Valencia tops surprising poll of travellers’ favourite coastal stays in Europe

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A new Which? survey reveals that visitors are starting to look beyond the old overcrowded favourites such as Barcelona and Málaga

Ask for a lineup of the most popular European coastal destinations and you might expect the usual suspects: Venice, Lisbon and Nice. Travellers from the era of the Grand Tour might have added Biarritz and Naples – but a survey of 3,500 readers by consumer organisation Which? suggests that visitors are starting to look beyond the old favourites and discover new destinations.

The Spanish Mediterranean port of Valencia was the surprising winner in a recent poll that looked at 12 separate criteria, including quality of the beaches, seafronts and marinas; attractiveness; food and drink; and value for money. Respondents cited the city’s history, futuristic architecture and gastronomy, but also its peace and quiet. With traditional favourites such as Barcelona struggling with overpopularity – numbers there are heading back towards the 2019 high of 13.9 million overnight visitors – that seems significant.

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