The vacation destinations that will be the most “normal” this summer
Are the prices soaring?
Petrol is currently selling for around £2.40 a liter and prices for ferries, flights and food are rising across Greece.
A recent hotel price survey by Mabrian Technologies also revealed that with an average price of €192 (£162) per night, four-star hotels in Greece are the most expensive in the Mediterranean for July and August (its five-star properties are cheaper than those in France and Italy for the same period).
Are there any lingering Covid relics?
Entry rules and Covid passports have been dropped, as have masks (with the exception of healthcare facilities; hotel staff also tend to wear them). However, rising infection rates mean Greeks are preparing for the eventual reintroduction of face coverings.
Back to normal rating: 4/5
With nearly all Covid rules thrown out, the most popular resorts are packed.
How chaotic are airports?
“Very”, according to the experience of microbiologist Dr Susanne Lee. After her mid-afternoon BA flight from Nice to Heathrow was canceled last Sunday, she and her husband John managed to catch a later departure, for nearly £600 each. “We returned after 3 am; it was not a good ending for a short break,” Dr. Lee said.
There are many similar stories but, curiously, it is probably true that Nice airport, the main gateway to the French Riviera, is less affected than many others. “We are calmer,” said airport spokesman Aymeric Staub. That’s partly because the airport didn’t fire anyone during the lockdown. Staff were put on part-time, so they would be in place when traffic resumed. “As we knew,” Mr. Staub said. So few staff shortages. And no strikes, as the staff of the Paris airport do.
Clearly, the airport, like others in the south, is being hit by understaffing, strikes and the “accumulating cascade of delays” suffered by airlines. But if you take ‘lack of airport staff’ out of the equation, it means things aren’t as bad as they are elsewhere.
Are the beaches and resorts busy before the pandemic?
Yes. More … than. “I could do with a hotel three times the size,” said Barbara Kimmig of the three-star Villa Rivoli in Nice. In Languedoc, Dubliner Karl O’Hanlon – of Domaines et Demeures, which runs three wine chateaux – said: “Bookings are fantastic.
The absence of spendthrift Russians – in normal times, worth millions to the local economy – was compensated by Scandinavians, Germans, Dutch, British, Brazilians and North Americans enjoying the recovery of up to three direct flights a day from New York to Nice.
“Walking around Nice, I see the beaches, the restaurants and the terraces of bars – and the atmosphere has only one word: festive”, says Mrs Kimmig.