It is the age-old problem of booking a holiday to get away from the crowds – how do you make sure you go to an undiscovered gem and not simply somewhere so bad no one wants to visit?
Tasked with finding the destinations that are about to be big this summer, a team of experts have analysed online search traffic to unveil the top 10 list of places that everyone will be talking about on Twitter and Facebook feeds this summer.
After looking at what people were searching for in the past 12 months, they came up with a list of potential holiday spots that have seen an unusual spike in interest – known as the largest “increased search percentage” year on year – as an indication of what is set to become popular.
TravelSupermarket, which compiled the list, said it had also been filtered by comparing search data with actual mentions on Twitter – adding substance to the buzz around the locations beyond simply what people have searched for.
Top of the list was Rovinj, in Croatia. With British tourists tending to favour the better-known likes of Split and Dubrovnic, this little coastal town has stayed beautiful, cheap and relatively undiscovered.
Trend-setter Sean O’Shea, 29, said he went last year after it was recommended by a work colleague and had a week of eating fresh seafood, drinking wine and reading books on the coast.
In pictures: Top 10 holiday destinations that will be big in 2014
In pictures: Top 10 holiday destinations that will be big in 2014
1/10 1 - Rovinj
Rovinj is a pretty little coastal town on the Adriatic coast of Croatia. While Croatia has always been popular, with British tourists descending on the likes of Split and Dubrovnic, Rovinj in the north of the country is a beautiful, relatively undiscovered and somewhat cheaper alternative. Climb the bell tower at the church on top of the hill for great views
2/10 2 - Warsaw
Warsaw is a vibrant city which is opening its arms to foreign visitors looking to experience its eclectic mix of contemporary art and medieval landmarks. Its relatively cheap cost of living and low-cost flights from the UK are making the Polish capital an appealing choice for a long weekend city break. Wandering around the old town is a must, both during the day and at night time. The atmosphere is very different and the city’s skyline is beautiful to behold
3/10 3 - St Petersburg
Russia has been sneaking into our psyche recently as a result of the Winter Olympics. Its position on the news agenda may have sparked an interesting in the more easily accessible areas of the country, like Russia’s cultural capital, St Petersburg. During the summer, canal cruises are easy to find and a good way to see the city
4/10 4 - Reykjavik
Iceland’s capital is famous for its wild nightlife, interesting people and of course, the Aurora Borealis. Lots of media interest in the Northern Lights has been generated by sightings in the UK recently, and Reykjavik is still considered one of the best places to go to see the spectacle. Golden Circle is an absolute must - the scenery is awesome (especially if it's snowy) - but wrap up warm!
5/10 5 - Copenhagen
The eyes of Europe will be on the Danish capital this May as Copenhagen hosts the Eurovision Song Contest. It’s a clean and safe city which is home to lovely cafes and restaurants next to its historic canals and cobbled squares. Tivoli gardens are a joy to behold
6/10 6 - Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is a lively city with a great mixture of traditional and modern activities to do. If you like partying, but still want to take in a bit of culture, it is the perfect combination. It’s also a friendly LGBT community – the Gay Pride Parade in June will welcome visitors from all over the world looking to soak up the electric atmosphere. Israelis don’t start a night before midnight so make sure you prepare yourself for a long night
7/10 7 - Biarritz
Famous for its surfing and swagger, Biarritz might have once been seen as the playground for the rich, but the French coastal town is proving popular with water sports enthusiasts and is the home to many cultural and music related events. The main beach can get very busy as it is literally on the main high street. Take a 10-15 min walk along the coast, where the beaches are quiet
8/10 8 - Bergen
Norway's Bergen has a blossoming art and music scene and a Viking festival in June half way between Bergen and Stavanger in Carmoy may attract increased visitors to the area over the summer. Explore the countryside around Bergen, it is stunning
9/10 9 - Valletta
Built on a peninsula (surrounded three sides by sea) Valletta is a quaint and thriving harbour city undergoing a lot of redevelopment. It combines the culture and excitement of a city break with blue skies, blue seas and delicious Mediterranean food. Take a walking tour of Valetta and a trip around the harbour will give you a good insight into its history, design and the local mind-set. You will see why UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site
10/10 10 - Gothenburg
Scandinavia is still uber-cool at the moment, but we all know that visits to the area come with a hefty price-tag. Gothenburg encapsulates as much of the class and atmosphere as Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, without the capital city’s prices. Take a barge up the canal; you can see some lovely sites
Second on the list was Warsaw, Poland. TravelSupermarket’s experts said the vibrant city represented an “eclectic mix of contemporary art and medieval landmarks” – with cheap UK flights making it very accessible for the more refined traveller.
Philippa Mander, 30, went last month for a weekend break and said the city was “stunning” at night, with a buzzing nightlife and “moving” monuments and museums.
Completing the top three was St Petersburg, Russia. It has a growing “hipster” scene to accompany its rich history and 22-year-old Max Haddock described it as “edgier and more low-key than Moscow”.
TravelSupermarket’s travel expert, Bob Atkinson, comments: “We’ve been keeping an eye on which destinations have been searched for over the last year to uncover the top holiday hot-spots that have seen an unusual increase in interest.
“It’s often the case that new destinations start to come into our psyche as a result of a music or sports events, or even film and TV programmes from dramas to documentaries and we find our attention suddenly drawn towards a new place we might never have considered before.
“The good news is, low-cost air travel has given us the confidence and the opportunity to try out these up-and-coming locations. It means we can now get away for short breaks easily and affordably and be much more experimental with our choice of destination – having fun discovering new places in the process.”Reuse content