Best places for cheap beach holidays in Europe and beyond

You don't need to max out your credit card for a memorable beach escapade with your family, significant other or friends. There are innumerable options for fantastic but cheap beach holidays in Europe and elsewhere in the world, and with a little bit of planning you'll be on your way to an unforgettable seaside destination that'll fit snugly within your budget.

Holiday homes for cheap beach holidays in Europe

Planning a seaside retreat on a shoestring budget? You can stay close to home, as there are plenty of gorgeous and cheap beach holiday destinations in Europe, even during the height of the summer peak season. A beach getaway in September, October or December is even better – there are some places still warm enough for sunbathing, the beaches are much less crowded and holiday rentals are much cheaper.

Black Sea beach holidays in Bulgaria on the cheap

When it comes to cheap beach holiday destinations in Europe, Bulgaria is hard to beat. The Black Sea coast – dubbed the Bulgarian Riviera – consistently takes the top ranking when it comes to value for money. High-profile Sunny Beach is Bulgaria's biggest and brightest, a stretch of fine golden sand that's famous for lively beach parties. But if something more quiet is your preference, head to quaint Ahtopol or the clothing-optional Irakli Beach.

Shoestring beach holidays in Turkey

With all the beautiful scenery, awe-inspiring historical treasures and countless outdoor activities on offer, Turkey gives a terrific bang for your buck. Holiday lettings along the Turquoise Coast – also called the Turkish Riviera – will put you close to the immensely popular and club-filled Marmaris Beach and exciting water sports on Icmeler Beach. If seclusion is what you're after, there's hardly a better place than the Antalya Province's unspoilt Patara, an 11-mile beach where loggerhead turtles come to nest.

Cheap beach holiday destinations in amazing Asia

Asia boasts some of the world's most famous beach resort towns – think Phuket and Bali – but it's also home to spots that are just as or even more beautiful, but without the hefty price tag. Come in November for the ultimate cheap beach holiday, when the monsoon rains have generally tapered off, the beaches are still free of travellers escaping the winter chill and holiday homes can be had for off-season prices.

Budget-friendly beach breaks in Thailand

Mouthwatering street food, magnificent temples, friendly people and breathtaking stretches of white sand on stunning islands are just some of the reasons why Thailand is called the Land of Smiles. In the low season, it's a particularly cheap beach holiday destination that offers something to everyone, from the white sands of Lonely Beach on Ko Chang Island to festive Sairee Beach in Koh Tao and the family-favourite Klong Dao beach in Koh Lanta.

Holiday homes for shoestring beach holidays in Vietnam

When it comes to cheap holiday destinations in Asia, Vietnam is perennially at the top of the list. You'll find good deals on holiday cottages in Hoi An, which will put you close to quiet sunbathing spots on Cua Dai Beach. In the bustling resort town of Nha Trang, you'll find white-sand beaches dominating the coastline, while a holiday cottage on Phu Quoc Island makes a great base for spending lazy days on Long Beach's golden sands.

Fun down under at cheap beach holiday destinations in NSW

A seemingly never-ending supply of postcard-perfect beaches where it doesn't take a fortune to have an unforgettable time makes New South Wales one of the best places in Australia for cheap beach holidays. From watching dolphins frolic in Port Stephens to board riding in Tathra and working on a full-body tan in Bermagui, there's no shortage of things to see and do near your NSW holiday rental.

Enjoy the great outdoors on your North Coast beach holiday

The state's North Coast is any water sport enthusiast's paradise. You'll find villa rentals in Newcastle that are well placed for surfing at Merewether Beach, one of the locations of the annual Surfest Newcastle Australia festival. Visit Lighthouse Beach in Greater Port Macquarie and watch for whales from the heritage-designated Tacking Point Lighthouse, or head to secluded Chinaman's Beach at Evans Head to explore fascinating rock pools and go on romantic strolls at sunset.

Fun-filled family beach holidays on the South Coast

A cheap beach holiday doesn't mean a low quality experience on the South Coast. It's home to the sparkling Sapphire Coast, a region brimming with dramatic beaches, ecologically diverse national parks and tranquil seaside villages. Book a holiday home in the village of Pambula and spend long, sunny days with the family – including the dog – on Lions Beach. Or stay in the town of Bega and be just a stone's throw away from serene Moon Bay Beach in Mimosa Rocks National Park.