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Travel

What's going on in our holiday hotspots AROUDN Europe?

As European resorts finally start to re-open… What’s going on in our holiday hotspots?

  • Many hotels have re-opened in Spain but their pools, gyms and spas are closed 
  • Italy’s coastline has been declared open with umbrellas set 1.5 metres apart 
  • The tourist season will begin in Greece on June 15, with hotels gradually opening 

Travel bubbles, sea bridges, quarantines — no wonder there’s a lot of confusion surrounding holidays as restrictions ease.

The UK’s blanket quarantine on all those coming into the country will be reviewed every three weeks, and could be lifted by early July. 

Countries across Europe are preparing to reopen, too. We look at what your chances are for a summer getaway…

SPAIN

Many hotels have reopened in Spain and beaches are expected to reopen on Monday. Pictured is Cala Gat beach in Majorca 

Many hotels have reopened, but their pools, gyms and spas are closed. Some restaurants and bars can serve customers in outside spaces, although most will not be fully operational until June. Beaches are expected to reopen on Monday. 

Tourists may be restricted to four-hour stays at popular ones, including those in the Costa del Sol.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: The 14-day quarantine for international arrivals is likely to last only until June 29, when Spain plans to reopen its borders fully. 3.5/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ half board with flights at Hotel Rocamarina in Majorca from £452 pp (was £616 pp, tui.co.uk).

PORTUGAL

In Portugal, beaches will be open from June 6, but sunbathers need to keep 1.5 metres apart 

Restaurants, cafes, museums and many shops reopened on Monday. Beaches will be open from June 6, but sunbathers will need to keep 1.5 metres apart. They can use an app to see which beaches are full.

Hotels hope to resume business as early as June 1. They can display ‘Clean & Safe’ stamps awarded by tourism officials to prove they have introduced the recommended hygiene and safety procedures.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Portugal is not imposing a quarantine rule, and its 1,277 Covid-19 deaths compares favourably with neighbouring Spain’s 28,000, so it’s a prime contender. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ half board with flights at Hotel Falesia in Acoteias from £572 pp (was £705 pp, firstchoice.co.uk).

ITALY

Italian idyll: Limone on Lake Garda. Bars, restaurants, shops and churches reopened  in Italy this week

Bars, restaurants, shops and churches reopened this week, and the coastline was declared open. Umbrellas are being set 1.5 metres apart on some beaches. Hotels are likely to reopen in early June.

Sicily will subsidise travel for tourists via a £67 million fund.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: EU tourists can visit from June 3 without self-isolating. Britons can, too, if the UK drops quarantine plans for arrivals from Italy. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights all-inclusive with flights at the Leonardo Da Vinci Hotel in Limone on Lake Garda from £511 pp (was £722 pp, loveholidays.com).

GREECE

Kalamitsii beach in Halkidiki, Greece. The tourist season will begin in Greece on June 15 

The tourist season will begin here on June 15, with hotels gradually opening. International flights will resume two weeks later.

There is a limit of 40 people per 1,000 square metres on beaches. Umbrellas are spaced four metres apart, and some are screened off.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: It proposed an ‘air bridge’ to let Britons visit without quarantining, but its tourism minister said the UK was unlikely to be one of the first countries allowed to enter. 3/5

…And here’s a deal: Five nights’ half-board with flights at Eagles Palace in Halkidiki from £399 pp (was £686 pp, travelzoo.co.uk).

FRANCE

The government in France has indicated foreigners will not be able to holiday there until July 24

Restaurants and bars will open from June 2. Visitors must present a certificate stating they do not have Covid-19, or quarantine for 14 days. 

Three-hour slots must be booked on some beaches. Masks are mandatory on public transport, including the Eurostar.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Its Government indicated foreigners will not be able to holiday there until July 24 at the earliest. It will give an update on Monday. 3/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ room-only with flights at the Hotel Vacances Bleues Le Royal in Nice from £501 pp (was £738 pp, loveholidays.com).

TURKEY

Overseas travellers to Turkey must quarantine for 14 days at present. Pictured is the resort of Bodrum 

Hotels and restaurants can get a new safety certificate by doing twice-daily temperature checks on staff, for instance. 

They will open at the end of the month, along with beaches. Overseas travellers must quarantine for 14 days at present.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Its Government is aiming to welcome tourists by mid-June, and test visitors when they arrive. 4/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ self-catering at Agar Apartments in Bodrum with flights from £240 pp (was £372 pp, jet2holidays.com).

USA

Britons are currently banned from entering the U.S from the UK at present, meaning no trips to Walt Disney World in Florida 

The U.S. has the highest number of recorded Covid-19 cases, at more than 1.6 million. Restrictions are handled by states. 

Some have plans to restart tourism on June 1, when their hotels and campsites will open at 50 per cent capacity. Britons are banned from entering the U.S from the UK at present.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Low. Autumn is a better bet. 1/5

…And here’s a deal: Seven nights’ room-only at Rosen Inn in Orlando, with flights, from £795 pp (was £1,052 pp, tui.co.uk).

…AND THE UK

Restrictions on travel to beaches and national parks were lifted in England this month. Pictured is the harbour at Port Isaac in Cornwall 

Campsites, holiday parks and self-catering properties are likely to reopen from July 4 at the earliest. Hotels and B&Bs may have to wait longer. 

Restrictions on travel to beaches and national parks were lifted in England this month, but Scotland and Wales have made more modest changes.

CHANCE OF A SUMMER HOLIDAY: Certain, unless there’s a spike in cases or deaths. 5/5

…And here’s a deal: Pitches at Cornish Tipi Holidays near Port Isaac from £18 per night (cornishtipiholidays.co.uk).

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Categories
Destinations

Whats new in Oaxaca

Oaxaca City, the capital of the state of Oaxaca, known for its eclectic art scene, colonial vibe, ancient ruins and iconic gastronomy, is one of the true beating hearts of the entire country — a microcosm, if you will, of what makes Mexico so fantastic. Oaxaca is showing off a host of new hotels and activities this year.

Hotels

Opened in 2019, Grupo Habita debuted its Hotel Escondido, the urban version of its stunning beach resort 40 minutes outside of Puerto Escondido, along the coast. Hotel Escondido in Oaxaca City is true to Grupo Habita form: sleek, bohemian, elevated design that focuses on clean aesthetics and local touches. Hotel Escondido offers just 12 rooms built into a restored 19th-century house, alongside a newly built tower. The boutique hotel is elegant, understated and infused with artisanal elements to give it a sense of place, from the locally made handicrafts to the exposed brick, terra cotta and wood. The hotel features an onsite restaurant, pool, library and boutique. It is a 10-minute walk from Oaxaca’s historical center.

Group Posadas has opened a Grand Fiesta Americana in Oaxaca, as well. The new urban resort has a delicate desert design, with succulents, cacti, tile artwork and neutral, sandy colors. The hotel has a restaurant, meeting facilities, fitness center and pool.

Casa Criollo has been a culinary institution in Oaxaca for four years. But at the end of 2019, the restaurant opened a guesthouse,  conceived by Chef Enrique Olvera and architect Javier Sanchez. Located behind the restaurant, the guest house can accommodate four guests in two bedrooms. The zen-like space is decorated minimally, much like the restaurant, but with no luxury spared, from the built-in sauna and outdoor pool to daily breakfast and complimentary mezcal included. 

Restaurants

While not particularly new, restaurant Oaxacalifornia has been flying under the radar in the city, and is worth a visit for its light, airy decor, and fusion menu that brings together Oaxacan specialties with those from Ensenada in Baja. Picture bright ceviches, fresh tostadas and succulent moles, surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows, earth and slate-colored walls, boho-chic decorative touches like stacked wooden crates, hanging plants, and beautiful murals.

Experiences

One of Oaxaca’s most vibrant celebrations is Dia de Los Muertos, held at the end of October/beginning of November each year. This year, luxury tour operator Journey Mexico is offering a Day of the Dead experience, in conjunction with a limited block of rooms at the five-star hotel Quinta Real.

The Day of the Dead experience begins in the markets of Oaxaca, where your clients will watch locals prepare for the festivities. Watch how traditional altars are created, while learning about their significance and the role they play in the holiday. The itinerary brings guests to the homes of locals, as well, to see the altars they have created. In the evening, the program includes a visit to a local cemetery to experience a twilight vigil and to see how the graves are decorated with glittering candles and bright flowers. The experience continues with the famous parade in Oaxaca’s north valley, where locals dress in skeleton-themed costumes and take to the streets.

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