Europe Gears Up for Early Easter Travel Season

Stonleigh
Stoneleigh

Snow flurries are still falling across Europe, but destinations, hotels and attractions are in springtime mode. In Vienna, it’s the season for elaborate spring-themed window displays.

“There is a lot going on in Austria, especially in spring,” Austrian Tourist Office Spokesperson Marie Theres Polt tells Travel Agent.

“There are beautiful Easter Markets all over Austria. My personal favorites are the one in front of Schönbrunn. They organize an Easter Egg hunt for kids. And the market in Innsbruck is right in the middle of the city center in front of the iconic Golden Roof,” said Polt. While Austria’s Christmas Markets are a prime holiday attraction, the tradition carries over into Easter. This year, the holiday falls on March 27.

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The markets typically feature Easter decorations and crafts, as well as candles, ceramics, toys, candy, baked goods and local food specialties. In fact, many of the same vendors who operate booths during Christmas also appear at Easter. The main difference: stalls offer thousands of intricately-painted Easter eggs rather than Christmas ornaments.

In Switzerland, resorts are counting on a big Easter skiing push.

“With Easter very early this year, many Swiss ski resorts have announced special offers for March. Personally, it’s my favorite time to ski, it’s generally a bit warmer, the days are longer, and the snow is still very good. There’s nothing like having a hearty lunch with a glass of local wine on a terrace after a couple of hours of skiing and looking over the mighty Swiss Alps,” Alex Herrmann, director Americas, Switzerland Tourism, tells Travel Agent.

Clients heading to the U.K. will also find plenty of Easter-themed activities.

Events are planned from March 18 through April 4 throughout Shakespeare’s England. The marketing district covers historic Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwick, Kenilworth, Royal Leamington Spa and the surrounding towns and villages.

Easter events include a Craft Fair and Easter Egg Hunt at Stoneleigh Abbey. The historic manor home in Warwickshire has hosted Charles I, Queen Victoria, and Jane Austen. At the MAD (Mechanical Art & Design) Museum in Stratford-Upon-Avon, the quest for Easter eggs takes on a unique twist. Visitors can press buttons, turn cranks and poke around at exhibits to find hidden eggs at the Mechanical Easter Egg Hunt.

MadHatter

Easter crafts and a Mad Hatters Tea Party are on the menu at The Old Slaughterhouse arts and heritage pub in Stratford-upon-Avon. And The Great Shakespeare Egg Hunt is set for the Royal Shakespeare Theatre.

Back in London, clients with young children might be interested in an Easter package at the Café Royal. The luxury property in the heart of the city is collaborating with its neighbor, the renowned toy shop Hamleys.

Children will receive a VIP tour of the toy store, along with a goodie bag and shopping discount. The hotel’s executive pastry chef and chocolatier will create bespoke chocolate Easter eggs for the family. And the package includes an in-room movie experience as well as full English breakfast daily. Café Royal's Easter Package with Hamleys is available from March 18 through April 3, 2016.

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