Where to go on vacation in April

The weather in April often dictates where you end up traveling. Countries just north of the equator such as Cuba and Japan are in their high season, basking under a combination of sunshine and warm temperatures. It’s a similar story in the Middle East, where you can explore Jordanian desert scenes without melting. And it’s low season in other parts of the world. Borneo is rainier in April, but it’s also cheaper. Southern Europe has unpredictable weather, but is crowd-free in many places that are packed with people from May. Changing landscapes and migrating animals tempt out travelers in April, too – including the legendary cherry blossom season in Japan.

1. Borneo

Borneo begins to emerge from its rainy season in April, with torrential rains easing off but flights and accommodation remaining cheaper than high season. Sabah, in the Malaysian north-east, is the driest corner – head here to climb Mount Kinabalu and set off on a wildlife cruise along the Kinabatangan River. The orangutans are here all year round.

2. Cuba

April is one of the best times to go to Cuba. It’s hot but not scorching, and it’s the last dry month before the rains set in before hurricane season. The downside? Everyone knows that Cuba is amazing in April, so consider booking well in advance, especially around Easter. The Caribbean Sea is clear and calm in April, so it’s also the best time for scuba diving.

3. Italy

Some of the best weather in Italy is along the Amalfi Coast, where it’s sunny but cool enough to deter the crowds. Big cities like Rome and Florence are much more manageable in the cooler springtime too. Just remember that Italy is 1,000km long, so April in the deep south of Puglia is quite different to April in the mountainous Dolomites.

4. Japan

Cherry blossom season is in full swing in Japan in April, especially on the main island of Honshu. It’s festive but busy, with temperatures pleasantly warm in Tokyo. Head to the countryside and lesser-known parts of the Nakasendo Trail for blooms minus the blooming crowds. Northerly Hokkaido island is cooler, with snow-dipped mountains, crisp blue skies and chilly nights.

5. Jordan

Desert covers most of Jordan, so it’s best to avoid the sizzling heights of summer and travel in April instead. Wandering around Petra and Wadi Rum is much more comfortable in the low 20°Cs of the Jordan springtime. The sparse greenery is at its most verdant after the winter rain, and there are still cooling showers in the hills around the capital city Amman.

6. Spain

Semana Santa (Holy Week) usually falls in April in Spain. Expect sombre parades and jubilant fiestas – just keep an eye on museum and restaurant opening times, as Easter is a national vacation. Weather-wise, northern Spain is a little unpredictable, with a mix of sun and showers. The south is warmer, with plenty of sunshine and peaceful beaches and hiking trails.
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April vacation advice

We’ve spoken to our expert travel partners to find out where they recommend traveling in April. Here’s what they say…

Julie Dubois Marshall, from our partner St Hilda Sea Adventures, says that April is her favourite time of year in the Scottish Hebrides: “April is often fantastic here. Spring is in the air, the flowers are growing, the puffins arrive at the end of the month. Everything is coming back to life after the cold. Most Aprils recently have been really warm too – we can eat outside.”

Kush Hari leads some of our expeditions up Everest with Intrepid Travel. He shares his favourite time for trekking: “I like to be there during April and May. There will be lots of expedition groups who will be planning to get to the top of Everest and we interact with them a lot. There are a lot of yaks walking up the same trail, taking expedition kit to the base camp.”

Peter Roche co-runs our walking, cycling and wildlife vacations at his French country retreat Le Moulin de Chemin. He says: “The spring reawakening after winter is the favourite time for country folk. Leaf buds are forming on the trees, early blossoms such as the blackthorn are exploding into life, and wildflowers are tentatively breaking out of the soil in March and early April… Butterflies and other insects thrive where wildflowers flourish and there are abundant butterflies starting as early as the end of April until October.”
Lukey Bourne, from our small group adventure specialists Wild Frontiers, recommends northern Ethiopia in April for empty, dramatic landscapes: “By the time you get to April it is getting hot. I went in April, and we had Lalibela to ourselves. We were going around the rock-hewn churches and there were so few tourists there… It was before the rains so it was still very barren and dry, and spectacular, but very different to September-October when it’s very lush, so a real contrast in terms of the landscape and the scenery in terms of colours…”

Ilija Milos is a guide at our Croatia adventure specialists Fiore Tours. He recommends walking and hiking in Istria in spring: “The best time for cycling in Istria is April, May, June, September and October. This time of year is cool and less busy, plus Istria offers a lot of food and culture events. You can try wild asparagus dishes during April and May, which is ready for picking. The whole region is into it.”

Susie de Carteret founded our partner Tasmanian Odyssey. She says to consider Tasmania in its autumn: “March and April – Tasmania’s autumn – is a brilliant time of year to visit. This is usually the driest time of year and the days are still warm and long, but the nights are beginning to cool down and everywhere is much quieter. However, this is mating time for Tasmanian devils so the chances of seeing them in the wild are less than at other times of the year.”

Vicky Rodford, from our partner Intrepid Travel, loves Mexico in spring – just beware the notorious spring break: “Spring is an amazing time to go – around March and April. The weather is warm enough that you need to put on sunscreen, flights are well-priced and it is just a lovely time to go out there. But you do want to be wary of the US spring break along the Mayan Riviera, as there is a massive influx of US college students who are out to drink as much as they can in a two-week period. On our sort of tours, it doesn’t really impact you as much as we stay off the beaten track, but if you just want to see beaches, the US spring break will have an impact on your vacation.”

Vicky’s colleague Tim Winkworth prefers to go to the Galapagos Islands in April for a birding extravaganza: “The blue-footed boobies are beautiful with their bright blue feet… March and April is their mating season, so Easter is the perfect time to go because you are not just walking round and seeing one or two birds, or a flock just being as they normally are. You are walking round, in and out, having to step off the path to walk around these birds in massive numbers as they’re doing their mating rituals. You’re watching the funny dance, and in that same trip you get the blue-footed boobies wobbling from left to right, sort of like an accentuated penguin, and the frigate birds inflating the red sac on their neck, blowing it up and making a noise. April is the time that all happens.”
Annie Antonatou is a guide at our sailing and diving specialists Mystic Blue. She says that the Cyclades are lovely in spring: “The nature here is unique compared to the rest of Greece. Although it’s very barren, in spring you have lots of wildflowers you can only find in this part of the world. There are lots of orchids all over the Cyclades; March, April and May are the best months for these… Many small birds pass through the Cyclades – migratory season is February till May… Outside the tourist season (November-April) you can expect all kinds of weather, from thunderstorms, wind and even snow to lovely sunny days on which everybody rushes to the beach for a barbecue and a dip in the water.”

David Thomson, based in the Melbourne HQ of our partner Intrepid Travel, says that April is best for Australia: “I love to visit the Northern Territory in the shoulder seasons. In the Red Centre, April and October are my favourite months. The summer months can have temperatures up to 40°C and winter months can have nights below zero; it’s a semi-arid desert region, after all. The ‘in-between’ months are not too hot, not too cold and not too busy.

“My favourite time to visit the Top End is April to May. The whole ecosystem is pumping with wildlife and waterfalls, and the swimming waterholes are crystal-clear following the heavy rains of the wet season. The skies are clear for the most part, and the landscape is lush and green after the rains. What amazes me is that there are not many people about, so you’re often experiencing waterholes in a UNESCO World Heritage park by yourself.”
Photo credits: [Page banner: Jorge Franganillo] [Borneo: glitterly.app] [Cuba: Dorothea OLDANI] [Italy: Spencer Davis] [Japan: 663highland] [Jordan: Who’s Denilo?] [Spain: Michael Mogensen] [Northern Ethiopia: mulugeta wolde] [Cyclades: Raimond Klavins]