travel tips for the multi-faceted kingdom!

Portugal Travel Tips # 1 Get lost in Lisbon’s old town Welcome to Lisbon, Portugal’s eternal longing! No travel tips Portugal without the capital. Cosmopolitan and dilapidated down to every single brick. So graceful, so full of alleys that meander over hills trying to bring order to this rampant romance of walls and marble. A cloudless dream on the Tagus. The capital of light is a place of reverie and poetry. One would rather be unhappy here than happy, but without this view elsewhere. Fado already sings about it! Inferiority complexes of a proud seafaring state put into melodies and its high gloss, humbled by the earthquake. A sound of lament at the highest level. Lisbon cannot be reduced to its sights, the city is in between. Whoever gets lost in it is on the right path. Portugal Travel Tips # 2  The vast nothingness of the Alentejo In the vastness of the Alentejo, summer lovers can go on into autumn. Across golden fields on which lone green trees grow that can be seen from hotels that lack stars because so far south everyone is needed for the night sky. Everything gets better the further you go inland. More daring, more carefree. An environment that doesn’t ask for anything other than feeding happy cows. A cozy scent of cow shit that can relieve tension and one of the largest reservoirs in Europe, smooth as glass, suitable for days of boating and mooring and what you always wanted to say to each other. Portugal Travel Tips # 3  The giant waves of Nazaré Nazaré is beautiful and dark and heavy. Two hours by car north of Lisbon, it is due to a topographical natural phenomenon that is divided by a headland protruding into the ocean. On the one hand, Nazaré is a popular holiday destination with a fishing tradition. The tourists buy, the fishermen fish. Nothing new. On the other hand, the eighth wonder of the world wakes up in winter. A wave monster, a paradise for superlatives, which creates the biggest waves in the world at the end of the foothills of a huge deep sea trench. As soon as a low pressure area is approaching, the world elite of big wave surfers gathers between October and March and thousands of onlookers make the cliffs on the headland the largest big wave stadium in the world. Waves of up to 30 meters in height were measured here. For good money you can book the Nazaré Surfing Experience with world record holder Garrett McNamara. Portugal Travel Tips # 4  Rendezvous with Coimbra The former capital of the country – it should definitely not be missing from the travel tips Portugal – has everything a southern city needs to be beautiful: It is southern and it is beautiful. There are places with statues and cafes around them and 300 year old trees. The pigeons are aggressive in Milan and the yellow lantern light goes on in the steep streets of the old town after sunset. Coimbra is a proud World Heritage Site, despite the pigeons, it has even been the Capital of Culture. Joanne K. Rowling got her Harry Potter here. So actually she has him and his wizarding school Hogwarts from Porto, but the ones from Porto have them from Coimbra. The university in Coimbra is over 700 years old, one of the oldest and most beautiful in Europe. In Coimbra the people suffer from revolutionary precociousness, here the resistance against the Salazar regime formed as early as the end of the 1950s and from here literary movements set out to finally herald this damn modernity in the rest of the country. Portugal Travel Tips # 5  The most beautiful road in the country The Estrada Marginal is the most beautiful coastal road in the country and leads out of the heart of Lisbon towards the open sea, past the Jeronimos Monastery, very close to the Tejo, until it turns into the enchanted N224 in Cascais. It is one of the main traffic arteries that repeatedly suffers from a heart attack around the evening hours. Once you have left Cascais behind you, the sand turns into rocks that eventually become cliffs, between which a beach is squeezed every now and then, offering unbelievable panoramas that invite you to enjoy the view and to have rear-end collisions. Behind the surfer’s paradise Guincho, the Sintra Mountains rise proudly, which are surrounded by a royal national park and take the coastal road up to Cabo da Roca, mainland Europe’s westernmost point. It goes deep through a tropical, majestic vegetation that leaves romantic villages free and markets and seduces to drive on until its climax is reached: Sintra. On the way you should definitely go swimming at Praia da Ursa (parking at Cabo da Roca, a 15 to 20 minute walk). Portugal Travel Tips # 6  Arrábida, Portugal’s Garden of Eden Portugal is a proud woman who doesn’t let everyone get close to her. Protected by high temperatures and a rigid sensitivity that follows a bizarre collection of old-fashioned rules behind the linen shirt facade. Drunk with friendliness that is not needed for survival and closed like a dusty bottle of hard, homemade schnapps. Conversations lurk around every corner that lead nowhere and make you cheerful, until you think that life consists only of lunch breaks and good red wine. From fat olive oil mothers waving from large, romantically overgrown driveways whose gates lead across carefree avenues to the fulfillment of southern dreams. A life more curve than straight. Through a landscape that you always want to water. A car driving in the distance. Silent. Next to it a bay. A water color overflowing with the sea with boats on it, which suddenly falls off the cliffs as if it had hardly seen the coast coming. Ride a bike and eat cheese, water the roses and catch stunned trout in a clear stream, that’s Arrábida.

Travel safely with hepatitis protection

With the relaxation of travel restrictions, summer holidays in other European countries are possible again. As preventive health care is often neglected when traveling spontaneously, it is important to find out about possible illnesses in the respective holiday destination at an early stage. Whether in the Mediterranean, Eastern Europe or Germany – viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver caused by various types of virus (A, B, C, D and E), is one of the most common diseases when traveling. Unrecognized and untreated, chronic viral hepatitis can lead to liver damage and the development of liver cancer.1 In order to be able to enjoy the vacation time in a relaxed way, one should take care of the travel medical precaution early on.   Take hepatitis infection risk seriously Anyone planning a trip abroad should be protected from hepatitis A. Because already in the Mediterranean and Eastern Europe there is an increased risk of infection with hepatitis A, which is transmitted faecal-orally. Sources of transmission can be contaminated water and ice cubes or food that has come into contact with contaminated water (e.g. salads, vegetables), as well as mussels or other seafood.² The hepatitis B virus is transmitted through all body fluids, especially blood, semen and vaginal fluids. The infection therefore takes place through sexual intercourse, domestic contact (sharing e.g. nail scissors, nail files and towels) and in the medical field. The symptoms of the disease are often unspecific and initially manifest themselves in the form of fatigue, nausea, vomiting or upper abdominal pain. The infection can also take a chronic course without being noticed and lead to liver cirrhosis (shrinkage) and liver cancer in the long term .³ The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 290 million people worldwide do not even know that they are carriers of the hepatitis B virus and that they can infect others unnoticed. Vaccinations against hepatitis B are also important in Germany. Travel preparation? Vaccination pass check! Well-tolerated and effective vaccines against hepatitis A and B have been available for decades and should be administered at least 5 weeks before departure. All general practitioners can provide advice with a vaccination pass check and the vaccination. And: if you are protected against hepatitis B, you can’t get hepatitis D! It is important to complete the vaccination series completely so that the protection that has been built up remains in place for many years. After a successful vaccination, a vaccination protection of 30 years can be expected in healthy people More information about viral hepatitis, malaria & Co. The free “fit-for-travel” app and the www.fit-for-travel.de website provide useful information for travel preparation . They provide up-to-date travel medical information on over 300 travel destinations, e.g. B. on all vaccinations, diseases that can be prevented such as viral hepatitis A and B and malaria as well as climate tables. Doctors, health authorities and tropical institutes as well as other travel medicine advisory bodies recommend and use ” fit-for-travel ” for their patients and travel medicine advice. It is independent scientific information from the editorial staff for travel and tropical medicine (interMEDIS GmbH) with the kind support of GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co. KG.

These are Mallorca’s most beautiful beaches

There are no deserted beaches on Mallorca in the high season for a long time. We present the ten most beautiful bays on the island – some of which are less visited. Cala Figuera – the rough north Cala Figuera, not to be confused with the fishing village of the same name in the southeast of the island, is a beautiful little bay in the north of the island. In addition to Cala Figuera, the Cap Formentor peninsula offers other low-lying, little, rarely visited bays such as Cala Murta. For visitors who want to escape from the hustle and bustle of Ballermann on the island and are looking for the “other Mallorca”, Cala Figuera and the other bays in the north are well suited. The winding approach keeps many tourists off, but you should avoid lunchtime if you don’t want to share the bay with many holidaymakers. With the clean and fine sand and the breathtaking views, you are tempted to extend your stay in the north of Mallorca. Platja de Muro – the beautiful tall one The Platja de Muro is located on the Bay of Alcúdia in the northeast of the island. The fine sandy beach is over four kilometers long and 30 meters wide. With the shallow entry into the sea and the moderate swell, the Platja de Muro is also suitable for children and sports enthusiasts: banana boat rides, kitesurfing, sailing, diving and surfing are offered in the water, and volleyball nets are set up on the beach. The water is very clean, but often churned by the wind. The dune landscape in many sections and the shade-giving pine trees create a feeling of nature. Umbrellas and loungers can be rented, and there are freshwater showers. There are many pubs and bars on the beach promenade, so that after a day at the beach you can experience the Mediterranean up close with a beer in the evening. Cala Torta – between the hills and the sea Cala Torta is a clean bay about 130 meters long and 200 meters wide, which can be reached from the town of Artà in the northeast of the island. Behind the beach, which has a good mix of sand and stones, there are many natural hills. The water in the bay is turquoise and there are occasional seaweed deposits. The Cala Torta falls deep into the sea and is therefore still one of the relatively moderately visited bays in Mallorca. Parking is limited. A small beach bar opens in midsummer and nudism is tolerated. Its two small sub-bays, Cala Mitjana and Cala Estreta, are also among the most beautiful bays in Mallorca, where visitors can enjoy a lot of peace and nature. Cala Agulla – the young wild one This beach is clearly the most beautiful of the many bays around the resort of Cala Ratjada. Crystal clear water, fine sand and a pine landscape are not everything. The Cala Agulla is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts: the windy bay attracts every sport grouch to surfboard, banana boat or at least a pedal boat. If you don’t find your sport here, you only have to go one bay further, as Cala Ratjada’s beaches offer a lot of recreational sports. At the 500 meter long Cala Agulla there is lounger rental, a beach bar, freshwater showers and of course a lifeguard. In the secondary bay of Cala Gat, nudism is tolerated in summer. The beaches around Cala Ratjada are well frequented due to their excellent sports facilities, but are still more beautiful and quieter than Palma’s beaches. Cala Varques – the quiet one This secluded beach is located exactly between Porto Cristo and Cales de Mallorca on Mallorca’s east coast. Behind the 70 meters long and 50 meters wide beach is a large pine forest. The fine sand is a dream, especially children have fun on the gently sloping beach. Free climbers can often be seen on the rocks and cliffs that surround the beach. Cala Varques has a small side bay, Caló Blanc, which is just as beautiful. The number of visitors is moderate and there are some nude swimmers. Be sure to take provisions with you as there is no beach bar! Cala Sa Nau – the hidden one This small natural beach on the east coast of Mallorca is popular with the locals and hardly known to tourists. Compared to the rather overcrowded beaches in summer, Cala Sa Nau is an insider tip. The paths to the bay are narrow and parking is limited on the sides of the path. There is now a small beach bar, a freshwater shower and parasols and loungers for rent. The beach of Cala Sa Nau is only 35 meters wide and around 80 meters deep. The beach slopes gently into the sea and the water is turquoise. The bay is almost completely surrounded by pine forests and cliffs with caves, so that one has no view of the open sea from the beach. But Cala Sa Nau is very sheltered from the wind and clean. Cala Llombards – surrounded by rocks This small bay offers shade in the mornings and is characterized by its flat beach as the perfect bathing bay. The clean Cala Llombards is located in the southeast of the island, between Santanyí and Llombards. The bay is bordered by old pine trees. Music can be heard from the small, legendary beach bar, giving visitors a real summer feeling. There is beer, long drinks and various snacks here. If you are looking for a little more tranquility, there are many ways to spread your towel on the sometimes very flat rocks next to the bay. The beach is also very popular with the locals, who dampen the tourist feeling in Cala Llombards. Loungers and parasols can be rented in the high season. The island’s absolute dream beach stretches for six kilometers on the southwest coast between Sa Ràpita and Colònia de Sant Jordi. The hinterland with its well-preserved dunes and salt pans is under nature protection. In the northernmost section of the beach, the bay is partly still very rocky and natural. In some areas of Es Trenc, loungers can be rented under fixed straw umbrellas. The beach also has a nudist section. In the south, in Ses Covetes, there are several beach stalls, but also more tourists and many unfinished holiday homes. It is almost impossible to get a free parking space near the beach. Portals Vells – four bays in one go Around eight kilometers south of Magaluf are the bays of Portals Vells – four small dream beaches on the edge of a pine forest. The fine sandy beaches drop gently into the sea. Here the waves are gentle and the clean water invites you to snorkel. Thanks to the nearby settlement of Sol de Mallorca, beach visitors have many other options for eating and drinking in addition to beach bars. The nearest parking lot is in the immediate vicinity of the El Mago bay, a popular nudist beach where the 1967 film “The Magician” with Anthony Quinn and Michael Caine was filmed. Visitors can also find a bit of history: on the coast there are still remains of the moor’s tower, built in 1580.If you want to get to this small, 50 meter long beach, you will get to know a special piece of Mallorca: The stony bay can be reached by car via a breathtaking, 13 kilometer long serpentine road with a height difference of around 780 meters. The bay is located in the north of the island, between Pollença and Sóller. The old trees on the beach offer plenty of shady spots and there are a few small bars in the immediate vicinity. In the high season, the beach and the village of the same name are very well visited at lunchtime – many tourists come by coach. However, if you are not afraid to come very early or climb a bit over rocks, you will get an unforgettable impression of Mallorca’s natural landscape and its rugged cliffs. Free parking is unfortunately scarce, but recommended, as the paid parking lot can be expensive due to its minute intervals.

Interlaken lakes or mountains? Both!

Dream now, travel later! Ideas for the time after Corona. Idyllically located between Lake Brienz and Lake Thun, the town of Interlaken is the starting point for visiting the world-famous summit trio of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. The local mountain Harder Kulm and tandem flights with the paraglider also guarantee great views Those who come to Interlaken want to see the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau above all. And nowhere does the world’s most famous mountain triumvirate appear so perfectly shaped as from the Harder Kulm. Even the trip up is an experience: As reliable as a Swiss clockwork, the cable car has been climbing almost 800 meters vertically upwards in eight minutes since 1908. It feels a bit like flying. Flying over Interlaken is heavenly! The neighboring Beatenberg is completely weightless when you start with a paraglider. The flight area is one of the most beautiful in Switzerland. As is well known, they all come down, but when the thermals set in in the valley in the late morning, it even goes up, high above Lake Thun. It seems that the ice sheets of the neighboring mountain giants are almost at eye level. Finally, it goes down in steep curves. You land at one of the best addresses in Switzerland, right in front of the posh “Victoria-Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa”. Wooden houses, waterfalls, mountain peaks The cozy Brienz on the north-east bank of the lake of the same name looks like a perfect open-air museum: a village center with sun-tanned wooden houses, shingle roofs and geranium balconies. Also to see: cobblestones and pretty cottage gardens, through which colorful butterflies flutter even now in autumn. Lake Brienz is not as big as its neighbor, Lake Thun a few kilometers further west. But at least it is 14 kilometers long and almost three wide – a real mountain lake, freshly supplied by glacier streams and spectacular waterfalls. The fact that it glows so jade green is thanks to the minerals that sand the ice masses of the four-thousand-meter peaks high up out of the summit rocks and give the meltwater on the way. Brienzer Rothorn: Up with full steam The lake is best experienced with sprightly senior women. The first one on this sunny morning is 90 years old, hisses and lets off steam: the locomotives of the Brienz-Rothorn-Bahn bring tears to eyes for railway fans from all over the world. The smoke is not to blame, the train is rather a masterpiece of Swiss engineering: since 1892 the locomotives, reminiscent of the famous Emma from “Jim Knopf”, have been snorting and rattling the 1,678 meters of altitude up to the mountain station several times a day. This is just below the 2,351 meter high Brienzer Rothorn. At the top, the foehn wind blows properly over the summit ridge, which gives a deep view of three cantons: Lucerne, Obwalden and Bern. And another trio presents itself from up here from an unfamiliar, but no less spectacular perspective: Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Lake Brienz: time travel to the imperial era Our second happy grandma that day is already 106 years old! For over a century the paddle wheels of the “Lötschberg” have been bracing themselves ironically against the waves of the lake. With the fantastically beautiful steamer we continue our journey through time and stop at the Giessbach. From there the old funicular rumbles up to a dream hotel in the forest: the “Grandhotel Giessbach”. The Art Nouveau palace from 1875 was once a summer meeting place for the nobility and the chic. A Swiss environmental activist and a specially established foundation saved the building from demolition in the 1980s. Luckily! Today you can experience the hotel and the wide park as if the illustrious company of the imperial era were just out for a moment to lose yourself in the forest. The huge Giess bachfall rushes photogenic in the autumnal colorful forest, completely timeless! Info Giessbach Falls: The falls rush over 14 steps at the village of the same name, 500 meters into Lake Brienz. At one point the show path goes under the waterfall. In the lobby bar or on the terrace of the grand hotel next door, you can enjoy a coffee break like Europe’s blue blood 100 years ago, Boat trip on Lake Brienz: Sea trip with the historic steamer “Lötschberg”. Return ticket Interlaken – Ost-Brienz 50 euros. The combined ticket “Zeitreise Brienzersee” including a boat trip to the Giessbach Falls, ascent with the historic funicular to the “Grandhotel Giessbach” and lunch is particularly nice. 90 euros, Harder Kulm: The route up to Interlaken’s local mountain is steep, with a spectacular view of Lake Thun and Lake Brienz as well as the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. Return ticket 40 euros including food in the mountain restaurant, Brienz-Rothornbahn: The spectacular steam cogwheel train overcomes 1,678 vertical meters with an incline of up to 25 percent. Return ticket 90 euros, half price with the Swiss Travel Pass, Paragliding: Lake Thun below and at eye level with the giant mountains of the Bernese Alps – that’s paragliding over Interlaken. Tandem flight 140 euros, The website of offers a lot of information about Adelboden-Lenk-Kandersteg, Gstaad, Interlaken, the Bern and Jungfrau region as well as the Jura & Three Lakes region Out and about in the Bernese Oberland: The Swiss Travel Pass offers free travel by train, bus and boat and entry to 500 museums, plus up to 50 percent discount on mountain railways. From 185 euros (3 days),  

Summer vacation in Spain: sun, beach and protective mask

The Corona hotspot Spain is preparing to welcome millions of vacationers again. Tourism is vital to economic recovery. The first 6000 guests from Germany are to fly to Mallorca next week for a pilot project. Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez has extended the state of alarm in the context of the corona crisis again until June 21. At the same time, the Spaniards are preparing for the reopening of the country for mass tourism on July 1st with a lot of optimism but also with a queasy stomach. Will the holidaymakers dare to go to the beaches and tapas bars again after the horror news from the Corona hotspot? This should now be rehearsed in a “pilot project”. Starting next Monday, up to 6,000 holidaymakers from Germany will initially be allowed to come to Mallorca and two other of the popular Balearic Islands. In Germany, the situation in the fight against Covid-19 is as positive as in the Balearic Islands, it was said to justify. New figures make us optimistic. There has been no corona death in the Balearic Islands in the past eight days, on Monday only eight new infections were registered within 24 hours. Initially no individual tourism Germany was chosen because the epidemiological situation there is very good and similar to that in the Balearic Islands, it said. A two-week quarantine, as is currently required for all those entering Spain from abroad , should not exist in the Balearic Islands. According to this information, individual tourism is not initially planned. The pilot project was planned by the Balearic Government together with four local hotel chains, reported the “Mallorca Zeitung”. On the German side, the tour operators Tui, DER Touristik and Schauinsland Reisen are involved. In Mallorca, the German vacationers should be accommodated in the Platja de Palma and in the Bay of Alcúdia. The newspaper reported that there had been protests among locals about the pilot project. Parts of the population living there fear for their health. Euphoria initially only online “For a German, a trip here to Mallorca is like a trip in your own country, you don’t see it as particularly risky,” said the head of the “Palma Beach” association, Juan Miguel Ferrer. His father Antonio was the first to serve draft beer in the legendary “Köpi” on Playa de Palma at the end of the 1970s and is therefore considered the founder of “Bierstraße” and “Ballermann”. His son was quoted these days by the specialist portal “Hosteltur” with the statement that he was already seeing the first “euphoria” arise online. However, a considerable increase in bookings was recorded for September in particular, while uncertainty still prevailed for July and August. But Ferrer’s motto is: “No matter how small the season, we take what we can take with us.” In any case, the preparations are in full swing, not only on Mallorca, where one in five is employed in tourism. All over the country, the holiday complexes are being brought up to scratch, screwing, painting and cleaning is taking place everywhere. After the country, which was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, remained in a state of shock for months, nobody can now afford to worry or hesitate. After all, tourism contributes more than 12 percent to national income, and in no other European country is the proportion higher. “I lost about 30,000 euros due to the two-month compulsory closure,” says Adrián Caricart, owner of the “La Vella Lleteria” wine bar in the coastal town of Premia de Mar near Barcelona. “Even if the holidaymakers come back, that can’t be made up, but at least we can survive then,” he says, representing the hundreds of thousands of Spaniards who live from tourism. Many of them earn the money in the main season with which they have to make ends meet for the rest of the year. But Adrián is also a little uncomfortable when he looks from his bar at the tables of the restaurants and cafés on the small square next to the church: The locals sit happily and loudly among themselves in the early evening, hardly anyone keeps their distance and many have dangling the mask under the chin. At “Malle”, in Madrid and in Lloret it is currently no different than in Premia. “It will be difficult to control,” says Adrián, running the palm of his hand worriedly over the short haircut. Video surveillance on the beach Keyword control: Hardly a day goes by without the government and associations not setting up new rules and regulations. The tourist magnet Barcelona wants to monitor the beaches by video in the future. An app is to warn of overcrowding on the water, many beaches set up boundaries, corridors and control points for access. For the time being, however, there will be no delimitations and no special measures on the total of 369 beaches in Mallorca and the other Balearic Islands. In the sun with a safe distance: first vacationers on the Platja de Palma How can one guarantee the safety of bathers ?, the Balearic Tourism Minister Iago Negueruela was asked by the regional newspaper “ARA Balears”. “The number of tourists who will come will be very small,” said the socialist politician. One is used to much higher numbers. As a matter of fact. Most of the 16.5 million holidaymakers who visited the islands in 2019 will most certainly not return this year – yet. Ferrer sees it similarly: “I can’t imagine any partition walls or visitor limits on the beaches here”. On the Platja de Palma you have at least 6.5 kilometers of sand. “There’s a lot of room for social distancing”. As in many other places, lifeguards and beach policemen will also make sure that the regulations are observed, primarily the safety distance of two meters between towels and parasols. And protective mask wherever this distance cannot be maintained. The central government announced at the weekend that wearing masks will remain mandatory even after the emergency has ended on June 20. 27,000 corona deaths in Spain alone In Spain, however, despite all economic hardship, “safety first” applies. “We will guarantee that the tourists will not take any risks and that they will not pose any risks to us,” Sánchez said recently. There is “no conflict between health and business”. “Spanish tourism will now have two seals of approval: environmental sustainability and sanitary safety,” he said. But many Spaniards no longer believe the government. The high number of more than 27,000 deaths made many people aware of the weaknesses of their own country. And the long and particularly drastic restriction of rights has disturbed the country. “I’m not the same as I was before the crisis,” says Adrián. Somehow he feels like he has been raped. Anyone who is currently trying to defend the Spanish anti-corona policy is in a difficult position.

Where Mallorca’s eco-tax millions go

Since the summer of 2016, tourists on Mallorca and the neighboring islands have been asked to pay: Up to 4 euros “Ecotasa” per person and night are due. But what happens to the income from the tourist tax? We present some projects. The “Ecotasa”, the tourist tax in the Balearic Islands, was highly controversial when it was introduced on July 1, 2016. The tax met with fierce resistance, especially from the hotel operators on the four islands – Mallorca , Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera – allegedly, vacationers would be deterred by the bed tax and their travel plans would shift to other destinations around the Mediterranean. In 2018, the tourist tax for stays in the high season from May to October was even doubled. Specifically, this means per person and night: 1 euro in a simple hostal, 2 euros in a country hotel and up to 4 euros in a five-star hotel. Depending on the quality of the facility, guests of holiday apartments are as little spared as cruise passengers, who have to reckon with 2 euros. However, significantly reduced tax rates apply during the winter months. “In the beginning the hoteliers were against it”, says Vicent Torres, deputy director of the agency for tourism strategy of the Balearic Islands during a visit to Hamburg. But after three years the “impuesto del turismo sostenible” (ITS), the tax for sustainable tourism, as the official name is, has proven itself. “The effects of the tourist tax are consistently positive.” 340 million for six project fields The Balearic government has now raised more than 340 million euros. Vicent Torres does not accept the accusation that the additional income only serves to plug the budget gap. From the outset, the tax was planned with the aim of cushioning the negative effects of tourism and “redistributing part of the economic profits from this activity to society as a whole”. Specifically, this means financing projects in the areas of the environment, sustainable tourism, historical heritage, scientific research, training and employment, and socially acceptable rents. The tax benefits locals and island visitors alike. The range of the 220 projects that have now been launched includes much that is intended to correct the sins of the past. The islands have a lot of catching up to do in the construction of sewage treatment plants, because in many places wastewater still flows untreated into the sea. Therefore, funds from Ecotasa are invested in the construction of wastewater treatment plants, for example in Port d ‘Andratx on Mallorca and Portinatx on Ibiza. Shuttle buses instead of private transport But a lot is also being done in the area of ​​training specialist staff, such as the construction and establishment of a hotel management school on Ibiza with a focus on gastronomy and cuisine for 4.5 million euros alone. With a view to more sustainability, the Balearic Government has also implemented other measures. This includes regulating the number of automobiles on the small island of Formentera. Certain natural areas on Mallorca are closed to individual traffic in the main season. For example, visitors switch to shuttle buses on the way to Cape Formentor. And from 2025 there will even be a diesel ban in the Balearic Islands. On the pages of the photo gallery above we show some examples of how the income from the tourism tax is used in the Balearic Islands.

Rude awakening for Spain’s tourism industry: “The season is as good as lost”

Everything should have been so beautiful. With the end of the Corona emergency in June, Spain wanted to start the “new normal”. The revitalization of tourism was crucial in this. Everything is different now. Not only were tens of thousands of British holidaymakers caught cold on Spain’s sunny beaches, including Transport Minister Grant Shapps with his family, but above all the already ailing tourism industry in Europe’s most important holiday destination. “The quarantine has done the rest of the tourism sector in Spain, which is preparing for a catastrophic summer,” headlined the newspaper “El País”, which is otherwise not prone to alarmism. Norway and Belgium have also already issued quarantine rules for those returning to Spain, and France warns against traveling to Catalonia and other regions. Should Germany also follow the British example, the catastrophe would be complete. “La Vanguardia” from Barcelona wrote of a British “death knell” for the holiday season. 280 local corona outbreaks in Spain The industry had hoped to get away with at least one black eye after the end of the Corona emergency on June 21 and the opening of the borders for Europeans. Hardly anything will come of this now. “We are almost in August and the season is as good as lost,” said the President of the Federation of Catalan Travel Agencies, Martín Sarrate, on Spanish television. That is a “club blow” for the whole industry. According to official information, there are currently around 280 local corona outbreaks. Catalonia with the tourist metropolis of Barcelona and the area around Lleida as well as the Aragón region are particularly affected . Catalonia’s separatist regional president Quim Torra even no longer completely ruled out exit restrictions for his region. A nightmare for the people who had to stay in their houses for 14 weeks from mid-March. In Catalonia, as in the rest of the country, there is a lack of followers in particular to be able to identify and break infection chains quickly. Spain only has a little more than 3500 such employees, but 8500 would be needed, as the scientist Álex Arenas ” El País ” said. Fear of infection in the vacation plane Many hotels that had to close during the emergency have not yet reopened. Those who dared now report a wave of cancellations from abroad and domestically. The Spaniards have been to themselves on the beaches because many British, Germans, French and other Northern Europeans no longer dare to leave their own country because of the pandemic. The fear of infection in full holiday fliers, the need to wear a mask in almost all of Spain or the closure of nightlife in Catalonia are uninviting. Images of beer-loving parties by Germans and British on Mallorca, where all precautionary rules went overboard, caused dismay. A collapse of the tourism industry could drag the whole country down with it. Last year 84 million foreigners visited Spain. According to the national statistics office, the sector contributes more than twelve percent to the gross domestic product (GDP). According to calculations by the newspaper “La Vanguardia”, income from tourism, including indirect effects, even amounted to more than 160 billion euros, which would correspond to 18 percent of GDP. More than three million people find work and income in the industry. “The tourist disaster can reach colossal proportions,” the newspaper warned. Contagion rate among the UK The government in Madrid is trying to save what can be saved. Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya negotiated with her British colleague Dominic Raab about exempting at least the Balearic and Canary Islands from the quarantine requirement. Corona is “under control” on both island groups and the infection rate is “far below” that of Great Britain. “Spain is a safe country,” stressed the minister. But Madrid will not be able to avoid using a significant part of the recently decided EU billion aid to rescue the tourism industry. With that, she could survive in the intensive care unit until there is a vaccination and, with a bit of luck, start again next year. 

Free corona tests for vacationers from non-risk areas are ending

From spring 2021, all seven Tui ships are to sail again +++ Day tourists are allowed to visit Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again Foreign Office warns of traveling to all of Spain – including the Canary Islands  The most important travel news about the corona virus in the star ticker. The global spread of the coronavirus  and government measures such as border closings are hugely restricting personal mobility and thus travel. The Federal Foreign Office has also issued a travel warning for tourist trips because of the pandemic. Here you will regularly find the latest news on the subject of the corona crisis and travel. Free corona tests for vacationers from non-risk areas are ending The options for free corona tests for all those returning to Germany will be limited at the end of the holiday season. Travelers who do not come from a risk area with high numbers of infections will no longer be entitled to free tests from this Tuesday. Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn (CDU) said on Monday: “For the vacation time, it was important to test all travelers for the corona virus. With a view to autumn and winter, we are now concentrating the tests more on the domestic market.” The federal government regularly determines which countries are considered risk areas for German holidaymakers – they are listed on the website of the federally owned Robert Koch Institute (RKI). The federal and state governments agreed on the changes to the tests at the end of August. “For those arriving from risk areas, the test obligation and the requirement of quarantine until negative test results continue to apply for the time being,” said Spahn. Tests for them remain free for the time being. The quarantine rules for returnees from risk areas should be changed after a decision by the federal and state governments – if possible by October 1st. The obligation to quarantine for 14 days should therefore be waived at the earliest with a test from the fifth day after return. From spring 2021, all seven Tui ships are to run again After the slow restart, the cruise operator Tui Cruises wants to offer trips on all ships in its fleet again from spring. “We hope to be on the road again with all seven ships by spring 2021 at the latest, with a little less occupancy and the right health concepts,” said company boss Wybcke Meier of the newspaper “Welt am Sonntag”. After cruises came to a standstill due to the corona pandemic, Tui Cruises had parked almost its entire fleet in the North Sea. Since the end of June this year, the company has been offering trips to the North and Baltic Seas again. This weekend another ship in Greece is supposed to take on guests again. Tui operates the ships “Mein Schiff” with the numbers one to six and the “Mein Schiff Herz”. “As far as the finances are concerned, we have done our homework and will therefore survive this phase with fewer ships and less utilization,” said Meier. Around 60 percent of all employees are still on short-time work. Day tourists can visit Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania again From this weekend on, day tourists can come back to Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. Because of the corona pandemic, guests from the surrounding federal states have mostly not been welcome since mid-March. Such trips were considered illegal and could be fined up to 2000 euros. It is estimated that companies in the country are losing three to five million euros in turnover per day due to a lack of day-trippers. From the point of view of the state government, the restrictions were an effective tool to slow down the spread of the corona virus. “Thousands of day tourists were already in the country,” said the President of Dehoga Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Lars Schwarz. Therefore, the withdrawal of the ban was a long overdue step, which the hospitality industry has long been calling for.  Foreign Office warns against traveling to all of Spain Due to the corona pandemic, the Federal Foreign Office has now also issued a travel warning for the Canary Islands, which are popular with German holidaymakers. The federal government is now warning of “unnecessary, tourist” trips to all parts of Spain. “Spain was and is severely affected by COVID-19,” the Federal Foreign Office explains the decision on the website . In the Canaries, the islands of Gran Canaria and Tenerife are particularly affected. So far, the Foreign Office had already warned against traveling to mainland Spain and the Balearic Islands with the popular holiday island of Mallorca. Now this also applies to the Canaries. Returnees must take a free corona test and go into quarantine until the result is negative. As the Foreign Office further announced, the regions of Cantabria, Castile and Léon, La Rioja, Navarra, the Basque Country, the capital region of Madrid and the capital of the Balearic Islands, Palma de Mallorca, are currently affected by the virus. There are therefore strict exit restrictions throughout the country. Discos and night bars are completely closed, restaurants are open until 1 a.m. at the latest. Hamburg fish market should open in October, but only at noon instead of early in the morning The Hamburg fish market was closed for five months due to the Corona crisis – now the traditional market is set to reopen in October. This is at least a concept that the Altona district has developed together with the health authority. Fish, fruit and vegetables should no longer be sold early in the morning as usual, but instead on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Since mid-March, tourists and Hamburg residents have had to do without the 300-year-old Hamburg fish market due to the corona pandemic. Usually around 120 market stalls are set up there. Many night owls went straight to the fish market after an evening in the Kiez. This possibility should no longer exist because the authority feared that the corona rules among the partygoers would not always be observed. The new protection concept provides for a maximum of 500 visitors and 60 dealers. The site is to be fenced off with separate entrances and exits and one-way streets. At the start, 20 security guards should regulate the entry and ensure that the distance rules are observed. +++ Almost 200 passengers have to be in quarantine after their vacation flight +++ After a flight from a Greek island to Great Britain, all approximately 200 passengers and crew members were sent to a two-week quarantine. 16 guests of the vacation plane have already tested positive, the broadcaster BBC reported. According to British health experts, seven of them were most likely already contagious on board. On the flight from the island of Zakynthos to Cardiff (Wales) on August 25, a number of passengers are said to have ignored the corona protective measures. Many would not have worn masks as prescribed; the crew hardly intervened, it was said. The machine was full of “selfish Cov-idiots”, said a woman on the BBC, alluding to the disease Covid-19. The allegations will be followed up closely, the broadcaster quoted a spokesman for the travel company Tui. Many young British people in Greece have a reputation for being partying and drinking a lot of alcohol. News from Friday, August 28th +++ Record of new infections: Canaries tremble for special corona position +++ A new record of new infections has been registered in the Canary Islands. The regional health authorities reported 338 new cases within 24 hours on Thursday evening. That’s the highest number since the pandemic broke out in March. The Atlantic islands belonging to Spain must now fear losing their special position and, like the whole country – including the Balearic Islands – being put on the list of risk areas by Germany.  The associated travel warning would give the already badly ailing tourism industry, which accounts for around 35 percent of regional income, the “death knell”, as the media warned on Friday. The central criterion for classification as a risk area is in which states or regions there have been more than 50 newly infected people per 100,000 inhabitants in the past seven days. In the Canaries there are already 79.69. This means that the islands off the west coast of Africa are now in a worse position than many Spanish regions, for which the Foreign Office’s travel warning has been in effect since mid-August. In the Balearic Islands with the Germans’ favorite island, Mallorca, this number is 79.52. +++ Cunard shipping company cancels all cruises until the end of March 2021 +++ The British Cunard shipping company has informed the customers of its three cruise ships long-term: The “Queen Elizabeth” will then be idle up to and including March 25, 2021, for the flagship “Queen Mary 2” all voyages are suspended up to and including April 18, 2021, and the “Queen Victoria” will only resume service after May 16, 2021. “In view of the current recommendations of the Foreign Office and the Foreign Ministry of the United Kingdom as well as the great complexity that the global cruise operation brings with it during the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional shipping company Cunard is extending the operating break beyond November 2020,” it said in a Tuesday published press release. The 180-year-old traditional shipping company, which is now part of the Carnival Corporation, the largest cruise company in the world, is the first large company in the industry to clearly communicate a one-year forced break due to the corona pandemic. +++ Due to missing ticket refunds: Lufthansa and Ryanair lose in court +++ Since many airlines do not reimburse tickets after requests for payment, the Flightright portal filed lawsuits in the spring. The first judgments have now been passed on the proceedings against Lufthansa and Ryanair. There are now more than 20 judgments against Lufthansa, e.g. B. in front of the AG Erding (Az. 15 C 2780/20). The judgments are so-called acknowledgment judgments. This means that the airline did not defend itself on the matter and recognized the claims. Ryanair defended itself in a number of proceedings and argued in court that their declaration of intent to pay at some point in the future was sufficient and therefore no legal action was necessary. The courts (AG Nürnberg Az. 19 C 3826/20) gave this argument a clear rejection, since easing payments or postponing payments are not justified because of the corona pandemic and Ryanair should have made the reimbursement clearly within the one-week period. In more than 900 cases so far, Flightright has filed lawsuits against various airlines. Most of the time, the airlines paid immediately after the lawsuit was filed or after a judgment of recognition or court rulings. At many other airlines, Flightright is now seeing a rethink when it comes to reimbursement payments. These airlines include EasyJet, TUIfly, Singapore Airlines, Condor and Eurowings. Family has to cancel the cruise after violating Corona rules Because she is said to have violated the corona rules of the cruise operator MSC Cruises, an Italian family had to cancel a Mediterranean cruise. Contrary to the express guidelines, the family separated from their group during a day trip to the island of Capri, the shipping company announced on Thursday. She was therefore no longer allowed on board the “MSC Grandiosa”. MSC Cruises was the first major shipping company to resume cruises on the Mediterranean after the corona-related break. The “MSC Grandiosa” started on Sunday with 70 percent of the passenger capacity in the port of Genoa on a seven-day cruise. With the lower capacity utilization and other corona measures, the shipping company wants to reduce the risk of infections on board. Health authorities had repeatedly criticized the cruise industry for reacting too slowly to the spread of the virus. According to the Johns Hopkins University in the United States, 3,047 infections were found on board 48 cruise lines belonging to the International Cruise Association (Clia) during the course of the pandemic. The infections resulted in death in 73 cases. Greece tightens corona restrictions for tourists  After the increased number of corona infections, the Greek government has also ordered restrictions for the holiday region of the Chalkidiki peninsula and the jet set island of Mykonos. Celebrations, parties, religious celebrations and weekly markets are prohibited from this Friday until August 31st. In addition, gatherings of more than nine people are prohibited. All bars and taverns must close at midnight. Measured against its population of a good 10.5 million people, Greece has a low number of infections with the coronavirus. In the past few days, however, the number of infected people had risen suddenly. The reason is that many vacationers – mostly young people – have infected relatives and friends in the metropolitan areas after their return from vacation. Denmark creates the six-day rule for travelers from  When entering Denmark, tourists no longer need to prove that they have booked at least six nights in the country. After hours of negotiations, the government and parliamentary parties agreed on Friday to abolish the controversial six-day rule. Denmark had taken strict measures at the beginning of the corona crisis in March and thus got the spread of the corona virus under control comparatively quickly. For a few weeks now, the number of cases of infection has been increasing again, among other things due to local outbreaks in the second largest city of Aarhus and at a slaughterhouse in Ringsted. The cruise ship “MSC Grandiosa” sets sail for the first time since Corona For the cruise industry in the Mediterranean, hit by the corona pandemic, it’s time to “cast off” again: the “MSC Grandiosa” set sail in northern Italy on Sunday evening. The ship, which belongs to the shipping company “MSC Cruises”, left the port of Genoa shortly after 7.30 pm with 2500 passengers on board. In the next seven days, it should call at several ports in the Mediterranean. The cruise ship, which can normally take up to 6000 passengers, first sets course for the port of Civitavecchia near Rome. Then it should go on to Naples, Palermo (Sicily) and Valletta (Malta). The cruise industry is under particular pressure in the wake of the ongoing Corona crisis. Competitive shipping companies from “MSC Cruises” decided to only offer cruises again in September to be on the safe side. “MSC Cruises” wants to prevent the virus from spreading on the “MSC Grandiosa” with new security standards. Passengers and crew members were tested for the coronavirus in the terminal on the Sunday before boarding and their body temperature is to be checked daily. There will no longer be an open buffet – instead there will be service at the table.

Vacation in Germany: These are the most beautiful campsites in Brandenburg

Camping holidays in their own country have been very popular with many, and not just since Corona. In a new series, FOCUS Online presents the most beautiful campsites in every federal state: Brandenburg today. 1. Family park Senftenberger See, Großkoschen It is hard to believe that the beautiful Senftenberger See in the Lusatian Lakeland is not a natural lake at all, but a flooded lignite mining that took almost five years to fill – with 1300 hectares, it is even one of the largest artificial lakes in the republic. The campsite of the same name, which is located directly on the water, is a paradise for children, because there is everything that is fun for the little ones: a cinema, a playroom for bad weather and a playground with a water slide, trampolines, mini golf and a bowling alley – and of course a 600 meter long sandy beach with a large sunbathing area. There is also a nudist area for die-hard nudists. The campsite offers 170 pitches between 80 and 100 square meters, equipped with electricity, sewage and fresh water connections. The cozy camping restaurant with beer garden offers home-style cuisine and invites you to a barbecue evening once a week. 2. Eurocamp Spreewaldtour, Groß Leuthen The Spreewald in Brandenburg is one of the most beautiful natural and cultural landscapes in Germany. A boat trip through the extensive water network past the picturesque villages of this region should be on every bucket list for vacationers in Germany. A good starting point to explore this region is the Eurocamp Spreewaldtor: It borders directly on the Spreewald biosphere reserve. The 14-hectare area with 210 stands is located on Lake Leuthen – it is only a few minutes’ walk to the bathing area with a sandy beach, jetty and a water playground. If you don’t have your own camping equipment, you can stay in beautiful safari tents. The center of the campsite is designed like a village square – with colorful thatched roof houses. There is also the outdoor pool and a new wellness area with sauna, steam bath and adventure shower. In addition: a mini market, a restaurant, a soccer field, a playground and shuttle buses to the surrounding sights such as Lübben, Burg and Lübbenau. 3. Riegelspitze Blossom Camping, Werder / Havel Just ten kilometers southwest of Potsdam on a natural peninsula is the four-star flower camp Riegelspitze. The location on a headland on the east bank of the Glindower See is something special, because the square is surrounded by water on two sides and connected to other lakes by a canal. In addition to the 130 parceled out parking spaces with electricity, sewage and fresh water connections, this well-maintained facility also offers various co-accommodations: from simple equipped overnight barrels, comfortably furnished lodges and Finnish kottas to a circus wagon and a boat house right on the water. The place is ideal for water sports enthusiasts: there is a boat rental as well as berths for those who bring their own boat. There is also a 50 meter long sandy beach with sunbathing lawns, children’s playground and beach volleyball as well as a restaurant with beer garden. 4. Adventure camp Lausitz, outskirts The Lausitz Adventure Camp is located in a quiet, green area by a small stream – around 35 minutes by car north of Dresden. The family-run and quiet complex currently offers 87 parking spaces with electricity, sewage and fresh water connections as well as a tent meadow with plenty of shady spots. In addition to a bread roll service for breakfast, a mini market, a barbecue area, and bike and games rental, children can look forward to a rock-shaped playground including a trampoline and table tennis table. There is also a barbecue area with tables and benches for family picnics right next door. Leisure tips: Be sure to explore the rural region by bike – the Tour Brandenburg cycle path leads right past – as well as go on excursions to the Königsbrucker Heide and the Spreewald, which can be reached in around 40 minutes by car. 5. Spreewald-Natur-Camping am Schlosspark, Lübbenau This well-kept four-star campsite in the town of Lübbenau, which is also known as the gateway to the Spreewald, is located directly on the main river of the Spree. Perfect for everyone who wants to explore this region on water hikes: Here vacationers start directly by boat into the quaint labyrinth of 150 waterways. The operator rents kayaks and canoes. If you don’t want to paddle yourself, you can also take part in organized trips on a typical table boat. The facility is located on a small peninsula on the castle grounds and offers 140 mostly parceled places; the two sanitary buildings are ultra-modern and chic. It is only a five-minute walk to the center of Lübbenau and a ten-minute walk to the pretty Spreewald village of Lehde. Tip: Children can let off steam in the very beautiful wooden playground with swings, walkways and huts; In addition, the city of Lübbenau opened a large adventure playground directly behind the town hall in 2019.

Vacation in Germany:These are the most beautiful campsites in Baden-Württemberg

Camping holidays in their own country have been very popular with many, and not just since Corona. In a new series, FOCUS Online presents the most beautiful campsites in every federal state: today Baden-Württemberg. 1. Camping Park Gohren am See, Lake Constance Lake Constance, also known as the Swabian Sea, is one of the most beautiful lakes in Baden-Württemberg and is therefore very popular as a holiday region. Camping-Park Gohren is located between Lindau and Friedrichshafen – right on the shore of the lake. On nice days you can see from the pebble beach over the whole lake to the Swiss mountains. There are many deciduous trees and hedges on the spacious grounds – most of the 545 parking spaces are therefore parceled out and offer enough privacy. In addition, vacationers can rent safari tents, wooden houses or the so-called mini-lodges – small, futuristic-looking and comfortable wooden houses for two people. In the center of the campsite there is a supermarket, barbecue areas and a barrel sauna that can be used free of charge after registration – it takes about an hour to heat up. If you don’t have a bike with you, you can rent one on site. Because you should definitely cycle here, the Lake Constance cycle path leads almost directly through the area. The campsite is also suitable for sailors or those who want to become one: the operators regularly organize courses for children, young people and adults. 2. Camping Münstertal, Black Forest Nestled in the green hills of the southern Black Forest, this campsite has a total of 328 parceled out spaces. It has been lovingly run by the Ortlieb family since 1968, regularly renovated and expanded: There is not only an outdoor and indoor pool on the premises, but also a wellness area with a sauna landscape and an extensive range of options, from the hot stone Massage up to a full body chocolate wrap ranges. Children also feel right at home here thanks to the large leisure program, which ranges from table tennis, boccia and volleyball to pony rides and mini golf. Even fishing is possible: those who register at the reception can fish a trout from the hotel’s own pond for their own consumption. 3. Wirtshof campsite, Lake Constance The Wirtshof campsite is located on a plateau in the hinterland of Lake Constance about ten kilometers from Friedrichshafen. The elevated position even allows you to look down on the lake. The 238 parking spaces are located between hedges, deciduous trees and the fruit trees typical of the region – right next to the associated hotel. For families with children, the place is a paradise: Here the little ones can let off steam in an adventure playground with slides, a rope course, mini golf or in the pool – there is even a beautiful indoor playground for rainy days.

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