April is a busy month for airport staff. Not least because it’s the most popular month for visiting the Mediterranean before hoards of families descend upon it. But, you don’t necessarily have to wait until April to escape Europe’s wintry climes. We explore some of the hottest alternatives around the world where sunshine and sweltering highs are pretty much the norm for at least six months of the year!
Death Valley, California, USA
With its lunar craters and parched landscapes, the arid wilderness of Death Valley, California, seems like the last place on earth anyone would want to visit for a week-long jaunt in the sun. Located at the heart of the Mojave desert in Eastern California, Death Valley is, according to scientists, the lowest and driest valley in the Americas. As of September 2012, it now also holds the record for the world’s hottest temperature ever-recorded – a foot scorching 56.7 degrees Celsius!
With an estimated 12.2 million visitors descending upon the former backpacker mecca each year, it’s understandable that congestion in Bangkok might make queuing for attractions feel a little sticky. Tourism, coupled with its location just North of the Equator does Bangkok very few favours, with inner city temperatures pushing 38-39 degrees Celsius in April and May.
Cooler months see temperatures nosediving a mere 8 degrees, making this the hottest city in the world based on consistent average temperatures. Bangkok veterans advise visiting the city during off-peak months (October to January) when the humidity lessens, but even then you’re advised to steer clear of crowded areas!
The Maldives, Asia
It might be the smallest country in Asia, yet this sun-soaked archipelago in the Indian Ocean has one of the most tourist-friendly climates of any of its neighbouring counterparts. The temperate, sub-tropical climate of the Maldives is influenced by the mild winds of the Indian Ocean, which itself acts as a “ heat buffer”, bouncing humidity back into the air. Although the island atoll is blessed with year round sunshine and consistently high temperatures of 27-34 degrees Celsius, the best time to visit is between April and August, when the dry, North East monsoon season is in full swing. Humidity is low due to the cools winds blown in from South East Asia, and with little to no rainfall during the summer months, it’s the perfect time to pitch up on your sun lounger and make the most of the unrelenting tropical sunshine!
Commonly used as a moniker by people who don’t want you to know where they’re going, Timbuktu is actually a very real and fascinating holiday destination. Settled on the Southern edge of the Sahara Desert in the landlocked West African Republic of Mali, Timbuktu boasts balmy highs of up to 54.5 degrees Celsius from April to October, making it one of the hottest holiday destinations on Earth during summer months.
Timbuktu has no beaches or lidos to speak of, but with three historic mosques, a plethora of desert adventure sports operators and camel rides aplenty, you’ll still find plenty to pack into a week here!
Australia is THE go-to place for Europeans seeking day-long sunshine and zero precipitation during the festive months. But, while the likes of Sydney and Melbourne are known for their pleasant climates, the colonial North Eastern city of Darwin by far outranks either for mercury-tipping summer temperatures. Due to its latitude with the Timor Sea and close proximity to the Equator, Darwin is largely unaffected by the cold fronts pushed in from the South. Temperatures during the ‘winter’ months of June and July remain at a steady 30-31 degrees Celsius, and because there is little cool air blown in from the sea, the humidity can often make it feel a good ten degrees hotter!
When: June to September
It can’t quite compete with the likes of Sydney and the Maldives for insanely hot summers, yet the Andalusian capital is still worthy of mention considering it’s the hottest city in Europe. With its colonial town houses and myriad of churches, the city is a magnet for fanatics of architecture, yet also appeals to a wider audience with its acclaimed Isla Magica Theme Park and proliferation of shopping centres.
The mercury begins to rise in July, when the warm winds of the Gulf Stream meet with the humid currents of the Mediterranean, with temperatures reaching a tolerable 27-30 degrees Celsius. Seville enjoys its hottest months between June and September, when it has been known for temperatures to hit 44°C!
An exotic Eastern nation known for its bustling markets and exclusive coastal resorts, Morocco is often overlooked as a family-friendly holiday location. It’s situation between the Atlantic Ocean and arid Sahara Desert influences a decidedly Mediterranean climate, but unlike its Northern counterpart Spain, Morocco doesn’t suffer quite the same problem of sub-tropical humidity. Unlike the popular coastal city of Casablanca, historic Marrakech is dry and arid, with little precipitation for 7-8 months of the year. For sun-worshippers, the best time to go is around July or August, when temperatures remain at a consistent 36°C. If you plan on visiting the famous market at Medina, or doing anything remotely strenuous like sightseeing, be warned; temperatures have been known to exceed 49 degrees Celsius!