3 Affordable Mediterranean Havens

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Tourists in Barcelona having fun during summer vacation and visiting Barcelona Cathedral historic landmark
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Editor's Note: This story originally appeared on Live and Invest Overseas.

Europe is on a tear right now with visitor numbers breaking record levels, and Americans are arriving in droves — both for tourism and for investment. It’s at the heart of our favorite and affordable Mediterranean havens.

You could buy your own home in some of our favorite parts of Europe for a fraction what you’d pay in tourist hot spots like Ireland, France, or even Portugal. One that could also hand you a steady cash flow for the rest of your life.

Plus, the destinations we have in mind offer some of the easiest residency options we know of.

And, even better, in the up-and-coming markets we’ve scouted, you’ll find not only turn-key rental income opportunities, but stunning undervalued locations—all poised for serious appreciation.

Specifically, we’re looking at the Mediterranean, with some of the least-known, most undervalued corners of Southern Europe among our favorites.

1. Montenegro

Kotor, Montenegro at twilight
Mihai-Bogdan Lazar / Shutterstock.com

Montenegro boasts 57 miles (107 kilometers) of sparkling coastline backed by towering mountains and dotted with a charming mix of medieval towns and luxe modern developments.

It has a unique geography, full of nooks and crannies that together make up one of the most indented areas of the Adriatic Sea. Gorgeous views of the sea and mountains are a given regardless of where you are in the bay.

Montenegro’s government values foreign investment and wants to attract more foreign residents. It makes it easy for expats to set up life here with its turn-key residency policies.

It continues to invest in tourism and construction. More hotel chains are establishing themselves here. Cruise ships sail up to Kotor’s harbor on the daily.

It’s only a matter of time before word about Montenegro spreads as far as North America and Canadian and American tourists and expats start to arrive.

Why Montenegro Is a Mediterranean Haven

The historic town of Perast at the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro, southern Europe
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The biggest objective on Montenegro’s agenda right now is joining the European Union, which it’s poised to do in the next couple of years (some say by 2025; some say by 2030). It became an EU candidate in 2010 and adopted the euro as its currency in 2002.

Considering all that’s on offer, and unlike comparable destinations like Croatia, the cost of living in Montenegro is low.

A couple can live comfortably here on a budget of 1,500 to 2,000 euros per month.

Not many people have heard of Montenegro; to move here, you’ve got to be a little adventurous, a little bold, and a little open-minded to be able to come to terms with the realities of living in a country that’s still in development.

But you’ll be rewarded for that boldness with stunning sea and mountain vistas every day … a lower cost of living … mild temperatures year-round as well as access to untouched nature.

And you’ll be making a smart move, as property and rent are still cheap and it gets you residency and potentially a backdoor to the EU.

2. Cyprus

Kyrenia (Girne) is a city on the north coast of Cyprus, known for its cobblestoned old town and horseshoe-shaped harbor.
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At the far eastern edge of the Mediterranean, blessed with year-round warm weather, clear blue waters, and over 400 miles of coastline, lies Cyprus, Isle of Aphrodite.

On an island frequented by millions of tourists and expats, English has become so commonly spoken that you’d never have to learn Greek or Turkish.

The food in Cyprus is light, fresh, and tasty, and the Mediterranean diet is proven to help prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s.

Hibiscus, oleander, and daisies blossom across the island, from the coast to the foot of its mountains, while fig, lemon, and orange trees everywhere offer shade and the occasional free treat.

Why Cyprus Is a Mediterranean Haven

Mediterranean coast
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Blessed with rocky coves and white sand, Cyprus’ coast has won the “Blue Flag” award for 76 of its beaches and marinas.

Remarkably, for a few months of the year, you can also snow ski down Mount Olympus rising from the center of the island. If you enjoy the outdoors, this is even more of an island paradise than the beaches would have you believe.

About twice the size of Delaware, Cyprus boasts three national parks, 10 golf courses, and 240 official hiking trails through its mountains and sprawling forests.

Expeditions on horses, ATVs, and Jeeps venture out every day in search of hidden lagoons, waterfalls, and caves.

And, to top it off, life (and property) is as affordable as it gets in Europe — you could live very comfortably here on as little as $1,243 a month.

3. Spain

Valencia, Spain
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OK, Spain isn’t off-radar by any means, but it is one of the most affordable countries in Western Europe — and one which is still welcoming foreign investors and residents, to boot.

Spain is the second-largest country in Western Europe both in size and in population, which means the lifestyles here are as diverse as they come.

Settle in a bustling city, in a resort-style beach community, in the rugged mountains or the desert of the north, on an unknown stretch of coastline that sees no tourists, on your own farm in this fertile land known as “the garden of Europe” for how much produce it provides its neighbors.

And there is no shortage of expats here, though you can easily avoid them if you’re looking for a more authentically Spanish experience in your new life overseas. Plus, Spanish is one of the easier languages to learn.

Why Spain Is a Mediterranean Haven

Barcelona, Spain
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The Iberian Peninsula is known for having lower costs of living than the rest of Western Europe, quoted as being up to 30% cheaper on average than other EU regions.

But prices — for real estate and day-to-day living in this Mediterranean haven — have been pushed up in the last 10 years or so throughout much of Portugal, especially Lisbon and the renowned Algarve region.

In Spain, costs have inflated less appreciably in recent years and even in big, cosmopolitan cities, it’s still possible to get a menu del día (a three-course meal) for 10 euros, or a generous breakfast, complete with coffee and juice, for 4 euros.

In rural areas or on the less touristed costas, prices are even better.

The health care is the seventh-best in the world according to the Word Health Organization (WHO), and the country offers a Golden Visa program, granting North Americans full access to the Schengen Area, the world’s largest visa-free zone.

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