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10 affordable luxury destinations for autumn

15th September 2014 Print
Saranda Alabania

Hotel search website has revealed the best European destinations for a luxury break this autumn.

Based on the average price of a four or five star hotel, the list shows ten luxury destinations that won’t break the bank.

Ranging from the mountains of Andorra to the shores of the Albanian Riviera, these hidden gems are slightly off the beaten track and perfect for an autumn getaway.

Ten Most Affordable Luxury Destinations

Ranking – Desination - Average Price*

1 Bansko, Bulgaria £40

2 Saranda, Albania £40

3 Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia £48

4 Plovdiv, Bulgaria £49

5 Murcia, Spain £50

6 Braga, Portugal £53

7 Timi?oara, Romania £54

8 Zaragoza, Spain £54

9 Les Escaldes, Andorra £55

10 Pilsen, Czech Republic £56

*Average price per night based on 4 and 5 star hotels during September 2014. Included are destinations with over 10 hotels with availability for 23 or more nights during September.

Denise Bartlett, UK Public Relations: “While Bulgaria and Spain boast two destinations each in the top ten, the Balkans is clearly the best region for affordable luxury this autumn. The four cheapest destinations are located in the Balkans, with Bansko taking first position. Unsurprisingly, Eastern Europe remains the best place for high quality at low prices, with six of the top ten found here. While the countries and regions are familiar, it’s great to see some lesser-known destinations getting the recognition they deserve.”

1. Bansko, Bulgaria

Located at the foot of the Pirin Mountains in Southwestern Bulgaria, Bansko is growing in popularity as both a summer and winter destination. Highlights include hiking (or skiing) in the mountains or visiting the thermal mineral springs in nearby Banya.

2. Saranda, Albania

The heart of the Albanian Riviera, Saranda is an important town and tourist resort on the Ionian coast. Located less than 10 miles from Corfu, Saranda shares the same hot Mediterranean climate. Just outside the city you’ll find the ruins of the Roman city of Butrint – now a UNESCO World Heritage site.  

3. Ohrid, Republic of Macedonia

Another UNESCO World Heritage site, the city of Ohrid lies on the shores of the beautiful lake Ohrid in Southern Macedonia. Known as the Balkan Jerusalem for its religious significance, the town is home to many beautiful ancient churches. The city’s picturesque old town is influenced by years of Ottoman rule.

4. Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Bulgaria’s second-biggest city, Plovdiv is a bustling Balkan metropolis. Famed for its surviving Roman architecture, including the largely intact Roman theatre, Plovdiv is great choice for anyone looking for a historic city break off the beaten track. 

5. Murcia, Spain

Found in the South-East of Spain, Murcia is a charming city in a great location. Known as the ‘Orchard of Europe’, the surrounding area produces a lot of fruit – and the city itself is less than an hour from the beach. The city’s most famous landmark is the beautiful Cathedral of Murcia.

6. Braga, Portugal

Portugal’s largest inland city, Braga is a lively student town with a lot of history. An important settlement since the Roman times, the city boasts a number of ancient buildings from different eras, including the remnants of a castle.   

7. Timi?oara, Romania

Regarded as the capital of Western Romania, Timi?oara is known for its culture and the arts. One of the region’s most multicultural cities, Timi?oara is close to country borders with both Serbia and Hungary and boasts surviving architecture from the Austrian Empire, giving the city a unique feel.

8. Zaragoza, Spain

Found in Spain’s northern Aragon region, the city of Zaragoza is known for its unique Islamic Mudejar architecture, earning it a place on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Landmarks in the city include the Basilica-Cathedral of our Lady of the Pillar, the Puente de Piedra bridge and the city’s Roman ruins.

9. Les Escaldes, Andorra

Not far from this tiny mountain country’s capital, Les Escaldes is an area known for its hot springs – some of which are as warm as 66°C. As such, the area is home to many spas and wellness centres. 

10. Pilsen/Plzen, Czech Republic

European Capital of Culture for 2015, Plzen is a historic centre in Western Bohemia. Highlights of a visit to the city include the Gothic St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral, the Grand Synagogue, as well as the city’s expansive network of underground tunnels and cellars, which can be explored by tourists.

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Saranda Alabania