Holidays 2020: Cheapest island in the sun for a winter getaway unveiled

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Winter sun is craved more and more as nights in the UK become darker and longer. The news this week that Turkey has been axed from the travel corridor list was a blow to countless Britons. Turkish beach resort getaways are a winter staple for many, while a favourable currency makes for a cheap trip.


Luckily, Post Office Travel Money has researched where else British holidaymakers can bag some much-needed sunshine this winter.

The foreign exchange provider has compiled its first Islands in the Sun Holiday Barometer, comparing prices in eight European and Caribbean islands.

Madeira, an autonomous region of Portugal off the northwest coast of Africa, came out on top.

While mainland Portugal may still be on the quarantine list, the archipelago of Madeira is not.

Britons can head to the island without having to self-isolate on return.

Plus, Madeira – often dubbed the ‘garden island’ – makes for a cheap break.

Its barometer of eight tourist items – a three-course meal for two with wine, a range of drinks, suncream and insect repellent – came to a total of just £65.53.

This made it slightly less expensive than runner-up Paphos in Cyprus.

Prices in the Cypriot resort have risen 3.7 percent year-on-year, bringing Paphos’ barometer to £66.40.

It’s worth noting there are big price differences between resorts in the same country, though.

Visitors to Cyprus can expect to pay around 20 percent more for the eight barometer items in Limassol (£80.01) than in Paphos.

Meanwhile, in Greece, Post Office researchers found that prices in Rhodes were 19 percent lower than in Corfu at £77.82 compared with £96.08.

The same applies to resorts in Italy – Puglia, in the country’s south, was the most expensive European destination surveyed with a barometer total of £100.11.

By comparison, Sicily was rated a cheaper choice because its barometer total weighed in at £94.01 – 6.5 percent lower.

Although they remain under quarantine rules, Post Office Travel Money also researched three of Spain’s Canary Islands.

Findings showed that none could compare with Madeira on price.

The cheapest of the three, Lanzarote, was almost 12 percent higher than in Madeira, with Tenerife and Gran Canaria more expensive still.

If you’re hoping to head further abroad for guaranteed good weather and no quarantine, then some Caribbean islands are still on the UK’s ‘safe’ list.

However, the three Caribbean islands surveyed for the report were more expensive than any of the European destinations.

Antigua was least expensive at £107.10 for the eight tourist essentials but prices were 40 percent higher than a year ago (most likely because cheaper restaurants remain closed in the island capital St John’s).

Meanwhile, prices were only 8.3 percent up on 2019 levels in Rodney Bay, St Lucia (£110.86).

St James in Barbados was the most expensive destination, surveyed at just under £134, where prices have fallen by 21 percent.

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