Easter is a fabulous time to take a family break with most schools having at least a two week holiday and once Spring is well and truly sprung it’s a great time to pack up and take a well-earned break! With flights now at affordable prices and the Eurostar and Ferry crossings make travelling easy and economical, heading off to enjoy a break that you and your family tailor to suit yourselves has never been easier.
A villa or apartment is ideal family accommodation and gives the best of both worlds: home comforts with a touch of luxury and a change of scenery.
A French Easter
A Pâques français – Easter in France allows plenty of scope for a variety of activities and is enchanting for all of the family. France is renowned for its culinary delights and the master chocolatiers offer the most sumptuous chocolate eggs, bunnies and Easter bells which replicate the church bells that are silent at Easter time (the tale being they have ‘gone to Rome to visit the Pope’)
Paris – the magic of Disneyland. Great fun for all of the family – make wonderful memories for the children from meeting their favourite Disney characters (remember to take autograph books), fabulous rides, and processions with acrobats, music and magnificent firework displays.
France is home to many cultural sites maybe take a trip to Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris a spectacular piece of French gothic architecture with 850 years of history. Well worth a visit even if you don’t want to attend a mass. Over Easter there are several masses and the magnificent bell ringing is truly amazing.
Easter time is still a good time for skiing with resorts such as Courchevel and Chamonix having great snow conditions and a variety of slopes to suit all abilities – fun in the snow for all of the family.
Spanish Easter Celebrations
Spain is famous for its Easter week long celebrations. Semana Santa (holy week) is celebrated all over Spain with each region giving a slightly different feel. Processions through the streets of many towns and cities take place with robed locals carrying statues, altars and other religious artefacts accompanied by music and song.
Seville is famous world-wide for its Easter processions with 58 organised processions taking place – quite spectacular and a memorable experience.
Whilst in Seville it is worth visiting Maria Luisa Park. The park itself is stunning and home to some gorgeous and renowned architecture such as The Plaza de Espan a fusion of Art Deco and Mudejar this Palace has a moat with four bridges and a spectacular fountain in the centre. Also situated in the park is Plaza de America – beautiful gardens which are home to fountains, ponds as well as many doves surrounding the amazing architectural buildings that make up the Plaza. The neo-renaissance building houses the archaeological museum one of the best Museums in Spain.
For family adventure visit Isla Magica theme park located on the Island of La Cartuja – thrilling rides, live music and shows providing great family fun.
The Aquopolis Seville Guadalpark this water park has many chutes, slides and pools – the children will have a fabulous time making a Splash.
Easter in Italy
Italy for me is a joy at any time of the year. Easter time is steeped in historical traditions that take place in most regions across Italy.
Italy has two islands Sicily and Sardinia; both are beautiful and well worth visiting. Easter is the most important religious holiday of the year and the celebrations are magnificent. Sardinians refer to this time as Sa Pasca Manna meaning big Easter festival and celebrate with fascinating and captivating processions.
Castelsardo located in the Northwest of the Island hosts the most impressive procession in Sardina – Lunissanti takes place on Easter Monday, in the evening the street lights are turned off, flaming torches light the streets, prayers and song fill the air the atmosphere is mystic and medieval.
Visiting Castelsardo at Easter will be quieter than summer time, with its hilltop castle glorious sunsets and white sandy beaches within easy reach this is the perfect family destination. Explore some of Sardinia’s picturesque coastline, towns and harbours making the most of this quieter time of year.
Isola Rosa is a 25 minute drive away and has a pretty harbour and sandy beach. You can take boat tours and explore some of Sardinia’s unspoilt coast, stop in little coves and dive into the clear waters to admire some of the beautiful sea life, some excursions drop you at beaches only reachable by boat to enjoy some quiet beach and sea time. Isola Rosa has several pizzerias and good sea food restaurants.
Take the costal road to Costa Smeralda with its big yachts designer shops and sophisticated restaurants it’s well worth a visit.
Within a short ferry ride away is Maddalena Island and the French Island of Corsica.
With so much to do and see and accommodation available spanning all budgets make this Easter break one to remember!
“This is a Guest post from Kirsti Banyard, a travel writer for HomeAway