Get the most out of the approaching Easter break with these four last-minute trips, which are ideal for April too
Why go? The Rijksmuseum is one of the world’s great art repositories – its Rembrandts and Vermeers and delftware on display in state-of-the- art galleries. April’s also good for cycling out to the blooming tulip fields, or cruising down those famed canals.
Where to stay: The family-run Hotel Aalders occupies a townhouse, near the Rijksmuseum. Doubles from €85.
Getting there: Various airlines fly UK-Amsterdam. Or take the Eurostar to Brussels (2hrs), then the fast train to Amsterdam (2hrs).
Why go? Air Europa's service between Madrid and Havana provides easy access to the cool Cuban capital. April is a fine month to visit, too – still dry and sunny, but fewer crowds. Dec-Feb period. Perfect for beach breaks, plantation cycling, city exploring and mojito drinking.
Where to stay: Book a room at a casa particular – Cuba’s equivalent of a B&B (try casaparticularcuba.org). Or, for a splurge, try the elegant Hotel Saratoga – there’s ace poolside views of all Havana.
Getting there: Air Europa flies Madrid-Havana ten times weekly. It also offers Gatwick- Madrid flights.
Why go? Happy Pi Mai Lao! Laos New Year festivities are held 13-15 April and, like Thailand’s more widely known Songkran, the traditional spiritual cleansing tends to turn into a massive water fight. Join in the soaking celebrations in lovely Luang Prabang. While you’re there, sign up for Tamarind Restaurant’s day cookery classes, take a self-guided audio tour of the Royal Palace and float along the Mekong to the Pak Ou Caves.
Where to stay: Hotel 3 Nagas is a charming colonial-style property in the Old Town; doubles from US$125.
Getting there: Vietnam Airlines flies Gatwick-Hanoi and Hanoi-Luang Prabang. Journey time from 18 hrs.
Why go? Winter, be gone! That’s the sentiment behind Prague’s annual Pálení carodejnic – Witches’ Night. On 30 April, the Czechs mark the end of winter by dressing up as if it is Halloween, eating hotdogs, drinking copiously and burning effigies of old hags. Watch the parade and the bonfire (try Petrín Hill, Malá Strana), and make the most of the awakening city: in April, most sights extend their opening hours for the summer.
Where to stay: The rated Arcadia Residence offers three well-equipped flats in central Prague; from €80pn.
Getting there: Wizz Air flies Luton-Prague from £80 return. Other airlines fly from various UK hubs.