Shoulder Season Holidays in Europe

Travel outside the peak season | Nathalie Thomson
Travel outside the peak season | Nathalie Thomson

10 Best: Spring & Autumn Getaways 

Travel outside the peak season and enjoy quieter trails and excellent temperatures to get active in the European outdoors. Here are our 10 best shoulder season holidays in Europe.

To help you find the best destinations, we've selected 10 of our favourite locations in Europe to make the most of spring or autumn days. From Croatia's Dubrovnik to Spain's Alhambra and the Canary Islands to a chain of stunning Greek islands, where will you extend your summer of travel or where will your first trip of the year take you?

Croatia Bike & Sail

Southern Dalmatia encompasses a stunning chain of islands stretching from Solta to Mljet, and this unique cycling and sailing trip captures the highlights with an ideal balance of activity, culture and relaxation. Discover the stunning Dalmatian Coast in Croatia by bike and sailing boat. The island of Hvar is a highlight on our Croatia trips and one of the charming port towns we visit is on Brac Island. Charter a boat with your own party or join one of our weekly guided departures throughout April until October.
One of the charming port towns we visit on Brac Island, on our Croatian boat based trips

Bavaria Beer Trail Cycle

Beer brewing traditions are an art form in Bavaria and the Franconia region is home to a third of the country’s breweries. Following the Beer Cycle Route, averaging a brewery every kilometre, travellers can experience the laid-back atmosphere of the lively beer gardens, as well as plenty of sausage-tasting opportunities, and both medieval and wartime history in the exciting cities of Bamberg, Rothenburg and Nuremberg.
The interesting town of Rothenburg in Bavaria

Granada and the Alpujarras

From the intriguing city of Granada to the lofty heights of the Alpujarras, this is an excellent way to immerse yourself in southern Spanish culture and mountain landscapes. Small and surprisingly cosmopolitan, Granada offers a bizarre mixture of ancient history and modern living. There will be time to visit the Alhambra before heading into the mountains. This is an ideal shoulder season holiday destination in Spain packing in both culture and nature.
Walk through whitewashed villages in the Alpujarras |  <i>Erin Williams</i>

Transylvania Castles & Mountains

Explore some of Romania’s most stunning mountain landscapes and soak up the unique culture of Transylvania on this inspiring self guided walk. Home to a diverse range of landscapes, the Bucegi mountains offer limestone cliffs with exceptional views, pine and beech forests, and flower-laden meadows. Also, the site of Dracula’s castle, the folklore and the atmosphere make this a unique and diverse adventure in Romania.
Ascending through forest to the Bucegi Mountains in Transylvania |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Loire Valley Cycle

Explore the vineyards & chateaux of the Loire Valley at your own pace on an 8-day self guided cycling tour in the French region. It was once known as the 'playground of kings' and today is a famous valley of impressive chateaux and vast fortune. Take time to soak up the medieval charm of Blois and discover picturesque Amboise overlooked by its impressive fortified chateau. Cycle through countryside crisscrossed with vineyards, duck farms and orchards and the remnants of feudal hunting forests.
The cycle distances and many dedicated bike paths make this ideal for anyone of reasonable fitness to complete on a regular hybrid bike or an e-bike. As you cycle, discover the best this region has to offer.
Hybrid bike - Loire cycling |  <i>P-Forget_054</i>

Interested in planning a last-minute shoulder season holiday? Our team of travel experts is available to support you with your trip planning. Contact us today.


Exploring La Gomera

La Gomera, one of Spain's Canary Islands off the coast of Africa, is a relaxed and unsophisticated island with a population of around 20,000 people living mostly in the capital, San Sebastian or the villages of the north. Discover its volcanic origins and dramatic mountain scenery unlike anywhere in Europe on a walking holiday with year-round departures. 

Choose from two self guided circular tour options, an 8 day and an 11 day walk. Both of these start and finish in the island capital of San Sebastian, with the 11 day tour allowing for some more exploration around Hermigua. There's also the Southern Trails of La Gomera hike that leads you around the beaches of Santiago and la Guancha.
Descending to Imada

Greek Islands Bike & Boat

On this island hopping adventure on board a comfortable boat, visit the Greek island that is known for its pistachio nuts. Explore the magical Ionian and Aegean Islands by bike and boat. Cycle to ancient ruins and quiet beaches and be spoiled by the delicious Greek cuisine.
Cycling in the south Aegean

Cycle Normandy

Think lush orchards and rolling pastures dotted with medieval villages and chateaux if you are considering the best way to explore beautiful Normandy in the off season. The Pays d'Auge of Lower Normandy is literally blanketed in apple orchards, where numerous cider and calvados (apple brandy) producers reside in their half-timbered houses.  Cycle along backroads and canal paths, past historic locations, such as WWII sites, and impressive coastline with options daily to choose a shorter or longer route (perhaps an e-bike will allow you to explore more?). 
Cyclists stopped outside Bayeux Cemetery in Normandy |  <i>Kate Baker</i>

Madeira Island Walking  

Start and end in the exciting town of Funchal! With this self guided walking tour on Madeira Island, you will in eight days discover places like Funchal, Pico Ruivo (the island’s highest peak), Santo da Serra, a network of levadas and many more stunning destinations on the Portuguese island. Visit in the shoulder season, in spring or autumn, and admire a myriad of flowers in bloom. 
Levada Dos Tornos |  <i>John Millen</i>

Villages of Istria Walk

The Villages of Istria Walk is a self guided tour on this Croatian peninsula where you can visit Groznjan with its artistic vibes, Hum which is officially the smallest town in the world, Buzet which is the truffle capital of Croatia, and the charming cobblestone town of Motovun. Trips depart as early as March and all the way into November for maximum opportunities to take in the beautiful hilltop towns, green landscapes awash with vineyards and olive groves, truffles, wine and fascinating culture.
Small village on Croatia's Istrian peninsula

Contact our team today to plan your shoulder season holiday in Europe for late summer, autumn or spring and early summer.

Off Season, Spring, Autumn, Croatia, Spain, Portugal, France, Greece, Shoulder Season

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