Seven Destinations for a 2023 Spring Holiday

Seven Destinations for a 2023 Spring Holiday

Ready to shake off the winter layers and tour ancient temples in Vietnam, party like a true Aussie in Adelaide or hike the herb-scented hillsides of Malta? Here are seven destinations perfect for a spring escape

you set a countdown for 20 March yet? In case not, this is your reminder that
it’s just 25 days until the spring equinox. Bringing the northern
hemisphere longer days, warmer weather and enough feel-good
endorphins for us to ditch our Lycra, we can think of no better way
to celebrate the change in season than with an adventure. Unsure
where to go? We’ve hunted down the seven coolest destinations to
have on radar, including a Unesco-listed Vietnamese city, Australia’s biggest arts festival and Crete, for a food-fuelled Greek odyssey. Read
on for our top picks for a spring escape.

Spring fresh: seven superb destinations to bookmark

Valetta, Malta



Blessed with long stretches of golden coastline, herb-scented
hillsides, storied fortresses and traditional villages, the
sea-sprayed island of Malta is topping our list for a go-slow
Mediterranean getaway this spring. Yes, Valletta might be Europe’s
smallest capital, but its cultural appeal is anything but. Take a
morning stroll to Lot61 Coffee Roasters for an icy caffeine fix,
before wandering the labyrinthine of butter-yellow streets,
stopping at tiny shops and admiring handcrafted fabrics and
ceramics. For a midday refuge, head to the Upper & Lower
Barrakka Gardens, where you’ll be rewarded with a refreshing breeze
and sweeping views across the city. Then, it’s a visit to the
waterfront market of Marsaxlokk to join locals haggling over
buckets of freshly caught seafood. Dinner? Try the award-winning
restaurant Noni,
a spot known for its caught-that-morning prawns and exceptional
elderflower tarts.

Isles of Scilly, UK

Isles of Scilly


The Isles of Scilly archipelago makes for a perfect spring
weekend escape. Across all five inhabited islands – St Mary’s,
Tresco, St Martin’s, Bryher and St Agnes – you’ll find pockets of
powder-white sands fringed with verdant greenery. It’s Tresco we
think you’ll love, thanks to the recently refurbished guesthouse
The New Inn – a snug abode whose 21 cosy bedrooms have
been reimagined with half-panelled walls, vintage bedside tables
and padded headboards. The in-house Driftwood Bar is a destination
in its own right, thanks to the hyperlocal menu dishing up British
classics. Discover the island’s charm with a wander along the
weather-beaten shore of Blockhouse Beach and a ramble around
Tresco Abbey Garden, before lingering over a
wood-fired pizza at the sea-facing The
beach café.

Alexandria, Virginia


Virginia, US

Resting on the banks of the Potomac River, just a 25-minute
drive south of Washington DC, the city of Alexandria sits seriously
high on our Stateside radar. Make a beeline for the Old Town
district’s King Street, where an abundance of independent
boutiques, bars and foodie startups are housed in historical
buildings. Slip into The Hour for vintage glassware and stylish old-school
cocktail shakers that promise to spice up your next dinner party;
Penny Post
for a carefully curated collection of papers and writing
accessories; and Red Barn Mercantile for candles that look too perfect
to light. Food-wise, seasonal plates are on standby at Vermilion, while family-run Landini
is where you’ll find low-intervention wines
accompanied by fine Italian fare. History buffs should carve out
some time to visit Mount Vernon, the former home of George

Adelaide, Australia



Adelaide has all the ingredients that make for a stellar
far-flung adventure, including a thriving music scene, sublime
wine-and-dining offering and an abundance of design-led boutique
hotel bedrooms across the city. Crash at the ultra-luxe Sequoia
, where rooms are enveloped in a blanket of greenery and
spring-fed hot pools await. Visit the warehouse-style café Dokeo to
discover small-batch wines from emerging producers; savour French
cuisine at romantic bistro La Buvette
; and find hefty club sandwiches and coffee brewed to
perfection at neighbourhood hangout Our Boy
. Plan your trip to coincide with Australia’s biggest arts
festival, the Adelaide Fringe Festival, which runs until 19 March,
with performances by some of the biggest names in

Chania, Greece


Crete, Greece

Situated in Crete’s rugged north-west, the city of Chania is
home to a vibrant food scene, with contemporary menus reflecting
both the island’s rich natural larder and periods of history when
it fell under Venetian, Egyptian and Ottoman rule. Spend days
flitting between secluded coves and paddling in gin-clear waters,
before heading to a standout taverna come sunset. Our choice?
Evgonia, on Milonogianni Street, for seasonal salads and a huge
array of homemade dips; Periplous
for seafood platters and traditional oven-baked pasta dishes; and
Thalassino Ageri for tables positioned a spoon’s throw
from the water. When the conversation turns to recharging your
batteries, it’s over to 16th-century farmhouse and organic farm

Deia, Mallorca


Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca’s creative darling, Deià, in the foothills of the Serra de
Tramuntana mountain range, was once a go-to retreat for some of the
world’s most legendary musicians, including The Beatles, The
Rolling Stones and Davie Bowie. The town still looks much as it did
back then, with overgrown bougainvillaea flanking the sun-bleached
shutters of craft boutiques and old-school cafés. Lazy days are
best spent on Cala Deià, a shingle beach that’s home to one of the
best-loved restaurants on the island, Ca’s Patró March. The food is
simple but delicious, with seafood classics paired with ice-cold
carafes of white – book ahead to avoid disappointment. After lunch,
hop on a boat and sail to the nearby fishing village of Sant Elm to
discover more of Mallorca’s magic.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hôi An


The Unesco-protected city of Hôi An, on Vietnam’s central coast,
is the kind of handsome that makes you wish you had a photographic
memory – all floating lanterns, palm-flanked canals and narrow
alleyways peppered with street-food stalls. To truly get under the
skin of this ancient city and experience the buzz of Vietnamese
life, we suggest starting with a stroll, drinking in the dazzling
mix of Japanese, Chinese and French-colonial architectural styles,
touring the Central Market for local delights, and wandering the
tranquil gardens of the 1626-built Bà Mu Temple. Also stop by Phung
Hung Old House, a centuries-old trading post decorated with
intricate wall hangings and delicate embroidery.

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