Easter: a complex amalgam of Christian ritual, springtime and chocolate. The dates change every year (so it’s hard to plan for), the weather in the UK is often still dubious (albeit less dubious than it is at the moment), and the Mediterranean summer has yet to kick off properly (so you can’t yet guarantee a toasting on the beach). If all that means you haven’t yet committed to an Easter break, then perhaps these late deals will tempt you.
Western and Orthodox Easter coincide this year. In Corfu, Greek Orthodox Easter traditions include dropping big ceramic pots of water out of house windows and processing through the streets bearing sacred relics. CV travel ( cvtravel.co.uk) is offering a luxury stay on the island which includes a private chef to prepare a Greek Easter feast. Villa Lefki Thea is a contemporary villa designed for up to 12 guestsand has its own private pool. It is set in a hillside location above the harbour of St Stephano, with views over the water towards Albania’s mountains. A week’s rental over Easter is on offer for £4,680 (usually £6,060), including the Easter Day chef service (excluding food), a welcome champagne reception, welcome hamper and daily maid service, but excluding flights.
If you prefer a more pot-friendly holiday, then there are still bargains to be had in the Caribbean, and the Jamaican Carnival takes place from 3-11 April this year. Netflights ( netflights.com), part of the Thomas Cook Group, is offering seven nights B&B at the three-star Rooms on the Beach Hotel in Ocho Rios for £829 per adult and £629 per child, including return flights from Gatwick with Virgin Atlantic. Departure on 1 April.
Alternatively, if chocolate is your main Easter goal, then head for Belgium. Netflights.com is also offering three nights B&B at the four-star Holiday Inn Brussels City Centre, including flights from Heathrow for £249 per person.
For a touch of exotic luxury, depart on Easter Monday for the eight-day trip to Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains offered by Page and Moy ( pageandmoy.com). The price of £1,432 per person includes excursions to Marrakech city, Ait Benhaddou and Taourirt and the chance to see sunrise over desert at Merzouga. (Based on seven-nights four-star half-board accommodation, including flights from Heathrow to Marrakech with Aegean Airlines.)
Sticking with the luxury theme, Destinology ( destinology.co.uk) is offering five nights for the price of four at the Banyan Tree Bangkok in Thailand. The price of £859 per person includes return Thai Airways flights from London Heathrow and five nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis. Book by 25 March for travel between 2 March and 30 June 2010.
Closer to home, The Scarlet ( scarlethotel.co.uk) at Mawgan Porth, Newquay, Cornwall, has an Ayurvedic Spa, a Michelin-starred chef and huge choice of outdoor activities to choose from, including wild-swimming, coasteering, surfing and sea-kayaking. The hotel is currently offering an Easter rate of £550 for two nights including dinner and breakfast, plus one complimentary Shirobyanga Head Massage or Padabayanga Leg and Foot Massage per stay.
Fancy a cruise? If you can sneak off just before Easter, then cruise118.com is offering a 13-night European cruise on board the P&O Ventura from just £1,199. Departing from Southampton, the ship calls at the Atlantic islands of Madeira, Gran Canaria, Tenerife and La Palma, then Cadiz (Spain), Lisbon (Portugal) and Vigo (Spain) before returning to Southampton. Departs 26 March.
Finally, it’s nothing to do with Easter, but it’s a mighty impressive deal: AirAsia ( airasia.com) has a short burst of its “big sale” beginning today. Provided you book before Sunday 7 March the airline is offering one-way fares from Stansted to Kuala Lumpur from £189, with onward connections to the likes of Perth in Australia for £30, Bankok (£10) and Singapore (£6). Travel period is from 1 November 2010 to 13 February 2011.