After a summer break, Shearwater Travel’s bulletin is back. Since my last bulletin there have been a number of changes to the traffic light travel lists but unfortunately not enough for travel overseas to be stress and test-free just yet. An announcement of the next review of allocation of countries to the red, amber and green lists is expected later this week and should take effect on 20 September. A review of the traffic light system as a whole is also imminent. While many hope that Covid tests for vaccinated travellers returning from Green and Amber list countries may be abolished in that review, for the time being the testing regime is in place. In the meantime, quick links to essential information for travel are in the box below should you need them. All Shearwater Travel clients receive bespoke advice on testing, form filling and other related requirements.
Despite the sometimes complex system, clients, family and many others have successfully travelled overseas for their summer holiday this year. The recurring comment I hear is that the testing and form filling were stressful but absolutely worth it and all were glad they made the effort. Destinations they visited, mainly Greece, Spain and Croatia welcomed them with open arms, everywhere felt safe and any Covid related requirements at destination in no way affected enjoyment of the holiday.
A couple of weeks ago I was delighted to hear that the Italian government had dropped the 5 day quarantine for travellers from the UK. So delighted was I that I have booked myself an October trip to Puglia where I hope the weather will be sunny and warm and the food and wine delicious. Several places in Italy remain warm and sunny into October so below I have included some inspiration for autumnal Italy trips.
And the doors are open for summer holidays next year! Whilst no one can be sure what Covid holds for us in 2022, the pent up demand for holidays means that many people are now booking for next summer. So if you are hoping to travel overseas next summer then think about booking now – with an ATOL protected tour operator – and make sure you are aware of cancellation policies. Of course, Shearwater Travel would be delighted to help you find your perfect trip.
Parts of Italy stay warm and sunny well into the autumn. This is a lovely time of year to visit, with the crowds and heat of summer dispersed. Often the wine harvest is in full swing with many food and wine events and prices are generally lower. Here are three regions in Italy where you can be sure of warm weather throughout September and October. Please get in touch if you are interested in booking a holiday to any of these beautiful regions.
Basilicata and Puglia
The heel of Italy makes for a great autumn holiday. Temperatures in the low twenties and the occasional rain shower make a perfect environment for exploring the region. Visit the caves of Matera and stay in a cave hotel. Cycle or drive around the white villages of Alberobello, Locorotondo, Cisternino and more and stay in a trullo (traditional conical shaped buildings). A few days in the Florence of the south, Lecce, is a must followed by some time on the coast near Otranto or Fasano. There are some truly stunning boutique hotels whether you are looking for pure luxury or something more simple. And as with all of Italy, the food and wine are delicious.
Sicily is the most southern part of Italy, indeed some parts of the island are as close to North Africa as they are to Italy. As such, it enjoys warm sunshine longer than any other part of Italy and is a lovely place to visit in the autumn. Sicily has some of the finest sites of Greek civilisation, elaborate baroque style towns, beautiful beaches, fine food, plenty of sunshine and dramatic landscapes. And of course it has Mount Etna, where you can walk (guided is best) and see the stark landscape and buried buildings left by volcanic eruptions. Wines grown in the volcanic soil are delicious. Click here read more about Sicily.
Amalfi’s beguiling coastline has captured the imaginations of visitors for centuries. A trip along the Amalfi coast could include Sorrento, set on a spectacular headland, Positano, an exclusive clifftop former fishing village, the village of Amalfi itself with its quaint shops and pavement cafes and peaceful Ravello famed for its gardens. Inland you can visit Pompei, a Roman city buried by mud and ash after the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, travel to the summit of Vesuvius and walk the volcanic rim. The Bay of Naples also offers a number of other Roman sites, including new sections at Herculaneum and a new villa at Positano. Off the coast is the chic island of Capri and its less glitzy neighbour Ischia with its concentration of spas and thermal baths.