Whether you’re planning to escape the April showers, researching an exciting family holiday or simply considering a spring-like city break we have a few suggestions that will tick each and every one of those travel to-do requirements. From sea-faring adventures in the Caribbean to the roaming hills of Scotland’s beautiful Perthshire countryside read on to discover which destinations are our favourites for April.
Best for: hip city break
When strolling down the streets of Barcelona, it is impossible to miss the incredible architectural legacy of Antoni Gaudí, Catalonia’s most famous son. His unique style, which often showcases his love of nature, attracts millions of admirers to the city and no trip here is complete without taking in some of his seven works designated as UNESCO world heritage sites. One of our favourites is Park Güell, known as Gaudí’s playground – the iconic mosaic benches are the perfect place to take in the dazzling views of the city below and the glistening Mediterranean in the distance, while the exquisitely sculpted trencadís dragon located at the park’s entrance presents an unmissable photo opportunity. However the city’s main attraction is the Sagrada Familia, the architect’s life work, which is set to be completed in 2026 to mark the 100th anniversary of his death. Barcelona is known for its rooftop bars and there is no better place to admire the basilica than with a refreshing drink in hand on the Ayre Hotel Rosellón’s terrace. For more chilled out vibes head to la Terrassa de les Indianes at 1881 per SAGARDI, known for its delicious cocktails and superb sea views. Barcelona also boasts a burgeoning culinary scene, led most notably by Jordi Crúz, head chef at the three Michelin starred ABaC. A child prodigy, Crúz received his first head chef position aged just 18, was awarded his first Michelin star by 24 and has used his virtuosic talent to craft an exceptional menu, with highlights including blue crab with caviar and grilled tuna belly.
Best for: seafaring adventures
Situated in the heart of the West Indies, the former British colony of Grenada is a sailor’s paradise. Known as the Gateway to the Grenadines, some of the most beautiful islands in the world, chartering a yacht at one of Grenada’s numerous luxury marinas is the best way to explore this picturesque region to the full. With far too many islands to see in a single trip, planning your itinerary can be challenging, but paying a visit to the exclusive island of Petit St. Vincent is essential. The extensive coral system surrounding the island prompted Jean-Michel Cousteau, son of legendary French explorer and conservationist Jacques Cousteau, to establish his famous Caribbean Diving Centre here, allowing visitors to marvel at the island’s vibrant marine life – expect to see barracuda and dolphins amongst many other stunning species. Following a day of sub aqua exploration, settle down at the beach restaurant against a backdrop of palm trees and sample some of the best sea produce in the world, including freshly caught lobster. Lovers of luxury should definitely include Canouan in their itinerary. It is home to an idyllic 18-hole golf course, whilst its beaches regularly feature in lists of the world’s best. A little closer to Grenada itself, be sure to check out the underwater sculpture park, featuring an impressive array of art installations, which have attracted a breath-taking blend of marine life.
Best for: fusion
Thailand is where tradition meets modernity in an irresistible fusion of cutting edge cityscapes, gorgeous beaches and ancient temples. Nowhere is this more apparent than the nation’s capital, Bangkok, where some of the world’s tallest skyscrapers tower over time-honoured street food stalls below. And this is isn’t just any old street food: let your senses be overpowered by the rich aroma of pad thai, som tam and khao mun gai emanating from the classic stalls, many of which feature in the Michelin guide. As the country with the second highest proportion of practising Buddhists, Thailand can lay claim to having some of the most impressive Buddhist temples on the globe. The most sacred of these is found within the grounds of the capital’s Grand Palace in the form of Wat Phra Kaew. Its glittering spires and mosaics make it a revered part of the city’s skyline but the highlight is a miniature statue of the Buddha, sculpted out of jade. As the beginning of the Buddhist New Year (Songkran), April is perhaps the best time to visit Thailand. Taking place from the 13th-15th, this festival sees the population descend onto the streets to soak their friends and family with water guns and buckets, symbolically cleansing their bodies in order to start the New Year on the best possible footing. Away from the cities, Thailand is a country renowned for its boundless natural beauty. Its beaches in particular attract visitors from all over the world. The most popular beach destination is the island of Phuket, which is blessed with an abundance of heavenly sandy beaches. The pick of the bunch is Patong, located near to the heart of the island’s celebrated nightlife, but those looking for something a bit quieter should head to Kata Nor. The calm waters here are ideal for swimming, while the rocky headlands enclosing the bay at both ends provide plenty of interest for snorkelers.
Best for: contrast
Last month’s successful Rugby World Cup showcased Japan in its all glory and whetted the appetite of many tourists to visit the Land of the Rising Sun. April sees the country’s famous cherry blossoms, the symbol of the national rugby team, in full bloom and as a result is the most magical time of year to travel here. For the best views of the cherry blossoms head to Koganei Park, which is home to an incredible variety of trees (over 50) and also plays host to a family-friendly festival, featuring traditional musical and dance performances. As the most densely populated metropolitan area in the world, Tokyo has become synonymous with dazzling lights and high-rises but, just like Bangkok, the city’s residents still take great pride in its traditions. Perhaps the greatest example of this is Tokyo’s ancient temples, which continue to play an indispensable role for large swathes of the population despite their hectic day-to-day lives. Originally constructed over 1,200 years ago, locals head to the Kanda Myojin shrine to pray for good fortune in both their personal and professional lives. It is well worth a visit for its beautifully crafted shrine eaves and its distinctive vermilion exterior. You should also set aside time to visit Senso-ji, the city’s oldest temple. A shrine to the Buddhist goddess of mercy, Kannon, visitors flock here to see its famous Kaminarimon Gate and giant red lanterns.
Best for: active families
Set within glorious grounds near the town of Auchterarder in stunning Perthshire, the Gleneagles Hotel has established a reputation as one of Scotland’s leading luxury resorts – treat yourself to an unforgettable family getaway here this Easter. Best known for its world-renowned golf courses, you can try and emulate the greats of the game on the hotel’s showpiece PGA Centenary course, which in 2014 became only the second Scottish course in history to host the prestigious Ryder Cup. Not the biggest golf fan? Don’t panic, Gleneagles has a host of other activities to keep you occupied! The nine state-of-the-art tennis courts are always a popular feature amongst guests – that four Wimbledon champions have graced them is testament to their undeniable quality – whilst the hotel also offers superb archery, off-roading and fishing experiences. Equally impressive are the hotel’s spa facilities, widely regarded as the best in Scotland. From revitalising treatments to the magnificent indoor heated pool and thermal suite, an afternoon spent here is guaranteed to help you recharge your batteries. And as if things couldn’t get any better, the hotel is also home to Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, the only double Michelin-starred dining experience in Scotland. Expect to find a mouth-watering fusion of the best of British and French gastronomy, with highlights including home-smoked Scottish lobster and freshly shaved white truffle.