Be a little more adventurous with your choice of winter sun destination over the next few months than those before you. France, Spain, Italy and Portugal are all wonderful countries offering a plentiful supply of vitamin D, warm seas, sandy beaches and affordable property, but the tropical islands in the Caribbean Sea and Indian Ocean are quite simply paradise. Think of places like Mauritius and Barbados and your mind whisks you away to something akin to heaven on earth.
Talking of heaven, Mark Twain once wrote, 'Mauritius was made first and then heaven, heaven being copied after Mauritius'. If you’re idea of paradise is parrots in palm trees, silver sands and crystal clear seas set to the backdrop of volcanic mountains, you’re in the right place. This tiny island located some 500 miles east of Madagascar is most overseas property buyers first choice – particularly retirees – in the Indian Ocean. Direct flights from the UK take about the same amount of time as a flight across the Atlantic to America’s west coast, but without the jetlag. Property prices in expat hotspots like Pamplemousses, Tamarin and Anahita are reasonable – with a budget of just £400,000 you could pick up a one or two-bed beachfront apartment.
Barbados’s popularity as a holiday destination offering more than your standard European resort has seen an explosion in its popularity with Brits looking for a second home somewhere a bit different. Sun, sea and sand are a given here, but it’s the islands tax-efficiency and residency rules that makes it the perfect place for property investment. Its location in the far south-eastern corner of the Caribbean means hurricane season isn’t too much of an issue. Instead inhabitants focus their energy on enjoying year-round temperatures of around 30°C. If you thought Barbados was the preserve of film stars and Premier League footballers when it came to calling the island home think again. You won’t need much more than £300,000 to snap up your own stylish one-bedroom flat in a swanky part of town.
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