What will it cost at the beach?

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Waergate Bay beach. Image © Visit Cornwall

With a few days ahead of temperatures in the high twenties (this can’t be right – its Wimbledon fortnight!)  and it being hotter in many parts of the UK than it is in some overseas holiday destinations, thoughts will turn to ways to enjoy it.

Those people lucky enough to be on holiday and not in work or school might consider heading to the beach and cooling down in the sea. But staying at the beach can cost and that is after you might have to be parking fees.

We have a Blue Flag system for looking at the cleanliness of beaches and now there is a study of 310 beaches in 70 countries that gives an idea of which are the most expensive to visit.

The Beach Price Index has been developed by Travelbird, a company that provides travel offers to readers in eleven countries, though not the UK or Ireland. It is useful for holidaymakers because it explains how its calculations are made and is not just one of those basket price indexes where you don’t know which shops they used for their pricing..

The index takes into account the everyday items that you might buy whilst you are at the beach. The items are sunscreen, (SPF 30, 200 ml.) the price of lunch, (full meal cost, including one soft drink and dessert, for one person from a walking distance of maximum 10 minutes from the beach or the closest establishments to it) water, (the three largest local brands and calculating an average of these.) beer (by taking an average of the biggest local beer brand along with the retail cost of Heineken, Budweiser, Becks, Guinness and Fosters at local prices, where available.) and ice-cream (taking an average pre-packaged branded ice-cream price in the capital city of each country and applying consumer produce cost differences to each area, where applicable.)

Camber Sands. Image © Rother District Council

Although the index applies to beaches, Just about Travel thinks that it also gives a clue as to how expensive a holiday destination might be in which to stay. Obviously currency movements will affect the prices so whilst the UK prices will be the same those overseas will probably have altered 2-3% upwards since the general election result.

Let’s start with UK beaches. Priory Bay Beach on the Isle of Wight is rated as the most expensive of the ones it surveyed and is ranked at 147 so it is about in the middle of the beaches surveyed. It is privately owned so it may not be fair to include it in the research as it can only be accessed by those staying at the the Priory Bay Hotel. Not far behind it at 151 is Watergate Bay in Cornwall and, at 152, Camber Sands in East Sussex. In all there are just ten beaches in Ireland and the UK that are measured because of the constraints put in completing such a large exercise.

image of Rhossili in Gower

Rhossili – missing from the Index…

The other UK and Irish beaches that the Index considers are Barafundle Bay in Pembrokeshire which is ranked at 159; Pentle Bay in Cornwall, (163) Portstewart Strand in Northern Ireland, (177) Killiney Beach in Rathdown in Ireland, (185) Gurteen Beach in Galway also in Ireland, (192) Tramore Beach in Waterford in Ireland, (196) and Botany Bay in Kent at 197. From this it can be clearly seen that many well-known beaches are not covered such as Rhosilli on the Gower peninsula, Crosby, Cromer in Norfolk, Woolacombe, St Brelade’s Bay in Jersey, Porthmeor near St Ives and Perranporth in Cornwall. The list could go on and, in the future, maybe the Index could be broadened to include a few more.

The most expensive overseas beaches tend to be in Norway, French Polynesia and the Seychelles whereas the cheapest are in Vietnam, Egypt including some at Sharm El-Sheikh and India.

But what are the ratings that Britons are likely to visit when the travel abroad? Croatia attracts increasingly more of us on holiday and Nin in Zadar is one of the cheapest being ranked 298. Bacvice in Split is ranked at 286.

Praia da Rocha in the Algarve is rated at 195 with another nearby beach, Praia da Marinha at 201. El Bajondillo in Malaga is 142 with two other well-known Spanish beaches, (both in Gran Canaria) Maspalomas at 141 and Costa Teguise at 134. Cala Millor in Mallorca seems the most expensive Spanish beach that the Index covers and that is ranked at 102.

… as is Cromer in Norfolk

Once you leave the Scandinavian countries, Solanas in Cagliari on the Italian island of Sardinia is the most expensive beach and is ranked 59th. Another Sardinian beach, Maria Pia is 63rd and Spiaggia Rosa, also on Sardinia is 78th.  If Italy is expensive then some of the Spanish beaches prove to be cheaper and hover in the middle of the rankings.

The three cheapest beaches are all in Vietnam. Long Beach in Phu Quoc, City Beach in Nha Trang and Cua Dai Beach are ranked at 308, 309 and 310. These are just shy of being five times cheaper than the most expensive beach, Kristiansand Beach in Norway. You might think that it is the cost of beer that is driving the difference between the two countries but that is a small gap as compared to the huge difference in sunscreen products. In Norway, it will cost you over ten times as much as in Vietnam.

If nothing else, the Index tells you whether to buy your sunscreen before you go on holiday or when you get there!

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