Where To Travel In April

From the rooftop bars of Havana to the palm-strung beaches of Brazil – via peach sorbets in the Sicilian capital – here’s where to go this April

The clocks have sprung forward, winter coats have been tucked back into their hiding places and pastel colours are out in full force: spring has finally arrived. But, truth be told, dashing to the nearby park on our lunch break isn't quite hitting the spot. Whether you're yearning for an undisturbed week of sun-sure lounging or in need of some tips on where to spend an active bank holiday weekend, read on for our favourite destinations for an April getaway - all of them sure to put a spring in your step.

Lush locations: the dreamiest destinations to visit this April




There's something about Havana. A certain catchy chart-topper aside, we've long had a soft spot for this destination, and couldn't be happier about the Caribbean city's recent resurgence on the Instagram feeds of travel tastemakers. There's much to love here, where, against a backdrop of Spanish-colonial architecture, live instrumental bands fill the air with music and hip hotels and restaurants abound. For a proper taste of Cuba, make a dinner reservation at La Guarida, whose rooftop terrace offers the best bird's-eye views of the sprawling capital. If it's good enough for Queen B and Jay-Z, it's good enough for us.

Palermo, Italy


Sicily, Italy

Palermo, aka "Kingdom of the Sun", has shaken off its mafia-bruised reputation and is today a colourful canvas of open-air food markets, charming palazzos, family-run trattorias, jazz-infused bars and enough art-filled hangouts to have seen it crowned Italy's Capital of Culture in 2018. Dump your bags at Palazzo Sovrana and start your adventure in the Sicilian capital with a peach sorbet from the award-winning Cappadonia Gelati, followed by a visit to Pietro Tramonte's outdoor library for some fresh reading material. Come sunset, it's homemade pasta at family-run Bisso Bistrot and drinks at cocktail bar Bocum. Start your holiday countdown by booking a ticket for a performance at Teatro Massimo, Italy's biggest opera house, which is famed for its ornate interiors and perfect acoustics - and also hosts magical silver screen showings.

New Orleans, US

New Orleans

Louisiana, US

The Big Easy should be on any creative's radar. Back in 1718, French colonists found this marshland on the mouth of the Mississippi, and it wasn't until 1800 that Napoleon sold Louisiana to the US. Today, New Orlean's complex history is evident at every turn in its thriving communities and diverse ethnic mix. Don't leave without having visited one of its funky dives for a night of traditional or contemporary jazz. We're calling Preservation Hall, located in the French Quarter, as the most happening.

Paraty, Brazil



Slotted between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, Paraty has long-served as a road-trip pit stop, but, having undergone something of a renaissance of late, its palm-fringed streets now offer a bevy of contemporary hotels and restaurants. After unpacking and refuelling, we recommend exploring the city's eclectic ceramics stores and independent art studios - Canoa Arte Indígena and Studio Bananal are our favourites. Set aside time to explore four of Paraty's most dramatic waterfalls: Tarzan, Tobogã, Penha and Andorinhas. There are some spectacular hiking and mountain-biking trails to the falls that will appeal to adventure-seekers.

Tenby, Wales
Photo credit: Magdanatka / Shutterstock.com


Pembrokeshire, Wales

Bordered by Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and the Irish Sea, Pembrokeshire is situated on the south-west coast of Wales. Historically known for its thriving mining and fishing communities, this charming county has more recently welcomed a slew of spirited chefs, bakers and creatives, while its lesser-trodden towns have become popular among those in the know looking for an understated rural retreat. We're making the tiny harbour town of Tenby our base. Framed by a medieval stone wall, its pastel-coloured houses practically topple over each other in a bid to reach the sparkling sea.



South Africa

Situated on South Africa's east coast, Durban (formerly Port Natal) ranks as the country's third most populous city, after Johannesburg and Cape Town. Making up a hefty chunk of the KwaZulu-Natal province, it's known by locals as "Durbs", but widely hailed as "the Garden City", thanks to its rich flora and fauna - a result of its subtropical climate. While it's no secret that Durban's Golden Mile beach looks good enough to be a fridge magnet, those who prefer their sun-worshipping to take place somewhere serene should head 10km south of the city to the sparkling waters of Ansteys Beach.




Sitting pretty on the River Nore, Kilkenny is located in Ireland's Leinster province. Nicknamed "the Marble City", due to its history of black marble exportation during the 1800s, modern Kilkenny is more often referred to as "the craft capital of Ireland". With that in mind, we suggest swerving the tourist trails around the 12th-century Kilkenny Castle and instead exploring the buzzy local art scene. You'll find a treasure trove of independent craft stores and pioneering galleries scattered throughout Kilkenny's narrow cobblestoned streets.

Mellieha, Malta



On the sea-sprayed Mediterranean island of Malta, evidence of foreign influence can still be seen at every turn, woven into its architecture, cuisine and culture, and nowhere more so than in Mellieha. Situated in Malta's north-west, this enchanting town was first permanently inhabited some 5,000 years ago, meaning that there's a whole bevy of caves, tombs and temples to discover. History aside, it makes the perfect holiday destination for those who prefer their getaways to be long, lazy and to look like lounging on Malta's most picturesque beach, Ghadira Bay.

Aveiro, Portugal



Sure, Porto might be known for its exceptional wine offering. Yes, Lisbon might be the country's unofficial culinary capital. But it's the western city of Aveiro that we think you'll love. Set along the hypnotic waters of the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, this sun-baked spot remains relatively off the tourist map. Flanked by a beautiful canvas of art nouveau architecture, Aveiro's streets are cut through by a handful of narrow canals navigated by traditional moliçeiro boats, which are used to both harvest seaweed and whisk you from A to B. The perfect day? A stroll beneath the soaring palm trees of waterfront park Jardim do Rossio; a pastry pick-up from M Bakery Aveiro; a wander around the lively Beira Mar district; a balmy beach afternoon; and an evening spent singing and dancing at neighbourhood Lovecraft Beer Lounge Aveiro.



Côte d’Ivoire

Côte d'Ivoire (widely known as Ivory Coast) sits on the southern edge of West Africa. Blending urban pockets and sweeping greenery, the country's south is characterised by lush farms, dense forests and national parks, while its west is studded by dramatic mountain peaks, the tallest and most treasured being the 1,750m-tall Mount Nimba. It is Abidjan, however, that has caught our attention. The country's largest city and a hotbed of economic activity, its skyscrapers and cutting-edge architecture feel somewhat futuristic and ahead of the curve - in keeping with its buzzy dining scene.

Bengaluru, India



Bengaluru is the capital and largest city of India's Karnataka state. This buzzy metropolis has attracted a fresh breed of earth-conscious travellers of late, in part, thanks to the arrival of its community-first restaurant The Circus Canteen - a dynamic farm-to-fork set-up crafted from reclaimed materials. But Bengaluru also tempts with its culture-rich markets, nature-led hotels, happening cocktail bars and sprawling green spaces. Carve out time to visit the Chickpet district. One of the city's oldest neighbourhoods, it's the place to browse bold, indigenous handmade silks. While you're in the area, also check out the ornate jewellery on sale at nearby Raja Market. Elsewhere, Lalbagh Botanical Garden makes for a verdant refuge from the hustle and bustle.

Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye


Plotting your next British getaway? Make the Isle of Skye your choice. The largest and northernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, dotted with shimmering, windswept lochs and jagged peaks, this Scottish destination might be considered off-grid geographically, but it's home to a thriving foodie scene that rivals that of some of the UK's coolest neighbourhoods - think sustainable eateries and arguably the world's finest native oysters. Plus, book now and you'll be among the first to experience The Bracken Hide Hotel, a new address offering a collection of contemporary bothies designed with savvy explorers in mind.

Danish Riviera

The Danish Riviera


With pearls such as an oceanfront Henning Larsen-designed luxe spa hotel, a world-famous art museum, and sea-gazing harbour towns all with their own smokeries and old pubs, the northern extremes of Sjaelland (the region in which Copenhagen is based) has a lot going for it - including a thriving cultural scene. We'd recommend driving from the Danish capital to explore all 230km of this breezy Sweden-facing coastline; you'll be able, en route, to see the 20th-century designer Arne Jacobsen's cubist house, as well as the 1936 Bellevue Teatret and chic 1937 gas station he designed. Don't miss the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art at Humlebaek, either. In late summer, this artistic haven acts as a playground for local (and international) literati when its book festival rolls into town. After getting your cultural fix, head to the beaches around Gilleleje and Hornbaek, where white sand and cool blue waters rival even the beauty of southern France (despite the temperature difference). Book a stay at 25-room Gilleleje Badehotel for a room with a view - the hotel sits atop a 30m cliff on Sjaelland's northernmost point.

Aran Islands, Ireland

Aran Islands


Raised a glass to all four of the Bafta awards that The Banshees of Inisherin picked up at February's ceremony? It's worth considering the film's rugged and remote Irish location for your next adventure. Situated on the weather-beaten west coast of Ireland, just a 45-minute ferry ride from Galway, the Aran islands -- Inishmore (the largest), Inishmaan and Inisheer (the smallest) - also appeared on the silver screen back in 2010, as the backdrop of the hit rom-com Leap Year. Despite these VIP links, the full-time population across the three isles is a dinky 1,200. You won't find big-name chains or hipster hangouts, but you will find storied watering holes, a tight-knit community, nature-first hotels and ancient fortresses dating back to the 10th century BC.

Giudecca Island, Venice


Venice, Italy

Skip Venice's tourist hotspots this summer and head to the island of Giudecca instead. The old industrial quarter of the floating city (and where most Venetians still live), Giudecca's warehouses and boatyards have been transformed into cool new hotels, restaurants and art spaces, which together make up the Giudecca Art District. Factories-turned-art galleries to check out include Galleria Michela Rizzo and Spazio Punch. Stay at the budget-but-bougie Generator Venice, or push the boat out (literally; you have to take a private launch to get there) with Belmond Hotel Cipriani. If you do stray over the Grand Canal, it's worth braving the crowds to visit the Edmondo Bacci exhibition at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, which runs until 18 September.

Bacalar, Mexico



Located less than an hour's drive from the Mexico-Belize border, the town of Bacalar makes for a nature-rich getaway. Head first to the 50km-long Lake Bacalar, also known as the Lagoon of Seven Colours, due to its many shades of blue. Beneath the surface, million-year-old, reef-like microorganisms fuse with white limestone to create this surreal aqua spectacle, making for a hypnotically beautiful setting. For a true taste of the go-slow lifestyle, visit restaurant Macario Bacalar. There, you'll find a courtyard lined with rustic benches, tropical flora and palm trees. Head chef Ricardo Méndez whips up refined dishes spanning lobster salad to seasonal ravioli. Look out for the town's long-anticipated sustainable food festival, set to debut late this year.

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hôi An


The Unesco-protected city of Hôi An, on Vietnam's central coast, is a joy to explore on foot, with its palm-flanked canals, narrow alleyways peppered with street-food stalls and dazzling mix of Japanese, Chinese and French-colonial architectural styles. To truly get under the skin of this ancient city and experience the buzz of Vietnamese life, we suggest starting with a stroll around the Central Market, with plenty of stops to sample local specialities, before exploring the tranquil gardens of the 1626-built Bà Mu Temple. Also visit Phung Hung Old House, a centuries-old trading post decorated with intricate wall hangings and delicate embroidery.

Kythira, Greece



Lying opposite the southeastern tip of the Peloponnese peninsula, the under-the-radar Greek island of Kythira is blessed with rocky canyons, towering cliffs and beautiful beaches. Aphrodite is said to have been born here, which is fitting, given its paradisiacal beauty. Once the crossroads for Mediterranean trade, Kythira has an eclectic mix of architecture. Rent a car to explore, spying hilltop Venetian castles and Byzantine monasteries from the road, before stopping at a secluded pebble beach for an afternoon dip. The idyllic capital of Chora is packed with higgledy-piggledy artisan shops. Souvenir shopping? Take home handwoven fabrics, locally gathered sea salt and fatourada, the local liqueur.

Habitas Bacalar
Discover More
Game-Changing Check-Ins: Five Pioneering Hotels We Love