Easter weekend breaks in Europe

Whether it's a weekend relaxing amongst the spring blossoms or a city break filled with culture and tradition, Europe has something for everyone this Easter.

Easter breaks in Europe
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Tramuntana, Majorca
A short-haul flight away lies the beautiful island of Majorca - forget Magaluf with its English cafés and Irish bars and take a break in the Tramuntana mountains. In April, the citrus groves are in full bloom and the mountains are alive with poppies and acacias, while the weather is comfortably warm.

Try the Orange Blossom Trail to enjoy the sight and aroma of the orange and lemon groves in all their glory or take a wander through the cobbled streets of Deia and enjoy the spectacular views.

Keukenhof, Holland
As capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam rightly takes centre stage when it comes to weekend breaks in the country. In spring, Holland's tulips are in full bloom and Keukenhof, the most photographed garden in the world, is the place to experience an astonishing floral display. If you're feeling fit, why not hire a bike and take in some of the surrounding bulb fields.

Florence, Italy
As one would expect, Easter is Italy's biggest religious festival and events, parades and masses are held throughout the country. If you can't face the huge crowds at the Vatican's St Peter's Square in Rome, celebrations in the smaller city of Florence in Tuscany are just as impressive.

The Scoppio del Carro sees a decorated wagon packed with fireworks pulled by white oxen arrive at the Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore. With mass over, the Archbishop sends a mechanical dove (la columbina) into the cart to ignite a spectacular fireworks display.

Seville, Spain
As in Italy, Easter is an important time for Spain's largely Catholic people. Nowhere is Holy Week more impressive or moving than in Andalucia.

Semana Santa, or Holy Week, begins on Palm Sunday and continues through to Easter Sunday. Huge processions of hermandades (religious brotherhoods) some of whom wear distinctive pointed hoods, altar boys carrying incense, penitentes holding crosses and brass bands accompany the pasos, or floats, featuring scenes from the Passion, each from a local church.

As each paso leaves its home church, the waiting crowds listen to the flamenco singers' saetas. Whatever your religious beliefs, it is hard not to be moved by these processions and the atmosphere that permeates the whole of Semana Santa.

Prague, Czech Republic
This stunning city is perfect for pedestrians - the centre is small enough that a gentle stroll will take you to all the places of interest but, more importantly, at Easter it's a shoppers paradise.

Markets run daily through most of April at both the Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square with over 100 stalls offering handcrafted toys, crystal, jewellery and hand-painted Easter eggs. Sample the barbecued sausages, spit-roast hams, traditional Czech sweets and pastries while you enjoy the folk groups and dancers celebrating the Easter festival.

Have you experienced a memorable Easter break in Europe? Let us know below...
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