Easter bookings have got off to a cracking start – and we’re not yolking. Thankfully, our ‘Eleven Easter Escapes’ feature is better than our puns so if you’re yet to consider a spring getaway, do take a look. This year, Easter falls late, so, depending on your destination, the weather may be even better than usual.
Head to the Catholic countries of Latin America where Easter is a major celebration. There’s street processions and national holidays, a time when there’s a real ‘festival’ atmosphere pretty much anywhere you go.
Mid haul destinations like Jordan, Egypt, Oman and Morocco are great options too. In this part of the world, spring is a time when flowers start to bloom and you can fully explore ancient sites or go hiking without getting too hot and sticky.
Venturing east, on an Easter family holiday in South East Asia you could be enjoying average daytime temperatures of 30 degrees plus, not to mention some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Mid-April also sees the New Year festivities in Thailand, Laos, Burma and Cambodia and some of the world’s biggest water fights….you have been warned!
One destination we haven’t included but needs special Easter mention is the Galapagos. At this time of year, eggs are hatching all over the place during March and April and it’s a really egg-citing (last one, we promise) time to visit. Although giant tortoise hatchlings are coming to an end, land iguanas hatch in Isabella, green sea turtles start to emerge whilst the massive arrival of waved albatross on Espanola marks the start of courting season. For further inspiration, look at Helene’s comprehensive blog of what else to expect from a Galapagos adventure.
Travel at Easter? Get cracking!
Eight hours of sunshine and an average temperature of 28 degrees (highs of 31 degrees): that’s what you can expect from this wildlife and adventure packed South East Asian destination. April heralds the dry season in Borneo and is the driest month of the year, although there can be late afternoon showers.
Yes, Morocco has some phenomenal coastline and beaches (it’s rapidly becoming a surfing destination, didn’t you know?!) but why loll around on the sand when exploring the Atlas mountains is warm, hovering around the early 20’s and the slopes are carpeted with spring flowers? With the tourist season just getting underway, you might even be able to bag more of a bargain than usual in the souq.
Easter in Mexico is A VERY BIG DEAL. Semana Santa (‘Holy Week’ in English), the week leading up to Easter, is an important religious holiday in Mexico. You’ll see religious celebrations and processions, palm leaves aloft, through towns and villages. It’s also a time when families head to the beach and tourist attractions to make the most of their spare time as well as escape from the cities during the hot, dry spell at this time of year. If you’re someone who wants to travel a country to experience this festival atmosphere, there’s rarely a more vibrant time to visit, (except for October’s Day of the Dead festivals). However, we do recommend booking early to guarantee accommodation availability.
Take a look at our Mexico family holidays page for further inspiration or a sample itinerary, Best of Mexico Yucatan Peninsula. If you’d rather avoid the crowds during Easter week, then you can visit nearby Belize, too.
Thailand is hot and humid throughout the year and April can be fairly steamy. The perfect time, in fact, for a water fight. A giant one. Across the whole country. Songkran is the Thai New Year and falls in mid-April; it is a time of re-birth and renewal and is celebrated by everyone taking to the streets with giant water pistols, throwing buckets of water onto passers-by and generally getting wet.
After all of the excitement, head to the beaches….perhaps a peaceful island off the west coast? This time of year is perfect for snorkelling, swinging in a hammock and being cooled by breezes under the shade of a palm tree. It may not be the most active end to an Easter family holiday, with temperatures of just over 30 degrees, but if a slice of paradise is what you’re after, Thailand at Easter is hard to beat.
It’s a relatively ‘new kid on the block’ in terms of Middle Eastern destinations but in the past few years, the popularity of Oman has soared amongst family travellers – and with good reason. It boasts fabulous beaches, mountain scenery, ancient forts, picturesque fishing villages, oases and deserts (think true ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ and you’re there). And although there’s luxury hotels popping up all over the place, the price tag is much less than its glitzier near neighbour, Dubai. There’s only a seven-and-a-half hour direct flight time between the UK and guaranteed Easter sunshine.
6. Sri Lanka
April is one of the best months of the year to travel to Sri Lanka. It will rain at some point (this is the tropics, there is always some rain!) but you should have lots of blue skies and plenty of sunshine. At this time of year, you will want to stick to the middle and south of the island to experience the best of the weather, with temperatures hovering around the low to mid 30s.
If you head to Mirissa (on the south coast) you have a great chance of seeing blue whales and if you venture to the remote beaches on the Kalpitiya peninsula, you should see large pods of dolphins surfing on the waves. The Sri Lankan New Year falls in the middle of April, so shops and restaurants will close for a couple of days, but it doesn’t greatly affect any travel plans.
7. Costa Rica
It’s almost a case of ‘last bite of the cherry’ for this stunning country, along with its Central American neighbours, Guatemala and Belize, with April marking the last of the dry season. There will be some rain (you don’t get the rainforest, without frequent rain) but there should be lots of sunshine too. If you head to the Southern Pacific coast around Uvita, April is whale watching season with superb sightings on day boat trips off the coast.
It’s worth noting, though, that due to Easter’s increasing popularity, the best family-friendly accommodation (and flight availability, particularly internal flights) get booked up in advance. Our advice is to book at least 6 months ahead to bag the best of it.
Namibia is one of the sunniest destinations in the world with over 300 days of sunshine. Easter is a wonderful time to visit; not too hot (so climbing those giant sand dunes is do-able) but also not too cold. In fact, the comfortable night time temperatures mean that camping is a great option for more adventurous families at Easter. Spend your days kayaking amidst seal colonies in Swakopmund, exploring the extraordinary desert landscapes of Sossusvlei and searching for game in the vast wilderness that is Etosha National Park. It’s adventurous and otherworldly, with dramatically different landscapes depending on whether you’re at the coast or interior.
Also, Namibia is one of Africa’s best value safari destinations, and Easter is not peak season so you can grab yourself a bargain.
Having been off the travel map for the past few years, consumer confidence has returned – and with it, family travellers. (As long-time fans of the destination, we’re stoked). For many it’s the ultimate family holiday destination. A relatively short flight (under 6 hours) yet for young and not – so – young kids, archaeological sites that are instantly recognisable (you can tick the history syllabus off your ‘to do’ list). Pyramids! Temples! Sailing down the Nile! Camel safaris! Pharaoh’s tombs! Even better, Easter is the perfect time to travel here as there will be guaranteed sunshine, but it isn’t too hot.
Brazil has one of the largest Catholic populations in the world which, like Mexico, means that Easter is a major celebration. For the family traveller, you’ll witness spectacular, colourful processions in historic and main cities during Holy Week, whilst the beaches will be busy with local families making the most of their spring holiday. We are fully aware that this can be a good or a bad thing depending on your perspective! Intrigued? We’ve come across this Tripsavvy blog which gives you the inside story on what to expect during Easter in Brazil. Feliz Páscoa!
Our Family Holidays in Brazil destination page sheds light on just what you can see and do in Brazil but for a more specific insight, take a look at our sample Brazil itineraries. Brazil is a great place for Easter family holidays – see some of our favourite family activities here.
Easter is the perfect time to visit Jordan. The temperatures are warm but not yet ‘fried egg on rock’ hot, and you can expect endless sunshine to show off the beautiful desert landscapes. More active families will find this a great time of year to be able to take bike rides to the Dead Sea, hike in Wadi Rum and follow the Wadi Feynan trail through the spectacular Feynan valley. Add in remote crusader castles, stunning Roman ruins (often carpeted by wildflowers at Easter) and the dramatic Nabatean ruins at Petra, and you might just have found your perfect Easter family holiday.
Click here for an overview of Jordan family holidays and take a look at our example Jordan itineraries.
Easter family holidays
If you’d like to start planning an Easter family holiday, do ring us for a chat or email via our online form, and we can work with you on a quotation for your exact dates. Every holiday is tailor-made to exactly suit you and your family.
Liddy Pleasants, MD Stubborn Mule Travel
I’m always interested to hear about your travels so do email me with your feedback and experiences of past Easter family holidays.
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