Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach is this summer’s bargain destination for families, according to research by Post Office Travel Money.
Food and drink costs in the Black Sea resort were down 14% compared with last summer, making it the best value among 15 destinations surveyed.
At just over £32 for a family meal for four including drinks, together with the cost of a coffee, bottle of beer, glass of wine and soft drink, Sunny Beach was more than a third cheaper than runner-up Marmaris, where the same food and beverages totalled £50.
Over the course of a week, families can expect to spend about £225 on food and drinks in Sunny Beach – more than £100 less than the average. By comparison, prices in Ibiza, Zadar, Nice and Sorrento were more than three times as high, with the same meal and drinks order totalling almost £130 in the Italian resort.
Despite this, Sorrento was one of eight destinations where UK visitors saw food and drink costs fall. Sorrento’s prices dropped nearly 6%, but the biggest decline was in the Algarve, where the basket cost has plummeted since last summer by almost a third (31.3%). At less than £51, the Portuguese destination was by far the cheapest of 11 eurozone resorts surveyed.
Prices have also fallen by 9.5% in Majorca’s Playa de Palma, which at £75 was sixth cheapest in the food and drinks barometer. Although the Costa del Sol (£66) remained lowest-priced of three Spanish destinations surveyed, it was 30% more expensive than the Algarve.
the amount food and drink prices have fallen in Bulgaria’s Sunny Beach
cost of a family meal plus wine and soft drinks in Sorrento
the year-on-year fall in basket items in the Algarve
Turkey’s Marmaris swapped places with Sunny Beach as the cheapest destination when it came to a basket of beach purchases, including sun block, a lilo, ice cream and a banana boat ride. At £34.39, down 11% on last year, the price was more than 44% cheaper than in Bulgaria and its next nearest rival, the Costa del Sol.
The report said: “The value available to families visiting Marmaris and other Turkish resorts has been boosted by a sterling surge that makes it worth about 20% more against the Turkish lira than last summer… meaning visitors can expect to receive £83 extra in Turkish lira on a foreign exchange transaction of £500.”
Aside from Marmaris, the biggest falls have been in two of the more expensive resorts. In Sorrento, beach purchase prices fell 12% to £92.82 and in Ibiza they were 17% lower, at £93.09.
The highest premium was in Nice (£106). However, while prices have risen only 1.8% there, bigger increases were found in Greece and Croatia. Families visiting Crete (£72.68) can expect to spend 13% more, while they are likely to pay 11% more in Croatia’s Porec (£73.56).
Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: “The Beach Barometer reveals how paying for beach items can tip the family holiday budget into the red.”