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Easter parade

1 ALGARVE £651

Portugal's Algarve is a favourite sun spot for those who don't like long flights but do like beaches, water sports and golf - the region is renowned for the number and quality of courses. A self-catering villa offers families privacy and freedom. Villa Casa Dionisio, a white-washed, top-of-the-range villa sleeping eight, is in an exclusive residential area close to the traditional fishing village of Olhos d'Agua. It has air-conditioned bedrooms, a good-sized swimming pool and choice of shady terraces. The beaches and resort facilities of Praia d'Oura and Albufeira are a ten-minute drive away.

• Hot deal Villa Select offers the Villa Casa Dionisio, which sleeps eight, for the week beginning 15 April, from just 395 for the whole villa, a discount of 400. The price includes maid service five times a week. Flights from Glasgow to Faro can be arranged from 256pp, and car hire is also available. Tel: 01789 764909 or visit www.villaselect.comOther properties are also available.

2 EGYPT 485

Sharm El Sheikh, on the tip of Egypt's Sinai peninsula, is a Red Sea resort, fabulous for divers and snorkelling, but also for anyone who enjoys the beach and water sports. There's nothing in the way of ancient Egyptian monuments, but the market in old Sharm is worth a look, and you can take an excursion into the desert. There are hotels of every category to choose from, but avoid the resort centre, Naama Bay, if your family isn't into buzzing bars and restaurants. The Cleopatra Tsokkos Hotel is 3km from Naama Bay (a courtesy bus runs between it and the hotel) and has a swimming pool with bar, separate children's pool, tennis, volleyball, two restaurants and evening entertainment.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 11 April, Tropical Sky offers seven nights at the Cleopatra Tsokkos from 485pp (children up to 11 from 419) on an all-inclusive basis, with transfers. Tel: 0870 907 9605 or visit www.tropicalsky.co.uk

3 MALTA 323

Loads of sunshine and hardly any rainfall - exactly what many people want from a holiday destination. Malta, with its harbour, bays, sandy beaches and rocky coves, lies off Sicily, half-way between Europe and Africa. Tourism is the chief source of income, and Sliema, on the same coast as the capital, Valletta, is a popular resort with lively nightlife and bars and restaurants galore.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 13 April, Malta Direct offers a seven-night B&B holiday at the three-star Hotel Roma in Sliema from 323pp (children up to 11 from 203), including return flights with Air Malta and transfers. Tel: 0208 561 9079 or visit www.maltadirect.com

4 FLORIDA 588

It's no surprise that Florida is a favourite family destination, as the state is packed with things to do, particularly in Tampa, home to the famous Busch Gardens theme park, which has spectacular wildlife and rides galore. Meat eaters should try the world-renowned Bern's Steak House, and don't miss the historic Ybor district for shops and nightclubs.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow, Ebookers offers a seven-night B&B break at the three-star Days Inn Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida, from 588pp (children up to 11 484). The price is valid between 15-14 April. Tel: 0870 814 6024, or visit www.ebookers.com. Buy a one-day ticket to Busch Gardens (36 adult, 29 child aged nine or under) from American Attractions (0845 377 9181), www.americanattractions.co.uk

and instead get unlimited admission over seven consecutive days. Also get a discount card offering 11 per cent off at any Macy's department store with every ticket purchase from American Attractions.

5 CYPRUS 428

The Mediterranean island of Cyprus has nine hours of sunshine a day at this time of year. The countryside, villages and coastline are easily explored by hire car - and they drive on our side of the road. For entertainment, Limassol in the south-east has a range of shops, tavernas and bars - don't miss out on the succulent seafood - and the Tasiana Star Apartments, which have their own pool, are only five minutes away.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 15 April, Olympic Holidays offers seven nights' self-catering for a family of four for around 1,620 at the Tasiana Star Apartments. Adults save 119 on normal prices - paying only 428 each (under-12s sharing an apartment with their parents, 382 each). Tel: 0870 429 4141 or visit www.olympicholidays.com

6 SRI LANKA 803

Sri Lanka has lush landscapes and a fascinating culture. The Mount Lavinia Hotel on the southern edge of Colombo has sparkling sands and a panoramic view of the Indian Ocean. Guests who book this holiday also receive a day pass to the nearby Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, where you can watch baby elephants being bottle fed.

Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 13 April, EscapeNow.net offers a seven-night B&B holiday at the Mount Lavinia Hotel from 803 per adult (603 per child aged 12 or under). Prices include return flights to Columbo with Emirate Airlines and private transfers. Tel: 0845 230 4520 or visit www.escapenow.net

7 DUBAI 1,319

The United Arab Emirate of Dubai has fine hotels, fabulous weather, great shops, not just shiny malls selling designer labels, but gold and spice souks, too. The five-star Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa on the famous Jumeirah Beach set within tropical landscaped gardens has a choice of restaurants and bars, three swimming pools, tennis, squash, a gym and children's club.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow between now and 10 May, including Easter, book a four-night B&B break at the Habtoor Grand Resort and Spa and you get a fifth night free, plus half-board throughout your stay. The price, from 1,319pp, represents a saving of 289pp (under-12s sharing from 535pp). Tel: 01707 371001 or visit www.elitevacations.com

8 MADEIRA 479

The Portuguese island of Madeira, in the Atlantic Ocean, is renowned for its beautiful plants and flowers and landscapes. Funchal, the main town, has cobbled streets to explore, with cafs, restaurants, museums, tropical gardens and a cathedral. The Hotel Raga, 3km from the centre of Funchal and just 200m from the sea, has a pool, children's pool and sun terrace.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 10 April, lastminute.com offers seven nights in Madeira from 479pp This includes accommodation at the three-star Hotel Raga with breakfast, and return flights. Tel: 0870 443 9902 or visit www.lastminute.com

9 SOUTH AFRICA 929

If you loved the ITV drama Wild at Heart, about a British family on a game reserve in South Africa, you may like this deal. Safaris are often expensive, and not all places accept children, but the whole family can go on this one, which includes two days in a malaria-free reserve which has four of the big five - lion, buffalo, rhino and rare mountain leopard (no elephants, sorry) - and is also home to giraffe and hippo. Plus you spend five nights in Cape Town, where they are loads of restaurants and shops, as well as an aquarium.

• Hot deal Between 10-25 April, Travelmood offers a seven-day holiday to South Africa, including return flights from Edinburgh to Cape Town with Lufthansa, five nights at the three-star Tulbagh Hotel, Cape Town (two rooms), and a two-day Aquila Game Reserve safari, which includes accommodation with dinner, breakfast and transfers. It costs 929pp (685 for children under 12) based on a family of four. Tel: 08700 664 556 or visit www.travelmood.com

10 TENERIFE 349

Think winter sun and, for some, it's got to be the Canaries, and if you're after fun, sun and sand, Tenerife hits the spot. Suitable for both couples and families, the Regency Club Resort has 90 apartments, a swimming pool and pool terrace, and is in Chayofa, overlooking the main tourist resorts of Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Americas, both around 3km away. Chayofa itself has some of the best restaurants in the south of the island, offering both traditional and gourmet Mediterranean cuisine.

• Hot deal Departing from Glasgow on 11 April, Travelocity offers a seven-night, self-catering holiday at the four-star Regency Club Resort, Playa de las Americas, from 349 per person. Tel: 0870 111 7073 or visit www.travelocity.co.uk

All prices are lead-in, per person and based on two sharing unless otherwise stated, and are subject to availability.

For a superb selection of Easter bargain breaks flying direct from Scotland visit www.holidays.scotsman.com/hotdeals

 
 
 

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