Clean Safe SeaBookings

Portugal as a trusty holiday destination – the “Clean & Safe” Stamp

Turismo de Portugal Certifies Establishments with “Clean & Safe” Stamp

If you’re hoping to still enjoy some holidays this summer, we’ve got good news. Everything is being done to position Portugal as a trusty holiday destination.

At a time when the recovery of the sector is being prepared, tourism enterprises, tourist entertainment companies and travel agencies have the option to request certification as a “Clean & Safe” establishment. Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Travel Bureau, has created a stamp of approval to distinguish tourist activities which are compliant with hygiene and cleaning requirements for the prevention and control of COVID-19 and other possible infections, thus reinforcing the tourist’s confidence in the safety of the destination.

The stamp of a “Clean & Safe” establishment to make Portugal a trusty holiday destination

This validation is free and optional and is valid for one year. It requires the implementation of an internal protocol for companies that, according to the recommendations of the DGS – Directorate-General for Health (similar to the Department of Health and Social Care in the UK), ensures the necessary hygiene measures are in place to avoid risks of contagion and a guarantee of safe procedures for the operation of tourist activities.

The “Clean & Safe” stamp can be obtained online, on the digital platforms of Turismo de Portugal: RNET (National Register of Tourist Enterprises), RNAAT (National Register of Tourist Entertainment Agents) and RNAVT (National Register of Travel and Tourism Agents) and will always be associated with the entity’s registration number.

After companies have submitted the Declaration of Commitment, they can publicise the “Clean & Safe” stamp, either physically on their premises or in their digital platforms. Turismo de Portugal, in coordination with the competent entities, will carry out random audits to adhering establishments.

With this measure, the national tourist authority intends to inform companies on the minimum hygiene requirements and cleaning measures to ensure the safety of various establishments, but to also promote Portugal as a safe destination with measures in place prevent the spread of the Virus via a coordinated action plan from the sector which will soon expand to other areas of activity across numerous expressions of interest. This is one of the many measures Turismo de Portugal promoting to present Portugal as a trusty holiday destination.

Kayak tour in Albufeira
The stamp also applies to outdoor experiences like SUP and kayak tours

“Clean & Safe” boat tours and watersports

At SeaBookings, we partner with the best boat tours and watersports providers in each of our destinations. In fact, in Portugal, almost all of our partners have already obtained the “Clean & Safe” stamp, while others are still fine-tuning their internal protocols to be able to submit their Declaration of Commitment.

On SeaBookings, you can see if an experience has committed to the “Clean & Safe” stamp on the experience page, where we display the stamp.

Clean and Safe Stamp SeaBookings
The stamp is visible on the experience page

If you’d like to know more details about the “Clean & Safe” stamp or about how local tour providers and other travel agents are making sure that Portugal is a trusty holiday destination, feel free to contact us at any time. We’re happy to help and look forward to welcome you safely and clean to enjoy the Portuguese sea.

Beachside Wedding

Pros and Cons of a Beachside Wedding

On average, there are over 2 million weddings in the U.S. each year. That means there are a lot of weddings to plan! While some people opt for a simple courthouse ceremony or a backyard event with family and friends, others go all-out. Things like barn weddings, country club weddings, and even traditional church weddings are all still popular in their own right. 

But many people opt to have a beachside wedding due to its natural beauty, relaxed atmosphere, and uniqueness. It’s easy to think about a walk along the beach at sunset for a romantic date or getaway (no matter where you are in the world!), but when it comes to planning your wedding around the beach, there are some pros and cons to consider. 

Your big day shouldn’t be stressful because of the location you choose. With that in mind, let’s look at some of the benefits and potential drawbacks of a beachside wedding before you decide whether it’s right for you. 

Sunset is the most romantic time for a beach wedding

Pro: A Naturally-Beautiful Backdrop for Any Season

One of the biggest draws to having a beachside wedding is the natural beauty. It takes very little decorating or “preparing” the space to make it look great. With that, you can save money, since you’ll have to worry less about creating a big budget for decorations. You can also use the beach as both your ceremony and reception area by utilizing a large tent; no need to have your guests travel to another venue for food, drinks, and dancing!

Plus, if you get married in a more tropical location or in a Mediterranean climate such as Greece or Portugal, you can have your wedding any time of the year. There are plenty of ideas regarding the best month to get married, but if you don’t want to wait, you can enjoy warm, beachside temperatures even during the winter when you choose a warm destination. 

Con: The Risks of Being Outside

Unfortunately, you can’t control the weather. Weddings take an average of 13-18 months to plan, and the one thing you can’t plan for is harsh sun, rain, wind, or even a higher tide than you expected. On bright, sunny days, you might be putting yourself and your guests at risk for UV exposure. 

It’s a good idea to have both a backup plan for inclement weather and a way to keep your guests safe. A tent or enclosed location is a great solution for rain or wind. Having sunscreen and sunglasses available for both UV protection of the skin and protection for the eyes would be a good idea, and they can also serve as cute party favors for guests to take home. 

There are plenty of location options for beachside weddings

Pro: Many Theme Options to Choose From

You don’t have to limit yourself to standing on the shoreline when you’re considering a beachside wedding. There are plenty of location options you can choose from: 

  • A long dock/pier
  • A lighthouse
  • A boat/ship
  • Further away from the shore
  • A rental property facing the beach

Don’t limit yourself to your idea(s) of what a beachside wedding has to be. When you choose the location that fits your needs, you can also choose the “theme” and style that works for you. Beachside weddings are often more casual and less formal, so guests can enjoy everything from feeling the warmth of their feet in the sand to appreciating a romantic beachside sunset as the backdrop to your reception. Get creative with your seaside locations!

Con: Not All Beaches are Private

Beach weddings can be very intimate, private things if you choose the right spot for your ceremony, but keep in mind that not all beaches are private. If you choose to get married on a public beach, you run the risk of a lot of noise, other people nearby, and even “beach rules” in place that everyone needs to follow. 

Obviously, the best way to avoid this is to rent out a block of time on a private beach. If that isn’t an option for you, be prepared to share your wedding day with other beachgoers who might be curious enough to look-in on your ceremony. That even includes animals, wildlife, and bugs that create their natural habitats on the beach and may crash the party when you least expect it!

If you plan a wedding in low season, you’ll likely have more privacy

Pro: An Instant Honeymoon Spot

Because the beach itself is so naturally romantic, you can transform it into your honeymoon location after the reception is over. Rent a small beach house for a few days and do nothing but relax. If you do decide to have a destination wedding in Greece or Portugal, you’ve already set the stage for the honeymoon of a lifetime!

Beachside weddings are beautiful, romantic, and almost always popular with guests. With a little planning and preparation, you can have the wedding of your dreams with your feet in the sand. 

Vale Do Lobo Golf SeaBookings Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

Discover These Family-friendly Golf Courses In Portugal

The many golf resorts across Portugal provide numerous opportunities for families to enjoy themselves not only on the golf course but with a host of activities for the entire family. Along with the first-class golf courses, there are waterparks, beaches, and kid-specific activities can be found at several resorts across the region.

Additional Read: Top 10 blog posts about Portugal

Below are a few of the more popular resorts along with information about their family-friendly features and activities.

Amendoeira Golf Resort

A favorite among many family travelers, the Amendoeira Golf Resort in the Algarve features apartments and villas available alongside 36 holes of Championship golf, with the Christy O’Connor and Nick Faldo courses. There is also a very popular 9-hole course that is perfect for beginners, while still an enjoyable play for low handicappers. A full 27 holes that will put that new GPS watch to its test.

In July and August, the resort’s “Kiz Club” is active. Designed to entertain the younger crowd, it’s a place where children can engage in age-appropriate activities and make new friends. There are also nearby activities for the entire family, like boat tours and fun watersports in Armação de Pêra.

As hosts to the World Kids Golf Championship, the Amendoeira Resort attracts juniors from across the world to compete in a supportive environment, stimulating growth and development as golfers. In an effort to create a true family experience, it is encouraged that parents serve as caddies for their players. After the tournament concludes, a Parent-Child Par-3 contest is held.

The Amendoeira Resort is a prime example of what makes the Algarve region such a great destination, with nearby proximity to the beautiful beaches of southern Portugal. Views of the magnificent Monchique Mountains are at every turn through the two championship courses, and the resort is home to the region’s only floodlit par-3 course.

Photo credit to https://www.amendoeiraresort.com/

Recently awarded the honor of being the Best Course in Portugal by the World Golf Awards in 2016, the Faldo course is consistently ranked as a top 100 course in Continental Europe.

Penina Hotel & Golf Resort

The original home of golf in the Algarve Region, the Penina Hotel & Golf Resort is set within 360 acres of perfect grasslands and natural beauty. Three golf courses, including the Algarve’s first 18 hole championship course, accompany the five-star hotel and leads the way in high-class service.

Photo credit to https://www.penina.com/

For the kids, the Penina’s Kangaroo Club is a securely enclosed and fully supervised area that provides quality entertainment for children. Daily programs balance entertainment with education, to ensure that every child gets the most out of their holiday experience. A swimming pool, climbing area, football pitch, bicycle track, and a sandpit are all at the kids’ disposal, and . during the summer season a supervised bouncy castle is also set up. There is a Kangaroo Club Restaurant, a state-of-the-art crèche with baby changing facilities, a designated toddler area, and a fully stocked game room.

The Penina Resort welcomes dogs up to a weight of 7 kilos, at an extra charge so don’t forget to pack the doggy toys and their favorite food. No other pets are accepted, with the exception of guide dogs.

Penha Longa Resort

With two golf courses set across the beautiful slopes of the natural landscape near Lisbon, the Penha Longa Resort is a spectacular place to play golf. The stunning forests and rocky mountains rise around the grounds, giving an isolated experience and perfect place for a high-class golf escape.

Two golf courses, the Atlantic Course and the Monastery Course are located at Penha Longa. The Atlantic Course is the resort’s main attraction, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. and is ranked as one of the top 30 golf courses in Continental Europe. The 6,786-yard tract features many dramatic holes cut through the resort’s sloping landscape. The course features two distinct sections, with six holes running through a valley, and the remainder straddling the hillside. The Atlantic Course has twice served as host for the Portuguese Open in the mid-1990s, as well as the Estoril Open in 1999.

Photo credit to https://www.ritzcarlton.com

While the Atlantic Course remains the star attraction at Penha Longa, the 9-hole Monastery Course also deserves a look. A less challenging course, with fewer undulations throughout the tract, the views of the nearby Sintra Mountains are spectacular and make for a nice, relaxing round for players of all skill levels.

There is fun for the entire family, as children can enjoy the Penha Longa Kid’s Club where they can enjoy a host of toys and games to play and learn. With Pirates, Treasures and camping, painting and cinema, cooking classes, and pyjama parties, a continuous choice of activities will fill their days while enjoying their stay at Penha Longa, with even more activities during the Easter, summer and Christmas holidays. 

There is no need to find a dog-sitter for your holiday. Pets are welcomed at the hotel with a reservation of a Junior Suite, but additional charges apply.

Vale do Lobo Resort

The renowned Vale do Lobo Resort sits on the magnificent coast of southern Portugal and is one of Europe’s best all-encompassing golf resorts. Two golf courses, the Royal and the Ocean, provide an epic layout and rank among the best golf courses in Portugal. Vale do Lobo is an ideal combination of two contrasting courses to make it a truly unique venue among its peers.

Thanks to a huge choice of activities, Vale do Lobo is an ideal location to spend quality time with family and friends. Throughout the year there are a host of activities in the various different areas of the resort, from enjoying the restaurants and live music in the Praca to relaxing on the beach or by the pool or just spending time on the courts or the golf courses.

The Tennis Valley section of the resort features a children’s playground area. The newly refurbished par tee mini-golf course includes fantastic new elements, holes, and challenges, including plenty of water features, tricky holes, and oversized entertainment.

When will beaches in Spain reopen?

When will beaches in Spain reopen?

Will we be able to enjoy the lovely Spanish beaches this summer? Now that we know that the two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals in Spain will be lifted from July 1st, we want to know when will beaches in Spain reopen. According to El País, Spain is to recommend reopening beaches at reduced capacity, just like its neighboring country, Portugal, where beaches are already open.

Spanish beaches should be reopened in summer with measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus contagion. These measures include:

  • Limits on capacity
  • Distance between sun loungers
  • Delineating the space allowed for each beachgoer.
Holidays in Spain after lockdown
Soon, beaches in Spain will reopen

Beaches are allowed to reopen under Phase 2 of Spain’s deescalation plan. So far, beaches have been only open for walks and sports activities. The Institute of Quality Spanish Tourism (ICTE) established general protocols for reopening beaches. In addition, a draft agreement was reached with regional and local authorities. The final decision on beach regulations will fall to city councils, which are largely responsible for beach management. In fact, local councils will have to determine whether it is necessary to set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity. 

“It’s a draft that still needs to be approved by the Health Ministry, meaning that the final version could be different,” explained a spokesperson from ICTE. “The rules are not binding, but they have been created with the input of the regions and local authorities, so we believe that most of them will be followed.”

Just can’t wait to enjoy the beach in Ibiza again!

Local governments should estimate the capacity of each beach, taking into account its characteristics and how space is used (availability of beach umbrellas and sun loungers) to determine whether it is necessary to control access or set up a system that warns people they are unable to go to a beach when it is at capacity. 

According to the guidelines, areas for sun loungers and umbrellas must be clearly demarcated, with controls set up to ensure that “the equipment has been properly cleaned and disinfected.” 

Some regions in Spain have already outlined their own regulations. In Andalusia, for example, Southern Spain, regional authorities have recommended limiting time at the beach to four hours, setting out safe distances on the sand, setting opening and closing hours, disinfecting beaches every day, and banning the use of shower facilities and changing rooms. And in Tenerife, the white-sanded Las Teresitas beach is now open under Phase 2 of the government’s coronavirus deescalation plan. Some watersports are even available already, like SUP tours and kayak tours for small groups.

So the answer to our question is soon! Gradually, beaches in Spain will reopen. There’s no fixed date like in Portugal, because the decision about the reopening date and the protocol for each beach depend on municipal authorities.

COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal

COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal

Portugal is ready to start receiving tourists again. A major attraction in Portugal is certainly its stunning beaches. For a safe travel experience, we’d like to share the COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal.

Summer is coming. It will be a special summer, as we’re all super excited to enjoy the beach after lockdown. Given the ongoing risk associated with the coronavirus, it is necessary to reinvent the way in which beaches are enjoyed, stressing the need to maintain physical distance and basic sanitary measures. However, we must not forget that it is very important to keep a day at the beach a comfortable experience. 

Visit Portugal this summer COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal
The Portuguese beaches are ready!

The start of the official bathing season in Portugal has been delayed a few days, to June 6th, because of the measures needed to be set regarding Covid-19. The Portuguese government has given authority to local municipalities and local maritime authorities, together with the Portuguese Environment Agency to establish and implement a series of protocols regarding the usage of beaches in Portugal. 

Beach protocols may be updated along the summer if needed, depending on the evolution of the virus. Here are some of the main COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal you need to know.

  1. There will be signs (like traffic lights or similar) to indicate the occupancy of each beach and this information and other details will also be available online through an App (“Info Praias”) or on the Portuguese Environment Agency’s website:
    • Green – under ⅓
    • Yellow – ⅔
    • Red – full and you should not enter.
  2. Car parking will only be allowed in designated areas.
  3. There may be some circulation direction lanes or markings on the sand to make sure people can keep their distances while walking around.
  4. Beach towels should be separated by at least 1.5 meters between families or different groups of people and sun umbrellas will have to be at least 3 meters apart.
  5. The rental of thatched umbrellas, awnings and tents will only be allowed for half a day (either morning until 1.30 pm or afternoon after 2 pm) for up to 5 people. 
  6. Only individual sports activity will be allowed on the beach, except for nautical activities, surfing, diving and similar watersports under specific rules.
  7. Public bathrooms and showers will follow strict hygienic rules and public equipment will be sanitised frequently.
  8. Beach bars and restaurants will also follow sanitary and social distancing protocols.
  9. Beach hawkers (“vendedores ambulantes”) need to use face visor and mask.
Surfing, for example, is permitted, in groups up to 5 participants

Please remember that a safe beach experience starts with ourselves, so don’t forget these good practices for a safe beach day:

  1. Before the beach: check the flow of nearby beaches, consulting the InfoPraia app, preferring those with a lower level of occupation, marked in green, as well as monitored beaches and with quality control;
  2. When there is a high level of occupation, do not risk traveling, as it can be difficult to keep the safety distance;
  3. When accessing the beach: wear shoes, always move on the right and follow the signs that may exist on the floor and keep a distance of 1.5 meters from other users who do not belong to your group;
  4. On the beach: keep the social distance of 1.5 meters to other users, on the beach and in the sea a 3 meter spacing between parasols;
  5. At the beach bar or sanitary facilities: wear shoes, disinfect hands and keep social distance;
  6. When leaving the beach: do not leave litter or butts on the beach (masks and gloves should be deposited in general garbage containers).
visit Portugal this summer
Another tip is to travel later in the season, so you’ll find beaches emptier.

Do you think these rules are acceptable, too relaxed or too strict? We hope that, despite the limitations and additional care to be taken this summer, you will enjoy the beach and the sea to the fullest. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. For more information, consult the complete guidelines.

Holidays in Spain after lockdown

Holidays in Spain after lockdown? ¡Sí!

We’ve long been waiting for this news! Spain will lift its two-week coronavirus quarantine for overseas arrivals from July 1. Regarding tourism and opening its borders, Spain has been one of the most cautious countries in Europe. Yes, we can continue planning our holidays in Spain after lockdown.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel as Foreign Minister Arancha González says via Twitter that “the hardest part is behind us,” and that “health conditions will be guaranteed” for visitors. It seems like we can enjoy summer in Spain this year as the Spanish government is planning on lifting the two-week coronavirus quarantine requirement for overseas arrivals on July 1. 

Since May 15, the Spanish Health Ministry has required travelers arriving from outside the country to remain isolated for 14 days. The rules currently in place apply to all international travelers, with a few exceptions for specific types of workers.

Soon we can enjoy the Spanish sun again

Both travellers and the local travel sector were concerned about the quarantine period for the effect that it would have on the arrival of overseas tourists this summer. Luckily, given the positive progress of the epidemic in Spain, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced that the sector should start to get ready for the summer season and that overseas tourists would be welcomed into the country under safe conditions from July. He also encouraged Spaniards to start planning domestic vacations from as early as June.

It’s still uncertain if the quarantine-free arrival applies to all foreign travellers or if Spain will bet on the free movement of travelers from countries that send the highest number of tourists to the country, such as Portugal, France, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Let’s stay tuned for more news while planning our holidays in Spain after lockdown this summer. Guess we all deserve some Spanish sun after lockdown, right?

Visit Portugal this summer COVID-19 measures for the beaches in Portugal

7 reasons to visit Portugal this summer

After several months at home and possibly some cancelled trips, you must be as eager as us to travel again! The majority of the team of SeaBookings lives in Portugal and this is also where the company was founded. There are many reasons to visit Portugal bus now, given the current circumstances, we’d like to share some special reasons to visit Portugal this summer.

In fact, Portugal is ready and prepared to receive you for summer holidays. Check out our 7 reasons to visit Portugal this summer:

Surfers have been enjoying the sea again since May 4th

1. Beaches in Portugal are already open for the practice of sports

Since May 4th, we can enjoy the beaches again, not to sunbathe yet, laying on a towel, but to walk, run or practice any other watersports like surfing. We can already enjoy the beach! Let’s cross our fingers that very soon, we can freely enjoy the beach again.

According to the Algarve Travel Board, beaches will open in June, with health regulations and procedures in place. A maximum number of people per beach is one of the possible measures. Let’s see.

And if you like waterparks, the Algarve Travel Board points to June and July to reopen these, again with special health measures. The park’s capacity will, therefore, be reduced and have compulsory use of masks in closed areas like restaurants and stores.

Marina de Lagos by Mario Majer

2. Golf courses, marinas and some hotels are already open in Portugal

Portugal was rather quick to adopt preventive measures at an early stage of the pandemic. As such, Portugal has fewer cases than other European countries; with only 11 reported deaths per 100 000 population (May 14th, according to the ECDC). And looking within Portugal, the Algarve, our favorite destination, is one of the least affected regions in Portugal.

Some golf courses, marinas and car hire businesses are already open with strict health protocols in place, of course. Regarding hotels, over a third of hotels in the Algarve are open and the local tourism board expects this to rise to 75% in June and most to be open in July.

Portugal is a seafood paradise!

3. Delicious Portuguese Restaurants

During these times, you might want to book a hotel or apartment with a kitchen so you can cook some meals at home and use your time outdoors to enjoy nature. Take-away and delivery services have been open during the whole period of lockdown in Portugal and work very well.

The good news is also that as of May 18th, restaurants can reopen with 50 per cent capacity restrictions. 

We can’t wait to meet some wild dolphins in the middle of the sea…

4. Sea experiences will resume very soon in Portugal

Thanks to the large effort by the national authorities and also local agents, Portugal defined a set of best practices in terms of safety and security, to restart its tourism sector. The “Clean & Safe” seal is one of these measures. 

Turismo de Portugal, the Portuguese Tourism Board, recognizes companies in the Tourism sector that comply with the recommendations of the local health authority to avoid the contamination of COVID-19.

All tourism companies that wish to obtain the “Clean & Safe” seal must comply with a set of provisions. Of course, most of our local tour providers in Portugal have already obtained this seal and are ready to have you once the local authorities give us the “OK” to resume our sea experiences (it should be in the coming days). In fact, in Madeira, nautical experiences will restart already on May 20th! So if you visit Portugal this summer, you’ll be able to experience the sea to its fullest!

In addition to local tour providers, other sector agents are also strongly committed to reopening in a gradual, responsible and safe manner and commit to the seal. According to João Fernandes, President of Algarve Tourism, the Algarve already has 271 hotels, 176 tourist entertainment companies and 177 travel agencies, duly certified by this initiative of Turismo de Portugal, that pioneered this worldwide.

The airport of Lisbon is still scarily empty at the moment

5. Safety measures upon arrival in Portugal

The reopening of borders and air traffic is the main factor that still remains undefined, preventing the return of tourism in full. For now, travel from and to outside the EU will at least be banned until June 15th in Portugal

Portugal seems to be the right bet as several international airlines and tour operators are showing great interest in resuming their flights to Portugal. Some airlines already even taking reservations.

Regarding the local airports, some measures are being implemented upon arrival to ensure the protection of passengers and staff. The possible measures at airports in Portugal include:

  • Temperature measurement at arrivals;
  • Hand sanitizers at all points of the terminals;
  • Mandatory use of a mask at the terminal;
  • Warnings for the need for extra hygiene care and the need for physical distance;
  • Installation of personal protections in service counters (acrylic and glass);
  • Reinforcement of cleaning of spaces and equipment with hospital-level disinfectants and use of UV equipment, among other measures.
The Torre de Belém in Lisbon can be seen from a boat tour but also be visited from land

6. Local culture in Museums, Monuments and Cinema in Portugal

According to the Portuguese reopening plan (Plano de Desconfinamento), as from May 18th, museums, monuments and palaces, art galleries and the like will reopen with reduced capacity and physical distance. The use of masks might also be mandatory in some places.

And from June 1st, cinemas, theatres, auditoriums and concert halls should be open again. Be aware that these will have marked seats, reduced capacity and physical distance.

The sad news is that summer festivals have been banned until September 30th.

Face masks and hand sanitizer are widely available in Portugal

7. Face masks and hand sanitizer are widely available in Portugal

A few days after the use of masks in schools, public transport, shops and other closed spaces with a lot of people became mandatory in Portugal, the VAT rate was reduced from 23% to 6% on this kind of protective equipment, as well as disinfectant gel. Masks and hand sanitizer are available at pharmacies but also at big supermarkets like Continente, Pingo Doce, El Corte Inglés and Mercadona. The supermarkets Intermarché and Bricomarché stand out as they sell disposable masks and other personal protective equipment at cost prices “without any profit”.

According to ECO newspaper, the disposable masks are available for 0.40 cents a unit and a pack of 50 masks costs 20.15 euros. A 50 ml bottle of hand sanitizer is 4.90 euros and prices are monitored weekly in order to have the best price on the market.

Another reason to visit Portugal this summer are it’s spacious beaches

We know that traveling in these “new normal” times can be a bit scary, but we truly believe Portugal is a good bet. If you’ve got any doubts or tips about traveling to Portugal this summer, feel free to contact us at any time. 

Planning the Perfect Seaside Getaway for After Coronavirus

Planning the Perfect Seaside Getaway for After Coronavirus

As the COVID-19 pandemic takes its course around the globe, we find ourselves staying at home as part of a lockdown designed to keep the disease at bay. While we are glad that we can limit the spread, we are also limited on fun things to do. But like all uncertain times, this too shall pass. When it does, it will be time to celebrate.

Why not let loose with a fun seaside getaway? While most of us are stuck at home, we are presented with the perfect chance to plan our next big vacation. Don’t let the opportunity go to waste. Use this time to choose the ideal destination, save your money, and plan your itinerary, so you and your family can enjoy the perfect post-coronavirus adventure.

The colors of Madeira are just incredible!

Research Your Dream Location

Whether you are planning to visit the gorgeous landscapes of Madeira or take in the sites of Algarve, Portugal, this is the perfect time to research your destination and get your plans in order. Take the time to search online for popular seaside hotspots and choose which you would like to visit. In addition to picking the fun places to see, you also want to flesh out the logistics of your trip, like how you are going to get around once you are there, whether it be public transportation or your own vehicle.

There are other considerations to make, as well. If you are planning on going hiking or boating, will you need to rent specific equipment? If you are going to a different country, are you able to speak the language? If not, take this time to bone up on some popular phrases. Is there cell phone service where you are going? If not, then you may have to make alternate communication choices or stay at a hotel close to the attractions you want to see.

Dogs love to go on seaside adventures, too, because they can feel their ears flap in the wind as you cruise along in a rented speedboat. Use this time to think about the details of bringing a pet. If you are flying, make sure that the airline allows pets. Make a list of all the pet supplies you will need, including treats, a good leash, and a collapsible water bowl. You will also want to research your destination to see if your pet needs any special vaccinations and bring this paperwork on the trip.

Lockdown: time to save or loose money?

Take the Time to Save Money

Whether you are planning to visit your local beach or the coast of another country, you will want to save money so you can have a fun and comfortable trip. One benefit of having social distance and stay at home orders is that you are now presented with a good time to save the funds that you need. Of course, the first step is to make an itinerary of the places you will want to visit and check out the cost of each, in addition to the price of your lodgings. 

Once you have a number in mind, start saving. If you are the type of person who struggles with saving cash, then consider turning it into a game with a no-spend challenge. Essentially, this involves hiding your credit and debit cards, creating a budget for only the necessities (food, utilities, gas), and obtaining the support of your family as you attempt to go at least a month without spending unnecessary money. Put all of your extra cash in a “vacation fund” that cannot be touched until your trip.

Since just about everyone is currently banned from going to parks, movie theaters, and restaurants, this is the perfect time to be a cheapskate. Set a savings goal and take this time to research high-interest savings accounts, where you can gain even more extra cash off of interest. If you are currently working from home, you can also try a side hustle like online tutoring or taking surveys to save even more.

Prepare your means of transportation

Prepare Your Vehicle

Even after the social distancing measures come to an end, it will still be prudent to stay away from large groups, and a road trip along the seaside will give you that independence while you enjoy the gorgeous sites. If you are taking your own car, this is the perfect time to get your vehicle checked out and road-ready. Luckily, mechanics are considered an essential business, so they are open and willing to help.

When it comes to getting your car road trip-ready, be sure to check your tires and get an oil change. Wherever you are going, create a vehicle emergency kit filled with essentials such as first aid supplies, granola bars, and necessary maps. Speaking of maps, this is also a great time to figure out your routes so you know when you have to leave and how long you’ll be traveling each day.

It is always smart to practice defensive driving, meaning that you must drive without distractions while anticipating issues on the road. So, if you are going to a new seaside destination that you haven’t visited before, check out images of the streets you will be driving on. If you are driving along the coast, you may encounter many winding roads, so use this time to take a drive on a similar road near your area so you can get some practice. If your destination is famous for rain, then read up on how to drive in these conditions.

As the coronavirus takes its toll, we are living in some not so fun times, but these dark days will one day be a thing of the past. Use the time to plan the dream seaside getaway and be ready to go when the time is right.

5 Tips For Your Holidays In Aljezur

5 Tips For Your Holidays In Aljezur

Aljezur is a small town with ordinary houses located on the western coast of Algarve, Portugal. If you’re planning holidays in Aljezur, read further.

You will see a lot of whitewashed houses, rural architecture, windows with painted borders, and victorian era streets here. It has greenery and wildlife all around it. 

You can find empty beaches around Aljezur

Here are five tips you need to know before spending your holidays in Aljezur.

1. Beaches, Parks and Walks

Aljezur is home to some beautiful beaches, parks, and nature walks. They are clean, unspoiled, and quiet, which gives you several reasons to spend your day there. Here are a few beaches and parks in Aljezur.

1.1 Beaches of Aljezur

Many places near the western Atlantic region of Algarve are still untouched. The scenery of the beaches on the West Coast is much distinct from the South Coast Beaches. They are clean, unspoiled, and quiet, which gives you several reasons to spend your day there. The most famous beach on the west shore is the Praia do Amado beach. This beach is famous among surfers for the pipeline waves. Make sure that you wear appropriate beach costumes, and don’t forget to carry your sunscreen. You can show off your surfing skills by taking one of the guided SUP tours.

1.2 Costa Vicentina natural park

This park is a dense and hilly natural park, untouched by humans. It is located on the western shore of Algarve, this park lies secluded, and is not spoiled by high rises. It is excellent for biking, hiking, horse-riding, and even bird watching. When going with your friends and family, go on a vehicle with a sturdy roof rack to carry your biking and hiking gear without any discomfort.

1.3 Pontal da Carrapateira

It is a lovely walking trail along the cliffs between “Praia da Bordeira”, and “Praia da Amado”, recognized for its picturesque landscapes and natural beauty.

2. Castles and Forts

The castles and forts are fantastic pieces of history. They are well preserved in Aljezur and give you a glimpse of what life had been in the past. Below are the two most famous castle and fort of Aljezur.

2.1 Castle of Aljezur

As per the archaeological evidence, the Aljezur Castle antedates to the iron and bronze age. This structure stood as a guard of the local community and the port. Later in the mid-13th century, the Christians captured it. Visit this place to take a walk to the top of two towers and get a stunning view of Aljezur.

2.2 Fort of Arrifana ruins

The Fortaleza da Arrifana stands on the cliff of Paris da Arrifana on the west shore of Aljezur. Earlier, this fort acted as a guard to protect the local fishers and the seashore. The fort was constructed in the 17th century and was instrumental in preserving the coast and the local tuna fishing area.

White is the color of most local chruches

3. Church

The Misericórdia Church, with the foundation laid around 1611, is a beautiful church with bell towers and pinnacles. You will witness fascinating statues and sacred art inside. The church survived an earthquake in the mid-18th century and has a marvelous white facade to it. There is a guided tour that you can take to know the history of the place.

The “Nossa Senhora da Alva Church”, constructed in the 18th century, is another famous church built after the earthquake hit the Misericordia Church. The appearance of the entrance gateway of this church is extraordinary and displays several statues.

4. Museums

Museums help you learn about the past of a place. Aljezur has four museums that cover the city’s history. The Municipal Museum is a structure built in the late 19th century that portrays antiques from the Islamic periods. It is an excellent place to learn about the local culture. The “Sacred Art Museum” is another museum that is famous in Aljezur for its array of religious paintings and sculptures. A shelter for elderlies in the medieval era, this museum now stands next to the “Igreja da Misericordia”. The Museum of Portuguese painter Jose Cercas is another place to reminisce of the Portuguese art of the mid 20th century at the house of the great painter himself.

Holidays in Aljezur are a good idea for seafood-lovers

5. What and where to eat and shop in Aljezur

The best foods to try in Aljezur are fish and seafood as they are available right next to the shore. One of the top seafood eateries in Aljezur is the Sabor’arte. If you are looking for a sumptuous lunch, visit the Mo Bistro at the center of Aljezur. If you want a nice hot cup of coffee along with new and exquisite meals every day, then this is the cafe to visit. Visit Trigo Vermelho for delicious homemade gluten-free Pizzas.

If you are looking to shop for local goods and are a fan of local street food, then take a tour of the “municipal market of Aljezur”. Here you can buy fresh meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Conclusion:

Plan your next holidays in Aljezur, keeping the above pointers in mind. Also, prepare a budget for spending on each activity. Aljezur is best explored on foot, so remember to travel light while you are sightseeing.

Tips to safely travel after the Coronavirus lockdown

Tips to safely travel after the Coronavirus lockdown

It’s important to take precautions and measurements in times of the coronavirus, also when the lockdown comes to an end. According to the World Health Organization, there are some tips to take into consideration, both during and after lockdown. In this article, we’ll focus on the tips that apply to travel after the Coronavirus lockdown.

Here are some tips to take into account when traveling after the Coronavirus lockdown:

1. Destination 

The first thing to consider is your destination. It’s recommended to only consider countries where the coronavirus contaminations are controlled. It’s also important to inform yourself about the quarantine requirements, both upon arriving at your destination and also when coming back home. Imagine a 14-day quarantine is required at your destination, then you might consider another place. 

2. Airline vs. car

Make sure to pick an airline that assures to have the best health and safety practices in place. Some airplanes are planning to test all their passengers before boarding, for example. And have you already considered traveling by car? Maybe now the time is there!

3. Protect yourself and others 

You should wear a mask to avoid being contaminated and also to diminish the risk of contaminating others. There is a big debate on which type of mask we should wear. The uncomplicated answer is the surgical mask which is single-use and is rather affordable. However, there are reusable masks available too and we think it’s a very personal decision.

You can also protect yourself by using surgical gloves to protect your hands from being infected with viruses or germs during your travels.

4. Stay hydrated

Bring a thermos type bottle or other reusable bottles to stay hydrated while traveling. Several studies show that drinking (warm) water can help to flush out the virus down to the stomach. 

Keep a hand sanitiser in your pocket

5. Bring sanitizer

Using sanitizer is also trending worldwide. The sanitizer has alcohol that kills germs and reduces the number of bacteria or microorganisms on our skin. While traveling, we can’t always wash our hands, so then sanitizer is the best thing that you can carry in your handbag or pocket. Other than that, when possible, don’t forget to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

6. Keep social distancing

Wherever you go, try your best to avoid the crowd. Pick beaches with fewer people, avoid going to the markets at the busiest hours, etc. You can also pick your destination based on this tip. You might prefer an area with nice empty beaches or forests rather than a crowded city.

Avoiding crowds also means being careful with public transport. If you have the chance, we recommend renting a car or using Uber or similar services. And in case you rent a car, or travel in your own car, be sure to wash or sanitize and keep the car clean.

In sum, for the coming months, even after the lockdowns, we need to take care of our health because we don’t know if the virus is still around. 

For now, let’s keep on reading and dreaming about travels. And plan for when we’re free again.

Till then, stay safe.

About the author: Laraib is a professional content writer, travel blogger, with a creative bent of mind. I have authored and published a number of articles in the niche of travel, health & fitness, entertainment and technology domains. Here is my blog.