Portugal ranked ‘best European destination’ for 2021 holidays but when can Britons visit?

Travel: Simon Calder says Portugal is ‘looking good’

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Holidays may be on hold for now, but many Britons are eagerly looking to a summer restart date. According to the latest “European Best Destinations” ranking, Portugal is the number one destination on the continent for 2021 summer holidays.

The city of Braga, in particular, was highlighted as a “must-see”.

Popular holiday hotspots Porto and the Algarve were also mentioned as ideal destinations for tourists.

According to data, Portugal is the “most searched country” on the European Best Destinations website.

President of the Portuguese National Tourism Board, Luís Araújo, said: “More than a destination, Portugal is an experience that impacts the tourist, because our country has everything, for everyone.

“From North to South, inland or coastal, and islands, those who visit us want to return.

“And this ranking shows us that, notwithstanding everything that has happened in the last few months, tourists do not forget Portugal and are eager to return. And we will be here, as always, to welcome them safely and well.”

However, it was not the only country that has proved a source of wanderlust for many this year.

Despite a recent surge in COVID-19 cases, France still managed to take second place.

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The data points out, France is the most visited country in Europe ahead of both Spain and Italy.

Highlights of the country include Paris and Bordeaux, according to the experts.

Greece was named as the third “best” destination, boasting an incredible year-round climate ideal for holidays.

Experts pointed to Santorini and Mykonos as some of the nation’s most sought after hotspots.

Italy and Croatia took fourth and fifth places.

While it may be surprising Spain, which attracted around 18.01 million UK tourists annually pre-pandemic, did not make it into the top five, the nation was not far behind.

Spain ranked as the sixth-best destination, followed by Germany, Austria, Turkey and Ireland.

Of course, UK travellers may have a bit of a wait ahead before they can jet off.

Under Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “roadmap” out of lockdown, some international travel could resume from May 17.

However, this will be dependent on global Covid figures at the time, as well as important decisions made by the Global Travel Taskforce due to resume in April.

Speaking on the BBC, Secretary of State for Health Matt Hancock warned holidays will be a case of “wait and see”.

The top 10 “Best European Destinations” for 2021 are as follows:

1. Portugal

2. France

3. Greece

4. Italy

5. Croatia

6. Spain

7. Germany

8. Austria

9. Turkey

10. Ireland

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