Looking to switch job or move house? Why not look a little further afield next time and consider one of these Mediterranean islands. A move to one of these places could truly change your life.
The largest of the Ionian Islands in western Greece, Cephalonia has a population of 35,801 of which a third lives in its prosperous capital city Argostoli. Raisins and wine used to be the island’s main exports, now it’s the slightly more prosaic – but thriving - fish farming and calcium carbonate industries.
With an airport 10 km south of Argostoli and five harbours and ports for ferry access, it’s off the beaten track, but you won’t feel marooned.
Take a boat trip in Melissani Cave with its collapsed roof for unique view of stalactites and the sky above. Or escape the tourists and go horse-riding to explore remote regions in peace.
On an altogether smaller scale, take a look at Gökçeada, Turkey’s largest island at the western most point in the Aegean. With a population of 8,210, most are employed in the fishing and tourism industries.
After flying direct into Gokceada’s airport or sailing by ferry from Kabatepe or Canakkale, head straight for the surf – conditions are perfect with pollution-free waters and an almost constant wind.
Continuing the water theme, this island features Turkey’s first – and so far only – underwater national park, Mavikoy.
With a versatile-sounding economy based on many sectors including the harbour and fishing activities, the chemical industry, craftsmanship, wine production and the very profitable tourism industry, Sant'Antioco sounds like an entrepreneur’s dream. This municipality in south-western Sardinia has a population of 11,730, many based in its main city of the same name.
A bridge connects it to mainland Sardinia, if you need to look for work further afield. Kite-surfing is really big here, but it’s a seasonal activity – it’s banned in summer months (June, July and August) when the beaches are far too crowded.
Odysseus was supposedly held captive here for seven years by the goddess Calypso. And to be fair, there’s much about Mljet to captivate – it’s the greenest and most beautiful of the Adriatic islands in the Dalmatia region of Croatia.
In total, 72% is covered by forest; the sea is pristine; and the shores clean and sandy. There isn’t even an airport to disturb the tranquillity – ferry connections run from Dubrovnik.
Hiking is just about the best way to explore its National Park and beyond. The total population is just 1,111, most employed in tourism, farming, fishing, vine culture, olives and fruit-growing.
Keen cyclists might want to check out Formentera, about 6 km south of Ibiza, Spain. With a particular emphasis on the environment and sustainable tourism, there are cycle tracks on virtually every road and there are 20 specially designated cycling and hiking trails (the Circuits Verds) to take you off the beaten track.
Many of its population of 10,757 make a living from tourism, but you could be one of the lucky few to profit from small-scale traditional fishing or growing vines and fruit trees.
With no airport, access is via ferries from Ibiza or Spanish mainland. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much in keeping with what you’d expect from living on an island.