Crete tops holiday spot list with growing global appeal


Crete is the most popular holiday destination for Europeans this year, according to German tourism operator TUI, as more and more travelers and home buyers discover one of the most authentic parts of Greece. 


Tourism is continuing last year’s strong season in a trend that is also boosting demand for Greek holiday homes and villas as real estate prices remain low in Greece in comparison with other European countries. 


Due to the increasing popularity of Crete, easy accessibility to the island is further improving as air carriers, including Etihad and, recently announced additional flights to Heraklion for the summer period. 


“Travelling continues to be a high priority for people. Holiday travel is high on the agenda for this year’s summer season. Greece and Spain are the most popular holiday destinations for Europeans,” said TUI in its Holiday Atlas Summer 2022. 


The most popular European destination overall is Crete, Greece’s largest island, followed by Mallorca in Spain. The top 5 destinations also include the Canary Islands, the Greek island of Rhodes and Antalya in Turkey. The island of Kos is also drawing strong interest this year, adds the German-based tourism operator. 


As in previous years, Greece is the number one destination for Finns, Danes, Norwegians and Swedes. Especially Crete, Rhodes and the island of Samos are also in demand among Northern Europeans, followed by Mallorca and Antalya, says TUI. 


The French, Austrians and Germans continue to show a particular preference for Crete, along with travelers from Belgium and the UK. 


“The trend towards short-term bookings continues and we expect summer 2022 to be close to pre-crisis levels,” said TUI. 


Due to the high level of bookings TUI has received for holidays in Greece, it has already decided to start its summer season for the country earlier than ever – from early April – focusing on the islands. 


With its breathtaking turquoise waters and endless white sandy beaches, Crete has been a long time favorite of global travelers. Despite its popularity, hospitality remains a key part of lifestyle in Crete where the cuisine is renowned internationally for its unique flavors and ingredients. 


Many parts of the island also hold onto its authentic flair. Among the best kept secrets is the Plakias Bay area, south of Rethymno. Here, the beaches provide splendid swimming waters that even many Greeks are not aware of, while the traditional villages in the surrounding hills offer a combination of picturesque sceneries along with tavernas that serve the best food you will taste on the island. 


Eastward is the Makrigialos village, an area which combines entertainment and cultural activities with unique natural beauty made up of a diverse mix of landscapes, including crystal clear beaches, forest areas and gorges.

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