Cheapest beach holiday destination in Europe revealed

A basket of 10 typical tourist staples retails at £37 at Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach

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The Independent Online

Forget France, the cheapest getaway this summer is balmy Bulgaria - but don't forget price isn't everything.

The Bulgarian Black Sea resort of Sunny Beach has come in as the cheapest option in a recent survey by the Post Office.

A basket of 10 typical tourist staples, including food and drink, sun cream and insect repellent, was found to be cheaper at Sunny Beach than at 19 other popular beach destinations in Europe.

A falling pound, flat-lining wages and the rising cost of everyday goods at home means many families will be looking for a cheaper alternative this summer.

However, scrimping sun-seekers should be aware of significant crime problems at Sunny Beach. The Foreign Office has had to issue warnings in the past about pick-pocketing, prostitution and threatening behaviour by taxi drivers.

Slightly pricier, but potentially safer options on the Post Office list include the Algarve, the Costa del Sol, and Paphos in Cyprus.

A basket of typical holiday bits and pieces retails at £58 on the Algarve, dearer than the £37 charged on Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach, but the former's low crime rates might make for a more relaxing trip.

The Costa del Sol comes in at £61 for a typical basket, whereas the Greek island resort of Paphos hits £74.

As ever, it pays to shop around.

Resorts in Croatia and Greece are likely to be a cheaper than similar options in France and Italy, the Post Office said.

Andrew Brown of Post Office Travel Money said: “Greece is looking very popular this year with tour operators reporting increases of up to 40 per cent in bookings”.

He notes the need to consider everyday costs, as well as flights and hotels, adding “it will pay bargain hunters to factor resort costs into the overall price they pay for their package.”