Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!

5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

If you’re dreaming about the picturesque island of Madeira, you will be pleased to learn that it will re-open to international visitors from July 1st. Its neighbour in the archipelago, Porto Santo will too. The Portuguese archipelago had closed in March to help control the spread of COVID-19. There are many more reasons, but here are our main 5 reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown.

About Madeira

Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal, an archipelago of two main islands, off the northwest coast of Africa. Along with the main Madeira island, with a length of 57km and width of 22km wide, its sister island, Porto Santo, measures just 14km by 8km. There are also Desertas and Selvagens islands which are uninhabited. All islands are a true paradise for nature lovers, both sea and mountains.

COVID-19 in Madeira

So far, the region has registered 92 cases of COVID-19 out of which 90 have already recovered. Madeira and Porto Santo will reopen to tourism on the 1st July date when the mandatory quarantine will be eliminated. The reopening will be carried out safely and aiming to recover the confidence both of travellers and locals

You'll be impressed by Madeira's lush landscape
You’ll be impressed by Madeira’s lush landscape

Reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown

1. Madeira has had very few cases of Covid-19

Until the present date, the islands of Madeira have registered ninety-two (90) positive cases of COVID-19. And there was no community contamination and no deaths. The local government acted quickly to control the virus on the archipelago (actually, the whole of Portugal has been widely praised for its rapid response).

Madeira was a pioneer in the whole Portugal, in developing good practices document to deal with Covid-19 – COVID SAFE TOURISM (English version here), resulting from the involvement from the whole tourism sector, along with the launch of a certification process that will reassure consumer confidence and hence promote Madeira as a safe tourism location for all visitors.

2. Free COVID test when visiting Madeira

All travellers are requested to be tested within 72 hours prior to arrival for faster checkout. Passengers who were not tested will do a free test upon arrival at the airport. Children ages 12 and younger do not have to take the test, except for suspected cases.

“The government will pay for all costs of the tests upon arrival to the destination to prevent any extra costs for travellers,” says Eduardo Jesus, regional secretary of tourism and culture. “This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus-free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment. The testing process is being prepared by the Regional Health Authority, with the collaboration of ANA – Airports of Portugal, and strives for the highest speed with least inconvenience for travellers.” 

Need more reasons? Let us know and we'll tell you!
Need more reasons? Let us know and we’ll tell you!

3. No mandatory quarantine in Madeira

The Regional Government of Madeira (GRM) will carry out a test for all travellers, upon arrival in Madeira islands. These tests can be avoided if passengers present a PCR test with a negative result, carried out in the last 72 hours before landing time. 

However, while confinement is not mandatory for those who took the test upon arrival, it is recommended for travellers to go to their accommodation while they wait for the results. Results should be presented within 12 hours.

This measure ensures all visitors that not only the locals are virus free, but all those who enter will be scanned, thus promoting a highly secure and reassuring environment.

4. Monitoring of travelers in Madeira

As part of the pre-travel requirements, all passengers should be monitored through an APP (mobile application). The app is called “Madeira Safe to Discover” of the Regional Health Authority, of voluntary, but recommended use, or by telephone contact. 

5. Madeira will always be Madeira

Luckily, COVID-19 did not change the natural and cultural blessings of Madeira. Warmed year-round by the Atlantic sun, Madeira is known as the ‘Pearl of the Atlantic’. The archipelago is worldwide known for its lush botanical gardens, wine tasting and, of course, the crazy toboggan rides in a wicker basket from Monte to Funchal. 

It is also an outdoor paradise that attracts hikers and sea lovers. The main reason to make the journey to Porto Santo is that it boasts one of Europe’s finest golden-sand beaches. Travellers between Madeira and Porto Santo are currently free from any control by Health authorities.

Madeira has already opened most of tourist products and services such as bars, restaurants, spas, and tourist spots implementing health and safety protocols like social distancing, proper hygiene, and the wearing of mask. Boat tours and other sea experiences like SUP and surf will resume July 1st (some have already restarted in June).

SUP tour in Madeira
A SUP tour in Madeira can be done all year round

The Regional Government of Madeira, through the Regional Secretariat for Tourism and Culture, and Madeira Promotion Bureau are working side by side with all stakeholders to relaunch the Destination. Our teams are always available to share information.

What are you waiting for? Madeira is ready for you, vamos! And if you need more reasons to visit Madeira after lockdown, let us know, we’ll convince you!

Visit Algarve kayak tour in Lagos

Please visit the Algarve. Now! For you and us.

My name’s Bo, I’m one of the cofounders of SeaBookings, and I need to share something with you: visit the Algarve. Now. I’d like to share why, for good and bad reasons. Let’s start with the bad.

I went to Lagos for a few days last weekend and I had the best time ever. I usually stay at my parents’ in the countryside, so at first, I did not notice much changed now during the “new normal”. But when I drove into the city of Lagos and found the main avenue empty with no cars parked along it, I felt my heart squeeze. I literally had tears in my eyes. I mean, at SeaBookings, of course, we noticed a tremendous decrease in demand, but I could never imagine Lagos so empty. I could never imagine the Algarve so empty. Or even Portugal as a whole.

Tourism is huge here and we need you. We need you on our boats, but also in our restaurants, our hotels, AirBnBs and shops, of course. In Lagos, maybe one-third of the cute little local shops and cafés are still closed because there’s simply not enough demand to stay open. This needs to change urgently. So, please, please come and visit the Algarve!

At the same time, you may ask why I had the best time ever. Well, simple. It hurts to say but the Algarve with no tourists is a true paradise. If with tourists the Algarve is stunning, now imagine the beaches and roads just for yourself! 

And we enjoyed the sea, of course, on a kayak tour in Lagos! I had visited the famous Ponta da Piedade by sea before, by kayak, SUP and boat, but this time was far the best ever! Besides the fact that the sea was very calm and the light perfect, not having many other boats or paddlers around gave us a very special experience. So calm and relaxing.

So, you better visit the Algarve soon before the other tourists, to have the sea for “yourself”. And also the beaches, the restaurants, the shops, what not! Now is the time to enjoy the beauty of the Algarve peacefully.

And last but not least, I’d like to share my concern about the negative news out there about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Portugal. Please note that these cases all very much concentrated in the suburbs of Lisbon. And yes, special measures are being applied, but I promise, for now, as a tourist, and even in Lisbon, you won’t even notice them. And about these cases, I truly believe that, if we would consider these cases proportional to the number of tests done, the number would be rather low when compared to other countries. In fact, Portugal is one of the countries of the WORLD with the most tests done per 1000 inhabitants.

So, what are you waiting for? Come and visit the Algarve!

Algarve is the best holiday destination

Travel experts agree: the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer

A panel of travel experts at Clickstay.com has voted the Algarve as the best destination for British tourists this summer.

52% of the in-house travel pros voted in favour of the Algarve, the South of Portugal, citing successful control of Coronavirus as one of the key factors.

The Algarve obtained more than half of the votes

“Local government has done fantastic work in limiting the spread of the virus and put in sensible measures to ensure people can enjoy their holiday safely”, said Tom Hughes, founder and MD at Clickstay.

“Their use of technology, such as the Info Praia app where tourists can real-time information about the level of occupancy of the beach, is a great example of how the government is being innovative in its approach”, he added.

The article about this study mentions that Portugal recorded a considerably lower number of Covid-19 cases than the UK, so is considered low risk by the UK government. On the other hand, the Portuguese government considers that the UK has got the virus ‘under control’ and is calling for a so-called ‘air bridge’ between the two countries, which would allow British tourists to go on holiday to the Algarve, and the rest of Portugal, without having to quarantine on arrival.

According to these travel experts, there’s a wide range of activities which you can enjoy safely, making the Algarve is the best holiday destination this summer, above other destinations in Europe.

During your stay in the Algarve, you will be able to visit the vast range of beaches without worrying about overcrowding, thanks to social distancing and hygiene protocols and dedicated beach surveillance.

“I usually go on a beach holiday during the summer but was a little anxious having seen some photos of very crowded beaches in the UK,” said one of Clickstay’s holidaymakers, “If social distancing is properly enforced on the beaches in the Algarve, I will definitely consider making the trip”.

Algarve beach
The Algarve’s beaches are a huge attraction for British tourists this summer

Outdoor activities like swimming, kayak tours, SUP tours, and surfing are permitted and most boat tours are already running, all with hygiene and safety protocols in place. In fact, these tours and activities are all recognized by the Portuguese “Safe & Clean” seal. This is surely another big boost for the region’s tourism prospects. According to Tom Hughes, “Many of our customers love to go surfing in their summer holidays, so being able to do that in a safe environment would be a massive attraction’.

For those looking for a more cultural experience, restaurants, hotels, museums and galleries are also already open, with social distancing protocols in place. So yes, you can enjoy some of the local fresh seafood and terraces in under the blue sky are abundant for a safe food-experience.

The shrimps are ready!

The research shows that the geography of the Algarve has also been a factor. In the Algarve, there are many relatively quiet places to rent a villa compared with the busier coastlines of France and Spain, which make it a good destination for those wishing to keep their distance and enjoy a relaxed holiday. 

What do you think? Would you consider the Algarve for your holidays this summer?

Safe Holidays in Portugal

Portugal commits to ‘Safe Travels’ protocols by WTTC

‘Safe Travels’ is a special safety and hygiene mark to provide consistency and reassurance for consumers to speed the Travel & Tourism recovery. Portugal is among the first destinations to adopt private sector protocols and stamp.

 The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has launched the world’s first ever global safety and hygiene stamp. The specially designed stamp will allow travellers to recognise governments and businesses around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience ‘Safe Travels’.

The stamp will allow travellers to experience ‘Safe Travels’

The landmark move by WTTC, which represents the global Travel & Tourism private sector, has also received the backing of the influential United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Eligible businesses such as hotels, restaurants, airlines, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, outdoor shopping, transportation and airports, will be able to use the stamp once the health and hygiene protocols, outlined by WTTC, have been implemented.

Portugal is a pioneer in this type of stamps

Rita Marques, Portugal’s Secretary of State, said: “Portugal has been committed in reassuring our tourists they will always have the best experience in our country. This stamp, together with our “Clean & Safe” program, is one step further in reassuring everyone that we care, our destination is focused on recovery, and trust is at the core of our business.”

WTTC and all its Members from around the world have the safety and hygiene of travellers as their top priority.

Last week WTTC’s launched the first of range of new worldwide measures that were part of its Safe Travels protocols to rebuild consumer confidence and encourage the restoration of the global Travel & Tourism sector. They provide consistency to destinations and countries, as well as guidance to travel providers and travellers about the new approach to health, hygiene, deep cleansing and physical distancing, in the post COVID-19 world. 

The protocols are also being defined following the experience of WTTC members in dealing with COVID19 and based on the best available medical evidence. It also follows guidelines from the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What do you think about this initiative? Does it influence your decision about where to travel to?

Clean Safe SeaBookings Veilig op vakantie in Portugal

Veilig op vakantie in Portugal met het “Clean & Safe” keurmerk

Ja, we kunnen weer veilig op vakantie in Portugal. Er zijn weer genoeg vluchten beschikbaar en de toeristische sector in Portugal is zich aan het voorbereiden op het hervatten van activiteiten. Ondernemingen in de toeristische sector, in toeristisch entertainment en reisbureaus kunnen vanaf heden het keurmerk “Clean & Safe” aanvragen (het gaat daarbij om bedrijven die ingeschreven staan bij de Autoridade Turística Nacional).

Het keurmerk onderscheidt ondernemingen die voldoen aan de vereisten van hygiëne tegen de verspreiding van COVID-19 en andere infecties. Het versterkt het vertrouwen van de toerist in de reisbestemming.

Op SeaBookings is het keurmerk zichtbaar

Het keurmerk is gratis, vrijblijvend en één jaar geldig. Het vereist bij bedrijven het invoeren en naleven van een protocol conform de eisen van het Portugees Instituut voor Volksgezondheid. Hierin zijn veiligheidsregels vastgesteld voor toeristische activiteiten om besmettingsrisico’s te vermijden.

Het “Clean & Safe”-keurmerk kan vanaf 24 april online worden aangevraagd op de sites van Turismo de Portugal: RNET (Nationaal Register van Toeristische Ondernemingen), RNAAT (Nationaal Register van Bedrijven in het Toeristisch Entertainment) en RNAVT (Nationaal Register van Reisbureaus). Dit keurmerk is direct gekoppeld aan het inschrijvingsnummer van de onderneming.

Nadat de ondernemingen een Verklaring van Commitment hebben afgegeven, mogen zij het keurmerk “Clean & Safe” voeren. Dat mag fysiek op locatie zijn, maar ook op de diverse digitale platformen.

Kayak tour in Albufeira
Ook voor kajak, SUP en surf is het keurmerk “Clean & Safe” beschikbaar

Turismo de Portugal gaat in samenwerking met de bevoegde autoriteiten willekeurige steekproeven uitvoeren bij de deelnemende ondernemingen.

Met deze maatregel wil de Autoridade Turística Nacional niet alleen informatie verstrekken over de minimale vereisten qua hygiëne en schoonmaak van de bedrijven, maar ook de wereld laten weten dat je veilig op vakantie in Portugal kan gaan qua preventie van verspreiding van het virus, middels een gecoördineerde aanpak door de sector als geheel.

Het certificaat is binnenkort ook beschikbaar voor andere sectoren, als antwoord op de grote belangstelling.

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?