Live abroad! – The best places to relocate in 2021
The coronavirus pandemic has put many people’s plans of finding their dream home overseas on hold, but, as markets slowly begin to open, it’s time to start home-hunting again. And for those who were thinking of doing it in a few years, perhaps the recent situation has made you consider taking the leap now?
Many countries are now announcing their plans for travel over the summer, so we’re getting a clear picture of those places that it could be easier to start planning a move for. Chris Nye, Senior Editor of Property Guides, the experts in buying abroad, gives us his pick of the best.
Greece’s over 200 islands offer a huge variety of lifestyles, whether you’re looking for the lively buzz of Cycladic hotspots like Mykonos, the Italianate elegance of Corfu, or the peace and quiet of less-discovered islands like Sifnos and Limnos. What they have in common, however, is that year-round sunshine, easy access to the beach, fantastic food and, of course, that welcoming, friendly Greek culture.
Homes on the islands are pricier than on the mainland, but they are still, generally speaking, much lower than what you’d pay in much of the UK. On most islands, €150,000 will purchase you a comfortably sized villa with two or more bedrooms and often a fantastic view.
Greece has been fortunate in having low case numbers during the coronavirus pandemic, and the Greek government announced that there will be no quarantine for British travellers arriving in the country.
Heading further east still, the sunkissed island of Cyprus has deep connections with the British and has been a popular location for buyers for many years. Most recently, its tourism minister assured the press that British visitors will still be ‘welcomed with open arms’, and it is expected that the country will form part of the UK’s ‘travel bubble’ as it has not been as hard-hit as other nations in Southern Europe.
With English widely spoken to a high level, and the fact that they drive on the left, Cyprus is practically speaking a very easy choice for relocation. It certainly doesn’t fall short on the lifestyle front, either, with some of the warmest winters in Europe and a stunning coastline dotted with beaches, old fishing villages and modern resorts. Inland, you’ll find the dramatic Troodos Mountains, which even have a number of small ski stations. Skiing in the morning and beach in the afternoon? It’s possible in Cyprus.
Areas like Paphos and the surrounding villages offer fantastic value for money, with €300,000 getting you a modern, detached villa with its own swimming pool. With an active ex-pat community, it is the perfect combination of a friendly international community and local Cypriot
Costa Blanca, Spain
The Costa Blanca offers that winning combination of the laid-back Spanish lifestyle, with endless sunshine and miles of fabulous beaches, affordable property and easy access from the UK.
The northern end of the coast is traditionally considered the more built-up area, with buzzing resorts and plenty going on. Property prices here are a little higher than in the south, which is flatter and quieter. Much of this end of the Costa Blanca is given over to smaller towns, villages and new urbanisations, with the area around the beautiful Mar Menor particularly popular. A new airport down in Murcia makes access to both ends of the coast from the UK easy.
There are currently still travel restrictions in place from the UK, but we expect these to lift by the summer, and certainly normality should be more or less restored by 2021. In the meantime, the Costa Blanca has already entered ‘stage one’ of lockdown easing, as it has been less affected than other areas like the Costa del Sol.
County Donegal, Ireland
The stunning West Atlantic coast of Ireland’s County Donegal is immensely popular for holiday homeowners, both from Ireland and abroad. If you’re not a beach person and more interested in enjoying the greater outdoors – and being surrounded by magnificent scenery – then this is the place for you.
You have plenty of lively villages to choose from, such as vibrant Dunfanaghy, known for its live music and festivals, Bundoran – just 20 minutes from the famous surfing of Rossnowlagh – or Rathmullan, a charming seaside town on the Fanad Peninsula.
As for travel, Ireland and the UK are already in a common travel area, so there will be no change after Brexit, and it has already been confirmed that the two will not impose quarantine during coronavirus.
With the property markets beginning to reopen across Europe and governments drawing up plans to ease travel restrictions, now is the time to start planning your move. So will it be a beach home in Cyprus or a village cottage in Ireland? The world is your oyster, check out our top tips for emigrating abroad!