Easter holiday ideas
Looking for holiday ideas over Easter 2016? You’ve come to the right place – whether you want a budget holiday, a weekend break or a blast of early summer sun. If you’re travelling with children, please see our recommended family holidays at Easter.
Note: all the travel companies featured are personally recommended by our editors.
Easter holiday dates 2016
In 2016 Easter Sunday falls on 27 March. It’s a great time to get some early summer sun in the Mediterranean. If you want to catch the last of the snow in the Alps, you will probably need to go for a high-altitude resort.
Easter in the Mediterranean
The beginning of the summer season is one of the best times to be in the Mediterranean: the resorts are not so crowded, you can expect lots of sunshine, but not too much humidity, the countryside is lush and green and the locals are pleased to see the first arrivals of the tourist season. Not only that, but the weather at home is often still pretty miserable.
Spain is an obvious destination. We recommend you avoid the overcrowded resorts (you know the ones) and head instead to the fascinating coastline of Catalonia where you’ll find authentic villages and pretty coves. Further south, the unspoilt beaches of the Costa de la Luz are among the finest in the Iberian peninsular. If you want to rent a villa, head to the islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.
Greece is one of the best Easter holiday destinations. We particularly like Sani Resort in Halkidiki, one of the best resort hotels in the Med. Further south, Crete has great weather and a superb selection of boutique hotels and houses to rent. If you want luxury villas, head to Corfu. Or to escape the rigours of the modern world, flee to quiet, slow-paced Paxos.
The Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia will be great at this time, and not yet crowded. Forte Village Resort in Sardinia is great for sporty types, while the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily is truly luxurious.
Mainland Italy offers some real gems: rent a beautiful country villa in Le Marche, or if you want to stay in a classic hotel, head to the Amalfi Coast. We particularly like the Hotel Caruso Belvedere, and Hotel Santa Caterina.
In the southern Italian region of Puglia you’ll find superb beaches, historic towns and a warm welcome. We recommend a stay in a traditional stone-builttrullo, perhaps in a five-star masseria, or one of these self-catering trulli with pools.
Croatia offers great value holidays. We recommend the sparkling Dalmatian Coast and its fascinating archipelago of islands. Check out this great selection of hotels, cruises and apartments. We also recommend budget and luxury hotels on the stunning island of Hvar. It’s not far across the border to Montenegro which is fast emerging as one of the most interesting destinations in Europe – mountains, picturesque lakes, national parks, historic towns and dozens of small beaches are packed into a country half the size of Wales. See our pick of the best places to stay.
If you have young children we recommend the Martinhal Beach Resort & Hotel in Portugal’s Western Algarve – it’s stylish, family friendly and set on a stunning beach set in a national park.
Don’t forget the Aegean coast of Turkey where you’ll find some charming boutique hotels, plus the option to discover hidden bays and coves on a gulet cruise.
If you’re looking to rent a large villa, chateau or country house, check out Oliver’s Travels which has Easter deals in Italy, France, Spain, Greece and the UK.
Long haul Easter holidays 2016
In the Caribbean, Easter is the end of the peak season and a great time to visit for near-guaranteed fine weather. Head to Barbados for gorgeous hotels and a lively restaurant scene, Jamaica for culture, beaches and boutique hotels, or the Cayman Islands for great diving and a friendly vibe.
St Lucia is one of the most scenic islands – with lush volcanic hills, plantation houses and rainforest – but it also has some excellent hotels including Smugglers Cove Resort & Spa and the couples-only Rendezvous.
In the Indian Ocean, we recommend the wondrous island of Mauritius where you can expect 7 hours of daily sunshine and temperatures around 29ºC. Easter is a popular time of year for repeat clients, according to the specialist Beachcomber Tours.
In Asia, Koh Samui is an island that combines great beaches, friendly boutique hotels and buzzing nightlife. On a beautiful stretch of coastline in Malyasia, Tanjong Jara Resort is one of south east Asia’s most spectacular hotels.
Easter holidays in the UK
If you’re looking for a charming hotel within easy striking distance of London, try Maison Talbooth on the Essex/Suffolk border, not least for the superb cuisine.
It’s the start of the camping season. Pitching up in a field with a simple two-man tent could be a bit chilly at this time of year, but not if you head for Feather Down Farms which has luxury spacious fixed tents with heaters and proper beds at 20 working farms across the UK.
If you want to get away with a large group of friends, or two or three families, it’s a good idea to rent a large property. You can find a great selection of places in the UK and abroad at The Big Domain.
Easter in America
Spring is a wonderful time to visit the States. You could take a sunny city break in New York or Boston or embark on a self-drive tour of New England. You could join a film and movie location tour – covering everything from The Devil Wears Prada to Sex and the City and The Sopranos.
If you rent a car or motorhome you can enjoy the freedom of the road. Drive the Civil War route, around the Great Lakes, south from Miami to the Florida Keys or tackle the Grand Circle route through Nevada, Utah and Arizona.
It’s a good time to be in the South before the stifling heat of summer. Drive the 250-mile Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina, stay in luxury plantation houses between New Orleans and Charleston or join an escorted coach tour of Georgia and South Carolina.
California offers guaranteed sun. Relax at Shutters on the Beach in Santa Monica or in glamorous Palm Springs. There are plenty of great fly-drive options including the Pacific Coast Highway, one of the world’s most scenic drives. You can even do it in a convertible.
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Where to go on holiday at Easter if you’re bored with the usual holiday destinations? Here are a few different ideas.
How about an archaeological tour such as Pompeii. Or a cultural walking tour with Kudu Travel in one of the world’s most fascinating places. If you’re travelling alone, see our new site dedicated to Singles Holidays.
Feeling run down? Give your mind and body a full service and MOT at a health and fitness retreat run by in:spa.
Easter can be a great time for grabbing a late skiing break. You can usually bank on long days of sunshine in the Alps, but there is a risk of melting snow, so it’s best to hedge your bets by going somewhere at high altitude. We recommend Esprit Ski for families and Ski Total for chalet holidays and late deals.
Don’t want to fly? Hop on the Eurostar for a city break to Paris, Brussels, Bruges or Amsterdam. If you want to venture further afield you can’t beat Venice via the Alps on a superfast TGV. Check out the latest special offers.
See our selection of the best adventure holidays.
Last updated: 20 July 2015