Follow the crowds to these top-trending European regions…

Between the tourist-guide lists of must-see destinations and the proliferation of air routes, some places can be quickly overrun by tourists, as could well be the case in Crete, the Algarve and Brittany this year.


If you’ve grown tired of the hordes of tourists in Spain, 2023 may be the time to return to the country, where no particular region is forecast to be a future hotspot for vacationers. Already at the forefront of the summer tourist scene in 2022, Greece will once again be popular, especially Crete, according to the travel intelligence firm Mabrian.

By looking at the emergence of new air routes, but also the capacity of the planes that will operate these trips, as well as average hotel prices, the data company identified Crete as the most coveted European region for travelers in 2023.

This status is bolstered by a Cretan offer rich in nature-focused and wellness stays. In fact, the Mediterranean island is very popular with hikers, who can enjoy a five-to-seven-hour hike through the Samaria Gorge, the longest in Europe.

Internationally, Crete is second only to Bali, according to Mabrian, which analysed more than 700 destinations worldwide.

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Europe poised to be a top destination for 2023

Several European regions feature high on this list of top-trending destinations, starting with the Algarve.

The scenic Portuguese region is a serious option for vacationers due to its affordable hotel prices, with an average of €86.39 per night in the first quarter of 2023.

France also features in the top five, with the unmissable island of Corsica in fifth place and the Brittany region in fourth, echoing its rise among French tourists.

Last summer, the region recorded the strongest growth in visitor numbers of all French regions. Brittany then recorded nearly 22 million overnight stays (+7.2% compared to 2019), between April and September, according to France’s National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies, INSEE. With the scorching summer Europe experienced last year, Brittany offered vacationers ideal weather without overwhelming heat and with a pleasant temperature in the water.

In terms of European regions offering a different kind of vacation, with lush countryside and mild temperatures, Wales takes a surprising sixth place in this analysis.

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Mabrain’s top trending destinations for 2023:

  1. Bali (Indonesia)
  2. Crete (Greece)
  3. Algarve (Portugal)
  4. Brittany (France)
  5. Corsica (France)
  6. Wales (United Kingdom)
  7. Sardinia (Italy)
  8. Antalya (Turkey)
  9. The Maldives
  10. Sicily (Italy)

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