During these times of uncertainty throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have been spending our spare time daydreaming of our next getaway to lush beaches and striking European cities. Fortunately, these daydreams can quickly become a reality. From islands to smaller cities, we have highlighted the top 10 safest destinations in Europe for post-coronavirus travel in 2020.
Exciting news for Greece! The country is opening its borders to international tourists from June 15. This means tourists from 29 countries will be able to visit Greece without any special restrictions or quarantines and enjoy the beauty of Greece and its islands, such as popular Santorini.
It’s been weeks since Santorini had any confirmed cases and the island is eager to bring back its beloved tourists. Thanks to the hard efforts of the locals, Santorini is a safe destination to visit post-coronavirus.
Why visit Santorini? Located on the Southern Aegean Sea, Santorini is a group of islands and is known to be one of the most popular Greek destinations with white-washed dome buildings and iconic blue roofs. There are many things to enjoy beyond just the architecture in Santorini. Visit a picturesque outdoor cinema, do a wine tasting at the Santo Winery, swim at the Red Sand Beach, or enjoy a 9km scenic hike from Fira to Oia. Santorini offers a little something for every type of traveller.
Reopening to travellers: June 15
Kotor is an excellent safe destination to visit, and it is considered one of the most beautiful towns as well. The small European country of Montenegro has not had any new confirmed cases since the beginning of May and had an overall extremely low number of cases, in general. Montenegro was even the first country in Europe to declare itself coronavirus-free and, as a result, has been accepting international tourists since June 1.
There are 181 approved countries on the list, and those not included may be subject to testing or a 14-day quarantine period.
It’s also an excellent time to visit Montenegro as both the country and Kotor have seen a recent boost in tourism. Plus, let’s not forget that Kotor is a fortified city which has been included as a UNESCO-World Heritage Site.
There are many things to do in Kotor such as cycling, hiking, eating out, and enjoying its coastal views and scenic backdrops. You will certainly want to explore Kotor’s ancient old town on foot, marvel at its cathedrals, and hike to the Kotor Fortress for incredible views of Kotor and the bay.
Reopening to travellers: June 1
Crete Island, Greece
Crete is another safe Greek island to visit after the coronavirus pandemic. With Greece reopening its borders on June 15 and Crete only ever having 17 confirmed cases, a trip to Crete would be ideal this summer. Note that not all international airports will be open for international arrivals to Greece right away. International air travel directly to Crete will resume on July 1.
Crete is the biggest of the Greek Islands and presents a variety of landscapes and things to do for visitors. It is an island full of history and charm. With its larger size, tourists can enjoy a plethora of activities such as swimming, mountain-trekking, cycling, and horse-riding. Immerse yourself in its interesting towns and explore the island’s history and archaeological sites along the way.
Check out Spinalonga Island for Venetian histories of the island, swim at Seitan Limania Beach, and wander through bustling Chania.
Reopening to travellers: June 15
Head to the sunny Balearic Islands for safe travel post-coronavirus. Mallorca is especially full of wonder and excitement for travellers and is considered to be a safe destination, too. Though Spain in general received a high number of cases, the Balearic Islands such as Mallorca had a much calmer situation. As a result, Mallorca will be re-opening its borders to international tourists from the beginning of July.
Hotels have already begun to re-open and are looking forward to tourism resuming on this beautiful island, just in time for the summer holiday season.
While in Mallorca, explore its lovely capital city Palma and hop on the vintage train to Sóller and explore this charming small town with picturesque views and architecture. Mallorca also boasts incredible beaches and turquoise coves that are certainly worth discovering.
Some other amazing things to do in Mallorca: Visit the striking Cathedral of Santa Maria of Palma, head to Cala d’Or for beautiful sea excursions, yacht marina, and castle, and spend time at Palma Nova for nightlife and beach days.
Reopening to travellers: July 1
Croatia is a dazzling Mediterranean destination and the town of Poreč is no exception. Best part? There has not been a single confirmed case in the town. Above all, the country has been one of the European countries least affected by coronavirus.
Croatia opened its borders to visitors from the European Union/EEA and UK in June and quickly saw visitors happily returning. Most visitors coming from EU countries will need to show proof of accommodation upon arrival.
Why visit Poreč, particularly? Poreč is the most popular holiday resort of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula. The town itself dates to the Roman period and its evident through its architecture and layout. The Episcopal Complex of the Basilica is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its oldest areas date back to the 4th century, making it a very historical destination to visit.
This Croatian town is also full of culture, cuisine, and beaches. You could easily spend days enjoying Pical or Delfin beaches, indulging in Croatian cuisine, and enjoying its many outdoor live performances and nightlife.
Reopening to European travellers: June 4
The picturesque port city of Koper is both quaint and lively as it’s nestled along the Adriatic Sea. Koper had a low number of coronavirus cases and Slovenia itself has ended the coronavirus epidemic, but some health measures are still in place.
Since May 15, a number of countries are allowed to cross the border without restrictions while others may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
While in Koper, visit the stunning 15th-century Venetian Gothic Praetorian Palace, sit in the sun at Tito Square, and climb the Bell Tower for views of Koper. There’s also a nearby nature reserve, street markets, beaches, and more.
Koper is considered a bit of a hidden gem with typically less crowds than its neighbour Piran and a delightfully medieval city centre and surrounding lush greenery. It’s well worth a visit for your post-coronavirus travel.
Reopening to travellers: May 15
The Azores, Portugal
Reconnect with nature on a trip to The Azores. It is a safe post-coronavirus destination for its low number of cases and seclusion from the rest of the world.
Plus, as of mid-June, Portugal is allowing tourists to return to the country. A few countries like Spain and Italy, which have had a higher number of cases are still not yet able, but many other countries like the USA, UK, Ireland and more are welcome without any need to quarantine.
The Azores is a beautiful destination in Europe full of lush greenery and striking mountains. Though it may technically be Portugal, this archipelago lays in the middle of the Atlantic, over 900 miles from Lisbon. What’s the allure other than its blissful seclusion? Its nature and dramatic landscapes.
A trip to the Azores calls for hiking, water excursions, as well as visiting fishing villages and marvellous hedgerows of blue hydrangeas. It’s a dream destination for any outdoorsy traveller.
Reopening to travellers: June
If it’s not clear yet, Greece has been one of Europe’s least affected countries, making Syros another safe destination for post-coronavirus travel.
Syros is a large Greek island of the Cyclades located about 78 nautical miles from Athens. The capital of Syros island, Ermoupoli, is known as one of the most picturesque Cyclades capitals. There are marvellous venetian mansions, awe-inspiring sunset views, winding alleys, neoclassical buildings, and impressive monasteries which all ooze the charm of Greek island life.
Of course, there’s the beaches of Syros which are a must-visit. Head to the southern side of the island and you will find a combination of pebbled and sandy beaches along with turquoise coloured waters simply begging to be swam in.
Beyond Syros’s beaches, explore Ermoupoli and discover classic Greek cuisine, the picturesque Vaporia Quarter, and culture at the Apollo Theatre.
Reopening to travellers: June 15
Head to one of the world’s northernmost inhabitants and experience a different side of Europe. Located between Norway and the North Pole, Svalbard has managed to have zero confirmed coronavirus cases, meaning life on Svalbard hardly changed at the wake of the pandemic. However, the archipelago did take measures to ensure no cases arose and had its border closed from tourism until June 1.
Svalbard is considered one of the safest destinations from coronavirus and it’s a beautiful place to explore. Pack your winter gear as you cosy up in a cabin, stargaze and watch the Northern Lights.
Also, visit the northernmost food truck in its capital Longyearbyen, learn about Svalbard’s rich history at Svalbard Museum, and trek around the Tempelfjorden glacial fjord as you spot polar wildlife, glaciers, and snow-capped winter beauty.
Reopening to travellers: June 1
Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Known for its beaches and Venetian-era monastery, Aiya Napa is a spectacular resort town in Cyprus. This Mediterranean country has had a low number of coronavirus cases overall and has had very few new daily cases since April.
Also, as of June, Cyprus has re-opened its borders to several countries with no quarantine requirements. Plus, Cyprus say it will cover costs if any tourists contact coronavirus while visiting. It is clear Cyprus is both confident and eager to have tourism resume in its beautiful country.
As for Ayia Napa, it became a bit of a ghost town once the pandemic hit. Now that tourism can resume, this once-lively resort town can reopen for business and come to life once again.
While in Ayia Napa, explore its natural beauties like the Cape Greco lagoon, the charming Makronissos Beach archaeological site, and Monastery of Ayia Napa. Ayia Napa is also known for its nightlife, bars, and entertainment, making it an excellent destination for a variety of travellers.
Those are our top 10 list of Europe’s safest destinations for post coronavirus travel. Many of these destinations need tourism now more than ever. Countries like Cyprus and Greece heavily rely on it survive, so when visiting these destinations, locals will likely be greeting you with open arms.
Originally posted on Travadviser.com