Riding in the Atacama Desert (Paul Morrison)

Where to go in April

Escape the April showers - head south for some desert riding or the thundering might of Victoria Falls

Events & festivals

LOCAL CULTURE – Easter usually falls in April, and Spain celebrates Holy Week in a big way – with the festival of Semana Santa. Seville is particularly famous for its processions, in which be-robed penitents parade through the town, but it's a big event across the country, especially in Andalucia. Although a solemn week, it is also an excuse for much carousing into the night.

WET & WILD – Cool off with the world’s biggest water fight. Thailand’s Songkran New Year Water Festival is held throughout the country. Expect to get very, very wet.

FERTILE IMAGINATION – Witness the original bungee jumps in Vanuatu. From April to June boys and men on Pentecost Island attach vines to their feet and launch themselves from a 20m- to 30m-high purpose-made tower. This naghol ceremony celebrates the yam harvest and is also a fertility rite. Fertility is also an excuse for Japan’s Kanamara Matsuri – the Festival of the Iron Phallus. This annual Shinto fiesta, celebrated in Kawasaki, celebrates all things phallic. Penis-shaped lollipops, giant model phalluses and suggestively-carved vegetables are just some of delights at this centuries-old festival that now raises money for HIV/AIDs research.

ORTHODOX EASTERGreece's biggest holiday, and usually falls one week later than Western Easter. Most of its traditions are observed by the native population, and you'll count yourself lucky if you happen to be visiting during Holy Week.

Wildlife

WHALE OF A TIME – April is a good month for whale watching in many destinations. In Maui, Hawaii, humpback whales are giving birth or breeding in the warm waters before heading off in May in search of food. Baja California is one of the best places in the world for whale and dolphin watching, and here, too, April is a good month to catch them. You have an excellent chance of seeing blue, humpback, grey and sperm whales.

Meanwhile, it’s the start of the orca season off Canada's Pacific North-West. Head to Vancouver, Vancouver Island or the San Juan Islands to watch the killer whales' acrobatic displays from shore or to kayak amongst them.

DARWINIAN PARADISE – April is the ideal month to visit the Galápagos Islands – a unique environment offering close encounters with interesting, and sometimes bizarre wildlife. Watch huge, yet graceful manta rays glide under your boat, while dolphins break the water's surface. On shore watch flamingoes strut their stuff, and male frigate birds puff out their cherry-red chests.

Activities

SADDLE UP – April is early autumn in the southern hemisphere – a great time to visit Chile's Atacama Desert, when the worst of the summer heat has died down and the peak-season crowds have gone. Ride a horse through the awesome Valle de la Muerte, mountain-bike or hike through Valle de la Luna, and relax in the hot springs at El Tatio.  

DIVING – Explore the clear waters surrounding the 600 islands littering the Bay of Bengal. The Andaman Islands are one of the world's newest diving destinations, so there is plenty to be uncovered in its little-known waters. 

Natural phenomena

CATCH THE CASCADES – April is when one of the world’s seven natural wondersVictoria Falls – is at its peak. 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' - literally, the 'Smoke that Thunders' – might not be the the highest nor the widest waterfall in the world,  but when it's in flood in April, it forms the largest sheet of falling water in the world. Make sure you view the Falls from both the Zambian and the Zimbabwean sides, and indulge yourself in afternoon tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel.

RELOCATING ROCKS – Ponder over this unexplainable natural phenomena in Death Valley National Park, California, USA. Large rocks, some weighing hundreds of pounds, appear to slide across the cracked mud leaving a furrowed trail. No one has ever actually seen the rocks moving, or been able to explain how this could be possible. Death Valley is the hottest and driest place in North America, so April's cool weather makes it a comfortable time to visit. 

The weather is nice in...

VALLETTA, Malta 14-19°C

KATHMANDU, Nepal 13-29°C

CAIRO, Egypt 15-19°C

ANTANANARIVO, Madagascar 15-25°C

TAHITI, French Polynesia 23-33°C

Spring is in full swing in the northern hemisphere and now can be a great time for a European city break without the swarming summer crowds. Florence in Italy and the Maltese archipelago could make for an eye-opening historic trip, with pleasant, cool temperatures. This month also marks the end of the rainy season in Madagascar, so its tropical rainforests will be lush and green, and its climate warm and dry.

April is also the perfect month to explore the Silk Road in Uzbekistan before it is engulfed by sweltering summer heat and intense sandstorms.

Conventional wisdom says:

April is the cruelest month.

Wanderlust says:

The Norwegians say: “There's no such thing as bad weather just bad clothing.” Pack for all weathers and explore the dramatic Norwegian coastline on a fjord cruise.

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