Budget

Budget Europe 2008

by Ralph Martin

EVERYTHING'S JUST BEACHY

The "Latvian Riviera" might sound like a bit of a stretch, but Latvia's Jurmala, on the Baltic Sea, beats much of the Mediterranean for unspoiled white beaches. Croatia's Dalmatian Coast (pictured) rivals Italy's Amalfi region for rugged beauty, with much cleaner water. And Turkey's Patara Beach is a 13-mile stretch of virgin sand looking out on the Mediterranean. Welcome to European beaches outside the euro zone, where a few days' vacation can cost less than a beach chair at one of St. Tropez's manicured spots. Hitting the beach outside the euro zone illustrates a larger truth: It pays to avoid the mighty euro and the superdeveloped economies that have adopted it. Even better, you're not reduced to international beach food, and can instead take advantage of fantastic local flavors, from pristine Adriatic shellfish in Croatia to the yogurt-dominated cuisine of the Black Sea resort towns of Varna or Balchik, in Bulgaria. Of course, every country is in a race to join the EU, and adopt that pesky euro. Get there before they succeed.

NEXT: Discover Europe's offbeat—and affordable—cities

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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