The Herald

Sunny Cyprus offers cheapest bargain break for a winter getaway


SCOTS holidaymak­ers hunting for a bargain break should pack their bags and head for Cyprus – with the beach resort of Paphos named as the leading destinatio­n for cheap holidays.

More than one million people each day will book their next holiday between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve.

A survey has named the area of the Mediterane­an island which is also the joint 2017 European City of Culture as the place where package holidays are best value.

Poor euro exchange rates, with £1 only buying about €1.12 since Britain’s Brexit vote in June, and an increased influx of Russian tourists to the Canary Islands have pushed up holiday costs in destinatio­ns for people trying to escape Scotland’s gloomy winter.

In a study of 12 resorts where sterling has rallied in recent weeks, the Post Office found a one-week package holiday in Paphos with evening meals and drinks costs just £339 per person, according to Post Office Travel Money.

This is almost 19 per cent cheaper than holidays in Lanzarote (£416) and Tenerife (£417).

Scots have had more buying power in recent weeks. The pound increased by more than six per cent against the euro between November 2 – the week before Donald Trump’s victory in the US elections – and last week when it had originally been €1.11. At one point it had been €1.18.

The US city of Orlando was the cheapest long-haul destinatio­n featured in the report, with holidays there setting UK travellers back £752.

Cancun in Mexico was the cheapest long-haul beach resort at £815. The Mexican peso is weaker against the pound than a year ago, giving UK tourists almost one per cent more cash to spend.

The most expensive location included in the study was Montego Bay, Jamaica, at £1,288 followed by Dubai, United Arab Emirates, at £1,212.

Andrew Brown, of Post Office Travel Money, said: “Sterling’s recent rally means that holidaymak­ers will not have to dig quite so far into their pockets as they would have had to do a few weeks ago. However, there are big difference­s in prices among winter sun resorts and these can really have an impact on the overall holiday budget.

“Bargain-hunters will be well advised to add the cost of meals and drinks in resorts to the price of a holiday package to find the destinatio­n that will give them the best overall value.”

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