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Where to go in April

Photo of Mary NovakovichPhoto of Mary Novakovich
By Mary Novakovich

2 April 2020 | Updated 27 March 20247 min read

A city skyline view of Rome on a bright day with landmarks including the Colosseum and Roman Forum.

Rome Spring is a fantastic time of year to hit up Italy's capital city.

Make the most of the joys of spring – longer days, warmer temperatures, blossoms going into overdrive – a when you go on holiday in April.

Whether you’re looking for a city break, a beach holiday or an adventure, have a look at some of these ideas.

Rome, Italy

Rome’s intoxicating mix of culture, history, fabulous food and sheer style is hard to resist at any time of year, but spring brings a certain sweetness to the air.

Make the most of Rome’s green spaces, including the shaded footpaths winding through the Villa Borghese gardens. Get sweeping views of the city from the park’s Terrazza del Pincio, as well as across the river in Trastevere at the Janiculum Terrace. Villa Pamphili Park is just to the west of Janiculum, a sprawling area of landscaped gardens, palaces and a pretty lake.

The city’s greatest hits are worth booking in advance, so don’t miss out the chance to explore the Colosseum, the Forum and the Vatican Museums. The Pantheon is one of the Western world’s greatest creations and not to be missed. For a true taste of Rome, head to the Testaccio food market, where street food stalls join sellers of gorgeous local produce.

Don’t miss: Rome’s birthday on 21 April is celebrated in blooming style when the Roseto Rose Garden reopens on that day. This fragrant garden a few minutes’ walk from the Circus Maximus is open only until the end of June, although it will occasionally reopen in October for an autumnal burst of colour.

Mercure Roma Corso Trieste

  • Rome, Rome Area, Italy
  • 14 April 2025
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Manchester

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Marrakech, Morocco

Manic yet utterly magical, Marrakech draws you into its colourful world and invites you to get pleasantly lost in the Medina’s maze of souks. Every now and again you’ll come across inviting cafés with rooftop terraces, where you can refresh yourself with glasses of mint tea and city views.

Your wanders will inevitably take you to the city’s most famous square, Jemaa el-Fna, which transforms itself from a busy marketplace during the day to a perpetual party at night. That’s when food stalls with long tables set up in the square, joined by street performers, musicians and storytellers.

Head beyond the pink-tinged walls of the Medina to the French-style Ville Nouvelle, where you can wander round the exotic Jardin Majorelle, the garden that belonged to Yves Saint Laurent. While you’re there, pop into the Yves Saint Museum, which is just a few seconds away.

Don’t miss: The holy month of Ramadan in 2024 ends on 9 April, which means Eid al-Fitr – the traditional end to this period of fasting and reflection – is celebrated on the 10th. Until this day, Muslims will be fasting during daylight hours. But Eid heralds three days of celebration and much feasting.

Costa Dorada, Spain

Spain’s aptly named Costa Dorada – Golden Coast – meanders along for about 217km (135 miles) south of Barcelona, squeezing in long stretches of sandy beaches as well as secluded coves.

One of the major resorts is Salou, with its Blue Flag beach and the enormous PortAventura, the largest theme park in Spain. For something a little quieter, check out the smaller neighbouring resort of La Pineda. You’ll find more Blue Flag beaches in the fishing village of Cambrils, as well as a dizzying choice of superior seafood restaurants.

History fans can go back to Roman times in Tarragona with a wander round the ancient Roman theatre and forum. And one of the prettiest towns along the Costa Dorada is Sitges, which hums with activity all year round but joins in the Easter celebrations with great gusto.

Don’t miss: St George’s Day on 23 April isn’t celebrated just in Britain. In Spain’s Catalonia region, the celebration of Sant Jordi is known as the Day of Roses and Reading – rather like World Book Day and St Valentine’s Day rolled into one. Men receive a book and women get a rose.

Majorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

The largest of the Balearic Islands has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the Mediterranean. Look beyond the party resort of Magaluf and explore the nooks and crannies of Majorca’s heavily indented coast. In the north, you’ll find the soft sands of Cala Mesquida, Muro Beach and the many coves and beaches around Puerto Pollensa, just to whet the appetite.

On the east coast, check out the yachts in the marinas around Cala d’Or before exploring the nature reserve at Mondrago Natural Park. The island’s capital, Palma, has become a favourite place for a sunny city break, thanks to its warren-like old town and magnificent gothic cathedral.

Don’t miss: Visit between 25 and 30 April for a feast of events. See the sleek yachts at the Palma International Boat Show and catch the PalmaVela Regatta in Palma Bay. Cycling fans can watch the Mallorca 312 cycle race on the 27th as it starts and finishes at Playa de Muro near Alcudia.

H10 Casa del Mar

  • Santa Ponsa, Majorca, Spain
  • 14 April 2025
  • Bed & breakfast
  • From Bristol

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Japan

Early to mid-April is the best time to catch the wondrous spectacle of Japan’s cherry blossoms filling the skies with pale pink blooms. Tokyo’s parks are a vibrant place to start, as you pass clouds of blossoms from thousands of trees in Shinjuku Gyoen, Ueno Park and the riverside gardens of Chidorigafuchi. Sumida Park along the Sumida River is another picturesque spot overflowing with flowers.

For an unforgettable sight, leave Tokyo for Lake Kawaguchiko’s northern shores. Here you’ll get the double whammy of thousands of cherry trees in blossom with the white peak of Mount Fuji in the background.

If you’re in Kyoto, Maruyama Park is one of the most popular places to enjoy the festival, where giant cherry trees are lit up at night.

Don’t miss: Throughout cherry blossom season, everyone gathers for hanami parties to make the most of this wondrous sight. You’ll see groups of friends and families on tarps in any public space or park where there are cherry trees. Takada Castle Site Park near Nagano is one of the best places for night-time viewing.

Antigua

Direct flights make this appealing Caribbean island easy to visit. Antigua is blessed with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean – one for each day of the year, as the island’s saying goes. Its dimpled coastline harbours beaches of soft sands, some blinding white, others pink or golden. Head to the eastern side of the island to Half Moon Bay, whose white sands are protected from the Atlantic by a long reef.

If you like snorkelling, bring your gear to Galleon Beach on the southern side of the island. From here, it’s a short uphill walk to Shirley Heights, where you can join the sunset parties that take place on Sundays. The beach is also handy for visits to Nelson’s Dockyard, which is the only working Georgian dockyard in the world.

Don’t miss: It’s Antigua Sailing Week from 27 April to 3 May, when the island puts on one of the most prestigious sailing regattas in the world. Join the spectators at the UNESCO-listed Nelson’s Dockyard and watch exhilarating races followed by colourful festivities that go on long after the boats have docked.

Trade Winds Hotel

  • Dickenson Bay, Antigua, Antigua and Barbuda
  • 7 April 2025
  • Room only
  • From Gatwick

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Vilnius

Lithuania’s capital is a beauty, with a baroque old town that’s the biggest in Eastern Europe. Dating from the 14th century, Vilnius’ UNESCO-listed cobbled streets and squares invite lazy ambles past café terraces. You can’t miss the sight of its splendid 18th-century cathedral sitting in the vast Cathedral Square, with its 19th-century bell tower standing apart. Climb to the top for panoramic views of the city, or enjoy a virtual version of it in the ground-floor museum space.

Just behind Cathedral Square is Gediminas Castle Tower, a sturdy remnant of a 15th-century castle. You’ll enjoy more city views from the top here once you’ve explored the history museum within.

In fact, the whole area is crammed with cultural sights, from the art gallery within the Palace of the Grand Dukes of Lithuania to the 12 buildings that comprise the National Museum of Lithuania. Afterwards, get to know the city’s riverside life on a boat cruise along the Neris River.

Don’t miss: See the newest exhibition in the Castellan’s House, a 16th-century building at the foot of Gediminas Hill that forms part of the National Museum of Lithuania. You’ll get a fascinating crash course at the Understanding Lithuania exhibition, which delves into the country’s history and culture to reveal what shaped Lithuania’s identity.

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