10 Great April Holiday Ideas
Written by larapiegeler
April is a glorious month in Europe, fizzing with the energy of the new Spring sunshine, which tempts leaves and blossoms into unfurling and draws us outside to hear the year's first birdsong...
It's not all April showers and April fools...
There's surely nowhere more lovely than Capri in April: wander its climbing, winding streets and explore romantic ruins of Roman villas framed by hosts of fragrant lemon trees in bloom – and then head down to the marina for lunch in a setting chic enough for a 1950s movie star.
For a livelier welcome to April and to Spring, head to Amsterdam and join the Queen's Day festivities; it's a celebration of national identity for the Dutch but a huge, visitor-embracing party, too. Wear orange, enjoy the free concerts and firework display and change plenty of Euros to spend at the street-side bric-a-brac stalls!
Paris is legendary for being wonderful in April, but while starry-eyed visitors stray through the Jardin des Tuileries and along the banks of the Seine, avoiding the April showers via an endless choice of museums, galleries, churches and bistros, many Parisians are absorbed in watching the formidable Paris-Roubaix bicycle race, which takes place annually and is as notorious for its muddy, cobbled route as the Tour de France is famous for its gruelling length.
The Spanish are somewhat gentler on themselves in April, though, enjoying the Seville Feria de April – a richly colourful festival of all that's Spanish: flamenco, bull-fighting, flowers, tapas and sherry, to name a few - right after their Semana Santa (also celebrated in Peru now), which involves sedate but spectacular April Easter parades held to depict the story of the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Christ via over a hundred painstakingly decorated floats.
In the UK, April 's Grand National injects a great boost of excitement into the equestrian calendar – but if you'll only attend a sporting event with the assurance of no April showers, you're best off heading for the British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta – as much a party as a race, with the panoply of gem-coloured yacht sails against the deep blue water mirrored in the vibrant shore-side calypso parties, parades, fairs, watersports competitions and steel band jamboree of the Virgin Islands carnival season.
If fun in the sun is definitely the kind of April holidays you're after, the Plymouth Jazz Festival in Tobago won't leave you wanting. A seriously laid-back seaside event, it's all about enjoying incredible seafood, fresh coconut juice and local rum and live performances from an eclectic selection of the world's best-known jazz artists.
Other restful but unforgettable April holidays might be had in Luoyang in China, where it's time for the glorious Peony Festival, or in Gion, Kyoto, where the cherry blossom is in full bloom and the geisha, for whom this area is celebrated, perform their Miyako Odori dance to honour this ravishing season.
Melbourne International Comedy Festival is also held in April if you like the idea of April fools.
If you're full of the April spirit of Spring and renewal, perhaps you'd rather plunge into a new and inspirational experience. It's the perfect time to swim with whale sharks on Australia's Ningaloo Reef, or there's a world-class surf contest is held every April in Teahupoo? The weather in the American south west is temperate now and perfect for hiking, biking and climbing - try the area around Havasu Canyon, with its underground springs, sapphire-blue pools and ancient rock paintings - and if you've ever felt like trekking the Everest region in Nepal, April is a great time to go - the skies are clear and blue and the views crisp and breathtaking.
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