Retiring in Europe is about launching a new life in a new country, starting over in a unique place with Old World culture. But there’s no one way to determine the best place to retire for every person. That’s why we have identified the best destinations in Europe that are each special for their own reasons.
The 13 categories considered represent the most important criteria that retirees must weigh when shopping for the best place to live. The categories are cost of living, crime and safety, English spoken, entertainment, environmental conditions, expat community, health care, infrastructure, recreation, residency options, taxes and real estate affordability and restrictions.
Portugal’s Algarve remains the best place in Europe to retire to today. It has everything the would-be retiree could want – great weather and lots of sunshine year-round; an established and welcoming expat community; top-notch medical facilities and health care; an affordable cost of living, especially when you consider the quality of life; undervalued and bargain-priced property buys, including right on the ocean; endless opportunities for fun, adventure and enjoying rich, full, varied days out-of-doors; a great deal of English spoken thanks to the longstanding British presence; First World infrastructure; a new retiree residency program that rolls out the welcome mat for foreign pensioners; and easy access both from the United States and to and from all Europe.
Chania, Crete, Greece
Crete is a Greek island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is the largest among Greece’s nearly 6,000 islands, at 161 miles long by 37 miles wide. Crete is thought by many to be one of the most beautiful locations in Greece, if not the entire world. The island offers a lot for both tourists and residents, including sunny, sandy beaches and hospitable people. Most of the tourist areas and cities in Crete have an abundance of shop owners who understand and speak English. Even the lesser traveled areas on the island will have English speakers scattered around and if not, the locals are easy to work with and can help you with whatever you need.