A Week in Spain: From Madrid to Barcelona

I’m sure time flies while traveling, but what to do with a week in Spain?

The answer to that is simple – try to come up with a comprehensive itinerary that best suits your needs and make sure to include the things that interest you most, even though one visit to the sunny destination will not be enough either way.

A great idea for your first sighting in (or a legendary comeback to) Spain is visiting two of the main hubs in the country in one go!

Here’s what to do with a week in Spain: From Madrid to Barcelona.

Traveling From Madrid to Barcelona  

Whether you start your adventure in Madrid and end in Barcelona or vice versa, one of the best ways of traveling between the two cities is by taking a train. You can make your way from Madrid to Barcelona by train in around three hours, all the while enjoying scenic views along the way and making use of modern onboard amenities, ensuring your comfort and safety. Check Rail.Ninja for more information on trains, timetables, and other train-travel-related information in Spain. Alternatively, you can hop on a bus or arrange yourself a private transfer to reach the destination, which can be slightly more time- or money-consuming.

For a scenic stop on your way from Madrid to Barcelona, hop off the train in Zaragoza, another lovely Spanish destination for you to explore. Home to some spectacular examples of Moorish architecture, it is the capital of the scenic Aragón region and the fifth-largest city in the country. While there, make sure to visit the spectacular Basílica de Nuestra Señora del Pilar, the imposing Palacio de la Aljafería, and Museo de Zaragoza, or simply set off wandering its charming streets as scenic views await you on its every corner.

Must-See Sights in Madrid

Let’s start with the bustling Spanish capital, Madrid; brimming with so many things to see and do, the city is a well of endless sightseeing opportunities.

One of the main visitor attractions in Madrid is undoubtedly the renowned Prado Museum, housing an exceptional collection of artwork, including but not limited to pieces by Velázquez, Ribera, and Zurbarán. Another crucial stop on the itinerary of any museum lover is the National Archaeological Museum telling the story of Spain’s past and its significant events. Another great way to get better acquainted with the country’s history is joining one of the comprehensive theme tours, such as the Madrid of the Bourbons Walking Tour or the Spanish Civil War Tour.

If museums are not something you enjoy, there are plenty of sightseeing opportunities and authentic activities to take part in, for instance, discovering the Golden Triangle of Art, joining a Tapas Cooking Class, taking a day trip to Toledo, enjoying a Flamenco Show, the list goes on!

Such activities allow you to familiarize yourself with the unparalleled fiery culture of Spain and to delve deeper into its flavorful world of gastronomy, popular all over the world.

With all the sightseeing tours to join, flamenco shows to watch, and tapas to taste in Madrid, three or four days pass by without you even noticing it!

Barcelona Attractions Not to Miss

After that, comes the time for you to get better acquainted with the jewels of Barcelona, starting with an unforgettable tour of Gaudi’s masterpieces. Scattered all over the bustling city, his works attract a number of visitors, from those lined by the Sagrada Familia to the ones leisurely strolling around Park Guell.

Other must-visit attractions on any Barcelona itinerary include the Cathedral de Barcelona, Las Ramblas, and the lively La Boqueria market, where you can sample local delicacies, buy fresh produce, or start souvenir hunting for the loved ones back at home.

Among the most popular sites, you can also find the Tibidabo Mountain providing picturesque views over the entire city and the Barceloneta beach, perfect for gazing at the sun slowly setting down in the evening. Don’t miss the chance also to visit the museums in the Montjuïc area and marvel at the dancing fountain nearby!

If you somehow still have a day to spare with the abundance of things to enjoy in Barcelona, don’t miss the chance to set off on a day tour! One of the most popular nearby attractions, perfect for a day-long getaway, is the postcard-like Montserrat Monastery, located just a short ride away, or a Game of Thrones tour in Girona, for those interested in the iconic TV series.

No matter which tours and activities you choose, there will always be so many more day tours to take part in, and sights and cities to visit in Spain, which will undoubtedly leave you wanting to come back.

What’s on your list for A Week in Spain?

Hidden Spain: Ribeira Sacra, the Secret of the Monks

A deep gorge crosses the land. At the top, Romanesque monasteries watch the horizon and a bunch of viewpoints offer magnificent views. Looking down, oaks, chestnuts and vineyards cover the stepped hillsides.

Everything in Ribeira Sacra invites one to breathe, relax and feel alive.

Let me show you why Ribeira Sacra is a candidate to be listed as Cultural Landscape World Heritage, and a perfect destiny for a retreat travel.   

It’s one of the less known beautiful places in Spain.

A Capela viewpoint at Ribeira Sacra, Spain.
A Capela viewpoint at Ribeira Sacra, Spain.

Ribeira Sacra means the sacred banks of the river. In fact, the magic of this land turns around 2 main rivers: Miño and Sil.

River Sil carves during its last 35 kms granite walls as deep as 600 Mts in some areas. Then, it runs into River Miño, near Os Peares.  The natural force of river Sil is soothed by a few dams, making pleasant boat trips possible – a wonderful way to discover the canyon. 

A complete route in the region should include: monasteries, viewpoints and nature, vineyards, traditional towns and local cuisine.

How many days? Consider at least 5.  

The Viewpoints to admire Ribeira Sacra

We can count at least 36 amazing viewpoints where to admire the Ribeira Sacra.

They are distributed all along the two main rivers: Miño and Sil.

It could take you a while to stop at every viewpoint, that’s why it’s a good idea to pick a bunch of them, especially if you are visiting Ribeira Sacra for a short period of time.

These ones below are my favourite ones: 

Pena do Castelo Viewpoint
Pena do Castelo Viewpoint
  • Cabo do Mundo and Cabezoás, the first one above the most famous meander of River Miño, the second one watching another meander, of river Sil, in this case.
  • Pena do Castelo, A Capela and As Penas de Matacá, showing the best views over the cultivated terraces and the river. 
  • And the trendy ones: O bambán do Solpor and the one in Terra Brava Wineries. These are two swings with views, a delight for instagramers and bloggers. The one in Terra Brava Wineries is the only private one, only accessible as part of the visit to the wine cellars. 

And the points of view

How many places did you visit from different heights? You can do that on Ribeira Sacra! 

From top to bottom: 

Hot Air Balloon at Ribeira Sacra in Spain.
Hot Air Balloon at Ribeira Sacra in Spain. Image credit: aerotours
  • Fly over the vineyards, with the sunrise as a witness. Jump into a hot air balloon and float over the landscape. There are three companies offering this incredible experience that will take you on a flight for about an hour. 
  • Drive up and down along the mountains, stopping at the viewpoints and immersing in the scenery. 
  • Get a boat ride. Navigate the water of River Sil, or Miño. A pleasant travel among damns will be perfect at sunset. Companies operate at one and other side of the main rivers. 

The monasteries around Ribeira Sacra

The area is considered the main concentration of rural romanesque in Europe, with 85 romanesque monasterios, 18 of which you can visit.

Why so many, and what was the purpose of building them?

The fertile lands, the mystery, retreat and peace of the area attracted monastic orders from the beginning of Cristianity. We can now follow their footprints trying to find the same pleasure in such a serene retreat.

Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil, Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil and San Pedro de Rocas are the most remarkable monasteries, the “must see” of the region.

Santo Estevo is placed in the heart of Ribeira Sacra, and was one of the most powerful monasteries in the area: nine bishops decided to spend their last days in it.

It preserves a baroque façade, a church with a romanesque apse and three cloisters of different periods: Renaissance, Romanesque and Gothic. The monastery is nowadays a luxurious hotel (it belongs to the prestigious Spanish Paradores hotels chain), where you can eventually stay. 

Book at night at Santa Estevo here.

Monastery of Santa Cristina De Ribas de Sil

Santa Cristina de Ribas de Sil is one of those magic places that will remain in your memories. Surrounded by a chestnut forest, this monastery, built on the latest XI century, stands above a meander of Sil river.

San Pedro de Rocas (Saint Peter of the Rocks), it looks like being smelt on the rocks. It was probably one of the first places were the lonely life of eremites became a community life. 

The vineyards in Ribeira Sacra

Ribeira Sacra lives with and for the wine. The Romans found gold in these lands, but left us something in exchange. They probably combined the indigenous grapevines with the mediterranean ones, obtaining better vines. What is more, it is said that the Caesars demanded those wines. The tradition continued with the monks improving and promoting the wine activity, cultivating rough pieces of land, at angles of 50 to 85%. Some of them are still only accesible by boat. Wine cultivation became the economic source in those times, what still is. 

To visit a Ribeira Sacra winery is absolutely necessary to understand the way of living of the locals. There are many small wine cellars, family businesses, distributed in the three wine areas: Amandi, Ribeira do Miño and Ribeira do Sil.

Just pick one (or two, or three), and let your senses go. 

The traditional towns of Ribeira Sacra

Are there big cities in the area? Fortunately not, so tranquility is guaranteed. But there are three towns and a city you should visit.

Monforte de Lemos

Being node of rails, made Monforte a city. It is located in the geographical center of Ribeira Sacra, a good choice to stay in and plan day trips from there. Don’t leave the city without walking along River Cabe and discovering the Galician Escorial: Nuestras Señora de la Antigua, the old castle and the Tower keep.

Portomarin

Portomarín is an important village on the Way of St. James. I use to say that the Way works as the railway for rural towns: it makes life to flourish. People open small restaurants, hotels, shops. Some cities and villages appeared during the Middle Ages because of the Way.

But, pay attention: the Portomarin you can visit nowadays, that’s the new town. The old one is submerged under the waters of the reservoir. The main buildings, including the church of St. John, were previously moved, stone by stone, to its new location. 

Chantada

Chantada

A traditional town with some romanesque treasures. The main square is surrounded by traditional houses with wooden balconies and porches. If you are lucky enough to visit Chantada on a Fairy day, 5 or 21 of every month, you will be immersed in an authentic experience: the market as in the old times.

A bunch of romanesque churches will complete the visit: the churches of San Salvador of Asma, Santa María of Pesqueiras, or Santa María of Nogueira. 

Castro Caldelas watches River Edo from the top of a hill. To reach the castle, placed in the center of the village, you’ll need to walk up winding cobbled streets lost in time. And once again, feel lucky to be here. 

The nature in Ribeira Sacra

You will soon discover that Ribeira Sacra is a paradise for ramblers.

There are many incredible walking trails in the area. You can follow anyone near your hotel, but I would like to recommend three ones: 

The River Mao canyon trail
  • Santa Cristina Trail (you can find it as PR-G 98), circular, with great views of the river Sil canyon and cultural patrimony. 
  • Belesar vineyards trail ( PR-G 183), easy and short trail crossing vineyards. 
  • River Mao canyon trail (PR-G 177), my favourite trail. Circular trail that demands some effort, but is completely worth it. 

The cuisine

Gastro tourists could choose Ribeira Sacra only as a gastro destination, and be gratefully surprised by the quality and variety of the local dishes and wines. But even if you are not a gastro tourist, you will need to eat between one outing and another. 

Octopuss a Feira, or Galician Style

Meat lovers would be in so luck here. Best quality pork (shoulders, ham, chorizo), veal (T-bone steak, sirloin), goat meat, big and small game hunting are offered on its tables. Naturally, all of these meats, usually roasted, pair perfectly with the local red wines of Ribeira Sacra.

If you enjoy fish, trout’s are caught locally, but there’s also a deep tradition to eat European eel and octopus A Feira (Galician style). 

Locals gather excellent mushrooms and chestnuts in the forests and prepare delicious garnishes with them. Chestnuts are a common ingredient in the dessert recipe books, sometimes combined with honey and cheese. 

Try Bica de Trives or Bica de Castro Caldelas. Bica is a traditional moist sponge cake prepared with pork butter. You can have it as a breakfast or as a dessert, going with coffee liquor – an ancient tradition in the area. 

Sleep with the serenity of a monk

There is an amazing range of unconventional accommodations in Ribeira Sacra. 

What about sleeping in a former monastery? Santo Estevo de Ribas de Sil is a spectacular former monastery reconverted into a 4 stars hotel.

Parador Santo Estevo, Ribeira Sacra, Spain.
Parador Santo Estevo, Ribeira Sacra, Spain.

Or in a winery? Rectoral de Anllo offers the possibility to relax surrounded by vineyards.

Or in a former rectory? Reitoral de Chandrexa is an ecological cozy rural hostel, with only 3 bedrooms. 

Besides, there are plenty of rural authentic accommodation, a wide range where to pick.

Ribeira Sacra is one of the most complete destinations. Experienced travellers will still find it astonishing. It will leave you with a full stomach, a smile in your lips and a satisfied heart. I promise. It happens to me every time I visit.

Looking for more unique places to visit in Spain? Check out these posts:


Windsurfing & Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

Tarifa is in the province of Cadiz in the Andalucia region of Spain. It is located on the southernmost point of the European continent, only 14 km from the coasts of North Africa.

Known throughout the world as a Mecca for windsurfing this charming white Andalusian town has only been mildly spoiled by the mass touristic developments which have ravaged the coasts of most of Spain. Much of the surrounding coastline is still protected by Spanish law and a few kilometres to the west of the town are two of Spain’s most beautiful beaches. Strong winds and good waves make Tarifa an attractive spot for water and wind sports.

Watersports is one of the major things to do in Tarifa – with windsurfing and kitesurfing in Tarifa being the most popular.

Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain
Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

Things to do in Tarifa

Windsurfing in Tarifa

The best combination of services and wind, Tarifa is well known as a test center or training place for most of the brands and pro riders, but is good to for beginners too, you will find windsurf centers from Los Lances beach to Valdevaqueros and Bolonia, depending on the wind direction you will have to choose the one that suits better your level, the conditions can vary from 3 kms distances so ask the locals, the will friendly recommend the best spot for the day.

Most of the centers open from March to October but you will find some, like the Surf Center in Hotel Arte Vida, that open all year around. Some days windsurfing in Tarifa can become unforgettable for you, cruising in the Strait of Gibraltar waters, with such beautiful views of the African Continent, thinking in the history of this channel and even feeling the magical environment and ambient, mix of African-Flamenco fusions… I Promise you will become an addict of this town, well known is that from that day you always want to come back.

Kitesurfing in Tarifa

Tarifa is for sure the best spot in Europe for practicing kitesurfing, the mix of good winds, kilometers of perfect beaches and a full service of professional schools and rental centers makes Tarifa that place, from flat waters for beginners or freestylers to waves for kitesurfing addicts, everybody is suited in this waters just choose your spot.

From Tarifa town to Caños de Meca you will find a beautiful spot that suits your needs, but only in Tarifa Shops using the take away service or closer spots like Dos Mares, Arte Vida, or Valdevaqueros where you will find Centers with all the services you can need. You can even find places with kindergarten service.

Kitesurfing in Tarifa is definitely a must do if you’re visiting!

Whale Watching in Tarifa

The fascinating experience of navigating the Strait of Gibraltar gains an emotional highlight, when the lovable inhabitants of these waters, whales and dolphins, approach our boats to show themselves and by doing so satisfy the curiosity of the tourists.

Whale Watching in Tarifa has become a tourist activity with an educational and a research background. The effect of the latter is to minimize the impact on the environment and to maximize the protection of the natural surroundings and the species, using visitors experience as tool for conscientiousness process.

Marine biologists go along with tourists to research statistics and data about these animals and their habitat, useful for scientific projects and publishing. You can film and photograph the unforgettable encounters with dolphins and pilot whales looking at the tourists, the orca mother with her young calves around the fisherman’s boats trying to catch a bite of the red tuna, the fin whales (the second largest animal in the world) causing a huge blow on the surface, and the sperm whale waving goodbye to the tourists, showing their huge tails, looking out of the water like an obelisk in the sea.

  • Resident species (can be seen all year): Common dolphin, Striped dolphin, Bottlenose dolphin and Pilot Whale.
  • Semi-resident species (presence related to feed periods): Killer whale – Orca (between July and September) Sperm whale (mostly between March and July).
  • Migratory species (cross the strait in their migratory routes): Fin whale (mostly between May and July).

Where to eat

Food is generally good in Tarifa – especially fish. Try going to the places filled with locals. They are generally easy to pick out from tourists (both Spanish and foreign). Some of the best places in Tarifa also happen to be the cheapest.

Don’t forget to try the local Tuna, swordfish and, especially, the “Tortillas de camarón“, typical of the coast of Cadiz. “Ortigas” (sea nettles) are another local specialty. The best restaurant in the old city is called Mandragora, located on Independencia (a small alleyway between the city wall and the Cathedral). It is not cheap, but the food was the best we had in Spain, and it is filled with locals.

Insider travel tip

Head north along the very long beach, best to take a car for it… 🙂 There you’ll find a huge dune, which is fun to climb and you’ll get a fantastic view from up there!


Travel in Covid-19 Times – My Trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain

I’ve just returned from a trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands of Spain.

After self-isolation in Llandudno, North Wales for three months due to coronavirus, COVID-19, I was ready to travel again once it was safe to do so.

On Monday 6th of July, the Welsh Government lifted the 5-mile stay local rule, and I could finally travel outside of my local community again.

At this point, I would like to highlight that everything mentioned within this blog post is based on my personal experience, and you should seek government advice from the correct sources.

The reason why I mention this is because the rules are changing all the time and I wanted to share how my trip went to help paint a picture of what your trip could be like so you can make an informed opinion on if you should travel at the moment.

Why did I choose Lanzarote in the Canary Islands?

At my time of flying, Spain was on the list of countries you could fly to from the UK without the need to isolate for two weeks after returning from your trip.

Of course, this could change, but this was one of the reasons why I choose Spain.

I didn’t fancy flying to a Spanish city due to crowds, but Lanzarote in the the Canary Islands has direct flights from the UK and felt like a better option due to the current situation.

Plus the sound of the stunning volcanic landscape, hiking trails, sunny sandy beaches and locally sourced food all tempted me to visit the island of Lanzarote. It was just what I was looking for after being at home for so long.

With my bags packed and passport in hand (don’t forget your passport, it’s been a while!) I was ready to travel and explore the Canary Islands.

Around Lanzarote, not all businesses were open for tourism as visitor numbers are still operating on low capacity.

However, businesses are slowly opening up again for tourism, and many restaurants, visitor attractions, rental cars and a select number of resorts were open for visitors on the island.

You should book travel insurance

Please make sure you arrange suitable travel insurance for your trip before you depart. Some travel insurance providers have changed their policy to adapt to coronavirus COVID-19 so please read the small print and make sure that you have a cover.

Proper guidance is to check the FCO website for up to date travel advice for UK travellers, and typically your travel insurance will follow along the lines of the FCO. So, if the FCO says not to travel, then your travel insurance usually is not valid, so please check the FCO website frequently for the latest travel advice.

Also, for those within the EU, make sure that your E111 card is up to date before you depart. For those within the UK, you can still travel and use your E111 card until the end of December. Remember that the E111 doesn’t replace travel insurance, but it’s good to have it with you at all times when travelling around the EU, especially at the moment.

Get a travel insurance quote from WorldNomads below:

Do you have to wear a mask in Spain at all times?

Do you have to wear a mask all the time? This was a question I had before travelling to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Of course, this advice will differ from other countries in Europe. But in Spain and on the Canary Islands, the simple answer is yes. You do have to wear your mask at all times.

After gathering some local advice, wearing a mask is not only to protect yourself from spreading germs but as a courtesy to protecting others.

Any situation where you’re unable to keep your social distance is when you should wear your mask in Spain.

This would be any place where social distancing is challenging, such as within shops, restaurants and public transport.

You can remove your mask when you sit down to eat or have a drink. You can withdraw your face cover while on the beach or when going for a swim in Spain, as long as you can keep your social distance.

Within your hotel room or rental car, you can remove your mask. If you’re going to the hotel breakfast buffet, you should wear your face mask.

I hope the above information clears up some questions you might have.

What is it like to fly at the moment?

It was a bizarre feeling only seeing five flights on the departure board of Heathrow terminal 5, usually the busiest airport in Europe. It did come as a shock.

Heathrow felt like a ghost town with limited passenger numbers flying on the day.

Throughout Heathrow, you will have to wear a facemask at all times from the entrance until you’ve exited at your arrival destination. It’s advised to swap your face mask every few hours, so you should pack a selection to use throughout your travels.

My temperature was checked as I entered Heathrow airport and I found hand sanitizer located all around the airport.

Check-in was rather swift, and many airlines are allowing free baggage check-in to free up space in the cabin, which is worth taking advantage of.

Security has never felt so fast; it was a swift experience and didn’t take much time at all.

Once airside, in regard to places to eat, I could only find one Pret open, which was enough to grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the flight.

Most airlines are not allowing food and drink service at the moment.

I did notice that a passenger requested a cup of water which was allowed but generally, nothing will be served on the flight unless you’re travelling business.

At the boarding gate, passengers were boarding individually based on row numbers, starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front.

At the check-in desk, the staff said to allow an extra hour due to additional boarding time. Be patient as it will take more time to board the flight, but you could always book your seat at the back if you wish to board sooner.

Once on the flight, cabin crew informed us that the aircraft used an advanced air flow filtration system that kills most germs. This, combined with a face mask and limited contact, helps to reduce the risk.

Once I was at my seat, I noticed that the airline had used empty seats to keep travellers at a safe distance from each other as best as they could.

They also blocked off and limited access to the number of toilets you could use. You can still use them but not as many so you might have to wait.

Generally, I found the flying experience rather relaxing and pleasant, indeed longer than usual, but the additional steps gave me reassurance rather than worry.

I wouldn’t want to take a flight with a connection due to the extra time it takes to board and go through the airport, but one direct flight wouldn’t be an issue.

What was your resort like in Lanzarote?

I stayed at the Sands Beach resort located in Costa Teguise on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

They had self-catering options for families with a large selection of swimming pools to choose from, which was great for social distance swimming.

Swimming is one of the things I missed the most, so it was a much-welcomed joy to have a few laps in the pool each morning.

The breakfast buffet was open, and you had to order each item individually. This will take some additional time, so be sure to arrive early to allow your choices to be accommodated.

I would visit the local supermarket and stock up on breakfast items to make in your room so you can relax in the morning and take the stress out of breakfast.

Not all resorts are open yet in Lanzarote, and some have chosen to stay closed until September so your choices will be limited.

The Sands Beach Resort chose to open early to learn about the extra steps needed to open up. The Spanish government have issued rules that resorts must follow to remain open to meet the health guidelines and create a safe environment for guests.

Another issue is staff. The resort is running at low capacity and it’s been tough getting the team back to work as some have chosen to wait until it’s safer to return to work while others are happy to get back to work again.

Rooms are required to undergo additional cleaning after each guest which is why I would recommend staying for 1-2 weeks.

Also, the stock has been an issue as the supply chain for resorts has not been open on the island since lockdown and resorts are having to use supermarkets to purchase items they need to operate.

It will take some time for resorts to open up again but those that have chosen to open up as soon as possible will learn from the experience and adapt to the guidelines, which will take time for some resorts to adjust to.

What is it like going to a restaurant?

After cooking for myself for three months, I’ve simply run out of hot pot recipes and I’m also getting a bit bored of baking banana bread.

Being allowed to visit restaurants again and not have to do the washing up was one of the most enjoyable moments from the trip.

Getting to taste the local flavours again was an absolute pleasure. Enjoying fresh seafood and a glass of white wine that’s made on the island was pure joy.

If you wish to dine out, it’s best to call in advance to book a table as space within the premise is limited due to schedules and social distance.

I noticed that temperature checks took place before entering the restaurant, and hand sanitizer was always found at the entrance.

You must wear a facemask until you have taken a seat at your table, then you can take it off to enjoy your food and drink.

Also, I noticed that the menu could typically be found by using a QR code to access on your smartphone. Make sure you have your Roam Like at Home data turned on while travelling around the EU as it will come in handy.

If you can pay for your meal by using contactless payment, this would be the best method rather than using cash.

Do you need to fill out forms before you travel?

Spain requires you to fill in a health form before you arrive. Once the form is completed online, you will get a QR code which will be scanned on arrival. You must be checked into your flight and have your seat number before you fill out the form. This information helps with track and trace, and you will be contacted if needed.

Also, when returning to the UK, you must fill in a form explaining where you’ve been and where you will be going to in the UK.

After filling in the UK form and placing my address in Wales where I will be, I instantly got an email from the Welsh government asking me to quarantine and stay at home for two weeks. I was not aware that the rules in Wales required two weeks quarantine, but not a problem as I have been home for the past two weeks and will follow the guidelines as instructed. Something to think about as I was also aware that those from Scotland had been advised not to travel to Spain altogether. So, the rules are different depending on where you live.

Did I enjoy my trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands?

The most important question. Did I have a great time going to Lanzarote? Were all the extra steps worth it?

My answer is for the most part yes. I do have mixed opinions about it though, as I enjoyed the trip, but travel is no longer normal like it used to be and some fun has been sucked out the experience.

But I do understand that this is for my own and others’ safety to allow tourism to open up again so I would say that it was worth it.

My issue was the length of the trip; I wish I could have stayed longer to justify the extra time you need to go through all the additional safety steps.

So, If I were staying in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands for two weeks, I would have said that it was worth it.

My advice at the moment to make travel safer during COVID-19

  • I would recommend only taking one direct flight to reach your destination. Avoid having to take connection flights as this increases your risk of a possible infection.
  • Stay in one resort and try to find a self-catering option so you can prepare breakfast and lunch from your room as buffets are not a safe environment at the moment.
  • Book ahead to reserve your table if you wish to dine out at a local restaurant.
  • Book a rental car to explore your surroundings and avoid public transport.
  • Use contactless payment and avoid cash when possible.
  • Stay for 1-2 weeks. Travel to your destination will take more time so you should allocate this time into your holiday to make it more rewarding.
  • Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your holiday. You will have to go through many additional steps to make your holiday safe so please have patience, remain calm and take your time.

For this reason, a weekend city escape might not be ideal at the moment as you won’t have enough time to enjoy the actual holiday.

Thank you for reading my blog post about my trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands

I hope all the above information helps you understand what travel and tourism are currently like in Europe at this moment in time, and I wish you a pleasant future trip! 

This blog post was put together in collaboration with the UNWTO and the Canary Islands as part of the #RestartTourism campaign to help tourism recovery on the islands. I hope you’ve found this blog post informative.

Here’s a few other posts about the Canary Islands


My Trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, Spain – Travel in Covid-19 Times

I’ve just returned from a trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands of Spain.

After self-isolation in Llandudno, North Wales for three months due to coronavirus, COVID-19, I was ready to travel again once it was safe to do so.

On Monday 6th of July, the Welsh Government lifted the 5-mile stay local rule, and I could finally travel outside of my local community again.

At this point, I would like to highlight that everything mentioned within this blog post is based on my personal experience, and you should seek government advice from the correct sources.

The reason why I mention this is because the rules are changing all the time and I wanted to share how my trip went to help paint a picture of what your trip could be like so you can make an informed opinion on if you should travel at the moment.

Why did I choose Lanzarote in the Canary Islands?

At my time of flying, Spain was on the list of countries you could fly to from the UK without the need to isolate for two weeks after returning from your trip.

Of course, this could change, but this was one of the reasons why I choose Spain.

I didn’t fancy flying to a Spanish city due to crowds, but Lanzarote in the the Canary Islands has direct flights from the UK and felt like a better option due to the current situation.

Plus the sound of the stunning volcanic landscape, hiking trails, sunny sandy beaches and locally sourced food all tempted me to visit the island of Lanzarote. It was just what I was looking for after being at home for so long.

With my bags packed and passport in hand (don’t forget your passport, it’s been a while!) I was ready to travel and explore the Canary Islands.

Around Lanzarote, not all businesses were open for tourism as visitor numbers are still operating on low capacity.

However, businesses are slowly opening up again for tourism, and many restaurants, visitor attractions, rental cars and a select number of resorts were open for visitors on the island.

You should book travel insurance

Please make sure you arrange suitable travel insurance for your trip before you depart. Some travel insurance providers have changed their policy to adapt to coronavirus COVID-19 so please read the small print and make sure that you have a cover.

Proper guidance is to check the FCO website for up to date travel advice for UK travellers, and typically your travel insurance will follow along the lines of the FCO. So, if the FCO says not to travel, then your travel insurance usually is not valid, so please check the FCO website frequently for the latest travel advice.

Also, for those within the EU, make sure that your E111 card is up to date before you depart. For those within the UK, you can still travel and use your E111 card until the end of December. Remember that the E111 doesn’t replace travel insurance, but it’s good to have it with you at all times when travelling around the EU, especially at the moment.

Get a travel insurance quote from WorldNomads below:

Do you have to wear a mask in Spain at all times?

Do you have to wear a mask all the time? This was a question I had before travelling to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

Of course, this advice will differ from other countries in Europe. But in Spain and on the Canary Islands, the simple answer is yes. You do have to wear your mask at all times.

After gathering some local advice, wearing a mask is not only to protect yourself from spreading germs but as a courtesy to protecting others.

Any situation where you’re unable to keep your social distance is when you should wear your mask in Spain.

This would be any place where social distancing is challenging, such as within shops, restaurants and public transport.

You can remove your mask when you sit down to eat or have a drink. You can withdraw your face cover while on the beach or when going for a swim in Spain, as long as you can keep your social distance.

Within your hotel room or rental car, you can remove your mask. If you’re going to the hotel breakfast buffet, you should wear your face mask.

I hope the above information clears up some questions you might have.

What is it like to fly at the moment?

It was a bizarre feeling only seeing five flights on the departure board of Heathrow terminal 5, usually the busiest airport in Europe. It did come as a shock.

Heathrow felt like a ghost town with limited passenger numbers flying on the day.

Throughout Heathrow, you will have to wear a facemask at all times from the entrance until you’ve exited at your arrival destination. It’s advised to swap your face mask every few hours, so you should pack a selection to use throughout your travels.

My temperature was checked as I entered Heathrow airport and I found hand sanitizer located all around the airport.

Check-in was rather swift, and many airlines are allowing free baggage check-in to free up space in the cabin, which is worth taking advantage of.

Security has never felt so fast; it was a swift experience and didn’t take much time at all.

Once airside, in regard to places to eat, I could only find one Pret open, which was enough to grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the flight.

Most airlines are not allowing food and drink service at the moment.

I did notice that a passenger requested a cup of water which was allowed but generally, nothing will be served on the flight unless you’re travelling business.

At the boarding gate, passengers were boarding individually based on row numbers, starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front.

At the check-in desk, the staff said to allow an extra hour due to additional boarding time. Be patient as it will take more time to board the flight, but you could always book your seat at the back if you wish to board sooner.

Once on the flight, cabin crew informed us that the aircraft used an advanced air flow filtration system that kills most germs. This, combined with a face mask and limited contact, helps to reduce the risk.

Once I was at my seat, I noticed that the airline had used empty seats to keep travellers at a safe distance from each other as best as they could.

They also blocked off and limited access to the number of toilets you could use. You can still use them but not as many so you might have to wait.

Generally, I found the flying experience rather relaxing and pleasant, indeed longer than usual, but the additional steps gave me reassurance rather than worry.

I wouldn’t want to take a flight with a connection due to the extra time it takes to board and go through the airport, but one direct flight wouldn’t be an issue.

What was your resort like in Lanzarote?

I stayed at the Sands Beach resort located in Costa Teguise on the island of Lanzarote in the Canary Islands.

They had self-catering options for families with a large selection of swimming pools to choose from, which was great for social distance swimming.

Swimming is one of the things I missed the most, so it was a much-welcomed joy to have a few laps in the pool each morning.

The breakfast buffet was open, and you had to order each item individually. This will take some additional time, so be sure to arrive early to allow your choices to be accommodated.

I would visit the local supermarket and stock up on breakfast items to make in your room so you can relax in the morning and take the stress out of breakfast.

Not all resorts are open yet in Lanzarote, and some have chosen to stay closed until September so your choices will be limited.

The Sands Beach Resort chose to open early to learn about the extra steps needed to open up. The Spanish government have issued rules that resorts must follow to remain open to meet the health guidelines and create a safe environment for guests.

Another issue is staff. The resort is running at low capacity and it’s been tough getting the team back to work as some have chosen to wait until it’s safer to return to work while others are happy to get back to work again.

Rooms are required to undergo additional cleaning after each guest which is why I would recommend staying for 1-2 weeks.

Also, the stock has been an issue as the supply chain for resorts has not been open on the island since lockdown and resorts are having to use supermarkets to purchase items they need to operate.

It will take some time for resorts to open up again but those that have chosen to open up as soon as possible will learn from the experience and adapt to the guidelines, which will take time for some resorts to adjust to.

What is it like going to a restaurant?

After cooking for myself for three months, I’ve simply run out of hot pot recipes and I’m also getting a bit bored of baking banana bread.

Being allowed to visit restaurants again and not have to do the washing up was one of the most enjoyable moments from the trip.

Getting to taste the local flavours again was an absolute pleasure. Enjoying fresh seafood and a glass of white wine that’s made on the island was pure joy.

If you wish to dine out, it’s best to call in advance to book a table as space within the premise is limited due to schedules and social distance.

I noticed that temperature checks took place before entering the restaurant, and hand sanitizer was always found at the entrance.

You must wear a facemask until you have taken a seat at your table, then you can take it off to enjoy your food and drink.

Also, I noticed that the menu could typically be found by using a QR code to access on your smartphone. Make sure you have your Roam Like at Home data turned on while travelling around the EU as it will come in handy.

If you can pay for your meal by using contactless payment, this would be the best method rather than using cash.

Do you need to fill out forms before you travel?

Spain requires you to fill in a health form before you arrive. Once the form is completed online, you will get a QR code which will be scanned on arrival. You must be checked into your flight and have your seat number before you fill out the form. This information helps with track and trace, and you will be contacted if needed.

Also, when returning to the UK, you must fill in a form explaining where you’ve been and where you will be going to in the UK.

After filling in the UK form and placing my address in Wales where I will be, I instantly got an email from the Welsh government asking me to quarantine and stay at home for two weeks. I was not aware that the rules in Wales required two weeks quarantine, but not a problem as I have been home for the past two weeks and will follow the guidelines as instructed. Something to think about as I was also aware that those from Scotland had been advised not to travel to Spain altogether. So, the rules are different depending on where you live.

Did I enjoy my trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands?

The most important question. Did I have a great time going to Lanzarote? Were all the extra steps worth it?

My answer is for the most part yes. I do have mixed opinions about it though, as I enjoyed the trip, but travel is no longer normal like it used to be and some fun has been sucked out the experience.

But I do understand that this is for my own and others’ safety to allow tourism to open up again so I would say that it was worth it.

My issue was the length of the trip; I wish I could have stayed longer to justify the extra time you need to go through all the additional safety steps.

So, If I were staying in Lanzarote in the Canary Islands for two weeks, I would have said that it was worth it.

My advice at the moment to make travel safer during COVID-19

  • I would recommend only taking one direct flight to reach your destination. Avoid having to take connection flights as this increases your risk of a possible infection.
  • Stay in one resort and try to find a self-catering option so you can prepare breakfast and lunch from your room as buffets are not a safe environment at the moment.
  • Book ahead to reserve your table if you wish to dine out at a local restaurant.
  • Book a rental car to explore your surroundings and avoid public transport.
  • Use contactless payment and avoid cash when possible.
  • Stay for 1-2 weeks. Travel to your destination will take more time so you should allocate this time into your holiday to make it more rewarding.
  • Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your holiday. You will have to go through many additional steps to make your holiday safe so please have patience, remain calm and take your time.

For this reason, a weekend city escape might not be ideal at the moment as you won’t have enough time to enjoy the actual holiday.

Thank you for reading my blog post about my trip to Lanzarote in the Canary Islands

I hope all the above information helps you understand what travel and tourism are currently like in Europe at this moment in time, and I wish you a pleasant future trip! 

This blog post was put together in collaboration with the UNWTO and the Canary Islands as part of the #RestartTourism campaign to help tourism recovery on the islands. I hope you’ve found this blog post informative.

Here’s a few other posts about the Canary Islands


Why You Should Visit Murcia, Spain

Located on the Mediterranean coast, the vibrant city of Murcia truly comes alive with the help of its lively architectural heritage and energetic cultural atmosphere.

Although it’s a lesser-known city of Spain, there are a number of memorable things to do in Murcia, things to see and several Murcia attractions that will prove that this city really is one of Spain’s most underrated gems.

So, why visit Murcia?

Here’s a few reasons…

Murcia beach, Spain
Murcia beach, Spain

Top reasons to visit Murcia, Spain

Your authentic Spanish experience begins now … and thankfully it comes without the usual tourist crowds. 

The beautiful Murcia beaches 

For those of you that consider yourselves to be sunshine lovers, you’ll be happy to know that Murcia experiences over 3000 hours of sunshine every single year. What’s better is that one of the main Murcia attractions is, without a doubt, its picturesque beaches.

Combine the glorious sunshine of Murcia with its unspoiled sands and refreshing turquoise waters and you have officially located paradise. 

With the glistening city sharing its glorious sunlight with you, meandering through the Cape Palos peninsular is a definite sun worshipper’s dream. For those looking for a picturesque leisurely walk, strolling through Cala Cerrada and Calarreona promises exceptional panoramic views of the shoreline.

If you have time, we also thoroughly suggest visiting the southern part of Costa Blanca that is delicately dotted with a number of energetic and colourful towns. Whilst there, make sure to head over to Torre de la Horadada where a number of quaint beaches await you.

The culinary delights

For all the foodies at heart, Murcia truly is your culinary haven

This city, with its labyrinthine streets, is heavily populated with a number of high-end dining experiences, Michelin-star restaurants and lively tapas bars that will tantalise those tastebuds. 

For those of you looking for a more authentic eating experience, you will appreciate that the city of Murcia also offers a number of local ‘holes-in-the-wall’ and cafes that serve traditional delicacies and dishes. From seafood stews and paella to old-style chorizo and fried squid, you’ll know that your food has been prepared following authentic generational family recipes. 

In short: homemade Spanish foods truly are a genuine Murcia attraction!

Now for some name-dropping!

If you aren’t sure where to start when it comes to sampling all the food Murcia has to offer, don’t panic, we’ve got you covered! We suggest heading out to Plaza de Las Flores. This square has a variety of diverse food selections that will appease even the pickiest of eaters. While you’re there, you have to try one of Murcia’s traditional pies at Zaher bar. Make sure to order your pie with one of their local ciders … you won’t regret it! And if you have a serious hankering for seafood, courtesy of the local nearby harbours, La Tapa restaurant is where you’ll want to be.

The vibrant villages

If you currently have a list of things to see in Murcia, your itinerary isn’t complete unless you have ‘visit local villages’ on it.

In a city where no one is ever rushed (note: it did take them 330 years to build their cathedral), you can see how their continued patience and dedication to exceptional detail has contributed to their picturesque villages. Known, and adored, for the whitewashed buildings that line the rugged hillsides, Murcia’s quaint and cobbled streets are just another charming attraction on offer.

One of the things you have to see in Murcia is the Ricote Valley journey from Archena to Blanca. This truly is where mother nature shows off with the help of her bold cliffs, luscious lemon groves and crystal-clear waters. But her visual riches don’t end there. Murcia also has historical beauties including its castles that can be found along Alamha, Mula and Lorca where their ancient charm and ruins remain intact. 

The main takeaway here: bring your camera and a few portable batteries – you’re going to need them!

The fresh produce

There may be a number of things to see in Murcia, but there are also a number of things that you have to taste too! And well, to the delight of many, Murcia has done away with the intrusive fast-food chains (you’ll actually have to search for a McDonalds) and embraced wholesome and fresh eating experiences instead. 

All of your culinary expeditions in Murcia will prove one thing: this sun-drenched city produces unimaginable amounts of fresh produce. In fact, picture your local food market back home and increase its size by 20 … that’s North and West Murcia for you!

Murcia’s agricultural lands offer locals an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. From oranges to lemons, tomatoes and lettuce, it truly is an agricultural utopia. For this reason, many locals have even referred to the lush and giving lands of Murcia as La Huerta de Europa, which translates to The Market Garden of Europe!

The many Murcia attractions

When it comes to finding things to do in Murcia, you are in for quite the selection. First up? Water activities. With warm waters that run along the Mediterranean, visitors to the city’s shoreline will be able to explore their more adventurous side, with windsurfing, jet skiing and water-skiing being on offer. 

For those of you that prefer the water from a safe distance, you will appreciate the conservational areas, including the Tenerife which is a must-visit of the Murcia attractions. You can also head straight for the natural parklands and follow the pine-scented walking trails or get your heart racing through the rosemary lined hiking trails of the Santuario de la Fuensanta that will feature perfectly on your current Instagram page. 

When it comes to finding things to do in Murcia, just know that this city is quite the show-off. If you are looking to experience exceptional natural beauty, taste authentic cuisine and take in various historical wonders – Murcia is the place to be!

My trip to Lanzarote, Canary Island, Spain – Travel in Covid-19 Times

 

I’ve just returned from a trip to Lanzarote, an island located on the Canary Islands of Spain. 

After self-isolation in Llandudno, North Wales for three months due to coronavirus, COVID-19, I was ready to travel again once it was safe to do so.

On Monday 6th of July, the Welsh Government lifted the 5-mile stay local rule, and I could finally travel outside of my local community again.

At this point, I would like to highlight that everything mentioned within this blog post is based on my personal experience, and you should seek government advice from the correct sources.

The reason why I mention this is because the rules are changing all the time and I wanted to share how my trip went to help paint a picture of what your trip could be like so you can make an informed opinion on if you should travel at the moment.

Why did I choose Lanzarote, Canary Islands

At my time of flying, Spain was on the list of countries you could fly to from the UK without the need to isolate for two weeks after returning from your trip.

Of course, this could change, but this was one of the reasons why I choose Spain.

I didn’t fancy flying to a Spanish city due to crowds, but Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands has direct flights from the UK and felt like a better option due to the current situation.

Plus the sound of the stunning volcanic landscape, hiking trails, sunny sandy beaches and locally sourced food all tempted me to visit the island of Lanzarote. It was just what I was looking for after being at home for so long.

With my bags packed and passport in hand (don’t forget your passport, it’s been a while!) I was ready to travel and explore the Canary Islands.

Around Lanzarote, not all businesses were open for tourism as visitor numbers are still operating on low capacity.

However, businesses are slowly opening up again for tourism, and many restaurants, visitor attractions, rental cars and a select number of resorts were open for visitors on the island.

You should book travel insurance before you travel around Europe

Please make sure you arrange suitable travel insurance for your trip before you depart. Some travel insurance providers have changed their policy to adapt to coronavirus COVID-19 so please read the small print and make sure that you have a cover.

Proper guidance is to check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for up to date travel advice for UK travellers, and typically your travel insurance will follow along the lines of the FCO. So, if the FCO says not to travel, then your travel insurance usually is not valid, so please check the FCO website frequently for the latest travel advice.

Also, for those within the EU, make sure that your E111 card is up to date before you depart. For those within the UK, you can still travel and use your E111 card until the end of December. Remember that the E111 doesn’t replace travel insurance, but it’s good to have it with you at all times when travelling around the EU, especially at the moment.

Do you have to wear a face mask in Spain at all times?

Do you have to wear a mask all the time? This was a question I had before travelling to Lanzarote.

Of course, this advice will differ from other countries in Europe. But in Spain and on the Canary Islands, the simple answer is yes. You do have to wear your mask at all times.

After gathering some local advice, wearing a mask is not only to protect yourself from spreading germs but as a courtesy to protecting others.

Any situation where you’re unable to keep your social distance is when you should wear your mask in Spain.

This would be any place where social distancing is challenging, such as within shops, restaurants and public transport.

You can remove your mask when you sit down to eat or have a drink. You can withdraw your face cover while on the beach or when going for a swim in Spain, as long as you can keep your social distance.

Within your hotel room or rental car, you can remove your mask. If you’re going to the hotel breakfast buffet, you should wear your face mask.

I hope the above information clears up some questions you might have.

What is it like to fly at the moment?

It was a bizarre feeling only seeing five flights on the departure board of Heathrow terminal 5, usually the busiest airport in Europe. It did come as a shock.

Heathrow felt like a ghost town with limited passenger numbers flying on the day.

Throughout Heathrow, you will have to wear a facemask at all times from the entrance until you’ve exited at your arrival destination. It’s advised to swap your face mask every few hours, so you should pack a selection to use throughout your travels.

My temperature was checked as I entered Heathrow airport and I found hand sanitizer located all around the airport.

Check-in was rather swift, and many airlines are allowing free baggage check-in to free up space in the cabin, which is worth taking advantage of.

Security has never felt so fast; it was a swift experience and didn’t take much time at all.

Once airside, in regard to places to eat, I could only find one Pret open, which was enough to grab a coffee and a bite to eat before the flight.

Most airlines are not allowing food and drink service at the moment.

I did notice that a passenger requested a cup of water which was allowed but generally, nothing will be served on the flight unless you’re travelling business.

At the boarding gate, passengers were boarding individually based on row numbers, starting from the back of the aircraft towards the front.

At the check-in desk, the staff said to allow an extra hour due to additional boarding time. Be patient as it will take more time to board the flight, but you could always book your seat at the back if you wish to board sooner.

Once on the flight, cabin crew informed us that the aircraft used an advanced air flow filtration system that kills most germs. This, combined with a face mask and limited contact, helps to reduce the risk.

Once I was at my seat, I noticed that the airline had used empty seats to keep travellers at a safe distance from each other as best as they could.

They also blocked off and limited access to the number of toilets you could use. You can still use them but not as many so you might have to wait.

Generally, I found the flying experience rather relaxing and pleasant, indeed longer than usual, but the additional steps gave me reassurance rather than worry.

I wouldn’t want to take a flight with a connection due to the extra time it takes to board and go through the airport, but one direct flight wouldn’t be an issue.

What was your hotel resort like in Lanzarote?

I stayed at the Sands Beach resort located in Costa Teguise on the island of Lanzarote.

They had self-catering options for families with a large selection of swimming pools to choose from, which was great for social distance swimming.

Swimming is one of the things I missed the most, so it was a much-welcomed joy to have a few laps in the pool each morning.

The breakfast buffet was open, and you had to order each item individually. This will take some additional time, so be sure to arrive early to allow your choices to be accommodated.

I would visit the local supermarket and stock up on breakfast items to make in your room so you can relax in the morning and take the stress out of breakfast.

Not all resorts are open yet in Lanzarote, and some have chosen to stay closed until September so your choices will be limited.

The Sands Beach Resort chose to open early to learn about the extra steps needed to open up. The Spanish government have issued rules that resorts must follow to remain open to meet the health guidelines and create a safe environment for guests.

Another issue is staff. The resort is running at low capacity and it’s been tough getting the team back to work as some have chosen to wait until it’s safer to return to work while others are happy to get back to work again.

Rooms are required to undergo additional cleaning after each guest which is why I would recommend staying for 1-2 weeks.

Also, the stock has been an issue as the supply chain for resorts has not been open on the island since lockdown and resorts are having to use supermarkets to purchase items they need to operate.

It will take some time for resorts to open up again but those that have chosen to open up as soon as possible will learn from the experience and adapt to the guidelines, which will take time for some resorts to adjust to.

What is it like going to a restaurant on the Canary Islands?

After cooking for myself for three months, I’ve simply run out of hot pot recipes and I’m also getting a bit bored of baking banana bread.

Being allowed to visit restaurants again and not have to do the washing up was one of the most enjoyable moments from the trip.

Getting to taste the local flavours again was an absolute pleasure. Enjoying fresh seafood and a glass of white wine that’s made on the island was pure joy.

If you wish to dine out, it’s best to call in advance to book a table as space within the premise is limited due to schedules and social distance.

I noticed that temperature checks took place before entering the restaurant, and hand sanitizer was always found at the entrance.

You must wear a facemask until you have taken a seat at your table, then you can take it off to enjoy your food and drink.

Also, I noticed that the menu could typically be found by using a QR code to access on your smartphone. Make sure you have your Roam Like at Home data turned on while travelling around the EU as it will come in handy.

If you can pay for your meal by using contactless payment, this would be the best method rather than using cash.

Do you need to fill out health forms before you travel?

Spain requires you to fill in a health form before you arrive. Once the form is completed online, you will get a QR code which will be scanned on arrival.

You must be checked into your flight and have your seat number before you fill out the form. This information helps with track and trace, and you will be contacted if needed.

Also, when returning to the UK, you must fill in a form explaining where you’ve been and where you will be going to in the UK.

After filling in the UK form and placing my address in Wales where I will be, I instantly got an email from the Welsh government asking me to quarantine and stay at home for two weeks. I was not aware that the rules in Wales required two weeks quarantine, but not a problem as I have been home for the past two weeks and will follow the guidelines as instructed. Something to think about as I was also aware that those from Scotland had been advised not to travel to Spain altogether. So, the rules are different depending on where you live.

Did I enjoy my trip to Lanzarote, Canary Islands?

The most important question. Did I have a great time going to Lanzarote? Were all the extra steps worth it?

My answer is for the most part yes. I do have mixed opinions about it though, as I enjoyed the trip, but travel is no longer normal like it used to be and some fun has been sucked out the experience.

But I do understand that this is for my own and others’ safety to allow tourism to open up again so I would say that it was worth it.

My issue was the length of the trip; I wish I could have stayed longer to justify the extra time you need to go through all the additional safety steps.

So, If I were staying in Lanzarote for two weeks, I would have said that it was worth it.

My advice at the moment to make travel safer during COVID-19

I would recommend only taking one direct flight to reach your destination. Avoid having to take connection flights as this increases your risk of a possible infection.

Stay in one resort and try to find a self-catering option so you can prepare breakfast and lunch from your room as buffets are not a safe environment at the moment.

Book ahead to reserve your table if you wish to dine out at a local restaurant.

Book a rental car to explore your surroundings and avoid public transport.

Use contactless payment and avoid cash when possible.

Stay for 1-2 weeks. Travel to your destination will take more time so you should allocate this time into your holiday to make it more rewarding.

Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your holiday. You will have to go through many additional steps to make your holiday safe so please have patience, remain calm and take your time.

For this reason, a weekend city escape might not be ideal at the moment as you won’t have enough time to enjoy the actual holiday.

Thank you for reading my blog post about my trip to Lanzarote

I hope all the above information helps you understand what travel and tourism are currently like in Europe at this moment in time, and I wish you a pleasant future trip!

This blog post was put together in collaboration with the UNWTO and the Canary Islands as part of the #RestartTourism campaign to help tourism recovery on the islands. I hope you’ve found this blog post informative.

Travel tip shared by Dave