Updated: Sep 2, 2017
In 2013 my Aunt and Uncle got made redudant from their London jobs and took the opportuntiy to take early retirement and swapped the rat race for the beautiful North Coast of Cyprus.
Tell us a little about yourself and why you started your latest Adventure:
My husband & I first visited northern Cyprus in September 2013. We came for holiday for a month, following redundancies from our previous work places. We fell in love with the island, it's culture, it's food, the locals, the fabulous expat community, the lack of crime, the climate & of course the fabulous views & scenery wherever you go.
What has been the Best thing about your experience so far?
The expat community is vast & will welcome new comers with open arms, the variety of activities available is immense. Art classes, music classes, drama classes, craft classes, rambling groups, yoga, body pump, to name just a few. The majority of these are free or may cost you 10tl (£2.50) & that will include a drink! This is because they are run by retired expats, who just want to share their expertise.
What has been the Biggest culture shock?
One of our shocks over here was the cost of buying a car & the bureaucracy involved in bringing one over. We found a great garage, Tiga Trading, they speak perfect English and sort you out with great insurance.
What's the Catch?
Unfortunately you still cannot get direct flights to Northern Cyprus from the UK, but Larnaca is only an hour away. You can organise transfers for as little as £30 from British Rent a Car if you rent a car from them. If you book flights off season you can get tickets from £35 each way. Try EasyJet, or check other options with Skyscanner.
Flights can come into the local airport Ercan, from London Standsted, Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester or Edinburgh, with Turkish Airlines or Pegasus. When flying to Ercan, you will have to remain on your plane for 40 mins in mainland Turkey or disembark & change flights dependent on whom you're flying with.
What are your Top 3 Tips for anyone following your footsteps?
1. If you invest your money here, you can get a rate of 10-11% in the local currency Turkish Lira, or 5% in GBP£.
2. The cost of living is incredibly cheap. Properties can be rented at around £350pm for a 4 double bed roomed villa with a pool & garden. A 2 bed roomed apartments with a shared pool can be purchased for as little as £30,000, while a 4 bed roomed villa with private pool cost around £120,000.
3. In Esentepe where we live, bars to visit are Roots with stunning views over the headland & a lovely Caribbean feel. They have a great rambling group from here & lots of other activities. Stevies bar is ran by a British expat, who again runs plenty of activities and creates a real community feel.
Colin and Judith Boyle
Where would you like to retire abroad? I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. I would love to retire to Grenada in the Caribeean or Italy (maybe 6 months in both?)