The world’s most expensive beaches can be found in Norway and Tahiti, while the cheapest are in Vietnam and Egypt, new research has found.
A day at Kristiansand Beach in southern Norway will set you back US$64.61 (NZ$89) a day, making it the most expensive stretch of sand on earth, according to online travel specialist TravelBird’s 2017 Beach Price Index.
The company has compiled a list of 310 seaside locations in 70 countries ranked by how much it costs to spend a day at each. This is based on the total price of five beach “essentials”: a 100ml bottle of sunscreen, a 500ml bottle of mineral water, a 330ml bottle of beer, lunch complete with drink and dessert and an ice cream.
Norway is also home to the second and third most expensive beaches, Huk and Solastranda, where you can expect to shell out US$61.94 and US$60.33 respectively for a day on the sand.
Mareto Plage Publique and La Plage de Maui in Tahiti came in at number four and five, costing beachgoers US$58.69 and US$58.40 a day.
Cua Dai, near the riverside city of Hoi Ai in Vietnam was ranked the world’s cheapest beach, with essentials coming in at the relative bargain price of US$13.18. Indeed, Vietnam is a good choice for beach fans on a budget as it is also home to the second and third cheapest beaches: City Beach in Nha Trang and Long Beach on the island of Phu Quo. Other good value beach destinations can be found in Egypt (Marsa Nayzak, Sunken City and Sharm E-l Naga Bay) and in the Indian states of Goa and Kerala (Varkala, Benaulim, Palolem and Cavelossim).
Four New Zealand beaches featured on the list, ranking at the pricier end of the spectrum, but still costing about US$20 less than Norway’s dearest.
Coming in at number 91, Hahei in the Coromandel, it seems, is our most expensive beach, costing daytrippers US$40.45 for essentials. As this includes a US$18.77 lunch, those on a budget might want to pack their own.
Auckland’s Orewa was ranked the 97th most expensive beach, while black sand surf meccas Piha and Karekare on the city’s west coast came in at numbers 104 and 111.
TravelBird CEO Steven Klooster recommended keeping an eye on currency valuations if you’re after an affordable beach holiday as they can make a big difference to their overall cost.
“Also, if you are keen on enjoying local food on the beach, pick Vietnam for instance, where you can enjoy delicious local food on the beach that is very affordable.”
He also advises checking on the price of suncream before heading off as the price variations can be dramatic. The most expensive suncream can be found at beaches in the Seychelles where it will set you back US$26.63 a bottle, and the cheapest in Vietnam where it costs just $1.95.
Large families on a budget might prefer to opt for El Gouna beach in Egypt where it costs just US$0.52 for an ice cream over Norway’s Huk Beach, where a single cone is US$5.09.
And beer fans might be interested to know that the cheapest beer can be found at Soma Bay in Egypt (US$0.63) and the most expensive at Huk (US$8.83).
Of course, preparation is key for travellers keen to keep costs to a minimum. Fill up your own bottle of water, make your own lunch and, where it’s allowed, stock your chilly bin with a few cold ones from the supermarket or liquor store. The kids probably won’t let you skip the store-bought ice creams though.