You don’t need to travel to the Caribbean or the South Pacific for an epic island atmosphere. That’s because some of Europe’s cheapest islands offer a unique experience while also serving as wonderful spots for remote workers. The old continent has hidden gems that are as scenic and exciting as mainland Europe, and sometimes for a fraction of the price.
Islands in Europe offer a lot for digital nomads and remote workers, and the best thing is their close proximity to other countries and neighboring islands. So if you’re looking for an affordable seaside town or city, we’ll be taking a look at the following cheap remote-friendly islands in Europe for remote work:
- Corsica, France
- Rugen, Germany
- Ada Bojana, Montenegro
- Vis, Croatia
- Crete, Greece
What’s so unique about these islands? Keep reading to find out.
Visas and entry to the cheapest islands in Europe for remote work
Since most countries in Europe are part of the European Union, a Schengen zone visa will be necessary for visiting most of Europe’s cheapest islands. Some citizenships, especially those of Western countries, can get approved upon arrival to a country in the Schengen zone.
If your country is not part of a pre-approved list, you should apply for a Schengen visa online before starting your adventure so that you have it in time for travel. The Schengen visa is valid for 90 days within a six month period. It can be used to travel to more than 60 European countries that are a part of this system.
How to apply for a Schengen visa? The information needed to apply for the Schengen visa can be found on the Schengen Visa Info site. This visa is not expensive and can take up to two weeks to obtain, so be sure to start the process on time.
Some islands in this article will require a national visa, depending on your citizenship. You can find a list of countries with their visa requirements for non EU-nationals here.
Now that the basics are covered, let’s jump into what are considered to be the cheapest European islands that you can visit or base yourself in as a remote worker.
#5: Corsica, France
Excluding its capital city of Ajaccio, the Mediterranean island of Corsica is affordable for remote working. Located just south-east of the French mainland, Corsica has a legendary history, great beaches and majestic mountains surely worth visiting.
The island was ruled by the Republic of Genoa from 1284 to 1755, and has an Italian cultural influence due to its historical relations to the region of Tuscany. This brings an unique experience not to be missed.
What is it like for remote workers in Corsica?
Your experience in Corsica as a remote worker depends on your expectations. Beyond the stunning attractions, there are other things to consider.
The internet in Corsica is pretty good and stable as long as you are located in some of the more prominent cities.
Getting around in Corsica is straightforward if you’re sticking to private bus companies and the main routes. Better yet, you should rent a car or a motorcycle if you want to have full freedom to explore and enjoy the many wonders of the island.
The best months to visit Corsica are May to September. Just note that, in recent years, Corsica has witnessed an increase in tourism which can affect prices and your overall experience.
The Cost of living in Corsica
The cost of living in Corsica depends on your habits, taste and style of traveling. See as follows:
Renting a one bedroom apartment can range from 350 euros to 750 euros a month, depending on the location. Food, drinks and clothes are pretty affordable, as are tickets for attractions.
Your total monthly expenses will be approximately 1300 euros per month for a local and 2100 euros for an expat.
#4: Rügen, Germany
Yes, Germany has an island, and it’s just three hours away from vibrant Berlin. If you like to take it easy while enjoying national parks, or living near the water and the mountains, Rugen is the place for you.
An added bonus… you can easily escape to busy Berlin for the weekend if you become restless on the quiet island.
Since we know you’ve probably never heard of this place, here are some facts about living in Rügen for expats:
- Rugen is an island in the Baltic sea with a small population.
- The climate is mild throughout the year, making it good to visit any month.
- The internet is reliable all throughout the island.
The cost of living on a monthly basis in Rügen is around 1500 euros per month. That will cover accommodation, transportation, food and drinks.
When in Rugen as a remote worker, be sure to visit:
- National park Jasmund for beautiful geological formations
- Kreidefelsen for a historical walking area
- Karl’s farm
- Naturerbe Zentrum observatory
Spending some time on this island will be sure to give you the restart you need.
#3: Ada Bojana, Montenegro
Even though the term “ada” signifies a piece of land separated by a river, Ada Bojana is surrounded by the Adriatic sea as part of Montenegro. This small island of sandy beaches is known for its laid back, hippie-like atmosphere and wild parties. It is the place to be in the summer.
Montenegro is not part of the Schengen zone, and so a visa is required if you come from a country where you can’t receive automatic entry. Visas can be obtained by reaching out to the Montenegrin embassy some weeks before visiting.
Let’s look at some pros and cons of life in Ada Bojana for remote workers:
|Pros of Ada Bojana, Montenegro||Cons of Ada bojana, Montenegro|
|The internet is not the best, so make sure to get a local carrier sim card with data.||Data, sim cards and the internet in general are VERY cheap and carriers have great deals.|
|In the peak of season, the island can be a bit crowded, so avoid visiting in July.||There are parties, social events, camps and groups that help people connect with each other.|
|The island is mildly isolated from the rest of the country.||Ada’s sandy beaches are in a location close to the Albanian border, so you can hop over there in no time!|
The island is VERY relaxed and cheap. It gives off an almost tropical feeling with its sandy beaches and carefree attitude (with some nude beaches to boot).
You can find Ada Bojana accommodations at camp sites, hostels or a private room or house to suit your budget.
The monthly living expenses in Ada Bojana are around 1300 euros depending on the type of accommodation you choose.
#2: Vis, Croatia
Believe it or not, Croatia has close to a thousand islands, and Vis has topped our list for the most affordable of them all. It can be a bit challenging to reach, but this romantic island, known for its white wine, is sure to give you a luxurious yet affordable experience.
Entering Croatia for digital nomads from outside the Schengen zone
Croatia is a part of the European Union and a candidate for the Schengen visa at the time of this writing. It is set to become part of the Schengen zone in 2024.
This means that if you are not exempt from needing a visa, and you cannot be waived into the country upon arrival like Americans or English citizens, you must apply for a visa at your nearest Croatian embassy or consulate.
Vis island for remote workers
Apart from its beaches and delicious seafood, we have more more useful information for digital nomads visiting Vis below:
- Transportation – Only buses and trains operate in Croatia. As for the island, the best way to get around is on a rented bike, car or taxi. The island is not big, and so having your own transport will allow you to make the best out of your stay in Vis.
- The internet is pretty reliable. Nevertheless, you should get a local sim card with data to be on the safe side. We recommend A1 or Tomato for cheap tourist prepaid deals.
- For accommodations, choose from hostels, Airbnbs and private accommodations that can be found on websites like Booking.com.
The cost of living in Vis:
Spending a bit over 1000 euros per month is comfortable enough for Vis. This includes accommodation, food and drink expenses, transportation and tickets for attractions.
#1: Crete, Greece
Crete, the biggest Greek island, is perfect for remote workers, especially since Greece is planning to introduce a digital nomad visa. It will allow international remote workers to help themselves to 50% off of taxes for their first seven years in the country.
That’s why now is the right time to visit Crete and get a feel of life in Greece in general.
Expats love Crete, especially in the summertime. With its laid back nature, it also has many digital nomad communities and activities.
Here are some good things to know about Crete:
- Most shops are closed on Sundays.
- It can be difficult to drive a car in some areas.
- Public transportation is well organized.
- Locals are friendly and welcoming.
- You must try the spirit Uzo, as well as native pizzas and gyros!
- Crete has a rich culture in history, music and food, in which they take a lot of pride.
What about the cost of living?
You’ll need around 1000 euros per month to live in Crete as a digital nomads. In the height of the tourist season, which is in the middle of June to late July, the prices will go up. However, haggling is expected, so you might be able to keep your expenses low by negotiating the price.
Start your island adventure!
Here at Support Adventure, a remote staffing company, you provide the skill and spirit, and we will get you a work environment that encourages you to travel. Take a look at our current job offerings here!