Spring is here. And while it’s a weird time to be thinking of travel with news of COVID-19, more commonly known as coronavirus, making its way around the world and into cities and countries we all know and love, travel is still something that’s on our minds. And while traveling abroad might seem like a risk you’re not willing to take right now, life around the world continues and the local guides and small tour operators that rely on tourism as their main source of income need you now – and in the future months – more than ever.
So, while I’ve asked some of my favorite travel experts to weigh in on the best spring destinations to visit this year, there’s always spring 2021 to start planning and looking forward to. Fall is also a pretty incredible time to check a new, beautiful destination off your bucket list as well, if you need a trip to look forward to sooner rather than later.
Until then, here are a few picture-perfect spring destinations to inspire your next vacation.
Why: With new budget airline routes to Gyumri from Germany and Greece, Armenia's second city is finally stepping into the spotlight for more than just its association with the 1988 Spitak Earthquake. Spring is a fantastic time to visit Gyumri as the harsh winters subside and flowers saturate the city as it prepares to celebrate Easter with juicy fruits and heaping plates of pilaf. Gyumri is home to hip cafes and concept shops like Konjelazia Tourism & Design, several cultural spaces, unique places to stay like Masters' House Bed & Bar and Loft Gyumri, and Armenia's most humorous locals.
Pro Tip: Stop into Gwoog Gastrohouse for a local taste of Gyumri and try their Panrkhash, a dish made from cheese and lavash. Local herbs create tasty tea at Herbs & Honey, a beautiful cafe located in the center of Gyumri and the perfect place to stop before checking out a show at the Alikhanyan Puppet Theater. And, if you're looking for a souvenir to take home from Gyumri, look no further than HayAr Jewellery where all accessories are made from repurposed bullets by Gyumri artist Artak Tadevosyan.