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Bulgaria tops list of bargain beach breaks

Press Association logoPress Association 13/04/2017 Neil Lancefield

Holidaymakers wanting a bargain European beach break should head to Bulgaria, a study has found.

Sunny Beach on the Black Sea coast offers the lowest priced tourist staples for travellers, according to British survey Post Office Travel Money.

Researchers calculated that a basket of 10 goods at the resort - including bottled water, suncream, restaurant bills and an English newspaper - costs almost 10 per cent less than last year.

An evening meal for two with wine will set UK visitors back about $A33, while a bottle of local beer is only $A1.10.

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 than STG200 [$A330] in Sunny Beach but this could mushroom to over STG600 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."

Holiday costs in Portugal's Algarve - the second cheapest of the 19 destinations featured - are 57 per cent higher than in Sunny Beach, according to the report.

Spain's Costa del Sol was the third least expensive, followed by Turkey's Marmaris and Cyprus' Paphos.

Researchers found wide cost variations in the same country, with goods on Greece's Zante around a tenth cheaper than on Corfu.

The most expensive resort in the study was the Spanish island of Ibiza, at more than three times the cost of Sunny Beach.

"Greece is looking very popular this year with tour operators reporting increases of up to 40 per cent in bookings but it will pay bargain hunters to factor resort costs into the overall price they pay for their package," said Brown.

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

THE 10 CHEAPEST DESTINATIONS FOR A EUROPEAN BEACH HOLIDAY

1. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

2. Algarve, Portugal

3. Costa del Sol, Spain

4. Marmaris, Turkey

5. Paphos, Cyprus

6. Costa Blanca, Spain

7. Porec, Croatia

8. Limassol, Cyprus

9. Crete, Greece

10. Zante, Greece

Source: Post Office Travel Money

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