Where to go in April and May 2020

Spring has almost sprung and the time may be right for an Easter break. If you are looking for inspiration for your next trip away, we have put together destinations from Cuba to Greece and Morocco which are perfect during this restorative season. Here is our look at where to go in April and May.
El Capitolio, National Capital Building, one of the most popular sites in Cuba's capital, Havana. Photo: Florian Augustin/Shutterstock
El Capitolio, National Capital Building, one of the most popular sites in Cuba's capital, Havana. Photo: Florian Augustin/Shutterstock

Where to go in Europe

1. Greek Islands, Greece

The Greek Islands are a wonderful destination to visit all year round with warm and sunny weather from late April onwards. You can soak up sunshine, take in culture or enjoy lively nightlife at multiple destinations. 

On Mykonos, visit Panigirakis Castle, the 17th-century Panagia Paraportiani church complex, and the Kato Mili windmills, before browsing boutiques and bar-hopping down picturesque Matoyianni Street. 

Neighboring Naxos is home to one of Greece’s best preserved medieval towns. Its wealth of architectural jewels include the Venetian Castle of Naxos, above the town, and the ancient hilltop ruined Temple of Demeter. The island's serene beaches and coastline overlook blue and emerald green waters. Nearby Milos has a white, rocky landscape peppered with caves and crevices that can be explored from land or sea. The island’s numerous lagoons are filled with turquoise waters lapping at soft golden sands, making it a wonderful destination for a relaxing beach vacation.

Naxos town overlooked by the Castle of Naxos, Greece. Photo: saiko3p/Shutterstock

2. Seville, Spain

Easter Sunday falls on 12 April this year. For spectacular festivities, consider visiting Spain for Semana Santa (Holy Week) where processions through city streets feature floats with religious sculptures of scenes from the Passion. The processions in the capital of the Andalucia region, Seville, are among the most elaborate in the country. 

For magnificent views over the rooftops of the city, climb La Giralda, the bell tower of Seville Cathedral. This 104-meter (340ft) minaret has been admired ever since it was built by the Moors in the 12th century. Other highlights of the city include the sprawling Moorish Royal Alcázar palace set in expansive, formal gardens, and the stunning, semi-circular Plaza de España with its imposing pavilion and lavish ceramic tiling.

Insight Guides Simply Seville trip offers the opportunity to experience the city's culture, cuisine and even a spot of flamenco dancing alongside the Easter festivities.

The main pavilion and canal on the Plaza de España, Seville. Photo: S-F/Shutterstock

3. Krakow, Poland

Poland’s former capital city, Kraków was the home of Polish royalty for 500 years. Locals still regard the city as the cultural and intellectual epicenter of the nation. Spring, when it is often blessed with warm sunshine, is a great season to visit. 

The city’s Main square (Rynek Glówny) is Europe’s largest medieval square. Sip a coffee at one of its cafés before exploring the Old Town. Climb up Wawel Hill to take a guided tour of the sumptuously decorated 14th-century Royal Castle and to enjoy sweeping views from the Cathedral’s bell tower. Also not to be missed is the city's Kazimierz ancient Jewish quarter. Here you can visit the Galicia Jewish Museum, housed in the Old Synagogue, as well as a host of small galleries, jazz clubs and atmospheric bars.

Wawel Hill in Krakow Old Town, Poland. Photo: Nahlik/Shutterstock

Where to go in Africa

4. Marrakech, Morocco

Both African and Arab, Marrakech offers an eclectic cultural blend that makes it the most vibrant city in Morocco. Maybe best known for the UNESCO-protected labyrinth of marketplaces and alleyways that make up its medieval medina, the city is also famous for its 12th-century Koutoubia Mosque. The building’s single minaret is a landmark that can be seen for miles.

Symbolic of the city’s Moorish traditions, Jemaa el-Fna square comes alive each evening at dusk. Magicians, fortune-tellers, acrobats, snake charmers, and storytellers put on a marvelous open-air spectacle. This artistic heritage is complemented by a vibrant contemporary creative energy that has seen Marrakech designated as the African Capital of Culture 2020. Events are being hosted throughout the year at venues such as Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden and the Yves Saint-Laurent Museum

Take in the wondrous sights of Marrakech as part of Insight Guides Highlights of Morocco: Fez, Erfoud and Marrakech.

Jamaa el-Fna market square at dusk, Marrakech. Photo: Matej Kastelic/Shutterstock

5. Madagascar

The large island nation of Madagascar, off the coast of East Africa, has a tropical climate and diverse landscapes that make it uniquely rich in biodiversity. The rainy season ends in March, making April an ideal time to visit. 

Andringitra National Park in the Central Highlands is a paradise for hikers and home to a diverse collection of wildlife and mammals including a dozen species of lemurs. The town of Ambalavao is the gateway to Andringitra which also incorporates the country’s highest walkable summit, Pic Boby at 2,658 meters (8,720ft). Tackle one of five hiking trails to experience the beauty of the park’s unspoiled mountainous landscapes.

On Madagascar’s south coast, the Baie de Sainte Luce is one of the most stunning stretches of coastline on the island. The Sainte Luce Reserve which protects endangered collared brown lemurs, numerous amphibians and reptiles, and abundant forest birdlife. The best way to to discover the region’s coastal forest and wildlife is with a guided reserve walk out of the village of Manafiafy. Sainte Luce is synonymous with the exclusive Manafiafy Beach and Rainforest Lodge set on an idyllic sheltered bay with palm-fringed sandy beach. Lodge guests can enjoy forest hikes and snorkeling trips, as well as kayaking and motorboat excursions.

Ring-tailed lemurs in Madagascar. Photo: Vladislav T. Jirousek/Shutterstock

Where to go in Asia

6. Sri Lanka

The diverse range of world-class attractions in Sri Lanka make it one of the loveliest islands in Asia. Head to the central highlands east of Kandy, to trek in the wild mountains of the Knuckles Range. Breathtaking and relatively unvisited, the Knuckles’ dwarf cloud forest and jagged grey peaks feature in one of the country’s most biodiverse regions, where you can encounter langur monkeys, giant squirrels, and prolific endemic birdlife. 

A visit to a tea plantation in Sri Lanka's lush green hill country is a defining experience of any trip to this majestic country. The island’s national parks are also not to be missed. The most famous is Yala National Park, which encompasses a huge expanse of countryside in the south-east of the country. On a tour with a reputable operator, you will see elephants, sloth bears, incredible birdlife, and if you’re lucky, a leopard.

West along the coast, a string of relatively unspoiled beaches dot the coast around Dikwella. The stunning compact horseshoe bay at Hiriketiya is arguably one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka.

Hiriketiya Beach, near Dikwella, Sri Lanka. Photo: Marius Dobilas/Shutterstock

Where to go in the Americas

7. Guatemala

From tropical forests dotted with Mayan ruins to laid-back colonial cities and mountainous landscapes crowned by volcanoes, Guatemala is a thrilling destination to explore. In a highland valley encircled by volcanic peaks, you can discover the 18th-century architecture of Antigua. The city is also home to a cluster of evocative ruins, including its cathedral, as well as a selection of delightful restaurants and cafés. 

Further west, magnificent Lake Atitlán epitomises the western highlands’ rugged natural beauty. Set in a caldera surrounded by verdant mountains and volcanoes, you can experience Maya culture in villages lying on the lake’s shores. To witness the jewel of the Maya civilization, head to the subtropical jungles of northern Guatemala. The five awe-inspiring temple-pyramids of Tikal rise majestically above the forest canopy making an unforgettable sight and bearing testament to the city’s glorious past.

Colonial arch in Antigua with Agua Volcano in the distance, Guatemala. Photo: SL-Photography/Shutterstock

8. Cuba

As magical and full of contradictions as it is, the Caribbean island of Cuba can thrill the senses, befuddle the mind and tug at the heartstrings, making it a fascinating place to visit.

April and May cover the end of the dry season but come before the muggy heat of the summer meaning they are good months to visit. 

From the beating heart of La Habana Vieja, the Plaza de Armas, to the Museo Nacional Palacio de Bellas Artes and the Plaza de la Rev­olución, Havana, the time-warped capital, is one of the world’s most exciting cities and where five centuries of Cuban history coalesce. However, the ‘real Cuba’ lies out in the provinces. For a pure taste of rural life, head west of the capital to the province of Pinar del Río. The sleepy town of Viñales makes a good base for exploring the surrounding prehistoric landscape of tobacco fields and palm tree-peppered lowlands draped between huge, steep-sided hills known as mogotes

 A journey to the central south coast should include visits to Playa Girón, the site of the 1961 Bay of Pigs, and the wildlife-filled Zapata peninsula. While Cuba’s colonial jewel, Trinidad, its legacy as the former hub of the country’s sugarcane industry marked out by its ornate Spanish mansions. 

Verdant landscape with distinctive mogotes in Viñales Valley, Cuba. Photo: danm12/Shutterstock

Ready to book your next travel experience?

Insight Guides can help organize and book tailor-made trips in destinations around the world for you. Simply get in touch with us to let us know when you would like to travel and share your ideas for the trip. Local experts will then create a personalized itinerary especially, which you can amend until you are happy with every detail before booking.