The best autumn holiday deals to green and amber destinations
Seven new destinations will join the green list on Monday, all of which are – or soon will be – open to fully vaccinated UK travellers. Our holiday map is growing.
It should be noted that, among these new additions, only the Azores is permitting entry to Britons without proof of full vaccination (a negative PCR test result, along with a ‘passenger questionnaire’ will suffice). Still, if you’ve held off on a summer holiday this year – or are just in need of a break – there are plenty more attractive options available.
Some of these include green list destinations that are open, with testing requirements, to UK arrivals who are not fully vaccinated. Look to Croatia, for instance. Others are still designated amber, meaning only double jabbed holidaymakers can visit with any semblance of ease.
You should bear in mind that another traffic light update is due in three weeks. This, of course, could impact your trip should your chosen destination change categories while you are – or are just about to set off – on holiday. Ok, autumn does officially begin on September 1, but the summer holiday rush has drawn to a close.
Check the policy of the tour operator should your destination be downgraded, and whether you can secure travel insurance prior to booking. To whet your appetite we’ve picked out some of the best deals, including European cruises, poolside lounging in Greece and Croatia and luxurious Caribbean breaks.
Enjoy honeymoon-style luxury
Sandals Grenada is offering seven nights in a premium room for two (complete with its own outdoor tub) for £1,745pp, departing October 2, 2021 (sandals.co.uk). This includes return flights. The hotel comes highly-rated by our destination expert Fred Mawer. He writes: “A romantic atmosphere prevails: you can luxuriate in poolside hot tubs during the day, and chill by fire pits at night.” The property is at one end of the Pink Gin Beach with views along the coast to St George’s and Grenada’s mountainous interior. Visitors aged 14 or over must be fully vaccinated to enter Grenada. There is also testing on arrival and a short quarantine pending results, including for immunised arrivals.
Set sail for the Med
Book in for 14 nights on P&O Cruises’ new flagship, Iona, with stops in the Canary Islands, Spain and Portugal. Port calls include Tenerife, Gran Canaria, Fuerteventura, Lanzarote, Cadiz and Lisbon. An October departure should ensure that any holiday crowds have dissipated by the time you lounge on the beaches of Cadiz or tuck into pasteis de nata in Portugal’s capital. From £759pp, departing from Southampton on October 9, 2021 (cruise.co.uk).
Go for Gozo
Malta’s rural sister island could offer just the seclusion for your autumn break. Inn Travel is offering seven nights B&B at the Grand Hotel for £1,155 (inntravel.co.uk), including return flights. The package includes a seven-day bus pass, walking maps and route notes, ideal for non-drivers and those that want to pack in a little adventure: you could wander to a Napoleonic Fort, between tidal salt pans or to the island’s inland sea. The hotel is a few minutes walk from Gorgun Beach, which has snorkelling potential.
Be amazed by the Azores
The freshly green-listed, mid-Atlantic archipelago is open – without quarantine – to unvaccinated Britons (check Portugal’s FCDO page for the rules for entry to the Azores). From its volcanic landscapes to whale watching opportunities, the nine islands have much to entice. Trailfinders has seven nights B&B from £599pp at the Atlantida Mar Hotel on Terceira Island, including return flights from London (trailfinders.com).
Find calm in Croatia
Croatia could be the ideal choice for those simply seeking sun, sand and hours lounging by the hotel pool. It is currently on the green watchlist and is welcoming Britons with a negative test (without a requirement for full vaccination to skip quarantine). Tui has seven nights at the Bluesun Hotel Elaphusa on the island of Brac for £559pp, including return flights from Gatwick (tui.co.uk). The September 10 departure is well-timed between traffic light reviews (the next is due the following week, with any changes typically taking effect the week after that).
Join the festivities in Iceland
Looking away from autumn sun, solidly green Iceland may tempt with something entirely different. A trip to Iceland Airwaves music festival (November 3-6), including B&B at Hotel Cabin and return flights from London Gatwick is available for £367pp (icelandairwaves.is).
Relax in a Rhodes resort
The Greek islands, with their promise of tranquility and sunshine, are just the type of escape needed after a (mostly) washout British summer. Tui has seven nights at the Lindos Royal, Rhodes for £378pp, departing October 15, including return flights from London Gatwick (tui.co.uk).
Break for Barbados
Craving Caribbean warmth? British Airways Holidays is offering seven-nights at the Accra Beach Hotel and Spa in Barbados for £899pp, travelling on selected dates between October 1-31, including return flights. This price is for bookings made by September 5 and includes a 25 per cent hotel discount. (britishairways.com).
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