HAVING shed its ‘party-island’ past, the Greek Island of Mykonos is enjoying a renaissance with Australian travellers.
While Croatia and Turkey have had their time in the sun in recent years, there has been a 109 per cent increase on searches to Athens year-on-year by Australians, according to travel website Kayak.
Now with airlines like Qatar introducing flights from Australia direct to Mykonos via Doha, a European summer on the picturesque island is more accessible than ever.
Splash out on a luxe stay at one of the family-run The Myconian Collection hotels, each offering the finest bespoke experiences and first-class facilities.
Skip the crowds on the Amalfi Coast and head to the previously overlooked rural region of Puglia, the country’s new destination du jour.
With its stunning coastline, baroque cities, restored masserias, endless rows of ancient olive trees, rich history and hospitable people, the unspoiled Puglia is now a hot spot for travellers seeking authentic and immersive experiences.
Located on the heel of Italy’s famous boot, this southern region was previously ignored in favour of more elegant northern destinations however it is fast becoming Italy’s rising star.
Best explored by car, there’s a host of beautiful cities to visit such as Alberobello - known as the ‘City of the Trulli’ - Ostuni, Salento, the baroque city of Lecce and the ancient southern Italian cave city of Matera, located on the border of Basilicata and Puglia.
Yes, Croatian island hot spots like Hvar are beautiful but those who want to experience Croatia without the crowds should consider a visit to this lesser known, unspoilt seaside gem.
Hailed as Croatia’s capital of cool’ and known for its Roman and Venetian ruins, Lonely Planet voted Zadar one of the top destinations to visit in 2019 – for good reason.
With its romantic Old Town steeped in history, vibrant atmosphere, restaurants and cafes, hypnotic sunsets and close proximity to neighbouring islands and Paklencia, Plitvice Lakes and Krka national parks, Zadar makes for an appealing summer holiday destination.
It may not be as well known as other nations however this staggeringly beautiful southern European country deserves to be known as one of the must-visit destinations for 2019.
More affordable than Greece and Croatia, Albania boasts stunning mountain scenery, pristine beaches and fortress towns without the crowds.
The small village of Ksamil, along the southern Albanian Riviera near Saranda and Corfu, boasts some of the most spectacular beaches in Europe, an abundance of fresh seafood and is within a short drive of two different UNESCO heritage sites: Butrint and Gjirokastra.
“Albania remains a destination where you can hike amid beautiful mountain scenery, stay in tiny and timeless villages and explore the buzzy capital Tirana for less than pretty much anywhere else in Europe,” said the Lonely Planet in its Best In Travel for Value in 2019.