Mild winters, hot sunny summers and the occasional cool and refreshing breeze are everywhere on the Mediterranean Sea. The views are stunning, the atmosphere laid back and the food is always fresh and delicious.
One might think that the Mediterranean is definitely expensive and overpopulated. I mean, with all that natural beauty, who wouldn’t want to retire there? And yet, it is not really far. Most areas are still quite quiet and affordable. The dream of enjoying the rest of your days wandering deserted islands along the crystal blue sea can still be achieved.
Greece – Samos
300 days of sunshine and clear skies. Need I say more? Well, what about its charming cobblestone streets, numerous stunning beaches, its rich history, low cost of living, lack of crime, and super-friendly people? In the summer, expect to be outside all the time exploring the city on foot, walking along one of the beaches, or enjoying a long lunch at a café by the sea.
The Greek town of Samos is incredibly social and laid back. Life is a little slower, journeys are much shorter, the cost of living is lower and the community is much smaller here compared to most Greek and European cities. another.
Their restrictive planning laws have left their coastline undeveloped, but in the last few years the rules have begun to change to bring in more tourism. This means that the coast is still quite unspoiled, but the burst of new development and a simplified tax system is creating an excellent market for foreign buyers.
Malta – Gozo
The Maltese islands are home to year-round sunshine and one of the best climates on the planet. Peaceful and quiet with green and rich hills and pastures surrounded by beautiful sea views and some of the best diving spots in the world. Considering the low taxes, ease of residence and property ownership, low crime rate, cheap cost of living, excellent health care system with hospitals advanced and the fact that almost everyone speaks English – you have just found one of the best places on the planet to retire.
While Malta may be densely populated, escape to the smaller island of Gozo for a little more solitude. Many residents of Malta spend their weekends here. It has not been discovered by mass tourism so you will find close-knit rural villages full of baroque parish churches and old-fashioned farmhouses.
In recent years there has been a surge of projects, including new facilities and infrastructure, to bring people. While most of the islands’ properties are older homes, new developments are popping up. Locals tend to prefer new properties so the market for older fixer-uppers is decent for foreign buyers looking for a project.
Cyprus is already a well-established international retirement community, popular because it is almost impossible not to relax there. Imagine spending your days playing a leisurely game of golf overlooking the clear blue sea, or spending your weekends out at sea cruising around in a boat. Cypriots enjoy a very high standard of living that is affordable and not too crowded with excellent infrastructure and employment opportunities. Cyprus also has first world health standards with excellent healthcare and hospitals.
The property market has suffered reputational hits in recent years and many potential investors have been put off by the complexities of the process. This means that properties are currently relatively plentiful and affordable – favorable conditions for buyers.
Mario Vitanelli is a freelance writer and blogger specializing in international finance, retirement and investment. He currently works with the QROPS group, blogging about travel and economic policy. When away from his keyboard, he enjoys fishing and tries not to exaggerate about the size of his latest catch.