isolated places, destinations favored by the Covid » The nine muses

It may be somewhat jarring to combine the words COVID and benefit, but the truth is that in both pandemics and wars there is always something or someone who wins, at least more than the others.

In this article, I will talk about two opposite places, but with something in common: their isolation. Iceland Yes Maldives. The first, a cold and mountainous destination, with impossible, beautiful and wild landscapes, the second, the paradigm of a paradise beach, with immense tongues of white coral sand, more than a thousand small islands lost in the ‘Indian Ocean. Both, massive destinations in times of a pandemic.

Quarantine, mask, cumulative incidence, containment, PCR test, curfew, green passantigens, health card, COVID passport, red, yellow or green list… terms that until recently seemed taken from a science fiction film are part of our daily vocabulary, but take on particular importance if we consider make one travel with coronavirus between.

impossible landscapesIn this context, some places have moved ahead of the more usual major destinations. And they did it for various reasons, its low incidence, its laxity with the entry of tourists, but above all because of its geographical location. Because let’s be realistic, those who decide to take a trip today do not have in mind to walk in the crowded streets of a big city or to queue for hours surrounded by crowds in front of saturated monuments. Open places are required, outdoors if possible, where the annoying mask is not necessary. Amid all this mess of restrictions and permits, there are two destinations that have shone with their own light, and they are very different from each other.

The one closest to us Europeans is the Wild Iceland.

viking characterIceland, if I may excuse myself, is back in fashion. Surely its geysers, its hot springs, its immense and splendid Martian landscapes, its volcanoes or even the Viking character have contributed to it. However, Iceland was like that many years ago, and we must bear in mind that the exorbitant prices of almost everything did not help visitors from countries with more worldly incomes. Neither the limited hotel offer – at obscene prices – nor the virtual absence of public transport between regions, which has led most visitors to hire a vehicle to get around the country. Of course, the network of campsites is excellent and not expensive.

Perhaps the origin of this resurgence should be sought in the fact that it was one of the first countries to open its doors to vaccinated visitors or that its population is 350,000 in total – in a territory of ‘about a quarter the size of Spain— nearly half of which live in its capital, Reykjavík. So… what do we have in front of us? A country where its attraction is nature, with very few people, perfect for family trips and that facilitates the crossing of its border. Result, 600% more tourism than the previous year.

The second country I wanted to name is the Maldives.

A priori, Maldives It has nothing to do with Iceland. It’s hot, tourism is basically seaside tourism, since it is a country that “lives in the sea”, it has a quality of waters like marine fauna that could be ranked among the best in the world.

MaldivesThe truth is that, normally, ordinary mortals consider these islands a paradise and a luxury, a place accessible only to the most powerful wallets. This is partly true, but not entirely. The Maldives consist of a few 1,200 islands spread over 26 atolls, of which just over 200 are inhabited, so while most are exclusive resorts where you can enjoy luxury and excess, there are options for every budget. Including those of any backpacker.

What does not change, whatever your budget, is that you will be on a very small island lost in the middle of the Indian Ocean, whose capital, Malé, has just over 100,000 inhabitants.

And why has a destination with such special characteristics become one of the most visited in this summer of 2021?

26 atollsLet’s go back to the above, a country where you live practically in the open air, where the islands visited by tourists rarely exceed 400 inhabitants, isolated from overcrowding, where everything has been done to make the visitor feel taken in charge for its safety first and foremost… that one of the main European airlines has chartered a new route that takes you directly, non-stop, to its capital, including accommodation and catering in its promotional packages. all inclusive, all in. Insurance price.

you practically live outsidePersonally, I really enjoyed both destinations, and I recommend them to anyone considering visiting them, but that’s not what I was interested in this article. In 2021 people still travelled, less, but they did, what we could observe is how preferences have changed. Maybe it’s for the best, I think it’s good to start looking elsewhere than Rome, Paris or Punta Cana and better spread around the world. Or maybe not. Only time will tell.



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