Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

European Holidays That Don't Cost a Lot

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

European Holidays That Don't Cost a Lot

Article excerpt

Byline: Simon says SIMON CALDER

TO stretch my holiday money, should I steer clear of the eurozone this summer? -- Geoff Brown, Horsham EVEN though sterling has slumped against the euro in the past five years, the European single currency area isn't chronically expensive.

Older readers may remember the peseta, drachma and escudo -- respective currencies of Spain, Greece and Portugal. They were relatively cheap locations prior to euro notes and coins going into circulation in 2002, and are still good value.

At restaurants in Greece and Spain over the past year I have seen printed menus with the old prices rubbed out and newer, lower prices pencilled in. The aim is to attract more customers in the short term (from the next-door bar) and the long term (from rival nations). SincSe devaluation is not an option, the alternative is to cut prices.

I believe the real bargains in the eurozone are to be found at the extremes. Portugal is perennially excellent value -- with [euro]5 set lunches, 50 cent cups of coffee and a train ticket for the three-hour journey almost the entire length of the Algarve coast just [euro]10. …

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