We all need a holiday right? Even though we are in the middle of a horrendous global pandemic.
So what is it like going to Paxos Greece in 2020? It is absolutely fine as long as you follow Government travel advice, modify your expectations for the current situation, plan, prepare yourself, act sensibly and minimise the risk to yourself and others. In this post I will tell you what it was like going from the UK to Paxos Greece in August 2020. And back again.
Do this and you should be just fine.
This post is based entirely on our personal experiences travelling from Bournemouth to Corfu and onwards to the wonderful Greek Island of Paxos. I have spoken to many people who expressed surprise that we were travelling abroad, so if you are one of those people this should be reassuring to you.
Government Travel Advice
At the time of travel Greece was in the air bridge so there was no quarantining required end.
We had to complete Passenger Locator Forms in advance – you can do this online and you get an email with a QR code that is scanned at the airport on arrival.
Travel to Bournemouth Airport
One of the reasons or flying from Bournemouth Airport is it’s size – it is small so exposure to masses of other people is minimised as much as possible. And we live local to the airport which of course helps.
I would not fancy the mass that is Gatwick, but I am sure everything is being properly managed there as well. It is just we are avoiding large groups of people.
What was Bournemouth Airport Like?
There were only two flights going out, so only two queues. Everyone wearing face coverings was weird but completely necessary.
The queue to check in was fine, seats allocated so that was all fine.
Going through security
We had to show our QR codes before entering security. Security was the usual mess of me not taking my belt off and having too much weird stuff in my hand luggage – I am talking a metal flask, camera, batteries and an iPad which together look rather sinister on the X-ray machine.
Waiting for the flight
At the one eaterie at Bournemouth Airport it was table service only. And I have to say that the service was absolutely excellent and the food and coffee were much needed and thoroughly enjoyable.
Boarding was fine. We were boarded in sections so no dramas. Until we sat down, where it looked like we had someone sat next to us. We were not impressed and neither were the other family, but we sorted things out between us.
No in-flight magazines. Well we do travel quite a lot so that was not a problem.
And the announcements by the cabin crew were much longer – completely necessary of course.
We were on edge in case someone around us coughed but thankfully this did not happen.
The flight was absolutely fine.
Service during the flight
Only one drinks service, no duty free etc. Well it was a morning flight so not a problem. We just had a coffee to keep us going.
Just the map – nothing else. What happened to watching films or TV programmes you would never choose to watch at home?
Getting off the plane
Getting off the plane was 3 rows at a time which worked nicely. All nice and orderly – so far we ere very impressed with TUI.
And now for Corfu Airport
All very slick and efficient I have to say. The airport has had a major refurbishment which is a huge improvement.
Passport control was fine and the chap who checked our documents was very nice.
Luggage came out pretty quick.
Getting to the port
Out of the airport and we are hit by that lovely Greek heat – so good to be back.
We found the TUI rep who told us where to stand to wait for the taxi. We were meant to be getting the 3pm ferry meaning quite a long time at the port – this changed on arrival and we were on the 1pm boat.
The taxi arrived and we were off. The driver was very nice and informative and we had a very nice chat.
Time for a quick beer
We had time for a quick beer at good old Sette Venti, the excellent café at the port. And then time to get on the ferry!
I said earlier, we were told that our ferry, the Ilida 2, was out of service so we were delighted to see it sat there waiting for us.
As we had a cheeky beer we were last on, and we managed to find two seats in a bank of four and sat down. I have to tell you it is rather uncomfortable on the Ilida 2 on a hot morning wearing a face covering. But this is a small price to pay.
We chose to travel after all.
Last on does not mean first off with your luggage though, which is piled high on the boat!
Off the boat onto the jetty at the New Port in Gaios where we quickly meet he local rep who takes us to our Peugeot 108.
We get the car and are free to drive to our villa a good 7 minutes away.
At the villa
Before we knew it we were there. The stunning Villa Afroditi. I will link to the post about the villa at the end of this post.
And while we were there?
Being in a villa and not a hotel made a massive difference. And Paxos is so quiet anyway the only issue we had was in shops and supermarkets and the proximity of other people.
Us Brits are quite standoffish anyway, so social distancing comes easier to us than other nationalities.
It was great to see the distancing being observed and hygiene so well managed on Paxos – it is so remote I thought that the management of Covid might be lacking but far from it.
A restaurant that we know was shut down and the owner fined 10,000 Euros for not being Covid safe.
Boo – we had to come home. We had such a wonderful time there in Paxos.
In reverse order from getting there (obviously) the differences were these.
Corfu Airport has changed massively. The check in area is light, area and well cooled – a big, big improvement. Check-in was just fine.
Boarding the plane at Corfu Airport was not announced. We only found out by constantly checking the room which was our gate – Gate 6A. That was rather odd.
The shuttle bus
We declined squeezing into the shuttle bus to the place and waited for the next one. First on and we got two seats and put our bags on the floor as a buffer so nice and safe.
Seats on the return flight
We had two seats not three which was not ideal. Yes there was someone sat to my right.
Three policemen stood looking rather sinister as we go through the weaving queue to passport control. Our codes were scanned and we had to lower our masks when we presented our passports.
Luggage was out quite quick and 20 minutes later we were back home meeting the Tesco delivery man.
I published a post on my other website about photographing the sunrise, imaginativley titled (The Problems With) Photographing The Sunrise In Paxos Greece.
And you can also check out the post on this website about Villa Afroditi – 11 Reasons Why You Should Book Villa Afroditi in Paxos.
Book with TUI
We booked the whole thing with TUI. If you are going to book your holiday to Paxos with TUI (or anyhwere else) – use this affiliate link and I get a small comission for which I will be very grateful.
One last point
Sure there some uncomfortable and difficult moments, but we chose to travel – we weren’t being forced to! So no complaints from us about this.
We were fine. We chose a familiar, quiet safe location. That was a big part of the planning. And the villa meant that we pretty much self isolated anyway.
And there things coming out of this horrendous pandemic which will change us and the way we live forever and a day.
So it is fine going to Paxos in 2020 – if you get a chance I strongly recommend you go for it. But do all the things that you need to do.