A recent survey sent to 3,500 travelers ranked coastal destinations in Europe based on several factors people look for when traveling. How do you decide where to travel?
Affordability, safety, tourist attractions, friendliness of the locals — these are just a few of the factors considered.
A few cities on the list below are more well-known destinations, while others are more under-the-radar locations that aren’t as frequented by tourists.
If you’re seeking sun, sand, and water views, here are the top 10 coastal cities to visit in Europe!
No surprise here; the beautiful city of Valencia placed number 1 (ranking pretty highly in terms of peace and quiet). On the Southeastern Coast, Valencia is a hub for arts, with innovative structures scattered across the city.
A more peaceful alternative to Barcelona or Madrid, Valencia offers a calm pace with so much to do. With several beaches located nearby, there’s a little something for everyone here.
Though overrun with tourists this summer, Portugal still manages to snag a top spot here. While Porto is still seeing flocks of tourists in their busy season, it’s still a lot calmer than Lisbon.
With slightly cooler weather, acting as a travel gateway, and being a lot more affordable, it’s no shock that Porto is in 2nd place here. Known for its incredible foodie scene, Porto is an ideal hub if you want to explore the smaller towns along the Portuguese coast.
We’re all drawn to Venice for its fresh pastas and winding canals. The busiest spot for sure, Venice is still highly popular with visiting tourists year-round.
Lined with Gothic palaces and narrow bridges, it’s tempting to book a flight just to take a gondola ride along the flowing canals.
Venice is also a prime spot for venturing to other parts of Italy, with its easy access to public transportation.
A small city along the Algarve Coast, Tavira is a lesser-known spot: which is what we want! If you’re an avid bird-watcher, this is the place for you.
Calm and serene beaches make for the perfect resting points for flamingos and spoonbills.
Close to Faro, it’s easy to travel here by car or local bus.
Pollença, Mallorca, Spain
In the Northern part of Mallorca, Pollença is a coastal town with a blissful serenity about it.
An ancient town of European squares and narrow streets, it’s a lesser-known spot for those seeking a little rest and relaxation.
Pollença is known for its brick-laden streets, quirky architecture, and tree-lined alleyways.
Chania Town, Crete, Greece
We’re all looking for the best spots in Greece with fewer tourists, and while this sometimes seems impossible, there are quieter areas to enjoy the country’s natural wonders.
On the island of Crete, Chania is known for its Venetian Harbor and Cretan cuisine. With a sea of colorful houses and blooming flowers, the city is an idyllic escape from the Greek crowds.
When we think of Greek Islands, we think of the most popular: Santorini and Mykonos. But what about Rhodes? The largest of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes offers sandy beaches, a charming old town, and fewer crowds.
Most of the beaches here form bay areas, enclosed by the rugged mountains surrounding them. The crystal clear waters are perfect for a summer dip.
Syracuse, Sicily, Italy
Known for its Ancient ruins and Roman amphitheater, Syracuse can be found along the Ionian Coast of Sicily. If you’re into history, culture, and fresh shellfish dishes, visit this charming city.
Walk the winding streets and admire the quaint houses.
Syracuse is lesser-known to most traveling to Italy, which makes it an ideal spot for exploring its many beach alcoves.
Rolling in at number 9 is Barcelona! If you want peace and quiet, this isn’t necessarily your spot.
But what Barcelona does have is buzzing bars, a vibrant city center, and an array of beaches to choose from.
A diverse city filled with tiled buildings, impressive churches, and crowded beaches, hordes flock to Barcelona each summer- and for good reason.
Portugal’s coastal capital city, Lisbon, sits proudly at number 10. Pastel buildings and a convenient train system make this beautiful city a prime spot for tourists year-round.
Lisbon is intriguing because you get to experience both the city vibes with the calmness of the coastal beaches.
It’s also a central hub for travel around the rest of the country.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com