Wondering where to head with the family this Easter? We’ve rounded up five European getaways – from UK staycations to Tuscan retreats – which cater to all, and are guaranteed to impress even your choosiest cousin and most cynical sibling.
Tuscany, Italy: Tuscan Castle
This traditional Tuscan villa in the heart of the Maremma countryside is the perfect spot for an Easter escape con la famiglia. Bookable via onefinestay, the nine-bedroom property can sleep up to 18 people, making it a great option for wider family reunions. With something to entice every generation of the family – there’s ample space on the grounds for children to play; two infinity pools as well as hot tubs for the teenagers; and a rooftop terrace where the adults can enjoy an aperitivo –, this 11th-century gem ticks all the proverbial boxes. Spend your afternoons poolside, only interrupting your sun session for a languid, pasta-laden lunch al fresco, seated amidst sprawling gardens hugged by soaring cypress trees. Come evening, the storied property takes on a new, beguiling energy. Seamlessly blending the historic and the modern, Tuscan Castle provides the perfect backdrop to a luxurious and relaxing break with your nearest and dearest.
Newquay, UK: Watergate Bay
Whilst venturing South West to Cornwall this Easter is hardly a novel idea, it, nonetheless, remains a great holiday option. Watergate Bay, about three miles from Newquay on the North Cornwall coast, is the ideal place to drop suitcase(s) and declare ‘home’ for the Easter break. Laidback and stylish, Watergate Bay’s Scandi and surfer-inspired interior and breezy attitude makes guests feel instantly welcomed. Though cosying in for the afternoon certain appeals (note the 25-metre infinity pool and wood-panelled sauna), the golden-sand beach right on your doorstep will soon beckon you outdoors. Surfing is a real draw here, with the beach providing a great opportunity for those aged eight+ to sign up to surf lessons with Extreme Academy – meanwhile, the youngest in your party can make best use of the Kid’s Zone. For big kids, there’s a medley of activities to choose from: take a yoga class or book into a hot-stone massage, as your mood dictates; nearby Padstow, is also worth an explore, though there is ample to do in Newquay itself. When planning your family meals, Watergate Bay’s menus cover all the bases from simple classics, like fish and chips to moreish delights – we’re talking roasted scallops with truffle butter, and that’s just for starters…
Alentejo, Portugal: São Lourenço do Barrocal
Make a dash to the 200-year-old family run estate São Lourenço do Barrocal in Portugal’s Alentejo region this easter, booking onto their four-night ‘Farmland Families’ programme. Suitable for guests of all ages, the programme is focused on embracing the magic of the great outdoors and learning about the agricultural heritage of the region. (For foodie families and budding agriculturists, this is likely to be a strong Eastertime contender.) Encouraging children to learn about the origins of their food and connect with the land, São Lourenço do Barrocal will introduce a dedicated children’s vegetable patch to their gardens, and a children’s gardening class will see young guests collect child-friendly farming tools and plant seedlings and vegetables of their choosing. Also included in this programme: a bird watching workshop, a birdhouse and feeder’s workshop for children, an ethnobotanical hike, sport fishing masterclass, pottery class, and a stargazing session – so lots of activities for adults to enjoy too. If your itinerary sounds a little full, rest assured there will also be ample time to relax and enjoy your bucolic surrounds. Don’t depart before paying a visit to the Susanne Kaufmann Spa – book in a couple of treatments to extend that holiday feeling long after you’ve touched down in Heathrow.
Braemar, Scotland: The Fife Arms
Far from the crowds, in the Cairngorms National Park, you’ll find The Fife Arms. A natural playground for adults and children, its surrounds are rife for exploring with abounding opportunities for outdoor pursuits to entice all the family. The lovely and attentive Ghillie team (the Gaelic term for a Highlands attendants) are on hand to help families explore the countryside from fishing trips to picnics in the highlands. Once back in the comforts of The Fife Arms, younger members of your party will be keen to kickback in the Family Room – a space which which is filled to the rafters with board games, books, DVDs, and further entertainment. Over the Easter period, guests are invited to participate in a treasure hunt around the hotel (with an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday), alongside an extended Easter programme of activities, including an Easter egg decoration demonstration with artist Tracey Johnston. Casting a family vote to determine where to venture for easter? The Fife Arms is certain to garner ‘yeses’ from adventurist and arty types.
Mallorca, Spain: Son Brull
Located near Pollença in Mallorca, Son Brull is the only family run, luxury boutique hotel on the island. Staff are warm and welcoming of parties of all sizes, and whilst this peaceful hideaway is perhaps best suited to families where all members are a little older, Son Brull does cater to youngsters too. If travelling with children, the two-bedroom Villa Suites, located in the gardens of the hotel, are particularly family friendly and come with their own private heated pool and garden. For families with children under 12, the Villa Suites, where you can enjoy your own pool and garden, are a great option, given that children under 12 are not allowed at the main pool. By mid-April, Mallorcan temperatures are on the rise, with the option to eat outdoors growing more appealing as the month extends. Make the most of your time together and book a memorable family dinner at the hotel’s 365 Restaurant (request to dine on the spacious terrace) – their chefs would only be delighted to adapt their menu for children too.