Now Cuba is opening its doors wider to tourism, Tropical Sky has started a family adventure tour of the island, with its first 11-night trip leaving on April 3. The holiday starts with salsa lessons and a tour of Havana in a classic American car and heads via beach visits and horseback riding near the town of Viñales to the Unesco world heritage site of Trinidad. It costs from £2,289 per adult and £1,899 per child aged 11 and under, B&B, with flights and transfers (0843 249 5361, tropicalsky.co.uk).Learn to surf in Portugal
The new family friendly Surfers Lodge Peniche on Portugal’s west coast comes with a cinema room that’s also the base for surf theory lessons, yoga classes and ping-pong competitions. Outside, families can enjoy surfing instruction on the beach. Five nights costs from £450pp, including dormitory accommodation (exclusive to each family), dinner each day (but not breakfast) and eight surf lessons (00 351 262 700 030,surferslodgepeniche.com). Easyjet, BA, TAP and Ryanair all fly to Lisbon, with returns from £101.
Iron Age living in Devon
Head back to the Iron Age for Easter and stay in the Upcott Roundhouse, with its large open hearth, hand-woven carpets covering the beaten earth and a four-poster bed. You can even take blacksmithing lessons near by. The roundhouse costs from £170 per night for four and is one of several properties available during the Easter holidays from Canopy & Stars (0117 204 7830, canopyandstars.co.uk) including a railway carriage in Somerset and a cosy cabin in Wales.
Surf and sail in the Canaries
Board your private yacht for seven nights’ sailing around the Canaries. The trip includes three days’ surf coaching, and there is plenty of snorkelling, swimming and fishing too. A boat for four for a week costs £1,772, down from £1,968, including full board, airport transfers, and surfing tuition, but not flights, which cost from £191pp (020 8133 6438, errantsurf.com).
Castles and treetops in the Ardennes
Book by March 15 and nab a cheap ferry fare of £39 for up to seven people and a car from Dover to Calais for travel in 2015 (poferries.com), then drive to the Ardennes to stay in one of the largest castles in Europe. The Hotelle Chateau-Forthas 54-rooms, some built into the battlementswith great views over the Meuse valley. Family rooms are still available over the Easter break from €149for four (chateau-fort-sedan.fr). Nearby is the medieval city of Charleville-Mézièresand the tree-top adventure park of Le Chêne Perché. More details from www.champagne-ardenne-tourism.co.uk.
Azores in April
Go mountain biking, whale and dolphin spotting, horse riding or kayaking on a family activity trip in the Azores, Portugal’s volcanic archipelago in the mid Atlantic. One week for a family of four (with two children under the age of 17) costs from £3,591, including direct return flights with Sata International, seven nights’ self catering in São Miguel, car hire, and a choice of three activities (01768 775672, azoreschoice.com).
Ranching in Arizona
Get into the cowboy way of life at Stagecoach Trails Ranch in northwest Arizona. Twice-daily rides cater for all levels, while back at the ranch, there is a pool, camp fire and family homes. A seven-night holiday leaving on March 29 costs from £2,299 per adult and £1,445 per child under 11, based on a family of four sharing on a full-board basis, with twice-daily rides. The price includes flights to Vegas and car hire (020 7666 1234, westernoriental.com).
Learn to scuba dive in Britain
Book into the Captain’s House in Marazion, Cornwall, and you can learn to scuba dive in Helston, a 20-minute drive away. Sessions cost £15pp in a heated pool and £50pp for sea dives (kennackdiving.co.uk). The house, which sleeps seven in four bedrooms, has direct access to Mount’s Bay beach. It is £1,755 for six nights from April 10 (01386 701177, ruralretreats.co.uk).
Safari for tots
The beauty about arranging a last-minute safari in South Africa’s Madikwe is that it’s malaria-free, so you don’t need to worry about taking pills in advance. Makanyane Lodge allows children from age two on game drives and still has availability at Easter, when it runs a junior ranger course. A family of four with two children under 18 sharing the same room as their parents costs £7,750 including flights, three nights’ self catering in Cape Town and four nights’ all inclusive at Makanyane (0845 124 4455, bushbaby.travel).
Mountains and deserts of Oman
Head off in a four-wheel drive with your own driver from Muscat to hike in wadis, visit Nizwa Fort and a turtle sanctuary and spend a night at the safari desert camp. One week, staying in hotels, guesthouses and the desert camp and including the services of a trekking guide, use of the four wheel drive, most meals, and all entrance fees, costs from £1,655 per adult and £1,195 per child. Flights cost from an additional £450pp (01822 600 600, ganeandmarshall.com).