Easter holiday ideas in the UK and Europe
Families and those looking to make the most of the long weekend over Easter can take advantage of the wealth of travel ideas in the UK and Europe, as well as the weak Euro bringing prices down across Europe. Below is a roundup of Easter ideas from Lotus UK clients.
EASTER CHOCOLATE IN AMSTERDAM AND BRUGES BY BIKE AND BOAT
Pick up some of the best chocolate in the world this Easter in Belgium and Amsterdam, travelling by bike and boat. A seven night trip from Macs Adventure travels along the canals by night on a ‘floating hotel’ and offers a cycle route through the iconic cities of Antwerp, Ghent, Bruges and Amsterdam by day. In Amsterdam pick up treats at top chocolatiers Puccini Bomboni (www.puccinibomboni.com) and Chocolate Makers (www.chocolatemakers.nl) and enjoy more than 2,000 chocolate shops in Belgium. Other highlights include the incredible 19 windmills of Kinderdijk in the Netherlands, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the dune landscapes of the “Het Zwin” nature reserve in Belgium. The cycling is easy to moderate thanks to the flat landscape of the ‘Low Countries’.
The trip costs £705 per person including seven nights accommodation, all meals, bike rental, city tours in the evening and all route information. The tour starts and finishes in Amsterdam, with return flights from Gatwick with Easyjet (easyjet.com) starting from £85 return over Easter. Departures available on any date. http://macsadventure.com/ 0141 530 8187
WHALE WATCHING IN ITALY
The whale watching season in Liguria starts in April, tying in perfectly with the Easter holidays. The protected waters around the region, in the north west of Italy, make them one of the richest areas for marine life in the Mediterranean with frequent sightings of fin, pilot and sperm whales, as well turtles and dolphins. Families can base themselves in Liguria’s capital Genoa, where the whale watching tours depart, taking four to five hours. The tours are accompanied by a professional biologist who will point out the marine life and discuss each sighting.
Tours cost £24 per adult and £13 per child. www.whalewatchliguria.it/ www.whalewatchgenova.it For a three night break from 10-13 April, return flights from Stansted to Genoa with Ryanair (www.ryanair.com) cost from £70 return and overnight stays in the Best Western City Hotel Genoa (www.bwcityhotel-ge.it/en) cost from £112 per night in a family suite with a panoramic terrace.
FIRST CHANNEL ISLANDS HERITAGE FESTIVAL
The first Channel Islands Heritage Festival from 3 April- 11 May will open up the incredible history of the five islands – Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and Herm – to the public. The festival has been set up to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Channel Islands’ liberation from occupying German forces during WWII and will feature exclusive historic openings. Ideal for families, there will be special openings of historic sites such as the tunnels at Guernsey’s Castle Cornet, new history themed cycle tours, a shark egg hunt on Alderney’s shores and open days at various forts and bunkers. www.visitchannelislands.com
Channel Islands Direct offers a three night stay in Guernsey over the Easter holidays for £249 per adult and from £99 per child up to the age of 11. This includes return flights from London Gatwick, three nights’ accommodation in a family room at the 4* St Pierre Park and breakfast. http://www.channelislandsdirect.co.uk// 08444 937 486
A TRULY ORTHODOX EASTER IN ATHENS
Greek Orthodox Easter is a week after Easter in the UK, celebrated on 12 April. This is an ideal time to visit Greece as the crowds haven’t yet descended. Head to Athens, where the Holy Week celebrations will be in full flow. Good Friday sees processions chanting funeral psalms followed by resurrection victuals being prepared on Easter Saturday. Shortly before midnight on Easter Saturday people gather in churches and the Resurrection of Christ is celebrated at midnight sharp with drum beats and traditional food.
Stay in Athens at the Emporikon (http://emporikonathenshotel.com/), a luxury hotel in the heart of historic Athens, which recently opened after more than half a century. Overnight stays start from £73 including breakfast. Return flights to Athens from Gatwick cost from £65 return with Easyjet (www.easyjet.com).
CYCLE TO SEE EASTER CHICKS IN THE CAMARGUE, FRANCE
Check out Easter chicks in Europe’s best-known wetland, the Camargue in southern France, on a six night cycling trip from Macs Adventure. The Camargue is a unique plain comprising large lagoons and marshes and is a haven for 340 species of birds including flamingos, egrets, and herons – some of which nest in April. The route is mostly along flat cycle paths and meandering trails around inland lakes. It also takes in the two elegant and historic cities of Montpellier and Nimes; the medieval walled town of Aigues-Mortes and traditional villages.
The trip costs £650 per person including accommodation with breakfast, baggage transfers, route notes and maps. The trip starts and finishes in Montpelier with return flights from Gatwick to Montpelier starting from £159 return with Easyjet (www.easyjet.com). Departures available on any date. http://macsadventure.com/ 0141 530 8187
LUXURY SKI HOLIDAY IN AUSTRIA
Catch the last drift of the ski season with an Easter package at the stunning Jagdgut Wachtelhof, an enchanting hunting chalet, located off the beaten track in the picturesque village of Hinterthal. The Easter package, available via Small Luxury Hotels of the World includes a six-night-stay between 27 March and 12 April, with an extensive luxurious brunch on Easter Sunday, a four-course Easter menu featuring a complimentary bottle of wine and a surprise Easter gift. Prices start from £732 per room based on two people sharing on a half board basis. www.slh.com/hotels/jagdgut-wachtelhof/
SHAKESPEARIAN EASTER BREAK IN STRATFORD
Located opposite the renowned Royal Shakespeare Company Theatres, The Arden Hotel is an old English manor house ideally located to explore the birth place of William Shakespeare as well as the glorious surrounding countryside. The special two night Easter package includes a tasty traditional Good Friday fish supper and a full English breakfast on both days. Prices start from £325 per room based on two people sharing with Small Luxury Hotels of the World™. www.slh.com/hotels/the-arden-hotel-stratford/
Images from left to right:
1. Abriendo Mentes, Costa Rica, Copyright KateHood.com
2. Nuevas Esperanzas, Nicaragua
3. Vidarte Space, Brazil