Flower seeing in Kyoto or Seoul? Checked. Endless mountainous range? Checked. Going for tulip season in Netherland? Cool, but not surprising.
Worry not of spending the rest of your spring checking out new nice places for a short break. Here we list down the anti-mainstream, yet one of the coolest, places to visit from April to June.
GRASSE, FRANCE – PERFUMERIES ALA PROVENCE
Grasse is an idyllic medieval town in southern Provence, just a stone’s throw away from Cannes. It gained reputation for its world-class perfume industry in the 16th century. For a glimpse of the 3,000 years of perfume history in Grasse, you can go to Museé International de la Parfumerie (International Museum of Perfume).
Though famed for the lavender of the Provence, Grasse also grows other members of a French garden that are suitably used as ingredients for fragrances—roses, jasmine, violet, and mimosa. Just outside of Grasse, Le Domaine de Manon allows visitors to come and enjoy tours of flower fields. The blooms of Grasse are known to be ingredients for fragrances by elite French fragrance houses in the likes of Dior, Chanel, and Hermès.
At Parfumerie Fragonard, Molinard and Parfumerie Galimard, perfume enthusiasts can learn how flowers and plants are distilled into essential oils or view antique production equipment. A similar workshop offered by the Galimard “Le Studio des Fragrances” provides 127 notes to compose the fragrance of your dreams at a perfumer’s desk.
GUNMA, JAPAN – HEALING WATERS
Japanese people’s favorite pastime, hot baths in onsens, is one of the unique things that will draw tourists to try this activity while visiting Japan. One Japanese prefecture that is surrounded by beautiful mountains, Gunma, has more than plenty of high quality hot spring resorts.
While in Gunma, this most well-known onsen is not to be missed. Kusatsu Onsen Resort is a grand full-size onsen that uses two unique bathing methods, jikanyu (timed bathing) and yumomi (water beating). The steamed spring water here is that of high quality, with 13 public baths managed by the local people of Kusatsu town. The source of the water here is Mount Kusatsu Shirane, with water appearance ranging from clear to cloudy.
Spring will be a safe choice to spend time onsen-hopping, where the outdoor weather is typically sunny and sublime.
CHEFCHAOUEN, MOROCCO – FIFTY SHADES OF BLUE
Spring sceneries are not always represented by greenery of the mountains or pristine white sand. There are times when roof and building outlines create a great portrait against a stunning blue sky backdrop like the one in Chefchaouen. The blue of Chaouen (short for Chefchaouen) is influenced by the Jews and considered to symbolize sky/heaven, while others say the color represents the sea. The tourism here has risen in the last couple of years.
The major attraction here is walking around this maze-like town, absorbing its rich culture and admiring the vintage architecture. The contrast of the brightly painted old town, or what locals call medina, against the stunning mountains surrounding it is simply breathtaking. Spending time can be done by chilling in local restaurants or just browsing the markets while ladies can enjoy a bathing ritual in a place called hammam, a typical Moroccan female bathhouse.
PHOTOS Courtesy of Pixabay, Deep Japan, Tiptoeing World, Galimard.com, Molinard.com, Fragonard.com