwest Vietnam, there are 2 main seasons in Sapa: the rainy season (wet season) and dry season. The rainy season is from June to September and the Dry season is between September to May next year. In each season, there are a lot of different beautiful landscapes, but the foreign usually choose the dry season because the rainy season is the peak of the summer holiday so Sapa is full of domestic visitors.
In the rainy season, the weather is cool in daytime and cold in night time so that Sapa is the best place for people who want to escape the chilly hot weather of your city or your hometown. The temperature is between 15 – 25 Celsius degrees, so you should prepare a light coat. You can be easy to see the green mountain range without the fog, so it is the best experience if you visit at that time. However, the heavy rain can occur at any time and can last a few days, you should bring a raincoat during your itinerary.
In the dry season, the weather is cold in the daytime and chilly cold in the nighttime, and it is foggy in the morning and the late afternoon, sometimes fog can be all day. Of course, the weather is colder than Hanoi, so if you move from Hanoi to Sapa, you should prepare the warm clothes, warm shoes… for your trip. If you want to take a trek along the villages, you should bring both warm clothes and light clothes. Actually, it is the best time to visit Sapa, the weather is dry (sometimes it is wet because of thick fog) so you can be easy to discover the beauty of Sapa.
Sapa Weather In Brief before you go:
From March – May: This is perfect with the warm and dry weather and for trekking and outdoor activities.
From June – September: It is time for rainy weather. Sapa is in the summer holiday of local and crowded with Vietnamese tourists
From September – December: The weather is cool dry. It is perfect for all activities like trekking, sightseeing. Especially, in mid – September is time of the golden rice terraced fields of Sapa, so you should choose that time.
From December – February: It is a harsh winter, but still dry and perfect for tourists. In this period, it can be snowy so you should find weather information before visiting.
So the best month to visit Sapa Vietnam is from September – May every year, you should give advice from the expert destination or local people to get the best experience.
Why visiting Sapa?
Coming to Vietnam, Sapa is one of the must-visit destinations due to many attractive and beautiful sites below:
1. Sapa Church
The ancient Sapa church is known as the stone church or the Holy Rosary church, it is built by the French from the early 20th century and located in the heart of Sapa town, near Sapa lake, so you can be easy to find it. People do not know whenever Sapa church become the symbol of Sapa. It is also the place where shows many traditional cultural activities of lots of ethnic minorities in Sapa. On the other hand, there is a tennis area in front of the church, many unique cultural activities of local people every Saturday with Xoe dance, flute… or any important events in Sapa town.
You can drink a cup of coffee in a coffee shop in front of the church and see it from another corner, it is the best experience for you.
2. Sapa villages
Sapa is famous for the many ethnic villages, each of them has the different culture, location… However, Hmong, Tay, Red Dao ethnic minorities prevail in the villages. If you want to take a short trek, Villages near Sapa town are the best choices for you. However, you should stay at a homestay of local people to get more experiences. In the best month to visit Sapa Vietnam, you can have at least 2 days 1 night to visit some nearby villages. Of course, if you have enough time, you can choose the long route in order to visit more beautiful villages.
Ta Van village
Ta Van Village is one of the popular places, which is located in Muong Hoa Valley – the beautiful site and must-visit destination in Sapa. The village is 10km from Sapa center, and you can be easy to visit it. However, if you want to trek around Ta Van village, you should rent a local English speaking guide, they will show you know more about the culture, clothes of the ethnic people and help you interact with them. Some ethnic minorities live in Ta Van village are Hmong, Red Dao, Giay. To get more experience here, you can choose the suitable homestay with the valley view, mountain view or terraced field view in order to overnight.
Lao Chai village
It is the small village with about 100 families Black Hmong, very easily accessible place from the Sapa downtown. There are some local houses only in Hoang Lien Mountain range. You can reach the pretty commune by hiking 7 km to the southeast of the center along the west bank of Muong Hoa stream. Moving to Lao Chai village, you can go by car, motorbike, bicycle but if you have more time, you should spend time trekking following the path of mountainside, the landscapes are so stunning. During your trekking route, you can learn about the local life, explore the beauty of the landscapes of the upland region. However, the best time to visit Lao Chai is in the rice season, you will be attractive with the most fabulous rice terraced fields in the valley, the mountain.
Sin Chai village
Sin Chai village is located at the foot of Fansipan Mount – the roof of Indochina and in Hoang Lien National park. However, it is far from Sapa downtown, about 30 km, visitors usually trek from the center to this village. Sin Chai is home of Red Dao ethnic community, it is easy to realize them throughout their clothes with distinctive silver jewelry and an enormous red turban. Here the locals will take the time to teach textile weaving and dying, will take the group on a locally built trail to explain the names and function of the local flora. In this village, you can have an opportunity to attend the community here like traditional sporting or tree planting. From here, you can trek to other villages such as Cat Cat village – the village of black H’mong people.
3. Fansipan Mountain – 3143 meters
At the height of 3,143 meters, Fansipan is the highest mount of Vietnam and the roof of Indochina. It is located in the Hoang Lien mountain range, about 9km from the Southwest of Sapa center and lying in the border of Lao Cai and Lai Chau province.
Now, to get the high peak is not more difficult than the past because you can go to the peak by cable car, about 15 minutes. However, if you want to climb Fansipan mountain, you can start from Tram Ton or Cat Cat village, it will take you at least 1 day – 3 days. You will discover the beauty and diversity of Hoang Lien national park and have more experience during the trek.
4. Silver waterfall
Coming to Silver waterfall, it is far about 15 km from the center, you will spend about 30 minutes driving car or motorbiking on the National Highway No 4D. Silver Waterfall is formed by sources of water from the Lo Sui Tong mountain peak. From the distance, the waterfall looks like a white dragon looking down from the sky. If you visit Thac Bac, you can move about 4 km to visit Heaven Gate where you will find spectacular natural paintings, the dense forest, especially far away is the little-crooked path. And they will feel the differences between two border provinces Lai Chau and Lao Cai.
Sapa is beautiful all days, but the best month to visit Sapa Vietnam is only taken a part ofa year from September to May. However, if you really want to Sapa, you should book service in advance in order to make sure the best option for you when visiting here.
If you have a chance to visit Danang city, do not miss one of the most attractive sites – Cau Vang (means “Golden Bridge”) with the special structure in the hills. From here, you can immerse the specular view as well as the fresh atmosphere of the hills in Danang.
Golden Bridge – new highlight of Danang
It is located in the Thien Thai gardens at the Bà Nà Hills Resort, which is built by French colonists in 1919 with 200 villas. Nowadays, you can reach Ba Na Hills by single – track cable car, according to the Guinness world records. Golden Bridge is a part of the entertainment area from early June 2018 and becomes another reason to explore the ever-popular destination of Danang City.
View from the golden bridge – Source: Bored Panda
Lobelia Chrysanthemum is planted along the bridge and make a highlight for visitors
At the height of 4600 feet (about 150m) above sea level, the Golden bridge combines eight sections and stretches 500 feet long. With a pair of giant, stone hands lifting a golden bridge from the verdant hills of Danang. When visiting this, you will admire the whole infinite scenery and majestic nature of Ba Na Hills, sometimes, you also feel like walking on the clouds…
Golden Bridge attracts both overseas and domestic visitors
How to visit Golden Bridge in Danang
In order to visit Ba Na Hills and Golden bridge, you should spend at least a half day. From Danang city, you will transfer to Ba Na Hills, about 35 km from city center.
Then you will take Cable Car which gains 5 world scores to Ba Na hills station. You make a stop at By Night station to visit Vong Nguyet hills, Linh Ung Pagoda, The Old Villas of French. Continue moving up by cable car to the Nui Chua Mountain – the top of Ba Na range, you will visit Nghinh Phong top, Le Nim Villas, Orchid Garden…
Cable car to Ba Na Stations
You also experience hill climbing train (first and unique funicular in Vietnam) and visit an old French cellar (Debay Ancient Wine Cellar), flower garden Le Jardin D’amour.
After lunchtime at the restaurant, you will have free time for joining games in Fantasy Park – the third biggest indoor games zone in Vietnam with series of interesting games: 4 – 5D film, skiver, The death race, dinosaur park …
Specular view from Golden Bridge
Especially, you may also have a chance to visit Golden Bridge, which is newly opened in Jun 2018 and considered the highlight of this area.
Come back to the city center late afternoon, you will be interested and feel amazing after the trip visiting Ba Na Hills and Golden Bridge in Danang.