We all crave a little sun sea and sand from time to time, but often it seems like our bank balance just won’t allow for the kind of holiday we fancy. But the thing is, I think that you can actually have an affordable beach break on a small budget – the key is choosing the right destination.
Fortunately, there are a number of great places where you can find low-cost holidays, and I’ll give you an overview of three of my favourites below. And if you like the sound of any of these, you should be able to snap up a decent deal on a hotel on this website.
The first place on my list is Greece’s largest island, Crete. This diverse destination is a hugely popular place for holidays; no doubt its stunning beaches (particularly on the south coast) and balmy weather are a big factor in this, but I think its impressive mix of other attractions also has a significant part to play.
You see, as well as a beautiful coastline and lovely weather, Crete is famous for everything from spectacular landscapes and walks to fascinating historical sites. I dare say if you’re looking for a beach holiday you’re bound to be more interested in the coastline, though, so I’ll take a look at that first.
Generally speaking, the beaches on the south coast are the most visually striking, and this is also the best place to find quiet, isolated coves to relax on. And if you fancy spending some time on one of the island’s top beaches, pay a visit to Preveli Beach on the mouth of the Kourtaliotiko Gorge – famous for its memorable scenery.
Historical highlights include Knossos, an ancient city discovered in 1900, which dates back to the time of the Minoan civilisation. The Dikteon Cave, meanwhile, combines natural wonders and mythology; full of stalactites and stalagmites, it is also said to be where Rhea hid the baby Zeus.
The next place on my list is Rhodes, which is the largest of the Dodecanese Islands. I think this destination is pretty unbeatable if you want sun on a budget, because the island receives around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year – plus, there are loads of ways to enjoy yourself here without breaking the bank.
Of course, the most obvious budget attraction is the beaches. Main Beach is one of the best for families, with shallow water perfect for kids to paddle in. Sitting just to the east of the Acropolis, it’s easy to find. Alternatively, if you fancy heading somewhere quiet, take a walk to St Paul’s Bay, which has a really tranquil atmosphere, not to mention striking turquoise water.
Another low-cost must-visit is the old town in Rhodes Town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 24 centuries of history to be discovered here, and the beautiful Palace of the Grand Master is a good place to start.
Last up is Benidorm – the ultimate bargain beach destination. It’s located on the Costa Blanca in Spain, and it’s long been popular with UK holidaymakers looking for a little sun and sand, but with plenty of home comforts.
In fact, Benidorm is pretty famous for its mix of British and Spanish culture – so expect to see lots of familiar things, like English-style pubs and fish and chip shops. Plus, the resort also has a reputation for its nightlife, making it a reliable destination if you fancy letting you hair down. Places like the Costa Blanca Casino and the Benidorm Palace are particular favourites.
In terms of beaches, there are two to choose from – the lively Playa Levante, which has plenty of cafes and shops, and the quieter Playa de Poniente.