The 5 most affordable summer destinations in Europe for 2022

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The British Post has published its annual report Global Vacation Cost Barometerwhich lists popular destinations offering the best value for money in 2022. By calculating the daily costs of eight items that tourists are most likely to buy, they identified the Top 5 most affordable summer destinations in Europe for 2022.

A total of 36 destinations were surveyed, while the data was compiled with the help of national and local tourist boards representing each destination. The prices were then cross-checked by researchers at the Post Office.

Young female traveler enjoying a Mediterranean cruise on the stern of a boat in Marmaris, Turkey

Among the items selected for comparison, the post office listed the following:

  • A three-course meal for two with wine
  • A cup of coffee
  • A bottle of local beer
  • A glass of wine
  • A bottle of still water
  • Solar cream
  • Insecticide

Massively popular countries and other off-the-beaten-track destinations

People swimming on the Black Sea, Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

From the continent’s sunny Atlantic coast to its easternmost fringes, the list is full of heavenly beaches and historic spots ready to be rediscovered.

While Europe is certainly always a good call, some countries can be much more expensive than others, especially in a post-Covid world where travel costs are skyrocketing. Fortunately, there are plenty of budget destinations that allow visitors to take advantage of the season without breaking the bank.

Here are a few:

Costa del Sol, Spain

Panoramic view of Puerto de la Duquesa, Malaga, Costa del Sol, Spain

Rounding out the top five, Spain’s vast Costa del Sol, Spanish for the aptly named ‘Coast of the Sun’, is a a much more affordable vacation than other summer hotspots like Ibiza, Tenerife or Costa Brava. On top of that, it offers visitors the same Mediterranean coastline, an abundance of sandy beaches and city breaksas well as countless other natural sites.

When dining out, shopping for basic necessities and enjoying a late-night glass of wine, tourists can expect to pay approximately $76.76 per day. Prices do not include museum entry, transfers, private tours or other tourist activities, which means visitors are still advised to meet the Spanish requirement of having at least 108 USD in cash pocket per day.

Currently, the country is not yet reopened to unvaccinated foreignersmeaning that US citizens who are not yet fully immunized against Covid may be refused entry when traveling for non-essential reasons such as tourism. On the other hand, those who are vaccinated or who have recovered from Covid in the last 180 days can enter without restriction.

Paphos, Cyprus

Ancient temple in Cyprus with turquoise blue waters in the background, Mediterranean sea

Cyprus is an island in the eastern Mediterranean shared by Greek Cypriots, who are overwhelmingly in the Republic of Cyprus (the south), and Turkish Cypriots, who live in the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Besides its fascinating and varied historyit’s one of Europe’s premier summer getaways.

Ranked #4 on the list, Paphos sits on the west coast of the island and attracts millions of tourists every year not only because of its resorts and pristine beachesbut also a multitude of ancient sites. Vacationing in the region, travelers can expect to live comfortably on US$72.78 per day, making Paphos one of the most affordable destinations in Cyprus.

In addition to having more relaxed travel rules in place, particularly for vaccinated arrivals, the Mediterranean nation has signaled a possible alignment with other EU members who have recently abandoned all Covid rules. From May 15, vaccine passes will no longer be required to enter venues in Cyprus, while the mask mandate is relaxed.

The Algarve, Portugal

Aerial view of Carvoeiro beach, Algarve, Portugal

Although most people immediately think of Lisbon or Porto when booking a trip to Portugal, Europe’s westernmost nation can also be a surprising beach destination during the summer. In fact, the Algarve’s beaches are some of the most affordable – and beautiful – in all of Europe, giving Greece and Spain a run for their money.

For an average of only 57.33 USD per dayvacationers can bathe in the warmth of the Atlantic Ocean, relax in quaint summer villas, take in the incredible rugged landscape of Portugal’s southern coast, and even wander the colorful streets of the nearby towns of Lagos and Faro.

In a certain way, the Algarve is the cheapest summer destination in the euro zone, and traveling there will set you back 25% of a visit to Spain’s Costa del Sol, which ranks fifth on this list. More encouragement? Portugal looks forward to welcoming you, as the ban on non-essential travel from the United States and Canada was lifted ahead of the season in February.

Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

Empty watercraft on the Black Sea off Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

A booming summer hotspot, Bulgaria is a lesser-known Eastern European country not normally associated with clear-water beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Curiously, it has Sunny Beach, one of the best equipped resort areas on the Black Sea coastand a vast sandy coastline that isn’t as dense as other competitors.

Known for water sports, which are incredibly popular in Bulgaria during the summer, and up-and-coming nightlife cities, such as Varna and Burgas, the area around Sunny Beach is extremely affordable by European standards. On average, you will have to pay $33.78 per day during the visit.

Bulgaria was also on our list of 7 underrated destinations in Europe for 2022, or more precisely, the ancient Veliko Tarnovo, a city that in the distant past was one of the wealthiest on the Balkan Peninsula. For more information on the latest Covid entry requirements for Bulgariaplease visit this link.

Marmaris, Turkey

Aerial view of Marmaris, Turkey

While Turkey has only 3% of its territory on the European continent, with the remaining 97% spread across the vast Anatolian protrusion of the Asian continent, it is traditionally included in lists based in Europe. Snatching the crown this year, the Mediterranean resort of Marmaris is by far the cheapest summer destination globally.

Although Turkey has always been the country of choice for budget travellers, the British Post has noted a further 37% drop in prices in the Marmaris region this year. This means that you can spend a relaxing summer on the Turkish Riviera with almost negligible daily expenses of $33.69.

When entering Turkey, all travelers must complete an online form no later than 72 hours in advance, regardless of their vaccination status. Those who are vaccinated can, however, circumvent a pre-departure testing requirement, while unvaccinated visitors must show either a negative PCR (performed within 72 hours of entry) or a Rapid Antigen test (48 hours).

Sailing yacht in the Crystal Lagoon, Comino, Malta

What are the other affordable or more expensive summer destinations?

Beyond the top 5, other destinations in Europe were also listed among the most affordable in the ranking, including the Madeira Archipelago in Portugal, Sliema in Malta and Prague in the Czech Republic.

As for the most expensive destinations, Reykjavik in Iceland tops the ranking, where travelers should be prepared to spend an average of $203.85 per day. Puglia in Italy, Nice in France and Mallorca in the Balearic Islands of Spain are also in the lower parts of the list.

Read more:

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Disclaimer: Current Travel Rules and Restrictions may change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm entry of your nationality and/or any changes to travel conditions before travelling. Travel Off Path does not approve travel against government advice

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