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Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe’s Next Big Tourist Hotspot

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Panoramic View Of The Sveti Stefan Island Resort, Sveti Stefan, Near Budva, Montenegro, Western Balkans Region Of South Eastern Europe, On The Adriatic Section Of The Mediterranean Sea

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With demand for culture-infused sunny vacations continuing to grow, numerous countries in Southern Europe are reporting a rapid increase in arrival figures, with record levels of tourism seen across the entire Mediterranean basin.

Panoramic View Of The Sveti Stefan Island Resort, Sveti Stefan, Near Budva, Montenegro, Western Balkans Region Of South Eastern Europe, On The Adriatic Section Of The Mediterranean Sea
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From Spain’s Costa del Sol to Greece’s Easternmost Aegean islands, travelers are flocking to sandy beaches for some of that slow-paced lifestyle and subtropical atmosphere, but one destination in particular is unexpectedly outshining all others this year.

A tiny, lesser-known Southeastern European country is now poised to become Europe’s next big tourist hotspot, and it won’t be long until it becomes the ‘new St Tropez‘:

Europe’s Youngest Country

Montenegro is a small Balkan state sandwiched between Croatia and Albania, with 183 miles of Adriatic coastline. It is not only a new tourist destination but an incredibly young country at that.

Montenegrin Flag Flying Atop A Fortress Overlooking The Bay Of Kotor, Kotor City, Montenegro, Western Balkans, South Eastern Europe
Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe's Next Big Tourist Hotspot 152

If Kosovo’s independence is not to be taken into account due to ongoing disputes, Montenegro is the youngest country in Europe.

While the territory that makes up the modern-day country has been inhabited by several millennia, and it has no shortage of ancient landmarks to claim for itself, the Republic of Montenegro is a recent concept that only came to fruition in 2006.

Before that year, the country was in a state union with neighboring Serbia, and even earlier, it was a constituent republic of Yugoslavia, a communist federation, also led by Serbia, that existed in Southeast Europe for most of the 20th century, also including Croatia, Slovenia, and others.

montenegro coastline with Ulcinj town with trees
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In a way, Montenegro’s attachment to Serbia infamously held back its development, particularly during the socialist years and following the bloody break-up of Yugoslavia, which left both of its last-standing countries ostracized in an increasingly-Westernized continent.

Since the fragile, dysfunctional union was dismantled, however, Montenegro flourished as a more open, fast-developing country.

As the then-Prime Minister Svetozar Marović declared, Montenegro was to become one of the world’s ‘most elite’ destinations, ‘better than St Tropez’, and it certainly has made great strides towards that.

The Jewel Of The Adriatic

View Of Sveti Stefan Resort Island Surrounded By The Turquoise Blue Adriatic Sea, A Section Of The Mediterranean, Near Budva, Montenegro, Western Balkans, South Eastern Europe
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As part of the wider, cross-border historical territory known as Dalmatia, which it also partly shares with Croatia, Montenegro is characterized by its rugged beauty.

Made up of an Adriatic coastline dotted with centuries-old villages, a mountainous inland with majestic jagged peaks – hence the country’s name – and typical Mediterranean vegetation, it has all the qualities and attributes that make all of its far more popular counterparts great.

It has Croatia’s Dalmatian stone and ocher-colored coastal towns, the water’s turquoise shades are as bright as Greece’s, and the Montenegrin cuisine, as any other Mediterranean diet, is as delectable as Italy’s or Spain’s.

Alfresco Dinner, Traditional Italian Pasta And Wine At Sunset, Rome, Italy
Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe's Next Big Tourist Hotspot 155

The former Prime Minister wasn’t wrong when he underlined Montenegro’s potential to become a major Mediterranean player, as billions have been spent on critical tourist infrastructure over the years since it gained independence.

Affordable Luxury Seaside Resorts Against A Medieval Setting

Touring Montenegro, visitors will find modernized marinas, a surprisingly developed wellness and hospitality scene, with an excellent portfolio of spa hotels and luxury seaside resorts to pick from, and well-kept Adriatic beaches lined by bars and beach clubs.

Small Village Of Perast On The Bay Of Kotor, Montenegro, Western Balkans, South Eastern Europe
Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe's Next Big Tourist Hotspot 156

Though the country’s main goal is to convert itself into the next St Tropez – the French town that is one of Europe’s luxury tourism capitals – it is still relatively affordable by any Mediterranean standard.

According to BudgetYourTrip, a one-week vacation in Montenegro will cost around $786 for one person, including accommodation and daily expenses. The average hotel price in Montenegro for a couple is $92, while the median cost of meals per day is $39.

In St Tropez or the wider French Riviera, a one-week stay will set you back by roughly $1,111, or around 325 bucks more than up-and-coming Montenegro.

Tourist Taking A Picture In Perast, Montenegro
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It may not seem like much, but when vacation costs are added up, including transportation to and from St Tropez and tourist attractions – in Montenegro, they can be a lot cheaper – you will soon realize why vacationers are opting for the lesser-known Adriatic gem.

Montenegro is definitely not as cheap as Albania, which should definitely be your go-to destination for a budget holiday, but the most important thing is it will not break the bank.

An overnight stay at the Hotel Budva, in one of the trendiest coastal locations in Montenegro, costs $136 this fall, and even the more luxurious Avala Resort & Villas, with its landmark infinity pool found at the tip of a stone pier stretching out into the sea, costs only $186.

Come For The Affordable Luxury, Stay For The Culture

Clock Tower inside Stari Grad. Kotor Montenegro
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When it comes to culture, the UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor is a favorite among visitors, home to the city of Kotor itself, a medieval walled settlement listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, and several smaller settlements dating back to the Roman period.

Some of the prettiest settlements on the Bay include Perast, a quaint cobbled village; our Lady of the Rocks, a small islet in the middle of the Bay housing a Catholic church and museum; and the upscale Tivat, which combines both medieval aesthetics and an upscale luxury resort scene.

View Of Kotor Town And Kotor Bay From Atop Kotor Fortress, Montenegro, Mediterranean Europe, Adriatic Coast
Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe's Next Big Tourist Hotspot 159

The Montenegrin capital, Podgorica, is also deserving of a nod, though it is often bypassed by tourists altogether, seeing it does not straddle the coast. A small Balkan city home to only 185,000 or so residents, it is filled with modernist structures and wide, tree-lined boulevards.

Visit Montenegro Before It Swings West Fully

Montenegro is speeding fast towards full European integration, and it may not be another decade until it is fully accepted as a member of the European Union, which it has not yet, even though the euro is in circulation inside the country.

Old town in Budva in a beautiful summer day, Montenegro
Why This Tiny Lesser Known Country Will Be Europe's Next Big Tourist Hotspot 160

Exactly like its sister-nation Croatia, it emerged out of the Yugoslavia era a much more prosperous state, and its recent advancements on the tourism front are laudable.

It truly won’t be long until it becomes indeed the next St Tropez, and hopefully a full EU member, but for now, you still have a chance to explore this mysterious Adriatic country before everyone else finds out about it.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Alex Harsha is a full-time writer.Before becoming a full-time writer, Alex was a public school teacher. He teaches writing workshops to children and adults. Lives in Connecticut & Works on next novel.

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Cultural destinations

These Are The Top 7 Beach Destinations In 2024 According To Travel And Leisure

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mallorca spain coastline

A comprehensive list of the top destinations for 2024 has been put together by the Travel and Leisure experts.

Numerous magazines have released their favorites for the upcoming year, and they all appear very different. While some are fully off the grid, others are popular hotspots.

In the end, you have to determine what interests you enough to plan a fantastic trip. Travel & Leisure divided up their best recommendations by category rather than covering all 50 locations.

Let’s examine the top 7 “beach vibes” for 2024 as listed by Travel & Leisure:
Florida’s Anna Maria Island
There are several locations in Florida that make for the perfect vacation, which is why the state continues to draw enormous numbers of visitors.

Miami and other major American beaches and cultural centers are located in this sunny state. However, a lot of people decide to take the ideal family vacation to Orlando.

Tampa is one place that gets overlooked despite having so many beautiful beaches close by. Travel and Leisure declares Anna Maria Island to be the greatest in Florida because of its friendly locals, breathtaking sunsets, and lack of skyscrapers that obstruct the view.

Your stay will be more enjoyable and accessible with new hotels and more flights to nearby Sarasota.
Italy’s Campania coast
This striking area is experiencing a hotel boom on some of the most picturesque coastline in the nation.

With four destinations to pick from for your European beach getaway—Amalfi, Positano, Capri, and Sorrento—Coastal Campania offers quadruple the pleasure.

Italy’s breathtaking beaches will wow you; many visitors associate the nation with ancient sites and excessive wine and pasta consumption.

You can still indulge in excessive amounts of delectable food and drink locally produced wine, but why not do it against the breathtaking backdrop of azure waters, undulating hills, and classic architecture?
There are several hotel alternatives available to travelers, ranging from luxurious accommodations with cliffside pools to intimate boutique styles.

Soon, American and Delta will begin offering direct service to the neighboring Naples.
There isn’t a single Costa Rican beach that Travel and Leisure recommended visiting in 2024. T and L essentially advise you to “just pick one” beach because they are all so lovely.

Any beach in Costa Rica is a good choice, however some are busier and more well-known than others.
While some may choose for more quiet spots to have a wonderful beach all to themselves, many small towns have a thriving surfing community that gets together to surf the waves.

Travelers adore visiting the land of pura vida, despite the fact that it is usually more expensive than nearby nations.

Travel & Leisure also adore it. Indeed, they have selected Costa Rica as the “Destination of the Year” for 2024. Whether traveling alone, with company, or on a family vacation, everyone will find their place in this stunning nation.

There are plenty of enjoyable excursions to discover the breathtaking beauty and culture of the country, and lodging options ranging from cozy hostels to opulent hotels are easily accessible.
Dominica  Over the past year, Dominica has been increasingly popular. Travel is on the rise, and more people are looking to discover bright new places to visit.

This Caribbean island features picture-perfect waterfalls, verdant jungles, and unspoiled beaches, making it a veritable paradise.

trekking enthusiasts should prepare their trekking shoes, as the breathtaking Waitukubuli National Trail spans more than 100 miles across the island.

More lodging facilities, including upscale establishments like InterContinental, are opening up. A major lure for tourists is sustainability, with charming eco-lodges.
Hawaii Island 🙠
We are all aware of the destruction Hawaii experienced earlier this year. After a wildfire decimated Maui, there has been debate in the travel industry over whether or not it is still safe to visit.

Travel and Leisure claims that Hawaii is prepared for tourists to return. Without requiring a passport, Hawaii offers one of the most unusual environments.

Stunning beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, and cliffside vistas are just a few of the main attractions for tourists.

Travelers are urged by the tourism sector to treat any island as if it were their own home and to be careful of their stay.
Mexico’s Los Cabos
With the cleanest beaches in all of Latin America, Los Cabos is among the most picturesque locations in Mexico.

“Is Cabo worth the price?” is the query that vacationers should be asking themselves. The top hotels, according to reports, are now charging an astounding $1000 a night on average!

With its boujee resorts, immaculate beaches, and exciting entertainment, Cabo is among the most opulent vacation spots that are accessible to most people.

In 2024, more opulent resorts are planned to open, and more flights are leaving from American airports.
Spain’s Mallorca
This gorgeous island in Spain is ideal for a romantic beach vacation. It is the location of the lovely city of Palma, which is overlooked in favor of Spain’s other major towns. Outside of the city are some of the most tranquil beaches the country has to offer, complete with dazzling waters, wide-open areas, and relaxed residents.

In between beach days, explore the amazing downtown streets for an abundance of tapas and mouthwatering wine. From boutique lodging to a Four Seasons resort, the quaint hotels will win your heart.

With United’s new direct route from Newark, getting to Mallorca is now easier than ever.

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Cultural destinations

These Are 5 Of The Top Destinations In Southeast Asia’s Cheapest Country

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Aerial View Of A Beach Area In Nha Trang, Central Vietnam, Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, sometimes abbreviated as SEA, is the ideal destination for backpackers.

Vietnam is a very diverse subcontinent where foreigners are welcomed and hyperinflated Western prices are not a regular concern. This year, its popularity has increased due to lax visitation laws and less bureaucratic tourist visa processes, but no nation has shown itself to be as fashionable as Vietnam.

This tropical treasure borders the turquoise East Sea and is considered the cheapest destination in the South East Asia region. With extremely low consumer costs and a devalued national currency that enhances the spending power of the typical Westerner, it’s your best choice for an off-the-beaten-path tropical holiday that won’t break the bank.

After spending a lot of time exploring Vietnam, we have selected the top five places to go this winter that are affordable and rich in culture:
Mui Ne
Mui Ne, a tranquil fishing hamlet in South Vietnam, is undoubtedly the most underappreciated coastal location in the nation since it offers culture and wellness all in one place.

It’s got an emerging development strip with new resorts opening every few months, including the delightful boutique hotel The Anam that we featured earlier this year, as well as pristine reserves, sand dunes, family-run eateries, and historic Cham towers that date back hundreds of years.

With nightly rates as low as $114 and a prime location near Mui Ne’s high street rather than in a far-off place away from the activity, The Anam is the perfect starting point for visitors wishing to explore the town and the larger province.

The area is well-known for its seafood, particularly its fish sauce, and there are several authentic restaurants outside the resort complex that serve Vietnamese specialties, like rice noodle soup and sea snails, for as little as $5.
As Hoi An
Hoi An, the crown jewel of Vietnam, is a superbly maintained medieval river port with dwellings that have a yellow tint, winding alleyways, and a history that dates back more than 2,000 years.

A reminder of the successive colonization periods and the multicultural nature of Hoi An, it is situated in Central Vietnam, halfway between the country’s two largest cities, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Its eclectic architecture, influenced by Chinese, Japanese, and European styles, is evident throughout its bustling streets, which are home to medieval Sino pagodas, striking displays of colorful, brightly painted paper lanterns, a Japanese temple bridge that spans a picturesque canal, and several French-built civic structures that date back to the French Indochina period.

Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must-visit location if you’re traveling from North to South Vietnam or the other way around. Like other Vietnamese hotspots, it fits your budget—a three-day stay typically costs about $50, not including lodging.

Ho Chi Minh City, also known as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and the political and cultural center of the former capitalist state of South Vietnam. Despite no longer serving as the country’s capital, it is still known by this name.

Still the most Westernized and outward-looking city in the nation, HCMC has changed with the times thanks to the support of a strong expat population, making it one of the top investment and business destinations in Southeast Asia.

HCMC, home to 8.4 million people, is a popular destination for digital nomads and young entrepreneurs. With its impressive French colonial architecture, war museums, and exciting nightlife, it’s a vibrant city that visitors shouldn’t miss when exploring Vietnam.

Cu Chi Tunnels, used by Viet combatants during the War, the Independence Palace, the former South Vietnam Government’s headquarters, and the Notre Dame Cathedral, a French Neo-Gothic structure, are just a few of the city’s top attractions.

When compared to other major cities in the subcontinent, HCMC is surprisingly affordable. Budget tourists could anticipate to pay a meager $30 per day, not including lodging.
Ha Trang
With over 500,000 residents, Nha Trang is one of Vietnam’s largest cities and the nation’s go-to sunny spot. Holidaymakers tend to flock there during the peak travel season, which runs from November to February when less precipitation is recorded.

Nha Trang is the new favorite digital nomad destination in Southeast Asia. It is another well-liked beach resort and bustling coastal metropolis lining the East Sea, where tall hotel towers and skyscrapers are bounded by a long stretch of white sand.

Not so well-known Nha Trang is fast rising to prominence as one of Southeast Asia’s most sought-after options for a seaside city break, thanks to its array of opulent hotels surrounding the shoreline and its abundance of top-notch restaurants serving traditional seafood from Central Vietnam.

In general, visitors should budget only $41 a day on average in Nha Trang, plus an extra $27 per night for lodging.

In addition to the stunning beaches and commercial malls, tourists may fully immerse themselves in Vietnamese culture by visiting the nearby Po Nagar ruins, an old temple that was established as early as the eighth century by the now-extinct Cham civilization.

Hanoi
A discussion of Vietnam’s most interesting travel locations would be incomplete without discussing Hanoi, which served as the country’s capital after the Reunification War and is now regarded as the country’s second-most important commercial and cultural hub after Ho Chi Minh City in the South.

The main draws of Hanoi are its broad, green boulevards in the European style and its greater degree of social development in comparison to other less developed areas of Vietnam:

Being the government’s capital and a major financial center, it has greater infrastructure than the typical Vietnamese city and is much cleaner, with less hectic traffic.

Not only is Hanoi a popular destination because of this, but visitors also enjoy it because of its high concentration of historic temples, French colonial landmarks, and large, open green spaces that offer a brief respite from the fast-paced city life.

Furthermore, because Hanoi has connections to off-beaten routes in North Vietnam, travelers frequently use it as a base for exploring the region’s wild nature, which includes stunning mountain ranges, the UNESCO-listed Halong Bay, and golden rice fields.

With an average daily cost of $50 for tourists, Hanoi is undoubtedly the most costly option out of the five; yet, even by Western standards, it is extremely affordable and definitely less expensive than other Asian metropolises like Singapore or Hong Kong.

Are you planning a trip to Vietnam soon? Find out more about this Southeast Asian treasure and some of the guidelines for visiting.

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These 5 U.S. Airlines Are Most Likely To Experience Flight Delays Right Now

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Woman Waiting at Airport

The holidays are quickly approaching, resulting in some of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Flight delays are typical this time of year, particularly around Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Flying may be a stressful experience in and of itself, but delays can make it even more so.

Booking with an airline that has a high proportion of on-time flights and booking a ticket early in the morning are two of the greatest strategies to avoid flight delays.

According to recent statistics from UpgradedPoints, the following airlines in the United States are most likely to face flight delays right now.

1. Frontier Airlines.

Frontier Airlines is currently the worst airline for flight delays. This low-cost carrier’s flights have a 31.9% risk of being delayed.

Rather of taking a chance and risking a one-in-three possibility of your flight being delayed, it’s best to select a more dependable airline for flights this winter.

Frontier is also dealing with other concerns, including as a class-action lawsuit against the airline’s $599 “unlimited flight” pass, which was introduced earlier this year.

2. Southwest Airlines

Last year, just around Christmas, Southwest Airlines experienced a catastrophic meltdown, resulting in thousands of flight delays and cancellations.

Many tourists questioned if booking with Southwest was safe in light of the complete breakdown of operations. While Southwest is likely to strive extra hard to avoid a similar disaster this winter, you may not want to take any chances.

Furthermore, according to historical statistics, Southwest flights have a 31.8% risk of being delayed, making the airline nearly as unreliable as Frontier.

3. JetBlue Airways

JetBlue is another untrustworthy airline with a significant likelihood of flight delays. When it comes to on-time flights, this New York-based carrier does not have the finest track record.

Although not as awful as Frontier or Southwest, going on JetBlue still means you have a staggering 30.8% probability of experiencing flight delays.

4. Allegiant Airlines

Allegiant Air is the next carrier on the list of possible delays. This low-cost airline is not very dependable, so although you may save money by booking your ticket, you may also face unexpected delays.

Allegiant Air flights are delayed 29.2% of the time.

5. Spirit Airlines

Finally, there is Spirit Airlines. Although this low-cost carrier is the brunt of many jokes for being a less-than-ideal mode of transportation, it isn’t as awful as some other US airlines when it comes to delays.

When flying with Spirit, there is a 28.1% risk of a flight delay.

Which Airlines Experience the Fewest Delays?

Now that you know which airlines are most likely to have flight delays right now (and which to avoid! ), here are the airlines with the fewest delays.

Although ultra-low tickets with airlines such as Frontier or Spirit may entice you, it may be worth the additional money to book with a more dependable airline.

The top three airlines with the fewest delays right now are:

  • Alaska Airlines has a 20.3% probability of being delayed.
  • Delta Air Lines has a 19.1% probability of being delayed.
  • Hawaiian Airlines has a 15.6% probability of being delayed.

Flights can be delayed for a variety of reasons, including aircraft faults, personnel concerns, weather, and other factors, but these three airlines have the fewest delays.

There is no foolproof technique to avoid flight delays (as lovely as that would be! ), but you may read this article for further advice on how to avoid the dreaded delay or cancellation.

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