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Ask HN: Best places in Europe to leave city life and work on your projects?
44 points by thrrrrr on Feb 10, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 29 comments
I'm in UK at the moment. I just want to quit and go somewhere to nature, seeing mountains and stuff, and work on a few projects. What are the best places? Thinking Switzerland, but it's really expensive, any other options?

Can I very strongly recommend this http://sende.co/

I was looking for exactly the same thing about 9 months ago and came across this. My girlfriend and I visited and we weren't sure what to expect at all. We immediately fell in love with the place and ended up buying a house there (for under $10k).

The couple who are 'running' it are amazing people and are looking to turn this entire Spanish village into one big makerspace.

This place looks interesting! Are you running a business from there / living there full time?

Also, you bought a house, outright, for under $10k? I know Spanish property values have taken a hit but that sounds insane!

I am on the road more or less full time, the plan is to just spend a few months a year there at the moment.

As for the property values, this is worth checking out http://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2015/08/23/433228503/i...

Thanks for the link. So was the Sende project one of these abandoned villages?

I'm curious about what you get for less than $10k, did your house need a lot of renovation or was it ready to live in? Did you buy it through the Sende people or independently?

Thank you very much for the suggestion. However, I'm a big introvert, and a slight recluse even.

Tarifa (ES), has some small 'digital nomad' scene and nature, sea and mountains. Other option is Granada (ES), some of the highest mountains of Europe, good weather but nature/mountains a bit dry compared to Switzerland

Brasov (RO), fast internet (faster than UK), good food, friendly people and more nature and mountains (Carpates) than you can hope for (and bears for bonus points). Also good priced vs Switzerland and nature wise looking very similar, Brasov and surroundings being more unspoiled. With what you would spend in Switzerland you'll be able to live 3-4 months in Brasov in the same conditions.

+1 for Tarifa (as long as you don't mind the wind!). I spent some time there about 10 years ago (can't believe it's been that long!). I remember meeting a few 'digital nomads', although I don't think the term was commonly used back then.

It's close to some nice Spanish cities (Cadiz, Jerez, Sevilla, Malaga etc) if you want a change of scene on the weekends, and you can get a ferry to Morocco which takes about 30 minutes.

English is widely spoken, but if you're interested in learning Spanish there's a great little language school in the town.

Thank you! Although I don't think I'd like to live in Spain as I hate when it gets too hot.

Don't rule out of all of Spain! Northern Spain is nice and parts have a similar climate to the UK. But yes some places in mid and southern Spain can be hell in summer.

Cagliari - Sardinia - Italy

Lovely city, optic fiber (not everywhere), LTE/4G, Sardinia is a paradise for beaches and mountains alike.


Also: https://www.guidemeright.com/ was born in Cagliari

Just come to Romania. There is a town called Sfantu Gheorghe near Brasov. There really isn't much to do here. You can have all the quiet you want, even more. When I moved here from a big city, it took me a while to get used to it and literally stop hearing quietness. And there's plenty of nature and mountains and stuff.

(And there aren't so many children begging on the streets :) )

Croatia! Flights from UK can cost around 10 euros sometimes, you can get a place for real cheap (under 100 GBP per month), beer costs about 1-1.5 GBP in bars, lunch in a restaurant can be as low as 2.5 GBP and life in general is pretty cheap (most people here live on 300-350 GBP per month). You can live on the seaside, on an island, in the mountains, in a city or combination of any of those. Literally, pick any 2 and you can find a place like that.

Croatia is beautiful, but I think it can get a little bit too hot. However, 300-400 GBP is indeed extremely cheap.

Pomorie, Bulgaria. Try a quick Google image search and you'll get the picture. Small town colonized since ancient Thracian times with beautiful beaches, a salt lake of unique biodiversity, and magnificent vineyards - quiet even during peak tourist season.

Fast internet, delicious food, cheap rent, and an abundance of talented programmers.

A 2hr drive takes you into one of 3 mountain ranges (Balkan, Rila, Pirin), a 5 minute walk takes you to windsurfing or any variety of watersports.

(If you're looking for a place to stay or have any questions -- okolobeta@gmail.com)

Don't go to Switzerland. Flying into Malaga southern Spain there are lovely mountain areas between seville and Granada, Google el chorro for example. Or east of Rome about an hour or two are some wonderful mountain regions-you might find a hotel near sulmona. Or mallorca, sardinia, sicily all have fabulous scenery, history, lifestyle.

How big do the mountains need to be?

I moved from London to Graz, Austria[0] a couple of years ago. The city has a population of roughly 300k and is surrounded by large hills.

There are some really good universities here, so quite a lot of interesting research happening, and a decent night life (although with a young family I don't get to see much of it).

A car would be useful for exploring the countryside, but a bicycle would certainly see you in the middle of "nature" easily within 30 minutes ride.

Speaking German would help, but not mandatory, as almost everyone speaks some English. If you have your own projects to work on, then you're in a good position. Trying to find employment here, without speaking German, is quite difficult, mostly due to the small population base.

There is an English speaking language group that meets at a bar on Thursday nights.[1]

There are around half a dozen co-working spaces which charge in the region of €20-€25 per day, with discounts for monthly commitments.[2]

Transport to and from the UK isn't brilliant. There are no cheap direct flights (some might see this as a positive!), so your options are Lufthansa with a connection somewhere, or train to Vienna and direct on Austrian or Easyjet from there.

In short, it's a nice little city, reasonable climate, good architecture, decent cultural attractions especially in semester, good natural surroundings, but if you're from somewhere big in the UK, like London, it'll seem very, very quiet.

Happy to help if you want more info.

[0] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Graz

[1] http://www.anglo-austrian.at/

[2] http://coworkinggraz.net/

If you like Switzerland you will like Slovenia, countryside is not that much different, it's not expensive to live and you have lots of nice places to visit. There are not lots of meetups though...

West of Ireland! Ok, I'm biased, I live here. But the scenery is nice, the pace is easy going, and everyone speaks english. It's also not going to break the bank to get here. It's not nearly as expensive here as Switzerland / Norway / Sweden etc. Westport in Co. Mayo is surrounded by beautiful scenery and was voted best place to live in Ireland. Pretty views, nice friendly people and great food. Internet can be slow if you venture away from towns, but most towns have decent speeds.

2.5 hour flight to Krakow or Warsaw, then take EIC train to https://www.airbnb.co.uk/s/Zakopane--Poland

Barcelona & Lisbon.

Hard to focus on work there...

Greek Islands (e.g. Crete) can be both cheap and beautiful.

Central Europe, from Lago di Como (IT) to Konstanz (DE) - breathtakingly beautiful German city that borders with Switzerland - there are lots of amazing places.

Morocco, marrakesh or essourira would also be a cheap option.

Wales near Snowdonia ?

Santorini , Greece.

Santorini is top-notch at every level but I'm not sure if it can be considered cheap and how's the internet connection speed?

Outside of Europe.

What about Asia like Thailand and Indonesia?

West of Scotland is worth considering.

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