The European summer may be over, but British holidaymakers are taking more holidays than at any point in the past five years. With many already planning their next break of the year, a relaxing holiday on the beach just doesn’t cut it any more. With so much choice and flexibility, travellers are on the hunt for something – and somewhere – as unique as they are. With city breaks being the top holiday type of choice last year, followed by beach holidays, alternative destinations are constantly emerging as travellers search for more authentic experiences.
To uncover what makes British holiday makers tick, ebookers have conducted research into some of the most popular European countries, analysing each destination and ranking them on a variety of factors to produce the Alternative Holiday Index.
The Alternative Holiday Index ranks 31 cities across Europe by analysing 24 factors including:
- Arts and culture
- Authentic food
- Interesting architecture
- Cheap Beer
- Good for solo travellers
- Friendly locals
Combined and weighted, they produce an overall index score for each country. So which destination came out on top?
Top 10 alternative holiday destinations in Europe
Estonia best alternative holiday destination in Europe!
Known for its untouched nature, medieval architecture, and Nordic food, Estonia is revealed to be home of the best alternative holiday destination in Europe.
Located in Northern Europe, Estonia was ranked highly for its interesting architecture scoring nine out of ten, which may come as no surprise as Estonia’s capital Tallinn is known as the best-preserved medieval city in Northern Europe.
Estonia’s vast woodland meant the country ranked highly within the ‘natural beauty and exploration’ category with an index score of ten out of ten.
Estonia also ranked highly for its ‘Instragrammability’ (10/10), authentic high-quality food (10/10), and friendly locals (10/10).
Estonia was followed by Lithuania and Latvia as the best alternative holiday destinations with index scores of 195.6 and 180.9 respectively.
The Alternative Couples Destination
Lithuania ranks particularly high for authentic food (9), nature (10) and romantic settings (9), making it the perfect destination for couples in search of outdoor adventure, great food, and cheap beer (9.13).
Situated between Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia ranks highly across the index – with high index scores for interesting architecture (9), arts and culture (8.71), and ‘Instagrammable’ surroundings (8.71).
Cyprus offers a home from home
The research also reveals the European countries which are perfect for those looking for something a little more within their comfort zone; a home away from home!
Cyprus ranks the highest out of the 32 countries for the ease of finding British food, pubs and home comforts (7.12) and for having a high number of fellow Brits visiting the country (6) each year. However, it is not the best country to visit if you can’t function without a good cuppa, only scoring 5.57 on the index.
On the other end of the spectrum and those looking for an authentic experience in another country’s culture, central and northern Europe offer the best destinations with Slovenia and Slovakia.
Estonia and Slovenia are ideal alternative holiday destinations for Brits wanting to lose themselves in another countries culture and not run the risk of bumping in to fellow Brits. With both countries scoring low in the research for the number of British visitors, travellers can really escape and experience something completely new.
Going solo? Best destinations for going it alone
Google trends reveals searches for ‘solo travel’ have increased steadily year on year with queries around ‘travel alone’ peaking in January this year and more people than ever before consider an adventure of a lifetime on their own.
The new research questioned solo travellers on each locations suitability for travelling alone with a key focus on safety and relevant activities.
Estonia is again the highest rated country in Europe for those looking to explore the world on their own.