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This year, many countries in Europe are bouncing back thanks to travel. Some European countries are even breaking tourism records.
According to the European Travel Commission (ETC), an organization that monitors and promotes tourism in Europe, 1 in 3 reporting countries said their tourism figures are above those of 2019.
With their cultural assets, safety, accessibility and limitless beauty, these countries are attracting more tourists than ever. Additionally, many of these countries lie off the typical tourist trails of Europe.
Here’s why these 6 European destinations are breaking all-time tourism records
This small country in the interior of the Balkans had a fairly rich tourist year. Up 15% from 2019, Serbia is a hot spot for travelers this year.
Serbia is a landlocked country on the Balkan Peninsula that is full of beautiful mountains, enchanting forests and rivers, and delicious cuisine. Moreover, its rich culture, history and architecture attract tourists every year.
What’s more, this small country remains a off-trail destination, with fewer tourists than other European countries. With all of these benefits, it’s easy to see why Serbia is currently experiencing such a surge in popularity.
Another small Balkan country having a remarkable tourism year is Montenegro. Up 14% compared to 2019, Montenegro attracts more tourists now than before the pandemic and for many reasons.
Its neighbor Croatia has stolen the show for many years, with its beautiful beaches, historical and pop culture landmarks and endless islands. But Montenegro also shares many of these charms, as well as its own spectacular postcard-worthy landscapes.
What makes it even more attractive is that it remains a relatively remote destination, especially compared to its neighboring countries like Croatia and Italy. Although Montenegro is small, you can still find yourself in beautiful, isolated areas with nothing in front of you but open blue sea and complete peace.
For many Americans, especially digital nomads, Portugal is a popular travel destination. But this year it’s even hotter, with an 11% increase in tourist numbers compared to 2019.
With its laid-back vibe, beautiful architecture, endless outdoor adventures, and incredible wine, it’s easy to see why. Additionally, Portugal is a major hub for flights, making it very accessible to American travelers.
Once in the country, you will find friendly locals, safe cities, and plenty of other travelers. This makes Portugal a paradise for solo travelers.
With cultural immersion and unique experiences topping the list of reasons why Americans are traveling this year, it’s no wonder Türkiye have such an amazing year. Tourism figures in the country are up 8% compared to 2019.
The country is well connected to major airports around the world and Europe, making it easy to access. Once there, Türkiye offers travelers an endless amount of sights and experiences all year round.
Americans can expect everything from stunning beaches to medieval architecture and much more. Then there is the world-famous cuisine, which is always a highlight for travelers to this beautiful country.
Located in the south of the Mediterranean, between Sicily and Tunisia, the archipelago of Malta is a warm-weather European destination like no other. This year, its reputation as a paradise has earned it a 7% growth in tourist numbers compared to 2019.
Malta is beautiful, with white sandy beaches, magnificent reefs and warm, crystal clear waters. Additionally, it has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and plenty of amazing architecture.
What makes the islands even more attractive to American travelers is that people there speak English, making it even easier to get around and meet locals.
The third country in the magnificent Balkan region to see its tourism increase from 2019 is Greece. Tourist numbers in this popular and culturally rich destination are up 7%, for many reasons.
Greece has long been one of the world’s most popular destinations, with its historic ruins, rich culture, beautiful beaches, architecture, and beloved culinary scene.
Greece is also relatively inexpensive compared to many other European destinations. You will be able to easily get around, eat like kings and find a little corner of paradise to relax and discover its rich culture.
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This article was originally published on TravelOffPath.com