These three Mediterranean destinations in Europe are breaking all-time tourism records this year — here's why they're so popular.
Malta, Greece, and Cyprus are some of the trendiest destinations in Europe right now.
All of these countries are on track to break their all-time tourism records in 2023. More travelers than ever before have been flocking to these countries all year long.
While these countries have many similarities, such as being located on the Mediterranean Sea in Southeastern Europe, each is its own distinct destination with something unique to offer.
Here's what makes each of these three destinations so popular right now:
Although it may be small, Malta packs a big punch for travelers.
This island in the Mediterranean has a long, fascinating history spanning thousands of years. Its compact size (just 122 square miles) makes it easy to explore, although you could easily spend a whole week here and not run out of things to do.
The ancient capital city Valletta is an intriguing place to explore, and Malta's many beaches are extremely beautiful, with crystal-clear turquoise-blue waters.
Malta is also one of the best scuba diving destinations in Europe, and a new underwater archaeological park recently opened there. This is just one of many reasons that Malta has become one of the hottest destinations in Europe this year.
Greece is hardly an under-the-radar destination, and yet its popularity only continues to soar.
Millions of travelers have been flocking to the ancient ruins of Athens and the gorgeous islands of Santorini and Mykonos this year.
But there's so much more to Greece than just the main tourist hotspots. Lesser-known Greek islands like Naxos are just as beautiful as the more popular islands, with fewer crowds and lower prices.
Cities like Thessaloniki are also growing in popularity as alternative destinations to explore in Greece. Many travelers have historically limited themselves to the hotspots of Athens and one or two Greek islands, but tourism is growing as more and more travelers get off the beaten path in Greece.
Cyprus is another island in the Mediterranean that is exploding in popularity this year. This stunning island is known for being one of the warmest winter destinations in Europe, so it's the perfect place to go if you're looking for some sunshine this winter.
Like the other destinations on this list, Cyprus offers the perfect blend of fascinating ancient historical sites and beaches that are so pretty you won't even believe they're real.
Cyprus is unique because although it fits in with Southeastern Europe culturally and geopolitically (it's part of the European Union), it is actually located closer to the Middle East, which gives it an interesting blend of cultures.
An Increase In Off-Season Travel
So why are these three Mediterranean destinations breaking all-time tourism records this year?
One of the biggest reasons is an increase in off-season travel. All of these countries are typically thought of as summer destinations, and yet summer actually might be the worst time to go!
Record-breaking summer temperatures, extreme crowds, and higher prices make many Mediterranean destinations unpleasant to visit for several months out of the year.
However, the “shoulder season” is becoming increasingly popular with travelers. This is the period of late spring and early fall outside of peak summer travel when the weather is perfect (but not too extreme), crowds are lower, and prices are often cheaper.
Even the winter off-season is becoming more popular with travelers as a time to visit these Mediterranean hotspots. While it might be a little too chilly to swim in the sea, the weather is still sunny and mild, perfect for exploring these destinations.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
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