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Resort prices in Bulgaria are the cheapest across Europe while costs in Italy and inflation-hit Turkey have soared, a study out today (Friday) shows.
Sunny Beach is Bulgaria emerges as the best value of 14 European resorts surveyed by Post Office Travel Money in its latest holiday costs barometer.
Sunny Beach prices have plunged for the second year running and at £37.39 the barometer basket of 10 tourist staples - lunch and evening meals, drinks, suncream, insect repellent and a daily newspaper – now costs 28% less than two years ago.
However, the biggest price falls over the past year have been in the Algarve. This has been helped by continuing strength of the pound against the euro, which hit a seven-year high earlier in the year resulting in price falls in the eurozone.
A fall in the cost of eating out contributed to a 22% drop in the price of typical tourist purchases to £44.02 – making the Algarve 8% cheaper than third-placed Costa del Sol (£47.90).
But prices remain high in Italy with Sorrento (£101.60) being the most expensive of the 14 resorts surveyed. Rising prices have offset the benefit of the powerful pound, which means that the barometer basket is only marginally down on last year.
Successive Post Office reports have noted price cuts in Cyrus and the latest barometer reveals a fall of 12.1% since last spring in Paphos (£54.81) and more than 30% compared with 2013. As a result Cyprus is fourth best value destination overall and best value in the eastern Mediterranean. Prices in Paphos are now 17% lower than in Turkey where visitors to Marmaris (£65.70) can expect to pay 21% more than last year.
The Greek Islands are also offering good value with Crete (£57.09) and Corfu (£62.14) showing price falls of 14.1% and 19.7% respectively. Along with the Algarve, meal prices account for most of the saving. The cost of an evening meal for two with wine in Crete is down by a quarter to £25.37.
Big price variations were found between the Costa del Sol and the Balearic Islands. Ibiza weighs in as the priciest at £95.65, with the 10 items costing twice as much as in the Costa del Sol.
Majorca is the cheapest of the Balearics after a 15.6% fall brought prices down to £65.38 while tourists visiting Menorca will find it almost as cheap at £67.02. Prices there have fallen by more the 16% in a year but have plunged 44% over two years.
Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Meal prices can have a big impact on the holiday budget and make a big dent in their holiday finances for people who plan to eat out every night.
“In the Algarve a three-course evening meal with wine costs just over £16 for two people while lunch comes in at £12. That’s less than half the price in other eurozone resorts including Ibiza, Sorrento and Nice.”
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