After what feels like a never-ending winter, the need for some springtime sun has never felt more necessary. Signalling the arrival of longer days and warmer weather, we’ve rounded up a handful of our top destinations to spend the Easter long weekend.
Mallorca, Balearic Islands
Floating in the Mediterranean sea just off the coast of Spain, Mallorca is an idyllic island destination fringed with white-sand beaches and aqua blue waters. And come April, spring is well and truly on its way. With temperatures averaging at around 19ºc, an Easter Sunday at the beach is certainly on the cards. To stay, head to Son Mas, a rural haven located 4 km inland from the coastal town of Porto Cristo and a 40-minute drive from Palma. Set within lovingly restored 17th century buildings, the luxury country hotel features just 16 rooms, indoor and outdoor pools, plus wellness and spa facilities. Visitors can explore the local area, unwind with anti-stress treatments, or head to the beautiful coast to sample traditional foods and explore the beaches.
Not exactly a destination synonymous with sun, Iceland makes our list of springtime spots because of its off-season appeal. Not only does spring mark the revival of the country’s iconic nature, but April is also a time for visitors to reap the benefits of two seasons; some winter activities remain (namely northern lights spotting), but summer activities like horseback riding, while-watching and river rafting become available (and more bearable). Indulge in a stay at The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon, a luxury hotel with moss-covered lava rocks on one side and the famous, mineral-rich Blue Lagoon on the other. Located a 45-minute drive from Reykjavik and a 25-minute drive from the airport, the hotel boasts relaxing, nature-inspired interiors, an iconic spa, and fine dining spot Moss Restaurant.
Seek off-season sun with a long weekend stay on the Greek island of Crete. April and the impending arrival of spring gives way to the island’s warmer weather and many outdoor activities. Stay at Domes Noruz, a vibrant, adults-only resort located only a short 10-minute drive from the island’s Chania Airport. Enjoy live music by the pool, get pampered at Soma Spa, and dine at the hotel’s two restaurants. Those looking to explore the island can wander the picturesque streets of Old Town Chanis, jump on a speedboat for private tour of the islands’ sun-kissed beaches, or take in the Cretan landscape from above with a helicopter sightseeing tour.
A whimsical city captivating visitors year-round, Bordeaux is a must-visit destination for those with a particular fondness for wine. April is a lovely time to visit; you can expect some rain showers but typically spring is on its way and the region’s world-famous wineries won’t yet be teeming with tourists. To stay, head outside of the historical centre to five-star hotel, Les Sources de Caudalie. Located a 30-minute drive from Bordeaux at the heart of the Grand Cru vineyards of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte vineyards, the rural retreat is a collection of buildings made with reclaimed materials from abandoned local farms. Accommodation options include the main hotel, an 11-room historic country house built in 1737, a number of cottages and lakeside suites. There are four drinking and dining options, ranging from the French Paradox Bar with its 16,000-bottle wine cellar, to the two Michelin-starred La Grand’Vigne. But most famously is the Vinothérapie Spa, a nature-inspired spa specialising in grape-based treatments.
A culturally-fuelled city, Berlin beckons urbanites, creatives, taste makers and night owls with its history, museums and bottomless bar options. Coming out the other end of what will be a freezing winter (literally), April temperatures tend to be mild, with average highs of around 13ºc. While not exactly warm, it’s a time of year that’s ideal for cafe hopping and leisurely city strolling, with plenty of easter-themed bonfires, festivals and markets to explore before checking out the nightlife. Mark your visit with a stay at the beautiful 78-room Das Stue, which houses a Michelin-starred restaurant, a grand three-storey library and spa. Located in the diplomatic district, the property is within walking distance of the city’s most notable attractions and sits adjacent to the popular 520-acre Tiergarten Park, ensuring you’re perfectly positioned for a memorable city break.
Located in the remote southern region of Basilicata, this unique Italian city is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance. Once deep in squalor and poverty, Matera, a city known for its ancient network of caves, is enjoying a remarkable tourist boom alongside its appointment as the European Capital of Culture 2019. An initiative with proven success of injecting a new dose of life and tourism into European cities, we’d recommend adding Matera to the list of places to go before everyone else does. A treasure trove for history-enthusiasts, the city is a tapestry of narrow alleyways, caverns, grottos, courtyards, pretty piazzas and a growing number of boutique hotels built into the limestone. One such hotel is Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, the first five-star resort to be built in the ‘Sassi’ (italian for stones, referring to the city’s ancient rock-cut dwellings). It houses sophisticated guest rooms, a restaurant built within the cavities of rock, and a team of staff is on hand to assist with memorable experiences like private cooking classes, historical tours and more.
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