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These Are The 5 Trendiest Beach Destinations In Europe Right Now

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Planning a trip to Europe this summer?

I know firsthand how overwhelming or even downright impossible that can feel – there are just too many gorgeous places around the continent touted as “the best,” and indecisive people like us can’t figure out where we’ll get the most value for our money.

If that’s how you feel, the safest bet is to rely on the opinion of other like-minded travelers.

Woman overlooking ancient ruins and palm trees in Antalya, Turkey

What places are people flocking to the most right now? And I'm not just talking about well-known classics like Ibiza, Crete, Santorini, or Algarve.

I’m also talking about the once-underrated gems that are slowly but surely rising to international popularity, and for good reason.

These are the destinations that topped ACI’s latest travel growth report, and today, we’re going to get through them all:

5. Antalya

Demre Kekova, submerged city in Antalya, Turkey

After breaking all-time tourism records and being named one of the summer’s hottest destinations, Antalya has definitely grabbed the attention of travelers from all over the world, and by the looks of it, the Turkish resort town is only bound to get more popular as time goes on.

With growth rates nearing the 15% mark, Antalya has surpassed heavy hitters like Barcelona and even Istanbul by a long shot, and between all the movie-like beaches, dreamy Mediterranean climate, and laid-back vibe, it’s easy to see why.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a lot to love about the energetic though somewhat chaotic feel of more classically popular hubs, but sometimes you just want to find a reasonably-priced all-inclusive resort, sit back, and just enjoy your time at a gorgeous, uncrowded beach – and that’s exactly what Antalya promises.

This summer, rooms at all-inclusive resorts start at just a little over $100, and they truly are the full package – I’m talking food, drinks, access to state-of-the-art amenities, and even live entertainment – so as far as value for money is concerned, you really can’t get any better than this.

4. Palma de Mallorca

Aerial view of Castell de Bellver, medieval fortress in Palma de Mallorca, Spain

Moving on to one of those more “classically popular” beach hubs I mentioned before, Palma de Mallorca continues to be one of Europe’s most coveted summer hubs, experiencing growth rates of over 17.5%.

And whether you’re looking to take in the infectious energy of Palma Beach or revel in the more laid-back atmosphere of Port de Sóller, I can guarantee the Balearic Islands’ capital won’t disappoint.

3. Alicante

Santa Barbara castle in Alicante, Spain

This one’s another Spanish gem, though a bit more on the quieter, more relaxed side of things (i.e., those searching for the ultimate club scene, will have a far better time in Palma de Mallorca).

Here, you’ll spend your days walking through the palm-fringed promenades, exploring the secluded coves of Cabo de las Huertas, and taking in the views from the incredible Santa Bárbara Castle – I must admit, all that sounds pretty amazing, too.

And it seems like many other travelers feel the same way.

Alicante’s growth rate right now stands at an impressive 27.3%, marking an almost 10-point margin from the next spot down, so to say that it has captured visitors’ interest this summer would be an understatement.

2. Catania

Catania, Italy

Surprise, surprise – another Mediterranean hub makes the list.

With its powdery beaches, Baroque architecture, and jaw-dropping landscapes where Mount Etna takes center stage, Catania, an ancient port city on Sicily's east coast, promises the ultimate Italian summer experience with far fewer crowds than its massively popular counterparts (and better prices, too).

But if you want to experience that Sicilian allure in its most authentic form, you have to move quickly!

The city has seen a whopping 28% increase in visitors these past few months, so it’s only a matter of time before it officially outgrows its “underrated” status.

1. Malaga

Playa Burriana at Nerja, Costa del Sol, Malaga

We’re traveling back to Spain for the first spot since tourism to Malaga this year has grown by almost a third!

That’s understandable, though, since here, you’ll find everything you could want from a European beach getaway.

From the dreamy shores of La Malagueta and the otherworldly vibe of Pedregalejo to the iconic Mercado Central de Atarazanas and Alcazaba, everything you see here will leave a long-lasting impression that’ll make you want to come back time and time again.

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