New Zealand / Turkey / Austria
Cheaper airfares, lesser crowds, inexpensive accommodation. These reasons might tempt you to visit New Zealand in the shoulder season April. But if I tempt you with stunning autumn landscapes and clear skies?
Spectacular alpine peaks, picture perfect lakes, national parks, geothermal terrain and dramatic hues of autumn: yellows, reds and browns: New Zealand has this and a more to offer - from picturesque lakes like Wanaka, Tekapo and Pukaki to the historic town of Arrowtown, to the sweeping scenery of the Catlins.
Go fishing in the glacier fed rivers of North island and birding in Cape Kidnappers and Zealandia. Chase whales and dolphins, encounter sharks while being submerged in a cave and visit a Penguin colony!
Embark on a train ride across the country to see the autumn glory and go star gazing under the clear skies at Mackenzie. For those who want to soak in the landscapes at a slower pace, there are cycling trails and for luxury lovers, there are cruises! For those who love hiking, there are ample options of ‘Great walks’ including the Milford track, Abel Tasman coastal track and the Routeburn track.
If you love nature and landscapes, there is truly no place better than New Zealand.
April is the perfect time to sightsee in Istanbul as well as explore the gems of the Turquoise coast off the Aegean Sea. Accommodation is not so expensive, the Mediterranean climate is welcoming the spring season and the waters are warming up. Gear up for the Tulip festival, where millions of Tulips can be seen in parks. Let the Grand Bazaar transport you to an erstwhile Arabian night’s fable, as you walk through lanes full of spices and scents. Cruise over Bosphorus which separates Europe and Asia and visit architectural delights like the Blue mosque and the massive domed Basilica of Aya Sofya (Hagia Sophia).
Whip up Turkish delights in a cooking class, indulge in the traditional Bakclava and famed Turkish ice creams, pamper yourself in a Turkish bath (Hammam ) and witness the magical performances of the whirling dervishes.
Explore the Turquoise coast with water activities in Fethiye and the quaint port city of Antalya. Stay in a cave hotel in Cappadocia and go hot air ballooning over the chimney hills.
Visit the springs of Pamukkale and the ancient city of Ephesus with Roman ruins. Turkey has something for everyone: for wine lovers, horse riders, cruise lovers and even hikers who would like to explore the exciting Lycian trail!
Baroque architecture, Alpine peaks, breathtaking scenery, classical music and dollops of fresh, organic produce: Austria is a perfect blend of the past and the present, of cityscapes and countryside. Explore Innsbruck with its historic museums, unspoiled nature and colourful buildings and be awestruck at the Admont Abbey library with it’s ornate ceilings and frescoed walls. Visit Tyrol for its scenic Zillertal valley and lakes surrounded by mountains.
Zip past the Alpine meadows, deep valleys and glaciers in a train, go rafting and canyoning in rivers and spend a romantic vacation at the quaint village of Hallstatt with panoramic views.
Relive the magic of ‘Sound of Music’ at Salzburg, the birthplace of Mozart and home to several cultural and musical events and do not miss the famous ‘Sound of Music tour’ here.
Adrenaline junkies can attempt to climb the highest peak Grossglockner and city lovers can revel in the charm of Vienna: with it’s museums, architecture, and heritage! Visit the palatial Schonbrunn palace, the imperial Hofburg palace and the monolithic St Stephen’s cathedral. If you love nature, take a half day tour to the Vienna woods, to get a slice of the Austrian countryside.