Easter holiday ideas
By Mark Hodson, Sunday Times Travel Writer
Looking for holiday ideas over Easter 2021? You’ve come to the right place – whether you want a budget holiday, a weekend break or you want to know where is hot.
These are my own personal recommendations with links to companies tested and approved by our team of editors. If you’re travelling with children, please see our recommended family holidays at Easter.
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Easter holiday dates 2021
In 2021 Easter Sunday falls on 4 April. 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 need to go for a (very) 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.
Where is hot at Easter? 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 island of Mallorca.
Greece is one of the best Easter holiday destinations. We particularly like the MarBella Collection, some 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 a luxury villa holiday at Easter, 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.
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-built trullo, 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. It’s not far across the border to Montenegro which is great value and 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 the best places to stay.
Don’t forget the Aegean coast of Turkey where you’ll find some charming boutique hotels, such as the family-run Kalkan Regency, and a great collection of villas with private pools such as Mavi Deniz. You also have the option of exploring 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 2021
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 Windjammer Landing 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.
Easter is also an excellent time to take that holiday in China or India you’ve been promising yourself for so long now. In India, it’s a great time to year to explore the Golden Triangle of Delhi, Jaipur and Agra, and a private tour with chauffeur-driven car is good value with TransIndus.
Easter holidays in the UK
It’s spring! Easter is a great time to explore the beautiful British countryside. Pull on your walking boots and rent a cottage in the Peak District or the Lake District. For a little more luxury, try one of these houses in the Cotswolds.
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.
Where to go on holiday at Easter if you’re bored with the usual holiday destinations? Here are a few different ideas.
Head to Istanbul where Europe meets Asia and worlds collide: fabulously ornate mosques, colourful markets and hip rooftop bars.
Feeling run down? Give your mind and body a full service and MOT at a health and fitness retreat run by in:spa.
You could explore cultural sites of Britain on a small-group tour with Martin Randall Travel led by an expert in art, music or architecture. New ideas include Churchill’s England, the Tudors and Britain’s railways.
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. Note: Esprit Ski has cancelled its 2020 winter programme but is taking bookings from December 2021.
>> See our sister site for the best honeymoon destinations at Easter.
Last updated: 21 December 2020