Perhaps there’s nothing more romantic in the spring than strolling the Champs-Elysées or more enchanting than exploring Prague Castle. If you’re looking for something unconventional or further afield continental Europe, though, consider boogie-boarding in Barbados or traversing ice caves in Iceland. Whether you’re a beach bum or adventure junkie, traveling alone or with children, here are six inspiring Easter break destinations.
Fancy learning to kitesurf? Or doing nothing but lounging by the resort pool? Cape Verde awaits. Just off the northwest coast of Africa, Cape Verde offers lush island resorts, colourful towns brimming with Afro-Portuguese culture and warm weather year-round, making it perfect for family holidays. There are plenty of activities for parents to do with the kids. In Sal Island (fittingly, sal means “salt”), visitors can float in a salt mine, kitesurf and walk around pastel-coloured shophouses. For a quieter escape, head to Boa Vista. The island, whose name means “beautiful view,” is perfect for couples seeking a more exclusive beach retreat.
With average temperatures hovering just above 0°C, Iceland might not be the first destination to pop in mind for the Easter holidays. However, with the winter peak season ending and before the start of summer tourism, Easter is a great time to visit, especially for adventure-seekers. Sign up for a guided tour to explore Vatnajökull’s ice caves. Or soak in the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa but remember to book a spot in advance. Party the night away at the annual music festival, Aldrei fór ég suður, which is held every Easter weekend in Ísafjörður. Or, if you’re lucky, you might still catch the Northern Lights during this time.
It’s not quite beach weather during Semana Santa, the Holy Week, but there are enough festivities on this vibrant island off Spain to keep travellers, especially those with young children, entertained. Forget hunting for Easter eggs. Centuries-old processions in which performers wear period costumes and re-enact the Passion of Christ abound in Sineu, Pollensa, and the capital, Palma. All over Majorca, bakeries sell savoury panade, or meat pie, as well as rubiol, which can be sweet and filled with various ingredients including cheese and jam or savoury and stuffed with vegetables.
In April, some days are surprisingly warm and others cool and rainy, but the Big Apple promises something for any traveller. Children and adults can enjoy the Easter Parade, an annual tradition since the 1880s where women (and men!) wear elaborate bonnets decorated with colourful flowers, Easter eggs and even life-sized bunnies. Easter egg hunts for kids will take place in various locations around the five boroughs, including the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and Riverside Park. Adults can enjoy the sunset, martini in hand, at one the city’s many rooftop bars such as 230 Fifth, a classic midtown bar near the Empire State Building, and Mr Purple, which offers sweeping views of lower Manhattan.
It is usually sunny and several degrees cooler on this tropical Caribbean island around Easter, which makes it a wonderful time to hit the beach. Swim in the calm waters of Heron Bay or take on the swells of Crane Beach on a boogie board. There is also the annual Oistins Fish Festival, held during Easter weekend at Oistins fishing village where vendors also sell arts and crafts and festival-goers dance to live music. On Easter Monday, after a seafood-filled weekend, bring your children to the Kite Flying Competition at Garrison Savannah. Make sure to pick up some freshly-baked hot cross buns along the way.
There are pockets of laid-back-ness in this increasingly popular Mediterranean getaway. With an average high of about 20°C in April, the waters might be too cold for a dip but certainly not for tanning by the pool. Couples looking for privacy can escape to Marsaxlokk, a quiet, idyllic fishing village, to row boats and feast on lampuki, the Maltese name for mahi-mahi. Or take a ferry to Gozo island where the small farming and fishing community is extremely welcoming and there is no shortage of food, especially Malta’s traditional delicacy, the rabbit. Easter weekend turns boisterous with processions near churches in Malta and Gozo. It is also customary to eat figolli, or Maltese almond cake, during this time.