In Europe, spring arrives in April, with sunshine and temperatures warming up almost everywhere. It's time to have fun on the beaches of Spain, Morocco, Portugal and other exciting destinations. For the best value breaks, travel either before or after the school Easter holidays, when hotels and flights can be a bit cheaper. Here are some of our favourite places to get your spring off to a great start - read on to find out more with our where to go in April holidays guide.
April is a good time to visit Venice if you're not a fan of crowds. Carnevale festivities are over, so the place is fairly quiet, as long as you book your trip at least one week before or after Easter. Daytime temperatures are pleasant but not too warm in spring, at about 16°C. In the evening, they can fall down to 8°C. Between the gardens and open-air cafes, you can absorb the atmosphere from a number of places such as the Palazzo Giusti on the Grand Canal. Families will also enjoy Parco Delle Rimembranze on the island of Saint'Elena.
Celebrate Freedom Day on the 25th of April: the most important date in the Portuguese calendar and the event Lisbon's suspension bridge is named after. There will be a lot of visitors in Alfama, Bairro Alto and Baixa - all great places to soak up the atmosphere during your city break. If you're planning a longer stay, take day trips to nearby Setubal, Obidos Evora and Sintra. The weather is fine at this time of year. It can sometimes rain but downpours rarely last more than an hour. You might even plan for a golfing trip.
While most of the Northern hemisphere still suffers with cold in April, Madrid's spring starts in full swing. It may be the rainiest month but there's nothing much to worry about. As well as the annual Madrid Marathon, you'll catch lots of cultural activities in the city organised by top museums. Depending on when Easter falls, you may also be in time for the Semana Santa (Holy Week) celebrations. If you are interested, be sure to visit Seville.
A jewel in the Canary Island's crown, Fuerteventura has a relaxed bohemian atmosphere. Its beaches are some of the best in Europe, enticing surfers and other watersports enthusiasts. On land, discover the Corralejo Sand Dunes or just sit back, relax and enjoy the Caribbean-like beaches along with delicious local dishes and an ice cold drink.
At the beginning of April, average temperatures in the Dominican Republic rise into the high-20s. It is usually the last dry month in Punta Cana, with rainfall relatively low. This means it's the ideal time to hike, swim, sunbathe and indulge in water sports. Away from the coast, you'll find more natural beauty, including the El Limón Waterfall, and historical sights like the National Palace and Columbus Lighthouse.
Mauritius is a real-life desert island, full of palm-fringed beaches. Coral reefs surround most of the coastline, and lagoons, forest and mountains create a picturesque landscape. If you want to rent a car, you can cross the country in just 90 minutes, while several other islands are also accessible by boat.
Visiting Prague for the first time? You'll see why "the city of a hundred spires" can feel like stepping into Disneyland for adults. Walk across Charles Bridge, explore Prague Castle or stroll down to Mala Strana to see historic cobblestones and the facades of ancient buildings. Beyond the centre, experience Prague's nightlife in jazz bars, dance clubs, casinos and beer gardens.
Istanbul is the bridge between Europe and Asia, making it an interesting place to explore. There are historic buildings all over the city, showcasing Ottoman and Byzantine architecture. Key tourist areas include modern Taksim and the old Fatih district - travelling between the two areas is no trouble. In the evening, if you're looking to party, Istanbul is a hotspot for jazz and rock music.
On the southern coast of Morocco, Agadir stretches along the Atlantic Ocean with six miles of beach. The warm weather means April is also the perfect time for sightseeing: check out the Medina, Memoire d'Agadir museum and Souss Massa National Park. The city, once destroyed and then rebuilt after an earthquake in 1960, is the most up-to-date city in the country while still having a sense of its past. This can be seen from the historic Kasbah walls, overlooking the new city and port.
Still don't know where to go on holiday in April? If you don't mind cooler weather, it's a good time to visit Copenhagen. Outside of peak season, accommodation should be cheaper - handy in a city where things like eating out can be pricey. For some old fashioned family fun, visit Tivoli Gardens for fairground rides and illuminations - the park opens in early April.