HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

The top spring destinations of 2014: National Geographic Travel

AFP   March 18, 2014
First Published: 13:19 IST(18/3/2014) | Last Updated: 18:38 IST(18/3/2014)
A wine-growing valley in Chile, walking paths in Tasmania and Ireland's untamed, rugged coastline have been singled out as among some of the top spring destinations of 2014 by National Geographic Travel.

Editors at the publication offer an interesting list of top 10 spring vacation ideas that focus on outdoor activities like hiking, walking or scenic drives.

One of their suggestions includes a drive along Ireland's recently launched 'Wild Atlantic Way,' the longest defined coastal drive in the world.

For 2,400 km (1,491 miles), drivers are accompanied by rugged landscapes of dramatic cliff drops, crashing waves where land and ocean meet, and untamed wilderness.

Editors suggest hitting the roads in spring, when Cork throws a St. Paddy’s day festival over a few days (March 15-17); the picturesque city of Galway throws a food festival (April 17-21); and Connemara throws a mussel festival (May 2-4).

Just an hour's drive away from Santiago lies the Casablanca Valley, one of Chile’s fastest-growing wine regions carpeted in vineyards and morning, coastal mist. While much of the harvest takes place in March which marks the tail end of their summer, the vines also begin to change color in April and May for scenic rambles and wine tastings.

And nature lovers and hikers may want to consider taking a leisurely stroll along Cornelian Bay in Tasmania, or a more challenging bushwalk in the remote Southwest National Park under blue skies.

March and April are identified as the best period to undertake walking tours when fall foliage begins to change the landscape and temperatures are a comfortable 10C to 16C.

Here are some of the other spring destinations recommended by National Geographic Travel:
Grande Rivière, Trinidad
El Greco Year, Toledo, Spain
Valletta, Malta
Kane County, Southwestern Utah
El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Patriots’ Day Weekend, Boston, Massachusetts
Asheville, North Carolina

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