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Travelers Seek Cooler Destinations In Europe In Summer 2023

Heatwave in Europe
Travelers seeking cooler locations during the heatwave in Europe [Image by Ian from Pixabay]
A certain 1959 Marilyn Monroe movie was titled Some Like It Hot; however, many are finding southern Europe way too toasty this year. According to a travel company, the current heat wave blasting southern Europe is making travelers change their minds. Instead of heading to favorites like the Costa del Sol in Spain or the Greek islands, they are seeking cooler climes for summer 2023.

Travelers seeking cooler places in Europe this year

As reported by CNBC, some travelers aren’t prepared to wait to see if this year’s ongoing heat wave in southern Europe is just an anomaly. Likely they believe that this baking heat is a long-term problem caused by climate change.

Tom Marchant of the luxury travel operator Black Tomato spoke to CNBC about the phenomenon. He says his company has definitely seen a change in clients’ travel plans while hoping to avoid the blasting summer heat.

Fjords of Norway
Fjords of Norway [Image by Trond Giæver Myhre from Pixabay]
In fact, many clients are looking at Scandinavian destinations instead of parts of Spain, Italy, Greece and more.

“We’re seeing strong interest and desire to take advantage of the Scandi summer,” he said. “Scandinavian destinations like Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland are seeing a pronounced rise from the sales front.”

Avoiding the Mediterranean

Tallinn, Estonia in Europe
Cooler Tallinn, Estonia [Image by Makalu from Pixabay]
Data published by the European Travel Commission noted that interest in visiting the Mediterranean dropped by 10 percent between June and November this year. Meanwhile, the summer of 2022 was the hottest on record and 2023 is likely to beat that trend.

However, Marchant isn’t too worried about the new trend as summer bookings to Scandinavia are already up 37 percent from 2022. Moreover, he expects this will “continue to climb.”

Meanwhile, according to Expedia Group, the Scandinavian summer trend is clearly evident among summer home renters. German travelers, particularly are looking further north for their vacations, with interest in Norway increasing by 35 percent in the first two weeks of July as opposed to the same period in June.

Reportedly, Germans are looking for vacation homes in Sweden’s southern counties of Blekinge and Skane. But it isn’t just Scandinavia, as other vacation home searches have increased in Edinburgh, Scotland by 20 percent. Searches for Riga in Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia have both risen by 25 percent.

Cooler shifts in Spain

Beach in Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Beach in Santander, Cantabria, Spain [Image by Kiddopedia from Pixabay]
According to a poll by the European Travel Commission of more than 6,000 European travelers, Spain is still the most popular destination. However, interest is also changing there according to Expedia.

While vacation home searches for Costa Brava, Costa Blanca and Mallorca were steady between June and July, home rental interest has climbed for the cooler, greener northern coast of Spain. Data revealed travelers are searching Costa de Cantabria and Costa Verde, as well as destinations in the Basque Country.

Avoiding the Greek islands

While temperatures have since dropped, last month saw devastating wildfires in Greece. The fires forced tens of thousands of locals and visitors to be evacuated from the islands of Rhodes, Evia and Corfu, with some still in their swimwear.

Lofoten Islands, Norway
Lofoten Islands, Norway [Image by Andrzej from Pixabay]
While islands in Greece are the top summer travel choices in Europe, Marchant said travelers are looking at other islands much farther north. He said that Norway’s Lofoten Islands are particularly popular to their clients with families as an ideal alternative to the Greek and Croatian islands. Moreover, Marchant stressed that this is particularly so for those who want to avoid the intense heat of the Mediterranean.

In fact, he said some travelers are looking at destinations like Canada, the US National Parks and “hidden gems like Slovenia have also proven especially popular.

What about Italy?

Autumn in Italy
Fall in Italy [Image by Sergio Cerrato – Italia from Pixabay]
While summer is the popular season for many travelers, the heat waves, wildfires, hurricanes and flooding have changed a lot of minds. Marchant said that more travelers are going for “shoulder season travel”, which has the added benefit of cooler temperatures, lower hotel rates and more availability.

He said that Puglia and Sicily in Italy are still popular, but more in the fall than summer. Marchant noted that these areas still have warm and sunny weather well into October.

Readers, are you planning to visit southern Europe this summer or does the extreme heat put you off? Let us know by dropping a comment below.



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