April can be a great month to travel with Easter holidays helping you take a longer break that takes in public holidays. With southern Europe warming up by now, there is a growing variety of sunny destinations and in some you could even comfortably go for a dip without regretting it. 

So where is warm in April? The following 11 destinations are my top recommendations for some of the best options to enjoy early summer within a reasonable 4-hour flight from Europe.

Best destinations to visit in April

Sicily, Italy

 

Average daily temps: +19°C

 

Ragusa Ibla, Sicily

Italy’s largest island has so much to offer that it takes a few visits to really get to know it. And by April it’s already warm enough to enjoy the Mediterranean sun, if not yet the sea. In fact, it’s just about perfect – with none of the intense summer heat and the beach-seeking crowds.

In the north is the fantastic, highly-underrated city of Palermo with its baroque architecture and ancient catacombs. Nearby is a wealth of picturesque seaside gems like Mondello and Cefalu

The active Etna volcano dominates eastern Sicily and is a great day tour option if it’s not actively erupting. Taormina is a popular but lovely seaside destination while further south Siracusa is akin to a city museum of ancient ruins from centuries past.

 Valley of the Temples in the south near Agrigento is an outstanding archeological area dating back to the Greek times.

For foodies, Sicilian delicacies are some of Italy’s finest, with Greek, Spanish and Arabic influences that reflect the unique history of the island. With the land dedicated to fresh produce and the coast brimming with seafood, it’s hard to go wrong when deciding your next meal. And for the inbetween, let’s not forget the famed cannoli pastries or the refreshing semi-frozen granita Siciliana.

Getting to Sicily: Depending on your focus region, for the northwest and north you’ll want Trapani or Palermo, the east is served by Catania Airport while the south is served by Comiso Airport with fewer destinations. All are served by low-cost airlines so flights can be very reasonable.

Campania, Italy

 

Average daily temps: +19°C

 

Procida Island, Campania, Italy

The southern Italian region of Campania has something for everyone. Home to arguably the most stereotypically Italian city Naples with its iconic narrow streets mixed with beautiful architecture, you have enough to explore without hardly venturing outside of the majestic city. Overlooked by the iconic Vesuvius, the volcanic ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum are some of the most unique sights. Campanian cuisine is more than the famous Neapolitan pizza and is based on fresh local ingredients that includes a great seafood selection.

The nearby islands of Ischia, Procida and Capri are all wonderful destinations. Ischia is perhaps best for a relaxing thermal spa break, Capri a touristy but nevertheless gorgeous island while the compact Procida is still a bit of a hidden gem ideal for slow travel.

And of course there is Amalfi Coast. A popular and quite expensive destination, it’s a great place to visit in April before the big crowds roll in. Outside of the popular spots like Sorrento, Amalfi and Positano, there are still hidden gem nooks and crannies to explore on the coast. The Sentiero degli Dei hike is one of the most jaw-dropping in Europe.

Getting to Campania: You can fly into Naples Airport for easy access to the region, or failing that Rome and its 2 airports are only an hour and a bit by train from Naples. There are plenty of ferry services to get you to the islands and local SITA bus network will get you to just about any town in the region.

Puglia, Italy

 

Average daily temps: +19°C

 

Polignano Al Mare Beach

Blessed with Italy’s finest cuisine, kissed by the sun, surrounded by azure Mediterranean waters and home to some of the country’s most unique towns.. Having travelled much of Italy, I dare say that Puglia is Italy’s finest region with that perfect balance of pleasures that make for a great holiday – without the enormous tourist crowds.

Add to this a longer season of warm weather stretching from April right through to late October and you’ve got an ideal option for an Easter break or a chance to enjoy a mini-summer in autumn. So if you’re looking for a more rugged hidden gem alternative to the likes of Amalfi Coast and Tuscany, come to Apulia!

Getting to Puglia: The heel is served by 2 international airports – Bari and Brindisi (further South). Both are covered by low-cost airlines from across Europe as well as frequent flights to connect through Rome or Milan with the wider world. If you want to catch a train from Rome, you’re looking at ~4 hours each way.

Read more: Where to Visit in Puglia – Italy’s Hidden Gem

 

 

Gran Canaria, Spain

 

Average daily temps: +22°C

 

Eastern Gran Canaria

Far more than the strips of all-inclusive resorts it’s best known for, Gran Canaria is a mini-continent for its spectrum of landscapes and micro-climates all within an hour’s drive of each other, and often less. For those with no interest in spending all day in a resort, Gran Canaria really has something for just about anyone. Lush green valleys, arid canyons, pinewood forest mountainscapes, Atlantic waves, hillside vineyards, desert-like sand dunes, dramatic cliffs, banana plantations, rustic fishing towns – it really has it all.

Being close to Africa, it’s a true winter sun destination that stays in the +20s most days, especially on the coast, and the ocean is warm enough for swimming.

Agaete is my top pick for a hidden gem Gran Canaira base with great seafood, beaches, dramatic verdant scenery and not too many tourists. Beside you can find plenty of hiking and cycling options coffee, citrus and wine farms.

Agüimes and Ingenio are also great, well-connected and very authentic options in the East with a huge selection of local beaches to try out alongside the East Coast – if you don’t mind a bit of wind.

From the resort areas in the South / Southwest, the eye-catching Puerto Mogan and San Agustin are the nicer options for a convenient relaxing seaside stay.

Getting to Gran Canaria: Gran Canaria Airport in the east serves the island and getting just about anywhere from there is within an hours’ drive via the circular motorway.

Read more: Best Hidden Gems of Gran Canaria

 

Tenerife, Spain

 

Average daily temps: +23°C

La Masca Tenerife

Long reputed for its concrete jungle of beach resorts, the Canary island of Tenerife has a far less-discovered side to it that often feels and looks like a different island altogether. 

While the likes of Costa Adeje offer family-friendly beaches and countless burger joints, Tenerife’s Northern half is a more local, authentic experience with some of the most stunning scenery you’ll find, dare I say, anywhere in Europe. Sleepy fishing villages, verdant ravines, cloud forests and remote black sand beaches – there are weeks worth of lesser-known sights to take in on Tenerife.

If you really want to explore Tenerife, rent a car, head North and use this list for Tenerife’s best hidden gem destinations for your inspiration. Happy travels!

Getting to Tenerife: For the most authentic and stunning destinations, Tenerife North is your airport (near the capital Santa Cruz). The bigger Tenerife South serves more destinations and is best for the south coast although the rest of the island is within an hours’ reach by car. You could also ferry hop across from Gran Canaria in as short as an hour with a tail.

Read more: Best Hidden Gems of Tenerife

 

Almeria Coast, Spain

 

Average daily temps: +21°C

 

Almeria Coast, Spain

The Almeria province of Andalucia is a real hidden gem destination that’s far less touristy than the neighbouring Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol. Being the driest place in Europe, you’ll be unlucky not to experience sunshine in this part of the world. There is even a small desert to explore – the Tabernas Desert, once a popular filming location for spaghetti westerns.

Beaches are a-plenty although in April you might be limited to just dipping your feet. The coastline often lifts to dramatic cliff scenery, especially in the picturesque national park of Cabo de Gata – a must-visit by car. Nearby, you can even spot pink flamingos in the Reserva de las Salinas salt flats.

There is plenty of history, with a significant Arabic influence that also gave the province its name (Al-Mariyaa). This is best represented by the Alcazaba Fortress in Almeria, second in size only to Granada’s Alhambra.

For cyclists, Almeria is an absolute gem of a region to explore on 2 wheels thanks to its variety of quiet roads and varied scenery ranging from coasts to almond tree valleys and mountains.

Getting to Almeria Coast: Almeria has a small international airport of its own with low-cost flights, but you could also arrive in one of the bigger Malaga or Alicante airports around 2 hours’ drive. You also have the new Corvera-Murcia Airport a little closer. All are served by low-cost airlines and in all cases hiring a car is the easiest option to reach Almeria province.

Malta & Gozo

 

Average daily temps: +20°C

 

Valletta, Malta

Best known for its beaches, the sunny island nation of Malta is also brimming with history. Influenced by Romans, Arabs and Phoenicians as well as more recent European invaders, Malta is in many ways a unique destination. 

From the ancient walled crusader stronghold and capital Valletta to the inland ancient town of Mdina (a Game of Thrones filming location), there is plenty to explore on Malta besides the many sandy beaches.

To the north of the main island lies Malta’s hidden gem – the smaller island of Gozo. It’s a wonderful tranquil destination with sandy beaches surrounded by cliffs and a scattering of ancient remains.

The island is almost as far south as you can get in the Mediterranean so by April it should already be in the balmy 20s if occasionally windy. It’s also English-speaking if that has an influence on your travel choices.

Getting to Malta: The one international airport, Luqa, is linked to many European destinations and there are often reasonable springtime flights outside of Easter holidays. Gozo is just a short ferry hop across from northern Malta.

 

Madeira, Portugal

 

Average daily temps: +18°C

 

Madeira, Portugal

The Portuguese island of Madeira lies far out in the Atlantic and like Canary Islands enjoys a mild climate throughout the year. With average daily temps of 20c in April, it’s an excellent option for guaranteed warmth in April.

Madeira isn’t a beach or nightlife destination. Instead, the verdant volcanic island offers breathtaking inland scenery and a truly relaxing holiday. A car is recommended to get around if you really want to explore Madeira. If you do fancy a swim, try the numerous coastal rock pools dotted across the shore. 

For an unusual and thrilling experience, try the downhill toboggan ride in Funchal where a local bloke sledges you down the local streets in what is a glorified wicker basket.

Getting to Madeira: The island is served by Funchal Airport near the capital, with ample destinations across major European airports.

Cyprus

 

Average daily temps: +21°C

 

Cyprus beach

Cyprus is a country of two holiday types: you could opt for the binge-drinking party spot of Ayia Napa in the east, or go anywhere outside of it and see real Cyprus. The country gets hot and busy in summer, so April is actually a great time to visit. The sea hasn’t quite warmed up yet but should be fine for a dip especially if you’re from the north.

Paphos on the west coast is a good Cyprus base with a picturesque harbour, ample beaches and a scattering of ruins. For outdoor fans, consider hiking to the peak of Mount Olympus and keep in mind Cyprus is an up-and-coming cycling destination ideal this time of the year.

Getting to Cyprus: You can either fly into Paphos to explore the island’s west or Larnaca for south and west. Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus is an increasingly accessible destination with Ercan Airport however requiring connections via Turkey.

 

Crete, Greece

 

Average daily temps: +20°C

 

Crete Island, Greece

The largest island of Greece is so far south that it’s already warm by April, with average daily temps reaching into low 20s. The sunny Crete has so much to explore that you’ll struggle to see it all on a single visit – the island deserves at least a week to really get a taste of it.

Crete is so diverse. Beyond the bigger tourists towns, there are plenty of smaller villages for a truly relaxing holiday. There is so much history from early Greek and Roman settlers through to Ottoman and more recent WW2 sites. Cretan cuisine is distinct and arguably the finest in Greece.

For outdoor lovers it’s a wonderful hiking destination, with places like Samaria Gorge some of the most memorable options. There are of course plenty of beautiful sandy beaches although swimming in April might still be a little chilly.

Getting to Crete: You have 2 options – Heraklion Airport in centre-east and Chania Airport in the west. Or if you have more time you could fly into Athens and ferry-hop your way down to Crete.

Jordan

 

Average daily temps: +22°C

 

Wadi Rum Desert, Jordan

One of the few peaceful states in the region, the hashemite kingdom of Jordan is another excellent travel destination in springtime. Of course there’s Petra, the world-famous sight that was once a thriving capital of the nomadic Nabataeans. It’s a must-visit in Jordan if somewhat ruined by the aggressive nature of local touts. 

For me the real gem of Jordan is the Wadi Rum Desert, a stunning desolate valley cut into sandstone and granite rocks. A 4×4 tour across the moon-like landscapes is a mesmerising experience. 

For a seaside experience you have the southern resort of Aqaba on the ever-warm Red Sea, as well as the eastern shore of Dead Sea for a more convenient trip from Amman. So you don’t need to travel to its militant apartheid-loving neighbour to have a float in the sea. Just don’t get any water in your eyes!

Getting to Jordan: The country is served by 2 airports – the capital Amman in the north and Aqaba in the far south. Both have occasional good value flights by the likes of EasyJet so watch out for those.

 

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