Brits are seeking out this picturesque Montenegro town as an alternative to Croatia

Tivat has drawn comparisions with far pricier holiday destinations (Getty Images)
Tivat has drawn comparisions with far pricier holiday destinations (Getty Images)

With captivating coastal towns, crystal-clear adriatic waters and an enviable climate, Croatia is a firm favourite on the tourist trail.

But with popularity comes crowds and inflated prices – and British holidaymakers are increasingly looking for more affordable, yet equally charming, alternatives.

The town of Tivat in Montenegro is one such destination. According to data from Kayak, searches for flights to the picturesque port town have increased 74 per cent compared to last year, at the same time that search interest in Croatia has dropped.

The travel search engine revealed that searches to the most popular Croatia destinations, including the cities of Split and Zadar, have fallen by around 5 per cent on average compared to 2023.

Sitting in the Bay of Kotor overlooking the Adriatic Sea, much of Tivat’s tourist appeal lies at its waterfront where you’ll find a pleasant promenade lined with hotels, bars, cafes and restaurants. The glistening marina filled with superyachts and surrounded by high-ends shops has led to comparisons with Monaco on the French Riviera – but holidaymakers won’t need a billionaire’s budget to enjoy it.

Kayak’s research also revealed that flight prices to Tivat have fallen by 9 per cent this year to an average of £245 – suggesting that it could be an ideal destination for a summer holiday in 2024. Both easyJet and Jet2 fly direct to Tivat from the UK.

The nearby coastal towns of Perast and Kotor are also proving to be increasingly popular with tourists seeking the old town charm of Croatian cities like Dubrovnik and Hvar, but without shoulder-to-shoulder crowds.

The pivot to Montenegro away from Croatia appears to be reflective of a wider trend of holidaymakers looking for less popular, and more affordable, alternatives to popular holiday locations – or ‘destination dupes’.

Kayak’s data found that searches for the French city of Béziers to have more than doubled in the past 12 months. Situated in Occitanie in the south of France, Béziers boasts beautiful architecture and excleent cuisine, but is quieter and cheaper than popular neighbouring towns. Kayak found that the average cost of flights to Béziers is just £204, while Bergerac is £241 and Bastia in Corsica is £315.

Over in Spain, Reus in the heart of Catalonia is emerging as a hidden gem with searches rising by 40 per cent compared to last year, while Girona – a couple of hours up the coast – has seen a 32 per cent increase, and Corvera in Murcia has experienced a 26 per cent jump. In comparison, searches to Barcelona have remained flat and to Madrid have dipped by 1 per cent.

Other destinations flagged in the Kayak research as rising stars are Olbia in Sardinia, Italy, which was noted as an alternative to Sicily, and Austria’s Salzburg, where holidaymakers might want to visit instead of the more crowded Vienna. Flight searches to these destinations rose by 54 per cent and 44 per cent respectively.

Rachel Mumford, a travel expert at Kayak, said: “While we see travellers still seeking out popular tourist hotspots this summer, our data suggests that there’s also an increasing desire for Brits to be more adventurous in their searches.

“This means exploring lesser-visited cities in familiar countries. Whether it’s the allure of quieter areas, saving some cash, or craving for more authentic local experiences, these ‘unsung heroes’ can offer travellers comparable experiences to their more popular counterparts.”