@AdrienBe thanks. I would love to do the Canary islands for 3 months, but I’ll already be in Spain/Portugal for 3 months in the fall. What sort of visa are you talking about? Any idea how to make this work as a US citizen with Schengen restrictions?
@jamminsloth oh I see, then it might be a good alternative, it’s super cheap to fly from Europe to Morocco, Algeria, and the likes. If you want a higher standard of life and faster internet, you might want to be in a bigger city. Morocco has a decent 3G network, and quite cheap (circa 10€ for 1GB internet on a pay as you go), but the coverage is not consistent across the country.
Another country you can consider: Cape Verde.
I went to Cape Verde for the first time in January this year. I had average expectations and was very surprised how great this place was for my holiday. Note that I was not working while there. Basically, it’s a country in the middle of the Atlantic, they speak Portuguese (a dialect of it), people are extremely nice and laid back, it has this Caribbean touch although it’s attached to Africa. It’s a world top spot for kite surfing. Many world competitors are actually from there or train there. You can also do surf, windsurf and more water sports. Hiking is also getting very popular in the islands of Santo Antao, this is a very green and mountainous island, not to be missed. Internet can be a problem though, the size of some of the islands limit their development (infrastructures, education, hospitals, and so on) but you can get 3G internet for circa 10€ for 1GB. Again, go to bigger cities for higher internet speeds (Mindello or Praia). I heard you can find Return tickets to Cape Verde from Europe (London, Paris, Madrid, Lisboa) from 400 euros if you are flexible. Another way is to go from canary island, by plane… Or by boat, for free as a crew member, it takes about 6 days of sailing, but you probably need experience to be taken on board, not sure. Go to Cape Verde, it’s awesome
I posted a couple of information regarding the different topics:
Cape Verde: travel between islands
Cape Verde: accommodation to expect?
Cape Verde: any safety alerts regarding hasslers, con men, thieves or muggers specific to this region?
Regarding your questions!
What sort of visa are you talking about? I suppose you may need a visa when going to Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and the likes, I don’t know really.
Any idea how to make this work as a US citizen with Schengen restrictions? No sorry, I’m a EU citizen so my knowledge is very limited in this topic.
Canary Islands, no doubt. Is warm all year round, well connected to major European cities, quite cheap and plenty of nature and activities to do
Turkey is a reasonable choice. Cheap flights,cheap life costs, lots of coworking spaces and so on…
Plus Handsome Boys and Beautiful Girls
+1 for Turkey, beautiful place, very nice people, quite developed country (good internet in cities), cheap accommodation/food, and probably quite warm in the winter.
I’m heading to turkey in a week. my apartment is 350 Euro a month in a 5* building and it’s in the low 20s and sunny. Works for me!
350 euros per month for a 5* apartment in Turkey! That’s a great price.
Can I ask you the city where this is?
alanya. not the best choice if you are a party person but if you just need a place nearby that is semi-warm and inexpensive, it’s a solution.
A quick note to Europeans oblivious to visas, etc: Spain, Portugal, Italy, etc are all inside the Schengen zone, so none of them work for those seeking to escape the 90-day restriction. The original question specified “not Schengen”. Therefore, Madeira, Canary Islands, etc do not quality.
However, does anyone have any experience with Cyprus (especially the Greek part)? It is part of EU but not of Schengen (not yet, anyway).
I was looking into the option of Cyprus, but couldn’t find out whether I’d be overstaying Schengen. Apparently Portugal offers tourist visa extensions for up to 90 days. It costs around 100 euros. I’m in Barcelona for the next month and then I have an appointment in Portugal to get an extension. Hopefully all goes as planned!
This is very interesting. Please post here to tell us how it goes. I’ve never heard of these Schengen “extensions,” but I can’t say that I properly investigated either.
@bisonravi Independent of paid extensions–which I wasn’t aware of, either–citizens of a number of countries have the ability to extend their stays in various European countries, usually due to bilateral agreements predating the Schengen Treaty. Often, this means an additional 90 days on top of the 90-day Schengen stay, but sometimes (e.g. US citizens in Poland) you can stay more or less indefinitely. References are often hard to locate, but consular officials will provide more information when asked.
A bit more information for US citizens here: https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/39649/us-citizen-90-180-schengen-stay-bilateral-agreements-w-poland-denmark-etc?s=1|0.8889. I spent a bit of time looking for a resource with an exhaustive list of such agreements, but wasn’t able to find one.
I thought it was cold in Turkey in winter? I’m talking Dec/Jan/Feb. My future plan is late spring/summer and/or summer/fall in EU (I have French passport) and then maybe winters in Asia or elsewhere. But no need to go elsewhere if I can find a warm enough place! (my standards for decent winter, being from California, are in the 8-18º range).
My friend is in Istanbul now and says it’s often snowing… Morocco too I checked weather averages for this time of year and wasn’t pleased. Will look in to Madeira or Canarias for a possible winter in my future, although I’m really not an island/beach type.
Any other parts of Turkey that are immune to below 8º temps (on average of course)? What about the Greek islands? Must be darn cheap in winter with low season…
turkey is a large country and istanbul is in the far north. where I was, it was high teens/low 20s in december. this week it is mid to high teens.
I’m in Gran Canaria, and daytime temps are usually +20 throughout the winter. I’ve been wearing shorts and sandals since I first arrived on 28 November. While there was no need for a jacket in the evenings last month (December), it’s been a bit cooler at night so far this January, and while I’m still comfy in my shorts and sandals, at night I want a light jacket.
It’s still possible to be in Schengen!
I have the 90-day Schengen restriction as well (U.S. citizen). Got a 90-day extension in Spain without having to leave the country. Lived in Almería, which is 1 of 3 places in Europe with mild and dry winters. (Hot and dry summers as well.)
The locals have a saying, “There are 2 seasons in Almería – beach season and not-beach season.”
I shared a 3-bedroom apartment 100m from the beach with a balcony and a 10-min walk to the center for 165 EUR/mo (utilities extra).
Right on the coast. Mostly sunny and rains about once a month. Coldest it got was 10C/50F.
Gorgeous sunsets and a 7km promenade for walking, jogging, exercising.
Access to secluded beaches…
It seems like a dream. Honestly though, this place isn’t for everyone. Almería has a lot of strong characteristics that make it quirky to live there. It’s a very chill environment, through-and-through – a lot of the locals live a ‘mañana lifestyle’. There’s also a lot of Erasmus students adding to the beach + party vibe. Wake up late, café, beach, sunset, party. Almería is a bit isolated on the very SE tip of Spain so very few locals leave, and only speak Spanish.
Definitely a unique experience. And for me, I’d go back because it’s well worth the beaches and sun.
Like I said, this is not a ‘work hard, play hard’ city – it’s very much a 'relax to the max’. If you can avoid temptations and you’re good at keeping a strict schedule, it’s a GREAT place to wake up and exercise, work for 5 hours, take an hour break to eat and cool off in the sea, work a bit more, then have your free time.
If anyone’s interested in how I did this – get a Schengen extension in Spain – I can go into extensive detail. I don’t recommend going in blind like I did.
@JakeBerger Sure please tell us how you got the schengen extension.
Do not forget about French Guiana. Technically part of Europe but not Schengen. Very easy entry for EU people, US people get stamp but tough for south americans.
Not easy to get there as the only good airline connection is from Paris, 2-3 stopovers from the US and expensive.
Dry season is August to December; rainy season is December and January and April to July. Hot all year round, with cooler nights. Average temperature is 27C/85F.
You might want to consider Dahab (Egypt). Although not in Europe, it’s a rather short & cheap flight away.
Dahab is a watersport heaven (freediving (apnea), scuba diving, kite surfing, wind surfing, you name it) and has an incredibly low cost of living. Especially during the low season, which is exactly during the European winter (December to March).
I wrote more in-depth about Dahab in the thread below on NomadList called “Dahab watersport heaven - best cafes to work from?”.