If you’re a fan of European holidays, you have plenty of choice. But if you opt for a country that uses a currency other than the euro, you may well find that you get more bang for your buck. This means that your money will go further, which means more meals out, better accommodation and a great holiday. Here’s my pick of the best five non-euro holiday destinations you should consider for your 2020 break.
1. Croatia (currency: kuna)
Croatia has so much to offer. As well as being one of the sunniest spots in Europe, Croatia is just under 2.5 hours away from the UK by plane, making it nice and easy to get to. The country is known for its impressive scenery – it features heavily in Game of Thrones – and has more than its fair share of striking castles, amphitheatres and ruins.
Croatia also has beautiful beaches lapped by clear water, and plenty of Unesco-listed national parks, such as Plitve National Lakes and Krka. It’s also home to some of the best music festivals in Europe, too. All in all, a cracking destination, and here is some more information about Croatia. It’s definitely somewhere to consider.
2. Turkey (currency: lira)
There are so many reasons to visit Turkey – here are just a few of them! Firstly, the food is sensational. Carnivores can tuck into spicy köfte kebabs, while non-meat-eaters will love börek – crisp pastries filled with spinach and feta cheese. The sticky baklava dessert and the aromatic teas and coffees are must-trys, too.
Those who like in indulge themselves with spa treatments can enjoy spending time in a hammam (Turkish bath), and the beaches are second to none.
There’s also the majestic cities of Istanbul and Antalya to explore, with an abundance of colour and character.
3. Morocco (currency: dirham)
The awe-inspiring country of Morocco is another wonderful holiday destination, and your money will go a long way. Whether you head for one of Morocco’s big cities, such as Marrakech, Casablanca or Fes, you’ll experience a heady mix of culture, architecture and beauty.
Morocco also boasts miles and miles of coastline, and is home to some incredible beaches, particularly those close to Tangir and Agadir. More active types can hike in the Atlas Mountains, and there’s even the option of camping trips in the Sahara Desert.
4. Bulgaria (currency: lev)
Bulgaria has becoming much more fashionable to visit over the past decade or so, and it’s easy to see why. Whether it’s relaxing on one of its many fine beaches, or exploring the beautiful countryside, including the impressive Pirin National Park, there’s plenty to do.
Food-and-drink lovers can tuck into fresh fish from the Black Sea and wash it down with raika, a fruity spirit usually made with grapes and plums.
Bulgaria is also gaining a good reputation for its skiing, too. Bansko is the most popular ski resort in the country, and it’s great value compared with the establishes resorts in France, Italy and Switzerland.
5. Tunisia (currency: dinar)
Tunisia gives you plenty of north African culture, but throws in glamorous beaches as well. There are Roman amphitheatres to explore (including the third-largest in the world), and you can enjoy a Sahara Desert excursion, and even visit the locations where the original Star Wars was filmed, in Matmata.
The food is top notch, with delicious freshly grilled fish and couscous dishes often on the menu. You must also try brik a l’oeuf – thin, flaky pastry that’s filled with an egg yolk and deep fried – but watch out – the Tunisians like their food spicy, and often add generous helpings of the fiery, spicy dip harissa.
There are also plenty of markets, or souks, where you can pick up beautiful leather goods, rugs and gold and silver jewellery – but don’t forget to haggle! Starting at about 25% of the price is a good entry point.
These five destinations are all worth exploring, and the one thing they have in common is that none use the euro as their currency, so you may find that your money goes a little further. Enjoy your next adventure and have a great 2020 holiday!