October 13, 2022

Retire in Europe | The Best Island

And the winner is....

Sardinia, Italy


When you think of Italian islands, you might think first of Capri or Sicily, but hear us out. Sardinia may possibly check every retirement box you have. 

Sardinia is a great place for retirees and digital nomads

Voted in the top ten best places to live in Italy  by Il Sole24 Ore, Sardinia has been actively recruiting expats and entrepreneurs in recent years. In 2019, a new legislation offered tax incentives to foreigners to move to Sardinia as long as they bring their own employment with them (think start-ups, remote workers, etc.) For these new residents, their personal income may be charged at only 10% for their first five years on the island.*

Due to this new regulation – and excellent internet connectivity – the island has seen a growth in expats and digital nomads, bringing a start-up scene and fresh economic boost. 

If you are willing to move to a village with less than 3,000 residents, the government will pay you 15,000 euros to renovate a home.... as long as you live there full time and declare it as your residence within 18 months. 


Sardinia is one of the world’s Blue Zones

Moving to Sardinia doesn’t just bring tax advantages. It offers a healthy lifestyle too. Sardinia is one of the 5 identified global “Blue Zones” – in good company with Okinawa, Japan and Nicoya, Costa Rica – whose residents live longer than the world-wide average.

Sardinia is the second largest island in the Med and has almost 2000 km of coastline, ranging from sheer cliffs to white sandy beaches. The island’s active lifestyle includes hiking, snorkelling, diving, sailing, and skiing (yes, you read that right). 


Located on the main migratory route for birds travelling between northern Europe and Africa, Sardinia’s wetlands teem with migratory and resident birds, including its famous pink flamingos. A WWF nature reserve protects wildlife and flora at Mount Arcosu. Six marine protected areas keep stretches of the shoreline pristine.


Sardinia is a great place to retire if you love history

Architecture buffs could spend years exploring Sardinia’s rich history, including the Nuragic age (1900 BC), the Phoenicians, Byzantium, and later Christian influences. The lovely town of Alghero on the northwestern coast has historic churches, the remnants of 13th century ramparts, and a number of excellent museums. 


Sardinia's rich food culture includes fine-dining seafood restaurants, casual prosciutterias and local cheese shops...and everything in between.   

Where to Retire on an Island - Honourable Mentions:

Corsica, Francecorsica-coast

Less expensive than the Cote d’Azur, the Mediterranean island of Corsica is popular with wealthy French citizens. It draws expats from the UK, Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands who want to move to France

With 620 miles of coastline, beautiful beaches and a large mountain range Corsica has earned its nickname: Ile de Beauté. While its main cities can be pricey, charming villages like Algajola and Monticello offer Corsican charm with a lower price tag.  


The Azores, Portugal

The Azores are a great choice for those interested in sustainable living and tourism, birdwatching, geology, and sailing. São Miguel is the largest island in the chain, with the surrounding villages offering access to botanical gardens, hiking and refreshing waterfalls. 

A temperate climate, good health care for residents, direct flights from Europe and the US are also big draws to this part of Portugal. 


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Still looking? Check out where to retire in Europe...

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Strictly Sardinia

il Sole24Ore: “Best Places To Live in Italy” 2020

How Sardinia Became a Prime Destination for Expats

Italian Island Pays Thousands to Move to Sardinia

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