Up and coming destinations in 2023

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As it is reported that 44% of the UK plan to book their summer annual leave in January, the team at Wizz Air reveal the most popular, up-and-coming European destinations that travellers are looking to book this year.

Faro 

Seen a 205.54% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

Located in the southernmost part of Portugal, Faro is fast becoming the number one go-to destination in Europe. Although Faro is the region’s capital, tourists commonly bypass Faro for the likes of the Algarve, however, this means they are missing out on stunning sites such as the Faro Marina and the picturesque Old Town, not forgetting its picturesque beaches. As the average daily spend for a European city break is between £200-£00 per day, Faro is a cost-effective option for those seeking sun, culture and good food on a budget as its daily spend is just £107pp per day. 

Funchal, Madeira 

Seen a 685.57% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

The capital of Madeira, Funchal is renowned for its harbour, nature and wine. The Wicker toboggan is arguably one of the most popular attractions for visitors. Starting Nossa Senhora do Monte Church and in a 2KM ride down steep hills to Livramento. The attraction is 30 EUR for two people per sled, or 25 EUR for one person. 

Otherwise, Funchal has a lot to offer for those who love being a part of nature. Dubbed the “Hawaii of Europe,” Funchal boasts tropical gardens, botanical gardens and plants that are native to Madeira. If you prefer relaxing by the water, Funchal’s recently renovated waterfront is home to stunning views and a grand promenade, which is perfect for relaxing after a long day of site seeing. 

Porto, Portugal 

Seen a 198% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

The second largest city in Portugal, Porto is a buzzing coastal city in northwest Portugal, that is famed for its buzzing commercial hub, vineyards and, of course, its port wine production. Laid out on the hill banks of the River Douro, Porto is incredibly picturesque and fits perfectly in any Instagram feed. The riverside district hosts narrow, cobbled streets that wind past merchants’ houses and cafes.

Grab a signature Porto sandwich, a francesinha, and explore the Baroque churches. Culture vultures must ensure they visit the UNESCO-listed triumvirate of the Historic Centre of Oporto, the Dom Luís I Bridge and the Monastery of Serra do Pilar.

Lisbon, Portugal 

Seen a 353.86% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

The capital of Portugal, Lisbon is a charming city that’s perched among eight hills, which is why it’s been dubbed “the city of viewpoints.” Known for its vibrant and unique historic centre, bright and colourful buildings and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder Lisbon is also coined the “coolest city” in Europe. Boasting the mildest climate in Europe, as the sun shines 290 days a year and temperatures rarely drop below 15°C, Lisbon is the perfect destination at any time of year.

Just a stone’s throw away from the city centre is some of Portugal’s finest beaches, that range from toddler-friendly and accessible beaches to beaches that are perfect for water sports and adrenaline junkies. 

Catania, Sicily, Italy

Seen a 228.86% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

With over 2,000 years of history, Catania is full of magnificent architecture, Baroque piazzas and bustling street markets that have been running for years. Catania sits by Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, so make a visit to Etna’s crater zone a priority. Although the volcano is in a near-constant state of activity and erupts several times a year, it is constantly monitored so you won’t need to worry. In fact, all areas you can visit are an authorised crater zone. 

Just an hour away from Catania is the mountain town of Taormina, which was the location of most recent series of The White Lotus. As depicted in the acclaimed series, the town is bursting with atmospheric piazzas, 15th-century palazzi and the most dramatically set ancient Greek theatre in the world. 

Lyon, France

Seen a 131.66% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

Despite being lesser know than its more famous French destinations, Lyon is known for being France’s culinary capital, so if you’re a foodie then this is the place to visit. Lyon has its own style of restaurant, called a bouchon, which is known for less pretentious meals and instead favours hearty, meaty dishes in a homely atmosphere, and as Lyon is in the middle of wine country, expect your delicious meals to be paired with the most perfect wines. 

Lyon is a perfect year-round destination, as it boasts mild winters and warm summers. Due to its proximity to the 1992 Winter Olympics site of Albertville, Lyon is a popular destination for those seeking a winter skiing holiday. The airport even offers ski shuttle buses to ferry guests to and from popular ski resorts. 

Athens, Greece 

Seen a 130.08% uplift in Google searches since the beginning of January.

The ancient capital of Greece should be on everyone’s bucket lists. While you may be forgiven for thinking it’s “just” a historic city full of museums and artefacts, the reality is so much more than that. The impact Athens has had on, not just Europe but the whole world, is undeniable and incredible. It would be wrong to visit Athens and not see the Ancient Acropolis which is home to ancient buildings including the Parthenon Temple that depicts the birth of the goddess Athena.

Finish a day of site-seeing and soaking up the culture (and the heat if you decide to go in the middle of summer!) with a no-nonsense Athenian meal. The Greeks tend to keep a no-nonsense attitude towards food and focus on the key points, that food is fresh, tasty and, most importantly, shareable. 

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