Easter in the Sun

Easter in the Sun photo

By the time the Easter family holidays roll around, people who live in the northern climes have all but had it with Old Man Winter. Most look for some place to relax in the warm sun to rejuvenate themselves. The Canary Islands, the Greek Islands, and Turkey, on the European side of the Atlantic Ocean, as well as Florida and the Caribbean islands on the North American side, all offer enough sun, sand, and fun to get any body going.

As the largest of the Canary Islands, Tenerife offers a superb climate with everything from quaint villages to fun-filled nightlife. Daily temperatures seldom fall below 20 degrees Celsius. Playa de Las Americas has a great selection of beaches and is known for its bar strip, known as Veronicas, with enough bars and nightclubs to keep you entertained into the early hours. Nearby, its quieter neighbor, Costa Adeje, has a low-key atmosphere, with a volcanic sandy beach offering water sports and an excellent selection of restaurants. The former fishing village of Los Cristianos has grown into a family resort with a sheltered sandy beach and harbor area.

Puerto de la Cruz, on the north side of Tenerife, receives more rain than other parts of the island, giving it a lush green landscape. Originally founded in the17th century, the old town has kept its Canarian charm, with narrow cobbled streets lined with traditional colonial style buildings.

Gran Canaria is a beautiful island full of sand dunes and scenery. The third largest of the Canary Islands, it boasts fantastic weather, over 50 beaches, and picturesque villages and desert landscapes. You may feel like you're in paradise on the golden sands in Maspalomas. If you're more into nature, Palmitos Park is the home of 150 species of birds, a butterfly house, aquarium and gibbon island. If you're seeking adventure, you'll find plenty of choices, from water sports to sand dune trekking. And if you enjoy spending your days on the links, Maspalomas offers three first-class golf courses. Afterwards, take the family to the biggest water park in the Canary Islands. And just over the dunes from Maspalomas lies Playa del Inglés, with lots of restaurants and nightclubs.

As the largest of the Greek Islands, Crete is great for family holidays. You can see historical sights such as Spinalonga, relax on a beach in Hersonnisos, or party in Malia. On the island of Rhodes, you'll discover a magical world built within castle walls in Rhodes Town, with its cobbled streets, dotted with rooftop tavernas and shops. Also, don't miss the amazing beaches and whitewashed buildings at Lindos. Take a donkey ride or hike up to the old acropolis overlooking the bay. Picture perfect Santorini offers whitewashed buildings and blue domed churches that cling to the cliff edges. The views over the turquoise sea are unbeatable.

One of the most popular tourist destinations at Easter is Turkey, with its sparkling beaches, friendly people, great value. Here, you have the choice of getting an inexpensive room in the heart of the action or kicking back at a luxury resort. Pine-clad mountains, rimmed with golden beaches, and littered with villages to explore surround the Dalaman region of Turkey. You can visit the blue lagoon of Olu Deniz or hang out in Fethiye's harbor, take a boat trip or just wander around the shops. Antalya, a bustling city full of history, is Turkey's biggest international sea resort and is the third most visited city in the world. Istanbul, an enchanting city full of intrigue, will inspire you to have an Aladdin-like adventure on a magic carpet above its souks as you smell the aromas of species and fresh baklava in the air.

The shimmering white sand beaches and rum cocktails of the islands of the Caribbean await you on your Easter holiday. Islands, such as Jamaica, Grand Cayman, and St. Kitts offer the ultimate in affordable luxury, or you can enjoy a stay at an all-inclusive resort where you leave your worries and your wallet at the gate. Everyone is raving about Cuba's golden beaches, strong local rum, and incredible history. If you're into old cars, architecture or photography, this is the place for you.

While Florida holidays may be synonymous with the theme parks of Orlando, the glorious Sunshine State also offers many alternatives. Take a break in the Florida Keys or Miami. Vedge out on a beach along the Gulf Coast. Witness stunning sunsets over the Gulf of Mexico while sipping an exotic cocktail. Cosmopolitan Miami with its combination of impressive Art Deco architecture and unpredictable Latin ambience offers a level of excitement that can't be beat. While you're there, be sure to take a trip over to Everglades National Park for a truly Floridian experience.