When you crave sunshine filled days of outdoor activity and the Easter school break is looming, there are a couple of destinations that should be top of your list. We send clients with active children champing at the bit to stretch their legs after the long winter months to spend their holidays in Murcia’s La Manga Club Resort or the Algarve’s Pine Cliffs resorts.
Nestled between the spectacularly lush Calblanque Natural Park and the sparkling Mediterranean Sea is the Spanish region of Murcia. When we are approached by travellers who feel they cannot stand another grey English day at the end of the winter, we often suggest this area with its 315 days of sun per year as the panacea to their blues.
From the end of March – when the children break up for the Easter holidays – and throughout April, Murcia is a perfect destination to feel the sun’s warmth on your skin and to get the whole family active and outdoors again after the winter hibernation.
A Sports Smorgasbord: La Manga Club Resort
From the more esoteric activities like Gaelic football, lacrosse, netball and triathlon to the more commonly practiced sports like hiking, diving and tennis, there are training courses and events for adults and children organised at the resort.
If you’re looking for a selection of activities for your children then the Junior Club is a fantastic option. The morning and afternoon sessions are run for those up to age 12.
For your budding sportsmen and -women, La Manga runs Club Academies in golf, tennis, football, rugby, triathlon and cricket. We’ve always been really impressed by how these courses serve to give children a chance to get some extra training in their favourite sports while they also make friends and reach their potential in an environment of benign and healthy competition.
Exploring the Region
You can certainly expect a range of options outside the resort as well in the region. The area is uniquely positioned between two seas, the Med and the Menor, and I have always loved the rather unusual natural phenomena that evolved over time.
There are long beaches, sand dunes, salt marshes and rock vegetation. Protected as the Calblanque Regional Park, the opportunities for hiking and water sports are unsurpassed in the clement weather.
A second destination that I heartily recommend for families holidaying over the Easter Break is The Algarve. The temperatures start to climb from March onwards and you’ll enjoy an abundance of sunshine that will quench your skin’s thirst for Vitamin D. Our clients revel in the majestic landscape where the regal mountain range is dramatically juxtaposed against the golden beaches and emerald green seas.
A Family Favourite: Pine Cliffs Resort
If your brood is very young you’ll be able to entertain them with the huge Porto Pirata Kids’ Club (they take children aged from 6 months to 12 years.
The club is constructed around two enchanting, life size wooden pirate ships. There are paddling pools, mini golf courses, bouncy castles, organised activities and free play sessions. The staff are qualified, welcoming and seem to have infinite sources of energy!
As at La Manga, there are options for children to receive coaching. Here the focus is on golf and tennis. The Pine Cliffs Golf Academy and the Annabel Croft Tennis Academy offer courses and clinics that will help your budding player hone their game.
The children who need to be kept active but who aren’t looking for such an intensive experience are usually more than satisfied with the Junior Club that the resort runs. They have a weekly programme that includes tennis, basketball, water ball, golf, crossbow and aim shooting, and even darts.
Enjoying Praia da Falesia
I’d suggest that you also build in some time to explore outside the resort as the area itself is a real treat. Praia da Falesia is one of Portugal’s longest beaches and its 6 kilometres of golden sand are hard to surpass.
This part of the coast is very relaxed: the local town has preserved some of the more traditional Portuguese way of life and you’ll certainly get a taste of the authentic while you’re here.
Choosing your Easter Holiday Destination
There are, of course, many places that can provide you with the backdrop for an unforgettable Easter Break. These two in La Manga and Praia da Falesia are just two of my favourites. By the end of March, many locations that aren’t too far from the UK are starting to warm up: from Cyprus to Crete to Sicily, you don’t have to fly to the other side of the world for some sunshine.
If you’d like some advice on choosing which country will suit your family best, then please give us a call.