This year, many countries in Europe are bouncing back with travel. Some European countries are even breaking tourism records.
According to the European Travel Commission (ETC), an organization that monitors and promotes Europe’s tourism, 1 out of 3 reporting countries said that their tourism numbers are above 2019’s.
With their cultural highlights, safety, accessibility, and limitless beauty, these countries are drawing in more tourists than ever before. Plus, many of these countries are off the typical European tourism trail.
Here’s Why These 6 European Destinations Are Breaking All-Time Tourism Records
This small inland country in the Balkan region has had quite a year for tourism. Up 15% from 2019, Serbia is a hot spot for travelers this year.
Serbia is a landlocked country in the Balkan Peninsula that’s full of beautiful mountains, enchanting forests and rivers, and amazing food. Plus, its rich culture, history, and architecture are major draws for tourists every year.
What’s more, this small country is still an off-path destination, with fewer tourists than other European countries. With all these perks, it’s easy to see why Serbia is experiencing such a surge in popularity right now.
Another small country in the Balkans that’s having a remarkable year for tourism is Montenegro. Up 14% from 2019, Montenegro is drawing in more tourists now than before the pandemic and there are many reasons.
Its neighbor Croatia has for many years stolen the show, with its beautiful beaches, historic and pop-culture landmarks, and endless islands. But Montenegro also shares many of these charms, plus its own dramatic postcard-worthy scenery.
What makes it even more appealing is that it’s still a relatively off-path destination, especially compared to its neighboring countries like Croatia and Italy. Although Montenegro is small, you can still find yourself in beautiful remote areas with nothing in front of you but an open blue sea and total peace.
For many Americans, especially digital nomads, Portugal has been a hot destination for travel. However, this year, it’s even hotter, with an 11% increase in tourism numbers compared to 2019.
With its laid-back vibe, beautiful architecture, endless outdoor adventures, and amazing wine, it’s easy to see why. On top of all this, Portugal is a major hub for flights, making it very accessible for American travelers.
Once you’re in the country, you’ll find welcoming locals, safe cities, and plenty of other travelers. This makes Portugal such 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 is having such an amazing year. The country’s tourism numbers are up 8% from 2019.
The country is well-connected to major airports around the world and Europe, making it easy to get to. Once you’re there, Türkiye presents travelers an endless amount of sights and experiences throughout the year.
Americans can expect everything from stunning beaches to medieval architecture and more. Then, there’s the world-famous cuisine, which is always a highlight for travelers in this beautiful country.
Sitting in the southern 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 stunning, with white sand beaches, beautiful reefs, and crystal clear warm water. Plus, it has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites and plenty of amazing architecture.
What makes the islands even more appealing for American travelers is that people speak English here, making it even easier to get around and meet locals.
The third country in the stunning Balkans region to see a rise in tourism from 2019 is Greece. Tourism numbers in this popular and culturally rich destination are up by 7%, and there are plenty of reasons why.
Greece has long been one of the world’s most popular bucket list destinations, with its historic ruins, rich culture, beautiful beaches, architecture, and beloved food scene.
Greece is also relatively inexpensive compared to many other European destinations. You can easily get around, eat like royalty, and find a little corner of paradise to relax and experience its rich culture.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com