Want a holiday where beer is just 70p a bottle? Head to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria | Travel

UK tourists looking for a budget beach-break should head to Bulgaria, where a bottle of beer costs just 70p and a three-course meal for two – including a bottle of wine – will set you back less than £20, according to a new holiday costs report.

The Balkan country’s flagship resort, Sunny Beach, has been ranked the best-value beach resort for the fourth year running by the Post Office Travel Money Holiday Costs Barometer, which compares the average costs of tourist staples in European holiday destinations.

Despite the weak pound, tourist prices at Sunny Beach are 22% lower than five years ago – making it part of a dwindling number of destinations that continue to get more affordable for Britons. Tourist costs at the destination were found to be lower than at any time since 2012.

The second best-value beach break can be found in the Algarve, Portugal, which is the cheapest beach destination in the eurozone. There, a cup of coffee averages 61p, a bottle of water 17p, and an evening meal for two comes in at £26.81. In third place comes British staple the Costa del Sol, in southern Spain. Evening meals are still affordable, averaging £28.61, but a bottle of lager costs over £1 more than in Sunny Beach, at an average of £1.75.

Unsurprisingly, the party island of Ibiza is the most expensive destination, with a bottle of beer averaging £3.06, a glass of wine £3.49 and an evening meal £65.52. Sorrento, Italy, and Nice, France, were the second and third most expensive places, respectively, notching up similar prices to Ibiza.

Pleasant … but pricey. Playa de Ses Salines, Ibiza – which Post Office Travel Money ranks as the most expensive beach-break resort in its holiday costs report. Photograph: Alamy

The report also found a huge price variation within the same countries. Tourists can expect to pay 25% more on the Costa Blanca than the Costa del Sol, and while prices in Majorca are 47% higher than the Costa del Sol they remain almost a third cheaper than Ibiza.

There’s a similar situation in the Greek islands. Of those looked at, Crete is cheapest, with similar prices to Zante and Kefalonia. Those visiting Corfu, however, can expect to pay 10% more.

Regarding Bulgaria’s continued appeal as a budget destination, 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.”

He added: “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 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.”

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