“Beautiful Destinations is the creative agency behind the largest travel and lifestyle community on social media and I am on the road a lot. We create content campaigns for global brands around the world to showcase their story and of course, if I get any spare time to myself I love to explore these amazing places. Spring brings with it balmy temperatures, quieter crowds and blossoming flowers which not only completely changes how a destination looks, it also provides great opportunities for video and photography. Here are my top seven spots to discover this spring.
Late spring is when Canada’s incredible scenery is at its best and May is the perfect time to visit. Canada’s national parks are where most people head to capture their perfect Instagram shot – the melting snow means the waterfalls are fast-flowing, trees and flowers are blooming and the skies are brilliantly blue, which helps to create a whole palette of colour to capture. Lake Moraine in Banff National Park is no exception and the view from the top of the rockpile is one of my favourites; the Valley of the Ten Peaks Mountains encircles the glacier-fed lake and it’s also unsurprisingly one of Canada’s most photographed locations.
When you think of the Netherlands, it’s usually Amsterdam that comes to mind. But if you venture about 45 minutes outside of the capital, parts of the country are transformed into a sea of flowers in spring. Lisse is a town known as the ‘Garden of Europe’ because of the hundreds of tulip fields that surround it. Its estimated seven million bulbs are planted here annually and if you visit in mid-April you’ll be amazed at the seemingly endless multi-coloured strips of land. What’s great about Holland is that it’s completely flat, so you can easily rent a bike and soak up these views during an afternoon cycle.
Santorini still remains a firm favourite of mine year-round. Its white and pastel painted buildings offer the ideal backdrop against a clear blue sky, the three Blue Domes of Oia or its rugged, volcanic landscape. If you visit in spring, it’s still the shoulder season so there are less people milling around this usually busy island, meaning you can beat the crowds while still getting the best of the beautiful warm, sunny days and the incredible sunsets which Santorini is famed for.
I couldn’t write about my favourite springtime destinations without including Japan in cherry blossom season. If you’re visiting Tokyo, Osaka or Kyoto, the season usually takes place in late March to early April and these already photogenic cities become all the more enjoyable to shoot. One of the best spots is Chureito Pagoda, which is about a two-hour drive from Tokyo. Here, you can either climb the steps to be greeted by the amazing view of the pagoda itself or get creative with your foreground and frame snow-capped Mount Fuji with the flowering trees.
Copenhagen comes alive in spring and it’s a fantastic city to wander around and enjoy the green spaces such as Langelinie Park and the canals, which you can kayak along to explore further. Nyhavn, which is the waterfront lined with brightly coloured townhouses, bars, cafes and restaurants is a great place to people watch and offers boundless photo opportunities. What’s more, the Danish capital’s foodie scene is not one to be missed and the city boasts no less than 15 Michelin-starred restaurants.
I live in New York, but my home away from home is London and one of my favourite cities in the world. It’s also one of our most liked destinations on our social channels. Choose from the eight Royal Parks to discover the nature on the city’s doorstep, explore areas off the beaten tourist track or view the iconic landmarks from a different vantage point. See St. Paul’s Cathedral from One New Change or take your picture of Big Ben from Houses of Parliament’s archway.
Although the Caribbean doesn’t have a typical spring season, the best time to visit Cuba is in March and April. You’ll be spoilt for choice if you’re trying to capture Havana on camera – the colourful but crumbling buildings, vintage cars parked in rows on the side of the street and locals dancing to the sound of salsa music at every turn. For something a little bit different, head out to Vinales, a town in Western Cuba situated amongst steep-sided limestone hills, known as mogotes, which is a great place to hike or even try your hand at traditional cigar rolling.
Keep up with where I am in the world by following @jeremyjauncey and @beautifuldestinations on Instagram.