Safest places to live in Europe

Where are the most secure and secret European destinations?
Where are the most secure and secret European destinations?
11 June 2018, LUXIMO'S Christie's

Getting itchy feet with the approach of summer? Want to just get away from it all without telling anyone where you are? Looking to escape ‘Love Island’? Help is at hand. There are lots of safe places you can escape to without the fear that comes with some spots — destinations that are off the beaten track for most tourists, but secret paradises for those in the know.

“Even wealthy people who have it all are starting to look for something simpler, to get their feet on the ground again and reconnect with themselves,” says Mark Harvey, Head of European sales at Knight Frank estate agency. In such locations, he adds, you feel like you’re going back in time: “There’s a sense of remoteness that you usually only find on the other side of the world but are easy to get to within Europe — just a two- or three-hour flight away.”

These are the safest spaces in Europe:

Portugal

The Algarve is the hottest spot in Portugal both in terms of weather and property sales, but few people ever get as far as Aljezur. Go all the way to the western edge, turn right and you’ll come to a place that Christie’s International Real Estate calls “one of the best preserved and most desirable destinations in Europe”. Just over an hour’s drive from Faro airport, Aljezur is a part-Moorish village with narrow cobbled streets flanked by whitewashed houses leading up to a medieval castle. It is surrounded by a natural wilderness, making it cut-off but also serenely picturesque, yet with easy access to beautiful Portuguese beaches on the Atlantic.

It’s not easy to find property for sale here, but one exception is the Boathouse, a new four-floor luxury villa five miles outside Aljezur, which can be yours for 3,250,000 euro. It sits on top of a hill of gorse and heather, overlooking Amoreira beach.

Luxury villa in Aljezur, Portugal / Pedro Queiroga
Luxury villa in Aljezur, Portugal / Pedro Queiroga

Spain

It’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of Agua Amarga, in Andalusia, a small seaside town just a 45-minute drive from Almeria airport. Yet it’s a favourite of Penelope Cruz and other Hollywood A-listers. In the Cabo de Gata natural park, with secret coves and a desert-like interior, it has been used to film many movies and TV shows including Lawrence of Arabia, James Bond, Indiana Jones and, more recently, Game of Thrones.

“There’s loads to do — diving, hiking, riding — but when people come here, they’re stressed out so the best thing is just to relax,” says Lennart Tengroth of the Real Agua Amarga La Joya hotel, winner of a Travellers’ Choice award on TripAdvisor in 2018. “All who come here feel as if they’ve found a secret, special place.”

This Andalusian town is a favourite of the stars, with many high-quality homes
This Andalusian town is a favourite of the stars, with many high-quality homes

Italy

It’s not surprising that Rome is the most coveted location on Italian property websites, but the next most desirable spot is surprising – Arpino. This medieval hilltop village in the Lazio region is known as the birthplace of Cicero, but is a far less famous spot.

“It’s a hidden gem with incredible views,” says Simone Rossi, managing director of Gate-away.com. “People come here because they love the Italian lifestyle — not the obvious things like fashion and food, but the nature, history and traditions.” A newly refurbished two-bedroom cottage with views overlooking orchards and fields is currently on the market there for 55,000 euro.

From the original article: www.thetimes.co.uk/safest-spaces-to-live-in-europe

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