As the European summer fast approaches, travel restrictions decrease, and flights return to normal – there’s never been a better time for a European beach vacation.
When people think of a European summer vacation, they often think of the beaches of Greece or Italy – however, these destinations aren’t always the best for budget travelers.
Here are 7 sun-filled destinations that are incredibly beautiful and still budget-friendly for all types of travelers:
1. Sarandë, Albania
Albania isn’t the first nation tourists think of when deciding to visit Europe. However, Albania has tons of natural beauty, hot weather, and it’s an extremely budget-friendly nation.
Sarandë is the most popular beach resort in the country. Situated between the hills of olives groves and the Ionian sea—Sarandë has gorgeous beaches and plenty of excellent bars and restaurants. In addition, Sarandë is home to world-class historic architecture, including 16th-century Lëkurësi Castle.
Albania’s Entry Requirements
Albania has no entry requirements. The nation scrapped all remaining COVID-10 entry restrictions, including testing, and proof of vaccination in May 2022.
2. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria
Sunny Beach, Bulgaria is one of the most popular beach resorts in Europe due to the gorgeous summer weather, budget-friendly prices, and excellent nightlife. Sunny Beach is also brilliant for water sports, go-kart tracks, and paintballing. Basically, it’s a bundle of fun at more affordable prices than most of Europe.
If you’re visiting Sunny Beach, it’s worth exploring Bulgaria’s capital city of Sofia. The city includes 2000 years of Soviet, Greek, Ottoman, and Roman history. If you combine a trip to Sofia with your beach vacation, you can’t go wrong.
Bulgaria’s Entry Requirements
Bulgaria has no entry requirements. The eastern European nation removed all entry requirements, including proof of vaccination, testing, and passenger locator forms, in May 2022.
3. Dubrovnik, Croatia
Have you ever watched Game of Thrones? If you have—you’ll recognize Dubrovnik from many scenes. Not only does Dubrovnik offer an incredible gateway to Croatia’s excellent beaches, but it’s also home to some of Europe’s finest historic architecture.
Historians will love walking around the Walls of Dubrovnik and Old Town Dubrovnik. Better still, although Croatia is likely joining the Euro currency soon, it still uses the Croatian Kuna—which is incredibly affordable.
Croatia’s Entry Requirements
Croatia has no entry requirements. The nation removed all entry requirements, including proof of vaccination, passenger locator forms, and testing requirements, just weeks ago.
Therefore, it’s the perfect destination for American tourists.
4. Marmaris, Turkey
Most Americans won’t know Marmaris – but it’s been a popular destination for Europeans for decades. The Turkish lira makes it one of the most affordable beach destinations in Europe. The resort town offers endless hotels, lively nightlife, and open-air clubs.
Moreover, travelers can enjoy Marmaris Castle and Archaeology Museum, which showcases the town’s vast history.
Turkey’s Entry Requirements
Unlike many European destinations, Turkey hasn’t removed all entry requirements yet. But, their entry requirements are minimal. Fully vaccinated travelers can enter without testing or quarantine. Unvaccinated tourists can still enter, but they’ll need to complete a PCR test no more than 72 hours prior to entry.
5. Sliema, Malta
Malta is a very popular destination for Europe-bound tourists thanks to its incredible sunny weather and beaches. Sliema is the most popular resort town in the country. Situated in the north of Malta, the town is a gateway to excellent nearby beaches and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
However, Malta is a small island. If you stay in Sliema, it’s possible to travel around the island and still witness all the main attractions, such as Spinola Bay, St John’s Co-Cathedral, and Birgu Waterfront.
Malta’s Entry Requirements
Compared to most of Europe, Malta still has entry requirements. All travelers must complete a passenger locator form before traveling to Malta.
Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Malta without testing, but unvaccinated travelers must complete a PCR test no more than 72 hours before departure.
6. The Algarve, Portugal
Although Portugal is in western Europe—where things are often more expensive—it’s one of the cheaper beach destinations in Europe. Not only is The Algarve home to incredible beaches, but it’s also superb for surfing, hiking, and road trips.
Popular things to do include cliff walking at Praia da Marinha, taking a day trip to Ferragudo and Carvoeiro, and visiting the Benagil Caves.
Portugal’s Entry Requirements
Fully vaccinated travelers can enter Portugal without testing. However, unvaccinated travelers have to show proof of a PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.
7. Torremolinos, Spain
When people think of Spain – they don’t think of budget travel. And, for the most part, Spain isn’t a budget-friendly destination. Torremolinos, Spain is, however, one of the most budget-friendly beach resorts in Europe.
Torremolinos, Spain is excellent for its beaches, nightlife, and LGBT activities; it’s also very close to Malaga.
Spain’s Entry Requirements
Spain has some of the most complex entry requirements in Europe. Travelers can enter if they’re fully vaccinated or show proof of recovery from COVID-19 in the last 6 months.
However, Spain is still banning unvaccinated tourists from entering the country until at least June 15.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories