Looking to head to Europe this summer? Well, United Airlines Holdings Inc. announced it will fly three new seasonal routes to Europe as the carrier tries to capitalize on business in destinations now open to Americans ready to fly internationally. The cairline said Monday it would begin flights in July from Newark, New Jersey, to Dubrovnik, Croatia; Washington to Athens; and Chicago to Reykjavik, Iceland. The flights to Greece and Iceland will be daily while the Croatia flight will operate three times weekly. All three will end on Oct. 3.
United selected the three destinations because they allow U.S. travelers who comply with local pandemic restrictions to enter, a spokeswoman said. The carrier has never flown those routes before. Last month Delta Air Lines Inc. announced new flights to Reykjavik starting in May after the island nation said it would allow visitors who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The European Union continues to have broad border restrictions to help control spread of the Covid-19 virus and several variants.
The network additions also show how U.S. airlines are eager to spur overseas trips. In March, international travel volumes remained 76% below 2019 levels, according to Airlines for America, the industry’s lobbying group. The new United routes reflect a 61% increase for searches for Croatia, Greece and Iceland flights at its web site over the past month, the carrier said.
The best thing to do in Iceland
Discover Iceland with flights to Reykjavik.
- Visit Aurora Reykjavík, a permanent aurora borealis exhibition. Hear legends and folk tales about this phenomenon, and learn how and why it occurs. On a clear night between September and April, you may get lucky and see the lights appear in the sky.
- Understand Icelandic culture and history at the National Museum of Iceland. The Making of a Nation exhibit includes more than 2,000 artifacts dating back to the country’s settlement in the early Middle Ages.
- Join a whale watching expedition to see Minke, humpback and killer whales breaching. Follow the white-beaked dolphins and harbor porpoises and see the puffins.
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The best thing to do in Greece
Discover Greece with $548 RT flights to Athens and Thessaloniki.
- Witness the scale and artistry of the Parthenon, an ancient Athenian Greek temple completed in 438 B.C.. View the Doric columns, statues of Athena Parthenos and friezes that commemorate the Trojan War.
- Understand Ancient Greece at the Acropolis Museum. Watch current archeological excavations through the glass floor inside the Gallery of the Slopes and explore statuary preserved from the Acropolis.
- Stroll from Syntagma Square to Omonia Square. See Evzones guarding the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the Greek Parliament building. Grab some souvlaki — grilled meat and vegetable from a skewer — and picnic in the National Garden.
Fly to Thessaloniki
- Visit the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki to see prehistoric Macedonian pottery, understand the birth of Greece’s city-states and view a reconstructed home from the Roman Imperial era.
- Tour the White Tower of Thessaloniki, one of the city’s most famous buildings. Learn about the city’s transformation into a modern metropolis and its culture and take in city views from the balcony.
- Spend an evening at Ladadika, a pedestrian-only neighborhood. Choose from dozens of restaurants. For dessert, order trigona panoramatos — cream-filled phyllo cones garnished with pistachios — and explore the nightlife.
Most searched flights to Greece with United Airlines
The best thing to do in Croatia
Discover Croatia with $571 RT flights to Zagreb and Dubrovnik.
- Visit the Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, home to one of Europe’s largest collections of prehistoric artifacts. Learn about the Copper Age Vucedol Culture, see the linen book of Zagreb and view ancient Greek and Roman artifacts excavated from across Croatia.
- Relax in Maksimir Park, an 18th-century park known for its forests and diverse ecology. Go bird-watching to see hole-nesting birds and endangered middle spotted woodpeckers, stroll beside the lake and visit Echo Pavilion.
- See the pygmy hippopotamus at the Zagreb Zoo, southeast Europe’s oldest zoo. Learn about red pandas, meerkats and monitor lizards.
- Discover the Walls of Dubrovnik, one of the world’s most complete medieval city walls and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk along the walls for great views of the old town, Minceta Tower and St. Lawrence Fortress (also known as Lovrijenac) rising from the cliffs.
- Take the Dubrovnik Cable Car to the top of Srd Hill. See panoramic views of the city set against the Adriatic Sea, browse the blacksmith’s wares and learn about the strategic importance of the Imperial Fortress. Look for the technology-forward smart benches to charge your phone.
- Tour the Maritime Museum, known for its collection of shipyard tools and ship instruments. See 1st-century B.C. artifacts recovered from wrecks near Glavat Point, bronze cannons from 16th-century wrecks and ships’ logs and maps from the 17th century.