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If you are a holidaymaker who wants to spend sunny days in full flair next Easter, you don’t have to take a long-haul flight. Europe has no lack of places where you can gear up to spend a warm and lovely spring. The best Easter holiday destinations in Europe remain green and flowery in March and April. So, Easter is the best time to spend a sunny holiday on this continent.
Easter shouldn’t be a typical family holiday where you should stay with your family at home or go to your nearest church. Utilize your holidays to go out of the city with family. There is no lack of best Easter holiday destinations in Europe which have a lot of ceremonies and parades to see and adventure activities to enjoy.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Easter Holiday Destinations in Europe
- 1.1 Norway: Sami Easter Festival
- 1.2 Spain: Semana Santa
- 1.3 Italy: Scoppio del Carro
- 1.4 Portugal: Ecce Homo
- 1.5 The Netherlands: Koningsdag
- 1.6 Germany: Walpurgisnacht
- 1.7 Greece: Leonidio Balloon Festival
- 1.8 Finland: Pääsiäinen
- 1.9 Netherlands: Blooming flowers at Keukenhof
- 1.10 Malta: Our Lady of Sorrows and Good Friday
Top 10 Easter Holiday Destinations in Europe
Norway: Sami Easter Festival
Sami Easter Festival in Norway is a combination of varied programs for the people of all ages and families, including theater, concerts, market, exhibitions, art, cinema, doujin, reindeer racing, and scooter cross. Norway is the ideal destination to celebrate Easter breaks in Europe.
Sami gathers every year during the Easter season. This week is considered auspicious for celebrating weddings, christenings, confirmations, and gatherings. After participating in reindeer racing and celebrations, they start moving reindeer to the coast.
Spain: Semana Santa
Also known as Holy Week in Spain, Semana Santa is celebrated as a tribute to Jesus Christ for enjoying Easter holidays in Europe. The religious Catholic fraternities and brotherhoods give penance performances on the streets of all cities in Spain and towns during the week just before Easter.
Spain is well known for Eastern breaks in Europe held during Holy Week. It is considered the last week just before Easter in Europe, including religious holidays of Holy Thursday, Palm Sunday, and Good Friday. However, Easter Sunday is one of The Great Fifty Days.
The endless rows of penitents or nazarenos that walk along with float are indeed impossible to miss. A lot of them also walk barefoot, which is excellent, as some processions last around 14 hours.
Italy: Scoppio del Carro
Every year, Florence in Italy commemorates Scoppio Del Carro, a religious holiday in a particular way on Easter Sunday every year. The Explosion of the Cart or “Scoppio del Carro” is a 350-year old tradition.
In 1622, a wagon was created standing around 2 to 3 stories high, which is pulled by two oxen, and it is designed in garlands on the streets of Florence to the square between Cathedral and Baptistry.
Rigged with the arsenal of fireworks, the Cart awaits ahead of the cathedral for Easter trips in Europe. At around 11 am, from the altar, Gloria is sung in the church and Archbishop lights a dove-shaped rocket “Colombina” (which symbolizes the Holy Spirit).
Indeed, it flies down a wire to the outer side of the church, and it collides in the square with the Cart and sets off the magnificent display of fireworks, and it starts the Explosion of the Cart.
If all the fireworks blow off and this complicated ritual is adequately completed, it shows good luck for a good harvest this year and the city.
Portugal: Ecce Homo
The Rome of Portugal, Braga holds one of the most remarkable Easter holidays in Europe. Gregorian chants are piped during Holy Week across the city, and streets always blaze with candlelit altars at night.
The procession of Ecce Homo is held on Maundy Thursday and another one on the occasion of Good Friday. The participants march to remind the pain of Christ as well as his arrest afterward, as well as crucifixion on Good Friday.
On Sunday, Braga locals cover their thresholds with flowers to invite the priests to give a blessing to their home. Portugal is the best country for Easter city breaks in Europe.
When sunny days are the signs that summer is all set to come, Easter is a great time to get there. Stroll around the beach with temperatures that are favorable for swimming and sunbathing, especially in the Madeira and Algarve, or get indulged in nature, which is refreshed in spring.
Also get revived with some shopping therapy, while looking for new collections and trends in best shops of Porto and Lisbon for Easter celebrations in Europe.
The Netherlands: Koningsdag
Also known as King’s Day, Koningsdag is a national holiday in the Netherlands, celebrated as the birthday of King William-Alexander. It is one of the most amazing Easter festivals in Europe. During the last week of April, King’s birthday is celebrated across the nation.
Dutch people celebrate his birthday since 1890. The unique atmosphere is created during the event. Though it is not marketed and advertised, King’s Day is one of the most anticipated festivals as it welcomes over 750,000 tourists every year.
To pay tribute to the Dutch royal family, people initially wore orange which symbolizes the House of Orange-Nassau. All the street trade is unregulated on King’s Day. So, people can easily shop and sell on the streets. Apart from binge eating at restaurants and cafes, and street parties, the flea market is the most popular. People empty their attics and also set their stalls on the street to sell out their old crafts, used clothes, appliances or almost anything they want.
You may also find the stalls bargaining old software, musical instruments, gadgets, etc. You could spot everything you like in the flea market at a very cost-effective price. When it comes to services, locals offer cakes, drinks, makeover, and massage or anything they can do. You may also spot some music festivities like opera, street discos, bands, large concerts, and teenage rappers.
Also known as Saint Walpurgis Night or Saint Walpurga’s Eve, the Walpurgis Night is the Christian feast of St. Walpurga, an abbess in Francia in the 8th century is an Easter holiday in Germany.
This festival is celebrated on the 30th of April’s night and May 1’s daytime. It celebrates St. Walpurga’s canonization as well as her relics in Eichstatt, which took place on May 1, 870. It awaits the arrival of spring, and it holds a big celebration on Brocken by the witches.
German legends had it that Walpurgis Night is the night when witches collaborate on Brocken mountain. The night of 30th April is also known as May Day’s eve.
Brocken is located the highest of the Harz Mountains. The massive shadow of an observer, the Brocken Spectre is covered by bands that look like a rainbow. This incident was initially reported on the Brocken. Walpurgisnacht is a scene mentioned in the Faust Part One of Goethe and another in Faust Part Two, i.e., Classical Walpurgisnacht.
Greece: Leonidio Balloon Festival
There is no lack of religious festivals in Greece and describing each of them in detail is not easy. It houses centuries-old traditions and deep-rooted customs all year round. Easter is one of the best celebrations in Christianity.
The devoted Christians follow the ritual of Holy Week and give both their soul and body to culminate in the Passion of Christ and finally rejoice the Resurrection.
It is also the best time to spot lots of bright balloons flying at several spectacular sites in the country. The world-renowned Leonidio Balloon Festival has hundreds of balloons in the premier ballooning event in the world. Kick-off your weekend by taking a flight to the evergreen landscapes.
Easter brings fun and exciting activities in Finland. The Easter traditions in Finland include the eclectic mix of religious customs and references related to the most-awaited arrival of the season.
In this wonderful family tradition, young girls dress up the costume of cute little Easter witches, with colorful old clothes and freckles painted on their faces.
These little witches visit houses around them and bring willow twigs adorned with crepe paper and shiny feathers as blessings to remove evil spirits for treats.
Children in Finland also plant their grass seeds in the dishes of soil when Easter approaches and put birch twigs in water vases and observe for ‘mouse-ear’ buds and green shoots to symbolize the spring.
Easter is the most prominent feast celebrated every year for Orthodox Christians in Finland, making up around 1% of the population.
This is perhaps one of the unique Easter holiday destinations in Europe you can experience.
Netherlands: Blooming flowers at Keukenhof
Weather plays a vital role in blooming spring flowers. Warm weather is more favorable to grow tulips than in winters. Flowers blossom later than usual due to spring and cold winter, while spring with mild winter does just the opposite. So, the best time to see blooming flowers at Keukenhof is during Easter.
So, you may want to travel to the Netherlands during mid-April to witness the full-blown tulips. The season runs from the last week of March to the second week of May.
The flowers are at their best through April. In spring, over 7 million flowers bloom at the Keukenhof in Lisse. It is among the best destinations to explore various types of tulips.
Malta: Our Lady of Sorrows and Good Friday
Starting on Good Friday, Holy Week begins at Malta when Our Lady of Sorrows is carried through the streets of Valletta in a procession, and various other villages and towns. On the occasion of Maundy Thursday, the ‘seven visits’ are held, in which people visit seven churches as the tribute to Altars of Repose.
A lot of villages and towns celebrate the Passion of the Christ with solemn of statues. The bearers carry each of these statues showing a specific incident in the Passion of the Christ. It is undoubtedly an ideal place to celebrate Easter in Europe.
Founder of Pretty Wild World and one of the leading experts in Europe travel, the Nordics, and Scandinavia Destinations.
Evan Kristine has been mentioned in big publications such as The Huffington Post and the Thought Catalog has been sharing her useful travel tips and hacks to the world for more than five years now.
Nowadays, she is a full-time traveler exploring and documenting her journey around the world providing you the next best travel idea for your great next adventure.