Travel

Holidays to Book Now — with No Testing Required

If you’re wondering where you can travel to right now without Covid testing, read on to discover recommendations for four fabulous destinations you can visit without the hassle of added requirements.

It’s been a long time coming, but in cheering news for those of us who are pretty darn desperate to get back out there and see something of the world, holidays are back on the cards, and a lot less hassle to prepare for than just a few months ago.

So, if you’re wondering where you can go on holiday, while keeping things simple, read on to discover Rough Guides’recommendations for four fabulous destinations you can visit right now — with no testing required.

1. Spain

If you’ve been longing to feel the sun on your skin while ambling ancient alleyways and chancing upon charming bars, exploring Spain’s most iconic cities is sure to satisfy those pangs. And in good news for independent-minded travellers who are also looking to travel more sustainably, moving between these metropolises by train is simple, and scenic to boot.

Rich with first-rate galleries, Madrid will keep culture vultures delighted for days. That said, it’s the lifestyle that often leaves the biggest impression. Think long lunches on sunlit terraces, late dinners on fragrant plazas, with plenty of parks and food markets to explore in between.

From Spain’s charismatic capital, take a train south to discover Granada’s UNESCO World Heritage Site treasures. Sitting on the sun-drenched slopes of three hills, the awe-inspiring Alhambra Palace is one of the world’s best-preserved palaces of historic Islamic architecture — the kind of place that truly captures your heart.

More romance and history awaits in spellbinding Seville. The Alcázar royal palace and cathedral sit pretty in the atmospheric old town, while Barrio Santa Cruz’s medieval passages offer plenty of opportunities to dine on the finest Andalusian food before being dazzled by a world-class flamenco show.

Staying in romantic mode, don’t miss the chance to discover captivating Cordoba. This clutch of magical palaces and flower-festooned plazas is well worth spending a few days in before heading to Barcelona, Spain’s capital of avant-garde, where highlights include taking a Gaudí tour, devouring delicious Catalonian cuisine in the Gothic Quarter, and taking it easy on the beach.

For more ideas, discover Rough Guides’ Iconic Cities of Spain itinerary, with plenty of other customisable trips to Spainto take inspiration from, too.

Essential information for travelling to Spain

If you’re fully vaccinated, Spain is open without the need to take a test, though you’ll need to submit a Health Control Form. Read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice for Spain, and the Spanish entry requirements.

2. Croatia

From the exhilarating outdoor adventures offered by its national parks, to the atmospheric old towns of its ancient cities, to its impossibly pretty Adriatic islands, Croatia is a dream destination for all kinds of travellers.

If, like many of us, you’re yearning for the freedom of wide-open spaces, why not enjoy a few walks on the wild side in Croatia’s pristine wilderness? Take your pick from hiking Croatia’s longest mountain in Northern Velebit National Park, or exploring the lakes, waterfalls and canyons of Plitvice Lakes National Park — a UNESCO World Heritage Site, no less.

Fear not if you’re looking for a more leisurely holiday. Firstly, you definitely don’t have to be a hardened hiker to enjoy Croatia’s national parks. Secondly, you could always combine exploring the outdoors with visiting handsome cities like Dubrovnik. Backed by mountains and fronted by the azure Adriatic Sea, its UNESCO designated Old Town presents a labyrinth of beautiful boutiques, bars and restaurants. What’s more, Dubrovnik also offers easy access to Croatia’s islands.

With its old town known as Little Dubrovnik (thanks to its quaint cobbles and defensive walls), the idyllic island of Korcula has an alluringly laidback vibe — think vineyards, fishing villages, honey farms, and beaches you might just have to yourself. Alternatively, head to Hvar for world-class wine and sun-soaked coves with added glamour.

Inspired? Active types could consider booking an ultimate adventure trip around Croatia, or a Dalmatian sailing trip. If cuisine and culture float your boat, a food-focussed tour will provide an authentic feel (and taste) for Dalmatia. And, like all Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips, these Croatia itineraries are 100% customisable.

Essential information for travelling to Croatia

Fully vaccinated? Britons can visit Croatia without taking a test. Read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice for Croatia.

3. Costa Rica

Hankering after tropical heat, awe-inspiring wildlife, glorious beaches, and back-to-nature experiences without the hassle of taking a pre-travel test? Costa Rica delivers all this in exhilarating style.

Long beloved by wildlife-watchers, and long committed to sustainable travel (hence all those exceptional eco-lodges you won’t want to leave), this Central American dazzler is one of the world’s most biodiverse countries. With an energising landscape of rainforests, volcanoes, and beaches fronted by the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean, it’s an extraordinary destination that inspires repeat visits. In short, Costa Rica, with its pura vida ethos of living a pure life, is nothing but refreshing.

Head to the Monteverde Cloud Forest to see the likes of spider monkeys, scarlet macaws and rainbow-billed toucans while walking lush tree-top trails. Zipline the rainforest canopy to the tune of hundreds of howler monkeys. Bathe in natural hot springs after exploring the iconic Arenal volcano. Costa Rica wears its natural attractions loud and proud.

Costa Rica’s lesser-visited wild south is especially beloved by nature-lovers. Caño Island Biological Reserve is big on diving, snorkelling and opportunities to see dolphins, whales, manta rays and turtles, while the protected tropical rainforest of Corcovado National Park is one of the world’s most significant wildlife sanctuaries.

From immersive eco adventures, to taking a coast-to-coast trip that covers both the Caribbean and Pacific shores, to experiencing the country’s tropical highlights, Costa Rica offers an abundance of itineraries that deliver experiences of a lifetime.

Essential information for travelling to Costa Rica

If you’re fully-vaccinated, you won’t need to take a test to enter Costa Rica, though you will need to complete a health pass in advance. Read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice for Costa Rica and the Costa Rican entry requirements.

4. Mexico

With such a breadth of landscapes and cultures, a trip to Mexico can be anything you want it to be. Unleash your inner explorer on the Mayan trail. Bliss-out on tropical, palm-backed beaches. Watch wildlife in beautiful biosphere reserves. Meander grand colonial cities. Mexico is mind-blowingly diverse, and unforgettable with it.

Travellers looking for a relaxing beach break with easy access to cultural experiences might want to head to the Riviera Maya. This resort region of picture-perfect, powder-soft beaches is conveniently close to Tulum’s coastal archaeological treasures, and also pretty near the lesser-visited Kohunlich ruins. Located deep in the jungle, some of the attractions of this majestic Mayan city will be heard long before they’re seen, courtesy of the resident howler monkeys.

Talking of monkeys, nature-lovers will want to explore Calakmul Biosphere Reserve at the base of the Yucatan Peninsula. Home to over 100 species of mammal, this is Mexico’s largest protected wildlife zone. With over 6000 Mayan structures, most of which are still being excavated, the reserve also has monumental archaeological significance.

Meanwhile, with more gardens, galleries, museums, and art-packed public spaces than you can shake a pandero jarocho(tambourine) at, taking a trip to Mexico City more than merits a holiday in its own right. The city is also within reach of the mighty Teotihuacan Pyramids, and the 16th-century UNESCO Heritage Site city of Pueblo. What’s more, visiting Mexico City can be easily combined with an idyllic beach break.

Given Mexico’s vast offerings, you might want to check out Rough Guides’ customisable itineraries before booking your trip, whether you want to immerse yourself in Mayan magic on a self-drive trip around Yucatan, or fancy an authentic experience in Central Mexico.

Essential information for travelling to Mexico

While no tests or vaccinations are required for entry, read the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office advice for Mexico, and register on the Mexico Vuela Seguro Platform ahead of your trip.

Feel inspired to start planning your 2022 holiday? Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips offer you the chance to choose from existing, fully customisable itineraries (including the test-free destinations recommended above) along with trips to over 60 other destinations.

Alternatively, if you fancy creating your own trip from scratch, Rough Guides can connect you with a local expert who’ll curate an experience that’s perfect for you. Let Rough Guides Tailor-Made Trips take the hassle out of planning your next holiday so you can focus on what really matters — making the most of it.

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