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Posts Tagged ‘Atlantic Ocean’

St Vincent and the Grenadines Travel Guide

Atlantic Ocean

St Vincent and the Grenadines offer some of the most beautiful scenery in the Caribbean, with pristine, palm fringed white sand beaches and undeveloped and uninhabited islands. St Vincent features small towns and villages that welcome visitors without an overwhelming focus on tourism. Private islands and resorts offer quiet escapes where a person can find a beach all to themselves. These islands are very popular with yachters, with smaller boats being the best way to see some of the attractions. There are also many good snorkeling and dive sites.

The main population center is Kingstown, the capital city located on St Vincent. Here colonial buildings line the cobblestone streets and Fort Charlotte, high above the town, looks out over the surroundings. The St Vincent Botanical Gardens, dating back to the 1760s, are the oldest such gardens in the West Indies with mature trees and tropical plants.

There are some interesting sites around the island of St Vincent. Visitors can hike into the Falls of Baleine and enjoy a swim at the base. The Leeward Highway between Kingstown and Richmond Beach is a scenic stretch that runs past beaches and villages, with nature trails at stopping points along the way. The Windward Highway, along the east coast, offers more dramatic scenery along the Atlantic Ocean. The main population center on this side of the island is Georgetown, although there is little of interest here for tourists. The most interesting site on this side of the island is the volcano, La Soufrière, reaching a height of 1234m/3949ft. For the adventurous, a hike leads to the crater rim.

The Grenadines are the real highlight, including the islands of Mustique, Mayreau, Canouan, Bequia, Palm Island, Union Island, and the picture perfect Tobago Cays. Some of these islands, such as Mustique and Palm Island are privately owned. Mustique is the most ultra-exclusive, frequented by movie stars and famous people from around the world. The tiny Palm Island is home to a small resort that is open to the public, and beautiful beaches spread around the island. The group of small uninhabited islands that make up the Tobago Cays are part of a marine park, with shallow turquoise water and white sand beaches, perfect for swimming. Most of these areas can be easily accessed by water taxi or yacht from Union Island, which itself, has lovely beaches as well as tourist amenities.

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Escape to the Tropics or ski your heart out in one of the Stunning January US Travel Destinations

Atlantic Ocean
Best Places To Travel In JanuaryBest Places to travel in the US in JanuaryNew York Best Place To visit in January in the USAJanuary Travel Destinations in the US

The holidays are over and the winter has set in throughout much of the United States in January, but that doesn’t mean that you have to settle in, too. If you are looking for the best places to travel in the US in January, look no further. January is a great time to travel in the United States. Whether you want to hit New York City for the ball drop and some winter museum hopping, escape the cold in southern Florida, see some whales in California, or take that tropical vacation you’ve always dreamed about in Hawaii, don’t wait until those spring rates go back up, hop on a plane or hit the road and explore one of these best places to travel in the US in January.

Best Places To Travel in January in the United States of AmericaBest Places To Travel in January in the United States of AmericaNew Year's DayOahu waterfall

Best Places To Travel In January In Florida

Florida is a natural choice for an eastern US winter escape in January. Here are a few gems from the sunshine state to warm up your winter.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria IslandAnna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island, Florida may very well be the best kept secret on the Gulf of Mexico. Located about an hour south of Tampa, FL this gem has managed to maintain the Old Florida feel with no high rise hotels and quaint shops and amazing restaurants. You won’t believe the colors and beauty of this place not to mention the mild temperatures in January with highs still in the low 70s. Take a day trip to Sarasota for some shopping or visit the Mote & Marine Aquarium with the kids. Read our full review of Anna Maria Island.

Amelia Island, Florida

OMNI AMELIA ISLANDOMNI AMELIA ISLAND

Looking for mild winter temperatures, great golf, historic travel, and a secluded old south feel? Consider a January vacation in Amelia Island, Florida. You probably won’t break out the swimsuit, but you may well not need that winter coat either. Take the kids to explore Fort Clinch State Park and make time to enjoy the historic downtown. Read our full review for more Things To Do in Amelia Island, Florida.

Panama City Beach, Florida

Panama City Beach, FLPanama City Beach, FL

Home to 27 miles of coastline, Panama City Beach, Florida is a destination that should definitely be on your US bucket list for a January vacation. Not only is it a tropical paradise, with palm trees and sandy beaches at every corner, there are Panama City Beach activities for everyone. 

If water adventure is your thing, we highly recommend shipwreck diving or spending the day on a fishing charter. Additionally, there are two amazing state parks in this town, Camp Helen State Park and St. Andrew’s State Park that are definitely worth exploring. And if you’re looking for a more relaxing day, pick your spot on the beach and soak up the sun. 

Panama City Beach is as adventurous or relaxing as you want to make it!

Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz @GettingStamped

Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale, FLFort Lauderdale, FL

Blessed with no fewer than 3,000 hours of sunshine per year and annual temperatures that average 75°F, Fort Lauderdale is one of the best spots in the US for a winter break in January. Hire a car in Miami and head north near the southern tip of the Florida Panhandle, an area home to amazing sand beaches and expansive wetlands. 

It’s an important starting and stopping point for cruises, while the city itself features a beautiful oceanfront promenade, a historic riverfront, canals, shopping opportunities and great food.

Active travelers can go diving and snorkeling in the Atlantic Ocean or go for runs on the many miles of beaches. A quick jaunt to the west brings you into the Everglades Wildlife Management Area. For a dose of culture, the Arts and Entertainment District is the place to go.

Matt from Go4CarRental.com

Best Places To Travel In January In California

Taking a road trip in California in January sounds like a great idea, doesn’t it? Here are a few of the great places to to visit on the way.

Santa Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz, CASanta Cruz, CA

Santa Cruz, California is a small beach town in the California central coast, just an hour and a half south of San Francisco. But Santa Cruz isn’t just great for summer travel, because the weather hovers in the 60’s most of the year, there’s plenty to do in January as well! 

January is the perfect time to do some whale watching along the Monterey Bay. While you can take a whale watching tour to get up close and personal, you can often spot the whales from the beachside cliffs, which is perfect and FREE. 

If you’re in the mood to see more wildlife, you can check out the elephant seals in Ano Nuevo State Park.The breeding season starts in January, and you can see newborn baby elephant seals. You do need reservations for the guided tour, but the tour itself is pretty easy and the weather in Santa Cruz is beautiful so it’s not strenuous. Do yourself a favor and visit the Pie Ranch that’s on the other side of the highway from the park for some freshly baked pie.  It’s so worth it. 

Other things to do:

·      Go kayaking in the Elkhorn Slough to see California sea otters;

·      Go for a hike at Big Basin State Park and see the California redwoods;

·      Bike down Westcliff Drive and enjoy the views;

·      Walk along one of the many beaches and enjoy the crisp sea breeze. 

Ale at Elote Sisters

Monterey, California

Whale in Monterey Bay, CAWhale in Monterey Bay, CA

Monterey, California is great to visit at any time of year, but January is a wonderful time to see gray whales on their annual migration! And it’s not just a few whales, but 20,000 on their way to Baja California, Mexico from Alaska. You can also see Humpbacks, and Blue Whales, too. This is a fabulous time to book a whale watching tour, but you can often see the spouts from shore if you don’t fancy a boat trip. Do know it can be windy and cold on the water, so layer up!

You should also make time to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium while you’re there! Tickets are a little pricey, but well worth it. It’s HUGE and the exhibits are extremely well done. They’re a wonderful organization that supports ocean research and conservation.

You also can’t miss Cannery Row, the historic street that was once upon a time home to sardine factories, but is now lined with shops and restaurants along the beautiful waterfront! Note that Monterey can be cold, foggy, and windy at any time of year, so prepare accordingly.

Kelsey from Sights Better Seen

Big Sur, California

Big Sur, CaliforniaBig Sur, California

One of the best places to visit in January in the USA is the stunning Big Sur region of California. Temperatures remain mild throughout the winter months and crowds are significantly lower than you would see during the busy summer months. Spend a day or two exploring the sites located in and around Big Sur including Bixby Creek Bridge, McWay Waterfall and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park where there a number of trails to explore. It’s also worth taking the time to pull off the Pacific Coast Highway and enjoy the numerous coastal walks while watching the waves crash into the Californian coast. If you have enough time, it’s worth driving north from Big Sur and exploring Monterey or Carmel which are both lovely towns with interesting things to do and see. 

Michael of The World Was Here First

San Luis Obispo, California

San Luis Obispo, CA- Great January Travel DestinationSan Luis Obispo, CA- Great January Travel Destination

San Luis Obispo is a sleepy college town (home to Cal Poly SLO) with perfect weather all year round, and beautiful scenery. SLO (San Luis Obispo for short) has a lovely downtown area I’d also recommend walking around in. There are lots of shops, both small and large, and great places to eat. Go to Bubblegum Alley (and add a piece if you’d like!) and see Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa nearby!

Even if you don’t actually stay in one of the rooms, stop by the Madonna Inn for a tour. The rooms are uniquely decorated. They have a PINK tennis court and the men’s bathroom has a waterfall in it. It’s definitely an interesting place to visit if you enjoy eclectic and eccentric roadside attractions. While there, enjoy a meal or dessert at the Inn restaurant and a walk around the grounds.

Kelsey from Sights Better Seen

Best Places To Travel In January In Hawaii

Are you really looking for the great American escape for January? Why not consider the trip of a lifetime to one of the fabulous island destinations in Hawaii?

Oahu, Hawaii

Best Places to travel in the US in January for a tropical escape- Oahu, HIBest Places to travel in the US in January for a tropical escape- Oahu, HI

January in Oahu is perfect. The weather isn’t too hot and the further you get from the New Year holiday, the hotel rates plummet. It’s a great place to trade shoveling snow for digging your toes in the sand. Because most families are back in school, there are fewer crowds at popular tourist spots like the Polynesian Cultural Center, Dole Plantation, and Pearl Harbor.

January is also the start of whale watching season in Hawaii and you might get lucky and see the humpback whales migrating either on a boat tour or while relaxing on the beach. You can also go on amazing Oahu waterfall hikes, kayak in rivers, learn to surf, and enjoy a traditional Hawaiian luau. It’s a great place to kick off the new year!

Marcie Cheung of Hawaii Travel With Kids

Maui, HI

Travel to Maui, HI in January Travel to Maui, HI in January

Maui is blessed with dozens of golden sand beaches, January highs around 80 degrees, and reliably sunny skies. You can surf warm waves in the morning, and snorkel with dolphins in the afternoon.  And unlike crowded Honolulu, it’s easy to find an empty stretch of sand to relax on.  Best of all, January is peak whale season, so you can even spy a humpback breaching from shore.

If you’ve had your fill of ocean activities, Maui offers a couple of amazing road trips; You can drive right to the the summit of Haleakala, a 10,000-foot dormant volcano.  And, the legendary “Road To Hana” takes you through 600 turns of tropical rainforest and waterfalls to a peaceful Hawaiian village. Read more about the best things to do in Maui here and about where to stay in Maui here.

Sam Wilbur of Worldwide Wilbur

Kauai, HI

Best tropical paradise to travel to in January Kauai, HIBest tropical paradise to travel to in January Kauai, HI

The island of Kauai, is known as the Garden Isle, meaning that it is the wildest and greenest of the Hawaiian Islands and a beautiful place to travel in the month of January.  Travelers might think that winter is the off season in Kauai, but the beautiful weather year-round has snowbirds flocking there to soak up the sun.

January is peak season in Kauai for watching humpback whales come to the tropical waters to birth their calves. It is worth traveling to Kauai in January for this reason alone! You can view these majestic creatures from the water on a boat tour with Captain Andy’s or you can watch from the shore at Kilauea Lighthouse.

The Na Pali coastline is Kauai’s stunning mountain lined beaches that can only be accessed by boat, helicopter or hiking. In winter, the waters are too rough for boat rides, but an aerial view will gift you with the most incredible views of the majestic ridges and gushing waterfalls. A helicopter tour would be one of the best activities to add to your Kauai itinerary. If you have young children with you, the private plane rides with Wings Over Kauai would be a great choice, and Jack Harter’s Door Off Helicopter Tour is best for thrill seekers.

Kauai’s green landscape is so vibrant and colorful due to its high rainfall, so staying in Poipu on a winter trip will bring you more sunshine and calmer waters for snorkeling. Poipu Beach Park is a great spot for seeing tropical fish and swimming during the winter months. A sunrise walk on Shipwreck Beach is also a perfect way to start the day in paradise.

Sierra Schmidt of Free to Travel Mama

Best Places To Travel In January For A Traditional or Adventurous Winter Vacation

If you aren’t necessarily looking to escape the winter, but rather want to enjoy some traditional US winter holidays, consider some of these iconic US travel destinations for January.

New York City, NY

Best US travel destination in January to ring in the New Year- New YorkBest US travel destination in January to ring in the New Year- New York

There’s no question that when one thinks of quintessential places to travel in January in the US, New York City come to mind. If you are dreaming of ringing in the new year in New York, don’t forget to leave time for all the other fabulous things to do in New York in January. Enjoy ice skating in Central Park, stroll around Brooklyn for fabulous views of Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge or walk on the Williamsburg Bridge for a different view of the Brooklyn Bridge and the incredible buzz of New York daily life. Finally, get out of the cold with a visit to one of New York’s amazing art museums such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum.

Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World

Big Sky, Montana

Big Sky, MTBig Sky, MT

January is an excellent time to travel to Big Sky, Montana. The holiday crowds have mostly left and after the New Year is often a great time to find fresh snow and excellent powder – which is important if you’re planning on hitting up the excellent ski runs at Big Sky Resort. Beyond the skiing and snowboarding, the Big Sky Town Center has craft beer, delicious restaurants serving hearty fare, and cozy cafes – perfect for a hot drink or satisfying meal after a day on the slopes. Even non-skiers will enjoy cozying up in front of the fireplace during a winter stay at one of the many mountain lodges and cabins located around Big Sky.

There’s also an ice skating rink in the Town Center for some extra winter fun. Big Sky is located in the southwest part of Montana within the Rocky Mountain Range. Big Sky is about an hour’s drive north of Yellowstone National Park and an hour south of Bozeman, Montana, where you’ll find the state’s busiest airport. 

Gina of Travel Montana Now

Denver, CO

Inn restaurantMonterey

If you need to get away for a weekend getaway, visit the Mile High city. Two days in Denver this winter are all you need to step away from the stressful daily grind and return with a smile. What’s not to feel good about. The city is clean and buzzing with creativity. Plus, they use scooters to get around that people just drop off on the street. Like without a lock! Just one of the reasons to appreciate the vibe of this cool, laid back city. From the gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheater, to endless music venues, breweries and public art there are countless reasons to spend a weekend in Denver this January. 

Blake at Style Island

Grand Canyon, AZ

New Year's DayOahu waterfall

The South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park is an excellent place to travel in January. Located in Arizona, this national park is home the world’s most famous red rock canyon, one of the seven natural world wonders. It is beautiful year-round and attracts visitors from around the world during all seasons, but winter at the Grand Canyon is a wonderful time to visit if you would like to avoid excessive crowds. You will find that you have most of the trails to yourself, you will not have to wait to take photos in popular spots, you be able to dine at the lovely restaurants without reservations (although they are recommended if you want the best views), and you will have no trouble finding a parking spot for your car.

Exploring the Grand Canyon in January will also allow you to avoid the excessive heat. With highs in the upper 50s (F), you will need warm layers. Warm coats, hats, gloves, and sunglasses are recommended. Snow storms are a possibility, so wear proper shoes for exploring in the snow. Keep in mind that the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is closed in January, so you will need to stick to the South Rim.

Leah from An Adventure Is Calling

You Might Also Be Interested In our Other Best Places To Travel In The US Guides

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Summer In Europe: The 20 Safest Places For Travel And Tourism Post-Coronavirus, According To European Best Destinations

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City of Tbilisi, Best European Destination

#1: Tbilisi

Photo: Boris Stroujko, European Safest Destinations

With countries around Europe reducing coronavirus restrictions, opening borders and creating new ways to ensure safe travel for visitors, summer holidays to Europe are becoming a realistic possibility for relief-seeking travelers.

Along with creative concepts such as ‘air bridges,’ ‘travel bubbles’ and ‘holiday corridors’ between countries that have officially come out of the coronavirus crisis (and do not require quarantine for visitors), governments, international institutions and specialized tourism organizations are surging with new initiatives and protocols first to permit the resumption of cross-border vacation travel and then, in a few weeks, of international travel in time for the peak summer season.

Summer holidays to Europe could be back on next month via “air bridges,” reports The Sun.

MORE FROM FORBESEurope Summer Travel? The 10 Safest, Longest, Socially-Distancing European Beaches To Visit Post-LockdownBy Cecilia Rodriguez

“Many European countries are opening their borders and flights and hotels are also reopening now,” explains the European Best Destinations Organization (EBD) which falls under the European Commission’s EDEN Network (“European Destinations of Excellence”), working to promote sustainable tourism on the continent.

To help travelers who “after weeks of confinement want to travel to Europe but do not know where to travel and what safety measures are being taken in countries and regions,” EBD has unveiled a list of 20 destinations least affected by Covid-19 (defined as up to 600 times fewer Covid-19 cases).

These destinations benefit from proximity to hospitals and have a higher number of hospital beds per inhabitant than the majority of European countries, have implemented very specific protocols concerning hygiene in accommodations, restaurants and shops, and imposed measures such as the changing of air conditioning filters between each traveller stay, availability of masks and social distancing.

Before traveling to any of the beautiful places that made it to the list, EBD recommends:

  • Remain vigilant and do not forget the barrier gestures, social distancing, wearing masks when possible and necessary;
  • Avoid traveling if your health is poor;
  • People over 70, those overweight or who have respiratory problems should be particularly vigilant;
  • It is travelers’ responsibility to protect their most fragile loved ones and residents of host countries.

Modern Bridge in Tbilisi, Georgia

#1: Tbilisi

Photo: Vyaseleva Elena, European Best Destinations

Tbilisi is the capital of Georgia, one of the world’s least affected by coronavirus countries. Georgia reacted very quickly with measures that kept the epidemic at an extremely low level. There are up to 260 times fewer cases of Covid-19 in Georgia than in the most-affected European countries. 

The country is reopening its borders on July 1 and implementing health measures to protect travelers and its citizens for a safe and relaxing holiday.

Tbilisi is an open-minded destination, mixing past, present and future, culture and leisure. More trendy than ever, the city is an ideal destination for culture, gastronomy, diversity and architecture. “Wow” effect is guaranteed.

Magnificent Haussmannian buildings mingle with architecture dating from the Middle Ages, neo-classical, Soviet and extremely modern.  

Georgia has more hospital beds per thousand inhabitants than Sweden and Denmark, and Tbilisi is up to five times safer (criminality rate) than Paris or London.

The city has a large offer of tourist apartments, much sought after by travelers now, as well as small, boutique hotels and guesthouses.

“Need an additional argument? A stay in a 5-star hotel or in a private villa in Tbilisi will cost you up to four times less than in the same hotel of the same group in another European capital,” informs EBD.

Blue sea in Corfu, Greece

#2: Corfu

Photo: Marcin Krzyzak, European Best Destinations

2. Corfu, Greece

“This paradisiacal Greek island is a perfect destination to recharge your batteries after this stressful period,” writes EBD.

Greece is one of the European countries least affected by coronavirus (up to 50 times fewer people infected than in the most affected European countries). The Greek healthcare system has never been overloaded during this health crisis. Moreover, the country has more hospital beds per capita than many European countries.

Corfu combines relaxation, sun and nature.

Reopening to travelers on July 1.

Blue sea panoramic, Cavtat, Croatia

#3: Cavtat

European Best Destinations

Popular with celebrities, families, lovers and fans of gastronomy, culture, nature and water sports, Cavtat is the destination.

Croatia is among the European countries least affected by coronavirus with up to 20 times fewer infected people per million inhabitants than in other European countries.

Croatia is also one of the European countries with the highest number of hospital beds per inhabitant. The hospital in Dubrovnik is a 20-minute drive from Cavtat while the airport is only 10 minutes away.

 Cavtat has a large selection of private villas, tourist apartments and small family hotels (selected as travelers’ favorites this summer). In addition, Croatia has implemented hygienic and sanitary measures in larger hotels.

Reopening to travelers on July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Azores Islands, Portugal

#4: Azores Islands, Portugal

Photo: RavenEye, European Best Destinations

If Portugal was less affected by coronavirus, the Azores Islands — like Portugal’s Algarve region — were even further spared.

The Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, is an archipelago of nine islands showing off nature in its purest state and one of the largest whale sanctuaries.

“A perfect destination if you need to reconnect with nature,” writes EBD. “If you like hiking, flora and fauna, dolphin- and whale-watching, tasting local products, living real experiences, the Azores are perfect for a holiday.”

The Azores have an ample offer of  private villas, tourist apartments and small family hotels.  

Reopening to travelers on July 1. No quarantine requested. 

The pier in Preveza, Greece

#5: Preveza

European Best Destinations

Sun, countless beaches (including one of the longest in Europe), Mediterranean cuisine, a yacht-filled marina, Preveza appears fifth on the list of Europe’s safest vacation spots.

Situated at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, with the Ionian Sea at the other side, Preveza is “an island on the mainland” in Epiruswill, northwestern Greece.

Greece is one of the European countries least affected by coronavirus (up to 50 times fewer infected people than in the most affected European countries). Sanitary measures were taken early to welcome travelers to Preveza (four meters between beach umbrellas, air conditioning filters changed between each stay in hotel rooms that are constantly disinfected).

Preveza is surrounded by three hospitals (one of them at a university) and is located just 10 minutes by car from Aktion Airport. Greece has more hospital beds per capita than the United Kingdom or Canada.

Reopening to travelers from July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Flowers in a beach in Alentejo, Portugal

#6: The Alentejo

Photo: Vitaly Fedotov, European Best Destinations

Portugal has been relatively spared from coronavirus with up to 40 times fewer people infected than anywhere else in Europe. Some regions such as the Alentejo have been almost ‘Covid-19 free’ so far with only one death linked to coronavirus.

The Alentejo, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in southern Portugal and 1 1/2 hours by car from Lisbon, attracts travelers in search of simplicity in an unspoiled nature.

“Don’t miss a visit to Evora, share a wine tasting (they are among the most famous ones in Europe) and treat yourself to a road trip along the coast from Comporta to Odeceixe,” advises EBD.

Reopening to travelers on July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Pier Panoramic in Batumi, Georgia

#7: Batumi

Photo: Grisha Bruev, European Best Destinations

7. Batumi, Adjara, Georgia

Georgia is by far one of the countries least affected by coronavirus. The country reacted very quickly with measures that kept the epidemic at an extremely low level. There are up to 260 times fewer cases of Covid-19 in Georgia than in the most-affected European countries.

Batumi, located on the coast of the Black Sea, at the foot of the Caucasus in southwestern Georgia, is the capital of the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and the second-largest city in the country.

Nicknamed “Las Vegas of the Black Sea,” Batumi, according to EBD “is a splendid mix of beautiful scenery, vibrant culture and legendary hospitality. This beautiful city invites you to experience the contrast of historic ancient sites as well as its modern lifestyle.”

Not only one of the safest destinations in Europe for coronavirus, Batumi is one of the most secure, with a crime rate up to five times lower than most European capitals.

“The Adjara region has breathtaking diversity: the sea with long beaches, high mountains, cultural monuments, monasteries, arch bridges, beautiful lakes and authentic villages. Here, you will taste local wines and undiscovered cuisine, feel the power of ecotourism, become a guest of open-hearted hosts. Their mountains, that stand close to the sky will make you feel in harmony with nature.

Batumi is also perfect in autumn: Temperatures in September and October are very pleasant.” 

Batumi has more than 30 hospitals, including university hospitals, which have not been overcrowded since the start of the health crisis.

Reopening to travelersfrom July 1. No quarantine requested.

Panoramic view of Zagreb, Croatia

#8: Zagreb, Croatia

European Best Destinations

Zagreb is among the favorite places to visit on EBD’s lists: a “travelers’ favorite destination” in Croatia, a “must-see destination for a city break,” the starting point for a road trip in Croatia, “a romantic destination” throughout the year, and a destination recognized for its Christmas market.

With a rich history dating from Roman times, it is the capital and the largest city in the country, located in the northwest along the Sava river, at the foot of the southern slopes of Medvednica Mountain. 

Croatia has been rather spared from coronavirus, with up to 20 times fewer infected people than in any other European country. Well-equipped in healthcare, it also has more hospital beds per inhabitant than most European countries.

“Come enjoy its thousands of terraces in summer, read the newspaper or watch a football match (the Croats are passionate about football), visit its many beautiful parks, architectural wonders and historical monuments. It’s very Instagrammable, too,” says EBD.

Reopening to travelers on July 1. No quarantine requested. 

The blue sea and a beach in The Algarve, Portugal

#9: The Algarve

European Best Destinations

Portugal is one of the countries least affected by coronavirus, with up to 40 times fewer infected people than the other European countries. Some regions have been almost entirely spared, including the Algarve and the Alentejo for example, and some of the most popular destinations for travelers, such as Lagos, have not recorded any coronavirus deaths.

The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal and particularly appreciated by families. Sandy long stretches of beaches framed by golden cliffs, small coves sheltered by the rocks, the ocean in every shade of blue and mostly calm and warm.

In the mountains, people maintain traditions they love to share and towns and cities each have their own special charm: Silves preserves traces of its Arab past; Lagos from the time of the discoveries; Tavira is a showcase for traditional architecture; and Faro, the gateway to the region, has a beautiful historic center.

Unlike other tourist destinations in Europe, 60% of Algarve tourist accommodations consist of private villas with swimming pools, apartments, guesthouses or small hotels. A “Safe and Clean” label to give travelers a guarantee of sanitary and cleanliness standards has been instituted by tourist officials for larger Portuguese hotels.

Portuguese officials reacted quickly and the country’s large clothing industry was able to produce masks early and even export them abroad. “With its hundreds of kilometers of beaches, Portugal is a perfect destination for the summer,” advises EBD.

Reopening to travellers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Colorful street in Sibiu, Romania

#10: Sibiu, Romania

Photo: Balate Dorin, European Best Destinations

10. Sibiu, Romania

Sibiu is a beautiful, historical city in Transylvania, northwest of Bucharest, the capital of Romania.

Straddling the Cibin River and nicknamed The City with Eyes, Sibiu is a well-known tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors.

Known for its culture, history, gastronomy, diverse architecture (including its iconic houses with eyes that gave the city its nickname) and its natural wonders,  the city has become a coveted tourist destination.

In 2004, the historical center became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2007, it was designated the European Capital of Culture. A year later, it was ranked “Europe’s 8th-most idyllic place to live” by Forbes. In 2019, it was named the European Region of Gastronomy. And in 2020, it was designated “Europe’s sixth-best tourist destination” by EBD.

Sibiu has developed many green spaces in the city but also soft mobility, leisure spaces and parks, and is regarded as one of the Europe’s destinations with the best quality of life.

Along with other regions including Portugal’s Azores Islands, Sibiu follows strict policies to fight global warming and to protect the environment.

It’s also committed to sustainable tourism development based on respect for nature and human beings.

There were 15 times fewer Covid-19 cases in Romania than in the most affected European countries. Some destinations like Sibiu County have had no deaths linked to the pandemic.

Romania has more available hospital beds per inhabitant than Belgium, Switzerland or the Netherlands.

Reopening to travelers July 1.

Panoramic view in coastal Kotor, Montenegrp

#11: Kotor, Montenegro

European Best Destinations

11. Kotor, Montenegro

Secluded in the Gulf of Kotor, this coastal town in Montenegro is defined by EBD as “one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe for travelers in love, for foodies, for nature lovers and a haven of peace for nature, trekking, walking or cycling.”

The old Mediterranean port of Kotor is surrounded by fortifications built during the Venetian period in what’s considered one of the most indented parts of the Adriatic Sea. Some have called it the southernmost fjord in Europe, but it’s a submerged river canyon.

Together with the nearly overhanging limestone cliffs of Orjen and Lovćen, Kotor and its surrounding area form an impressive landscape.

Kotor has seen a recent increase in tourists attracted by the natural environment of the Gulf and by the old town. Kotor is part of the World Heritage Site dubbed the Natural and Culturo-Historical Region of Kotor and the fortified city is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list as part of Venetian Works of Defense between the 15th and 17th centuries.

While there have been very few cases of coronavirus in Montenegro (60 times fewer than in the most-affected countries), Kotor has remained a green zone during the crisis with no case of coronavirus detected.

Montenegro has more available hospital beds per capita than Norway, Ireland and Canada.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested.  

Panoramic view of Rijeka, coastal city in Croatia

#12: Rijeka, Croatia

European Best Destinations

12. Rijeka, Croatia

The principal seaport and the third-largest city in Croatia after Zagreb and Split, it’s located in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County on Kvarner Bay, an inlet of the Adriatic Sea.

Historically, because of its strategic position and deep-water port, the city was fiercely contested, especially among Italy, Hungary and Croatia, changing hands many times over the centuries.

Selected as the European capital of culture and named among the Best European Destinations 2020 by EBD, Rijeka is a perfect destination for a safe European trip. It likely will be one of the top destinations this summer. “Croatians love the coffee terraces and the many beaches with crystal clear waters around Rijeka.”

Croatia has been spared the worst of the coronavirus, with up to 20 times fewer infected people than in any other European country. Well-equipped in healthcare, it also has more hospital beds per inhabitant than most European countries.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Colorful Plaza in Warsaw, Poland

#13: Warsaw

Photo: Roman Babakin, European Best Destinations

13. Warsaw, Poland

“Warsaw is one of the most incredible cities in Europe,” writes EBD.

Its history is that of a people capable of facing any situation, of recovering and moving forward. Facing coronavirus, the Polish message has always been very clear: “Warsaw survived two world wars. We will get through this one, too. See you very soon !” 

The capital and largest city of Poland, Warsaw is an alpha-global city, a major international tourist destination, a significant cultural, political and economic hub with a historical Old Town designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

“Warsaw is very rich and human, as are many Polish cities; its people show great respect for traditions but also for the youth, with trendy cafes and bars, open-air concerts in summer, ephemeral shops, incredible museums, an old town renovated after the Second World War and many places to discover for lovers of classical music and Chopin, in particular,” reads EBD’s recommendation.

Poland is one of the European countries least affected by coronavirus, along with Portugal and Greece. There are up to 20 times less contamination than in the most-affected countries of Western Europe. No hospital has ever been overwhelmed and Poland has more hospital beds per inhabitant than the Netherlands or Switzerland.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Panoramic view of Viena, Austria

#14: Vienna

European Best Destinations

14. Vienna, Austria

Vienna is visited by history buffs, lovers and families looking for a safe and peaceful destination throughout the year.

“Vienna is often selected for this reason, which is not only a feeling but a reality: The rate of criminal offenses is three times lower in this capital than in any other European capitals,” according to EBD.

With many parks and environmentally-friendly means of transport, Vienna is one of the cities with the best quality of life in Europe. It’s a good compromise for city breakers and nature lovers.

Austria has been less affected than other European countries, with up to 10 times fewer infected people. 

You’d rather take your time and not hurry to book your holiday right now? No problem. Discover Vienna at Christmas: Its Christmas markets are ranked among the best Christmas markets in Europe.

Reopening to travelers from July 1. Before that date, a health certificate is required on entry, stating that the traveller is not infected.

Beautiful scene of lake and mountains in Bohini, Slovenia

#15: Bohinj, Slovenia

Photo: Tomas Kodydek, European Best Destinations

15. Bohinj, Slovenia

Recognized by the European Commission as one of the best sustainable tourism destinations in EuropeBohinj is a haven of peace for lovers of nature, outdoor sports, trekking, local products, crafts and real experiences.

Located in a basin in the Julian Alps in the Upper Carniola region of northwestern  Slovenia, it’s known as one of the “green paradises of Europe” and the green lung of Slovenia (a highly nature-oriented country).

Slovenia has been little affected by coronavirus (10 times less contaminated than the most-affected countries) and it has more hospital beds per inhabitant than the majority of European countries. 

Bohinj is only 40 minutes from Ljubljana’s airport and hospitals.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Panoramic View of Malta

#16: Malta

European Best Destinations

Tourism on the island of Malta represents 15% of the nation’s gross domestic product.

In addition to the turquoise water of the Mediterranean Sea, Malta has a rich history and culture heritage.

“Discover the treasures and riches of one of the most beautiful destinations in Europe,” EBD writes. “Lay your beach towel on Riviera Bay Beach or on one of the many other beaches in Malta. If you really want to distance yourself from the crowd this summer you can also book your stay in Gozo. The island is smaller than the main island and ideal for nature lovers, hikers or scuba divers.”

 There have been up to 55 times fewer cases of coronavirus in Malta than in the most-affected European countries. Malta has more hospital beds per resident than Finland, Ireland or the United Kingdom and its hospitals haven’t been overcrowded and can accommodate travelers, if necessary. 

Hotels reopen on June 1, while the tourist season restarts on July 1st.

Panoramic view of Gdansk, Poland

#17: Gdansk, Poland

European Best Destinations

Poland is one of the most fashionable European countries and Gdansk, located on the southern edge of Gdańsk Bay on the Baltic Sea, is one its tourist pearls. This coastal city also bears the pretty nickname of “Pearl of the Baltic.”

With its 1,000-year-old historic district, the city is a rare beauty. Once you know this, all you have to do is ask yourself: “’Is it worth a city break?’ The answer is ‘yes!’” writes EBD.

Poland was 20 times less affected than other European countries, and has more hospital beds per inhabitant than the majority. Moreover, sanitary measures have been implemented to welcome travelers in hotels, restaurants and shops.

You can also visit Gdansk during the winter holidays: The Gdansk Christmas Market is ranked among the most beautiful Christmas markets in Europe.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Panoramic View of Vilnius, Lithuania

#18: Vilnius, Lithuania

European Best Destinatios

18. Vilnius, Lithuania

Located in southeastern Lithuania, Vilnius is the capital and the largest city in the country. The architecture of its Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Before World War II, Vilnius was one of the largest Jewish centers in Europe, which led to its nickname as “the Jerusalem of Lithuania.”  

Vilnius is a perfect destination for families, lovers or solo travelers, according to EBD, which has found it to be “twice as safe as most European capitals.”

“Vilnius has many faces: It’s labyrinthine old town, its sleek business district, its elegant center, its many open squares and parks, its historic suburbs – all of which blend together in harmonious sense of unity – it just feels right whichever way you look at it.”

The renowned Old Town is nestled in a picturesque valley between the Vilnia and Neris rivers, next to the fort, which was guarded by Vilnius castle in the past.

Not daring to travel yet? Think about Vilnius at Christmas. Its Christmas market is one of the most beautiful in Europe and its Christmas tree is ranked first place of the most beautiful Christmas trees in Europe.

With 20 times fewer people infected by coronavirus than in the most-affected European countries, Lithuania also has a high average of hospital beds per inhabitant. (Only Germany and Austria do better in Europe).

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Colorful houses in Riga, Latvia

#19: Riga, capital of Latvia

Photo: Ross Helen, European Best Destinations

19. Riga, Latvia

The biggest metropolis in the Baltic, Riga blends timeless tradition and cutting-edge modernity. “A Nordic blonde with a fiery heart,” Riga has 800-years of turbulent history, from German knights to Swedish kings and Soviet commissars, who have left their footprints in the cultural heritage of the city.

Today, Latvia’s capital is an exciting European metropolis at the crossroads of eastern and northern Europe.

“With the Daugava River and the Gulf of Riga, the city has always lived in close cooperation with nature,” explains EBD. “Riga has many public parks, forests, squares, lakes, city canals, hills, islands and beaches.”

With 50 times fewer infected people than in some European countries, Latvia is one of the destinations least affected by this pandemic. Their hospitals have not been overwhelmed due to the coronavirus.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested. 

Brown bear and cubs among flowers in Wild Taiga

#20: Wild Taiga

Photo: Sergey Uryadnikov, European Best Destinations

The ultimate escape: In the heart of Finland’s eastern Kainuu nature reserve, Wild Taiga with its woods, untouched land, clear lakes and rapids is an invitation to authentic natural experiences and a rare opportunity to hike in unspoiled nature, watch and photograph wild life and enjoy cultural activities.

Wild Taiga, awarded the “EDEN” label by the European Commission, is the perfect destination for sustainable tourism. “There‘s so much to do: walking, canoeing, swimming in a lake, watching birds, flowers, but also bears in their natural environment. Wild Taiga is the best gift you can treat yourself and your children,” writes EBD.

With 15 times fewer Covid-19 cases than in some European countries, Finland is one of the destinations least affected by this pandemic.

Reopening to travelers July 1. No quarantine requested.

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