The good life doesn’t necessarily have to render you bankrupt. We’ve compiled a list of our favourite budget beach retreats across the continent so you can have your slice of sun and sand without going into the red.
The Algarve, Portugal
Reiging proudly over cliff tops towards the Atlantic, The Algarve is still one of Europe’s most affordable beach destinations in 2019. Turn off google maps and loose yourself meandering the ancient walled city of Lagos, or spend a day basking in the summer sun on Praia da Dona Ana, hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.
Sweeping golden sands interspersed by olive groves and palms forests make Cretes coastline a mecca for photographers and artists alike. The fishing village of Agia Pelagia is one of the many jewels in its crown. The horseshoe bay provides clear and serene waters for swimming. With a glass of wine on a sunny restaurant terrace averaging just €3, your hard earned pennies will go far.
Nerja boasts a stunning coastline of rock formations and caves, turning a day at the beach into an adventure playground for the young and young at heart. Nerja has a distinctly different vibe from that of its Costa del Sol neighbours; the old town exudes Mediterranean charm, making it the perfect setting to enjoy the region’s delectable yet budget friendly wine along with the fresh catch of the day.
The Dalmatian Coast, Croatia
Spanning the eastern shore of the Adriatic Sea, the Dalmatian Coast is considerably more affordable than its Italian counterpart across the water. Home to some of Europe’s most stunning beaches such as the famous Podrače beach, you can bathe in the crystal clear waters of one of the most photographed stretches of coastline in the world.
History lovers flock to Limassol to witness its imposing medieval Castle and famous Archaeological Museum, but beach bums will love it too. Here you can find a wealth of white sand and blue sea beaches to while away the hours on. Lady’s Mile Beach stands out as one of the best swimming beaches in Cyprus, known for its clear waters and exciting selection of beach bars serving up delicacies that won’t put too much of a hole in your pocket.
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Livening up Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast is the aptly named Sunny Beach. This stretch of sand is more famous for its party atmosphere than for rest and relaxation; here you’ll find cheap food, bargain drinks and nightlife to last until sunrise. Those looking for a more tranquil stay wont have stray too far, follow the coastal road to Irakli Beach for golden sands, pristine blue waters and a laid back vibe.
Playa de Pedregalejo remains an undiscovered pearl in this popular tourist region. Just 5 kilometers from the bustling city centre of Malaga, this quaint fishing town feels a million miles from the tourist hot spots of Fuengirola and Estepona. Flanked by golden sands, here you can mingle with the friendly locals, watch the fishermen haul in their catch and sample Espetos, mouthwatering sardines cooked over hot coals in the old wooden fishing boats. Prices here are still relatively low throughout the year.
Standing on the shoreline here, hard to imagine that until recent years, Sliema was a quiet fishing village nestled amongst the rocky coastline. Today it has become the destination of choice for Maltese and international tourists alike. There’s no sand to be found in Sliema but If the crystal clear blue seas beckon, you can take a dip via the steps set in smooth sandstone. Quirky apartment rentals at rock bottom prices can be found here even during the summer months.
The stunning city of Paphos sits along the southwest coast of Cyprus. Fabled to be the birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite, lovers of archeology will delight in exploring the ancient sites. Coral Bay beach is a stunning crescent of soft white sands, perfect for families with children of all ages. Try Keo, the local brew. At less than €3 per bottle your budget won’t be suffering.
Marmaris sits along the Turkish Riviera, also known as the Turquoise Coast and boasts 6 miles of pristine beaches. Secluded bays are nestled within the shoreline, where if you are lucky, you may just find the beach to yourself. Spend the evenings soaking up the summer vibes enjoying pocket friendly cocktails in the famous Bar Street area of town.
So don’t let the dreary weather get you down, there’s a blue sky up there above the clouds. We hope these carefully chosen pocket friendly destinations appeal to the jetsetter in you. It’s time to dig out the summer wardrobe and hit the beach.