Travel in the time of Covid

Firstly, we want to take this opportunity to show our solidarity with those who have been affected by the Coronavirus outbreak. Covid19 has hit hard and continues to affect people, local businesses, and economies everywhere. It has changed our world in a matter of weeks and has impacted almost everyone, whether in terms of health, lifestyle, and/or income.

The news coverage and the politicization of the virus is demoralizing even to the most positive of souls. It is a frustrating and paralyzing situation which is testing all of us. And yet all we can do is wait. Wait and hope that the “new normal” allows us to get back to a way of life we can embrace. Although the immediate future is uncertain, we know that this won’t last forever and at some point, we will be able to explore our world again. Travel restrictions will be lifted and with varying degrees of confidence, we will feel safe again to fulfil our wanderlust. Suffice to say, the sooner both these scenarios unfold, the better!

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Current Situation – End of State of Emergency

At the time of writing, in late July, neither Spain nor Portugal are Covid-free and there are still some localized outbreaks, most notably in the region of Catalunya.

However, with the exception of some isolated small areas, the fear factor has gone, and people are enjoying the long warm Mediterranean summer days. Restaurants, museums, and monuments are all open and you can hear laughter once again! Masks and social distancing are mostly being respected and local populaces are prioritizing good health.

While Europeans can travel freely to Spain and Portugal, a travel ban remains in place for travelers from many countries outside of Europe, including the US. Border restrictions will be reviewed every two weeks and we all hope the picture brightens enough to allow travel to Europe in late summer / early fall. You can keep up to date at Re-open EU.

At Madrid & Beyond

While most trips for 2020 have been postponed, we’ve been hard at work planning for the future. Madrid & Beyond is putting the full weight of our 21 years in business to work with local partners to i) ensure safety for those traveling with us in the near future; ii) find ways of helping one another, even if that means just listening, and iii) to share travel inspiration and practical information for our partners and clients.

Spain and Portugal are two of the world’s most fascinating destinations for couples, families, and friends. Both countries immediately conjure up magical images; the grace and passion of flamenco and fado, the creative genius of Gaudí, a night of tapas or petiscos, the magnificent art galleries of Madrid, the gorgeous turquoise waters and idyllic coves of the Balearic Islands, the raw nature of the Azores, spectacular Roman ruins, the extraordinary food scene of San Sebastian and Porto, the jaw dropping grandeur of Moorish palaces and architecture, the lure of the Lisbon lifestyle, arguably the world’s most beautiful wine region in the Douro, a freshly made Valencian paella, the zest for life in fiestas and festivals, the sumptuous seafood, stunning hilltop white villages, the allure of the Camino, traditional lifestyle and welcoming locals, mighty castles, traditional olive oil mills, the thrill of Pamplona’s San Fermines, stunning properties throughout the Iberian Peninsula, and so much more!

When the time comes, our travelers will be assured that they can fully enjoy the countries and local culture, traveling with assurance and confidence. Safety and fun will be our priorities.

Travel with Confidence       

We continue to liaise with all our people throughout Spain and Portugal, confident that they are carrying out all the necessary measures to provide a secure and enjoyable environment for our travelers in the Covid era. All our guides and suppliers have or are in the process of procuring the seals of approval from the authorities in terms of best practices for safety. We are communicating with our hotel partners as they inform us of their hygiene standards. Travelers with Madrid & Beyond are used to exclusivity, insiders’ access, luxury, and special care. We are just taking it to the next level now! Our guides are informed, knowledgeable, caring and while private guided tours will continue to be conducted in an engaging manner, new safety protocols will be adhered to.

Our Covid Promise

With regard to new bookings for 2020 and 2021, our terms and conditions will be as flexible as we can possibly make them.  Travelers will have greater flexibility in making alterations to their itinerary, providing peace of mind and financial security.

When we design and send out a proposal, in addition to the deposit terms and payment schedule, we will also explain how flexible the itinerary can be. We will answer any questions you have, such as whether or not you can postpone the trip to another date at no penalty, or whether or not you can make last minute changes to the itinerary.

Before you book, you will be presented with terms and conditions that reflect the booking conditions of all our suppliers. Each trip is different, but we will always aim to provide transparency, bearing in mind the components of each and every trip, eg some private accommodation(s) may require a non-refundable deposit. 

We pride ourselves on our highly personalized service, and that will never be compromised.

Useful Links

World Health Organisation

For US travelers: State Department Travel Advisory and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention