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Five best places to visit in April
April 12, 2015, 9:42 am

In April, the southern parts of Europe start warming up: if you want to beat the summer crowds to some of the most popular spots along the Mediterranean, then now is the time to go and Mallorca, Sicily and the Turkish coast are all fantastic. For city breaks, Paris is unbeatable at this time of year, while Beirut offers the opportunity to sunbathe and ski on the same day.

Further afield, the climate is just right for a road-trip in and around 'The Plett' - South Africa's glamorous Plettenberg Bay - or through California - use Los Angeles as a base for a classic road-trip. If you prefer to stay on the beach, St Lucia's Caribbean waters and white sands will be perfect.

Even further away, Tokyo will be in the middle of the cherry blossom season - so join hanami parties in the parks while there - and Sydney is at its exuberant best at this time of the year.

Leisure pleasures in Paris

It must be the most magnificent month in Paris, because they wrote a song about it, right? Contrary to this, many believe Paris, in April, is just too overrated a place. In a true sense, Paris in spring gets rain showers here and there and is not as dramatic as seen in Hollywood movies. Nevertheless, it is a time when the city is suddenly awash with glorious color from cherry and apple blossoms, daffodils, or everyday-varieties and many of its gardens are sprawled around. A city break, in spring, in Paris is unlike other jam-packed city breaks; where backpackers and residents, alike, rush from one club to another, or a fast moving life withers away the pleasurable nostalgia of old times.

Hop on to the Paris Roller, Parisians' favorite means of transport. Walk at the magical quarter of the Marais full of aristocratic stone mansions that can only truly be appreciated on foot. Follow the rue des Francs-Bourgeois, the perfect source for unusual gifts or take a detour along rue de Sévigné, where the Musée Carnavalet and some quirky fashion boutiques are located.

Explore Australia’s Uluru on foot

The start of April is an ideal time to visit Uluru, with the tourist season yet to get into full swing and daytime temperatures, which can hit 40 degrees C at other times of the year, is at a more manageable level. A fine way to experience Uluru, formerly known as Ayers Rock, is the ten-kilometer hike around the base of the rock, which takes three to four hours. If you are still feeling energetic, the hike can be combined with the two-kilometer Mala Walk, which passes by rock art, caves and shaded pools en route to the Kanju Gorge.

Marvel at submerged Salar, Bolivia

April is (generally) the end of the rainy season in Bolivia, during which the Salar de Uyuni, the world’s biggest salt lake, becomes partly submerged. This transforms the blistering, white plains – which are flanked by mountains and smoldering volcanoes – into a vast, shimmering mirror. Although some parts of the Salar are impassable and tour prices rise at this time, you are guaranteed an array of otherworldly and starkly beautiful sights.

Soak up the early sun in Marrakesh

With the temperatures hovering around 22 C, late April is a wonderful time to visit Marrakesh and the Jemaa el Fna. As dusk falls, the city’s main square comes alive with an eclectic cast of musicians, storytellers, fortune-tellers, henna-painters, acrobats, medicine men, and snake charmers, as well as a few pickpockets and scam artists. The innumerable food stalls here are an attraction in their own right, serving everything from spicy harira soup and tasty merguez sausages to rather more exotic stewed snails and sheep’s heads.

Dance the weekend away in California

After a quiet few months, there are several great music festivals held in April. The big one is Coachella in Indio, California, which takes place over two weekends and features a huge range of music and art. It is expensive, sure, but guarantees a great mix of big names and cult favorites, alongside the kind of little-known (for now) performers one could love to discover.

Elsewhere, the Austrian ski resort of Mayrhofen hosts music and winter sport fiesta Snowbombing, and the blues and roots festival Byron Bay Bluefest.

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