According to Agoda’s recent ‘India-genous Travel’ survey, 39 percent of Indians anticipate travelling internationally in 2022, while its Return to Travel survey found that their biggest concern to travel internationally was understanding restrictions and vaccination or quarantine requirements.
Countries are now taking tentative steps to reopen borders, easing their entry restrictions and opening their doors to international tourists, including Indians. Fully vaccinated passengers flying to these select countries are no longer required to present a negative RT-PCR test upon arrival at the airport.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to pack your bags and set out for that much-needed vacation. Here’s a list of exciting off-beat destinations that will come in handy when planning your itineraries.
Egypt – The gift of the Nile
Travellers vaccinated with Covishield or AstraZeneca can now fly to Egypt without an RT-PCR test. All you need to do is fill out a health declaration form and you’re all set. While visiting the land of the Great Pyramid of Giza, don’t forget to also check out the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, and the famous Khan el-Khalili market. Sailing down the Nile River on a felucca, a traditional wooden sailboat, and the hot air balloon ride at Luxor are also must-dos. Travellers can also visit the Sahara el Beyda, the white desert national park, or travel to Hurghada to experience Egypt’s expansive underwater marine life – you can take a submarine ride or even opt to go scuba diving. If you want to soak in some of the intricate cultures of the country, you should definitely visit the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
While in Egypt, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at: Concorde El Salam Hotel Cairo, Kempinski Nile Hotel, Al Masa Hotel.
Bahrain – The Middle East’s best-kept secret
This island country situated on the Persian Gulf is now allowing tourists to enter without a pre-departure PCR test irrespective of their vaccination status. There are so many exciting things for travellers to see and do in Bahrain. Visit the famous and ancient Al Jasra House and Al Bahrain site museum to indulge in the rich history and civilization of this place, wander through Manama Souq for some amazing spices, souvenirs and delicious sweets, and try out traditional Bahraini cuisines such as Machboos, meat or fish served with fragrant rice cooked in a spicy broth or Muhammar sweet rice with dates, across the island. Do spare some time to dive into the world’s largest underwater theme park, Dive Bahrain, and for kayaking and other water sports at Nurana islands.
While in Bahrain, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at: Panorama Hotel, Atiram Jewel Hotel Bahrain, Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa.
Lebanon – Small in size, big in adventure
Fully vaccinated travellers do not require a pre-departure PCR test to fly to Lebanon if they received their second jab at least six months before travelling. All you need to do is upload your vaccination certificate on the Ministry of Health’s website.
Lebanon has so much to offer with its geographically diverse country that offers you mesmerizing panoramas, rich history and architecture, and delectable cuisine that will make your trip a truly memorable one. Explore one of the best-preserved Greco-Roman temples, Baalbek – the temple of Bacchus, the famous cedars of Lebanon in the Chouf, on Mount Barouk, and the Beiteddine Palace that dates back to the eighteenth century. Go on a boat tour at Byblos to enjoy the sunset in the birthplace of the Phoenician civilization, hike the beautiful QADISHA valley to explore old churches and monasteries and separate yourself from the outside world. Don’t miss the Batara Gorge waterfall that drops 255 metres down into the Balaa Pothole, a cave of Jurassic limestone.
While in Lebanon, travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodations to stay at: BURJ ON BAY Hotel, Lancaster Raouche Hotel, Le Commodore Hotel.
France – The land of wine and love
From 12th February, France decided to scrap the requirement of the RT-PCR test for fully vaccinated travellers. While visiting one of the most romantic destinations in the world, you will without a doubt visit the Eiffel Tower, go cruising down the Seine River, pilgrim to Mont-Saint-Michel, or wander around the Old Quarters of Paris. However, there is so much to experience in France beyond this. Run across the Lavender fields in Provence, take a helicopter ride over French Alps, take a stroll in Dijon – a walking city where cars are not allowed, explore vineyards in Burgundy, taste exquisite Champagne in Champagne, and explore Lyon city, recognised for its delightful cuisine.
While in France, here are some Agoda accommodations you can stay at: Villa Opera Drouot Hotel, Victoria Palace Hotel, The Hoxton – Paris.
Turkey – The land of four seasons
People vaccinated across the globe are welcomed in Turkey without an RT-PCR test. Travellers only need to fill out a health form 72 hours prior to their arrival. Turkey is the perfect destination to resume your travel post-pandemic. It has the right blend of cultural influences from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East paired with unforgettable natural wonders throughout the Turkish landscapes. Relax at the Thermal pools of Pamukkale lake, the pure white travertine terraces cascade down the slope looking like an out-of-place snowfield amid the green landscape; explore one of the oldest cities of the world, Konya, which has been inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, and Kaymakli – an underground city in the Central Anatolia Region of Turkey; take a hot air balloon ride to experience the surreal, swooping rock valleys of Cappadocia; and unwind with a traditional Hamam (Turkish bath) experience.
Travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at in Turkey: The Marmara Taksim Hotel, Bricks Hotel Istanbul, Hotel DeCamondo Galata.
Norway – The land of the midnight sun
Travellers vaccinated within nine months of their arrival do not need an RT-PCR test to enter Norway. In case the final dose has exceeded the period, you will need a booster shot. If you’re planning a trip to Norway, chasing the Northern Lights and seeing the Arctic circle will definitely be at the top of your itinerary. Apart from this spectacular sight in the skies, this Scandinavian country houses majestic mountains, glaciers, museums, and a whole bunch of activities to do on your travel. Travellers can hike to Mount Floyen, a 399-meter summit which will get you the best view of the city, explore the Geirangerfjord region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its icy Norwegian scenery, marvel at the beautiful architecture of the Arctic Cathedral, and even visit the world’s most powerful whirlpool, Saltstraumen Maelstrom.
Travellers can choose from a host of Agoda accommodation to stay at in Norway: Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Oslo, Hotel Continental, Clarion Hotel Oslo.