This past week has been hugely significant for getting the travel industry back into motion. Many of Europe’s travel restrictions have been lifted, as many countries welcome tourists once again. We’re sure you’re trying to decide whether to venture abroad this year. We’re certainly not going to be able to resist the romantic hypnotism of Paris or the trusty warm climate of the Canary Islands, which is why we’ve collated some of our favourite European countries and what to expect if you decide to pack your suitcase and embark on the summer trip you had hoped for.
First up is Greece. Replete with island paradises decorated with golden sands and sapphire seas, as well as the historical spirit of ruinous cities with storied pasts, Greece is a cornucopia of dizzying proportions — where the natural and authentic meet with traditional flavours amid the cornerstones of Western culture.
Synonymous with ancient mythology, retreat to Athens to tour the Acropolis, once home to the famous goddess of wisdom and strategy, Athena, or take a trip to Mount Olympus, where Zeus is said to have sat on his throne and where Hades ruled the Underworld. If rugged terrain, Aegean Sea and picturesque moments sound more like you, then visit the monasteries of Meteora, the tunnels of underground caves, or the iridescent Greek islands that shimmer with an aesthetic pleasure you won’t discover anywhere else.
Uninhibited exploration of Santorini paired with the serene atmosphere of a beachfront resort, Bellonias Villas allows you to literally roll out of bed and onto a sunbed on the black sands beach of Kamari. It’s a peaceful refuge away from some of the busier spots in Santorini, but nonetheless is connected enough to allow a thorough exploration of this iconic volcanic island.
Influenced by its industrial past, 18 Micon Str. places you in the heart of Athens, and was once the storehouse for a leading Athenian trader. A stay here will allow you to uncover the creative treasures of the Psiri neighbourhood, where the best of old and new combine to offer countless boutiques, quirky bars, and art galleries.
Greece has now opened their airports in Athens and Thessaloniki to more international countries. Passengers who arrive from airports that are deemed high-risk by the EASA will undergo mandatory testing and self isolation/quarantine for up to 14 days depending on your test result. You can view those airports by clicking here. From July 1st, direct international flights to Greece’s islands including Santorini, will gradually resume.
Where living your best life comes to full fruition, Spain blends the finest of its bustling cities with scenic countryside and tropical islands — a destination where indulging in excess is encouraged. If not for its epically diverse landscapes — from mountain ranges to the snow-topped Sierra Nevada — you’ll certainly be attracted by a fiesta or two, where the true vitality of the Spanish people comes to light. Uncover the exuberance of Barcelona with its extraordinary architecture or, how about Seville, home of flamenco clubs and revered for its sublime mix of baroque churches and winding medieval passages. Retreat to northern Spain for the mountainous landscapes of Asturias and the Pyrenees, offering some of the best hiking backdrops in Europe. For a touch of Spain with an African climate, the Canary Islands will do just fine. From Gran Canaria and Tenerife to Fueterventura and La Palma, the year-round sun and varied landscapes of coves, dunes, beaches and mountainous terrain makes this the perfect post-lockdown getaway.
Hacienda de Abajo, La Palma
Nestled within the historicity of Tazacorte, Hotel Hacienda de Abajo is a loving rehabilitation and homage to its colourful past as an old sugar plantation estate, with vast panoramas across the ocean and banana plantations. With a sauna and outdoor heated pool, atop this wild coast, you’ll fall in love with the beautiful azure sea. Enjoy a taste of the ancient history of the area combined with a modern taste of La Palma.
With dreamy views of yachts docking at Port Vell, The Serras offers trendy portside luxury at its finest. You’ll find yourself spending a lot of your down time on the 24-hour balcony and bar, El Sueño, with a cool drink in hand. As night falls, the views are truly inspiring, and there’s even live DJ sessions on the weekend.
From June 21st, Spain has re-opened its borders to the European Union and Schengen-area countries with the exception of Portugal (where restrictions will continue to apply until July 1st). If you are travelling from these countries, including the UK, you will not need to quarantine but you will need to take a series of three health checks.
Seductive and unwaveringly beautiful, France is a cultural treasure trove of possibility. From its classic gastronomical delights to the slower pace of living in rural areas such as Provence — whether you retreat to the glacial prowess of the Chamonix, witness Europe’s highest sand dune, fall in love with the clichés of Paris, or get lost in the chic atmosphere of the French Riviera, France offers a little magic for everyone.
This once abandoned ruin has been transformed into a cosy home-away-from-home. Enjoy the rustic Provencal charm that resonates throughout this land, with the use of upcycled materials and furniture making each and every space quirky and inviting. Don’t worry about bumping into anyone else here, as you can rent out the entire villa, so you can have the views, the produce, and the atmosphere entirely to yourself.
Located in the trendy 11th district of Paris, Hotel Fabric places you on the doorstep of a lively environment where contemporary Parisian charm comes to life. Once an old textile factory, now a showcase of its traditional architectural style with contemporary touches — choose from one of 33 rooms all designed to be bright and spacious.
From June 15th, France reopened its borders. Arrivals from outside of the UK and wider European Area will still need to certify that their travel is essential and have not been suffering with COVID-19. If you are travelling from outside the European Area, from the UK or Spain, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to France.
This country in the Balkans certainly packs a lot of delights into its small land mass. Filled with ancient walled towns, a picturesque coastline, mountainous areas, and mesmerising lakes, Montenegro is a European gem, still with many secrets to be discovered. Its most precious jewel is the utterly hypnotising Bay of Kotor. This fjord-like area presents itself as a realm of centuries past, and beneath its surface, of more turbulent times. Nonetheless, it emerges from crystalline waters with its display of impressive stone towns and shadowy lanes with ancient little churches highlighting every square, backed by an ever-magnificent mountainous atmosphere.
Palazzo Radomiri, Boka Bay
With its sprawling waterfront, visitors are invited to reap the benefits of their scenic surroundings. Palazzo Radomiri is set just 4km away from the ancient walls of Kotor, allowing for moments of solitude and exploration in good measure. Delicious Montenegrin dishes can be taken al fresco on the jetty where loungers provide an unrivalled space to bask under the sun, serenaded by the Bay of Kotor’s glistening waters.
Montenegro has reopened its borders to residents in certain countries that have had 25 or fewer coronavirus cases, without having to undergo testing before entering. You can view a list of these countries by clicking here. Entry into Montenegro via countries not listed, including the UK, should expect to quarantine for a 14-day period.
From big-city havens like Berlin with their abundance of historical significance to the looming mountain range of the Black Forest in southwest Germany, this is the land of cultural abundance. Whether you let your tummy do the talking and indulge on German specialities including sausages, pretzel and the undeniably delicious schnitzel, you wish to educate yourself on Germany’s oftentimes tumultuous past, or its the quaint villages and enchanting scenery that captures your gaze, to get a well-rounded insight into Europe’s beauty, Germany has to be on your list!
Ideally located to soak up the top sights of Berlin, Mondrian Suites exposes you to historical highlights, as well as the best in central and contemporary accommodation in the city. Rooms that use natural, earthy materials such as wood and granite create a truly soothing atmosphere. With a gym, sauna, and a roof/garden terrace, you’ve got a place to rest in tranquility after you’re finished checking off all of the historical landmarks on your doorstep.
As of June 15th, Germany has now lessened their checks and entry restrictions related to COVID-19. Anyone arriving by land or air from within the EU, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland or the UK will no longer be required to demonstrate a valid reason for their travel to Germany. These restrictions have also been lifted for Spain as of June 21st.
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