Our top alternatives to Spain this summer!

The advice about travelling to Spain may have changed, but don't despair. There's no need to say goodbye to your summer holiday! With so many beautiful places to visit without having to fly for hours, this is an excellent time to discover somewhere new. So here are our top alternatives to Spain, for your summer holiday.


Greece Turkey Estonia Slovenia Iceland Barbados

Travelling during coronavirus

Our top tips and advice for travelling hassle-free this summer!

Now restrictions are lifting and travel is opening back up we are sure you, like us, have some questions about what to expect when travelling during this time. So whether you're wondering what to expect at the airport, or what airlines are doing to ensure your safety, we've rounded up the top advice and tips for travelling during coronavirus.


Greece - Open now

Open No quarantine Flights scheduled

Greece reopened to British tourists on 15th July, and there's no requirement to self-isolate on your return.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT +3
Currency: Euro
Power adapter: Type C and Type F - these are both two round pins.
Flight time: Average 3 hours 40 minutes

When you think "summer holiday", do you think sun, sand, and relaxation? Then you really can't go wrong with Greece. Whether you visit mainland Greece, or one of the hundreds of stunning Greek Islands, you'll be spoiled for choice.

With so many Greek destinations to choose from it's hard to pick just one favourite, so here's a brief rundown of our top suggestions:

Zante

Zante is one of the largest of the popular Ionian Islands, with around 76 miles of coastline. For this reason, it's not only popular with visitors, but also with local sea turtles: you'll often see them hanging out on its shores. The main draw for beach-goers, however, is the famous Navagio or 'Shipwreck Bay', where a ruined ship sits in a deserted cove, surrounded by white cliffs.

For a taste of the unspoilt, visitors to Zante may also want to check out Marathonissi beach; an idyllic spot on the islet also known as 'Turtle Island'. Home to the endangered loggerhead turtle, the islet with its beautiful Bay of Laganas has been granted protected status by the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. As well as being home to these magnificent creatures, the island is also shaped like a turtle when viewed in profile! Many visitors choose to rent a boat and spend a day exploring this natural oasis.

Kefalonia

Kefalonia's beautiful beaches are the stuff of legends, so if you want stunning scenery and ice blue sea, you can't go wrong with a visit to the Ionian island that inspired 'Captain Corelli's Mandolin'. Myrtos beach is the most favourite, having been repeatedly voted the most beautiful in Greece, but there are many less well-known spots where you can enjoy the very best in sea and sand. Xi beach is unlike most other beaches on the island due to its lack of cliffs and striking amber-coloured sand, while Antisamos Beach offers the classic combination of clear water, stunning vegetation and white sand.


Image courtesy of Visit Greece


Mykonos

If you're looking for a bit more excitement on your holiday then Mykonos is a popular choice, whether that excitment is to enjoy the night life or a day of water sports! Known as the "Island of the Winds" this is a popular spot for surfers and windsurfers - some of the best beaches are Kórfos, Fteliá, Meyáli Ámmos and Kalafátis. Plus September is the best month for diving, due to the warmth and visblity at the seabed.

Thessaloniki

Greece isn't just about its islands though, there's plenty to discover on the mainland. Our top pick for families is the northern city of Thessaloniki - the second largest city after Athens. Greece is full of history, so you and the family can explore many beautiful cultural sites in the city, such as the White Tower. Or if you need some relaxation you can travel to the nearby Pozar Thermal Baths.


Foreign Office advice, and government policy of the country you visit, can change at any time so you should always do your own research, check that your travel insurance covers you for any changes you expect and satisfy yourself that your trip is safe.


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At Holiday Extras we like to travel. Our video team visits and reviews all of the most popular holiday destinations for our original video travel guides. As a company, our "wanderlust" perk lets everyone on the team spend two weeks a year working overseas, on top of their holidays. And every year, we help eight million UK travellers have a better trip by sorting out their airport parking, hotels, lounges and other holiday extras - more than anyone else in the business


Turkey - Open now

Open No quarantine Flights scheduled

Turkey reopened to British tourists on 12th June, and there's no requirement to self-isolate on your return.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT +3
Currency: Turkish Lira
Power adapter: Turkey uses type F adapters.
Language: Turkish
Flight time: Avg. 4 hours

From east meeting west in the magical capital of Istanbul to a lazy week on a deckchair on Turkey's warm southern coast; from adventures at the bazaar to a drive through the fairy-chimneys of Cappadocia; Turkey has something for every holiday.

Want some tips for planning your holiday then check out our travel guide - it even includes our experience of what it's like to travel to Turkey now!

Turkey is an excellent location for beach lovers - after all it has approximately 980 miles of Mediterranean coastline, fondly known as the "Turquoise Coast". It also has a coastline on the Black Sea and the Aegean - so you're really spoiled for choice!

Book your holiday extras early

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Estonia - Open from 28th July

Open No quarantine Flights scheduled

As of 28th July travellers returning from Estonia will not need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT +3
Currency: Euro
Power adapter: Type C and Type F - these are both two round pins.
Flight time: Average 2 hours 45 minutes

Northern Europe might not be your first thought for a summer holiday, but you'll be surprised about how much Estonia has to offer. It's also a good way to get away from more crowded beaches in the Med. The main city in Estonia is Tallinn, a beautiful medieval city with cobblestone streets to explore. The Old Town is a UNESCO world heritage site, so definitely not one to miss.

The top summer destination is Estonia is Parnu, where you can relax in one of the luxurious spa hotels and then hit the white sand beach. This is a great family friendly destination where you can play mini golf, walk the boardwalk, or just soak in the sun on the beach.



Slovenia - Open from 28th July

Open from 28th July No quarantine Flights scheduled

As of 28th July travellers returning from Slovenia will not need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT +2
Currency: Euro
Power adapter: Type C and Type F - these are both two round pins.
Flight time: Average 2 hours 15 minutes

Slovenia just might be one of Europe's best kept secrets, though it has become more popular in recent years. Nestled between the alps and the Adriatic sea, it is a stunning country which prides itself on being a relaxing nature destination. What it lacks in coastline (Italy blocks most of the coast!) it makes up for in crystal clear mountain lakes.

Any trip to Slovenia really isn't complete without a trip to Bled, this alpine lake shines a bright turquoise and on the small island in the lake's center is the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria. Plus, in the north-eastern part of the lake you can find relaxing thermal springs.

Thinking of taking the family to Slovenia? Then make sure you visit one of the amazing thermal water parks. Our favourite is Terme Catez, with over 10,000 m2 of thermal pools, a 450m lazy river and a pirate island!



Iceland - Open now

Open No quarantine Flights scheduled

Iceland never really closed, permitting visitors all the way through the global lockdown so long as they took a test and self-isolated for 14 days on arrival. The government of Iceland eased these restrictions on 15th June so now visitors may choose to take a test instead of isolating, and if they test negative, carry on to travel around Iceland.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT
Currency: Icelandic króna
Power adapter: Type C and Type F - these are both two round pins.
Flight time: Average 3 hours

Iceland is a great choice for a post-lockdown getaway. The whole country is home to just 300,000 people, half of whom live in the capital. Once you've driven away from Reykjavik you can go a whole day without seeing another soul, which makes staying six feet away an absolute breeze.

You might think Iceland is more suited to a winter getaway (and don't get us wrong it's worth going then too!) but there's plenty of reasons to visit in the summer. Firstly, in the summer months Iceland sees about 21-hours of daylight, meaning you can pack more into each day. Summer is also the best time to see one of the world's largest colonies of Puffins, as they don't hang around for the chilly winter months.

If you're looking for inspiration for what to do whilst you are there then check out our travel guide below.



Barbados - Open now

Open No quarantine Flights scheduled

If you're looking beyond Europe, then why not visit Barbados? It opened to visitors from July 12th.

Practical Info

Time zone: GMT -4
Currency: Barbados Dollar
Power adapter: Type A and Type B.
Flight time: Average 8 hours 40 minutes

Barbados recently announced that they would pay for you move to the island and remote work from there for up to a year- so if you're tired of working from home then why not work from Barbados instead (in fact what am I still doing sitting here?!).

You don't have to go for a year though, Barbados is an excellent choice for your summer holiday. An island in the Caribbean, the picture paints itself. Imagine white sand beaches, tropical weather, and rum. The beaches here are spectacular, with crystal clear blue waters - and if you time your trip right you may even be lucky enough to see turtles hatching.

Inland you can take a historic distillery tour, and find out how Barbados became the birthplace of rum. Mount Gay have been making rum for over 300 years - you can find out how it is made and even try some on your tour.



Foreign Office advice, and government policy of the country you visit, can change at any time so you should always do your own research, check that your travel insurance covers you for any changes you expect and satisfy yourself that your trip is safe.

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At the moment the best way to get help with a booking is online, by visiting our help and support page.