Secret summer destinations revealed by Skyscanner
Tuesday 3, August 2010
Although Spain remains the most popular destination with British holidaymakers, cheap flights comparison site Skyscanner.net reveals some of the more secret summer spots that are attracting travellers keen to escape the British crowds and discover somewhere new.
Deemed the ‘Pearl of the Aegean’, Izmir is a city of palm-lined walkways, boulevards and parks which curl around a bay that’s back-dropped by mountains. It’s the gateway to the Aegean coastline where fishing villages and small towns sit alongside idyllic beaches encircled by pine forests, olives groves and rocky crags.
Unspoiled, untouched and relatively unheard of as a tourist destination, Albania is one of Europe’s best kept secrets; but for how long? Last year, Albania made headlines with a backpacker boom and Tirana, the capital, is a new entry to the Skyscanner Top 100 cities this month. New restaurants and hotels are now luring visitors to its museums, bustling bars, clubs and cafes.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Israel’s cool capital is currently pushing hard for British tourists. For a small country (it’s about the size of Wales), Israel has plenty going for it from desert dunes to the Dead Sea to snow capped mountains and even a ski resort. Tel Aviv is a lively city, ancient yet modern, with clear, clean beaches on the Mediterranean coast. Israelis know how to party, so expect a vibrant time after dark.
The Croatian coastline is becoming increasingly popular with UK travellers, and Split (pictured right), gateway to Dalmatia, is a great place to base yourself. Overlooking the Adriatic Sea and backed by rugged mountains, Split’s ancient Roman architecture will please culture vultures, whilst outdoor lovers can take a hike up Marjan, a dormant volcano covered in dense Mediterranean pine forest.
Ljubljana , the charming capital of little known Slovenia, is split by a beautiful green river lined with alfresco eateries and overlooked by a medieval castle. Wander the romantic old town, browse the market stalls or venture outside of the city to nearby mountains, vineyards and cave systems – this is the perfect place for a weekend for two.
Barry Smith, Skyscanner Co-founder and Business Director commented:
“Instead of jumping straight on flights to Malaga this summer, why not try somewhere different? We are finding more people are opting for destinations a little more off the beaten track where they tend to find fewer crowds and a more genuine cultural experience.”
More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.
With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.
The hotel price comparison site www.trivago.co.uk has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.