July 13, 2024
5 Balkan Countries With Dreamy Beaches I Have Visited On A Budget

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We’ve been conditioned to think that any European getaway, let alone a fun beachy one, is bound to drain savings – have you seen the movie-like views people are posting all over social media? Those don’t seem like budget-friendly places.

But what if I told you that there’s a very real way to get the summer you’ve dreamed of for less than what you’d pay even in some places in the U.S.?

Woman looking over Navagio Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

That’s right, if you’re trying to plan the ultimate European holiday this season but don’t want to blow through thousands of dollars, I’ve got just the place for you – the Balkans.

The gorgeous yet so often overlooked region just so happens to be home to some of Europe’s most incredible beaches, and luckily for those of you looking to get all of the insider tips you can, I’ve been to almost all of them.

So today, I’ll be going through the 5 most amazing Balkan countries where I’ve vacationed on a budget as well as what makes each of them a worthy addition to your bucket list.

Albania

Beach in KsamilBeach in Ksamil

When it comes to value for money, few destinations complete with Albania – that’s why travelers are flocking to the country like never before.

While the Balkan gem offers a lot to travelers year-round, summer is especially lively here since just about everyone wants to get a taste of its incredible Riviera, especially the beaches along the Ionian Sea.

Saranda, Ksamil, Dhërmi, Himara, and so many smaller yet just as stunning hubs welcome travelers with jaw-dropping views and the types of prices that are hard to come across elsewhere.

A typical budget for a solo traveler here would look something like this:

  • Accommodation: $40 – $70 a night
  • Budget-friendly meal: $5
  • Restaurant meal: $12 – $20
  • 1-mile taxi ride: $5
  • Average entry fee to popular attractions: $5 – $10

Greece

Shipwreck (Navagio) Beach, Zakynthos, GreeceShipwreck (Navagio) Beach, Zakynthos, Greece

If unreal views and unbelievable variety are what you’re after, there’s no topping Greece.

Between Zakynthos, Lefkada, Crete, Mykonos, and even Halkidiki, the country is home to what I consider to be some of Europe’s most gorgeous beaches, and as long as you book your trip a bit in advance and research where you’ll eat/go beforehand, you’ll probably be able to get by on less than $100 a day.

Here’s what you can expect to pay for some traveler musts: 

  • Accommodation: $60 – $100 a night
  • Budget-friendly meal: $8
  • Restaurant meal: $15 – $25
  • 1-mile taxi ride: $6
  • Average entry fee to popular attractions: $15 – $20

Turkey

Aerial view of Antalya, TurkeyAerial view of Antalya, Turkey

Turkey’s 8000-kilometer (5000-mile) coastline is filled with beaches that cater to just about every traveler – from secluded coves reachable by only the most experienced hikers to long stretches of sand filled with restaurants and beach bars.

In my experience, however, you’ll get the best value for money here by booking an all-inclusive resort.

Places in popular summer hubs like Antalya or Bodrum usually charge between $200-$450 a night for their ultra all-inclusive packages – these include unlimited food and drinks, access to pools, saunas, jacuzzis, and private beaches, as well as organized entertainment.

If we’re looking at the entire country, though, here’s what you can expect to pay:

  • Accommodation: $30 – $200 a night
  • Budget-friendly meal: $8
  • Restaurant meal: $25 – $30
  • 1-mile taxi ride: $1.5
  • Average entry fee to popular attractions: $25 – $40

Croatia

Aerial view of town in CroatiaAerial view of town in Croatia

By now, Croatia’s stunning Adriatic coast needs no introduction – the way it has boomed in popularity these past couple of years, it’s safe to assume everyone has heard of Dubrovnik and Split by now.

But with so much publicity, comes contradictory information, so what beaches are actually worth visiting and how much can you expect to spend during your time here?

My top recommendation would be to explore the Makarska Riviera, Primosten, Rab Island, and Vis, and as far as costs are concerned: 

  • Accommodation: $70 – $200 a night
  • Budget-friendly meal: $10
  • Restaurant meal: $20 – $25
  • 1-mile taxi ride: $2
  • Average entry fee to popular attractions: $15 – $30

Montenegro

View of Sveti Stefan Resort Island near Budva, MontenegroView of Sveti Stefan Resort Island near Budva, Montenegro

Last but certainly not least we have Montenegro.

There are plenty of unmissable beach destinations scattered across the tiny Balkan hub, though I’d usually recommend Budva, Kotor, Ulcinj, and my favorite hidden gem, Herceg Novi.

And let’s not forget the low prices:

  • Accommodation: $45 – $80 a night
  • Budget-friendly meal: $10
  • Restaurant meal: $15 – $20
  • 1-mile taxi ride: $2
  • Average entry fee to popular attractions: $5 – $15

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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