3 (somewhat) Lesser Known Trending European Destinations

Three (somewhat) Lesser Known Trending European Destinations

Travel to Europe is back in full swing in 2023 after being off for a couple of years.  Covid restrictions are gone almost everywhere.  That has many travelers wondering where to go now that Europe travel is open.  I have 3 somewhat lesser know trending destinations in Europe you should consider adding to your bucket list.  These destinations wont be as crowded as France, Italy or England but they are becoming more popular.

Azores Islands, Portugal

The Azores is an Island chain located about 900 miles west of Portugal in the Atlantic Ocean.  It has been called the Hawaii of the Atlantic.  It features hiking, beaches, whale watching and hot springs.  It is a place that both families and travelers with an adventurous spirit can find plenty to enjoy.

There are 17 islands in total in the Azores, 9 of which are inhabited.  Sao Miguel is the most populated and has the most resorts.  If you are looking to go to just one island of the Azores, this is the one to get to.  But if you want to do some island hoping there are options to get from one island to the next by boat or by plane.  Two of the islands have international airports which do offer flights to both the US and mainland Europe.

In 2022, a year in which pandemic restrictions were still in place for the first part, the Azores saw a record number of airport passengers.  And all signs point to that recored being broken again in 2023.

What makes the Azores a trending destination?  It is becoming more popular due to its location in between both the US and Europe making it a fairly easy flight from either destination.  There are more resorts and tours popping up on the islands that have more amenities and activities.  It is also still a relatively inexpensive destination to visit, especially compared to somewhere like Hawaii.

The Azores offers some unique experiences like a visit to a tea or pineapple plantation as well as caves to explore and fill your desire for some spelunking.  Within less than an hours drive from a cave you can be on the beach or up high taking in the landscape on one of the numerous lookouts.

With all these islands have to offer, it’s easy to see why they are a trending European travel destination.


Iceland is not a new destination that people are just discovering.  It has been on the upswing for a while.  But now it is becoming more popular than ever with an estimated 2.3 million visitor expected to visit the island in 2023. It’s predicted that number could rise to 3.5 million visitors by 2030.

With some truly amazing landscapes, an estimated 10,000 waterfalls and one of the best places on earth to view the northern lights, it’s not surprising that people want to spend some time here.  More tour operators are also adding expeditions here, giving travelers plenty of options to visit all that they island has to offer.

If you want to take a trip around the entire island you can do it in as little as a week, or you could go more in depth and take two weeks to visit more waterfalls, volcanos and hot springs.  And if you’re comfortable driving in various weather conditions, the road system in Iceland is fairly easy to navigate.

Iceland isn’t for everyone.  It has a cool climate that can be unforgiving in the winter and moderate in the summer.  But if the weather conditions don’t bother you there are a lot of one-of-a-kind experiences to be had in this northern European country.  There’s swimming between two tectonic plates, geothermal spas and sleeping in an igloo, just to name a few.

Iceland may be small but there is a lot packed into this unique island.

Dalmatian Coast

With the popularity of Game of Thrones many people now have heard of Dubrovnik, or at least they know what it looks like.  Dubrovnik sits along the coast of the Adriatic Sea in a region of Croatia known as Dalmatia.  This picturesque region is filled limestone cliffs along the coastline and numerous islands.  It is also home to the city of Split, an ancient Roman retreat for many emperors, whose ruins can still be seen today.

The Dalmatian Coast isn’t a new travel destination either, especially for European travelers.  However many international travelers are now adding it to their bucket list.  In 2019, Dubrovnik hit a record 3 million visitors, thanks to Game of Thrones and a new cruise port that could hold additional ships. And while numbers were down the last couple of years 2023 is set to meet or exceed the number of visitors in 2019.

The Dalmatian Coast has a lot to offer for almost everyone.  There are beautiful beaches, water sports, nature walks, an island for fashion and parties and of course tons of history.  You can bring the extended family and each member will be able to find an activity that suits them.

One very popular way to see the Dalmatian Coast is by cruise.  There are a variety of options available from a few nights island hopping on a catamaran to more luxurious 7 night cruises within the region to the larger cruise lines that make day stops in Dubrovnik or Split.

If you hadn’t heard of the Dalmatian Coast before, you have now, and can understand why it’s a popular European travel destination.


While all of these destinations are trending in popularity they still pale in comparison to more popular Europe travel destinations such as Venice or Amsterdam.  You wont find them as crowded as other areas, at least not yet.

If you want to know more about any of these destinations or travel to their contact me justin@doublejdestinations.com or schedule a complimentary travel planning session here.

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