Sunset at Gokarna beach

Top Offbeat Beach Destinations to visit on Budget


Everyone is wandering through the exotic beaches of Thailand, Maldives & Seychelles. We thought to give you some places which are off beaten beach destinations yet serene & wonderful.

We all love beaches! Sun Tan & Sand in toes with a perfect sunrise & sunset views makes a beach holiday so more memorable. How wonderful it would feel to sit on the shores of a serene beach & relax in the luminous sunlight. Shimmering waves touching your feet and cool breeze in your hairs along with a glass of refreshing drink and end your day with a wonderful evening beach walk with your loved ones.

Sunset by the beach - Maldives
Sunset by the beach – Maldives

If you are dreaming of a tropical getaway, then escape to some of the most enthralling beach destinations in the world without feeling broke on your pocket.

Here are the top picks from our fellow bloggers to get you some of the wonderful yet budgeted beach destinations.


** Sao Vicente, Madeira ** 

Whenever I end up on a beautiful beach in the world, it tends to be expensive and overpriced and filled with touristy and kitschy things to do.  Sao Vicente, Madeira defies all those perceptions and then some.  I went to Madeira, an island in the Atlantic owned by Portugal, on a bit of a whim.  I was flying from the Azores and found a cheap ticket to Madeira ($35 each way) from the Azores and back to Lisbon.  I knew that Madeira was pretty and affordable for travelers, so I decided to give it a go.  It was one of the best travel decisions I have ever had. 

Sao vicente
Sao vicente

Arriving in Sao Vicente was a bit of a task, but once there, food and accommodation were extremely affordable and accessible.  There were restaurants that didn’t have a super steep cost and many hotels that were luxurious for their low rates.  But the best thing about Sao Vicente was that there were so many spectacular views, hikes, and things to do that it was the ultimate budget destination as many of these things were free!  Sao Vicente was formed from a volcanic eruption and the history of the place can be viewed and acknowledged at the volcano center in the city.  Ticket prices are low, and everyone can learn more about the volcanic caves if this picturesque area.

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** Naxos, Greece ** 

Visiting the Greek islands can be expensive, particularly islands like Santorini and Mykonos, but one Greek island that offers great value for money is Naxos. 

Despite being just an hour from Mykonos and Athens, the island attracts comparatively few overseas visitors. This is surprising as Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades archipelago, has some of the most historical attractions of any island, and is home to some incredibly beautiful and rugged natural beaches. 

Cocktail by the Naxos beach
Cocktail by the Naxos beach

The best beaches can be found a little down the coast from Naxos bown. Plaka is worth staying near or driving to if you have a car. There’s also a beach in Naxos town, which you can walk to from the town center. 

Accommodation prices in Naxos start from around €20 per night for a twin room, which is a fraction of what you would expect to pay on many of the other islands. I stayed at Ktima Bianco, a small boutique guesthouse, and paid just under €20 per night for a room and breakfast. This was outside of the main season admittedly, but otherwise very good value for money. 

Naxos Church & the beach

Eating out isn’t quite as affordable: a main meal will cost somewhere between €6 and €11 on average. If you want to keep costs down, consider booking into self-catering accommodation, or stick to the souvlaki places. Here, a Greek kebab costs around €2.50 and will keep you filled up for a few hours. 

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** Nha Trang, Vietnam ** 

Nha Trang is a short 40 min flight from Ho Chi Minh City. Vietnam is a very budget friendly location in general and Nha Trang is no different. On our first visit to Vietnam Nha Trang didn’t get a very good wrap, I am glad to report that on our second visit in 2015 all that had changed. There are hotels that will suit every budget, although budget hotels are generally a couple of blocks back from the beachfront. 

Nha Trang beach 2
Nha Trang beach

You can expect to pay $20-$30 AUD for a 3-star hotel in Nha Trang which is very affordable and only a couple of blocks back from the beachfront. Street food in Vietnam is lovely, fresh and cheap and if you choose somewhere that is busy, you are very unlikely to get sick from the food. The beautiful white beach is clean and as there is only one beachfront hotel in Nha Trang there is plenty of space to park your towel and enjoy the beach. 

Nha Trang beach 1
Nha Trang

Nha Trang can definitely appeal to all travelers, you can easily visit here on a very small budget, but you can also visit Nha Trang in style in some top luxury hotels. There really is something for everyone. 

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** Costa Rei, Southern Sardinia ** 

Costa Rei, in the south-eastern coast of Sardinia, is an incredible beach destination. An incredible long, wide, golden sand beach among the most beautiful beaches in Sardinia, Costa Rei proves to be an excellent budget beach destination that can be visited for as little as €30 per person, per day. Costa Rei can be reached by public transportation: there’s regular buses leaving from Cagliari main bus station.

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Costa Rei

The area has several good campsites where it is possible to pitch tents, and they are all within walking distance from the beach. One of them, Tiliguerta, also allows pets so it is a good option for people traveling with their dogs. Beaches are public in Sardinia, so it costs literally nothing to go to the beach in Costa Rei. The best places to go shopping are the local farms that sell great fresh fruits and vegetables. Otherwise, there’s a few grocery stores. The best budget restaurant is Chaplin, right by the beach (an average of €25 for a full meal from appetizers to desserts and drinks).

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** Perhentian island, Malaysia ** 

Perhentian Kecil island in Malaysia was quite a pleasant surprise for us, budget travelers. Usually imagining a small tropical island with nice sandy beaches and crystal-clear water you think it’s an expensive place but not always. Beach holiday on Perhentian Kecil worked out very cheap for us, even including diving. There are two Perhentian islands; Kecil and Besar. The first one is a great destination for budget travelers, the second is more of a fancy place with expensive resorts and restaurants for that is why we chose Kecil.


You can stay on the island for US$15-20 per person per day. The most budget accommodation option on the island is camping, we paid US$5 for camping at Maya cabins. If you don’t have a tent you can rent one for the same price. To rent a basic cabin costs US$20 (double room). Our campsite was at Coral Bay beach, just 30m from the sea and right next to a dive shop which was very convenient when we had a morning dive. Diving was good and quite cheap – US$20 per dive including gear rental.


Dinie’s cafe – a local budget food place is located at the same beach, we could get cheap lunch and dinner there; rotis or fried vegetable rice for US$1,5, curry for US$2 etc. Something we loved is that there is no road on the island, you can rent a kayak for US$5 and paddle around stopping at different beaches or go for a hike around the island. Perhentian Kecil is a great place for a budget holiday on a tropical island. 

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** Koh Muk, Thailand ** 

There aren’t many Thai islands that offer up peace and tranquility for those on a budget. The majority of budget accommodation is centred around the more popular, busier islands. But if you head to the Andaman Coast, towards the Malaysian border, you’ll find the perfect mix of laid back paradise islands on a budget. The Trang Islands are still off the beaten track for most holidaymakers and offer the perfect combination of cheap accommodation, great food and incredible beaches. If you’ve had your fill of parties and want a place to rest up, then head on to the Trangs.

Koh muk 1 (2)
Koh muk , Thailand

Our pick for those on a budget would be Koh Muk. It has a several stunning white sand beaches, calm turquoise water and those iconic limestone karsts.

Koh Muk , Thailand
Koh Muk , Thailand

Koh Muk is the kind of place where you can barely spend anything as all the best things to do are outdoors and cheap! You can rent kayaks directly from the beach and head out to the Emerald Cave, snorkel off shore, go for a hike to the other side of the island or simply kick back and relax. There are a few other islands nearby you can explore, including Koh Ngai which also has some stunning beaches and few tourists.

You can get a very basic bungalow right by the beach for $15 USD per night and there are plenty of places offering really cheap street food for a few dollars. We loved spending the evenings watching the magnificent sunsets from a hammock. 

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** Alona Beach, Philippines ** 

If you are looking for a budget beach destination, then Alona is a great choice!

Located on the island of Panglao just off the coast of Bohol (there is a bridge across) is this popular beach area which makes a great base to explore all the surrounding areas. Bohol is a short boat ride from Cebu City where there are international flights.

alona beach
Alona Beach, philippines

The beach itself is not spectacular and there are a lot of boats. However, it is a great place to have a base as there is a fun path along the beach lined with restaurants, bars and accommodation. It’s still low key for a beach destination so no huge buildings and it all feels more remote than it is. It’s far less touristy (and cheaper) than the more famous Boracay and there is a wider variety of attractions.

The huge plus of staying here is that it is a fabulous area for diving and snorkeling. You can go off the shore but more common (and better) is to join up with one of the dive shops along the beach and get taken to a few different locations while exploring underwater.

alona beach 2
alona beach

It’s also a great place to explore the island of Bohol from. This island is spectacular with jungle and adventure activities as well as many beaches. 

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** Koh Rong, Cambodia ** 

 The Koh Rong islands are home to some of the best beaches in all of Southeast Asia. The long beach at Koh Rong is in particularly dreamy and stretches 7 kilometers! The water is turquoise, the sand is white and behind the beach the palm trees are swaying. 

What’s even better, it’s still quite untouched even though more and more hotels are opening along the beach. 

koh rong
Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong is also popular among backpackers thanks to its party at the harbor-side and lower prices.

But the best part is obviously the secluded beaches with white sand and turquoise water. It’s easy to get to the Long Beach, either by walking through the jungle or by a 15-minute boat ride. The prices per night range from 5 USD to 50 USD, and there is everything from budget to more luxurious accommodation available. 

koh rong 2
Koh Rong, Cambodia

To get to Koh Rong, you go by boat from Sihanoukville in the southern part of Cambodia.”

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** Montañita, Ecuador **

Our top budget destination would have to be Montañita in Ecuador. What makes it so special, you ask? Montañita is a popular town in Ecuador because of its vibrant nightlife and all the amazing surfing spots in the area. To reach Montañita, you can take a bus from Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador. It costs around 4-5 USD for each trip and takes 4 hours to get to Montañita from Guayaquil.

Montañita, Ecuador
Montañita, Ecuador (c) – flickr – yaseer

There are many things to do in Montañita throughout the day. The beach goes on for miles and in its waters, you can swim and surf all you want. Walking around the shores and taking in the sights is also a lovely experience. Like any famous beach, some areas can be crowded, but you can always find a nice spot for yourself to relax and bask in the sun. My favorite moment during my stay would have to be watching the sunset and partying with locals and tourists after.

Montañita is a budget destination for sure! Accommodation prices start at around 2 to 3 USD, if you plan on pitching your tent and go camping. Those who want to stay in hostels will need to pay around 8 to 10 USD per night. Not bad, right? Even nicer rooms may cost around 25 USD, and these rooms already come with fantastic sea views.

The food in Montañita was also very affordable; a meal of local Ecuadorian food can cost from 2 to 3 USD. You can unwind with a nice bottle of beer in the evening for 1 USD, and the cocktails are pretty cheap as well. Most people start having a few bottles at the beach then will head out to a bar as the evening progresses. The vibe in Montañita was great from morning till night, and really recommend visiting this town.

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** Mirissa, Srilanka ** 

Mirissa Beach on Sri Lanka’s southern coast is one of my favorite beaches and a place you shouldn’t miss when traveling around Sri Lanka. You can either stay directly on the beach (there are several guesthouses and smaller hotels for every budget) or even do a daytrip if you’re based on another location on the southern coast, such as the colonial town Galle.

Mirissa Beach, Srilanka
Mirissa Beach, Srilanka

Mirissa beach is quite long and perfect for a stroll or just to relax. There are a few beach bars and restaurants, however, during my visit in summer (which is the rainy season for the southern coast), not much was happening. Therefore, it was the perfect place to relax after some busy days traveling around Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka - 281
Sunset at Mirissa Beach, Srilanka

In case you wanna do and see a little bit more, take a short tuk tuk ride to the famous palm tree hill east of Mirissa beach. On the western side, a short hike brings you to the quiet and tiny secret beach. As you see, there is a lot to do in the area!

For sunset, climb up Parrot rock on the eastern end of Mirissa Beach – you will have beautiful views of the beach and the sunset looks great from up there!

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** Okinawa, Japan ** 

When you think of Japan, an image of “paradise” may be the last thing that pops into your mind. But there is indeed a stunning paradise in the Far East!   The destination is called Okinawa.

Okinawa is located 400 miles (640 km) south of mainland Japan, which is about a 3-hour long domestic flight from Narita.  Since Okinawa is a chain of islands, you have several destination options on your vacation to this Asian paradise.

Okinawa, Japan


If you are on a tight budget, you can stay on Naha and explore the neighboring islands Kerama, Zamami, and Aka as a day trip.   All the neighboring islands have beautiful beaches, but my favorite was Furuzamami beach on Zamamai island.   The calm and shallow clear waters were irresistible for splashing around, and the quiet stretch of white sand was perfect for beach bumming. 

While in Naha, you must try either scuba diving or snorkeling!  The clarity of the water is stunning, not to mention the colorful fishes and corals that will make you want to become a mermaid.


Given a good number of hostel options in Naha, you can manage to get a bed and eat cheaply for less than $50/day.  The hostels were clean and comfortable, and I had a great time meeting Japanese friends in Naha hostels.   Public transportations are also available in Naha, which you can expect to pay a few bucks for each ride.

If you have a bit more flexibility with your budget and time, head to Ishigaki island for a more “Okinawan” vibe and more breathtaking beaches.   My ultimate beach recommendation is Kondoi beach on Ishigaki . During the low-tide, the perfect white sand beach with turquoise blue water stretches for as far as you can see.   If you are a beach lover, Kondoi beach is one you will never forget.  

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These tranquil beach destinations will certainly make your holiday much more fun & relaxed. Have any more suggestions on budgeted beach destinations. Share with us in comments. 

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23 comments on “Top Offbeat Beach Destinations to visit on Budget”

  1. Wow! I never heard and tried some of the beaches that you mention. Great info! You provide us with so much options, thanks for sharing!

  2. These are all beautiful beach destinations and hopefully I can tick them off my list one by one! I’ll start with Alona beach since I’m from the Philippines. Hehehe

  3. I love beaches too! I haven’t been to any of these places except Madeira I guess. I really wanna go to Vietnam, and wouldn’t mind living in a bungalow in Thaland either. Sri Lank and Okinawa are on my list as well. Honestly, every place on this list seems awesome. Like the long beach at Koh Rong sounds sweet, turquoise water, white sand and palm trees is after all the dream. Thanks for this brilliant guide!

  4. I’m putting all these beaches on my travel bucket list now! They are absolutely beautiful and I like knowing that they are not super pricey to go to!

  5. We are not really “beach people”. But these places you suggest are enough to get us to put up a beach umbrella, unroll our towel and embrace sandy everything. The last one in particular interests us. You don’t normally think of Japan when looking for beaches. From reading this post I am facinacted to see Okinawa.

    Thanks for sharing. Keep travel blogging. Adventure is better shared with friends!

  6. I would love to travel to some of these locations. I’ve learned that living in the United States has its disadvantages because it is SO expensive to travel out of the country. Maybe someday when all my kids are grown and gone I can travel!

  7. Omg! Love this article. Totally bookmarking this, as there are some places on here I’m already planning to visit.

  8. Wow I never heard of some of these beautiful and gorgeous places! I would absolutely adore a visit to any of them!

  9. Wow, this is quite acomprehensive roundup of gorgeous beaches…they might be cheaper than their better-known counterparts, but are as scenic and far less touristy…worth bookmarking

  10. There are some amazing beaches on this list. I’ve been to many beaches in SEA, including Koh Muk. I see there are still many I have left to visit. 🙂

  11. There are so many beautiful beach destinations in Asia on your list. I would love to go to Okinawa. My parents went there on their honeymoon and I have many friends from Okinawa. Those pictures are making me want to go right now 🙂

  12. I feel quite relaxed after reading about all these lovely beach destinations. I would love to visit Koh Muk, Thailand. I have never been to Thailand but dream of finding a white sandy beach without the drunken tourists and of course on a budget. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Awwww….now I want to go to the beach. Especially the Koh Rong-one! It is sooooo hot in Denmark. You should try the beaches on Mallorca, they are so beautiful. Thank you for this post – I often find the most popular beaches to be dirty, crowded and without charm.

  14. What a fine list! I love the lesser traveled beaches, although i haven’t seen nearly enough of the ones you mention here. Madeira was my biggest surprise; it’s a gorgeous place to visit, and certainly more budget friendly than I’d imagined.

  15. This is an excellent list. It proves that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to find beach paradise, without the overcrowded touristy atmosphere. I really want to go to Madeira and Naxos.

  16. These are list of beautiful exotic destinations of all over the world which are hidden gems. Mirrisa in Sri Lanka and Okinawa in Japan will be my favorites.

  17. Also not a fan of popular beach destinations, the more unspoiled a place is, the more I like it. Madeira has been on my list for quite some time, as well as Sardinia- and I’m pleasantly surprised you found them affordable. 🙂

  18. Wow! You have created an amazing budgeted beach list. I am going to add all these destinations to my travel bucket list.
    Thanks for letting us know. 🙂

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