From Athens and Madrid to Sweden and Estonia, here are some of the special Easter holiday ideas provided to Travel Begins at 40 by Travel PR.

Semana Santa in the Spanish capital – Madrid
Enjoy a cultural Easter break in the Spanish capital, where the streets come alive during Semana Santa (Holy Week) with colourful processions and festivities. Stay at the elegant four-star Emperador, a short walk from the grand squares of Plaza Mayor and Puerto del Sol, and the perfect base from which to enjoy the city’s rich selection of museums and galleries.


Why not hop over to the Canaries to discover La Gomera?


A three-night stay costs from £798 pp (two sharing) including BA flights (Heathrow), private transfers, accommodation with breakfast, tickets to the Prado and Thyssen-Bornemisza museums, and Kirker Guide Notes & Concierge Service. Call AITO* member Kirker Holidays on 020 7593 2283.

Plaza Mayor with statue of King Philips III in Madrid
Plaza Mayor with statue of King Philips III in Madrid

New: experience an Orthodox Easter in Athens
Explore ancient Athens and witness traditional Easter festivities, from choral singing to local processions and dramatic performances, during this seven-night tour. Athenian experts will lead fascinating walks around the Acropolis, the Agora, the old town of Plaka, the National Archaeological Museum and more, complemented by delicious Greek food and wine, including traditional Lenten dishes and an Easter Sunday feast. Departing 2 April, Easter in Athens costs from £2,695 pp (two sharing) including full board at a five-star hotel, all crew services, expert-led excursions, entrance fees and transfers. Flights extra. Call AITO* member Peter Sommer Travels on 01600 888 220.

Idyllic Lake Como with no single supplement – Italy
Whether getting off the grid alone or travelling as two (or more) this Easter, where better to escape to than Italy’s Lake Como? The four-star Grand Hotel Menaggio overlooks the dreamlike lake, with a breathtaking alpine backdrop. Potter around charming lakeside towns or enjoy optional excursions (additional cost) to Bergamo, Milan, St. Moritz, Stresa and Lake Orta. Departing 31 March, Grand Hotel on Lake Como costs from £745 pp with no single supplement (subject to availability) including BA flights (Heathrow), transfers, seven nights’ B&B, excursions as per the itinerary, and the services of guides and local representatives. Call Jules Verne on 020 3553 3722.

Grand Hotel Menaggio
The Grand Hotel Menaggio on Lake Como

A chocoholic’s dream – Chocolate Afternoon Tea at Seaham Hall, Durham
Decadent and delicious, the Chocolate Afternoon Tea at five-star boutique Seaham Hall is sure to make your mouth water this Easter. The luxury hotel, set on a clifftop on Durham’s stunning Heritage Coast, allows you to enjoy expansive views while you savour the selection of dark chocolate financiers (French almond cakes) with salted caramel, milk chocolate and amaretto mousse topped with toasted almonds and banana, chocolate chip brownies and a traditional assortment of delightful sandwiches, teas and coffees. Served in the intimate setting of The Lounge, diners can indulge in a location steeped in history and charm. Available Monday to Sunday, 12.00pm – 4.30pm. Call Seaham Hall on 0191 516 1400.

Seaham Hall
Seaham Hall

From Penny Lane to Memory Lane – Easter weekend for singles in Liverpool
For an Easter weekend treat with a difference, single travellers of a certain age – as well as those with a passion for the music and memorabilia of the Swinging Sixties – need look no further than Merseyside. Solos’ 60s Weekend in Liverpool promises a companionable trip down memory lane, retracing the story of  the Fab Four at ‘The Beatles Story’ and the Fab4D Experience, with plenty of free time for independent exploration, too. The price is from £435 pp including three nights’ four-star B&B in a twin or double room for sole use, dinner with half-bottle of wine each evening, 60s themed dinner dance and quiz, excursions as per the itinerary, and Solos Tour Leader. Call Solos on 0844 371 8860.

Liverpool
Down memory lane in Liverpool

Art festival, city culture and beaches in Sweden
Discover Österlen’s annual 10-day art festival, its fabulous beaches and stunning nature reserves and explore the exciting city of Malmö on this seven-night Easter holiday. From Good Friday, local artists from ceramists to silversmiths, sculptors and more open their studios to visitors.


Visiting Sweden? Join Mark Bibby Jackson on his discovery of exuberant Stockholm.


Spend four nights at the delightful renovated manor house, Karlaby Kro, and three nights at the Elite Plaza Hotel in the heart of Malmö – the perfect base from which to explore Sweden’s third largest city. Departing 31 March, the price is from £1,076 pp (four sharing two bedrooms), including flights (London), seven nights’ B&B and car hire. Call AITO* member Sunvil on 020 8758 4722.

Spring Birdwatching in Estonia
Spend Easter witnessing the rare and colourful annual spring gathering of Steller’s Eiders on Estonia’s Baltic coast. Exploring the country’s picturesque forests, lakes, wetland reserves and coast, spectacular birdwatching opportunities await, including owls, woodpeckers, migrant wildfowl, waterbirds, and White-tailed Eagles. You could also extend your six-day trip to spend time in the charming medieval city of Tallinn. Departing 28 March, the price is from £1,295 pp (two sharing) including flights (London) to Tallinn, five nights’ accommodation, all meals, and the services of an expert local ornithologist. Call AITO* member Naturetrek on 01962 733051.

church-granada-nicaragua
Holy week in Nicaragua

Chocolate-making and Easter dog parades – Nicaragua
Throughout Holy Week, Nicaragua’s cities are awash with colour and music. But its most unique tradition takes place on the Sunday before Easter, when Nicaraguans come together for the Saint Lazarus Festival in Masaya, bringing their dogs – dressed in ornate costumes – to be blessed by a priest before parading through the streets. Experience this unique event, in addition to chocolate-making workshops, volcanic lake island-hopping, and twilight volcano hikes, on TravelLocal’s nine-day tour. The price is from £1,320 pp (two sharing) including B&B, transfers, excursions and the services of a local guide. International flights extra. Call TravelLocal on 0117 3257898.


*AITO is the Association of Independent Tour Operators: more than 120 specialist travel companies providing an unrivalled collection of holiday ideas that cover every corner of the world. Consumers booking with AITO can be assured of high-quality holidays and excellent personal service. Visit www.aito.com for further information.

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