Dream Destinations for an Easter Escape

To ensure you maximise your Easter break and put the bank holiday weekend to cracking use, we've compiled a cheat sheet of where to go, where to sleep and why you should book now. Go, go, go!

If there's one thing April is good for, it's celebrating saying goodbye to thick winter coats, frosty temperatures and perpetually chapped lips. With spring blooming, the Easter break is drawing close - insert star-struck emoji here. While it's easy to spend the long weekend binge-eating as many Mini Eggs as you can get your teeth into, we suggest you put the chocolate on pause and instead set your sights on one of these sublime destinations. Read on to discover the desert dunes, olive groves and coastal idylls to visit this bank holiday.

Hop to it: eight top-notch destinations to visit this Easter




Picture the scene. Among sand dunes, gnarled shrubs and prickly palm trees, a city rises from Arizona's Sonoran Desert - no, we're not describing the set of Dune. The brainchild of the late Italian architect Paolo Soleri, the concept, dreamed up in the 1970s, was simple: to build a city that comprises both environmental and design-driven factors, while offering an efficient and go-slow lifestyle for inhabitants. Ribbed and rounded, sweeping and smooth, each of its otherworldly structures are angled toward the south in order to maximise light and heat. With no roads and a population that hovers around 100 people, this unique and beguiling complex makes for a proper off-grid escape - and some incredible photo opportunities.

Where to stay: Arcosanti Guest Rooms

Why it should be on your radar: An experimental town built in the middle of the Arizona desert? Reason enough for us.




The picturesque town of Sitges is situated just 38km south of Barcelona's buzzy streets and selfie-swamped coast. With 17 sweeping sandy beaches, a wide array of stylish boutique hotels and an abundance of design-driven restaurants to choose from, it's little surprise that this place makes our Easter list. Water babies should make a beeline for Playa de les Anquines, where everything from kayaking to paddle boarding is up for grabs. Prefer a lazier vibe? Head to El Vivero, a no-frills beach bar and restaurant serving some of the best cocktails and sea-facing views in town.

Where to stay: MIM Sitges Hotel

Why it should be on your radar: Because it has a rooftop terrace pool and a Barcelona-esque beach, both entirely free of hen and stag dos.



A 90-minute drive west of Lisbon, Alenjeto is often overlooked, losing out to the buzzier Porto or Douro. Yet, this historic walled town has fast become one of Portugal's most treasured outposts for wine travel. Surrounded by a landscape dotted with sprawling vineyards, truncated olive trees and centuries-old farmhouses, this is the place to spend afternoons basking in the sun with a glass of red in one hand; white in the other. Make farmhouse-turned-guesthouse Casa no Tempo your base. Set among tangled cork groves and wildflower meadows, just outside of the charming village of Montemor-o-Novo, this rural retreat has been designed with the modern traveller firmly in mind: think grand archways for door frames, rustic clay blocks for floors and an outdoor sunken swimming pool.

Where to stay: Casa No Tempo

Why it should be on your radar: For its stylish, light-flooded interior and delicious, olive oil-drenched food, all in a verdant, Spain-hugging region.




The heel of Italy's boot, Puglia is known for its rich history, justifiably proud locals and, of course, outstanding culinary offering. We're bookmarking the go-slow city of Ostuni as the foodie destination to watch. On a hilltop, above a carpet of olive trees and the glittering Adriatic, stand tumbling clusters of whitewashed houses, each crisscrossed by winding roads and time-worn brick walls. When exploring, you'll find narrow alleyways and fragrant gardens upon every turn. Rest your head at Paragon 700, an intimate 18th-century mansion framed by a pretty courtyard. Hungry? Head to the top of the old town to find Osteria del Tempo Perso. This traditional restaurant serves up all kinds of regional classics, so don't expect pizza - the burrata will more than make up for it.

Where to stay: Paragon 700

Why it should be on your radar: A stylish sojourn in the countryside trumps an overcrowded Roman holiday any day.




A feast for the senses, vibrant Marrakech is known for its labyrinthine sandstone streets, sun-dappled riads, retro restaurants and colourful souks: this is a destination best explored on foot. To eat like a local, make a pit stop at Le Jardin, a leafy oasis whose menu is stacked with superb seasonal produce - you'll likely smell its fresh herbs before you see its unassuming front door. For lunch in the sun, bag a table on the mosaicked terrace and order the falafel salad, making sure to request an extra-large serving of the hummus. Walk it off at the Musée de la Palmeraie, a private museum dedicated to the contemporary art of Morocco, setting aside some time to enjoy a stroll around the beautifully manicured, themed gardens.

Where to stay: Berber Lodge

Why it should be on your radar: The city centre is pretty chaotic. Instead, opt for the tranquil surrounds of this rustic-chic Berber village.



The Algarve might often be associated with package-holiday crowds and golf resorts, but lesser-trodden Lagos is a cut above. With its palm tree-lined avenues, dramatic rock formations and beaches beautiful enough to put the Indian Ocean's to shame, the city is not difficult to fall in love with. We can't get enough of its citrus-scented gardens, family-run farmhouses and coastal restaurants. Outdoor enthusiasts should pick up the final section of the famous Fisherman's Trail. Start at Praia da Luz, from where it's a scenic 13km hike back to base.

Where to stay: Casa Mãe

Why it should be on your radar: An affordable Algarve bolthole with a minimalist slant.



Our newest Mexican obsession? The colourful Valladolid. Slotted on the eastern edge of the Yucatán Peninsula, this storied city is a favourite day-trip destination, its sun-drenched streets dotted with pastel-hued facades concealing a bevy of artisan boutiques. As the sun sets, follow the stream of locals heading to Central Plaza, where stalls serve up all sorts of delights - we're talking everything from cheese-stuffed tacos to craft beer on tap. Though 97km inland, this place is not short of good swimming spots. Carve out time to visit the Cenote Saamal, a natural open-aired sinkhole that offers plenty of diving platforms popular with thrill-seekers.

Where to stay: Coqui Coqui

Why it should be on your radar: Exclusivity - while it has an on-site perfumery and serene spa, Coqui Coqui has only one bedroom.

St. Paul de Vence


Mention of the French Riviera often evokes images of glitz and glamour, but behind the showbiz scenes live quieter towns that are just as spectacular - and minus the crowds. Our favourite is St Paul de Vence. Bordered by Nice and Vence, this rampart-flanked town has long been appreciated by artists, poets and painters for its tranquil setting and golden light. Such luminaries as Matisse, Braque, Chagall and Picasso made La Colombe d'Or their stomping ground, paying for their meals in paintings. Today, the welcoming, Roux family-run brasserie-with-rooms has the air of a convivial art gallery.

Where to stay: La Colombe d'Or

Why it should be on your radar: More than a hotel, La Colombe d'Or is peppered with works by some of the 20th century's most iconic artists.

This article was updated on the 23 March 2022.

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