Well, the government has published its eagerly anticipated traffic light travel list. As expected there are only a handful of countries on the Green List and even fewer who are actually welcoming or expecting to welcome UK tourists this summer (see boxes below). Nepal, the Maldives and Turkey have been added to the Red List and everywhere else is on the Amber List. Grant Schapps in his announcement discouraged people from travelling to Amber List countries for holidays. But if you are not discouraged by the testing regime and home isolation on your return then there are a number of Amber List countries now welcoming UK travellers such as Cyprus, Greece and Montenegro. The traffic light travel list will be reviewed every three weeks from reopening and there will also be a watch list for green countries which may move into amber.
More countries now on the Green List will open up to the UK and more will be added as time passes. For the time being, your best bet for a sunny summer holiday is Portugal and her islands. You can expect demand to surge and prices to increase so, if you are keen, get in touch now to book. As always there is some inspiration below (prices are a very loose guide and will almost certainly increase with demand).
As I have mentioned before, travel in the next few months is not without risk and hoops to be jumped through (not least nasal swabs!). But if you are dreaming of blue skies and sunshine read Shearwater Travel’s updated guide to booking a holiday this summer. It contains useful tips on how to mitigate these risks. Please also bear in mind that when you get to your destination, with very few exceptions, there will be rules to follow.
Green List countries welcoming UK tourists
(or expected to open for this summer)
Israel (groups only from 23 May, individuals later in the year)
Green List countries not currently welcoming UK tourists
South Georgia and Sandwich Islands
St Helena, Tristan de Cuna and Ascension Island
from £950 per person B&B for 7 nights
from £771 per person for 7 nights
Stay in a quinta in Madeira
Spend a week in Madeira staying in a quinta on the outskirts of Funchal. We particularly like these boutique hotels often set in beautiful botanical gardens some of which mix traditional character with contemporary style. There is plenty to do for those who want to stay active including walking, cycling, canyoning, paragliding and mountain biking. There are amazing walks along the levadas, delicious local cuisine and you can spot whales and dolphins all year round. It has a subtropical climate and in June temperatures in the 20s. Click here to find out more about Madeira.
Your own villa in the Douro
4 bedroom villa rental from £4000 per week
If you love wine then why not rent a villa in the heart of Portugal’s wine producing region in the Douro. Choose from hundreds of different wine estates to explore, take a trip on a traditional rabello boat along the Douro (or if you’re feeling more energetic, in a kayak!). You can take a day trip to Portugal’s second city, Porto. The food scene here is fantastic with a huge array of restaurants from simple village tascas to fine dining in traditional quintas along the Douro.