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Madeira is cheapest quarantine-free island destination for Britons looking for autumn sun

Revealed: The cheapest quarantine-free island destinations for Britons looking for autumn sun – and it’s Madeira that’s best value

  • Post Office compared the prices of tourist items in eight destinations on European and Caribbean islands
  • Other destinations that are best-value for Britons are Paphos in Cyprus and the Greek island of Rhodes 
  • The Caribbean islands proved much more expensive, with the most costly island surveyed being St Lucia  

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Madeira is the cheapest island destination for Britons considering an autumn break abroad in the sun.

That’s according to a new report by Post Office Travel Money, which has compared the prices of meals, drinks and other tourist items, including coffee, beer and sunscreen, in eight destinations on European and Caribbean islands that are not on the UK government’s quarantine list.

The report, called the Islands in the Sun Holiday Barometer, is the first of its kind compiled by the Post Office, which says that island getaways are emerging as the ‘most practical choice’ for UK holidaymakers in October after Turkey was added to the quarantine list yesterday.

The Portuguese island of Madeira, pictured, has been named as the cheapest island destination for an autumn break in a new report by the Post Office

The Portuguese island of Madeira, pictured, has been named as the cheapest island destination for an autumn break in a new report by the Post Office 

Paphos, pictured, came second in the barometer despite the Post Office pointing out that prices in the Cypriot resort have risen 3.7 per cent year on year

Paphos, pictured, came second in the barometer despite the Post Office pointing out that prices in the Cypriot resort have risen 3.7 per cent year on year

Among the Eurozone ‘islands in the sun’ – with Madeira, Rhodes and Sicily surveyed for the first time by Post Office Travel Money – it found that the low cost of both alcoholic and soft drinks helped to make Madeira the cheapest option.

A popular autumn break choice among flora and fauna enthusiasts, the so-called ‘garden island’s’ barometer total of £65.53 made it slightly less expensive than runner-up Paphos (£66.40), where prices in the Cypriot resort have risen 3.7 per cent year on year.

Although they remain under quarantine rules, Post Office Travel Money also researched three Canary Islands and found that none of these could compare with Madeira on price.

The cheapest of the three, Lanzarote, was almost 12 per cent higher than in Madeira, with Tenerife and Gran Canaria more expensive still.

A table by Post Office Travel Money showing a comparison of the prices of eight items in different destinations. The destinations toned in grey currently remain on the UK quarantine list

A table by Post Office Travel Money showing a comparison of the prices of eight items in different destinations. The destinations toned in grey currently remain on the UK quarantine list

This table shows that Corfu was the most expensive European island in the sun. St Lucia was the most expensive overall

This table shows that Corfu was the most expensive European island in the sun. St Lucia was the most expensive overall 

The report also revealed big price differences between resorts in the same country. Visitors to Cyprus can expect to pay around 20 per cent more for the eight items in fourth-placed Limassol (£79.72) than in Paphos, says the Post Office.

In Greece, prices in third-placed Rhodes were 19 per cent lower than in sixth-placed Corfu at £77.52 compared with £95.72. 

This made Corfu the most expensive European island in the sun.

Prices in third-placed Rhodes, pictured, were 19 per cent lower than in sixth-placed Corfu at £77.52, compared with £95.72

Prices in third-placed Rhodes, pictured, were 19 per cent lower than in sixth-placed Corfu at £77.52, compared with £95.72

The Caribbean islands surveyed for the report were more expensive than any of the European destinations.

Prices in Antigua were 41 per cent higher than a year ago at £107.80 for the eight tourist essentials. This is most likely because cheaper restaurants remain closed in the island capital St John’s, says the Post Office.

By comparison, the barometer cost in St Lucia, in Rodney Bay, was only nine per cent up on 2019 levels (£111.58), but it was still the most expensive destination surveyed.

St Lucia offers the highest temperature of 31 degrees in October. Prices there were up nine per cent on 2019 levels

St Lucia offers the highest temperature of 31 degrees in October. Prices there were up nine per cent on 2019 levels

Meanwhile, Post Office Travel Money compared temperatures for the island destinations in October and found that St Lucia offers the highest temperature of 31 degrees, while the highest in Europe is in Paphos, where the mercury can hit 27 degrees.

Nick Boden, head of Post Office Travel Money, said: ‘Although a number of popular destinations in Spain, France and Greece are quarantined at the moment, our new report reveals that holidaymakers who want to travel abroad still have plenty of good choices among European and Caribbean islands.

‘Madeira will make a great substitute for the Canary Islands, if these remain subject to quarantine, and the autumn temperature in Cyprus will make its resorts a great holiday option. Further afield, visitors to the Caribbean can expect an even sunnier climate.’

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