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Winged Boots guide to the Easter Holidays: Where to go?

  • Travel 101
  • By Natalie Baker
  • Published 20 February 2024
  • Revised 26 February 2024

As Easter approaches and the promise of brighter days hangs in the air, the world awaits those seeking a springtime sojourn. Explore a mosaic of destinations that promise unforgettable experiences; blending culture, luxury, and natural wonders with a smattering of delicious dishes and warm hospitality. From exciting European breaks to forays into fascinating far-away lands, there’s something to put a spring in your step and get you hopping headlong into the Easter holidays.

South Africa: Safari Splendour and a Cosmopolitan Cape

For an Easter adventure unlike any other, make your escape to South Africa and discover a fusion of wildlife wonders with urban sophistication. Safari in Kruger National Park, encountering the ‘Big Five’ and feeling the power of this soul-stirring wilderness. Then relish the cosmopolitan allure of Cape Town: one of the world’s most scenic cities where you can just as easily dine on Michelin-star cuisine or explore fine art galleries as you can lose yourself in the natural beauty that caresses the city from all sides.

A reimagined safari concept has swept the bushveld of Kruger, and a slew of ultra-luxe accommodations have sprung up as a result. From splendid contemporary masterpieces such as Singita Lebombo Lodge, a sleek and serene hideaway clinging to a rocky outcrop above the N'wanetsi River, to authentic tented options such as those at Sabi Sabi Selati Bush Camp. At the latter, you will find an ode to the golden age of exploration with a very 21st-century approach to nature conservation. Don’t miss the chance to soak beneath the stars in your private outdoor bathing area.

Meanwhile, in Cape Town, the city’s famous vibrancy and its adventurous spirit are translated into an array of unique and utterly bewitching accommodation options that celebrate Mother City’s heritage, resilience, and creativity. Chief among this selection is the fabulous Silo Hotel: a beautifully realised creation that is part sumptuous hotel with excellent dining options, and part modern African art gallery. Truly, it’s something of a work of art itself.

Singita Lebombo Lodge

Singita Lebombo Lodge
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Lisbon: Timeless Charm and Coastal Elegance

Portugal's capital, Lisbon, welcomes with its lively exuberance, café-lined squares, and delectable cuisine peppered with centuries of global influence. Wander through historic districts, exploring ancient cathedrals and stopping for one of the city’s most famous products along the way: a beautifully smoothe and creamy pastel de nata.

As night settles among the cobblestoned streets, make the most of Lisbon’s nightlife that encompasses everything from traditional fado performances in unassuming backstreet bars to slick nightclubs where the latest house beats are felt through the floor. Once you’ve had your fill, make for the twinkling coastlines of Cascais, where golden sands fade into the rich teal of the Atlantic and the scents of freshly grilled seafood dance on a salty breeze.

If it’s old-world opulence with flashes of Lisbonite charm you’re after, the Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon delivers that and more. Feel shrouded in comfort and luxury within its meticulously appointed interiors that harken back to a bygone era of elegance, before stepping out into the thoroughly cosmopolitan, unapologetically stimulating city that lies at your doorstep.

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon

Dubai: A Decadent Desert Oasis

It wouldn’t be a Winged Boots roundup of our top destinations without due mention of one our perennial favourites: the desert diamond of Dubai. In a city with an iconic skyline packed with architectural wonders and a devotion to decadence, you can expect the finest of Michelin-starred dining experiences, pristine beaches with expansive vistas, fantastic shopping opportunities and a seriously impressive array of leisure opportunities.

The weather at this time of year is ideal, with plenty of bright, sun-filled hours and daytime temperatures of around 28°C: warm enough to swim and sunbathe but more manageable than the sweltering summer months.

Dubai is a city of incredible hotels, with one resort more resplendent than the one before lining its manicured streets. So, there is certainly no shortage of ultra-luxe options. One of our favourite Dubai hotels, however, has to be the newly refurbished Jumeirah Mina A’Salam, which recently underwent a no-expense-spared makeover. Its name means ‘Harbour of Peace’, which we think makes it the perfect place to see in spring and a period of new beginnings.

Jumeirah Mina A’Salam

Jumeirah Mina A’Salam

Bolivia: Surreal Landscapes and Enthralling Heritage

As spring unfolds in Europe, autumn envelops South America and Bolivia’s surreal landscapes take on a captivating glow as a crisp breeze graces the high-altitude plains.

Explore the otherworldly Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, and immerse yourself in the indigenous way of life in La Paz, where contemporary design meets traditional influences. To take a measure of the country’s cultural heartbeat, venture to the historic streets of Sucre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where colonial architecture narrates tales from decades gone by.

Out on the lunar landscapes of the Uyuni salt flat, where the horizon seems to stretch into infinity, you will come upon a cluster of intriguing snow-white domes that look as if they could have been plucked from the space station. This is Kachi Lodge: a collection of exquisitely designed individual dwellings that embrace the feeling of unbridled wildness which surrounds you, while offering all the necessary comforts to make your stay a relaxing, yet transformative experience. Expect warm wooden accents, bespoke furniture, and an uninterrupted view over the landscape. As night falls, look up and lose yourself in the canopy of stars that drapes itself over your pod.

Kachi Lodge

Kachi Lodge

Mexico: Cultural Richness and Coastal Allure on the Riviera Maya

Journey to Mexico's Riviera Maya, where pristine beaches meet ancient ruins and there’s a permanent feeling of fiesta in the syrupy air.

Explore the archaeological wonders of Tulum, dive into the vibrant marine life of the Great Maya Reef, and unwind in luxurious beachfront resorts: where margaritas appear as if by magic and accompany the ubiquitous bowls of delicious nachos with salsa like the sun complements the sea.

In Mexico, Easter, or "Semana Santa," is a vibrant tapestry of traditions and its cities come alive with processions depicting the Passion of Christ, blending solemnity and festivity. Intricate religious ceremonies, vibrant street parades, and traditional foods mark this season, honouring centuries-old customs that reflect the cultural richness and spiritual depth of the country, making Mexico a truly standout destination for your Easter holiday. Take it all in from the majestic Rosewood Mayakoba, a striking beachfront five-star hotel complete with a mile-long arc of pristine private beach.

Rosewood Mayakoba

Rosewood Mayakoba

Marrakech: A Tapestry of Colours and Culture

Marrakech in Morocco, with its vibrant souks, intricately adorned palaces, and fragrant gardens, invites you into a tapestry of colours and culture: one that sees the old world collide with the modern, producing a kind of ceaseless energy mixed with a palpable pride in its past. The air is laden with the kaleidoscopic scents of spices and labyrinthine alleys seem to wind toward the very soul of the city itself, while the sputter of unreliable motorbikes is engulfed by the hypnotic call to prayer which transcends the ages.

April is the ideal time to visit the aptly named ‘Red City’ as it hasn’t yet taken on the desert heat that will bake its ancient walls and streets in the months to come, yet the skies are often a clear cornflower blue and offer excellent visibility towards the Atlas Mountains.

For the full Marrakech experience, we would suggest staying in a lavish riad, and among our favourites is the Royal Mansour, Marrakech, where meticulous attention to detail infuses everything from the faultlessly decorated interiors to the attentive service. For a sense of occasion, its dining areas cannot be surpassed.

Royal Mansour, Marrakech

Royal Mansour, Marrakech

Crete: Aegean Tranquillity and Seaside Luxury

The Greek Islands beckon with their irresistible siren song, calling you to their shores for a sun-dappled spring escape adrift upon the Aegean Sea. Crete, in particular, comes out of its winter slumber with a little spring in its step as it greedily greets the sunshine. Explore ancient ruins, refresh your palate with mouth-wateringly zesty Mediterranean flavours, and feel yourself transported to a simpler time in quintessential Greek villages that have remained materially unchanged for generations.

Temperatures at this time of year tend to be cool still, however, the days are longer than at home and the skies overhead are a dazzling shade of blue – making the island a great option for active spring walking or cycling holidays. Easter on the island is a celebration of Greek heritage amidst breathtaking landscapes and its traditions echo ancient roots and deep religious ties. Locals engage in solemn processions, culminating in midnight Mass celebrations, while the scent of slow-roasted lamb with garlic and oregano fills the air.

Though Crete reveres the past and demonstrates the importance of tradition, the stunning Grecotel LUXME White Palace is all about embracing modernity, evidenced by its clean, uncomplicated lines and spaces that let quality do the talking. Well, when your setting is as spectacular as this one, you only need large windows and picture-perfect seating areas to create a special sense of place.

Grecotel LUXME White Palace

Grecotel LUXME White Palace

Italy: Stylish Cities and Irresistible Cuisine

Italy is always a good idea. But it exudes a particular kind of magic in the spring before the weather gets into its high summer stride and the crowds descend on inimitable cities like Rome and Venice. If it’s a sensory journey with a slower pace and an emphasis on la dolce vita you’re after, Italy is made for you.

Roam around Rome and you can expect a seamless meeting of timeless elegance with warm hospitality and food made with passion and served with pride, whereas Venice is the home of emblematic scenery and second-to-none when it comes to quintessential Italian vibrancy.

Easter in Venice is bursting with grand celebrations, from Mass at St. Mark's Basilica to exquisite canal-side feasts. Savoury delights like risi e bisi, a Venetian springtime speciality made with rice and fresh peas, and sweet frittelle: a traditional doughnutty desert served only at Carnival time. The city’s emblematic canals are lined with processions and other colourful celebrations. We would recommend taking a gondola ride amid the pastel-hued buildings and watching events unfold from the water.

For quintessential Venetian style dripping in old-world opulence, our pick has to be the uber-glam Gritti Palace, A Luxury Collection Hotel, where rich colours, plush furnishings, and lavish suites fit for royalty converge in an elegant canalside location.

For the best chance of sunshine at this time of year, the heart-stealing island of Sicily promises warm spring days, soulful Mediterranean cuisine, and an unforgettable tapestry of cultural richness combined with spiritual depth. Take it all in from the spectacular San Domenico Palace, which you might remember from the second season of the hit TV show, White Lotus.

San Domenico Palace

San Domenico Palace

Mallorca, Ibiza, and Beyond: Designer Boutiques and Quiet Coves

As the Mediterranean sun emerges from its winter slumber, the Balearic Islands become a hotspot that is alive with springtime allure. Mallorca, with its historic architecture and sun-soaked beaches, is a must for cultural connoisseurs while Ibiza, synonymous with good times and cool island vibes, offers exclusive beach clubs and vibrant nightlife – though this is yet to get fully into its stride by Easter.

We would suggest an island-hopping itinerary that takes you from the designer-shop-lined streets of upmarket Palma de Mallorca to the understated yet utterly enchanting island of Menorca, where pretty seaside villages and a tranquil pace of life await. Take a sea kayaking tour of the myriad coves that nestle into this picturesque coastline, before heading back onto dry land to feast on traditional Balearic Easter offerings, including the Menorcan speciality of Rubiols: a versatile kind of patty that can be made both sweet and savoury.

As for your ‘Semana Santa’ accommodation, the Grand Hotel Son Net A Cortesin Hotel – a beautifully restored UNESCO World Heritage Site tucked away at the foot of the Sierra de Tramuntana yet still only 15 minutes from the heart of Palma – offers one of the most unique options on the island of Mallorca. While on Menorca, Faustino Gran Relais & Chateaux is defined by its bohemian chic aesthetic, sweeping terraces and fantastic amenities, all in a prime location opposite the port of Ciutadella.

Grand Hotel Son Net A Cortesin Hotel

Grand Hotel Son Net A Cortesin Hotel

Oman: Enigmatic Elegance and Wonderful Wadis

Oman, a tapestry of ancient traditions and modern luxury, beckons this spring with its warm desert winds and azure coastlines. Discover the grandeur of Muscat's Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque: a visually spectacular monument to archetypal Arabian splendour, or venture into the dramatic beauty of the Al Hajar Mountains for a sensorily stimulating delight of a different kind.

Should you want to leave the world even further behind you, Wahiba Sands offers infinite waves of gleaming gold sand and a setting in which to quiet the mind. Then, turn the volume back on and immerse yourself in the energetic hum and centuries-old mystique of Omani souks, where timeless craftsmanship meets contemporary elegance.

Amid the vastness of the Al Hajar Mountains, you will find the Alila Jabal Akhdar: a luxurious oasis that harmonises perfectly with its surroundings. Gaze out over the ancient landscape that seems to whisper tales passed through generations and experience the embrace of traditional Omani hospitality coupled with high-end amenities, including an onsite spa with an authentic hammam.

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Alila Jabal Akhdar

Sri Lanka: Serenity and Historical Sites

Easter in Sri Lanka brings a blend of beachside relaxation and cultural exploration, from ancient wonders to pristine coastlines backed by emerald-hued rainforest.

All of this is optimally enjoyed at this time of year as the weather is at its best, boasting ample hours of sunshine and fragrant tropical evenings that envelop you with a soothing balm without the sudden storms that accompany rainy season.

Explore the UNESCO-listed Sigiriya Rock Fortress, wander through the historic streets of Galle Fort, and embark on a safari in Yala National Park, where one of our favourite accommodation options on the island is found, the truly unforgettable Wild Coast Tented Lodge. Or, head for the tea-scented hills and off the beaten track, where one wildlife sanctuary rolls into another and majestic mist-shrouded peaks form an atmospheric landscape dense with promise.

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

Wild Coast Tented Lodge

The Seychelles: A Paradisaical Parade

The Seychelles represents the pinnacle of Eastertime island escapes, promising an island paradise that leaves a mark upon the soul. Turquoise waters lap against powder-soft beaches, while a dreamy gauze of tropical sunshine spreads itself over the landscape from morning until night. The archipelago's perfect weather beckons you to explore coral reefs teeming with marine life. Praslin's Vallée de Mai, a UNESCO site, reveals the rare Coco de Mer palm, while La Digue entices with its timeless charm.

Though there are many incredible hotels to choose from, Six Senses Zil Payson is truly in a league of its own. Located on a private island and made up of 30 gorgeous pool villas, it’s a beachside hideaway where every detail has been crafted to delight every one of your senses. 

Experience a lavish display of parades and festivities across the Seychelles during this period. The deeply religious Seychellois celebrate Easter uniquely, with street festivals peppered with food stalls and vibrant melodies heard on the winds that flow over the main islands.

Six Senses Zil Payson

Six Senses Zil Payson

To discover more suggestions for Easter and beyond, contact our friendly team of personal travel managers today at 0203 318 6062. Delve into their wealth of worldwide knowledge, share your likes and dislikes and let the experts do the rest. You can also submit an online enquiry and we’ll contact you at a time that suits you to discuss your ideal travel itinerary.

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