Where to travel in April?
Where to travel in April?
My favorite destinations in April
Xi’An in China
Xi’an is the capital of Shaanxi Province, located in central China. This large and interesting Chinese city has an important historic center with many points of interest. You can discover the imposing city walls, which are considered to be the oldest and best preserved in China. The construction of these ramparts would have started in 194 BC. It is possible to rent bicycles to tour the city from the top of the ramparts 12 meters above the ground. In the heart of the city, do not miss the bell tower of Xi’an, built in 1384. This tower, one of the tallest in China, contains many bronze bells dating from the Tang dynasty.
I also strongly recommend that you take a stroll through the Muslim quarter of Xi’An. It is very lively with many shops, street restaurants and fruit and vegetable stalls. You can also visit the nearby Great Mosque, with a Chinese style and built in 742. In the south of the city, outside the ramparts, you can admire the Great Wild Goose Pagoda built in 652, in the dynasty. Tang. It is a building as beautiful to see by day as by night.
Finally, about 35 km northeast of the city, is one of China’s best-known tourist spots: the Terracotta Army. This place presents a set of eight thousand statues of soldiers and terracotta horses, representing the troops of Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of China. These statues which almost all have a different face, were intended to protect the deceased emperor.
Fogo island in Cape Verde
Even though it is not the most popular tourist island, Fogo island located in the south of the Cape Verde archipelago attracts more and more visitors each year. The island takes its name from the volcano it shelters in its central part: Pico Fogo. 2800 meters high, a hike on this volcano is a must. Know that you will nevertheless need a good physical condition and a guide to reach the summit (especially for a night departure and an arrival at sunrise). Up there, you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of the lunar landscape.
Just nearby, going down, you also have the possibility of reaching Pico pequeno, which is also worth the detour. At the end of the excursion, I strongly advise you to take a little time to visit the small village of Chas das Caldeiras at the foot of the volcano, eat there and chat with the locals.
The second attraction on the island is its main city: Sao Filipe. This pretty town is known for its colonial architecture and colorful houses, as well as its black sand beach, Praia da Bila, which can be seen from the top of the town. Finally, do not miss to taste the delicious coffee, as well as its famous wine, which are grown locally.
Lisbon in Portugal
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, has a lot to offer to its visitors with its pretty city center, its coasts and its hills. It is a very popular destination, perfect to discover for a weekend or more. Lisbon has a special atmosphere and many tourist attractions such as its Gothic cathedrals, monasteries, majestic castles and other picturesque monuments. We can highlight for example the imposing Saint-Georges castle with its magnificent view of the city, the Tower of Belém which dates from the 16th century, Padrão dos Descobrimentos statue, the arch of Rua Augusta or the Cristo-Rei statue. Lisbon can be visited simply by foot or using the city’s practical public transport options (bus, metro and even typical trams called “Remodelado”).
Take a stroll through the numerous beautifully paved squares and get lost in the different districts of the city such as Chiado, with its cafes, shops and seafood restaurants. Also don’t miss the Alfama district, one of the oldest districts of Lisbon, with its steep streets and its shops selling traditional handcrafted creations, or the Bairro Alto district, more lively at night. Lisbon is a coastal city, there are also many famous beaches, including the one of Cascais, Praia do Guincho and the one of Costa da Caparica. Finally, enjoy its local restaurants and taste the flavors of the city, including the Bacalhau or the succulent Pastels de nata.
Valletta in Malta
Valletta, the capital of Malta, is a city of history and culture, built by the Knights of St. John in the 1500s on a peninsula of only about 1 km by 600 m. This fortified city is certainly small but has many important historic sites such as museums, palaces and imposing churches. Valletta is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walking the streets of Valletta looks like an open air museum with its very typical colorful balconies. Be sure to stroll through the Upper Barrakka Gardens perched above the harbor, to take a break between visits to the city’s various points of interest such as the Saint John Co-Cathedral or Fort Saint-Elmo. This fort is worth the detour for its national war museum as well as for its beautiful view of the port.
Finally, very close to Valetta, I advise you to discover the Three cities of Malta: Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea where you can get lost in its alleys and take a dip in the maritime history of Malta. If you want to know more about this country, take a look at my Malta travel guide.
Tokyo in Japan
The Japanese capital, Tokyo, is a vast and surprising destination, full of places of interest to discover. It’s a modern city with skyscrapers, illuminated signs and lots of extravagant entertainment. It is also a traditional city with its Japanese temples, shrines and gardens. Although Tokyo has an excellent rail system, the visit of the city is intense, given its size and the many neighborhoods with very different styles. You can visit for example: Shibuya and its famous giant pedestrian crossing, Shinjuku and its lively district with its many karaoke rooms and nightclubs, or Akihabara, known for electronics, video games and manga.
For a little more peace, stroll in the traditional district of Asakusa or Ueno with its zoo or its park with cherry trees. The city has also many very interesting monuments, such as the Meiji-Jingu Shinto shrine, the Senjo-Ji Buddhist temple, the Tokyo Tower or the Tokyo SkyTree, 634 meters high. Finally, during a visit to the Japanese capital, it is unthinkable to do not taste the local gastronomy, and not to participate in the Tokyo night by having a drink in an izakaya or going to sing in one of the karaokes of the city.
Paphos in Cyprus
Paphos is a town on the coast in the southwest of Cyprus island. The city has many attractions and for different tastes. From a cultural point of view, you will be surely delighted with the magnificent archaeological sites of the city. You can visit for example the archaeological park of Paphos (Kato Paphos) which contains vestiges of the ancient Nea Paphos, whose main deity was the goddess Aphrodite. Be sure to visit the impressive Tombs of the Kings, this great necropolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And to finish with the old stones, do not hesitate to also visit the fort of Paphos which is located at the port of the city.
As for the beaches, you will find very beautiful ones near Phaphos, we can cite for example the one of Coral bay. Don’t miss Petra tou Romioú, or Rock of Aphrodite, where the legend says that it is the birthplace of Aphrodite. Finally, to go out with the children, you can also enjoy the Phapos zoo, its water park and the many beach activities on offer.