As the Covid-19 pandemic continues and more European destinations are removed from the UK’s quarantine exemption list, you could be forgiven for thinking travel was a no-go for the remainder of 2020 – but in actual fact, there are a number of luxurious short-haul and tropical destinations that have re-opened their borders to international tourists, and that also won’t score you two weeks in personal lockdown upon your return.
So, if you’re in need of a little sun, sea, sand and the five-star luxury treatment, then there is light at the end of the very long tunnel we’ve all found ourselves in this year, and your dream getaway could be officially back on the cards.
Although measures remain in place to keep travellers safe – such as wearing masks in the airport and on the plane (yes, even in First Class) – preparing thoroughly and being sure to follow the guidelines for your own safety and that of your fellow travellers will ensure a smooth experience. Don’t forget to take out comprehensive travel insurance before your trip, too.
Despite being one of the biggest casualties of the European Covid-19 pandemic early on, Italy has made a remarkable recovery over recent months, with numbers of new cases remaining relatively low and keeping it on the UK’s exemption list.
Although the paradise island of Sardinia is currently best avoided due to a localised spike in cases, the picturesque Amalfi Coast beckons – and it’s the perfect time of year to explore the region without the overwhelming influx of tourists seen in the peak summer months.
The Amalfi Coast is best explored mainly by road, so hire a car in Naples (check out EnjoyTravel for the best options and rates) and make your way along the coast to Positano, then take a ferry to the island of Capri. From there, head back to the mainland by boat, this time disembarking in Sorrento, before driving on to the pretty coastal towns of Amalfi and Ravello. The breath-taking views, combined with mouth-watering local cuisine are all you could possibly want from a late summer European break, and this luxury destination is guaranteed to scratch your itch.
If you’re feeling ready to brave a long-haul luxury getaway, then look no further than Barbados. One of the original Caribbean holiday destinations and still one of the best, here you can expect powdery white sands lined with coconut trees and azure waters lapping the shores. It’s everything you could want from a classic Caribbean hideaway, and so much more.
Check into the opulent Crane Resort – located on the famous Crane Beach – for the ultimate five-star treatment. This idyllic resort directly overlooks the crystalline Caribbean ocean and offers all-out luxury from arrival to check-out – plus, you can snorkel directly in front of the hotel on its private beach area and soak up the sunshine while being waited on hand and foot.
Cyprus has fared reasonably well during the coronavirus pandemic, despite being a popular summer tourist destination. In September, its temperatures remain balmy, averaging 29 degrees Celsius, and with the summer crowds having already thinned out by now, you can safely social distance more easily whilst enjoying your break.
Known as the ‘Jewel of the Mediterranean’ and the birthplace of Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of love and beauty, this pretty destination offers the perfect mix of sun, sea, sand, history and culture – all rolled into one.
It’s still possible to travel this autumn and soak up some last-minute sunshine – but be sure to research the latest travel guidelines before booking and take the necessary steps to stay safe throughout. Treat yourself – you deserve a little luxury after all that has happened this year, and a little bit of extra beach time, too.