UPDATED: This article was originally published in January 2018
You’ve decided you want to travel more this year (good on you), but you’re struggling to choose your next destination. Surely there’s an easier way than trawling through endless travel mags and guidebooks for the answers, right? That’s where our ultimate month-by-month travel guide comes in: your easily digestible list of places to visit, things to experience, and amazing weather to chase around the world.
Right, time to shift the focus onto April. Spring has sprung across the globe; the dry seasons are beginning to roll in and everywhere is looking that little bit fresher. Whether you’ve always wanted to witness Bolivia’s salt flats, see Namibia’s fossilised trees, stare in wonder at the cherry blossoms in Japan, or unearth Portugal’s food capital. Here’s your guide for where to travel in April.
From the neon lights and chaos of the capital, to the serenity and zen of Kyoto’s many shrines and temples – Japan is an exciting mishmash of modernity and tradition. Certain parts of the country, particularly Hiroshima, hold sad but important historical significance and a trip to its Peace Park is vital. You’ll love riding the high-speed bullet train, checking out the views of Mt. Fuji, and digging into Japanese favourites like sushi and sake too.
Something special about visiting in April is the Hanami Cherry Blossom Festivals, when thousands of trees become filled with pretty pink and white flowers. Friends and families descend upon local parks to view the blossoms in all their glory. The perfect time to be outside basking in the crisp spring air – a memorable event, not to be missed!
Welcome to Namibia, a country of contrasts. With its perilous Skeleton Coast, vast Fish River Canyon, eerie Sossusvlei littered by fossilised trees, and so much more. Receiving almost no rain throughout the year, you’d be hard-pressed not to see the sun. But, April also happens to offer up some of the best weather conditions: moderate temperatures and abundant greenery.
What to do whilst you’re here? Make a beeline for the amazing wildlife and landscapes of Etosha National Park. Sip a beer as you gain an insight into German colonial Africa in the towns of Swakopmund and Windhoek. Go canoeing down South Africa’s longest stream, the picturesque Orange River. Or, head to Twyfelfontein, mesmerising and famed for its many rock paintings and engravings.
After a toasty beach break with ample sea swimming and sunbathing opportunities? Then admittedly April may not be the right travel time for you. But, if you love the idea of almond blossoms filling the trees, spring air in your lungs and beating the crowds – you could be onto a winner! Plus, with temperatures in Lisbon reaching a pleasant 20°C, it’s an ideal time to discover why everybody raves about it.
Have a mosey around Porto, the coastal city that’s home to the iconic Dom Luís I bridge, and often referred to as the country’s food capital. Before you head down south to Lagos, with its walled old town, and nearby cliffs boasting stunning headland views.
A modern capital filled with cosmopolitan cafes might not spring to mind when thinking of Jordan. It’s better known for its impressive world heritage sites and incredible desert scenery – but this middle eastern gem is full of surprises. April is warm (but not scorching) and the winter rains mean the forests are lush and the valleys are blanketed in brightly coloured wildflowers, what better time to explore?
Get under the skin of this amazing country, by working on your local knowledge during a trip to the citadel, the Jordan Museum and Roman Theatre in Amman. Journeying into the beautiful, protected desert wilderness of Wadi Rum. Being blown away by Petra, the awe-inspiring, ancient rock-cut capital of the Nabataeans. And, relaxing as you float on the salt-saturated waters of the Dead Sea.
Looking for a destination with both a rich history and intense natural beauty? Enter Morocco. Many sources say this North African spot is best travelled to in April, when the summer climate has made its way to the south, into the mountains, and to both Morocco’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts. But, it’s also worth noting temperatures range from 15-32°C across country and showers are not unheard of.
Relish the opportunity to lose yourself in the maze-like medina of Fes, with its potent smelling tanneries and souqs piled high with leather goods. Be made to feel miniature as you stand at the titanium doors of the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca. Wander the blue-washed streets of Chefchaouen and marvel as you look down on it from a nearby viewpoint. Not forgetting, all the fun that awaits you in the bustling city of Marrakech.
Everyone’s heard of Amsterdam, but there are a great many other charming Dutch villages out there to explore. Think of Utrecht with its roots in Roman history, Haarlem with its little-town feel, The Hague with its interesting governmental connections, and Gouda with its famous cheese. The fact the Netherlands is small, makes it brilliant for those wanting to travel the country with ease.
If you needed a couple more reasons to go, you’re in luck! April marks the start of tulip season, turning large parts of the country into flower-filled patchwork quilts. Note the Keukenhof Garden is a fabulous place for a floral stroll. And, locals also celebrate King’s Day on 27 April, when the entire nation turns orange, and the streets, canals and parks are packed with people partying the night away.
Chock-full of otherworldly landscapes, dizzying heights and friendly-faced locals, it’s easy to see why Bolivia is fast becoming a traveller favourite. April ends the wet season, leaving Salar de Uyuni submerged after the rains. Whilst this means sections of the trail aren’t accessible, the entire salt flat is turned into a mirror, reflecting the sky and its striking surroundings.
And as you’re here now, why not take the opportunity to browse around the weird and wonderful Witches’ Market in La Paz? Or, immerse yourself in the Spanish colonial architecture of Potosi, one of the richest cities in the world? Or, you could even hike up the hill to the Inca Observatory for dramatic views over Lake Titicaca? On a sunny day it can’t be beaten!
- 5-day Bolivian Amazon Jungle
- 6-day Bolivian Salt Flats & the Andean Desert
- 12-day Bolivia Highlights
A country where food, art, history and natural beauty collide – get ready to tuck into a piece of la dolce vita! April is a sunny and quiet time on this boot-shaped peninsula, and whilst the weather might not be beach-ready, it’s perfect for mooching around Italy’s many incredible cities.
Journey to the birthplace of the Renaissance period in Florence, and find Michaelangelo’s David at the Galleria dell’Accademia. Make the trip to Milan, one of the most important fashion capitals on the planet, home to designers like Dolce & Gabbana, Prada and Versace. Unwind on the canals of Venice, admiring the stunning architecture that juts out of its waters. A tour of Rome’s world-renowned Colosseum is a must, as well as indulging in a compulsory slice of pizza (or seven).
Feature image C/O Zephyr_P via Shutterstock.