How is the internet in Sicily? I heard it is quite slow and unstable.
It depends where I find my 3G/4G is OK but like lots of places location is the key. I normally go to a village and check the WiFi and 3G etc with Speedtest.net
Goslar it shall be, at least for one experimental weekend away! Will be on the lookout for Airbnb’s this week, so excited about it! If you have any recommendation in terms of accommodation (or even just where exactly to stay, close to the mountains for eg), please do shout
Awesome tips, thanks! I never expected South Tyrol to look THAT good, it’s incredible! Certainly one to explore… added to the list. Never really considered Mallorca, given its reputation (ie, hyper touristy) and I never bothered to look up which exact places there are the quietest. But I trust your judgement!
I know it’s an age old question, but can’t help myself sharing the Hungarian Szentendre as one of the most beautiful rustic little towns. In the surrounding hills or on the nearby island in the river Danube you will surely find a peaceful setting and all amenities are near should you need them.
Probably too late to be helpful but for future reference The problem with southern France is the terrible busses, they rarely cross departmental borders and often only serve the local market town once a week. That said the Herault does seem to have some better buss routes as Ani said. I’ll actually be setting myself up with a base in Beziers next year, but that’s a bit bigger than a village
The real hidden gem is that there’s still some underutilised regional rural railways, indeed whilst Beziers is a bit far from the hills for biking, in Languedoc-Rousillion (maybe Midi-Pyreenes soon too now they’ve merged) the train tickets are only 1€ (from the red machines), and in fact also 1€ on the main lines (but you have to print your own ticket and there’s limited numbers). I plan to simply hop on the train up to the gorges and plateaus near Bedarieux to do my biking from there.
I’ve lived around the Cevennes and Salagou and find that it tends to get a bit too hot and dry in the summer, but if you know where to go there are some nice cold streams and pools (usually with too many tourists in Aug). Nonetheless checkout all the villages along these lines as they get several trains/busses a day and you can surely find somewhere great. I’d also suggest investigating Le Puy-en-Velay, which is 2h train from Lyon and great for the greener summer countryside. Whilst it is a town, there are neighbouring villages but most of these towns wherever, are so small and lacking in suburbs that you can escape in a few minutes on foot. France is blessed with multitudinous well-marked walking paths.
Currently I’m in Carcassonne (same as Beziers it’s 2h direct train to BCN should you need big city life, but here also has all-year Ryanair connections) and whilst the countryside isn’t spectacular it entertains me more than enough. You can even swim in the river right here in town, as if you were in the countryside. Here’s a map with the cheap lines, but also look at the quiet lines north of Toulouse (it has a major airport). I wouldn’t rule out all the towns! Also have a look around the Vercors/Aspres-sur-Buech/Sisteron (in the Rhone-Alpes/Provence). I’ve also visited Jon and the guys in Javea and it was great but maybe not as secluded as you’re looking for? There’s places to retreat even near Berlin: http://coconat-space.com
Try Gozo (Malta), Coconat just out of Berlin or Transylvania!
How about Competa, Andalucia, Spain ?
@steve3 Yes - what about Spain? There are large number of resort properties coming out of bank foreclosure in the Murcia area. Might be worth setting up a home base in the 50k euro range at one of these resorts (2 bedrooms), as they are very much slow, more remote, gated, and not in villages, although mostly filled with foreigners (not locals), but still a nice slow destination. It’s about as slow as you can get, as at these resorts during off season are ghost towns. You really have the whole place to yourself, no crowds, no noise, no lines, etc… We spent a month in January 2014, and just booked 5 months starting December. Excited for some sun, relax, calm and slow work.
@jacob - We love the Beziers area, it’s a great location for sure. We stayed for 1.5 months in Caussiniojouls, just north and off the D909. It is a sleepy little town, but it was great. Community was so welcoming, the “Repas de Famille” was exceptional. We also had a car, so going to BCN or other larger cities was not an issue. Also I should mention, we are a family of 5 travelling together, so we have slightly different nomad criteria.