Holidays abroad during the hayfever season

Every summer, thousands suffer the miserable effects of hayfever including sneezing, a runny nose and itchy eyes. Hayfever sufferers want nothing more than to avoid pollen altogether.

If you suffer from hayfever, and you are planning a trip abroad during the hayfever season, it might be an idea to find out which holiday destinations have lower pollen counts. Know where to go and where to avoid to make the most of your holiday abroad.

Generally, coastal areas or dry places are the best places to travel to in the hayfever season as pollen counts are much lower in areas where there are fewer plants.

www.polleninfo.org is a useful site to look at when you are planning a holiday. It includes flow charts to illustrate when different types of pollen are high in different countries.

Preparing for a holiday abroad during the hayfever season

Avoiding the outdoors while you are on holiday abroad is just not practical, so it's best to make sure you have hayfever medication to control your symptoms.

Take your hayfever medication with you and store it in your hand luggage just in case your hold luggage gets lost. If you have prescribed medication, make sure that it is in its original packaging and that it is accompanied by a doctor's note.

When you are driving or you are in your hotel room, keep the windows closed and favour the air conditioning as a way of keeping cool. Wash your hair regularly to remove traces of pollen.

Spain

Andalucia and central areas have high olive pollen counts and high Plane tree counts in cities and grass counts are often high but they usually go down by mid July. Grass counts also lessen in mid July in Northern Spain and the Costa Brava.

Low to moderate pollen counts are found in the Costa del Sol, Costa Almeria and Costa Dorada.

Portugal

Madeira and the Algarve are both great places to visit during the hayfever season as pollen counts are generally quite low. Westerly winds in the Algarve help to keep the pollen counts down.

The Algarve is a popular holiday destination, combining golden beaches with whitewashed towns and buzzing resorts.

In Estremadura and the North-West, the hayfever season runs later with grass counts running into September.

Canary Islands

The Canary Islands are great for hayfever sufferers as pollen counts are low and the hayfever season is over by June. Grass and tree pollen counts are even over by the end of May.

Depending on the type of holiday you are after, you could either live it up in Tenerife or play it cool in La Palma.

France

The west coast of France is the best place to visit during hayfever season as pollen counts are generally low. Inland, France often boasts lush vegetation, where pollen counts can soar. The south of France and the French Riviera both have particularly high pollen counts.

Grass pollen poses the greatest risk in the areas around Paris and tree pollen counts can also be high.

Italy

The best places to visit during the hayfever season are the west coast and the lakes in the north where pollen counts are low.

The worst places to visit are the Po Valley and Naples where pollen counts are particularly high in May and June.

The hayfever season in Florence and Rome can be quite long, but it peaks earlier than in the UK. So while your friends are suffering back as home, you could be admiring the Coliseum with a clear head!

Greece

The Greek islands have lower pollen counts than more inland areas of Greece such as Athens. Some of the larger islands have significant pollen counts but they are not as high as inland destinations.

So why not head to Kos, Crete or Corfu for a relatively pollen free holiday by the sea.

Egypt

Egypt is a pretty dry country. As a hayfever sufferer, it can be a great place to visit as there is barely a blade of grass in sight! Enjoy a cruise down the Nile or a camel ride to the pyramids safe in the knowledge that you can leave you hanky at home.

During the summer it can get quite hot in Egypt, so remember to take plenty of sunscreen and seek the shade during the hottest parts of the day.