Ideas for travel and leisure — beautiful, incredibly interesting, warm, delicious food, and the best attractions. All of this can be found in the countries most frequently searched on Google.
The year 2023 has become the year when tourism revived after the pandemic. Countries that suffered from restrictions before experienced an increase in tourist traffic. Simultaneously, with the return of tourism to the planet, Google once again shares interesting statistics at the end of the year.
Google’s statistics are called “Year in Search,” essentially a report showing what users searched for throughout the year. You can compare Google’s data with your preferences or be inspired by new directions.
For example, we have visited all countries in this top except Malta.
Countries Most Frequently Searched on Google
Leading the travel charts according to Google. Greece offers ancient Athens, endlessly beautiful islands, the best beaches on the Halkidiki coast, and the most beautiful Mediterranean Sea in Europe.
Greece boasts the best cuisine in Europe and a literal abundance of antiquities against the backdrop of beautiful nature. Greece is budget-friendly, and it’s very easy and inexpensive to reach by plane or car. Importantly, Greece is not a one-time destination like other places on this list.
Spain is often considered a beach destination. I love this country in the off-season when the influx of package tourists and beachgoers subsides. It’s the perfect time to wander the streets and squares of Barcelona, admire the views of San Sebastian, mingle with locals in bars, and closely inspect the most famous cathedrals.
Spain is also perpetually warm Tenerife, one of my top favorite islands on Earth, and a must-visit. Besides Tenerife, Gran Canaria or Lanzarote are excellent choices—take a look if you haven’t been in those areas.
Italy is a country you can travel to every year without getting tired. The best destinations include rustic Tuscany, Florence, Milan for shopping, Rome for history, museums, galleries, and restaurants, Venice because there is no other city like it, and Sicily if you want to relax beautifully and eat well.
For me, Portugal is the incredibly luxurious Algarve coastline, the capital Lisbon with its scenic viewpoints, and the country’s most beautiful city—Porto. Additionally, there are the Azores with their year-round warm spring, thermal pools, and great opportunities for hiking.
Croatia is one of my favorite countries and a primary focus on my blog. Croatia won’t get boring because after the Makarska Riviera coastline, you’ll want to visit the islands of Hvar, Brac, or Korcula, and then explore the Istria peninsula, which everyone talks about. It’s impossible to tour all of Croatia in one go, and you’ll have to come here a second, third, and tenth time, as happened with us. Croatia recently launched a visa program for digital nomads, and now you can combine work and travel in this country.
Best destinations include Dubrovnik, Split and surroundings, resorts of the Makarska Riviera, Rovinj and the Istria peninsula, islands of Hvar, Korcula, Brac. Croatia has the best European beaches for every taste, without exaggeration. The country has 4000 km of coastline, and you’ll always find your best spot by the sea.
Cyprus is essentially a European country, although located in Asia between Greece, Turkey, Lebanon, and Israel. Cyprus boasts the longest beach season in Europe, white beaches of Ayia Napa and Protaras, luxurious villages near Paphos and the Troodos mountains, wineries, and exciting road trips.
Despite its modest size, you need at least a month of active daily trips to see all the interesting places. It’s better to get acquainted with this country seasonally. For example, we discovered Cyprus as a winter destination, where trips to wineries, authentic villages, seaside walks, and cool spa hotels are relevant and affordable.
- How to Travel to Northern Cyprus — Personal Experience
- North Cyprus in One, Two, or Three Days: Itinerary, Must-See Places
- Cyprus: wine route from Paphos
Thailand is undoubtedly and deservedly the most popular country in Southeast Asia. You can travel here every winter for a decade and never repeat yourself. Thailand boasts 1430 islands, and almost all can claim the title of a tropical paradise.
Most people choose Samui, Chang, Phuket, Pangang, Tao, Lanta, Ko Lipe, and the Krabi coast. Thailand is still considered a budget destination, although not as much as it was 10–15 years ago when we first discovered it.
Thailand is not just islands and beaches; it’s picturesque mountains and nature in the northern and central parts of the country. Bangkok is always on the agenda. The capital may not appeal to everyone at first, but once you get a taste, it becomes the best city in this part of the world.
Egypt—a country with one of the most beautiful seas and underwater worlds, and it’s affordable. People come here to see the pyramids, cruise the Nile, glance at the Sahara, bargain at the souvenir bazaar, and enjoy All-Inclusive relaxation.
Malta—an island in the Mediterranean Sea, popular thanks to Europeans and Hollywood. Cult series and films like Gladiator, Troy, and Game of Thrones were shot here. Malta is full of historical sites, and its compactness allows you to see most of the main attractions in a short time.
Many people vacation in Malta annually and always find something new. Malta in this list is the only blank spot in our travel history—we planned but didn’t go due to the war in our country.
Morocco, in my opinion, is a very underrated country that gained wide recognition this year due to an earthquake in September that affected the popular tourist city of Marrakech. The crisis sparked increased tourist interest, which is very timely as tourism is one of the country’s main sources of income.
Morocco is a treasure for travelers seeking more complex emotions than beach holidays or contemplating another European cathedral. Besides the Sahara Desert and the best starry sky, Morocco boasts a multitude of ancient cities such as Marrakech, Fez, Chefchaouen, Ifrane, the atmospheric coastal Essaouira, and several beach locations along the Atlantic Ocean, complemented by excellent cuisine and mighty fortresses.
It’s very easy to organize a trip to Morocco; the country has excellent roads, friendly locals, developed tourist infrastructure, and renting a car is no more complicated than in Cyprus.
This top includes places that became popular for a reason. Each destination solves several traveler tasks at once: beach relaxation, historical landmarks and architecture, atmosphere, and leisure. All destinations are budget-friendly and entirely safe. If you are just starting your travel journey—choose from this list, you won’t go wrong.