2023 is almost over and it has been an incredible year for travel with international tourism set to end the year at 90% of pre-pandemic levels.
Travel has found its footing both internationally and domestically, and it’s great to be back and exploring the world again.
But where have travelers been going?
According to Google data these are the 5 most searched destinations of the year:
Croatia is a beautiful and affordable destination that gives all of the beauty of the Mediterranean but at a much smaller price than traditional Mediterranean destinations like Italy or Spain.
One of the reasons that Croatia has experienced an explosion of popularity in recent years is known as the ‘Game of Thrones appeal’ because much of the famous series was recorded in Dubrovnik.
And even if you’re not a fan of the show, this spectacular city is worth exploring for its old city walls, wandering through the old town, or taking a cable car high over the city.
Croatia boasts 8 incredibly beautiful national parks, the most famous of which is the UNESCO-listed Plitvice Lakes National Park.
The awe-inspiring waterfalls and lakes in this park are breathtakingly beautiful.
Croatia is also a must-visit destination for sailors and chartering a boat is the very best way to explore the crystal-clear waters of this picture-perfect destination.
Portugal was the 4th most searched destination of 2023 thanks to its rugged and dramatic coastline and its culturally rich historical cities.
It is a country that boasts year-round sunshine and has a fun, energetic vibe.
Portugal is a very safe country and one that is easily accessible to travelers from around the world because English is so widely spoken here.
The biggest and most popular cities in Portugal are Lisbon and Porto. After Athens, Lisbon is Europe’s second-oldest city and a fascinating place to explore the stunning architecture and rich history.
You’ll also find walls full of colorful ceramic tiles that are incredibly photogenic.
If you’re looking for a destination where you can lounge on the beach, then you won’t be disappointed in Portugal.
The Algarve region of the country has the best beaches, with plenty of sandy beaches and secluded coves that are ideal for swimming.
Italy has long been a popular destination for travelers from across the world, particularly U.S. tourists hoping to explore the best of European culture.
The landscapes are stunning, the architecture is fascinating, and Italy boasts the longest coastline in Europe.
Italy is so rich in history and culture that it’s near-impossible to list the best cities to visit.
Start in Rome, which is known as ‘The Eternal City’ and is home to century-old ruins, iconic landmarks, and the Trevi Fountain, which is one of the most famous fountains in the world.
For glamor, beautiful beaches, and to rub shoulders with the rich and famous, visit Cinque Terre. This is the name given to a series of centuries-old seaside villages sitting alongside each other on the rugged Italian Riviera.
Venice, Florence, Verona, and Miland are also popular Italian tourist destinations.
Spain is the most popular European destination for 2023, as well as the 2nd most searched destination of the year.
One of the main reasons tourists choose to visit Spain is for its stunning beaches.
But it is also a rich and fascinating cultural hub that is a perfect place for history lovers to explore.
Some of the incredibly well-preserved cultural landmarks worth exploring in Spain include La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona and the Alhambra in Andalusia.
Because Spain has been occupied or influenced by so many different cultures you will find Roman, Phoenician, Greek and Arabic influences in the country’s architecture.
Spain is also a popular destination for active outdoor adventurers hoping to try their hands at activities as diverse as snowboarding, scuba diving and paragliding.
The most searched destination of the year for 2023 is Greece.
Greece is an island nation with approximately 6,000 islands though only 227 of these are inhabited. But despite this it is a country with a unique culture and a rich heritage and identity.
Greece boasts mile after mile of incredible sand beaches and turquoise waters. It is considered a paradise for sun worshippers each looking for their own island paradise.
It is also an incredible destination for history buffs with a whole host of famous ancient sites including the Acropolis of Athens, Knossos Palace, the Parthenon, and ancient Mycenae.
There are also 850 thermal springs across Greece that have been used since the ancient Greeks first bathed in them.
Whether you’re looking for fascinating historical day trips, beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters ideal for island hopping, or warm and welcoming people, Greece offers all of these things and more.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.