Does your summer holiday feel like a lifetime away? You're not the only one feeling this way! Many of us book Easter holidays abroad to get some much-needed sunshine.
And who can blame us? As mainland Europe begins to enjoy increased temperatures at this time of year, springtime temperatures are notoriously low, with average April temperatures still in the single digits. However, if you want to escape the cold wind, rain, and potential snow, you can visit some genuinely affordable holiday destinations.
You could spend April on a warm weather city break or on a beach, perusing the ancient ruins of Egypt, relaxing on the beach in Turkey or snorkelling in Punta Mita, Mexico.
Where else can you find sun, sea, sand, stunning islands, ancient cities and UNESCO-listed old towns? This classic holiday getaway is a firm favourite with families on school holiday breaks, especially before the peak season in July.
April in Greece does see cool evenings, but the daytime sunshine is hot enough to sunbathe in. The sheer diversity of this holiday destination makes it such a great choice.
If city breaks and culture are your thing, you can enjoy the churches and nightlife of Corfu or Thessonaliki. Failing that, spend your days in the cobblestone streets of Rhodes or strolling around ancient Athens.
Horiatiki (Greek salad) tastes best on the island of Hydra. Alternatively, for a truly authentic experience, ride a donkey or cable car into Fira for the best moussaka, eaten with a view of the brilliant blue sea that separates the city from nearby volcanic islands.
Literature lovers can live vicariously through Captain Corelli in Cefalonia, while Mamma Mia! fans can channel their inner dancing queen on the Greek island of Skopelos.
Santorini, Syros, Kos, Corfu and Crete are outstanding Greek island hotspots, while The Guardian voted the crystal clear waters of Fakistra as one of the world’s best beaches.
Nikki Turner-Chaplin, from Yorkshire Wonders, added: "Consider travelling to the less well-known areas like the Peloponnese. The Mani peninsula in particular is known for its proliferation of olive groves and crystal-clear waters, lapping sandy beaches. With the sea in the foreground and the Taygetus mountains as a background you will be spoiled for choice for gorgeous scenery."
With average temperatures of 25°C in April, this mountainous country welcomes any vitamin D-deprived Brits with open arms.
Due to the towering Atlas Mountains, the area north of the Sahara rarely sees rainfall. This provides an enviable climate that sees 8-10 hours of sunshine in April.
For a quick and easy break, head over on an easyJet or Ryanair flight to Marrakech. Within hours you could be watching the sunset over the ancient walls of Jemaa el-Fna square or losing yourself in the gorgeous two-acre Majorelle Botanical Garden.
Before you know it, you could be in Fes, walking through a car-free medina in flip-flops as the adhan call to prayer echoes around you. Or dipping your feet in the surfing waters of the warm and windy Essaouira, or the scents of cayenne and saffron following you down the winding alleys of Casablanca.
At the sun’s peak, pop into a cafe for a delicious Moroccan speciality: refreshing Maghrebi mint and sugar tea served from an ogee-shaped pot.
The average April temperature in Cyprus is 17°C. However, during this month, the country's inland temperatures can reach a sweltering 24°C and beyond. It is only the chilly mountainous region that brings down the average temperature.
The hot weather is helped by heat from Africa and the nearby Arabian Peninsula, which travels up to the central Mediterranean with the help of the Red Sea, making Cyprus the hottest island in the Mediterranean.
If you like your sunshine with a dose of culture and buzzing food markets, the inland capital Nicosia is your place. You'll find cooler air in coastal towns such as Paphos, Latchi, Larnaca and Limassol.
Also, who needs the Caribbean when you can cut loose in Ayia Napa’s world-class nightlife?
Temperatures in Egypt lift the country's April average to a whopping 26°C. April is often the best time to visit Egypt from a cooler country like ours. If you leave it any later, you may face the risk of the scorching heat, which can regularly reach the 40s between May and September.
For those a bit more sun-shy, the country's northern port city of Alexandria is a great destination to enjoy cool coastal winds. Here, you can soak up the country's flair for African, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
What better way to spend the Easter break than tucking into seafood tagine, grilled octopus or souvlaki on the city’s promenade corniche along the Eastern harbour?
Alternatively, embark on a sweaty and crowded country’s capital megacity Cairo. For the mid-afternoon peak, you can transport yourself back into the Ottoman Empire for a coffee or shisha in one of the famous old-world cafés. If the bustling crowds get too much - which they shouldn’t do for April - head for a splash in one of the city’s many famous hammams and fountains.
For a rich cultural adventure, you can spend your April holiday exploring the Anatolian Peninsula’s jewel in the crown: Turkey. In April, it is not just warm temperatures or sun-seeking tourists that descend on the capital of Istanbul. The month also sees the arrival of thousands of tulips!
The International Istanbul Tulip Festival sees colourful flower displays throughout the city, along with painting, calligraphy and glass-blowing workshops. The festival runs for the whole of April.
Turkey provides a slightly cooler climate than the other places listed here. However, whilst very warm in the day, the night can still be somewhat chilly. So if you're off to relax on Antalya's 400 miles of white sands or explore the Blue Flag sandy beaches of the Dalaman area, which sees 320 days of sunshine per year, be sure to bring a jumper for nighttime.
You can also get lost in Izrim's sprawling labyrinth bazaar, Kemeraltı Market, and compulsively purchase one of the many soaps, rugs and spices the local artisans offer.
If you refuse to leave the beach, you can shop with the sand beneath your feet by exploring the various beach markets and bazaars of Bodrum's dry peninsula.
6. Canary Islands
There seem to be planes to Gran Canaria, Tenerife and Lanzarote flying over our heads almost every hour. It is no surprise, seeing that the Canaries are among Europe's most popular holiday destinations.
However, the Canary Islands are far more diverse than people credit them for. For example, the 150+ beaches in the Canaries' second biggest island Fuerteventura resemble the Sahara Desert more than the tourist strip of Ibiza's San Antonio.
With Tenerife, you can plump for three holidays in one. The sophisticated western coast town of Costa Adeje features various upmarket and chic hotels and the island's best sunset views. If you can move for the designer bags, try and grab a great spot.
Elsewhere on the island, separated by Spain’s highest volcano, the Pico del Teide (don’t worry, it last erupted over a century ago), you will experience completely different holidays. North of the mountain sees bright, multicoloured houses, palm trees, pine forests and gorges. You could use the warm weather to cycle around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Teide National Park.
In contrast, southern Tenerife is destination number one for white sand beaches. The hottest beach by far is the Playa de las Americas, where you can sip cocktails and listen to chillout music under a parasol.
Alternatively, you could spend your best hours in the natural pools, vineyards, surf shops and restaurants of the fascinating UNESCO Geopark of Lanzarote. Enjoy temperatures ranging from 19°C to 25°C whilst trying to eat battered calamari or pickled anchovies presentably in public.
Who needs the Costa del Sol?
Many airlines fly to the Canaries from the UK, including Easyjet, Tui and Ryanair.
If you have eleven hours to gift, it may be the time to brave a long-haul flight to Mexico. April temperatures see the local thermometers peak between 29°C and 32°C. So if you want a break with maximum sunshine, this country is one of your best bets.
You could not be further away from home on the northeast-located Yucatán Peninsula in the Riviera Maya. Surrounded by impeccable beaches and jungle, this 80 km stretch of the Mexican Caribbean coastline runs south from Puerto Morelos to Tulum.
When not sunning yourself on the beach, you could venture to a five-star restaurant to spot celebrities or lock yourself away in a wellness spa.
Natural beauty is what Mexico does best. So try and get your teeth into at least one of the country's whopping 67 national parks or the gigantic Mayan archaeological site of Coba. Of the latter, Chichen Itza and Tulum are the most famous.
Punta Mita is known for being one of the world’s best snorkelling destinations, while the Great Mayan Reef is one of the world's most jaw-dropping natural experiences. This coral reef, a crucial marine region, is also home to the world's largest fish: the whale shark.
Further along the Peninsula is Cancún, a former fishing village that has become a leading destination for American students on spring break. Average April temperatures in Cancún hover around the 26°C mark, making Mexico a guarantee for amazing weather in April.
If time is of the essence and you need to keep costs as low as possible, look no further than a low-key Portuguese short-haul getaway. Portugal benefits from the dry climate of nearby northern Africa and the vast expanse of the North Atlantic Ocean to soak up all that heat.
Try to envisage the perfect holiday getaway. More likely than not, the Algarve region on Portugal’s Atlantic coast will fit the bill. Once arriving in the Algarve, you'll see a place that wasn't all that different from your imagination. From lagoons to caves, baroque churches, russet-coloured castles, stunning seafood restaurants and pretty little fishing villages perched on the edge of clifftops, the Algarve has beauty and charm in equal portions.
Faro is popular for golfing holidays, while Albufeira is great for boating trips and nightlife. Lagos is a beautiful town with a lighthouse and daily excursions to caves. The Algarve remains a very diverse holiday destination, especially for families. It is no surprise the region attracts four million visitors per year.
The Algarve’s springtime temperatures are not comparable to Mexico's or Thailand's. But during peak times in the day, you can see consistent 20°C readings on Europe’s west coast. It is also improbable that you will see rain.
There are so many additional incredible destinations for a sunny springtime holiday that you are spoiled for choice.
One of the most convenient sunny places to visit could be Italy's Sicilian south coast, where Palermo, Messina and Catania enjoy over 11 hours of daily sunshine. Despite some rainy winters in Italy, this stretch of the Mediterranean enjoys temperatures between 14°C and 25°C.
For a hot and dry April, look no further than California in the USA. April's average temperatures in Las Vegas reach 27°C, although this feels hotter than it reads due to the arid climate. On the opposite coast of the USA, Florida boasts the same temperatures, with nighttime temperatures dropping only by an average of 7°C.
The Caribbean island of Barbados measures around the 29°C mark in April. The hot, tropical climate mixes perfectly with northeast tradewinds to create an enjoyable environment to take in some sunshine.
Thailand is also a favourite getaway for sun-seekers, with average April temperatures of a sweltering 31°C. Several airline companies have flights to the country’s capital Bangkok, where holidaymakers can remain or move on to the country’s many incredible islands.