10 Last Minute Destinations to Travel From Great-Britain for Christmas

James Rodriguez James Rodriguez  updated on December 18, 2020

‘You can travel through a tier 3 area as a part of a longer journey‘, says the government on his document ‘Local restriction tiers: what you need to know‘.

Important update : the Canary Islands have been withdrawn on 10 December from the travel corridors’ list. Travelers going there will therefore have to undertake a period of self-isolation when returning the UK.

The prices are indicated for flights going from 26 December 2020 to 2 January, departing from London. Prices indications has been taken from Google Flights as of 18 December, but may be subject to frequent changes, for which HelloSafe holds no liability.

Do you feel like 2020 has been terrible? In many ways, you are totally legitimate to think that! However, why not ending this year with some positive feelings? Indeed, lockdown 2 is over in England, and international travels are permitted again (though the FCO strongly advises against them). However, whether being out of the FCO travel corridors’ list or not accepting tourists from the UK, destinations where you can go are not many. To help you go through what’s still available for Brits and Scots, we’ve set up that top 10 destinations to go for Christmas with all the information that you need. Enjoy!

1. Madeira & the Azores, in the middle of the Atlantic

Unlike mainland Portugal, Madeira and the Azores are still open to tourists from the UK. Did you know that Madeira is called “the eternal spring island” ? Indeed, even on the Christmas period, you’ll enjoy and those Atlantic-seized islands mild temperatures. A great opportunity to escape the UK winter, and enjoy places where bar & restaurants are still open. Madeira and the Azores are also known as a paradise for hiking lovers.

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Madeira and the Azores offer amazing scenic views over their untouched nature (credit : Pixabay)
City of arrivalAirlineFlightBest price (26 Dec – 2 Jan)Average temperature
FunchalJet2Direct£ 36918-20°C
Ponta DelgadaTAP1 change (Lisbon)£ 55617-18°C
Deal to go to Madeira and the Azores on Christmas
Entry requirements for Madeira and the Azores :

Before you arrive in Madeira or the Azores, complete and submit a traveller questionnaire 12 to 48 hours before departure. Take a COVID-19 test 72 hours before you travel and upload your test result. On arrival, you will be subject to health screening. If you have not uploaded your COVID-19 test result, you will be asked to show it at the airport. If you do not have proof of a COVID-19 test, you can take a test at the airport but remember you will have to self-isolate at your accommodation until you receive your test results.

2. Gibraltar

Gibraltar is the most UK-like mediterranean city, being an autonomous British overseas territory settled at the southend of Spain. Needless to say that winter is mild over there, with temperatures oscillating between 15 and 17°C at the end of December, and direct flights from London at very affordable prices. A very good destination to chill out by the sea. You can also climb the famous Rock and get to know its famous monkeys !

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Climbing the Gibraltar rock is a must do (credit : Pixabay)
City of arrivalAirlineFlightBest price (26 Dec – 2 Jan)Average temperature
GibraltarEasyJetDirect£ 31915-17°C
Deal to go to Gibraltar on Christmas
Entry requirements for Gibraltar :

If you are arriving on a flight at Gibraltar International Airport, you will need to fill in a passenger locator form online before you can pass through customs. The form will then be sent to you with a unique barcode via email. This will be scanned by the Gibraltar Borders and Coastguard Agency upon arrival.

3. The Caribbean Islands : Turks and Caicos, Aruba and Martinique

For those who can afford it, the Caribbean Islands are traditionally on Christmas the best spot to enjoy warm temperatures and some of the best beaches of the world while Europe is freezing. The Covid pandemic changed it all, but there are still a few islands left to go without much restrictions. Martinique, Aruba and Turks and Caicos are those that can be reached without much difficulty from London.

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Turks and Caicos have nice beaches and transparent waters (credit : Pixabay)
DestinationCity of arrivalAirlineFlightBest price (26 Dec – 2 Jan)Average temperature
MartiniqueFort-de-FranceAir France1 change (Paris)£ 165828-30°C
Turks and CaicosProvidencialesBritish Airways + American Airlines1 change (Miami, Boston)£ 91226-27°C
ArubaOranjestadUnited + Austrian1 change (Washington)£ 75330-31°C
Deals to go for Christmas on the Carribean
Entry requirements for Martinique :

To enter the French Overseas Territories, you will need to complete a travel certificate. Make sure you complete the travel certificate before you travel, so you can show it to French border authorities on entry and, where appropriate, travel companies prior to boarding. You must carry a physical copy of the declaration; electronic versions will not be accepted. You are able to produce a handwritten copy of the text if you do not have access to a printed form.

Entry requirements for Turks and Caicos :

Anyone arriving to the Turks and Caicos Islands is required to obtain pre-travel authorisation via the Turks and Caicos Islands Assured Portal. This requires evidence of a negative COVID-19 test from a reputable facility taken less than five days prior to arrival in the Turks and Caicos Islands, proof of health/travel insurance with COVID-19 cover and a completed health screening questionnaire.

Entry requirements for Aruba :

The following requirements are mandatory for travel:
– Completing and obtaining approval to travel to Aruba through the Embarkation/Disembarkation card online before arrival
– Providing a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of departure for Aruba; – Purchasing Aruba’s COVID-19 insurance for the duration of your trip
– Agreeing to health screening and temperature checks on arrival

You can also choose to take a COVID-19 test on arrival in Aruba, but a mandatory quarantine period of 24 hours is required for all visitors who choose to be tested on arrival.

4. Maldives, Chile, Namibia: your most exotic options

When you screen what’s left in the world that is ok for the FCO and where UK tourists are still welcome without much restrictions, you reach those 3 very exotic destinations, with respective very different specificities:

  • Being in the South Hemisphere, Chile is used to celebrate Christmas on summer. You’ll be able to enjoy there the vast geographic diversity of this 6000 kilometers-long country, from icy peninsulas in the South to the driest deserts in the North.
  • The Maldives are a well know destination for wealthy aficionados of desert islands, white sans beaches, blue waters, and high standard resorts. A perfect spot to forget about winter and coronavirus!
  • Warm temperatures, stunning natural parks, vast sand deserts and small forgotten sea resorts: this is what you can expect from a trip to Namibia, which is for now the only African land available for Brits.
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The Namibian deserts offer some very unexpected landscapes (credit: Pixabay)
CountryCity of arrivalAirlineFlightBest price (26 Dec – 2 Jan)Average temperature
ChileSantiagoIberia1 change (Madrid)£ 99829-31°C
MaldivesMaléSri LankanDirect£ 153529-30°C
NamibiaWindhoekLufthansa + Ethiopian1 change (Frankfurt, Addis-Abeba)£ 179631-32°C
Deals to go for Christmas in Chile, Maldives or Namibia

Entry requirements for Chile :

You will have to comply with the following sanitary measures to enter Chile:
– Negative PCR Sars-Covid2 test (rapid tests are not acceptable), taken not more than 72 hours before boarding the final flight into Santiago)
– Declaration form Pasaporte Sanitario, completed before entry. This will generate a QR-code by separate email, which must be shown at entry. health authorities at Santiago Airport may require completion of a follow-up email form for 14 days from the arrival date
– Health or travel insurance that covers COVID-related medical care up to a minimum of US$ 30,000 for the duration of your visit.

Entry requirements for Maldives :

All tourists must present a negative PCR test for COVID-19 on arrival to Maldives. The test and negative PCR certificate must be issued no more than 96 hours prior to departure. All travellers to the Maldives must fill in a Traveller Health Declaration form 24 hours before departure to the Maldives. All passengers and airline crew need to complete an Immigration Arrival Card when arriving in the Maldives. Temperature checks and screening procedures will be in place on arrival.

Entry requirements for Namibia :

Any person entering Namibia must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test on arrival in Namibia. If the negative result is less than 72 hours old, there is no quarantine requirement. If the negative result is older than 72 hours but less than 7 days, then you will need to quarantine for 7 days – quarantine may be at home or in an approved tourist facility.

Our methodology

Please note that the above-mentioned information is accurate at the date it is published. For getting the most up to date information, you shall consult the FCO website before planning your journey abroad and purchasing your travel insurance. All our studies are based on reliable information sourced from public and privates organizations. For further information on our editorial guidelines please click here.

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