Sunbathing or city exploring? These destinations might now be your best bet for a summer holiday

Experts anticipate these countries may be added to the UK government’s green list.

Warsaw old town; Kavos beach, Corfu
Warsaw old town; Kavos beach, Corfu

With the latest update to the government’s ‘traffic light’ system due to be released (June 24), rumours are rife about which countries might be added to the green list, meaning returning travellers wouldn’t have to quarantine.

Judging by expert opinion on the next batch of nations set to go green, holidaymakers will have to choose between city exploration or basking on the beach…

City Breaks

Malta

An island located off the tip of the ‘boot’ of Italy Malta is a safe bet for guaranteed sunshine.

One of Europe’s smallest capitals, Valletta is heaving with history – the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage site – and easy to navigate on foot. A good starting point is Merchant Street with it’s cool cafes, shops and daily market.

USA

If America is added to the green list you’ll have heaps of stateside cities to choose from.

Why not take a bite out of the Big Apple, home to just about every international cuisine you can think of; mooch round the many museums and galleries of historic Washington DC; soaky up the hippy vibes in hilly San Francisco; or go celeb-spotting in glamorous Los Angeles.

Cuba

Old American cars drive past the Capitol building in Havana, Cuba

Having recently opened up to tourists, Cuba was a much-hyped destination before the pandemic, and Havana is an essential stop for any visitor. Explore the capital in style by renting a vintage convertible or head out on foot to discover street art and independent galleries dotted throughout the city.

Poland

Old town market place, Warsaw

While capital Warsaw is known for its many museum plus the beautiful Lazienki Palace and surrounding gardens, Krakow is the place to head for stunning medieval architecture such as sprawling Wawel Castle, and Kazimierz, the old Jewish quarter which is now peppered with quirky shops and bars.

Slovakia

In landlocked Slovakia’s capital, Bratislava, you’ll find a picturesque Old Town, its winding streets perfect for wandering aimlessly, stopping every so often for a caffeine fix in one of the city’s many Vienna-style coffee houses. Head up to Bratislava Castle for stunning views over the rooftops.

Beach holidays

Madeira

A strong contender for the green list, the Portuguese island of Madeira is closer to Morocco than mainland Portugal, meaning it benefits from warm weather year-round. Make a beeline for Praia do Porto do Seixal beach, which offers spectacular views of the lush cliffs on the north coast.

Greek Islands

Kavos Beach in September, Corfu, Greece

Rumour has it several different Greek islands could be set for green list status. Mountainous Corfu boasts more than 50 beaches (the best said to be on the north coast); Kefalonia’s most popular bays are on the southern side; while upmarket Santorini is popular with couples and honeymooners.

Canary Islands

Which of the eight Canary Islands is best for beach lovers? With golden sands and calm waters, Gran Canaria ideal for a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, while the black sand beaches and rugged landscapes of Tenerife offer something a little more adventurous. Lanzarote is family-friendly and Fuerteventura is popular with the windsurfing and kitesurfing crowd.

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