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Destination Updates: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and the UK

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Boats in the crystal blue waters of Otranto in Puglia, Italy.

Boats in the crystal blue waters of Otranto in Puglia, Italy.

Our ability to travel has changed, and we all await the opening of the world to travelers over the next months. As countries around the globe release plans to open their borders, we at Zicasso can help you plan a trip to anywhere you wish to go. We recommend booking for 2021, and the following destinations are on the top of the list for many who have recently inquired about a trip. Our Client Relations staff can guide you with advice and a connection to a local expert in regard to the region you want to travel, and you can finalize your plans when the time is right.  Call our team at 1-888-265-9707 or fill out a Trip Request.

  1. Greece
  2. Italy
  3. United Kingdom
  4. Spain
  5. Portugal
  6. All other destinations


Hawaii beach on the Alyko peninsula of Naxos island. in Greece.

Hawaii beach on the Alyko peninsula of Naxos island.

“Here in Greece, we are moving forward with new measures in place to protect the safety and hygiene of travelers and locals alike,” says Seetha, a Greece travel expert for Zicasso. “Travelers can experience all the historical sites and museums, dine al fresco at restaurants, relax at the beaches, sail at sunset, and stroll through the shops and villages. Their experience in Greece will be different, but safe and memorable.” While travel in 2020 may not be possible for travelers from the United States, plans for the future are a good idea.

Seetha shares that one of the most important considerations Greece travelers need to make is planning for the 2021 season. Many trips from this year were postponed, and other travelers have already made plans to travel in 2021. As a result, many hotels are already booked. “The Greek islands can be visited as early as April until October. For mainland Greece, travelers can visit year-round,” Seetha confirms. You can also travel off the beaten path by visiting one of Seetha’s favorite islands like Naxos, “which has beautiful sand beaches, ancient temples, delicious local cuisine, walking paths through authentic villages, and interesting cultural experiences,” or mainland destinations like Drama and Naoussa.


Sunset over Umbria, Italy.

Sunset over Umbria, Italy.

Italy is an ever-popular destination with travelers eager to discover ancient ruins, delicious cuisine, and the celebrated pace of life. According to our travel specialist Giulio, “Italy reopened everything on the 3rd of June, and people can move around without any problem.” Italians are traveling and rediscovering the best of the country while maintaining the security measures in place to prevent the spread of the virus, such as social distancing. As of writing, Europe plans on opening its borders to international travelers beginning on July 1st. Travelers from the United States are not yet able to travel, but the EU will review status every two weeks as we emerge from the pandemic.

Italy remains popular with travelers who are eager to experience the famous architecture, art, and history that spans the peninsula and islands. “We are already receiving leads and bookings for 2021, and we are expecting a good year,” Giulio says. One of the ways travelers wish to explore the diversity of the country in a new way is by looking at villas or private apartments instead of using big hotel chains. It is also a great time to travel off the beaten path to less-familiar destinations, such as those Giulio recommends like Ciociaria, “a hidden gem between Roma and Naples with rich history, culture, and amazing food. Here, Italy is untouched and you can still smell the real Italian atmosphere.” Other destinations Giulio loves include Umbria, Puglia, and Ponza or Ventotene Island.

United Kingdom

View of the village Painswick and surrounding countryside in the Cotswolds

View of the village Painswick and surrounding countryside in the Cotswolds

The United Kingdom spans England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, resulting in a wonderful collection of history that stretches from pulsing cities to the rich countryside. The popularity of the UK as a travel destination stems from the diverse scenery and abundant cultural heritage with preserved estates, dramatic castles, and world-class museums. While places like London, Edinburgh, or Belfast may be popular, the UK has a tremendous number of charming villages, welcoming towns, and hidden rural landscapes to capture your imagination. As of writing, the United Kingdom continues to require the majority of travelers to self-isolate on arrival for 14 days. Visitors must also provide itineraries and contact details for how they may be reached during their stay. The British government is reviewing these rules every three weeks, especially as businesses and the borders begin to reopen.

Zicasso’s Marketing Manager, Marci-Beth, lived in England for several years, during which she experienced both daily life and life as a traveler in the UK. “Many of my favorite outings in England were in the countryside, far away from our life in London. From coasteering in Wales to wandering in the family home of Queen Victoria in the Isle of Wight to hiking in the Scottish highlands or taking a country walk between pubs, the number of ways to escape the crowds is endless.” As travel returns to the United Kingdom, there is no better time to step away from the familiar destinations with a plan for 2021 by booking experiences for a new perspective.


View of Nerja, a resort town along the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, Spain.

View of Nerja, a resort town along the Costa del Sol in Andalusia, Spain.

Quality of life is part of Spanish culture, whether that means spending time with family and friends or enjoying a fiesta. Emily, our Spain travel expert, says “While we have had to greatly adapt to a new normal of social/physical distance and strict hygienic measures, I see Spain just as lively and hopeful as ever.” Small businesses have reopened, families have planned small summer vacations, and the travel community across the country has come together in support.

Spain has put in place a number of measures to ensure the safety of visitors and locals after deciding to reopen the national borders, such as wearing obligatory facemasks for those over the age of six and social distancing in all shops or businesses. As travel returns to Spain, Emily says, “One of my great joys is to travel. I would advise that as travelers book for 2021, to keep in mind that travel advisors can help keep their experience more exclusive and in-depth by avoiding the masses.”

Now is a wonderful time to experience the joys of “slow tourism” in Spain, which gives you the authentic feeling of those living in a given region. Emily recommends the Axarquia region. “There are many White Villages, beautiful beaches and friendly locals. This area has great kayaking, hiking, biking, and spelunking...visits to mango and avocado farms with gastronomic experiences, wine tastings at family-run wineries, pottery classes, and guitar-making classes."


Beautiful landscape of Peneda Geres in northern Portugal.

Beautiful landscape of Peneda Geres in northern Portugal.

Portugal is captivating with medieval castles, lively cities, cobblestone towns, and beaches blanketed with golden sand. As the country reopens, our Portugal travel specialist Filomena says that the National Tourism Office (Turismo de Portugal) is preparing in part by reinforcing trust with a “Clean & Safe” seal. “This protocol distinguishes the tourism that meets the hygiene and careful cleaning requirements...allowing tourism companies and travel agencies to have a tool that certifies them as safe establishments, guaranteeing the tourist's confidence in the destination.”

Local help is important when navigating a country safely. “A local travel agent will always know how to give travelers the support and help they may need,” Filomena says. As travel planning has moved for many into 2021, Filomena recommends having a local friend, like a Zicasso travel specialist, who can help and assist you with all the details of your travel, including any situations that may arise.

As of writing, Portugal was considered the third-safest country in the world and the safest country in Europe. Filomena says, “Welcoming people, delicious food, great wines, and many centuries of history to share, led many visitors to choose Portugal as the right choice for their vacations.” You can experience more by visiting new places like Peneda-Gerês National Park, which highlights the harmonious connection between people and nature. You can also enjoy the Alentejo region to find historic cities, medieval castles, wonderful wines, and tasty cuisine. “More than ever, Portugal offers a great and safe experience for all visitors," says Filomena.

All other destinations

Sunset over Linidis Pass, South Island, New Zealand.

Sunset over Linidis Pass, South Island, New Zealand.

All other destinations

The Client Relations team at Zicasso is a fantastic source of updated information, and can connect you to a local expert for any area in which you might be interested. Call our team at 1-888-265-9707 or email us at travelercare@zicasso.com, or fill out a Trip Request to get started now.

Last updated: June 29, 2020

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