Family holidays at Easter
By Mark Frary, Editor of 101 Family Holidays
Best deals for families in Easter 2017
Are you looking for family holidays at Easter? On this page you’ll find 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. I 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 my pick of the best self-catering holidays for families.
Easter dates: in 2017, Easter Sunday falls on 16 April.
Family holidays in Europe and the Med
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. I like the Almyra which combines cool contemporary design with a beachfront setting and great facilities for young children.
Puglia is far enough south in Italy to enjoy great weather at Easter. Check out this selection of hotels including the Borgo Egnazia, which has 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.
Sicily is also a reliable bet over Easter – head for the Verdura Golf & Spa Resort which has a superb beach, free kids clubs, tennis academy, Juventus Camp football academy and bike hire.
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.
If you’re looking for a short break, Efteling in Holland is a theme park that works for all family members. It’s easy to reach, good value and set in lovely countryside. Stay at the Efteling Hotel or Bosrijk Village.
A villa holiday is a great way for families to enjoy the Mediterranean. I 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. There are some great villas in this region for families, or you could opt for the beautiful town of Sitges near Barcelona, where I recommend these villas. Also see the latest special offers.
If you get away from the package resorts you’ll also find some lovely villas in Mallorca. See the latest special offers. If you want to treat yourselves, check out Sir Richard Branson’s new Son Bunyola estate in Mallorca which has just a handful of spectacular villas set in 680 acres of unspoilt countryside. You also get your own private chef, and a concierge.
How about a self-guided family 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. Your baggage is transported for you, and there’s a comfortable family hotel at the end of each day. Most popular destinations include Mallorca and Catalonia.
I’ve discovered some gorgeous family-friendly accommodation in Italy. The Borgo Scopeta Relais in Siena, Tuscany, is outstanding, and I 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, you can explore Paris, Rome on Florence on a luxury private tour. Treats in the French capital include treasure hunts at the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay, a scooter ride around the Eiffel Tower and a lesson in making French pastries. Details from Family Twist.
Or spend a few days exploring one of Europe’s great cities, staying in a family apartment. My favourites include a loft in Paris, a canal boat in Amsterdam, a stylish apartment in Lisbon and a designer home in Barcelona.
Long haul family 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.
If you just want to have fun in the sun, head to Dubai – it’s a six hour flight but you can expect temperatures of 30ºC and 9 hours of daily sunshine. It can be difficult to pick a hotel but for families I recommend the One and Only Royal Mirage – it has a great location, great kids programmes and facilities. For teenagers, go for Atlantis, The Palm or Jumeirah Zabeel Saray.
Even with just two weeks off school, you’ll have enough of time to take a dream trip in Africa. I 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 I particularly recommend the all-inclusive Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua, Almond Beach Resort in Barbados 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.
Or head to California for a heady mix of beaches, national parks, iconic cities and theme parks. I particularly like this 11-night America’s West road trip along Route 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles via Yosemite National Park.
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. This Southern Beach and Jungle Adventure, with elephant encounters, jungle treks and canoeing, works particularly well at Easter. See more family holidays in Thailand.
For the ultimate educational trip of a lifetime, how about the Galapagos Islands where you’ll have the most amazing up-close experiences with exotic wildlife. Try this beach and cruise Family Ecuador and Galapagos itinerary.
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, I 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. I 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. My favourites include Hawkesmoor Barn which has stunning views of the Peak District National Park, and is a great base for walking and mountain biking. Get more ideas on places to stay.
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.
Last updated: 24 February 2017