Does April offer the best of both worlds? Those who dream of hot summer days do not have to wait long thanks to the great weather in short-haul escapes to eastern Europe: from crowd dodging in central Europe’s beautiful Alps: to several city breaks full with easter traditions. It is also the best time to see nature coming to life with some of the world's wonders - found everywhere from Kobarid and Maribor in Slovenia to the spellbinding architecture of Prague. Whether you are looking to find out which city is best for an easter weekend getaway or simply where you can experience the quirkiest easter traditions, see our guide to the best places to visit in April.
Bathe in unlimited sunshine and explore the magical waters of Portimaõ
Being on the beach for the holidays is one of life’s simple luxuries and planning your Easter getaway to Portimão will leave you with no regrets! A short three hour flight from London and you’re in paradise. One of Portimão’s many spectacular beaches, located just a few minutes from the city centre, is Praia da Rocha which is famed for its beautiful turquoise waters. Here you will find long beaches and a lagoon where children can play, explore maritime life or cool off from the heat. There are plenty of bars along the boardwalk next to the beach offering drinks, a light lunch or a full evening meal. While April might bring scattered showers, temperatures are a comfortable 20+ degrees.
Explore ancient pagan traditions and local Easter traditions in Riga
The Latvian capital, the largest city in the Baltics, is an emblem of proud Latvian traditions with a touch of influence from its time under Soviet occupation. Riga is the place to be if you want to experience an unconventional Easter with celebrations of Lieldienas during the first Sunday after the first full moon. Latvians and visitors all gather around the city to take part in Easter celebrations.
Begin your Easter stay in Riga by walking along the cobblestone streets and sociable squares of Vecrīga, one of the city’s listed UNESCO World Heritage sites. Here you will find everything from restaurants, nightspots, art galleries and museums. If you desire to make your own easter eggs or more pagan traditions, walk through Skārņu Street where you will find an arts and crafts market. Or, why not take on a partner in an egg cracking challenge that symbolises a long life and fertility.
Annual Easter hikes and traditional foods in Kobarid and Maribor
Easter in the valley is a magnificent way to spend your time in Slovenia. There are an immense amount of activities to take part in while visiting, including going on engaging and fascinating hikes like the historic trail in Kobarid or exploring local and traditional foods in Maribor.
Kobarid is known for its historical heritage, particularly that of the First World War and its fascinating tales of the Soča Front. If you are looking for a trail that combines history with wondrous nature, then The Kobarid Historical Trail is something for you. This trail will allow you to take in natural sights like the museum and Napoleon’s bridge across the Soča Font. If you rather want to learn more about the traditional and local foods of Slovenia, a visit to Maribor will satisfy your hunger. With countless restaurants, stands and vineyards, Maribor has all you need for a full culinary experience.
4. CZECH REPUBLIC
Celebrate the arrival of Spring with Easter in Prague
Prague is a must-see springtime destination with some of the most popular market attractions in the world for the Easter holidays. Opening between April 2nd-24th, the major markets are located around the Old Town Square, the Prague Castle and St. George’s Basilica.
Easter in Prague is also a celebration of the arrival of Spring with streets and squares full of vibrant colours. Popular and traditional foods such as Langoš (flatbread) and Klobása (sausage) are a fantastic way to fuel your appetite as you make your way through the streets. Wherever you go you will hear music and dance performances from folk groups that help to keep traditions alive from generation to generation. Participating in Easter celebrations in Prague is a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Experience Palm Sunday and homemade delicacies in Warsaw
Poland has a series of unique traditions connected to Easter, from joyful to spiritual, and of course plenty of delicious food. If you wish to experience the true Warsaw easter traditions, visit the Old town Market place on Palm Sunday where you are sure to see at least one stall selling decorative “palms” for the palm competition. Legend says, whoever has the tallest palm branch will be wealthy and healthy in the future. You will most often find stalls by the market selling bread shaped like lambs or homemade Polish cheese in the shape of lambs and chickens.
Traditional customs in Poland bring everyone together, for example Warsaw’s The Central Way of the Cross. It is a must experience if you are interested in religion and history as it is a re-creation of the last path of Jesus Christ down Warsaw’s Royal Route. This church service dates back to the Middle Ages and involves walking from St. Anne’s Church with a cross weighing more than 100 kilos.
Bask in Culture, Art and Religion in Kaunas
Kaunas has so much to offer travellers who enjoy culture, galleries and art exhibitions. With over 1000 events there has never been a better time to visit this year's European Capital of Culture. This Easter visitors will be able to experience easter celebrations in Kaunas and view the amazing work of world renowned artists. William Kentridge’s exhibition “That Which We Do Not Remember” and "Kaunas–Vilnius: Moving Mountains" focuses on Kaunas’ dark past, whilst giving the observer a look into a past rooted in pride and prejudice between Kaunas and Vilnius; as well as its Jewish heritage.
If you desire a traditional easter holiday, then Kaunas’ own modern day pilgrimage route, the Camino de Santiago (The path of St James Way), is the best choice for you. This route is littered with Scallop shells and yellow arrows that direct pilgrims and hikers from Kaunas all the way to the Polish border. You will find Churches, Monasteries, Shrines and sites of cultural interest along the route. Kaunas is the number one choice for culture, art and religion in Europe.