The best green-list friendly family holiday spots to book this summer

May 18, 2021Lifestyle

Two words guaranteed to make you smile: international holidays! Yes, after so long in lockdown, Brits will finally be able to take a Covid-safe holiday abroad. Following the government’s preliminary ‘Green list’ announcement, from May 17th, we will be able to visit a handful of countries across the globe without an enforced quarantine upon return. New travel safety measures for these countries will include the completion of a Passenger Location Form, pre-departure tests at your destination and a PCR test on or before day two after your return to the UK. To help mitigate some of the additional costs incurred by these new measures, several major holiday companies and airlines have discussed plans to offer subsidies on Covid tests when you book with them. So, gather your passports and dig out your suitcases, we’re going on holiday! 

With flight times to Lisbon coming in at under 2 hours and 30 minutes, Portugal is an accessible choice for families with young children. A reliable destination for hot weather and good food, Portugal’s Algarve coast is particularly popular among British tourists on a mission to completely relax for a week by the sea. Look for hotel resorts with children’s clubs for some extra time off or choose a comfortable villa complex to enjoy the extra freedom of self-catering accommodation. 

Scoring highly on the Global Peace Index (GPI) for over a decade, Iceland is an ideal holiday destination for families with young children. Enjoy laid-back luxury in one of the capital Reykjavik’s many hotels or book a family-friendly country cottage, nestled amongst Iceland’s dramatic landscape. The best way to explore this fascinating island is to hire yourself a car and drive around, stopping off at different landmarks along the way. Witness the power of nature when you visit one of the country’s volcanic sites, relax in one of their naturally heated pools or take your older children on a river-rafting adventure. Flights from London to Reykjavik are around three hours long, which isn’t bad for a journey that will truly transport you to a whole new world. 

More than just a rock, Gibraltar sits on one of the southernmost points of the Iberian peninsula. Yes, that means the weather is very good. Officially classed as a British Overseas Territory, you will find bright red pillar box and telephone boxes dotted across this tiny country. Reach this fascinating place in under three hours from London and enjoy the wonder of a traditional pub roast or a sweet afternoon tea under the bright sunshine you would typically expect to experience in southern Spain. Gibraltar is a great choice for picky eaters, history buffs and animal lovers alike, just don’t forget to say (a socially distanced) hello to the Rock’s most important residents, the Barbary macaque monkeys. Native to northern Africa, nobody is quite sure how these monkeys made their way to Gibraltar, but around three hundred of them have called it home for longer than America has been a United country. 

If your preferred holiday spot didn’t make it onto the government’s list this time around, don’t worry just yet! While most of Europe remains on the Amber list for now, travel to these countries is not necessarily prohibited. Any visitors to and from those countries will need to self-isolate for 10 days on return to the UK and take two PCR tests before their release. Ministers in the UK and the EU are optimistic that more of British travellers’ favourite European destinations, including France and Spain, will be moved to the Green list later on in the summer.