Where to vacation in April


For most people, no matter what the month, season or destination, it’s always a good time to go travelling. As the northern hemisphere warms up and welcomes spring, the southern hemisphere is starting to enjoy the beautiful ochres, reds and oranges that autumn brings during the month of April. Here are our top 10 destinations to visit during this transition month between the high/low tourist seasons and warm/cold climates to come.

> Hong Kong
No question about it: April in Hong Kong is one of the best months to visit. As the winter cold starts to thaw, the warmer weather makes way for endless sunny days with low humidity beckoning lazy days on the beach and sultry nights exploring this mystical destination. Travellers can enjoy the festivities surrounding the annual Tin Hau Festival, the birthday of the Goddess of the Sea, when float processions flood the streets with colour, people and dancing, and the waterways become crammed with decorated boats. There truly is nothing like experiencing festivities in a foreign land to make a trip more memorable - and photogenic.

> Dominican Republic
Set in the tropics, the lush Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic experiences great weather all year round, besides the during the rainy season, of course, between May and November, but with an 'endless summer', and plenty of sunshine to boot, lazy days on the beach are all part of a hard day’s work in the Dominican Republic.  Thankfully this Caribbean treasure was unaffected by the recent earthquake in neighbouring Haiti. A great place to visit is Bahia Maimón, a small resort town set on the northern Amber Coast in the Puerto Plata province. This natural monument is protected by the government as it is the location of Christopher Columbus’ first settlement in the Americas. Soak up the sun, enjoy the sandy beaches and warm water, or get involved in the multitude of water sports.

> Philippines
A visit to the exotic and culturally fascinating Philippines is a must, especially during the month of April when colourful celebrations take place across the main islands for the Holy Week of Easter, from the smallest town to the largest city. With summer on its way, April is a great time to visit the hilly regions of Banaue where traditional villages and the Banaue Rice terraces, dubbed the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ and constructed about 3,000 years ago can be seen. Marine lovers will be able to enjoy excellent visibility for diving and snorkelling and discovering the wonderful diversity of more than 800 types of colourful corals and the striking marine life that live in one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. And all of this is within easy reach from the capital city of Manila – what more could one ask for!

> Thailand
A holiday in Thailand during the month of April is just what the doctor ordered! The dry season is coming to an end, the temperatures are at their highest and festivals such as Songkran (Thai New Year) are taking place in mid-April filling the streets with celebrations and colour. Chiang-Mai, set in the mountains of the north is a great place to join in the festivities as well as discover magnificent historic temples on an elephant safari, or haggle your way through the renowned Night Market. The coast of Thailand is a must for sea lovers where plenty of lazy days lying on palm-fringed sugary white beaches topping up your tan can be spent, while more active travellers can enjoy the water sports, diving, snorkelling and boat trips from the main island – try Koh Phi Phi or Koh Pha Ngan for an unforgettable Thailand holiday.

> Texas
With a multitude of great events to keep visitors busy, a visit to Texas during the month of April is a great idea. The weather is warming up but is not yet as humid as summer in Texas and the fun ranch-style activities and destinations will go ahead and make your day of your Wild West holiday. Enjoy fashion shows, bands and exhibits at the Deep Ellum Arts Festival in Dallas-Fort Worth, browse through international culture stalls sampling cuisine from a faraway land at the Houston International Festival, enjoy world-class cuisine prepared by some of the finest chefs at the Texas Hill Country Food and Wine Festival in Austin, or simply soak up the country-western music, watch a rodeo and enjoy the hospitality of the locals in Texas, where everything is bigger and better.

> Byron Bay
It might be nearing the end of the summer months in Byron Bay, but the crowds have mostly cleared off and the weather is still pleasant making this an ideal travel destination for the month of April. With oodles of charm, fabulous shopping opportunities, miles of pristine beaches to enjoy, and the East Coast Blues & Roots Music Festival at Easter, there’s plenty to keep travellers of all persuasions busy. Adventurous tourists can take the Cape Byron walking trail to admire views of dolphins playing in the waves, and humpback whales breaching as they migrate to the north, or hang ten surfing some of the local breaks. The magnificent scenery, the proximity to the rainforest and the various nature reserves and sanctuaries make it a sought-after holiday destination for eco-tourists.

> St Vincent and the Grenadines
Wedding anniversary? Honeymoon? The tropical paradise of St Vincent and the Grenadines nestled in the Caribbean is a must for travellers looking for a little ‘R and R’ or that perfect romantic getaway. The laid-back atmosphere, stunning scenery and unspoilt beaches of the islands conjure up images of couples strolling hand-in-hand along idyllic palm-fringed beaches, the azure waters gently lapping at their feet as they meander into the surf.  With small hotels and resorts offering more personalised service, there are plenty of islands within the Grenadines for you to explore. Check out Bequia, Mustique, Canouan, Mayreau, Petit St Vincent, Tobago Cays, Union Island and Palm Island, each boasting its own unique charm and character.

> Guernsey
The second largest of the Channel Islands, Guernsey is a cosmopolitan gem just waiting to be explored by the avid globe-trotter. Not first on everyone’s dream destination list, Guernsey is definitely worth a visit. This highly underrated treasure nestled between England and France boasts 27 beaches (four of which are considered to be among the best in Britain), a plethora of water sports, historic attractions and picture perfect sunsets over the Atlantic Ocean, painting an image of the perfect relaxing holiday. The month of April brings with it warmer temperatures, flowers in bloom and the chance to enjoy the island’s attractions and activities, such as the beautiful town of St Peter Port with its Roman arches, coloured granite buildings and narrow medieval alleyways offering a glimpse of this magnificent island’s past.


 > Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Travellers looking for holiday with a difference should opt for a cruise holiday to the exotic and colourful destination of Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Laze on the beach soaking up the sun, climb the waterfalls or go horseback riding through sugar cane plantations or discover the island’s colonial roots by taking afternoon tea at the former home of British playwright/songwriter, Noel Coward. April is the perfect time to visit this fun-filled island where the rum is always flowing, the sun always shines and the charming locals hypnotise visitors with their sing-song accents. But for those looking for a more genuine Jamaican experience, visit the nearby town of Kingston to enjoy the Jamaica Carnival which takes place every April and is jam-packed with celebrations and revelry, all in the name of all things, well, Jamaican. Enjoy local reggae music, sample the island’s signature spicy but fruity fare, and dance the night away.

> Lake Garda, Verona
The scene of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is the essence of romance in anyone’s books, but there is more to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city of Verona than meets the eye.  Located just outside Lake Garda, and very close to the city of Venice, visitors can a more relaxed and less frenetic holiday in this quaint and breathtakingly beautiful Italian city. Visit the Romeo and Juliet courtyard and balcony at Casa Giulietta, sample the local Valpolicella wine, get into the European swing of things watching the world go by from one of the many restaurants and cafés while sipping on an Italian coffee, or just simply soak up the culture for a holiday to remember!


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