Report reveals world’s most, least expensive beaches

With a visit to the beach an essential part of many summer vacations, travelers will be interested in a just-released study that ranks over 300 beaches around the world based on the price of a typical day spent seaside.

The 2018 Beach Price Index, compiled by online travel specialist TravelBird, ranked beaches in more than 90 countries around the globe. Travel specialists looked at an extensive catalog of the most popular beaches worldwide, then pared the list to the final 300 locations.

Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head

For the study, TravelBird considered a “facility fee factor” which includes any entrance cost and the fee for renting a sunbed and umbrella. It also calculated the costs of several beach essentials including a 200-ml bottle of sun cream, a half-liter bottle of water, a 12-oz. beer, lunch (including drink and dessert for one person), and an ice cream.

The total cost of these six factors was then calculated to determine the overall affordability and ranking of each coastal destination.

The priciest beach in the world to visit? Anse Vata Beach in New Caledonia, an island in the Coral Sea about 900 miles northeast of Brisbane, Australia. Total cost: $91.50 per person, per day. Not including the cost of getting there, of course.

“Social media is changing the way that we discover the world (including) previously remote destinations,” Fiona Vanderbroeck, Chief Traveller Officer at TravelBird said in a statement accompanying the study. “With this ranking we try to inspire travelers to consider some of the exciting new seaside options” added to this year’s index, including Ruissalo Island near Turku, Finland and Vlissingen Beach in the Netherlands.

Beach at Hilton Head Island, N.C.

Three beaches in the U.S. made the list of the Top 10 Most Expensive. Waikiki Beach on Oahu was No. 5, at $75.52 per day followed by Miami’s South Beach at No. 6 ($74.79 per day) and New York’s Main Beach at No. 7 ($74.07 per day). In all, 18 U.S. beaches were included in the index, with the least expensive Hendry’s Beach in Santa Barbara, California ($36.77 per day).

The least expensive beach in the world, according to the index: Cua Dai Beach, just south of Da Nang, Vietnam, with a total per-person price of $15.65 per day. It also has the most affordable sunscreen, at $2.41.

World's most expensive beaches

Other interesting findings:

  • Finale Ligure Beach, Italy, has the most expensive facility fee, at $41.27. Sunscreen is most expensive in Beau Vallon, Seychelles at $29.26. 
  • The most expensive water can be found on Velavaru Island, Maldives, with a price of $11.59, while the cheapest is found at Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia, at $0.25. 
  • At a cost of $0.77 for beer, Soma Bay, Egypt is the cheapest, while Mjellestranden, Norway has the most expensive beer, for around $9.89. 
  • The cheapest ice cream is available in Nusa Dua, Bali, for $0.63, while it will cost travelers the most on Huk Beach, Norway, at a price of $5.19. 
  • At $6.84, the cheapest lunch destination is on El Gouna Beach, Egypt, while the most expensive lunch can be found on Anse Vata Beach, New Caledonia, at a pricey $30.43 

Full study results can be found here but you’ll need to use a “translate” program or function unless you read Dutch.

My take

As interesting as this study is, there is often much more flexibility than implied by a single dollar figure. Waikiki Beach is a great example. While beachgoers can buy sunscreen, water and food from vendors on the beach, there are several outlets of the popular ABC Stores nearby which offer all those items and more, and at much lower prices.

In addition, there are often other less well-known beaches nearby that might actually provide a better experience. Oahu’s northeast shore is home to the white powder crescent of Lanikai Beach. Just north of Bellows Air Force Base, it’s a 35-minute drive from Waikiki but a world apart.

Fisherman on Lanikai Beach

Make your plans, do a bit of research, and go! Safe and happy travels.

Visit my main page at for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.

Photos by Carl Dombek
Graphic provided by TravelBird
Click on photo to view larger image

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