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Travel expert Simon Calder recently shared his best holiday recommendations for 2023 on BBC Breakfast. The travel guru revealed that the best part is that these stunning destinations are also some of the cheapest in Europe. Simon recommended Portugal, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Albania as this year’s most beautiful and affordable holiday spots.
He said: “In Western Europe, it has to be Portugal and in Eastern Europe, Bulgaria – obviously a very popular package holiday destination.”
Some destinations growing in popularity are Montenegro and Albania, he revealed, which are also “very cheap”.
In fact, according to a recent study by holiday experts Jersey Island Holidays, Montenegro is the most affordable destination in Europe.
The experts revealed that the city of Podgorica, in Montenegro, is the cheapest option and tourists can visit the town for approximately £222.
This would include flights, accommodation and meals on average for a two-day holiday for two people.
The travel gurus analysed return flight prices and estimated that they would cost around £89. A taxi would only cost £5 while a three-course meal at a local restaurant would be around £22 for two people.
Simon Calder hasn’t been the first one to recommend the holiday spot, as travel bloggers at Wander-lush named Montenegro Europe’s most “underrated nation”.
In particular, Kotor Bay is one of the most beautiful places in Montenegro and luckily for holidaymakers, the closest city and airport is Podgorica.
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The experts said that Kotor is one of the most stunning towns on Kotor Bay but if they “had to choose the most beautiful place in Montenegro overall, it would be the harbour town of Perast”.
Travel experts at Starsinsider agreed and claimed that Montenegro “is the most underrated jewel of the Mediterranean”.
In Podgorica, one of the most popular attractions is Saborni Hram Hristovog Vaskrsenja, a “beautiful and very impressive” church and “absolutely worth visiting”, some travellers said on Tripadvisor.
Kotor Bay has been described on the site as “the best coastal road in the world” and a “beautiful and peaceful” spot for a holiday.
“We fell in love with Montenegro. The water is so clear, the mountains come down to the water, and it’s stunning scenery.
“That said, what I love about it is that it’s so unspoiled. I sure hope it can stay that way. So peaceful and lovely,” traveller @lotsagoldens explained in a review.
Simon Calder also recommended other “very affordable” European destinations, including “North Macedonia” and the “Polish Riviera”.
North Macedonia “is going to be on the holiday map from May,” according to the expert, “because holiday company TUI is putting on flights from Manchester and Gatwick to Lake Ohrid which I have been to, absolutely gorgeous, not proper sea, but extraordinarily good value”.
Sopot, in Poland, on the Polish Riviera, is an “absolutely beautiful resort and it’s also incredibly good value,” Simon said.
“Prices are back to the 1990s, whatever you’re paying in Spain, Italy, basically halve it. You’ll be paying far, far less for everything and there’s loads of cheap flights. It’s not the warmest sea you’re going to have, it’s not the Mediterranean, but on the other hand in July and August, it’s absolutely fantastic.”
He also suggested travellers consider package holidays this year as they are the best option for “consumer protection”.
“I’m a huge fan of package holidays. You get fantastic consumer protection, basically, the holiday company has to deliver the trip that you’ve booked and if anything goes wrong, it’s responsible for sorting that out,” the expert explained.
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