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Luxury Villa Breaks for Easter

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Luxury Villa Breaks for Easter

Piety and Parties - Celebrate Easter the European Way with Abercrombie and Kent Villas
Elaborate processions, papier maché giants, cheese rolling races, exploding doves, burning effigies and parties; Easter in Europe is a whole new ball game.


Easter is the most important religious festival in much of Europe, mixing spine-tingling solemnity and quirky local traditions with a fantastic party atmosphere. Travel with Abercrombie and Kent Villas to discover the fascinating ways in which Easter is celebrated in Spain, Italy or Greece

Nowhere is Easter more flamboyant and atmospheric than in Spain. High drama is the name of the game during Semana Santa (Holy Week). Magnificent processions of elaborate floats bearing holy statues are accompanied by hooded penitents in traditional costume, women in finery or mourning black, children in communion dress and thousands of followers and onlookers. Some processions are eerily silent, others raucously noisy and Spain being Spain, of course, the party is just as important as the piety. All generations from grandparents to babes in arms throw themselves into making the most of the fiesta day and night and Semana Santa is therefore a great time to visit for every age group. Villa Sancha near Ronda, and La Maroma near Malaga are both ideal bases to witness the festivities in two of Andalucia’s most important cities for Easter celebrations.

Majorca is also home to splendid processions, a fair dose of wailing and weeping and the usual joyous revelry over Holy Week. The Sunday after Easter, some 20,000 make the pilgrimage to Bellver Castle above Palma for the Festa de l’Angel where papier maché giants, music, dancing, local culinary specialities and hours of fun and feasting await. Within easy reach of Palma and Pollenca, also a well-known hot spot for Easter events, the beautiful Can Noblessa lies at the foot of the Tramuntana Mountains - a stunning villa with very attractive reduced rates over Easter.

In Italy the processions are compelling, the pastry shops are full of special goodies and Easter Monday sees a mad cheese rolling race around the enchanting hillside town of Panicale in Umbria. Culminating in a vivacious and typically Italian party in the piazza, the Panicale pecorino race is the ideal antidote to the spirituality and spectacle of Perugia’s glorious Easter processions and festivities. Just 1km from the fun and games in Panicale and 33km from Perugia, Casa del Lago is a perfect luxury villa retreat in the Umbrian countryside.

Florence is a visual feast at any time of year, but the ancient Explosion of the Cart ritual on Easter Sunday is truly a spectacle never to be forgotten. At 11am a great procession through the city concludes at the Duomo in a mighty daytime firework display, sparked by a dove-shaped rocket that flies from the altar into the 350 year old cart carrying a holy flame. Ideal for couples or a small family is the fabulous city centre luxury apartment Firenze Tre whilst large luxury villas within striking distance of Florence include the palatial Villa Controni and Borgo Bernadini, both of which are on offer over Easter.

Easter in Greece rarely coincides with western Easter and is therefore very much a case of having your (Simnel) cake and eating it. This year, Greek Orthodox Easter falls on May 5th, so the Easter bunny can do his stuff at home before celebrating in warmer climes. Good Friday night-time processions are sombre, highly emotional occasions often followed by seafood banquets (booking is essential in restaurants that night), whilst on Easter Saturday the children prepare a bonfire and an effigy of Judas to burn after an unlit and deeply atmospheric 11pm service. At midnight precisely the priest and congregation leave the church, the Resurrection is announced, candles and fireworks are lit, Judas is burnt, the Lenten fast is officially over, tavernas open and the party begins! Easter Day itself is a day of family feasting and celebration. Delicious luxury villas in Crete include Villa Valomia which sleeps up to 6 guests and is available for £409 per person, per week in May and Villa Cien which sleeps up to 16 guests and is available for £709 per person, per week in May.


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