Have your sunhat handy: this is Europe's cheapest destination for a summer beach break

Posted by
Anna Brech
backgroundLayer 1
Add this article to your list of favourites

Sun worshippers, rejoice.

We have music for your ears, in the form of the seductively named Holiday Costs Barometer 2017.

This nifty little set of calculations comes courtesy of the Post Office, and figures out exactly where you will get most value for your money this summer, in terms of European beach resorts.

This report comes out every year but is particularly useful now, in 2017, with the falling value of the pound forcing holiday-makers to keep a close eye on where they spend their hard-earned cash.

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, is top of the pile amid the 19 beach destinations analysed in the just-released report.

Here, you can bag a ream of tourist staples – including coffee, wine, sun cream, a newspaper, and lunch and dinner for two - for a modest £37.

Prices quoted in the barometer were provided by local tourist offices and operators.

The Post Office said affordable meal costs is really what made the Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach reigning champion in their league table, for the fourth year running. Costs there have also dropped 10% from 2016, enhancing its bargain appeal.

“Tour operators have already reported that holidays to Bulgaria are selling like hot cakes and our research makes it clear that Sunny Beach will offer cash-strapped holidaymakers unbeatable value this year,” said Post Office Travel Money spokesperson Andrew Brown.

“Meal costs are really the deciding factor in Bulgaria’s favour. Over the course of a week’s holiday, lunch and evening meals for two will cost less around £175 in Sunny Beach but this could mushroom to over £600 in more expensive resorts in France or Italy.”

The glorious Algarve coastline in Portugal came in as the second cheapest European beach destination, although tourist essentials there are twice as expensive as Bulgaria, with a typical holiday basket coming in at £58.

Some sun-soaked countries, for example Greece, really vary when it comes to value for money, depending on whereabouts you head to. Visitors to Corfu can expect to pay around £90 for everyday bits and bobs, 10% more than in Crete, the cheapest Greek resort.

A similar situation applies to Croatia, where prices in the Istria peninsula are 27% cheaper than in Zadar further south. 

Overall the likes of Bulgaria and the Algarve are less than half the price of popular beach hubs in the South of France, Southern Italy and Ibiza. Take a look at the full range of destinations, below, and have your sunhat poised for a low-budget escape...

Graphs: The Post Office

Budget price resorts (up to £80 for staples)

Medium price resorts (£80 to £100 for staples)

Expensive resorts (over £100 for staples)

Photos: iStock

Share this article


Anna Brech

Anna Brech is a freelance journalist and former editor for Her six-year stint on the site saw her develop a vociferous appetite for live Analytics, feminist opinion and good-quality gin in roughly equal measure. She enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content but has a soft spot for books and escapist travel content.