Features

Our Favourite Off-Peak European Escapes for Spring

5 January 2024

It’s a fact: European travel is always expensive. Or is it?

Checking your ideal dates beforehand could make a big difference to whether or not you’ll be paying more for that dream holiday in Europe.

What do we mean? You just have to avoid the most popular times. So while the school holidays are out, the Springtime months of March and April are very much in, as are the post-peak summer months of September and October…and some areas are still pleasantly warm even in November!

Travelling off-peak is ideal if you’re an ochlophobe (a fancy word for someone who doesn’t like crowds) or if you simply want to experience the deeper, hidden soul of a place.

There’s just nothing quite like wandering through a deserted beach or taking the best seat in the locally recommended restaurant that never has a table. In fact, why not pack that book you never seem to find time for at home, make yourself a steaming hot chocolate, and get ridiculously cosy too? Another joy of off-peak travel!

Meanwhile, you could well find that those bustling tourist hot spots are much easier to view and absorb, with fewer tourists (and their screaming children!) in tow.

We’ve hand-picked each one of these fabulous European retreats for its beauty, atmosphere – and unusualness, of course – but also because many of them have off-peak rates (and better availability!) that make them well-worth an out-of-season visit.

Author: Nina Jervis
Main image: Lakeside Petzen Glamping | Austria

Lakeside Petzen Glamping

Feistritz ob Bleiburg, Carinthia, Austria
Spoil yourselves with views of the picture-perfect lakes and mountains that surround Austria's first glamping resort.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£115/nt

Abeille Maison Glamping

Bol, Brac, Croatia
A sumptuous and sustainable glamping haven with a fine-dining restaurant, cocktail bar, and luxury tents with private pools, breath-takingly set just above Croatia's world-famous ‘Golden Horn' beach.
Bedrooms: 1-2 bedroom tents
Sleeps: 2-4
From
£397 / night

Ješted

Liberec, Czech Republic
Live amongst the clouds in the unique and award-winning Liberec Hotel Ješted, set at an arresting altitude of over 3,000 feet.
Bedrooms: 19
Sleeps: varies
From
£62 / night

ÖÖD Hötels Rõuge

Tiidu, Voru Maakond, Estonia
An idyllic, laid-back mirrored lakeside retreat in Southern Estonia, with gleaming glass walls that are perfect for watching the natural world come to life.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£133 / night

Coucoo Grands Lacs

Chassey-lès-Montbozon, Franche-Comte, France
A lush eco-friendly retreat, set amongst acres of magical forest land and sparkling lakes in dreamlike Franche-Comté.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 2-7 per cabin
From
£130 / night

Glamping Canonici di San Marco

Mirano, Venice, Italy
A pioneering taste of nature and luxury await, in a glamping paradise set just 20 minutes from Venice.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 2-6 per tent
From
£108 / night

Coup 2 Foudres

Saint-Jean-de-Blaignac, Aquitaine, France
Two stylish and romantic ‘wine barrel' rooms, nestled in the heart of Bordeaux vineyards with soothing views, a delicious breakfast, and wine tasting all included!
Bedrooms: 2 x One Bedroom Studios
Sleeps: 2
From
£128 / night

Hidden Treehouse Resort

Bad Zwischenahn, Lower Saxony, Germany
A gorgeously green German glamping site, where fairytale forest living has been given a five-star upgrade.
Bedrooms: 1 per treehouse
Sleeps: 4 per treehouse
From
£235 / night

Dream of Freedom

Porto Cheli, Peloponnese, Greece
Spirit your favourite people away to an eight-cabin, dog-friendly wooden ‘pirate ship’, gloriously secluded amongst crystal-clear waters in Greece’s exclusive Porto Cheli.
Bedrooms: 8
Sleeps: 20
From
£500 / night

Hunza Ecolodge

Bodolyaber, Baranya, Hungary
Get back to nature amongst the lush hills of Southern Hungary, where community, comfort, wine and good food reign supreme.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: 4-5 per unit
From
£46 / night

Les Ormes Domaine & Resort

Dol-de-Bretagne, Brittany, France
A welcoming family accommodation and activity centre, set on a two-hundred acre French country estate.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£86 / night

Cirelli Wine Glamping

Abruzzo, Italy
Two soul-soothing lodges, beautifully surrounded by vineyards and olive groves on organic, family-run farmland in Italy’s ancient Abruzzo region.
Bedrooms: 2 per lodge
Sleeps: 4
From
£163 /night

Cerchio Del Desiderio

Pianella, Abruzzo, Italy
Italy's very first geodomes, luxuriously positioned amongst the olive trees and rolling green hills of Abruzzo.
Bedrooms: Open plan
Sleeps: 2-4 per unit
From
£70 / night (yurt, low season)

novanta

Bibbiena, Tuscany, Italy
It's probably easier to think of your stay at novanta as a relaxed gathering amongst friends, rather than a traditional Tuscan holiday - yet even this description doesn't go quite far enough! 
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies
From
£105 / night

Amsterdam The Crane by YAYS

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Experience a taste of the high life in an iconic, refurbished crane offering luxurious living, an outstanding location and unbeatable views across Amsterdam East, North and the IJ-River.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2
From
£265 / night

Golden Circle Domes

Selfoss, Southern Region, Iceland
Watch the Northern Lights dance across the sky from the cosy comfort of a luxurious glamping dome, magnificently located in one of Iceland’s most naturally beautiful settings.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 4
From
£525 /night

Manowce

Nowe Warpno, Police, Poland
An elegant and historic palace, exquisitely decorated and surrounded by sweeping woodland, for the ultimate in luxurious group and individual stays.
Bedrooms: 16 Suites/Bedrooms
Sleeps: 1-42 Guests
From
£90 pppn

Retro Camping Bus

Arrabal, Leiria, Portugal
A beautifully restored vintage bus with a private pool, parked on a welcoming family farm, and surrounded by fruit and olive trees in the heart of rural Portugal.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 4
From
£90 / night

Casa Fontelheira

Vila Nune, Porto/North Portugal
If you like your holidays with a slice of adventure, a helping of luxury and double portions of sunshine, you'll fall in love with Casa Fontelheira - luxurious glamping in fabulous Northern Portugal.
Bedrooms: 2 or 3 per tent
Sleeps: 5 or 6 per tent
From
£120 / night

A Terra

São Teotonio, Alentejo, Portugal
Secluded Portuguese eco-glamping, set beside a sparkling lake in the refreshing ‘slow lane' of life.
Bedrooms: Varies
Sleeps: Varies (2-4 per tent)
From
£115 (2 nights)

Nebesa

Nr Kobarid, Soca Valley, Goriška, Slovenia
Peaceful, scenery-showcasing chalets set far from the beaten tourist track, on the unspoilt slopes of Slovenia's remote Kuk Mountain.
Bedrooms: 1 per chalet
Sleeps: 2 per chalet
From
£178 / chalet / night

River Camping Bled

Bled, Upper Carniola, Slovenia
A refreshing, eco-and-family-friendly retreat amongst nature at its most magical, surrounded by Slovenia's breathtaking Julian Alps.
Bedrooms: 2 per cottage
Sleeps: 4 per cottage
From
£128 / night

Eco Fisherman's Cottage

Arrieta, Lanzarote, Spain
A quaint and historic off-grid retreat, featuring soothing sea views and an authentic slice of rustic village life in Lanzarote.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps:
From
£110 / night

Ermita del Carmen

Carcabuey, Andalucia, Spain
Ermita del Carmen is a stunning 15th century chapel conversion, set within the soul-soothing natural heart of Andalucia.
Bedrooms: 4
Sleeps: 8
From
£580 / night

Les Voltes

Barberà de la Conca, Catalonia, Spain
A magical, warmly welcoming eco-retreat with a retro rooftop chillout space, secluded in a vibrant, heritage-rich wine village for an authentic (and delicious!) taste of Spanish life.
Bedrooms: 2
Sleeps: 4
From
£95 / night

El Caracol

Lledó, Aragón, Spain
A cutting-edge Spanish mountain holiday home and swimmers' paradise, nestled within a Mediterranean pine forest and surrounded by unspoilt villages.
Bedrooms: 3
Sleeps: 8
From
£230 / night

DistrictHive Colony

Gorafe, Andalucia, Spain
Recharge your batteries in the world's first five-star, self-sufficient Podtel, blissfully secluded amidst a breath-taking backdrop of Granada's iconic Sierra Nevada range.
Bedrooms: 1
Sleeps: 2 (+2)
From
£322 / night

Koza Cave Hotel

Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
Set inside a historic cave house among the magical ‘fairy chimneys' of Cappadocia, Koza Cave Hotel offers a wonderfully indulgent, eco-inspired hideaway - a true Turkish delight!
Bedrooms: 10
Sleeps: 2 per room
From
£323 /night

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