Family holidays at Easter
By William and Sally Gray, Editors of 101 Family Holidays
Best deals for families in Easter 2016
Are you looking for family holidays at Easter? We have put together some great ideas both in the UK and overseas, whatever your budget, whether you want a traditional celebration or an escape on a tropical beach. We have recommendations for families with children of all ages from babies up to teenagers.
April is a great month to grab some early summer sunshine – the days are getting longer, the Mediterranean is warming up nicely, it’s a great time for activity holidays and it’s not too late to grab some late skiing. Or see our pick of the best self-catering holidays for families.
Easter dates: in 2016, Easter Sunday falls on 27 March.
Family Easter holidays in the Mediterranean
Easter is a wonderful time to be in the Med, particularly for families. Sunshine is almost guaranteed yet temperatures are manageable and humidity is low. And without the summer crowds, resorts feel more friendly as locals welcome the first of the season’s visitors. The only downside is that the sea water can be a bit chilly for swimming (fine for kids, not so great for mums and dads). If that’s an issue, stay somewhere with a pool.
The further south in the Med you head, the better the chance of hot weather. Crete is a long way south and has some great places to stay including the Pendamodi villas which are set in wild countryside with a private pool and free hire car. At the luxury end of the market, Daios Cove has stylish family suites and an exclusive Scott Dunn children’s club for ages 4 months – 13 years.
Cyprus is also a great bet. We like the Aphrodite Hills Resort, a large beachfront hotel with interconnecting rooms and oodles of facilities including a 18-hole championship golf course, tennis courts, a children’s Pirates Village, beach club and spa.
Andalucia in southern Spain also works well. We recommend this collection of luxury villas in and around Marbella, Puerto Banus and Estepona.
Puglia is far enough south in Italy to enjoy great weather at Easter. We recommend the Borgo Egnazia, a charming hotel with great facilities for children along with golf, watersports and spa for the grown-ups. The Ostuni Rosa Marina Resort has tennis courts, football pitches and children’s clubs for ages 4 – 17.
In Portugal, the Algarve has very reliable weather in March and April. If you have a generous budget, you could rent a luxury villa such as Casa na Colina which has a home cinema, children’s playground, pool table and heated swimming pool.
Don’t forget the glorious islands of Corsica and Sardinia. Check out this great selection of hotels, villas, apartments and residences on Corsica (and see the latest special offers). On Sardinia you’ll find excellent family-friendly hotels including Forte Village and Chia Laguna Resort.
If you like a bargain, take a look at First Choice SplashWorld which has 24 all-inclusive hotels in sunny locations, each with a water park on site or next door and free supervised children’s clubs.
A villa holiday is a great way for families to enjoy the Mediterranean. We recommend villas in the Greek island of Corfu, Paxos and Lefkada and charming Kefalonia where many properties are within a short walk of beach, shops and tavernas.
Easter is also a good time to visit Catalunya in the north-east corner of Spain, and if you get away from the package resorts you’ll find some lovely villas in Mallorca. See the latest special offers.
How about a cycling holiday giving you and your kids the chance to explore a new region under your own steam with detailed maps and itineraries. Easter is a great time of year for this (it’s not too hot) and it’s great value. Independent tours last between 6 and 12 nights with popular destinations including Brittany, the Loire Valley in France, and the Catalan coast of Spain (with a few nights in Barcelona). Your baggage is transported for you, and there’s a comfortable family hotel at the end of each day.
Or check out Families Worldwide which has group adventure tours to exciting destinations such as Morocco (6-16 yrs) and Vesuvius & Pompeii (5-15 yrs) where kids can learn to make pasta, visit ancient sites, climb the volcano and relax on the Amalfi Coast.
We’ve discovered some gorgeous family-friendly accommodation in Italy. The Borgo Scopeta Relais in Siena, Tuscany, is outstanding, and we also love this selection of agriturismi (farm stays) such as La Casella in the Umbrian countryside, which has a horse riding school, hiking, tennis and mountain biking.
For a short break with young children, how about exploring Paris on a choice of private tours, including a drive around the French capital in a chauffeur-driven Citroen 2CV, a visit to the Eiffel Tower and a lesson in making baguettes. Details from Family Twist.
Or spend a few days exploring one of Europe’s great cities, staying in a family apartment. Our favourites include a loft in Paris, a canal boat in Amsterdam, a stylish apartment in Berlin and a designer home in Barcelona.
Morocco isn’t quite in the Mediterranean, but it’s easy to reach (just three hours flying time), good value and the weather is perfect in Easter. Explore the souks, surf the Atlantic, climb into the Atlas Mountains or tour the kasbahs. We recommend Lawrence of Morocco which has some great activities for kids.
Long haul holidays over Easter
Although it’s not strictly long haul, the Middle East is perfect in Easter. Try these photography holidays for families with The Adventure Company.
This part of the world is ideal for active families and inquisitive minds. We love these official Tintin family holidays for children aged 7 – 12, including a 10-day journey to Egypt and a 8-day adventure in Jordan.
Families Worldwide has one of the best selections of activity holidays for families. We’ve highlighted these wildlife trips to Costa Rica, because it’s such an amazing country but they have options all over the world.
Even with just two weeks off school, you’ll have enough of time to take a dream trip in Africa. We love these malaria-free safaris in South Africa and these family wildlife safaris in Kenya. In South Africa, you could take a Cape Town, Garden Route and Safari fly drive and stay at the fabulous Grootbos Nature Reserve.
Easter is a great time to visit the Caribbean but you need to pick your hotel with care. For families we particularly recommend the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua and Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Jamaica. In Antigua, Carlisle Bay is particularly good for babies and toddlers.
If you love to be on the water how about a sailing holiday in the British Virgin Islands, home to some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. Stay at a fabulous barefoot hotel such as the Bitter End Yacht Club.
Increasing numbers of families are heading to Asia. You can find great family adventure holidays in Sri Lanka or explore Vietnam, taking an overnight junk cruise in Halong Bay and sleeping in luxury safari tents at Cat Tien National Park. Thailand is a wonderful destination for families with exciting cultural sights, great beaches and good food. See this Thailand with Teens tour for kids aged 12 and over.
The USA is packed with adventure ideas. How about an exciting five-day rafting trip down Cataract Canyon (minimum age 10) or a tour with a Native American guide through Monument Valley. See more adventure holidays in the USA.
If it’s beaches you crave, we recommend One&Only Reethi Rah in the Maldives, or The Residence Mauritius. Also in Mauritius, Beachcomber Tours has free kids clubs at its resorts with lots of free sports, including water-skiing.
Easter holidays in the UK
Although warm weather is far from guaranteed, Easter can be a great time to explore the UK as a family. It’s a good time for self-catering, although a bit early in the year for camping. We recommend these family-friendly cottages in Cornwall and this collection of more than 100 dog-friendly cottages.
Sheepskin has some stunning (and quirky) cottages that are ideal for families. Our favourites include Lletty which is set in a forest clearing with views of the Black Mountains in Wales, and has a zip wire, trampoline and woodland to explore.
On the island of Jersey, the Merton Hotel is one of the best family hotels in the UK with a weather-proof Aquadome (with pools, slides, fountains, sauna and steam room) and an outdoor pool complex, complete with a Flowrider where kids can learn to surf.
Try our family holiday quiz
If you’re still not sure where to take your baby on holiday, why not try our family holiday quiz. Answer a few fun questions like the one below and we’ll tell you what kind of family you are, and give you a selection of personalised recommendations. Try the quiz now.
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