7 Cheap Holiday Destinations: Avoid the Crowds at these alternative locations
Did you know some of the most sought after travel destinations are known to have a doppelganger somewhere in the world? These seven alternatives not only fulfil your desire for cheap holiday destinations, but they are much less crowded, just as beautiful and offer the same amount of adventure, if not more!
Author: Stefanie Grieshaber
Photo: Lisa SchätzleHire a campervan Find a camping spot
Low-cost destinations for beach holidays
Do you want a cheap holiday with all the special trimmings? Your wishes include fine sandy beaches, sparkling turquoise water, beach bars, palm trees, and delicious food. All this may fit on your bucket list, but does it fit your budget? Then this year let the other tourists go to Italy, Croatia and Greece while you stroll through the streets of Albania, sit by the sea in Montenegro or relax in Klaipeda.
Albania instead of Italy
Beautiful, bright sandy beaches, warm water, nature parks and pretty towns on mountain slopes – Albania has everything to offer that you can find in Italy, but at a much lower price. Even though Albania is slowly becoming known as a trendy destination, you won’t see large crowds of tourist clogging the beaches. You can stay for between €10 and €15 per night at the Albania campsites, and eating out costs about €10 per person. If you pay attention to where the locals are eating, you can get your fill for as little as €5.
Travelling by campervan is a cultural adventure, as you drive through 5 countries in only 16 hours to all these cheap holiday destinations depending on where you start! So it’s worth planning a little more time and also making stops in Austria, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro.
Highlights in Albania
- Ksamil Seaside Resort: Discover spectacular beaches and bays that are never overcrowded. There are also 4 small islands that can be visited by boat.
- Butrint National Park: Explore spectacular landscapes and the ancient site of Butrint.
- The Blue Eye: A crystal clear, bright blue river meanders through meadows and forests is located just 30 minutes from the town of Saranda. You can also swim if you are brave as the water is a cool 12 degrees!
- Berat, the city of 1000 windows: Visit Albania’s oldest and most beautiful city, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- The Albanian Alps: If you want to avoid all tourists, go hiking in the green countryside of Albania. Refreshing mountain lakes, breath-taking panoramic views and some of the most beautiful hiking trails in Europe await you!
The best beaches in Albania
- Ksamil Beach: The Maldives of Albania welcomes you with fine sand, sparkling turquoise bays, many beautiful beach bars and delicious seafood.
- Gjipe Beach: You can only reach this beach by car and then by foot, but it is probably the most beautiful beach in Albania.
- Porto Palermo: Swim in crystal-clear, calm waters, relax on the unspoiled beach and enjoy the breath-taking view of the historic fortress of Porto Palermo.
- Borsh Beach: Lovers of long beach strolls are well catered to on this 7 km long beach.
- Buneci Beach: This is no ordinary beach as a mountain stream flows directly into the sea here.
Klaipeda instead of Rügen
Leave the tourist crowds and hefty prices behind and enjoy your peace and quiet at the Baltic Sea in Klaipeda in Lithuania! The beautiful harbour city attracts visitors with its unique dune landscapes and wonderful beaches which you can easily reach by foot or by bike. In the Smiltyne district there is also a marine museum with a dolphinarium.
You pay around €20 for a campsite in Klaipeda. At a restaurant, you can get a delicious meal for as little as €8. Compared to numerous Baltic Sea resorts, you can enjoy a much cheaper holiday in Klaipeda while escaping the tourist crowds.
Cheap holiday destinations in the mountains
It is a well-known fact that tourists spread out better in the mountains than on the beach. This gives you the opportunity to discover natures one-of-a-kind beauties with minimal crowds around to spoil the scenery. It is worth it to wander far from the beaten track to lesser-known hiking areas where prices really drop. Reach high altitudes on a low budget at these various mountain locations.
Montenegro instead of Austria
Of course you can travel to Montenegro for a beach holiday, but an unknown backpacker’s tip is hiking in Montenegro. The untouched nature makes Montenegro an ideal paradise for hikers. The mountains are forested all the way up to the peaks, which makes it ideal for a hiking holiday. Even in the heat of summer, you can remain cool in the shade of the trees. Mountain lakes and the sea provide plenty of opportunities for you to cool down in between. Fantastic views are abundant, especially where the mountains meet the sea and jut into the coast like fjords.
Highlights & hiking trails in Montenegro:
- Durmitor National Park: 48 peaks higher than 2000m.
- Lovcen Mountains: Rare animal species and plants as well as the picturesque Bay of Kotor can be found in this popular hiking area.
- Biogradska Gora National Park: If you want to see the last real primeval forest in Europe, this is the place to be.
- Glacial lake Crno jezero: Visit the crystal-clear glacial lake in the north of Montenegro at 1416m above sea level.
Slovenia instead of Switzerland
Slovenia offers you the greatest variety of landscapes in the smallest area and with the shortest travel times in between. Within a few kilometres, you can travel from the mountains to the sea and from the sea to the river. Climb Slovenia’s highest mountains in the Triglav National Park, plunge into the wild waters of the Soča River while kayaking or canyoning, or stroll through the dreamy streets of the Mediterranean town of Piran and enjoy fresh fish and seafood on a terrace.
Even a mini trip to Slovenia will give you the full dose of nature that your everyday life has been missing. Furthermore, you’ll find the most beautiful campsites in the middle of the countryside. You can experience plenty of #vanlife vibes at our roadsurfer CAMPS in Slovenia.
City breaks on a budget
Instead of visiting the overcrowded and most popular cities, visit their equally beautiful look-a-likes instead! This way you will not only experience something different from the over photographed Instagram locations, but also spend much less money.
Colmar instead of Venice
One of the world’s most crowded destinations is Venice. If you like boating on the canals, pretty houses and little streets, you don’t have to endure the crowds or spend a fortune in Venice because in the small town of Colmar in France, you can have all these nice things too.
On a stretch of the river Lauch, affectionately known as “Little Venice”, one colourful half-timbered house follows the next. The canals are decorated with lush flowers and the whole town looks like a postcard come to life. From April to October you can take a boat ride on the canal which is based on the tradition that dates back to the 16th century when fruit and vegetables were transported to the market in this way. The colourful mix of cultural influences is also reflected in Colmar’s cuisine, where you can enjoy delicacies such as tarte flambée, eclairs and good wine all day long. All these aspects make it one of our favourite cheap holiday destinations!
Bratislava instead of Vienna
The capital of Slovakia is just an hour’s drive from Vienna and will surprise you with its diversity. Bratislava is every bit as good as Vienna, with over 30 museums, a variety of classical buildings from the time of the Hungarian kings as well as futuristic building designs. Visit the beautiful blue church or stroll along the Danube and visit the UFO, a spectacular observation tower and restaurant.
If you want to extend your city trip, you can visit castle ruins, hike through pine forests in the small Carpathian Mountains or enjoy water sports at the numerous lakes. If you still want to go to Vienna, you can also take a boat trip from Bratislava to Vienna and be there in just 2 hours.
Valencia instead of Barcelona
Valencia is Spain’s third-largest city, but much less crowded than Barcelona. You’ll also find Art Nouveau buildings, countless cute cafés, hip restaurants and cosy tapas bars, all for half the price. Visit the highlight of Valencia, the City of Arts and Sciences, sample all kinds of delicacies in the large market or sunbathe on the beach or the beach promenade. Take a trip to the Parc Natural de l’Albufera, just 10 km from the city. There is also a freshwater lagoon in the natural park which is home to the rice fields from which every grain of rice in your original paella originates from.
Extend your travels and start your road trip on the Costa Blanca from Valencia! You can also rent a campervan from our Valencia station.