If you do fancy an early blast of sunshine, we've picked three amazing escapes to tempt you away from home…
For a spot of European sunshine: Can Totxa, Mallorca
Can Totxa is a traditional Mallorcan finca style luxury villa with stunning grounds - including a tennis court as well as an outdoor pool. Inside, this beautiful villa is decorated in a fresh and contemporary style and accommodates 8 people.
Built in the style of a traditional Mallorcan farmhouse, Can Totxa has four bedrooms and comes fully staffed. There's a hostess, an accomplished chef, an array of maids and gardeners, and even a nanny who'll organise activities during the day and babysit at night.
The villa is run like mini five-star hotel and the staff are brilliant at eliminating hassles (they'll even provide nappies and pushchairs). Food is all-inclusive - fancy-as-you-like suppers for adults, and healthy turkey nuggets and proper fries for kids - as is the alcohol.
For more details visit; https://www.scottdunn.com/luxury-holidays/europe/southern-europe/spain/mallorca/can-totxa
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For the ‘wild child’: On safari in Botswana
We can’t think of a more fantastic way to introduce children to the beautiful wonders of the vast African continent. A safari is perfect for those seeking fun and adventure as well as being a wonderfully educational experience.
Visiting at Easter means a moderate climate in Botswana with a mix of the green and dry seasons including the dynamics of a change in season. There are excellent photographic opportunities due to the light, colours and subject matter.
Where to go: Central Kalahari is a vast flat expanse of scrub-covered fossil dunes between ancient river valleys that has a fascinating spectrum of very different plants and animals.
To find out more about the Kalahari Plains Camp accommodation, attractions and highlights, please visit: http://www.wilderness-safaris.com/camps/kalahari-plains-camp
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Spring-time in Provence
This is probably the most beautiful time to visit this stunning region in the south of France. In spring flowers are in bloom, acres of Lavender roll for miles and fields of sunflowers follow the Provencal sun.
A hop, skip and mere 7.5 hours train ride from London St Pancras, you will find yourself in the beautiful, formally papal city of Avignon. Take in the vast Palais des Papes – the largest Gothic palace in Europe – and watch the Rhone river whip by beneath the famous Pont Saint-Bénezet.
There is so much to see and do in Provence and having a plan of daily excursions will really help to ensure you see a nice cross section of what the region has to offer in the time that you have. Below are some of our favourite highlights;
The villages of the Luberon: Clutching to the sides of this mountainous region are a number of stunningly beautiful hillside villages; Gordes, Bonnieux (even the names are beautiful!), Menerbes and Lacoste to name a few. Explore the narrow streets taking in the breathtaking views of the mountainside as you walk. With plenty of little boutiques and artists’ galleries there is no shortage of artistic mementos to take home with you.
Gorges du Verdon (pictured above): Dubbed the Grand Canyon of Europe, this is nature on a supernatural scale! At 15 miles long and 2,000 feet down, the views here are spectacular. A perfect destination for hikers and climbers, however the drive around the rim-road is also pretty hair-raising as the road narrows and winds quite dramatically in places. The beautiful Lac de Sainte-Croix at the end of the canyon is perfect for a spot of kayaking or swimming on warmer days.
Uzès market: No trip to Provence would be complete without visiting one of the region’s many markets. Uzès’ market – 30 minutes west of Avignon - is teeming with fresh produce, flowers, crafts, olive oil (incidentally the best we have ever tasted!) and a vast of array of other Provençal delights. Situated in the Place aux Herbes, we found this to be one of the most beautiful markets we visited, with the surrounding town also stunning in itself.
Chateauneuf de Pape: It can be assumed that visitors to the south of France probably love food and probably love wine! It would be a shame then not to make a visit to at least one of the many vineyards this region is famed for. We popped along to the famous Chateauneuf de Pape region (where else!) and took the long stony road to the famous Chateau Mont Redon. Here there are, on occasion, organised tours of the vineyard or like us you can simply wonder in, taking in the huge grounds, and sample some of their finest grapes.
Where to stay; La Maison des Remparts: Situated 45mins north of Avignon, this beautiful B&B has 5 stunning bedrooms and is set within the old fortified walls of Baumes-de-Venise. Its shabby-chic interior exudes a welcoming elegance. Perfect for relaxation, there’s a garden courtyard plunge pool as well as Shiatsu and Ayurvedic massage on site. This is a perfect location also for wine lovers given its location on the Route des Côtes du Rhône. Rates from 180 euros per night and families are also welcome. Find out more at http://www.i-escape.com/la-maison-des-remparts
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