The clouds are parting, drizzle receding, and the temperature is starting to rise in time for summer 2021. Thankfully, this year holidays abroad are firmly back on the menu, with Portugal being one of the prime destinations unaffected by pandemic travel restrictions.
One of the top places to visit in Portugal is the Algarve, home to beautiful beaches, delightful cuisine, and some of the sunniest weather in the Mediterranean. If you’re considering travelling there this year, we’ve brought together five top tips to help you get the most out of this quintessential destination.
Visit beaches off-piste
The Algarve’s beaches are well known, but they can get a little busy during peak summer tourist season, especially in the resorts. There are countless stretches of sand all across the coastline, however, so we’d always recommend hiring a car and heading out to explore the lesser-frequented beaches for that quintessential Algarve experience.
Be prepared for entry requirements and COVID screening
Every passenger heading to the Algarve must show a negative RT-PCR test that’s been taken within 72 hours of boarding the plane. You won’t be able to use the NHS to get one of these tests, so be sure to book a test at a private testing centre within this timespan, but with enough time to receive the results. If you’ve had both vaccine doses at least 15 days prior to boarding, you will be exempt from showing a test, but you need to show proof via your NHS letter.
You’ll also be screened when you arrive in the Algarve – if your temperature is above 38°C or you appear ill, you’ll be tested for COVID and will need to wait at the airport until the results come through.
Book some activities
The Algarve is world-renowned for its amazing activities. Water sports are a huge draw, with surfing, kayaking, and snorkelling all great options, and hiking along the region’s dramatic cliffs is also a must-do. The region’s coast is also home to dolphins – if you’re into animals, be sure to book a boat trip out to see these wonderful animals.
Get insurance and holiday cover
Wherever in the world you’re travelling, Algarve included, it makes simple sense to get hold of holiday cover that protects you from costs in case of cancellations and injury. Insurance is important, because while injuries are still covered by the European Health Insurance Card (or Global Health Insurance Card), you may still bear some costs. You could recoup these costs using personal injury solicitors specialising in holiday claims, but it’s always good to be protected by insurance regardless.
Head to a salt spa
Portugal has been at the centre of the salt-making industry for millennia, but the very same salt ponds used to create cooking salt are also now the site of a great new wellness experience: salt spas! Offering salt and mud therapies, as well as the chance to float and relax in a n outdoor salt pan, this is one experience you’re sure to remember!