When it comes to holiday planning, it pays to think ahead. Many popular destinations are booking up fast for April and the Easter holidays in particular, so our travel experts have compiled some recommendations to ensure you don’t miss out – whether you are seeking action and adventure, peace and solitude, or a traditional family holiday in the sun. Here are just a few suggestions to inspire your plans this Easter:
In April, the mountains and valleys bloom, and the desert dunes and beaches are bathed in gentle sunshine. Even better, Morocco’s exotic culture of colourful souks and beautiful landscapes is easily reached in just a few hours from the UK. Stay on the coast to enjoy beach life, explore the souks of Marrakech or head into the Atlas Mountains for some excellent walking.
Easter is the most important religious festival for the Cypriots, meaning April is a time of celebration and feasting across the island. It’s a lovely time to visit, with warm weather and villages and towns alive with candle-lit processions, fireworks, music and singing to herald the end of Lent. Perhaps the most beautiful spot is the north-western corner where the Akamas Peninsula is a peaceful sanctuary of secluded sandy bays, dramatic peaks and deep valleys. Though a world away from the busy resorts, it is easily reached from one of the best hotels on the island, the Anassa.
Great weather, excellent value and vibrant festivals mean April is a great time to head to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. In many places it is the end of the dry season, so a good opportunity to take advantage of hotel availability before the rains come. New Year celebrations in Southeast Asia often involve elaborate costumes, great feasts, temple ceremonies and dousing your contemporaries in water – not only great fun, but a welcome relief from the heat.
Warm, welcoming Oman is a relatively short flight from the UK and offers boundless adventure, making it a great option for a family holiday. You can spend your days looking out for turtles and dolphins in the warm waters of the gulf off Muscat, exploring Arabian forts in the mountains around Nizwa, swimming in beautiful isolated wadis, or exploring the desert, where you can head out into the dunes by day and sleep beneath the constellations of the desert sky at night.
April is lovely in South America. In Ecuador, throngs of people in colourful costumes line the streets of Quito for Easter celebrations on Good Friday, while the easily accessible Galapagos Islands are alive and kicking. Peru meanwhile is ideal for trekking as the mountains are a vibrant green, visitor numbers are low, and the days are clear and the air fresh. Argentina is another good option as the climate is pleasantly cool. This is the perfect time for visiting the Iguazu Falls or a self-drive journey through the beautiful northern region along spectacular the Rutas de Vino (wine route).
April sees the end of the dry season in India, and while temperatures are often hot, in places such as Ranthambore and Bandhavgarh National Parks it is the best time to see wildlife, including tigers, as animals are drawn out from the thicket to diminishing water holes. April is also shoulder season, meaning good value for money and greater availability.
A visit to Sicily in spring rewards you with blooms of wild flowers and a more peaceful, truly Sicilian experience. Temperatures meanwhile are typically pleasantly warm as opposed to swelteringly hot, making exploring the ancient sites of Agrigento and Piazza Armerina as well as the bustling city of Palermo much more enjoyable. Easter is a time for celebration, too, and the whole island has a convivial feel.
As the rains come to an end, southern Africa brightens up and the wild flowers come into bloom, and as it is not peak season, April means fewer crowds and reasonable prices. In Zimbabwe, the Victoria Falls rage after the rains, the landscape is lush and green, and migrant birds arrive and come into multicolour breeding plumage. Namibia’s bright skies and green landscape is ideal for photography, and Botswana boasts clear skies, verdant greenery and it’s the ideal time to spot young animals born during the rains. April is also a good month for South Africa, although Cape Town can experience four seasons in a single day!
Relax by the beach, explore some of the world’s best dive sites or dive instead into the world of ancient Egypt without the crowds, all under sunny skies. Now is a great time to visit Egypt. The troubles of several years ago have quietened and hoteliers are keen to lure visitors back with tempting prices. The ancient sites at Cairo and Luxor are crowd free and you can wander the temples and great pyramids virtually queue-free.
In spring the snow begins to melt and Nepal’s national flower, the rhododendron, blooms in great abundance. This is a great time for spotting wildlife in the Chitwan National Park particularly in the early part of the month before the heat mounts. Warmer, drier weather and less snow also means that this is the most wonderful time to explore the peaks of the Himalayas, either on foot or by helicopter. Visit characterful Pokhara for a little downtime in the foothills and climb to the viewing point at nearby Sarangkot to watch as the sun rises over the Annapurnas. In total contrast to the serenity of the mountains, Kathmandu is a bustling, noisy, utterly absorbing city. Head to Durbar Square, the city’s traditional heart, to people watch.
The weather during April is just glorious in the Caribbean, appealing to water sports enthusiasts as well as beach worshippers. The sea is deliciously warm and the days feel fresh, bright and long. Easter falls in the dry season and is a popular time for sailing regattas and kite flying competitions. Antigua sees the annual the Classic Yacht Regatta in Falmouth Harbour, for example. It is also an important time of year for religious celebrations – from the vibrant carnival on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, which features local ‘scratch’ bands and a Calypso Monarch competition, to weird and wonderful superstitions: take a swim on Good Friday, for example, and the locals believe you might just turn into a fish. Delicious fresh fish features heavily at this time of year. In Jamaica you can try escoveitched snapper, fried and then marinated with hot peppers, while in Bermuda the locals eat codfish cakes, traditionally served with bananas.
As the weather warms up, Bhutan comes to life with blooms of wild flowers and one of the year’s most vibrant Buddhist festivals, Paro Tsechu. The colourful dance festival commemorates Guru Rinpoche, who introduced tantric Buddhism, also known as Tibetan Buddhism, to Bhutan. The festival and the changing landscape make spring one of the most enjoyable times of the year to visit.
If you want to find out more when to travel in April contact Red Savannah's travel specialists on 01242 787800.