With the year seemingly speeding by, many families are starting to plan their Easter getaway in the upcoming weeks. Despite it turning to spring it can still be quite chilly and damp in the UK at this time of year, so jetting off to the Mediterranean where weather is more reliably sunny makes it a popular destination. Flowers are blooming and you might even catch a bit of a tan!
Here are five ideas for your Easter holiday getaway this year.
Greece is big on Easter – really big! In fact Easter is one of the country’s biggest festivals. This usually means that most family attractions are closed from Good Friday until the following Tuesday, but if you opt to stay in one of the larger towns or cities, like Athens, you should be able to find things to do to keep you and the children occupied over the long weekend. There’s a hot-air balloon festival in Leonidio on Easter Saturday, or a pot-throwing festival in Corfu. Many of the beaches on the islands are warm but not overcrowded at this time of year, so it can be ideal for the whole family.
Turkey is also a great destination for families at this time of year. You can hire a luxurious villa and chill by its pool, or try a gulet cruise. A gulet is a traditional, two-mast wooden boat and there are several companies that offer family-friendly day trips around the coast. There’s also the option of heading to the lesser-known but stunning region of Cappadoccia for an astronomy tour among the area’s fairytale mountains.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and during Easter it shouldn’t be too crowded. Your best bet is to head towards the southern coast of the island to dip your toes in the Libyan Sea, as it’s warmer than the other areas at this time of year. The beaches can be quite rocky there, but they offer great diving and snorkelling opportunities. For lazing around with the kids, try the beaches at Amoudara and Analipsis. You can also go for day trips on ferries to the smaller islands around Crete, like Chrysi Island.
Benidorm sometimes gets a bad rap, with tales of debauched hen and stag nights, but the reality is very different and it’s actually very family-friendly. There are plenty of water parks like Aqualandia and Terra Mitica, or you could visit the underground caverns at Canelobre. There are jeep safaris and boat rides a-go-go. If that all sounds like hard work you’ll find Benidorm has lovely clean beaches, including Poniente, Pal Mas and Levante. There’s a short boat-ride from Pal Mas to the Peacock Island nature reserve if you do fancy a more active day out.
Portugal is also very fond of Easter, and the Algarve is home to lots of Easter festivals, fairs and processions if that’s your sort of thing. Head to Tavira on Palm Sunday to see a colourful Carmelite procession wind through the streets, or try out a “Folar Fair” in any of the area’s towns and villages. Folar cakes are moist cakes topped with – of all things – a boiled egg! Alternatively, choose any of the Algarve’s many beaches, like Praia de Rocha in Portimao, or Meia Prais in Lagos. If you like miniature railways, there’s a ride between Pedras del Rei to Praia da Ilha de Tavira in the Eastern Algarve. The choice is yours!