Feature: Our Alternative Travel List

Last updated: 1 July 2021

From 30th June the Maltese government has increased restrictions for UK travellers, requiring 14 day quarantine for non-vaccinated visitors. Once again, we have seen that the UK’s ‘Green’ list doesn’t mean go!

With the ongoing uncertainty and challenges over travelling from the UK to Europe, we decided to focus on an alternative list: where you can go, right now, without having to quarantine when you arrive. If you’re in the UK, you WILL have to quarantine when you get back as these are all Amber countries. But, all things considered, we’d rather quarantine at home than at our hotel anyway!

You will have to factor in the additional cost of testing, but right now prices for flights and hotels are far lower than usual, so it may end up costing you the same (or even less) than at other times. It is also quieter than usual – last year we went to Santorini during the height of season and almost had the island to ourselves!

We know not everyone wants to travel or can afford the time to quarantine, but for those of you who – like us – just feel that draw, we give you our top 5 destinations where you can travel and not quarantine when you arrive (and where we are going next)!

Greece

You will need either a negative PCR Test taken 72hrs before your arrival, or proof of being fully vaccinated to enjoy the run of your favourite Greek destination. The downside… you will have to wear a mask in all public spaces including outdoors. This includes at the beach, but not while swimming or sunbathing.

However, this might be the best time to visit some of Greece’s more crowded wonders. Fancy seeing the Parthenon without the crowds we experienced? What about a trip to Delphi to hear the Gods whisper? Or simply sit drop-jawed and overlook the cliffs of Santorini while doing a wine tasting (for cultural reasons..)?

Our next Greek trip: Island hopping between Naxos and Milos with a stay in Mykonos either side

Croatia

As with Greece, a negative test (within 48 hours) or proof of vaccination is needed to enter. Once you are in Croatia though, the country is far more open than the UK with bars and nightclubs open and regional travel permitted. You will need to wear masks in indoor spaces such as on public transport and in shops, but not outdoors. Beach holiday anyone…

Dubrovnik without the GOT crowds. Hvar without the drunken masses. The idyllic Adriatic all to yourself. Don’t know about you, but I think we might be sold.

Our next Croatian trip: Fly in to Zadar and explore the beautiful National Park, Kornati

Spain

From 2nd July you will need either a negative PCR test or proof of full vaccination due to concerns over the delta variant of Covid-19. You will need to wear a mask in certain crowded spaces including the beach (although not while swimming or sunbathing) and this includes children over 6.

While Valencia’s beaches may not appeal to those struggling to imagine keeping their children masked-up, a tour of the sights of Barcelona followed by some snorkelling off the coast of Girona could be ideal. For the foodies amongst us, having the run of the bars and restaurants in San Sebastian might be too hard to pass (although social distancing rules will apply).

UPDATE: The Balearic Islands were added to the UK green list with effect from 30th June 2021, meaning you won’t have to quarantine on either side of your trip!

Our next Spanish trip: Visiting the triangle of Granada, Cordoba and Seville to explore the Moorish influences in Southern Spain

Mexico

We love Europe, as you can see. But we wanted to give you somewhere further afield and we’ve both travelled to and loved Mexico. You will be screened on arrival but no testing or quarantine measure is in place.

Summer is the best time to visit Yucatan Peninsular to swim with Whale sharks. Do you need more inspiration? They also have beaches, stunning diving (don’t miss the cenotes!) and incredible ruins. If that isn’t to your liking Mexico City has charm in buckets and is a spring board to the rest of country.

Our next Mexican trip: Can we just go back to the Yucatan? No… then we will be forced to explore the 30km of beaches along the Los Cabos Corridor!

We hope that the rules change in the coming weeks and months, with some of the above countries moving to Green or the UK government waiving quarantine and testing for fully vaccinated Brits. But until that time, we hope this list gets your mouth watering and your hand reaching for your passport!

Feeling inspired? Search using the button below and find your next trip. And if you’re not in the UK, your quarantine requirements may be different so use Unlocked Travel to check the latest guidelines.

Remember that in the UK, you will have to quarantine when you return from these countries and pay for testing so please factor that into your thinking. And you may not be covered by your travel insurance if you visit a country on the FCDO’s list of countries currently not recommended for UK citizens (which is not the same as the amber list. Confusingly)

Safe travels!

Joe

 

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