The best places to travel in April and what you need to know
From skiing in Austria to partying at Coachella, beach breaks in Antigua to eco tours in Vancouver, April is pure travel porn for those of us with serious wanderlust. Here’s where to go and what you need to know...
Perks of spring peaks
While the best skiing is done earlier in the year, the season is not yet over - there’s just more to do on those mountain tops. As it’s not the most popular time for skiing you will find shorter lift queues and more time on the slopes as well as warmer apres vibes in the late afternoon sunshine. La Plagne, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Val Thorens, Ischgl and Obergurgl are all recommended spring ski hotspots, and don’t forget you can also spend time hiking, climbing and snowshoeing in the afternoons. Another top recommendation is Mayrhofen - hailed as Austria’s only year-round ski resort.
Top tip: Catch the best snow between 9am and 1pm and don’t forget your sunscreen.
Zen under the cherry blossoms
From the cherry blossoms in Tokyo to the Fushimi Inari Taisha Shrine in Kyoto, culture, beauty and culinary delights are what this amazing country is all about, and April is prime time to visit. Rainfall is at its lowest, skies are generally clear and the temperatures are mild. If you visit outside the school holidays then it’s also a little quieter and cheaper to travel as well.
Top tip: Japanese gardens are something else, especially when the blossoms are out. View them by day (Hanami) and illuminated by night (Yozakura) - check out these suggestions for top places to view the cherry blossoms by night: read more.
Spring temperatures, blue skies and not too many crowds… unless you’re heading to Coachella of course. California’s easy lifestyle is a draw card for most of the year, but when Coachella’s in town it’s a whole different ball game. Music lovers delight in the diverse lineup, but that’s not all the Golden State has to offer. It’s a great time to visit Yosemite National Park now that the snow has melted and waterfalls are in full flow, Death Valley is blooming, and Palm Springs is at its finest - before temperatures reach the point where you think your own eyelashes are sweating.
Top tip: Spring flowers are out and the temperature is perfect, so it’s the ideal time to go hiking in the Hollywood Hills or the National Parks - take appropriate footwear!
Ecotours and sacred forests
April is the start of the drier months in Vancouver, making it the perfect time to hop on a flight to Canada’s bustling west coast seaport. Vancouver is the city where it seems like they have the whole work/life balance just right. Yoga in the morning, jog along the seafront, fresh air, forests, mountains and super contemporary architecture as well - these guys are living the dream. Whale watch, take a day trip to Whistler, cross the 70ft high Capilano Suspension Bridge and go on rain forest ecotours. This part of the world is a favourite for movie backdrops and it’s not hard to see why.
Top tip: See as much of the great outdoors as humanly possible - it’s just like the movies… but better.
It’s the final month where the best weather is generally guaranteed in Antigua, and who could possibly turn down the opportunity for a little R&R in the sunshine? Antigua is flatter than the other Caribbean islands and it has 365 beaches - one for each day of the year! Like the other islands, it’s still not large, and there’s a rainforest in the middle, so it’s pretty easy to get around. Whether you’ve been or not, it will come as no surprise that much of the attraction is time outdoors. Snorkelling, sunset cruises, exploring isolated coves and offshore reefs, yacht racing and rainforest canopy tours… and you thought it was just cocktails with little umbrellas.
Top tip: In Antigua US Dollars and Eastern Caribbean Dollars are both accepted. While the rate is normally better on EC Dollars as it’s more likely you will use them up elsewhere if you don’t spend them all.
Black sand beaches and balmy weather
A safe bet for holidays in April of course are the faithful Canary Islands. Just because they’re normally top of the spring holiday recommendation list however, don’t underestimate the charms of these little gems. Dramatic mountains, quaint pueblos and charming seaside villages are the domain of the Canary Islands. Where volcanoes loom, black sand beaches outline the archipelago, lush forests, prehistoric sites and seafront resorts provide something for everyone. Each island brings its own little bit of magic to the table, whether you fancy kite surfing in Fuerteventura, visiting the impressive home of artist César Manrique in Lanzarote, hiking in Gran Canaria or exploring the Garajonay National Park and tropical rainforest in La Gomera.
Top tip: It takes a bit longer to get to as you need to get a ferry from Tenerife, but for a real sense of escapism hop over to La Gomera, one of the smallest inhabited Canary Islands.