Sandwiched between the winter freeze and the hotter months of high season, April is an ideal time to plan that perfect trip, particularly across Europe and the United States. For many places, it’s the month that sees spring really take hold, with temperatures that, while warm and pleasant (particularly in the south of Europe) are some way from the more oppressive highs of summer. Perfect weather for sightseeing and often less crowded, especially when the schools have gone back, April is a great month to travel. For those looking to make the most of this magnificent time of year, we’ve hand-picked five ideal locations for spring travellers.
Southern United States
Some Southern qualities, like the famous hospitality and the lowcountry cuisine, are present and correct all year round. However, if you visit in April the South is at its most verdant and beautiful, with the spring flowers coming spectacularly into bloom. South Carolina and Georgia both have an abundance of unspoiled landscapes, from the Spanish moss-covered oaks and marshlands of Jekyll Island off the coast of Georgia, to the lush grounds of the Magnolia Plantation and Gardens and the Biltmore Estate, the one-time home of the Vanderbilt family.
Spain and Portugal in Style
It’s telling that when people think of Spain, they tend to think of those characteristics that are specifically Andalucian. The region is known for its whitewashed walls, mouth-watering cuisine and infectious energy – there’s a reason that the flamenco was invented here. Of course, there’s plenty of opportunity to sample local flavours, and even learn how to create them yourself, as part of a market tour and Spanish cooking experience. Granada is also home to one of the most important buildings in Spain: the Alhambra Palace. Visiting in April, before the arrival of the high season crowds, gives visitors an unparalleled opportunity to really explore this strikingly beautiful Moorish icon.
Southern Italy and Sicily
Country Roads of Southern Italy and Sicily
Southern Italy is perfect to visit in April, when the vibrant colours and flavours of the country come into their prime. The island of Sicily, surrounded by sparkling cerulean waters, is famous for its rustic cuisine and mafia connections, but there’s a rich seam of local history to uncover, too. Visit the evocative Greek Theatre of Taormina, with views over the coast as dramatic as anything seen on stage, or the Palace of the Normans set high above the bustling city of Palermo and the 11th century Palatine Chapel with its exquisite original mosaics.
Best of Morocco
Morocco is a draw for travellers at any time of the year, but its distinctive mix of Islamic, Arabic and African influences and its diverse, often contrasting landscapes, are best enjoyed in the glorious sunshine of spring. The Moroccan summer is scorching, so a visit in April, when temperatures are positively balmy is more enjoyable. In Rabat, the Mohammed V Mausoleum offers the rare opportunity for non-Muslims to enter an Islamic religious building and admire the striking modern Moroccan architecture, while the capital, Marrakesh, is home to the Bahia Palace and its lush, picturesque gardens.
With its medieval streets, flourishing forests and charming, picturesque towns, the Czech Republic still feels wonderfully connected to its intriguing history. And in April, the weather has turned from the cold grey of late winter to the warm, clear blue skies of spring. Český Krumlov, a small town on the banks of the Vltava River with a 13th century church at its heart, certainly feels delightfully out of step with the modern world, while the Bohemian capital of Prague, with its ancient cobbled streets and Art Nouveau elegance, offers an intriguing mix of architectural styles.