Easter might just be my favourite family holiday time. Two weeks is long enough to give kids a decent break from school, yet short enough not to drive parents over the edge. Plus, it’s glorious spring time when the weather’s warm enough in southern Europe - and perhaps in the UK too - to give everyone a decent dose of Vitamin D. If you want to get away, here are my suggestions for fun, family-friendly escapes both at home and abroad.

Bring me sunshine

It’s been a long, cold winter and there’s nothing like stepping off a plane into golden sunshine to lift the spirits. Easter falls at the end of March this year, which can be an unsettled time in the UK, so if you want guaranteed sunshine, head to these hot spots.

Destination desert

For guaranteed sunshine you can’t beat the desert, specifically Salalah, the southern capital of Oman. It’s a spectacular location and brings with it the kind of thrills that will inspire kids to write a holiday diary: think spending a night under the stars in a tented camp in the Empty Quarter, watching dolphins from a traditional dhow sailing boat at sunset, hiking in the Jebel Qara Mountains and discovering the Lost City of Ubar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Destination Desert - Oman - Experience Travel Group

Book with Experience Travel Group. Nine-day trip to Salalah from £4,750pp, including flights, accommodation, some meals and excursions.

Turkish delight

I have a hunch The Land of Legends Kingdom Hotel in Antalya was actually designed by kids. How else to explain why everything’s so spot on for youngsters? Think vast indoor and outdoor swimming pools (including a wave pool), lazy river, waterslides, theme park with rollercoasters, 5D cinema, playgrounds and bedrooms with a Play Station installed. It’s Utopia, but tired parents can recuperate in the spa, around the adult pool and in the excellent restaurants, so it’s smiles all round.

Turkish Delight - The Land Of Legends Kingdom Hotel - Theme Park

Book with Affordable Luxury Travel. Seven nights early April from £1,589pp, based on two adults and two children sharing, all-inclusive and return flights from London.

Marvellous Marbs

All-inclusive Club Med Magna is the dream this Easter. Sitting in 12 acres at the foot of the Sierra Blanca mountains close to Marbella, there’s an abundance of activities for all ages, from padel tennis and five swimming pools to archery and a flying trapeze. Sounds a bit full-on? Don’t panic, there’s an adult-only Zen Zone with a pool and juice bar, plus childcare and kids’ clubs from 0-17 years. And relax…

Book with Club Med. Seven nights in April from £1,229pp including all food, drinks, sports and entertainment (flights not included).

Amazing Mauritius

Mauritius is the best place in the Indian Ocean for a family holiday. It offers insanely gorgeous white sand beaches, and no jet lag, with a lot more for children to do than in the Maldives or the Seychelles. But where to stay? All-inclusive Mauricia Beachcomber Resort & Spa in buzzy Grand Baie is a sound choice, with two-bedroom family apartments, free land and waters sports, kids club (3-11 years) and a golden sand beach to enjoy.

Amazing Mauritius - Beachcomber Tours

Book with Beachcomber Tours. Seven nights from £9,175 per family (two adults, two children under 12), all-inclusive with return flights departing 28 March.

Portugal please!

Where better to spend your Easter vaycay than living it up at Domes Lake Algarve, Autograph Collection. This lakeside family resort is next to Praia de Falésia, one of the region’s finest beaches. Built around a saltwater lake, it’s a luxurious option with all kinds of added extras, such as a sand-bottom pool, award-winning Soma Spa, gardening club for kids and a floating restaurant. And the whole family won’t want to miss a trip to Ria Formosa Natural Park for wildlife spotting and kayaking.

Book with Inspiring Travel. Seven nights half-board from £3,895 (for a family of four) including flights and transfers, based on travel between 29 March - 14 April.

Action & adventure

Keep your tribe occupied is my parenting mantra. When there’s plenty of stuff to see and do, the urge to be on screens, wrestle or argue is dramatically reduced. These holidays are packed full of activities, meaning you’re unlikely to ever hear ‘I’m bored’.

Ice, ice baby

Iceland might not strike you as an obvious destination for a family holiday, but it actually makes a brilliant (dare I say educational) break for kids of all ages. Best Served Scandinavia’s self-drive Iceland Family Adventure includes the chance to soak in the Blue Lagoon, watch geyser eruptions at Strokkur Park, explore Reykjavik, go whale spotting, wade beneath waterfalls, go on a glacier walk and visit the Lava, Volcano & Earthquake Museum. All this, and the flight’s less than five hours. Result.

Ice Ice Baby - Bst Served Scandinavia (owned By 101 Holidays - Free To Use)

Book with Best Served Scandinavia. Five nights from £1,405pp including flights, 4x4 car hire and hotels.

Galápagos getaway

Money no object? Then I can’t think of a better Easter holiday with tweens and teens than a trip to the Galápagos Islands. It’s like stepping into an Attenborough documentary as you and the kids come face-to-face with giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies while cruising around the famous archipelago. Back in Ecuador, you’ll get to spend time in Quito, the highest city in South America.

Book with Cox & Kings. Eleven nights from £6,995pp including flights, transfers, accommodation, itinerary and most meals.

Take Stock-holm

Sweden’s bike-friendly capital makes an unexpectedly cool city break for children. Regent Holidays has pulled together a five-day family adventure that is packed with fun stuff to do, from a guided cycling tour of Stockholm’s key landmarks like the Royal Palace and Swedish parliament, to kayaking around some of the city’s 30,000 islands, visiting a Viking museum and going on an evening ghost walk through the city’s medieval Old Town. Spooktacular.

Book with Regent Holidays. Five-day Family Adventure in Stockholm this April from £4,315 (for two adults and two children, up to 13 years old), including flights, accommodation and excursions.

Stay in the UK

Paws for thought

Don’t want to leave the pooch behind when you head off on your hols? Better book somewhere through Canine Cottages, as every property is doggy-approved, meaning the whole family (including those with four legs) can get away. Three-bedroom Holly Cottage in the Norfolk Broads is available over the Easter Holidays and chocolate box pretty, with a thatched roof, beamed ceilings and wood-burning stove. When the kids aren’t kicking a ball around the garden or exploring the adjacent woods, pack everyone in the car and head for the nearby beaches or broads.

Paws For Thought - Canine Cottages - Dog Friendly Holidays

Book with Canine Cottages. Seven nights cottage rental from 30 March costs £595.

Flee to the sea

Worthing Beach House in Sussex is the kind of place I fantasise about retiring to. OK, scrap that, it’s where I’d like to move right now, with the whole fam. Perched on Worthing seafront with views of the beach, sea and pier, it’s a dream coastal home with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors in the living room, so you can fling them open and hear the sound of the sea from your sofa. Brilliant design means it’s possible to keep an eye on the kids from a variety of sun traps, including the large balcony, hot tub and decked terrace.

Book with Oliver’s Travels. Three nights’ rental over the Easter weekend (29 March - 1 April) costs £1,598 (£2,097 for 7 nights)

A breath of fresh air

If you’re longing to get everyone off the sofa and into the great outdoors, West End Cottage in Askrigg could make the perfect base this Easter. Bring your rucksacks, because this charming three-bedroom house has the mighty Yorkshire Dales National Park on its doorstep, including Pen-y-Ghent, one of the famous three peaks. And if the skies are clear, wrap up warm and star-gaze with the kids because you’re in a designated dark sky zone with a chance to spot the Milky Way, planets, meteors and maybe even the Northern Lights.

Book with holidaycottages. Seven nights’ rental arriving on 2 April costs £751.

By Amanda Statham, Editor of 101 Family Holidays
February 2024