Easter 2014: The 10 best last-minute holidays

The school holidays may be imminent, but there are still lots of deals for a last-minute trip. Laura Holt rounds up the best

Spring is already in the air, but once the clocks go forward at the weekend, the days will become even longer and brighter, making the prospect of an Easter break in the UK more appealing.


Among the many companies with a range of late-availability rentals over the school holidays - for many between 5 April and 21 April this year - is The Little Domain (thelittledomain.com). From 5 April, it has a week's stay at the sweetly-named Buttermilk Cottage near Bude in Cornwall for £375, which sleeps four and welcomes dogs. Located on a 140-acre working farm - where children are invited to join in with the activities - it comes with a wood-burning stove and a barbecue to cover all weather eventualities.

For something more unusual, try One Off Places (oneoffplaces.co.uk). The specialist provider of quirky cabins, caravans, windmills and wagons has a range of short breaks available at the Secret Cloud House Yurts in the Peak District, where families can spend nights tucked up in Mongolian-style tents. Between 7-11 April, it costs £200 for two nights or £300 for four.


Camping is a good option if you're on a budget. If you don't mind forgoing a little luxury, it offers the chance to take in the delights of the Continent, without having to spend vast sums of money.

Venue Holidays (01233 629950; venueholidays.co.uk) has a range of options at campsites across France, Spain and Italy this Easter.

On 5 April, it has a week for a family of two adults and up to four children for £235 in a three-bedroom mobile home at Camping Les Pins Parasols at Fréjus on the Côte d'Azur - P&O ferry crossing between Dover and Calais included. You face a drive through France of about 700 miles, but the quiet, family-run resort puts you within an hour's drive of Cannes, St Tropez and Grasse - all much quieter than in the peak summer season.

Arosmari Houses in Crete Arosmari Houses in Crete CULTURE VULTURES

Italy offers an enriching mix of delicious food and captivating culture - perfect for keeping your brood happy this Easter.

Just Sicily (01202 489040; justsicily.co.uk) has one option, based at Le Residenze Archimede, just outside the historic city of Syracuse in south-eastern Sicily, where you can ramble around the Baroque towns of the Unesco-listed Val di Noto region one day, and be splashing away in the pool the next.

A week-long stay for a family of four in a self-catering apartment costs £1,749, with Ryanair flights from Stansted to Comiso on 13 April and car hire.


If you're limited on time and budget, how about a short break in the Algarve? Home to rugged scenery, windswept beaches and a benign climate, the region has long been popular with families in search of sun and adventure. On 7 April, Superbreak (0871 221 3344; superbreak.com) has four nights at the Oceano Atlantico Apartments for £762 per family of four, including Monarch flights from East Midlands. The self-catering apartments are in the Algarve's second city of Portimao, close to Praia da Rocha, one of the region's broadest beaches.


Need a holiday as much as the children? Consult Sovereign Luxury Travel (0843 770 4526; sovereign.com), which has a range of attainable five-star breaks that seek to satisfy grown-ups and children alike.

On 14 April, the company has a week's stay at Ela Quality Resort, on the southern coast of Turkey, in Belek. The hotel has a buffet-style Kids Restaurant, beach volleyball and a huge pool, plus an on-site spa and access to three golf courses in the immediate area. The all-inclusive price of £2,249 for a family of three also includes one à la carte dinner, transfers, airport lounge access and Thomas Cook flights from Manchester.

Les Pins Parasols, France Les Pins Parasols, France ISLAND ADVENTURERS

Crete, the largest and busiest of the Greek islands, has plenty of sights and day trips to offer families, with pleasant average highs in April of around 17C.

Islands of Greece (01444 225641; islands-of-greece.co.uk) has a week's stay at the self-catering Arosmari Houses for £2,240 for a family of four, with easyJet flights from Gatwick on 8 April and car hire. Located in Vamos, midway between Rethymnon and Chania, the complex has rustic interiors decorated with local antiques and a shared pool. The company also has availability in Corfu over the Easter break.


It may be known for its bright lights and big-city bustle, but New York also serves up great family days out. Spend the morning gallivanting around Central Park, with a stop at the zoo, then pay a visit to the American Museum of Natural History and FAO Schwarz, the oldest toy store in America. Throw in the beaches of Long Island and the whole family will return home with super-sized smiles.

On 14 April, Hayes & Jarvis (01293 735302; hayesandjarvis.co.uk) has a short break with British Airways flights from Heathrow and a four-night stay at the Hilton Midtown, priced at £3,499 for a family of four. room only.


Scattered in the mid-Atlantic - with passing whales and dolphins off shore - the Azores is an ideal escape for any aspiring David Attenborough. The exotic nine-island chain offers a lush green landscape speckled with giant craters and pretty Portuguese-influenced towns.

On 12 April, Sunvil Discovery (020 8758 4722; sunvil.co.uk) has a week at the Furnas Lake Apartments for £3,132, based on a family of four sharing a two-bed chalet, on the main island of Sao Miguel, with Sata International flights from Gatwick to Ponta Delgada. The owners also run an activity company, which has canoeing, canyoning, horse-riding and whale-watching at an extra cost.


It may be big and brash, but what Dubai lacks in bashfulness, it makes up for in attractions. In addition to sandy beaches and reliable sunshine, the glittering emirate has child-friendly sites such as the Dubai Aquarium, home to 140 aquatic species, and the Wild Wadi Waterpark, with 30 heart-racing, clothes-soaking rides.

On 9 or 10 April, Flight Centre (0800 258 5773; flightcentre.co.uk) has a five-night break at the five-star Atlantis resort on the Palm development, for £1,299 per adult and £1,259 per child, with breakfast and Royal Brunei non-stop flights from Heathrow.


The Easter holidays this year also coincide with the final weeks of the European ski season. There are a handful of low-cost, stripped-down packages at present, as operators try to sell off the last of their late-season availability, but for a no-nonsense, all-inclusive option, consider Ski Solutions (020 7471 7749; skisolutions.com).

On 13 April, the company has a week at the stylish Club Med Aime in the French resort of La Plagne for £1,030pp. The price may appear high, but it actually includes Monarch flights from Gatwick to Grenoble, transfers, all meals, snacks and drinks, tuition and lift passes. Plus, it's close to the high-altitude slopes, where snow should linger longer.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    ICE ICT: Lead Business Consultant

    £39,000: ICE ICT: Specific and detailed knowledge and experience of travel sys...

    Day In a Page

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

    How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

    Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
    Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

    One day to find €1.6bn

    Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
    New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

    'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

    Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
    Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

    Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

    The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
    Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

    Historians map out untold LGBT histories

    Public are being asked to help improve the map
    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

    This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
    Paris Fashion Week

    Paris Fashion Week

    Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
    A year of the caliphate:

    Isis, a year of the caliphate

    Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
    Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

    Marks and Spencer

    Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
    'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

    'We haven't invaded France'

    Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
    Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

    Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

    The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
    7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

    Remembering 7/7 ten years on

    Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
    Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

    They’re here to help

    We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

    'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
    What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

    What exactly does 'one' mean?

    Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue