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These Are 4 Cheap Mediterranean Destinations For An Affordable Spring Getaway

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With days getting warmer as we roll into March, you may be wondering whether now is the right time to start planning a Mediterranean getaway, especially if you've been hungry for culture and the record-breaking heat expected over summer will put you off visiting later in the year.

Spring is the perfect time to be by the ancient sea, as it is neither too cold nor too warm for sightseeing, the annoying tour groups are yet to arrive, and beaches are much quieter, as a majority of tourists will be descending upon the region between July and August only.

Panoramic View Of Palaiokastritsa Beach In Corfu Island, Greece, Ionian Sea, Southern Europe

In sum, you can count not only on smaller crowds but most importantly, cheaper prices: if you're looking to get inspired, here are five of the most affordable ‘Med' destinations this upcoming season, and why you should consider visiting in the first place:

Albania

Looking for an off-path, subtropical gem most fellow Americans are yet to discover, preferably with coastal drives as scenic as Italy's, an ethnic cuisine as flavorful as Greece's, but Türkiye prices, if not cheaper even?

woman strolling on the beach of the Albanian riviera called Borsh in Vlore, Albania

Then it's newly-democratized, reborn Albania that should be on your radar: a country with a complex History of communism, it entered a new stage of civil freedoms only twenty or so years ago, but the lack of tourism in the last century has left it with a largely underdeveloped, ‘unspoiled' coast.

That is quickly changing as Albania becomes more popular, but now is still a great time to visit if you’re looking to beat the crowds.

Laid-back towns like Ksamil and Dhermi, bounded by sandy Adriatic beaches and postcard-ready, medieval settlements Berat and Gjirokaster, still only receive a small fraction of visitors landing in Europe.

Traditional Whitewashed Ottoman Era Houses In Berat, Albania, Balkan Peninsula, South Eastern Europe

As a result of the lower demand, particularly in the off-season, and seeing its economy is not yet Euroized, Albania is a budget-conscious traveler's paradise, with a one-week stay averaging only $495 per person, including food, accommodation, transportation, and tourist activities.

Corfu, Greece

A stone's throw away from the Albanian Riviera – or more specifically, a half-hour ferry ride away from the port city of Saranda – the Ionian gem of Corfu is one of Greece's most beautiful yet lesser-known islands (at least among American tourists).

View Of Old Town Corfu, The Capital City Of Corfu, An Ionian Island Part Of Greece, South Eastern Europe

As it is hundreds of miles away from Santorini, Mykonos and the wider Cycladic, island-hopper hotspot, it does not attract as many cruise guests – most tourists flying to Corfu will treat it as a stand-alone destination – and prices are not as exorbitant.

In terms of culture, it is heavily influenced by its past as a Venetian colony, with pastel-colored buildings being prevalent in Corfu City, as opposed to the classic whitewashed townscape; as a whole, the island is dotted with verdant preserves, medieval castles, and crystal-clear lagoons.

Aerial view of Porto Timoni, Afionas region, Corfu with turquoise waters and a sandy beach

Greece is by no means a budget destination, but Corfu is definitely on the cheaper end compared to other tourist-packed Hellenic islands, with visitors expected to spend an estimated $852 per week vacationing here (in the low season, consumer prices are likely to be lower even).

Cyprus

Tucked away in the Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus is one of Europe's winter sun destinations, famous for its white-sand, Maldives-like beaches, particularly Protaras and Ayia Napa, where the seas are teal-colored, and unique combination of Greek and Turkish cultures.

Kyrenia Castle, Cyprus

The small island nation enjoys balmy springs, with seas feeling warmer to the touch and bright-colored bougainvillea blooming around cobbled mountainside villages as early as late March, except there's not a single cruise day-tripper in sight.

Despite having the Euro as its official currency and being a full member of the European Union, Cyprus is not nearly as expensive as certain islands in Greece or upscale resorts in Spain, with a one-week stay setting travelers back by $780 per person (that is, if they're not indulging in luxury).

Agios Nikolaos Landmark Church In Protaras, Ayia Napa Peninsula, Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean

When visiting Cyprus, Americans and other non-European citizens must ensure they comply with visitation rules when crossing over into Turkish-occupied Northern Cyprus, such as first arriving on the island via official entry points recognized by Cypriot authorities (learn more here).

Antalya, Türkiye

The leading beach destination in Türkiye, Antalya is a sprawling coastal city where historic Greco-Roman landmarks dating back at least two millennia and high-rise condominiums distributed along a palm-lined, modern boardwalk somehow coexist, and social attitudes are far more relaxed.

Kaleici Old Town And The Old Harbor In Antalya, Turkiye, On The East Mediterranean Coast

Türkiye is a secular state, but it still has a Muslim majority, and in certain cities women may be looked down upon for not covering up; in year-round, extra-toasty Antalya, however, you're free to wear shorts, let your hair down, and enjoy the long hours of sunshine worry-free.

Several of the most iconic landmarks of Antiquity are located in Antalya and its surrounding province, with the 1st-century Hadrian's Gate, the intact ancient theater of Aspendos, and the Mediterranean-facing Temple of Apollo, to name a few, and most beaches are incredibly clean and safe for bathing.

Kaputas beach with blue water on the coast of Antalya region in Turkey

It's no secret Türkiye is a steal of a deal, but it's worth noting a springtime escapade to Antalya should not cost you more than $1,084, excluding flights, and the fact that Americans no longer need tourist visas to enter the country is an even greater incentive.

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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.


Jennifer welyki

Monday 19th of February 2024

I want all the updates.