Solar spots: 7 European must-see places to visit from July 19 – and everything you need to know to get there
It’s starting to look a lot like summer, as international travel opens from Ireland tomorrow (July 19) with the Digital Covid Cert going into service.
We can look forward to an Indian summer as tour operators and tourist boards look to extend the season. We can also expect a constantly changing travel scenario.
Fully vaccinated empty nesters, vacation home owners, couples and solo travelers have been leading the queue when it comes to booking familiar European destinations for August and the end of the year. summer.
They’re sticking to Ireland’s favorite sunny spots in the hope that long-haul bucket list travel will take longer to pick up.
We take a look at some of Ireland’s favorite overseas hot spots and the current requirements for getting there …
1 Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain
Whether you want to live a bit in Magaluf or follow in the footsteps of artist Joan Miró in Palma, Mallorca offers something for everyone with gorgeous coves and cultural monuments.
TUI Holidays offers many packages, such as seven nights half-board in a four-star hotel from € 889 per person, from July 31; Tuiholidays.fr
The Balearics are covered by the entry requirements for Spain – you must complete an online health check form (you can find them at spthm.puertos.es) before boarding your flight from Ireland.
For those who are not fully vaccinated, Spain will accept rapid antigen and PCR tests carried out within 48 hours of travel. There are no testing or quarantine requirements for children under 12.
For complete information on traveling to Spain, visit travelsafe.spain.info. Irish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie) offers full information on entry requirements for all countries.
2 The Algarve, Portugal
So much is happening in the Algarve this year, with the opening of a new hotel W near Albufeira in the fall, the Via Algarviana route for hikers – and of course, the 372 Blue Flag beaches in the country.
Sunway Trip (sunway.fr) offers a wide range of Algarve packages, with prices ranging from € 556 per person for seven nights in a self-catering studio, to around € 2,000 for a luxury stay.
If you are not yet vaccinated, Portugal will accept PCR testing (within 72 hours) or antigen (within 48 hours). Children under 12 do not need to be tested.
All passengers must complete a Passenger Locator Card (available at portugalcleanandsafe.pt Or on dfa.ie). For more information, visit visitportugal.com.
3 Lake Garda, Italy
If you’re traveling with kids later this summer, check out the new Legoland Water Park at the Gardaland Resort, featuring interactive water games and themed slides (gardaland.it).
High-flying vacations (topflight.fr) are offering a seven-night stay at the four-star Splendid Palace Hotel in Limone from € 836 per person on October 9, including the Covid protection policy. Their travel advice page is also worth a visit.
For unvaccinated visitors, Italy accepts PCR or antigen testing (within 48 hours of travel). If you don’t have a digital health form, there is a self-report form that can be printed at esteri.it – or go to dfa.ie for links to the necessary documents.
If you arrive in Italy without a test, you will need to self-isolate for ten days and then take a test at the end of this period.
For diving, dining, Unesco heritage sites and outdoor culture, Malta is a favorite with Irish holidaymakers. He also claims it is the first country in Europe to achieve herd immunity, with more than 70% of the population fully vaccinated.
Discover the new Village Boutique & Spa hotel in Naxxar which has a rooftop patio and is close to Valletta and Mdina. Contact them at villagehotelmalta.com.
This summer, the island is a good bet for couples and singles – but families may find it more difficult to get there. The island is playing it safe and updated entry rules released last Wednesday say they currently only accept visitors who are fully vaccinated. Children aged 5 to 11 should test negative, while those aged 12 to 17 should be fully immunized (which excludes travel for unvaccinated children in this age group).
Visitors must complete a passenger locator form, and more information is available from visitmalta.com or from dfa.ie.
5 French Riviera, France
One way to feel very safe about traveling abroad is to take a guided tour of glamorous places in the south of France. And this is where the Travel Service (thetraveldepartment.ie) Between.
They offer a seven-night tour (from Monaco and Grasse) from € 949 per person B&B, all transfers included. There is also a five-night tour on the French Riviera, including visits to Nice and Monte Carlo, starting at € 859 per person sharing.
Visitors who are not fully vaccinated can provide a PCR test or an antigen test (within 72 hours), and unvaccinated guests must carry a signed sworn statement known as the ‘Declaration on Health’. honor ”- what French!
Children under 11 are exempt from testing and quarantine. For more information, visit government.fr or intereur.gouv.fr or dfa.ie for links to all necessary documents.
6 Gran Canaria, Canary Islands
Expect fall and winter in Gran Canaria – but that doesn’t necessarily mean lazing on the beach. It is a holy year, so if you are a fan of the Camino de Santiago, now is the perfect time to hike a 66 km route on the island.
Galdar is the first place outside of mainland Spain to be established as a holy place on the Camino. The Path is steeped in heritage – in particular the island’s aboriginal history – and takes you through the magnificent dunes of Maspalomas and the ravine of Fataga.
The Canary Islands continue to offer a Covid protection policy to all visitors. Entry requirements are the same as in mainland Spain, so you must complete an online health control form (spthm.puertos.es) before boarding your flight from Ireland.
For people who are not fully vaccinated, Spain accepts rapid antigen and PCR tests performed within 48 hours of travel and there are no testing or quarantine requirements for children under 12 years. See hellocanaryislands.com or spain.info or ours dfa.ie.
7 Greek islands and Cyprus by the sea
Celebrity Cruises newest ship Celebrity summit operates a seven-night itinerary departing from Athens since June, passing through Mykonos, Santorini, Limassol and Rhodes.
Departing September 4, a seven-night trip costs from € 1,679 for an inside cabin (€ 2,329 for a balcony cabin) with all meals included, a drinks package and optional excursions (booking via clickandgo.com).
If you are concerned about cruise safety, company protocols should allay your fears; all crew members are fully vaccinated and from August 1, all passengers over the age of 12 must be fully vaccinated. All passengers, regardless of their immunization status, must undergo a free antigen test before boarding the ship and must complete a health questionnaire.
Passengers must also comply with entry requirements for Greece – and it should be noted that regardless of vaccination status / Covid digital certificate, random testing will be performed on passengers arriving in Greece. Passengers who test positive will be subject to a mandatory quarantine, paid by the Greek state.
For more information, visit travel.gov.gr or our friends from dfa.ie.
For any questions or updates on the quarantine rules upon your return home, log on to reopen.europa.eu; gouv.ie; dfa.ie
How to get your digital certificate
- If you have been vaccinated at a testing center, you should receive your certificate by email. If you have been vaccinated in a general practitioner’s office, you should receive it by mail. If you have not been vaccinated but can prove that you have recovered from the virus in the past six months, you should contact a national call center to request a certificate (the call center number has not yet been made public).
- The Irish government has said people without DCC will be able to travel on holiday, once they have documents proving they have been vaccinated / have a negative test result or have recently recovered from the virus.
- DAA advises arriving at Dublin Airport two hours before a short-haul flight and three hours before a long-haul flight, to allow for longer checks.
- Visit open.europa.eu which provides information on measures in different Member States.
- Things are still constantly changing. Countries update entry requirements and restrictions on an ongoing basis. For example, the passenger tracking form required to return to Ireland is now only online and must be presented before boarding your return flight.
- Children aged 7-18 need a negative PCR test (within 72 hours of travel) to return to Ireland.
- Each country has exceptions, for example, if you cannot fill out a digital form. Go to dfa.ie for more information.
- By booking with a tour operator or travel agent such as cassidytravel.ie, you will be guided through the necessary documents / entry requirements and be eligible for Covid insurance.
- Many destinations in Spain offer free Covid insurance to visitors.
- Don’t forget to take out travel insurance.
- If you don’t book through an agent, avoid booking flights, accommodations, or transportation that have cancellation fees or no flexibility on refunds.
- Other things have changed since your last trip, for example Aer Lingus now charges for bringing 10kg bags into the cabin.
- Do your research – the websites of tour operators like TUI and Topflight have comprehensive advice pages.
- If you haven’t been on vacation since summer 2019, make sure your passport is up to date.