The easiest last-minute winter holiday options

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“Never heard of it? You’re missing out and, as far as I can ascertain, you can go there right now if you’re double-vaxxed, without any quarantine or arrival test requirements beyond a pre-departure 72-hour PCR. Like much of Europe, there are Covid health passes in force in resorts, but proof of two doses will be enough to jump that hoop.

“Jasná Nízke Tatry – to give it its full name – is located in the Low Tatras mountain range. Understandably you might think that the nearby High Tatras, with resorts such as Tatranská Lomnica, Starý  Smokovec and Štrbské Pleso offer superior skiing. In fact, the reverse is true. Jasna has more diverse terrain and a longer vertical drop of over 1,000m.

“The skiing takes place on both the north and south sides of the rounded 2,024m summit of Mt Chopok. The modern lift system rivals that of major Alpine resorts and the tempting array of equipment and clothing that greeted us in the ski shop would not be out of place in the French 3 Valleys (and it’s half the price). If Jasna were in Austria or Italy it would rank in the top 10 of that country’s ski areas.”

Read more: The forgotten country that’s home to some of Europe’s best skiing – and still open to Britons

Sweden

The Scandinavian nation is an outlier when it comes to Covid restrictions, and resorts have adopted a recommendation-led rather than restrictive approach – there’s not a mask, health pass or closed venue in sight. In Sweden, resorts such as Sälen and Åre encourage visitors to avoid queues by pre-booking lift passes and to keep on top of their own personal hygiene and hand washing, but that’s it. 

Visitors to Sweden must be vaccinated, but there are no forms to fill out or Covid tests, and under 18s, in the company of a double-jabbed adult, are exempt from any restrictions at the border. Here’s why lockdown-free Sweden could be your safest bet for a ski holiday


For a city break

Seville

While France and Germany remain closed to British tourists, Spain is welcoming vaccinated travellers. Its finest winter city break is surely Seville, where temperatures can top 20C even in January. 

“Follow the locals to hole-in-the-wall bars, sip cañas (small glasses) of beer, and then get lost wandering the tiny streets of Barrio Santa Cruz, dotted with orange-tree-filled plazas, before resting in a quiet, shady corner on a tiled bench,” says our expert to the city, Fiona Flores-Watson. “For a more authentic experience, head to boho Macarena or tile-and-gypsy quarter Triana. Then, after dusk, head up the rooftops to admire the largest Gothic cathedral in the world and its Moorish-Christian tower from a terrace bar.” Discover more things to do and see in our insider guide to Spain’s steamy southern city.

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