Sunday, May 26, 2024

The two countries where Brits are welcomed with open arms – expert

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Two sun-kissed countries in Europe with very different customs, food and traditions have been named by an expert as holiday destinations Britons should not overlook.

Hannah Dorling, a travel and cruise expert, described both Portugal and Croatia as countries where British tourists seeking to unwind will be “appreciated” as guests.

She told Express.co.uk: “In my experience, Croatia and Portugal are especially receptive to British travellers looking to unwind in idyllic settings.”

Explaining how these two nations, on the opposite sides of the European continent, share similarities, Ms Dorling said: “With breathtaking scenery, delicious food, and friendly people, these countries provide the perfect antidote to crowded spots where appreciation for visitors has waned.”

The founder of Love Cruise Ships added: “Take Croatia – its glittering Adriatic coastline dotted with ancient walled towns captivates those seeking natural beauty combined with cultural immersion.  

“Locals take pride in hospitality and delight in sharing their emerging destination with British guests. Reasonable prices plus outdoor adventures also attract visitors.”

Among the most stunning – and most crowded – places to visit in Croatia is Dubrovnik’s old town, made famous by the hit TV programme Games of Thrones after it was chosen as one of its main filming locations, the Plitvice Lakes National Park and the Diocletian’s Palace in Split. 

The expert continued: “Similarly, Portugal charms with postcard-worthy views and laidback charm. The Portuguese prioritise kindness and easily converse in English beyond stunning Lisbon.” 

Indeed, Ms Dorling said, rather than only considering the capital city of Portugal as a destination, British tourists should venture to one of the many seaside villages in the southernmost region of Portugal, Algarve, to experience “relaxation alongside mouthwatering seafood, wines, and pastries satisfying travellers’ palates”.

Portugal, famous for its wine and port from the Douro Valley, stunning beaches and historic city centres, has become an increasingly attractive holiday destination for British tourists over the years.

The number of overnight stays by UK visitors in Portugal have spiked by 39.5 percent over the past decade, according to figures released by the country’s National Statistics Institute (INE). 

The figures show a little over seven million UK tourists stayed overnight in Portugal in 2013, while in 2023 the number was over 9.9 million.

Croatia also saw an increase in overall arrivals and overnight stays in recent years – although Britons aren’t at all the largest group of visitors. 

In 2022, the country welcomed around 480,000 Britons, a significant increase compared to the previous year when 327,000 UK tourists had headed to the Adriatic nation. 

Most international travellers in Croatia in 2022, 3.2 million, were Germans – as they were in 2021, when more than 2.7 million people from Germany visited the country. 

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