Costa del Sol top choice for British beach breaks

THE Costa del Sol is the third most sought-after beach destination worldwide for British travellers. It was beaten by the Balearic Islands and the Algarve in Portugal, which took first and second spots on Expedia’s 2012 Beach Report based on bookings for hotel stays to sun-and-sea destinations for UK travellers so far this summer.

Three other Spanish beach destinations made it onto the list; the Canary Islands in seventh, Alicante and the Costa Blanca in 15th and Valencia and the Costa Azahar in 17th positions.

This means that a quarter of the top 20 sea-and-sun destinations preferred by Britons are in Spain.

Two English seaside resorts made it onto the list; Devon and Cornwall in 16th and Bournemouth taking up the last spot.

Italy had three beach destinations on the list including Sorrento, Lake Garda, and the Amalfi Coast in fourth, ninth and 19th place respectively.

Other European destinations included the French Riviera in fifth spot, Malta in sixth, the Cyclades Islands in Greece in 11th, the Croatian Coast in 13th, and Cyprus in 14th. Just three non-European destinations were included in the top 20.

They are Morocco in eighth spot, and the US cities of Miami, Florida and Monterey, California in 12th and 18th positions.

This is evidence of Britons looking to cut the cost of their summer holidays, said Expedia.

“It is interesting to see that short-haul travel and ‘staycations’ continue to be a trend for UK travellers this summer,” said Andy Washington, managing director of Expedia’s UK and Ireland operations.

“We often see travel patterns changing in line with currency fluctuations, and we expect many Britons to take advantage of the relative strength of the pound against the euro, with European destinations growing in popularity as a result.”

Earlier this month sterling rose to a three-and-a-half-year high against the euro, giving British travellers around 10 per cent more for their money, compared with last summer.

Meanwhile, Jersey topped the list for the top 10 British beach destinations, followed by Bournemouth, Blackpool, Torquay, Isle of Wight, Guernsey, Newquay, Weymouth, Penzance and Ramsgate.

By Nicole Hallett

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