Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

"Делай что можешь с тем что имеешь там где ты есть." Теодор Рузвельт ZMEY
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Spring is in full bloom, but so too are April showers, dampening Easter plans and keeping UK temperatures cool. Elsewhere in Europe, though, the mercury is steadily rising, making it a pleasantly off-peak time to take a classic city break, or explore a chic Mediterranean island without the crowds. Prefer buzz to solitude? Hit up street-shaking carnivals everywhere from South America to the Deep South. Now’s a fine time to find bargains on castaway islands, or maybe take that big trip Down Under, where warm autumn temperatures are forgiving enough for beach breaks, urban exploring and adventures in the wild.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    1. ROME, ITALY

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 19℃

    You’ve done Rome, so now for the greater luxury: doing it as the Romans do. Temperate April is a fine time to explore the city as the locals see it, rather than as it’s visited: no dashing from sight to sight, madly ticking boxes, but rather making the most of the walking weather to wander, wonder and get gloriously lost. Around six miles from the Eternal City’s centre, Centocelle is a happening suburb steeped in contemporary Italian cool. Natural wine bar Menabó is a tough reservation to snag, but worth it for roasted octopus and grassy Grechetto. Even in Rome’s more crowded corners, there are delicious secrets hiding in plain sight. On Piazza di Spagna, find metaphysical painter Giorgio De Chirico’s apartment just as he left it in the late 1970s, with cluttered studio and a brilliant arrangement of his canvases and sketches. Our new favourite home base: close to Palazzo Borghese is Hotel Vilòn, a mansion-turned-boutique-hotel on a blink-and-miss-it cobblestoned street.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    2. CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 31℃

    Easter in Colombia is the year’s biggest, most essential celebration, and it swells Cartagena’s streets with feasts and parades. Holy Week – leading up to Easter Sunday – is not the time to visit if you’re crowd-phobic, but to see this sultry city at its most festive, it can’t be beat. Temperatures here are steamy year-round, and the old town has long lost its best-kept-secret tag, so you might as well lean into the heat and the hordes. Plus, it’s still very romantic, with its corn-yellow colonial mansions, flower-filled balconies, clip-clopping horse-drawn carriages and palm-dotted squares. Stir in generous measures of rum cocktails and salsa music, and you’ve got yourself a hell of a holiday, even if it’s not exactly subdued. Stay at Casa San Agustin, the best boutique hotel within the old city walls, so you can take restorative breaks on its sun-drenched rooftop and in its L-shaped pool.

  • 3. SANTORINI, GREECE

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 19℃

    Santorini isn’t the A-lister’s Greek island because of its beaches, many of which are imperfect black-sand or pebble numbers. Nor is it for privacy, given that 15,000 locals share their home with around two million visitors each year. No, Santorini is the darling of fashion photographers, romantics, influencers and bon vivants because it is, quite simply, the Med’s most stunning sight. An inhabited caldera, its chalk-white villages and sea-view suites teeter on steep lava cliffs, skirting an interior of bewitching Aegean blue. The sunsets are so pinch-me perfect, advancing dusk sees Santorini’s hairpin roads clogged with buses, all agitating to catch that peerless shot. Behold the revelation, then, that is April: restaurants and bars newly flung open after a stormy winter, hotel rates pleasingly discounted. It might not be quite sunbathing weather yet, but it is vineyard weather and slurping oysters-in-your-seaside-cabana weather and cocktails-on-your-roof-terrace weather.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    4. CAPRI, ITALY

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 20℃

    April is when Capri springs to life again, with enough sunny days to warrant packing a beach bag (though only hardened wild swimmers would dare a dip in the sea). Mid-month, beach clubs start opening up for the season, but there’s plenty to do before the party people dock. Take the chair lift to Monte Solaro for a heart-swelling panorama over the Gulf of Naples; hire a gozzo fishing boat and explore Capri’s hidden coves and grottoes; go window-shopping for chic villas spilling bougainvillaea; wander the island’s decidedly upmarket, curving streets. And for every see-and-be-seen restaurant and seaside bar, there’s a genuine gem. Da Paolino, with tables set between rows of fragrant trees in a lemon grove, is a favourite with designer Nicky Zimmermann – find more A-list Capri tips here.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    5. BAZARUTO ARCHIPELAGO, MOZAMBIQUE

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 25℃

    In the 1950s the Bazaruto archipelago, a string of six, immaculate islands off the sleepy shores of mainland Mozambique’s Vilankulo, had a certain reputation. Particularly the Santa Carolina hotel, on one of the smaller islands, where a colourful mix of the rich, renegade and rock ’n’ roll would land on its private airstrip, primed for clandestine revelry (it’s said Bob Dylan composed his song ‘Mozambique’ on the hotel’s baby grand). Decades of civil war spoiled the party, but today Bazaruto is quietly making a comeback, thanks to the splendour of its wild, dune-backed beaches, left for the longest time to themselves. Santa Carolina now lies in ruins, but on the island of Benguerra AndBeyond has a bush camp-style hideaway with private plunge pools and cocktails served from a traditional sea-going dhow. On Bazaruto, the largest island, Anantara has a scattering of thatched beach villas and its signature spa. And authentic island life isn’t just for visitors. Bazaruto, in particular, offers a rich, living tapestry of vibrant villages, waving schoolchildren, freshwater lakes, savannah grassland and mangrove swamps.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    6. MAURITIUS

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 27℃

    One of the great pleasures of Mauritius is the culture: a real world of hot curries, temples and tea plantations outside the hotels. And now, one white-sand beach retreat aims to bring these disparate spheres together. SALT of Palmar – an east-coast eco hotel complete with organic food, e-bikes and hip rooftop bar – encourages guests to take part in its Skill Swap programme, matching them to islanders with similar passions so they might bond over regionally nuanced takes on shared skills. Artists might meet local painters and craft cocktail-makers could match with Mauritian mixologists – such as Denis Aristide, a taro farmer who also steers the hotel bar and favours ingredients including ylang ylang essence sourced from a local boutique estate. With cyclone season ending in March and May ushering in winter, April might just be the best time to get to know Mauritius.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    7. NEW ORLEANS, USA

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 26℃

    New Orleans is so much more than the French Quarter, but it’d be daft to come here in April and miss the Easter parades. As flamboyant as Mardi Gras, if somewhat less raucous, several separate processions march their floats and Sunday-best bonnets through the famous neighbourhood, including a truly fabulous Gay Easter Parade. Meanwhile, more contemporary offerings are leaping from strength to strength here: most recently, one of our new favourite hotels in the world, Peter & Paul . A converted Catholic church and convent in Marigny – the French Quarter’s equally jazz-club-packed, but more boho-artsy, neighbour – it’s a masterclass in design, and the service is trѐs bien. The weather might suit sunny wanders among Garden District antebellum mansions, but save some time for hipster Bywater: Bacchanal’s fairy-lit wine patio is a must.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    8. PERTH, AUSTRALIA

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 25℃

    Long out on a limb – Perth is bunched into the corner of Western Australia, separated from the rest of the country by vast swathes of punishing outback terrain – the riverside state capital is now, for the first time, reachable by direct flight. Qantas must’ve clocked the new cultural cachet that’s lately made Australia’s most isolated city a proper rival to capital-in-all-but-name Sydney and cool-kid Melbourne, launching a non-stop from Heathrow in 2019. But you don’t travel 17 hours just for a sunny city break – though Perth is certainly that (it’s palpably pulsing with new energy: slick restaurants showing off Swan River views; blockbuster galleries and street murals; the spanking-new Ritz-Carlton Perth). Wider WA, though, possesses a wilder allure. Ningaloo Reef is just as jaw-to-the-floor ravishing as the Great Barrier, and with far fewer visitors; the Kimberley’s immense gorges and bizarre natural rock sculptures (see: the Bungle Bungles) [https://www.cntraveller.com/gallery/kimberley-australia] are about as humbling as landscapes get. Oh, and the beaches. Everything about WA is hot.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    9. SRI LANKA

    Sri Lanka’s ‘it destination’ status stuttered abruptly in April 2019, when a series of terror attacks on Easter Sunday plunged the nation into mourning and forced travel warnings advising tourists to steer clear. The impact has been catastrophic for an island that had increasingly come to depend on tourism: so much so, the government quickly announced cuts to fees it charges airlines, hoping cheaper flights would bring people back. The good news: travel warnings have since been downgraded, and visiting will genuinely help out a country that’s struggling to recover. Plus, it’s a great time to visit major sights, such as Kandy’s Temple of the Tooth and Sigiriya Rock. Without crowds prices are favourable, and April is one of Sri Lanka’s best months with beaches basking in sunshine and little rainfall inland. Better still, there are more gloriously barefoot-hip places to stay than ever – find our favourites here.

  • Where is hot in April? Our top 10 destinations

    10. ST BARTH’S, CARIBBEAN

    AVERAGE APRIL TEMP: 29℃

    The Caribbean’s chicest island is back in business, after twin hurricanes Irma and Maria wreaked havoc in the region in 2017. And April is the sweet spot for lapping up its revamped boutique suites and beach clubs, with the winter crowds gone and storm season safely some time away (typically kicking in around July). Two of our favourites, secluded Hotel Le Toiny and Villa Marie Saint-Barth (sister to the glamorous Villa Marie Saint-Tropez), were hit hard by the hurricanes, but have come back better than ever. The former, hidden away on St Barth’s rugged south-east side, has relaunched its beach club, with seafront pool, sunbeds and no end of chilled rosé; the hotel, all whites and creams and petrified wood, has also added eight new rooms, with pools and ocean-view terraces. At the island’s opposite end, Villa Marie – whitewashed, shuttered, with dangling bamboo egg chairs – has been fully restored and now offers two brand-new villas.

    For where’s hot in other months, see our guides below:


    WHERE IS HOT IN JANUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN FEBRUARY | WHERE IS HOT IN MARCH | WHERE IS HOT IN APRIL | WHERE IS HOT IN MAY | WHERE IS NOT TOO HOT IN AUGUST | WHERE IS HOT IN SEPTEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN OCTOBER | WHERE IS HOT IN NOVEMBER | WHERE IS HOT IN DECEMBER

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