Our money is going a lot further this year, despite sterling taking a pounding from the euro, says Jeremy Gates

BRITISH visitors to Europe may find their money goes further than they expected.

According to the Post Office Holiday Costs barometer, the weakness of the pound (down 4.5 per cent since April last year) will be more than offset by prices that have plunged by 15 per cent on the Algarve and by 20 per cent on the Spanish Costas.

Based on the cost of a basket of ten key holiday items, Albufeira, on the Portuguese Algarve, produced the lowest price, with the items costing £46.34, followed by Torremolinos, in southern Spain, (£46.50) and Javea on Spain’s Costa Blanca (£47.14), where prices have crashed 20 per cent in a year.

Sunny Beach, in Bulgaria (£47.32), fell to fourth place in the table because of a 3.4 per cent rise in local resort prices but it remains within 98p of topplaced Albufeira. Majorca took fifth place (£55.46), with prices down 8.8 per cent in a year.

Although sterling is 4.1 per cent weaker against the dollar than last summer, holidaymakers in Florida will find prices much lower in theme parks.

Here the shopping basket cost 21.2 per cent less than in 2012 (£58.16).

Sun-seekers will also be happy in Sharm-el Sheikh, Egypt, with prices more than 17 per cent down to £62.83. Egypt was the only country surveyed where sterling has strengthened this year – by 10.2 per cent.

Egypt’s mid-haul competitor Dubai emerged as the highest-priced destination in the survey (£103.23).

Croatia also looks good value, with prices down by 5.2 per cent in Split (£70.84). There was a 40 per cent surge in the sale of the Croatian kuna in Post Office branches last year.

The survey also reveals a wide divergence of prices in Turkey. While the shopping basket in Marmaris showed a 8.7 per cent drop to £58.84, Bodrum prices showed a 53 per cent jump to £90.15.

Similarly, visitors to the Balearic island of Menorca (£88.22) can expect to pay 59 per cent more than in neighbouring Majorca (£55.46), largely because of much higher restaurant costs.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, says: “The pound may be worth less in Europe than a year ago, but fierce competition means that lower prices in several of the resorts we surveyed can easily offset the falling value of sterling.

“Taking some time to check out resort costs and add them to package prices to find the best overall deal will pay dividends this summer.”

Barometer prices were uniformly high in Italy, both in Tuscany (£94.92) and Sorrento (£101.79).

There’s a wide variety in prices in Britain too: the survey found Blackpool (£65.96) will be much cheaper than Bournemouth (£78.01) for bargain-hunters who stay in the UK this year.