With spring in full flow, April is a great time to take a break from your routine and enjoy some much-needed time away. Whether you want to grab the last of the ski season or get some vitamin sea by the beach, we’ve got a range of holidays that are perfect for a quick getaway. Check out our list of April adventures and be inspired for your next trip.
1. MADRID, SPAIN
Temperature: 18°C high; 8°C low
How to get there from the UK: 2 hours 30 minutes flight from London
Why travel in April: Run or cheer on athletes in the Madrid Marathon on 24th April
We begin our list of April adventures in the Spanish capital – a great place to visit in April for numerous reasons. One of the city’s biggest sporting events of the year takes place during April, with the Madrid Marathon creating a buzz that’s second to none. Whether you want to take part in the full marathon, run the half marathon or simply cheer on the athletes, you’ll love the atmosphere. If this isn’t for you, there are still loads of attractions to see during your April visit.
With the weather warming up, you can enjoy al fresco dining late into the evening. Relax in bars such as El Jardin de Arzabal. The rooftop terrace of Circulo de Bellas Artes is another great spot to watch the sun go down. Or take in a football game at the famous Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, where you’ll see some of the biggest names in world football.
Take in the Sierra de Madrid Mountain range, which is a 50-minute bus journey from the centre of the city. One can hike and enjoy the spectacular nature. Alternatively, if you want to go for a walk closer to the city, head to El Retiro. Visitors can see flowers coming into bloom and even take a rowing boat out on the lake.
SIXT’s top tip: Find a bargain at the famous flea market, El Rastro. This is the largest open-air market in the city. Open between 09:00 and 15:00 every Sunday, it’s an experience you won’t want to miss.
2. PORTO, PORTUGAL
Temperature: 18°C high; 9°C low
How to get there from the UK: 2 hours 20 minutes flight from London
Why travel in April: Fantasporto film festival takes place between April 1st and April 10th
Portugal’s second city comes into its own in April. With the weather warming up there’s an array of activities for tourists to take part in. As a result, one of the most popular events that take place during spring is the international film festival. Fantasporto, which draws in crowds from across Europe, is between April 1st and April 10th. Film fanatics can enjoy a range of fantasy, horror, and science fiction film submissions at this popular festival. So, get your popcorn out and enjoy the show.
If you want to explore the city by foot make sure you’ve got a comfortable pair of shoes as it can get very hilly. Head up to the Jardins do Palacio de Cristal, where you can enjoy exquisite views across the Douro River whilst enjoying the smell of blossoming flowers. Enjoy the sublime architecture at Porto Cathedral, which was built in the 12th century. Then cross the iconic Luis I Bridge towards the south of the city and visit winemakers such as Sandeman, or wine museums like The World of Wine.
If you want to escape the city for a bit, you can take a taxi or walk along the Duoro River until you reach the coast, where you’ll find a range of beaches. Alternatively, take a trip to the Parque Natural da Senhora do Salto for fine weather and green landscapes. About a 30 minutes drive from the city, you’ll be away from the hustle and bustle in no time at all.
SIXT’s top tip: Avoid the hills by taking an old tram, which has been restored since its introduction in the early 20th century. You can begin your tram trip on Line 1, which can be taken from Casa do Infante in the Old Town.
3. MALLORCA, SPAIN
Temperature: 19°C high; 10°C low
How to get there from the UK: 2 hours 20 minutes flight from London
Why travel in April: Sublime sunsets and beautiful beaches
A trip to The Balearic Islands in April is the perfect way to escape the unpredictable weather of the U.K. With consistently warm temperatures every day, you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasant sun. Thankfully, it doesn’t reach the uncomfortable highs of the summer months. Mallorca is the largest of the Balearics and, as a result, has the most beaches to pick from. Whether you want a beach that’s family-friendly, great for snorkelling, or ideal for water sports, Mallorca has the lot.
One of the best spots for families with young children is Cala Estancia in Can Pastilla. It has a shallow shoreline and is enclosed by a harbour, which stops large waves from forming. Cala Major beach offers the perfect chance to take your snorkel out around the rocks and swim with tropical fish. For those who want their hit of adrenaline, head over to Alcudia. Here you can enjoy kitesurfing, banana boats, and jet skis in crystal clear waters.
If you’re on a romantic beach break in Mallorca, Port de Soller is the perfect destination. Being west facing, you can enjoy stunning sunsets every night in this port town. There is an array of charming cafes and restaurants along the beachfront for you to dine in too. With April being outside of the most popular times for tourists in Mallorca, you’ll find that it’s a great time to visit these beach resorts as they are quieter too.
SIXT top tip: Take a 40-minute boat trip to the unoccupied island of Cabrera, which is a National Park, and have a day trip to remember. Check out Sa Plageta beach, which is about 15 minutes walk from the pier where you can enjoy great snorkelling.
Temperature: 20°C high; 12°C low
How to get there from the UK: 3 hours 25 minutes flight from London
Why travel in April: Sunbathe on the beaches and enjoy the Malta International Fireworks Festival
Malta is a great location for a long break in spring. Expect 8 hours of sunshine each day, as well as warm waters to swim in. It’s so nice you’ll not want the holiday to end. It’s also less busy during April than the summer months, so you won’t be crowded out by tourists. Explore the many pristine beaches across the island, including the likes of Golden Bay Beach, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay Beach, and Mellieha Bay Beach. Malta boasts a selection of coastal towns, including the capital Valletta. Any of these ideal spots will give you a backup option in case of rain.
There are numerous other attractions to keep you occupied in April. The Malta Fireworks Festival commemorates joining the European Union and takes place on the 14th of April. A free spectacle, this event is enough to brighten up anyone’s holiday. Another great activity is strolling around the small walled city of Valletta. This incredible structure was established in the 1500s. With a range of churches and museums to peruse, you’ll fall in love with this medieval city.
The smaller seaside towns on the island are equally as interesting to visit too. Ghadira in the north of the island has a variety of family activities. Whether you want to sunbathe on Ghadira Bay Beach, take in the beauty of Ghadira Nature Reserve or take in some history at Tunnara Museum, there’s something for everyone.
SIXT’s top tip: Take a 25-minute ferry to Gozo, a small laidback island to the north of Malta. Here you can check out temple ruins, go hiking or escape to a secluded beach. The beaches here are also particularly good for scuba diving.
5. TOURS, FRANCE
Temperature: 17°C high; 5°C low
How to get there from the UK: 1 hour 20 minutes flight to Tours from London
Why travel in April: Incredible scenery and uplifting weather
The Loire Valley stretches from Orleans to Nantes following the Loire River. One of the best ways to explore this stretch of the riverbank is by bicycle. With a stunning lush landscape, you’ll feel revitalised after a day in the saddle. Cycling alongside the impressive river, you’ll pass numerous castles and meander through sprawling vineyards. Due to the cycle route being nearly 175 miles in length, you’ll find the weather might be slightly different depending on where you start. However, in general, you can still expect warm days and evenings with empty cycle paths during April.
Enjoy the cycle surrounded by nature and incredible views. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit some quaint towns and cities along the route. Tours is a particularly beautiful city with a vibrant feel felt from the moment you arrive. Visit popular attractions such as Cathedrale Saint-Gatien, which is a medieval building that was built from the 13th century onwards. Then try some local cuisines, such as moules frites, at Bar Le Vieux Chateau.
If you want to leave the bike for the day and explore beyond Tours, take a train or car on a day trip to Chenonceaux. A beautiful village that boasts charming restaurants and cafes, a stunning chateau, and at Le Cher River. You’ll be able to unwind, soak up the spring sunshine and listen to the abundance of wildlife around you.
SIXT’s top tip: If you’re travelling with children, consider a trip to Parc des Mini-Chateaux. This park is filled with miniature models of castles, mini cars and mechanical horses that the kids will love.
6. DEVON, U.K.
Temperature: 13°C high; 4°C low
Why travel in April: Enjoy quiet road cycling and great family attractions
Visit Devon in April for some of the best cycling the south of England has to offer. The Exe Estuary Trail is perfect for cyclists of all abilities. It’s mainly flat and provides exquisite views of the River Exe. This is a great route for wildlife lovers too as there is a range of marshes nearby providing a superb place to enjoy some spring bird watching. There are also some lovely waterside villages that you’ll pass through on your cycle, such as Topsham and Exton, where you can stop for light refreshments.
The Tarka Trail provides a bit more of a challenging cycle for those that want to test themselves. A 180-mile figure of eight route, you’ll get to enjoy unspoiled countryside and the dramatic coastline of this great county. Adrenaline seekers will be able to enjoy an afternoon coasteering at Ilfracombe beach. History lovers can stop off at Bideford Railway Heritage Centre. Surf fanatics can find out more about the sport they love at the Museum of British Surfing in Braunton. With loads of accommodation and food options along the way, you’ll be all set for your adventure.
If you don’t want to make your trip to Devon all about cycling, there is much more to enjoy. Take a trip to Crealy Theme Park for the Easter holidays, which has something for all the family. Take part in the Easter egg hunt, enjoy a range of rides, or head over to the petting farm which has over 200 animals.
SIXT’s top tip: Take part in Brixham Pirate Festival, which starts on 30th April. Don your eye-patch, put on your bandana, and enjoy a day of pirate-related festivities and music.
ONCE IN A LIFETIME
7. SRI LANKA
Temperature: 31°C high; 25°C low
How to get there from the UK: 10 hours 30 minutes flight from London
Why travel in April: Enjoy great weather and celebrate Sri Lankan New Year
With the Easter holidays coming in April, there’s no better time to plan a trip away with your family to somewhere you’ve always dreamed about. Exploring Sri Lanka in April is a great idea as it’s the end of the dry season, so you’ll experience warm temperatures and little precipitation. With a range of activities on offer, such as hiking up the UNESCO World heritage site of Sigiriya, you’ll never run out of things to do. Add to that great nightlife, incredible food, and unbeatable nature, and you’ll be all set for the holiday of a lifetime.
Sri Lanka is great during this month, with the build-up to Sri Lankan New Year on the 13th of April being one of the highlights. With streets festivals, an array of games, and mouth-watering food, it’s always a great idea to time your trip to Sri Lanka to coincide with the New Year celebrations.
If seeing elephants in their natural environment is on your bucket list, then head to Udawalawe National Park. Here you’ll get to see the largest land mammal roam freely through vast stretches of grassland and scrub jungle. Alternatively, check out Gal Oya National Park, which tends to receive less visitors. If you’re lucky you might even get to see the elephants swim across Senanayake Samudra lake, which is the largest body of water in the country.
SIXT’s top tip: If you are missing your daily cuppa from home, then take a trip to one of the famous tea plantations that the country is famous for. Ella, Kandy and Nuwara Eliya are popular cities for tourists which have vast plantations to check out.
8. AZORES, PORTUGAL
Temperature: 17°C high; 12°C low
How to get there from the UK: 5-hour flight
Why travel in April: A great time to go dolphin and whale watching
One of the best times of the year to visit the Atlantic archipelago of Azores is in April. This is the prime period to go dolphin and whale watching. It’s only around a 5-hour flight from London, so it won’t be long before you’re enjoying the views of one of the hidden gems of Europe. With Atlantic-spotted dolphins and sperm whales migrating past Azores in April, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity to see ocean wildlife at its best.
April is also a great time to visit Azores for another reason – not only will you get to enjoy the spring blossoms across the island, but there aren’t as many tourists either. Whether you want to go hiking on the heavenly trails, relax in thermal spas or explore the Lagao das Sete Cidades, you’ll be able to do without being surrounded by crowds of holidaymakers.
The cuisine on the island is so good it will leave you searching for local recipes you can recreate at home. With seafood being a staple ingredient in many dishes, you’ll get to enjoy meals such as fried mackerel, fish stew, and spiced octopus.
SIXT’s top tip: Visit Azores between 5th April and 9th April for Tremor Festival. A range of secret gigs are held across the island with stunning backdrops such as thermal springs and volcanic lakes.
9. VAL THORENS, FRANCE
Temperature: 6°C high; -6°C low
How to get there from the UK: 12-hour drive from London
Why travel in April: Plenty of snow throughout the month
With spring well underway, you will be forgiven for thinking that the ski season is over. However, if you want your last taste of the slopes until winter, then Val Thorens in France is unlikely to disappoint. Being over 2300 metres above sea level, with slopes reaching as high as 3230 metres above sea level, you can be confident of snow throughout the month. It also boasts two glaciers, so you can enjoy time on the slopes followed by apres no matter what time of the month you visit.
The slopes during April are also likely to be quieter, with many people opting for a warmer escape after a long winter. This means you’ll have the slopes to yourself, apart from a few other die-hard skiers and snowboarders. You’ll also benefit from longer days on the slopes as the days draw out, as well as warmer weather, so all in all pretty good conditions to hit the slopes in.
When you’re not on the slopes, there are a range of other activities that will keep you entertained too. Head up to the top of Peclet Funitel, where you can end your day with the perfect sunset. Get your heart racing on one of the ski area’s two ziplines, which are 1800 metres in length. Or take your family on the 6 km (3.7 miles) toboggan run which will leave a smile on everyone’s face.
SIXT’s top tip: If you want to take a day off the slopes and appreciate your surroundings, head off on a walk on one of the four hiking trails. With a range of difficulty levels, there’s something for all the family.
10. CERVINIA, ITALY
Temperature: 2°C high; -4°C low
How to get there from the UK: 1 hour 55 minutes flight followed by 1 hour 50 minutes drive
Why travel in April: Great weather and perfect for intermediate skiers and snowboarders
Visit the beautiful town of Cervinia for some end-of-season skiing. Perfect for intermediates who want to enjoy long cruising runs, you’ll find your feet in no time at all. Also, there are harder and more adventurous runs also available -something for every level of athlete. The town sits approximately 2000 meters above sea level. Slopes go as high as 3480 metres above sea level, so there is plenty of snow to be had even into late April. This resort is so confident of snow that it is even open during the summer months around the Theodul glacier. With the benefit of longer and warmer days, you’ll be able to soak up the sun on your face as you work your way down the slopes.
Cervinia is also one of the best resorts to visit for non-skiers, which means everyone will be kept entertained. Visit the natural ice rink and sun terrace where you can skate, drink and relax. Head off on an excursion to Europe’s highest ice caves at Little Matterhorn. Or visit the ancient village of Chamois, which you can only reach by cable car.
A ski trip wouldn’t be the same without experiencing the true meaning of apres ski. For a high-end experience check out La Champagnerie du Cervin, which is known for its extensive wine and champagne list. For something a little livelier, head to Apres Ski Bar, which has a range of drinks, DJ sets, and live music to keep you entertained well into the night.
SIXT’s top tip: Practice your swing at the top of the mountain, with the 18-hole golf course at Cervinia. Not many places in the world have skiing and golf in the same sentence, so this is a treat for all sports fans.