With Easter round the corner, many people are looking for a simple break to make the most the school holidays, with Italy and Portugal always popular. Our guide of some of the finest Easter weekend breaks in Europe will ensure you get to experience many of the best seasonal festivals the continent has to offer. So whether you’re looking for a traditional holiday in Rome or a quiet getaway in Lisbon, our guide, with information provided by our European Breakdown Cover, will point you in the right direction.
Easter in Rome
If you are looking for a more spiritual holiday, the fortnight surrounding Easter is one of the busiest times of the year in Rome. The city state celebrates its most important holiday over the Easter period and as a result it is at its most vibrant and exciting as thousands of believers flock to the city in pilgrimage. Non-pilgrims looking for a more secular experience are spoilt for choice with the Pantheon, Trevi Fountain and Colosseum; a must for all visitors of the city.
Find directions with RAC Route Planner – journey time 15hrs 23mins*
Easter in Florence
During the Easter period, the city of Florence truly bursts into life. Every Easter Sunday Florence celebrates a tradition dating back 350 years, the Scoppio del Carro, or the ‘Explosion of the Cart’. The ceremony sees an elaborately decorated wagon being pulled, by a pair of oxen, through the streets to the square between the Baptistry and Cathedral. Around 11am the Archbishop lights a dove–shaped rocket from the cathedral's altar, which flies down a wire outside the church and ignites the wagon in the square, setting off a series of spectacular fireworks.
Find directions with RAC Route Planner – journey time 13hrs 5mins*
Easter in Lisbon
If you would prefer to avoid the more traditional festive holiday, an Easter in Lisbon could be the perfect solution, especially if you’re looking to enjoy the city by car. The scenic fishing town of Cascais is easily within driving distance, as is the beautiful wild of Arrabida, a region that can only be reached by car. A mere 17 miles away is the beautiful town of Sintra, with its fabulous palaces, and not too far away is Lisbon’s medieval village, Obidos.
Find directions with RAC Route Planner – journey time 17hrs 53mins*
Easter in Seville
Easter in Seville is one of the most colourful in Europe, with its stunning processions of masked penitents and lavish floats. Every year thousands of people line the streets to see the daily processions of marching bands and the candlelit floats. Visitors will also see the Baroque statues illustrating the Easter story, followed by hundreds of strikingly cloaked ‘nazarenos’ (penitents, dressed in habits). For those looking for a less religious tone, there is Semana Santa. This festival represents the start of spring for the people of Seville, and their numerous celebrations throughout the city during this period.
Find directions with RAC Route Planner – journey time 17hrs 46mins*
*Distance and directions from Calais, France.