Post Office survey reveals Sunny Beach still cheapest destination

Post Office survey reveals Sunny Beach still cheapest destination

Holidaymakers will find costs rising in many foreign resorts due to the weakness of the pound, yet prices keep falling outside the eurozone, figures out today reveal.

Tumbling costs in Sunny Beach have made the Bulgarian Black Sea resort even cheaper than a year ago and the best value for a bargain break for the fourth year running.

At around £37, a basket of 10 tourist staples – comprising lunch and evening meals, drinks, suncream, insect repellent and a daily newspaper – costs 10% less in Sunny Beach than last year, despite the weaker pound.

An evening meal for two with wine will cost UK travellers less than £20, while lunch for two is under £6 and suncream is cheaper than the lowest-priced UK bottle at £3.72.

The Post Office Travel Money research also found tourist costs in Sunny Beach to be lower than at any time in the past five years.

The Algarve is the runner-up resort to Sunny Beach, although holiday costs are 56% higher than in Bulgaria at just over £58.

The Portuguese destination remains cheapest of 14 eurozone resorts surveyed and around £2 cheaper than the Costa del Sol (£61) in third place.

Prices in both destinations are less than half those in Ibiza (£131), the most expensive of 19 resorts surveyed.

Marmaris at £68 is the cheapest of seven resorts surveyed in Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and Malta.

Although local prices have risen 11% in a year, the Turkish lira is the only European currency to have weakened against sterling and a 15% year-on-year dip in its value makes the cost of items in Marmaris 4% cheaper than 12 months ago. The same 10 items cost 40% more – £95 – in Sliema, Malta.

However, wide cost variations were found between resorts in the same country.

The Costa del Sol remains a bargain choice for UK holidaymakers but they can expect to pay 25% more for the same items in the Costa Blanca (£76).

Prices in Majorca (£89) are 47% higher than in the Costa del Sol although they are almost a third cheaper than in Ibiza.

Crete is the cheapest Greek destination surveyed at just under £82 for the tourist staples, while Zante (£82) is a few pence more and Kefalonia (£84) comes close. But tourists visiting Corfu (£90) can expect to pay 10% more.

In Croatia, Porec (£79) is 27% cheaper than Zadar (£109) and are 15% lower than five years ago.

Porec is one of six resorts where UK visitors will pay less than they would have done in 2012.

The biggest falls have been in the Costa del Sol and Sunny Beach, where prices have plunged by more than 20% since 2012.

But researchers also found that prices have risen 44% in Nice and 61% in Sorrento since then and they remain among the three most expensive surveyed.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money, said: “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.

“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.

“If you haven’t already booked a holiday do your homework to find a resort which best fits your budget.”

He added: “Greece is looking very popular this year with tour operators reporting increases of up to 40% in bookings but it will pay bargain hunters to factor resort costs into the overall price they pay for their package.

“Swapping resorts could save a lot of money and this applies to popular resorts all over Europe as well as to Greece.”

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