Do you dream of sipping wine made from grapes grown locally? Or maybe you muse about the smell of freshly baked baguettes drifting through the air? Or perhaps you imagine residing on a sun-kissed Mediterranean coastline, or living on a cobbled street, nestled in a small, culture-rich village?
If you long to spend your retirement living in a city or town rich in history and culture, then there is no time like the present to start planning your move. In many European cities, the cost of living is far cheaper than in the UK, making this an attractive option for retirees looking to change their lives for the better.
Continue reading as we explore some of the best retirement spots in Europe for Brits to relocate to.
Spain is all about sunshine-infused days spent marvelling at the glittering Mediterranean, ancient cultures, hilltop castles and mouth-watering tapas. If you are an active retiree, the country can also keep you busy, with its long stretches of countryside and abundant hiking and cycling opportunities.
A much more relaxing pace of life means Spain remains a popular choice for Brits, with more than 300,000 UK citizens currently residing there. Thanks to its friendly locals, extraordinary year-round climate (especially in the South), and fantastic transport connections, moving to Spain in your twilight years is a great option.
Those relocating to Spain from the UK will also typically benefit from a lower cost of living, though this will of course vary according to location and lifestyle.
Living costs are generally higher in San Sebastian (the North coast of Catalonia) and the Balearic Islands. On the other hand, Alicante, the Costa del Sol and Malaga fall into the more affordable bracket, while middle-of-the-range places include Seville, Valencia and Granada.
The Costa del Sol in Southern Spain has remained a desirable option for retirees around the world, mainly Brits, thanks to its beautiful weather, vibrant social scene and sprawling sandy beaches. It used to be an area of small fishing villages but has quickly become one of the country’s prime tourist hotspots for holidaymakers and expats.
With around 300 days of sunshine per year, the Costa del Sol sees average yearly temperatures of roughly 19°C – a real dream for retired Brits hailing from a country where colder days are the norm!
Another advantage of retiring to the Costa del Sol is the ease of travel to numerous other destinations, thanks to the Malaga Costa del Sol airport. This makes it easy for British retirees to have friends and family over, or to pop back to the UK to see their loved ones as they wish.
Rich with cobblestones, castles and cathedrals, Portugal has consistently appeared at the top of countless “Best of” retirement lists – and with good reason.
The food and drink are simply divine; think freshly grilled fish gleaming in olive oil, sweet Pastais de Nata, and ruby red, prize-winning wines that will no doubt impress even the most discerning connoisseur.
Portugal is also one of Europe’s most economical countries, and, with a fantastic year-round climate, the Southern area of the Algarve particularly appeals to the sun-seeking Brits looking to permanently retire somewhere warm.
The Algarve region boasts 100 miles of beach and 3,000 hours of sunshine each year. Retirees looking for a relaxed pace of life will relish the fresh seafood eateries, fine golf courses and, arguably, some of Europe’s beach beaches.
Above all, the cost of living and property prices in the Algarve are amongst the lowest in Europe and English is extensively spoken there, making it an ideal retirement destination.
Although only applicable to a select group of people, it is worth noting that Portugal launched its Golden Visa Program back in 2012, which allows residency in Portugal to people who:
- Invest in properties worth half a million euros or more
- Invest one million euros in the country, or
- Start a local business that generates at least ten jobs
When you think of France, it may conjure up thoughts of Versailles, Chanel and haute cuisine. However, France makes its way onto this list for good reason and does not come with as big a price tag as you might have first thought.
Beyond prohibitively expensive regions such as Provence, Paris, and sun-drenched cities in the Riviera, living in France can prove to be cost-effective, despite also boasting a fantastic quality of life.
In France, living the good life often translates to the simpler things, like discovering the perfect succulent melon, enjoying wine with loved ones, or even admiring the scenery from a café terrace in the sunshine.
Arcachon is a beautiful coastal town in South-West France, located relatively near to Bordeaux. Dubbed a pensioner’s paradise, the town enjoys roughly 2,035 hours of sunshine a year, with outstanding health services. It is also an extremely safe place to live.
Another popular place to retire to in France is Vannes, situated in Brittany. While it may not enjoy as much sunshine as the likes of Arcachon, it is nestled in the magnificent Morbihan area, with good transport connections and a whole host of attractions that would appeal to any type of retiree.
If you are seeking a tranquil way of life, quality healthcare and all the little luxuries you enjoy at home, then France will not disappoint.
Thinking of Retiring in Europe?
Whichever European country you decide to start your new life in, Matthew James has got you covered. Whether you are seeking the sunny climes of the Costa del Sol with many other like-minded Brits and require removals to Malaga, or would prefer to reside in a smaller, quieter region in the South of France – we can cover your entire door-to-door move from the UK to almost anywhere in Europe.
Our dedicated team of removals experts can handle full relocations, shared loads, or even just single items. With a wealth of local knowledge and years of experience, we can help make your retirement move as hassle-free as it can be.