Easter falls quite early this year, over the last weekend of March and first weekend of April. By this point most people are sick of the rain, snow, ice, sleet and darkness and are craving some early summer sun. Easter can be a great long weekend to get away and grab some sunshine as the days are starting to get longer and many places in southern Europe are starting to warm up quite nicely. It is an ideal time of the year to take a break, escape the ‘April showers’, top up your Vitamin D levels and explore a new destination that will allow you to soak up some warmth, but not get fried like you would in the hot summer months! You could spend your Easter long weekend relaxing in the sunshine by the sea, on a city break or further afield enjoying a cultural getaway. Here are our picks for the best European destinations for some Easter sunshine!
PORTUGAL’S ALGARVE REGION
Portugal’s tourism has been booming in the last few years. We visited a few years ago and truly fell in love with this beautiful country, its landscapes, culture, beaches, people and cuisine. The beautiful southern coastal region, the Algarve is one of the sunniest parts of Europe with at least 8 hours of sunshine a day and average temperatures at Easter of around 21ºC. This dramatic stretch of coastline can almost guarantee sun and blue skies from March onwards and offers incredible limestone cliffs, blindingly blue seas that are chilly but still swimmable and towns such as Lagos that are lively and offer some of the best seafood in Europe! It’s affordable and easy to get to from the UK, making it the perfect Easter getaway.
Read more: 5 Must See Destinations on the Algarve, Portugal Campervan Photo Diary, Exploring the Algarve & Alentejo with Soul Campers, Portugal Campervan Itinerary, The Ultimate Alagarve Retreat: Vila Monte Farm House, Fazenda Nova Country House in the Eastern Alargarve
Crete is blessed with one of the earliest springs in all of the Mediterranean! It’s southern coast has its own micro-climate, meaning it is the best place for sunshine, with an average temperature of 18°C. Crete is the largest of Greece’s beautiful islands and boasts beautiful beaches, history, culture and villages. Easter is also a fantastic time to visit Crete to witness the Orthodox Easter celebrations.
Sicily is one of Italy’s most mesmerizing islands, with evocative Greek and Roman ruins, beautiful towns and villages, incredible cuisine, the magnificent Mount Etna and an endless stretch of beautiful beaches. You’ll be spoilt for choice with celebrations over the Easter period with back-to-back festivals throughout Spring and temperatures averaging around 17°C. It is the perfect time to visit Sicily with mild sunshine and water temperatures that are warm enough to swim in.
Mallorca, the largest of the Balearic Islands is a very popular summer holiday destination for British travellers, but what many people don’t realise is that it is actually best visited during Spring! Easter in Mallorca offers guests warm weather, wild flowers in bloom, quiet villages and beaches all to yourself, with temperatures upwards of 20˚C in the south!
Malta is the perfect Easter escape that has something on offer for everyone, even if the weather doesn’t turn out to be as sunny as you’d hoped! In early Spring there is on average 8 hours of daily sunshine, with temperatures hovering around 20ºC. Malta has a stunning coastline, the historic walled city of Valletta and opportunities for island hopping around Malta and to the nearby islands of Gozo and Comino! You’ll love spending your day at sea, soaking up the sunshine and searching for caves, grottoes, lagoons, mighty cliffs, medieval towns and beautiful beaches. Malta is somewhere that we are yet to visit, but is still high on our bucket list!
Easter is a great time to visit Portugal’s capital city as the days are long and sunny and the charming, cobblestoned streets are beginning to warm up! Lisbon is one of those cities that has it all, wih beautiful architecture, charming historical buildings, luxurious hotels, beautiful beaches within a short drive and some of Europe’s best and most affordable cuisine! Easter temperatures hover between 18-20˚C, the perfect temperature for a city break!
When George Bernard Shaw first visited the magical city of Dubrovnik he said “those who seek paradise on Earth should come to Dubrovnik” as well as famously describing it as “the pearl of the Adriatic”. Dubrovnik is an incredible city located in southern Croatia which is known for its beautiful, well-preserved Old Town which is encircled by massive stone walls and which became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Dubrovnik has particularly risen into the spotlight in recent years due to the fact it is one of the major filming locations of the popular TV show Game of Thrones. During the summer months, Dubrovnik is almost unbearably busy with constant cruise ships and so Easter is an ideal time to visit with less crowds and mild Spring sunshine, with temperatures reaching around 15°C.
Early Spring, around Easter is the best time to visit Seville, compared to the baking sunshine of Summer! Orange blossom season is in full bloom with the city drenched in the smell of citrus and there is always something going on in Andalucia’s sunny city. Average temperatures around Easter are 22˚C meaning it is warm enough for shorts, t-shirts and flip flops! So pack your Summer suitcase and get ready to bask in the wonderful sunshine.
Morocco is one of my favourite countries in the world. We visited in July and it was hot hot hot! We always said that the next time we visit, we would return in Spring. Spring in Morocco brings mild temperatures, green landscapes, plenty of sunshine with daytime temperatures rising to 27ºC and considerable temperature drops at night, meaning you’ll sleep very well.
Read more: A Moroccan Sahara Desert Tour, Riad Noga Marrakech, Palais Amani Fez
Cyprus is said to have one of the mildest climates in the Mediterranean, which warms up considerably during March and April. Easter is the perfect time to visit with the wild flowers in bloom, an average of nine hours of sunshine a day and average temperatures of about 21ºC. The island is perfect to explore during Spring with the hillsides bursting with colour and greenery, plenty of walking and cycling to be done (which can’t be done in Summer as it is too hot) and beautiful beaches where the water is warm enough to swim in!
TURKEY’S AEGEAN COAST
Again, one of our favourite countries in the world, Turkey boasts a stunning coastline with picture perfect beaches. Thanks to its Mediterranean climate and average temperatures of 22ºC, Turkey’s seaside resorts are another great option for your Easter break. Turkey is painfully hot to sightsee during the popular Summer months, whereas during Spring, you’ll enjoy mild, sunny weather that will allow you to enjoy both the beaches as well as ancient Greek and Roman sites such as Ephesus, without the harsh sun and crowds! Another amazing way to see Turkey is on a sailing holiday, and you can read all about ours here: Luxury Sailing in Turkey with Neyzen Yachting.
THE CANARY ISLANDS
The Canary Islands are known for promising year-round sunshine, so are an obvious choice for Easter sunshine! Lanzarote is the hottest of the Canary Islands, with Easter temperatures reaching 24°C and no shortage of beach resorts to choose from!
Read more: 5 of the Best things to do in Playa Blanca
If you don’t feel like going away at Easter, there is also plenty happening in London and around the UK over the long weekend, and if you’re lucky you may even get some early summer sunshine and a break from the ‘April showers’ (fingers crossed of course)! If you are planning a Easter weekend in London our top pick of hotel is Park Grand Hotels London‘s Park Grand Paddington, a hotel that is perfectly situated to allow you to explore all London has to offer!
Our opinions are as always, our own.