Earlier this month we attended a virtual event with our friends at ToursbyLocals, we got to explore Dubrovnik and a few other delightful destinations and it was the exact amount of armchair travel that we needed. As we begin to look ahead to travelling in a post-pandemic world, the new season gives us a sense of hope, positivity and a new lease on life. With a spring in our step and the help of ToursByLocals, the world’s leading online marketplace for private tours, travellers can look forward to discovering the fresh face of travel. Uncover lesser-known locations across the globe, be re-inspired by domestic destinations, or delve deeper into a firm favourite with a local guide. From admiring the stunning flower stalls in cosmopolitan Barcelona to celebrating the Jinhae cherry blossom festival in South Korea this bloom season, the guides on ToursByLocals provide a selection of tours to uncover the best destinations to experience spring. The company enriches the travel experience with 4,800 guides leading tours in 190 countries, and counting.
Capture the spring blooms in Washington DC
Over a century ago, the mayor of Tokyo gifted the Capitol with over 3,000 flowering cherry trees, bringing a piece of Japan to the USA. Each year the blossom gives the city’s monuments a feathery and ethereal pink hue. Peak bloom time is April each year and provides an interesting juxtaposition of nature and the iconic American buildings known all around the world. On the ToursByLocals platform you can access local experts like Ken, who is the author of countless guidebooks and has been living in the capital city for over a decade. Travellers will be able to get off the beaten track, immersing themselves fully in the local culture, street music, art and quirky alcoves which make Washington DC a world-class city. Discover the National Mall and the Old Downtown as well as locally favoured spots such as Barracks Row, charming and postcard-perfect Georgetown and Dupont Circle fountain – a great place to enjoy a picnic.
Book the six-hour Washington Walking Tour priced at £353 per tour for up to eight people on the ToursByLocals website. Includes guiding services.
Celebrate the Jinhae cherry blossom festival in South Korea
Every year, the largest cherry blossom festival in the world takes place in spring in Jinhae, a small and unassuming naval city located in the south of Korea. With the expertise of local guide BK Jung, who has many years of experience tour-guiding in Seoul, take a leisurely stroll under the floral ceiling of pink cherry blossoms as South Korea transitions into spring. Head to one of the cherry blossom hotspots, the Yeojwacheon Stream which features the iconic Romance Bridge made famous by the Korean TV drama, Romance. Situated in the heart of the city, the Jinghae tower symbolises a Korean naval warship and stands at the top of a 365-step staircase overlooking the city and its coastline. The Jinghae museum is located on the first and second floors and is home to a collection of cultural relics relating to Korea’s historical past.
Book the eight-hour Jinhae Cherry Blossom Festival Tour priced at £312 per tour for up to eight people on the ToursByLocals website. Includes guiding services and private transportation.
Discover the blooms in Barcelona at traditional flower stalls
Barcelona is best known for the spectacular architecture of Antoni Gaudi, its modern art museums, golden shoreline and tapas bars but many do not know about the plentiful flower stalls and markets which align the famous avenue, Las Ramblas. The Flower Rambla was very important during the 19th century as it was the only place in the city where you could buy flowers – it is the only street like this in the world. Explore the city on foot with local guide Mar who has been a tour guide since 1994 and visit the main square Plaça Catalunya and the Boqueria Food Market – home to over 200 stalls from delicious fruits and aromatic spices to freshly-caught seafood. Spend the afternoon soaking up the culture of the vibrant bustling city and explore Barcelona’s old Jewish Quarter and The Gothic Cathedral which was built in 1298, with Mar showcasing endless local knowledge, tips and tricks.
Book the three-hour Barcelona City Tour priced at £213 per tour for up to nine people on the ToursByLocals website. Includes guiding services and free map of Barcelona.
Wander through the lavender fields in Provence and visit a floral distillery
Neighbouring the UK, France is just a short ferry ride and a perfect getaway for those wanting to stay a little bit closer to home. Your guide Nathalie was born in Luberon, a beautiful region located between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon and was an English teacher for 16 years before qualifying as a tour guide. Enjoy a scenic drive through the mountain road of Lourmarin and meet a local producer at a lavender distillery who will share their secrets including the numerous medicinal and practical uses. Stop along the way to photograph the rows of lavender and then follow the country roads to the “capital” of Lavender: the village of Sault. Capture the incredible colours of the lavender blossoms and feel re-energised by the enchanting scent of Provence’s iconic flower.
Book the eight-hour Lavender Luberon-Sault Tour priced at £531 per tour for up to seven people on the ToursByLocals website. Includes guiding services and private transportation.