March 15, 2019 | CV Villas
Rather than gorging on chocolate, queuing up for an egg-hunt at a stately home, or getting soaked by springtime showers, why not head to sunnier shores and celebrate a traditional Italian, French or Greek Easter at a luxurious villa?
CV Villas, the luxury villa holiday specialist known for its fine properties in sought-after locations around the world, has plenty of options to choose from, ideal for getting away for a week’s spring holiday with the family or a group of friends.
All across Sicily at Easter-time, towns and villages play host to traditional processions, pagan rituals and religious festivities, set against the backdrop of narrow cobbled streets and buzzing piazzas. Seasonal gastronomic treats such as pasta reale (fruit-shaped marzipan sweets), fritella (a vibrant spring dish combining fresh peas, fava beans and artichokes), and Sicily’s signature cassata cake, made from ricotta, marzipan and candied fruit, grace tables across the island.
Villa del Sale (sleeps ten) near Trapani on the west of the island, is a modernist-chic whitewashed villa dating from the 1970s, stylishly refurbished with interiors showcasing Sicilian ceramics, ornate tilework, vintage furniture and even a small wine cellar (from which guests can shop excellent local wines). Set within huge lawned gardens with an infinity swimming pool, this five-bedroomed villa enjoys blissful sunset views and is on the edge of Trapani’s saltpans, a resting place for many migratory birds, so guests may be able to spot the occasional flamingo while sipping a sundowner limoncello. As well as the close towns of Trapani and Marsala, the house is also close to the medieval village of Erice and a short hop from the idyllic Egadi Islands which are well worth a day trip. Arriving 20 April, a week’s stay at Villa del Sale costs from £304 pp (£3,044 total). Flights extra.
Easter in Provence is an exuberant time of year, with traditional festivals, classical music events, abundant spring flowers and the sound of church bells ringing on Easter Sunday.
Family picnics are an Easter tradition in Provence, with treats including hand-decorated hard-boiled eggs, local cheeses and artisanal chocolates, and all across the region there are charming markets displaying delicious seasonal produce and curious antiques.
Maison l’Hirondelle (sleeps six) is an elegant country villa with views of the Lubéron countryside and set within beautiful grounds filled with wisteria and olive trees. This three-bedroomed house blends old world charm with high spec living facilities and stylish interiors, as well as a ten-metre pool and table tennis outside, ideal for a luxurious family holiday. Nearby, the Easter antique fairs, baroque churches and riverside brasseries in the pretty town of L’Isle sur la Sorgue await. Arriving on 20 April, a week’s stay at Maison L’Hirondelle costs from £505 pp (£3,030 total), including maid service and welcome pack. Flights extra.
Le Paradis (sleeps eight) near Aix-en-Provence and Venelle village, is a grand and traditional Provençale house encircled by elegant manicured lawns and surrounded by cypress spires and woodland greenery. With chic interiors, an open plan living space opening on to a covered breakfast terrace, a cinema room with snug sofas and a swimming pool hemmed by loungers, it’s the perfect property in which to play Lord and Lady of the manor for a week. Venture to the sophisticated university city of Aix-en-Provence to enjoy classical concerts at its annual Easter Festival de Pâques and drink coffee and cognac on the café terraces of the Cours Mirabeau. Arriving on 20 April, a week’s stay at the four-bedroomed Villa Le Paradis costs from £509 pp (£4,075 total). Flights extra.
A traditional Greek Orthodox Easter is something that everyone should experience at least once. After the austerity of lent, a party atmosphere descends on the Saturday night of the Easter weekend, with churches colourfully decorated with flowers, congregations led by chanting priests, vibrant firework displays and scenes of jubilation. There is the drinking of much raki after midnight, and the next day’s hangovers are cured with Easter feasts of lamb spit roasted over charcoal, homemade flat breads and Cretan goats cheese pies accompanied by Greek music at charming family-run tavernas.
Pretty hilltop villages, frescoed chapels, ancient ruins and fantastic hiking provide plenty to explore, and with temperatures in the high teens and eight hours of daily sunshine – pleasant enough to relax on the beach – late April is a great time to visit.
Stay at Villa Alamo (sleeps six), a contemporary and luxurious property in a rural hilltop setting just a short drive away from Chania. With views of the Aegean sea and White Mountains, this three-bedroomed villa has been masterfully designed to reflect the diverse scenery that surrounds it, blurring the boundaries of indoor/outdoor living with glass walls on to gorgeous terraces, and a décor palette of chalks, clays, blues and greens. A quick stroll away, the pretty Venetian village of Kokkino Chorio and the unspoilt Koutalas beach await, and on the villa’s doorstep lie outstanding hiking trails – spring being the ideal time of year to explore the island by foot with its clement temperatures and colourful botany. Arriving 20 April, a week’s stay at Villa Alamo costs from £378 pp (£2,266 total). Flights extra.
From religious processions led by torch carriers through town centres and huge scale re-enactments of Passion of the Christ, to Easter egg hunts in grand Italian gardens and outdoor markets selling seasonal sweets such as necci (a type of crepe made with chestnut flour and filled with ricotta), there is plenty to see and do in Tuscany at Easter.
Stay at Casa Gelsomino (sleeps nine), a characterful five-bedroomed property which has been artfully converted from an olive and grape press property, with the old wheel, tools and millstone used as intriguing features in the living room. This rustic bolthole has been decorated with an eclectic and stylish eye for design, with bohemian prints and furnishings, colourful artworks, quirky antiques and a spiral staircase. Overlooking miles of rolling Tuscan countryside and enclosed by lush gardens boasting a swimming pool and barbecue, the villa provides leisure and privacy in equal measure, but the amenities of the local village are a short walk away and the sights of Pisa, Lucca and Florence are doable in a day trip. Arriving 20 April, a week’s stay at Casa Gelsomino costs from £287 pp (£2,581 total). Flights extra.
For more information, or to talk to a villa expert, call CV Villas on 020 7261 5499 or visit www.cvvillas.com.
Notes to editors: For more than 40 years, CV Villas has organised tailor-made villa holidays in inspiring locations across Europe and beyond. A CV Villas holiday combines beautiful villas in unrivalled settings with expert local support and, if desired, flights and car hire too.
From its origins in Corfu, the 900-strong portfolio now features villas in some of the world’s most sought-after locations, including Greece, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Croatia, Morocco, the Caribbean and the USA. Many properties are exclusively available through CV Villas.
CV Villas’ Private Collection is an exceptional portfolio of the world’s finest and most luxurious fully-staffed villas in stunning settings.
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