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

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




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
, 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
, 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
, 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
, 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

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

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
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

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

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