The much-welcome change to travel restrictions in Amber List countries (July 19th Update) has brought a new world of options for travellers looking to explore this summer. Here is a round-up of where our Travel Experts and clients are most excited to explore, whilst still being relatively close to home, as they begin to venture out into the world with renewed freedom and ambition to discover the extraordinary.

Ca'n Cometa, Ibiza, Spain
Ibiza, Balearics, Spain

Private Villas

We recently received a call from a client unable to resist the urge to travel anymore. Having searched numerous websites without success, looking for a villa suitable for a large family group, our client called Steppes and we came up with the perfect property in Mallorca. Within five days of making the call, the family were enjoying a seafood barbecue on the terrace of their villa overlooking the Balearic Sea.

While our reputation for organising intrepid holidays is renowned, the expertise and knowledge we have of European villas is perhaps less known. If you have a yearning to break away with friends and family in your own private pad for a week, then put our knowledge to the test. Here are just a few of our favourite hideaways.

Dhermi Beach - Albania

Explore Europe

Spain explore the mountains and forests of Cantabria and Asturias in northern Spain, in search of bears, wolves, wild cats and raptors. We’ll introduce you to the conservationists dedicated to protecting the wildlife of this spectacular region of northern Spain.

Italy – we like nothing better than putting together self-drive holidays that encourage a sense of spontaneity and a spirit of adventure. Drive at your own pace around Sicily, stopping at secluded coves, nature reserves, UNESCO listed towns and fantastic cafes.

Romaniacombine a safari in the Carpathian Mountains looking for bears with time spent exploring medieval towns and Saxon villages.

Croatia – embark on an adventure in Croatia. Take to the water on a kayak, experience the fun and freedom of your own private motorboat for the day and then back on land, cycle through quiet fields and villages.

Albaniatake a self-drive tour of this small but exciting country and find that beautiful coastline, cuisine and culture is within touching distance in every direction.

Caucasus and the Stans

All on the amber list, these countries are open to UK visitors, either with the need to show proof of vaccination status or a recent negative PCR test. We would normally suggest a multi-country itinerary in the Caucasus or the Stans but due to complications with border crossings during the pandemic our advice is to slow things down and explore one country at a time – you will never be short of things to do and places to see: 

Georgiaexplore the lush valleys and the snow-capped peaks of the Caucasus across a week, using the picturesque town of Kazbegi as your base.

Armenia – “Few nations have histories as ancient, complex and laced with historical sites as Armenia. Its long and varied history contains periods of independence, but these have been separated by much longer spells of foreign rule – the Romans, Persians, Arabs, Mongols, Ottomans and Russians” – mountains, lakes, monasteries and historic sites, read Justin’s impressions of this fascinating country.

Uzbekistanvisit some of the Silk Route’s most iconic sites before exploring the lesser-known and less populated Fergana Valley.

Kyrgyzstan – alpine lakes sit in the shadows of towering mountain peaks, where the lives of the nomadic people have seen little change for hundreds of years. See the ancient Tash Rabat caravanserai and experience life in a yurt on the shores of Lake Son Kul.

Want to know more about where and how to travel right? Contact the Steppes Travel team on 01285 880980 to get expert advice on your travel plans today.

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Author: Steppes Travel