Mention Montenegro to someone on the street and their likely response will involve a comment about James Bond and Daniel Craig. However, in the music world, Petrovac in Montenegro’s Budva municipality is renowned for its Jazz Fest which attracts local and international artists alike. Concerts, workshops and participation events attract a lively crowd year after year. This year the festival will take place between the 31st of August and the 3rd of September. Acts will include: Eyot, Gerd Schuller “Key Trio”, Aga Zaryan Trio, Cirkusz-KA, Balkan Jazz Collective, Michaela Rabitsch & Robert Pawlik and Filip Gavranovic Duo.
The number of tourists visiting Montenegro is increasing each year and so it came as little surprise to hear about this new development in Lustica. Orascom Development Holding AG plans to build a fully integrated town covering a total area of 6.8million square meters in Lustica, in the municipality of Tivat on the Mediterranean’s Traste Bay. The project will create 2,350 residential units, hotels, a town centre, a marina on the Adriatic Sea and an 18-hole golf course. The first phase is expected to be open by 2015.
Orascom Development will retain a 90 per cent stake in Lustica Development AD Podgorica, while the Government of Montenegro will hold the balance. This project is Orascom Development’s third in Europe and is a further extension of the company’s integrated town model. Now operating in nine countries including Switzerland, United Kingdom, Egypt, Oman, Morocco, UAE, Mauritius, Jordan and Montenegro, the group portfolio covers approximately 141 million square meters.
Value for money has always been a priority for Regent Holidays which takes away the tedium of watching the pennies on holiday thanks to its selection of unusual, accordingly-inexpensive destinations, including the vast majority of Europe’s top 10 least expensive countries. Often overlooked, countries including Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovena, Albania, Serbia and Montenegro offer the visitor a fulfilling holiday without leaving a large dent in the wallet.
Taking the simple cup of coffee for example – a freshly brewed mug costs just €0.50 in Bosnia & Herzegovena, a country that boasts a glorious mix of the Mediterranean and Alpine, as enchanting as Italy, where a caffe latte can set you back as much as €5… With this in mind, why not sample the delights of Sarajevo, Bosnia’s bustling capital city for a palatable £443 per person with Regent, including 3 nights in a 3* hotel on B&B basis and flights.
Then there’s Montenegro, a perennially chic, discreet country with towering mountains that dip dramatically down to the Mediterranean and to deep-set fjords. New to Regent’s 2009/2010 brochure, Montenegro attracts a glamorous, discerning visitor, comparable to the Côte d’Azur, where you wouldn’t see much change from €50 at a restaurant while in Montenegro a three course meal at a reputable restaurant costs a toothsome €12.50. For a taste of this exceptional country, Regent has an eight day Highlights of Montenegro tour from £935pp including 3* accommodation on B&B basis, a full day excursion to Cetinje and Biogradska Gora National Park, return flights and transfers.
Macedonia is another joyously inexpensive European country and one of the Balkans’ best-kept secrets. A veritable treasure trove of Greek, Roman, Slav and Turkish history, Macedonia – also known as the ‘Land of Lakes’ – is awash with monasteries, mosques and castles and some surprisingly good local wine. Regent’s eight day Skopje & Lake Ohrid trip (from £695 per person including 4* hotel accommodation on B&B basis, flights and private car transfers) offers a brilliant overview of the country, where a decent bottle of wine will set you back €4!
Regent offers many more holidays to inexpensive European destinations that allow visitors to splash out on the ground. Holidays such as a nine day fly-drive of Bulgaria’s highlights for £595 per person (including flights, B&B 3* or 4* accommodation and care hire); a seven day Tirana & Beach holiday to Albania from £530 per person (including flights, B&B hotel accommodation and private transfers); a three night city break to Krakow from £274 per person (including flights and 4* hotel accommodation on B&B basis) or a three night city break to Belgrade from £418 per person (including flights and 3* hotel accommodation on B&B basis).
Eurostat have revealed the results of their latest price survey across Europe, proving bargains are still to be had across Eastern Europe. The survey revealed that price levels in 2008 differed widely across Europe: Northern European countries tend to have the highest prices while the south-eastern European countries have the lowest prices. Southern and central European countries tend to show price levels closer to the EU average.
In Denmark consumer prices appeared 41% higher than the average of the 27 EU Member States, while in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia prices are 53% lower than this average. Among the EU Member States, the cheapest country is Bulgaria (49% below the average).
Food and non-alcoholic drinks are most expensive in Denmark and cheapest in Bulgaria. Taxes on food, alcohol and tobacco across the bloc’s 27 states are highest in Ireland and lowest in Romania. Regarding clothing prices, Britain is the least costly and Finland is the most expensive. Prices for consumer electronics are lowest in Britain and highest in Malta. Hotels cost the most in Denmark and the least in Bulgaria.
Eurostat examined prices of 2500 consumer goods and services across 37 European countries (27 Member States, the three Candidate Countries (Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Turkey), three EFTA countries (Iceland, Norway and Switzerland) and four Western Balkan countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia).
The results of the surveys are expressed in “price level indices” (PLIs), which provide a comparison of countries’ price levels with respect to the European Union average: if the price level index is higher than 100, the country concerned is relatively expensive compared to the EU average and vice versa, if the price level index is lower than 100, then the country is relatively cheap compared to the EU average.
10 Least Expensive European Countries
4. Bosnia and Herzegovina
10 Most Expensive European Countries: