DOUBLE VACCINATED? LOOKING FOR AN EASY ESCAPE? HERE’S WHERE TO GO NOW…
The below countries are welcoming tourists from the UK without the need to test pre-departure or quarantine on arrival. This means that travellers will only need a Day 2 on their return to the UK and to complete the necessary forms, usually one to enter the country and one to return to the UK. Typically children 12 years and under adopt their parents vaccination status, therefore it is easy for younger families to travel to these destinations too!
As a Travel Advisor it is my job to help guide you through the formalities to ease you back in to travelling and exploring the world again.
There are plenty of beautiful hotels in each location and I will tailor-make your holiday, helping to choose exactly the right hotel and experience for you.
Travel now: For a last minute getaway until end of October / mid-November
· Turkey: Temperatures in the day average at 26°C in the Antalya region, which is a fantastic option for a beach, all-inclusive golf or spa resort style getaway in Belek. The more boutique luxury hotels are closer to Bodrum area, where the average is more around 21°C, however there is perhaps more to do from a sightseeing perspective.
· Greece: In Crete, Greece’s southernmost island the hotels I spoke to were preparing to extend their season to end of October, possibly mid-November. While as you get later in the season you cannot guarantee full sun every day and the evenings are cooler, there is more than enough to see and do to keep you occupied if a beach or pool day is not possible.
· Cyprus: From its sun-drenched coastline peppered with happening party resorts, right through to the mystical inland, carpeted with sensual thyme and littered with awe-inspiring historic sites, Cyprus is an island of many wonders that can be enjoyed through to the end of October, with temperatures averaging 26°C during the day.
Winter sun: Staying that little bit warmer, head to these destinations when the UK is bleak
· Spain: Southern Spain on the mainland can still be glorious during the day even in December and January and if culture and if sightseeing is on the agenda then it is a great option. But for a more resort and beach holiday, it is best to head to the Canary Islands. I prefer Tenerife and Lanzarote where you can expect temperatures in November and February to average at 22°C-24°C, February being that bit cooler. However, again both destinations have more to offer for a little light adventure and touring.
· Portugal: For the best weather over the winter months the Algarve is a good choice, there are a fantastic selection of resorts and towns and I can help guide you to those that best suit your interests and those that can keep you entertained on an overcast day. Otherwise head to Madeira, which I absolutely love for an active escape. It is lush and so incredibly beautiful, the temperatures are a few degrees warmer than the Algarve but there’s more chance of rain. There’s are not so many beaches, but most hotels have platforms to the sea - and I have swum in the sea in November!
· Morocco: On the tip of North Africa temperatures even in February can reach 24°C. Personally I have travelled to Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains countless times, for more nervy travellers I would book a VIP arrival and departure from the airport to whisk you through and recommend exactly the right hotel for you depending on what type of holiday you wanted, it could be filled with culture or just an escape to the sun – or a little of both. Either way a combination of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains in perfect for a week-long trip.
Beautiful cities: Culture and gastronomy await on these weekend escapes
· Croatia: Dubrovnik is my favourite city in Europe (so far), there I’ve said it! It is pristine, and architecturally stunning, filled with cute shops and narrow winding alleyways filled with characterful restaurants. I understand the rest or Croatia to be equally beautiful! There are beautiful hotels outside Dubrovnik old town which sit on the sea, while there you can island hop, tour on a kayak and explore inland.
· Malta: Often likened to Dubrovnik is Valetta, Malta’s capital city and the smallest in Europe. Valetta is a beautiful and easy city to explore and walk around, the food scene is really exploding at the moment and there is an incredible hotel overlooking the bustling harbour and Three Cities which everyone needs to stay in during their lifetime! The Three Cities called Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua, rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, they have provided a home and fortress to almost everyone who settled on the Islands. Their harbour inlets have been in use since Phoenician times: the docks always providing a living for local people.
· France: There’s so much on offer for absolutely everyone! From Disneyland for all the clan to romantic boltholes for just the two of you, endless wine regions to taste your way through, historical and cultural cities and towns, beautiful castles and countryside and the Cote d’Azur. There's two things that you will always find wherever you go, everything is 'oh so' chic and the food and wine is incredible! Whatever type of break you are looking for you will find it in France!
Winter wonderland: Oh baby its cold outside
· Austria: I love skiing in Austria, while you don’t get the high altitudes you’d find in France and Switzerland it is still snow sure if you pick the right resorts. The people, vibe and Après is so much more fun – Lech and quieter neighbouring Zurs are fantastic from the snow front (even rivalling Val d’Isere). They are chocolate box cute, picturesque and offer a more sophisticated vibe with upscale hotels attracting typically an older clientele, which (dare I say) can make the slopes that little bit more civilised – also great if taking younger ones for their first ski experience. They are linked to St. Anton’s too, making for a mega ski area.
· Germany: Renowned for their traditional Christmas markets and many this year are scheduled to go ahead. Berlin has over 80 markets operating from 22 November to 26 December 2021, one not to miss is the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt (easier to say after a few mulled wines) located on a charming square framed by the impressive buildings of the Concert Hall, the German and French Churches. It is also the nearest market to Checkpoint Charlie. The perfect spot to pick up crafts and souvenirs from local artisans. Weihnachtsmarkt vor dem Schloss Charlottenburg is great for families with a petting zoo, free rides on traditional carousels and an open air restaurant. With the backdrop of a gorgeous 18th-century Baroque palace, it’s a real fairy tale especially when lit with changing coloured lights.
· Finland: I met Father Christmas last week in Lapland and it was a very emotional experience, I’m still not quite sure why it affected so much as a 40 year old woman, but even more worrying I was on a Zoom call (only in 2020/2021!). Imagine then what you experience would be like in real life with young believers? Simply incredible! Usually you need to book a year in advance, but given the current circumstances there is some space to be found particularly if your dates are flexible in December. What a magical start to Christmas!
· Denmark: Soak up the festive atmosphere in your woollen jumper during the “dark season”, dining in candlelit restaurants. Watch the canals freeze over and truly get in the spirit for the Christmas holiday season with at one of Copenhagen’s many Christmas markets. When not browsing the festive markets (which are scheduled to be open this year from 12th November to 22nd December 2021) there are incredible spa hotels even unique spa sailings around the harbour, ice skating in Tivoli Gardens, and you really must taste Gløgg a seasonal, warm sweet and spicy alcoholic drink.
Please contact me for a personalised holiday proposal. Rules can change and therefore I always advise to check the government advice in the UK and your destination country before travelling.