How much Greek do you need when living on mainland Greece?

If you’ve spent holidays on the islands, you may believe everyone speaks English. You might be wary of buying a property on the mainland because fewer people will speak English in the countryside. Actually, neither of these are 100% true! However, English is still a second language, and learning Greek will open so many doors (with the odd hilarious mistake along the way).
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We swapped a career in the police for an art studio in Portugal

When Dave and Aly Sheldrake retired from their busy careers in the police, the last thing they were looking for was a quiet retirement – so they swapped the UK for a new adventure in the western Algarve, pursuing their dreams as a photographer and artist. Eight years on, they know it was the right decision, saying they’ve ‘never felt happier or more relaxed about life’.
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A-Z of French for property buyers

Anyone moving to France will tell you that a big part of settling in is learning the language – so don’t miss this handy list of phrases for property buyers to make sure you know your DPE from your VEFA and your longère from your promesse de vente. Plus, we’ve got a special offer from Frantastique for a month’s free trial of online French lessons. 
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Spain, France or Italy: which would suit you?

I have been lucky enough to live in three European countries, neighbours but all very different in several ways. What is OK in one country doesn’t necessarily go down well in the others and local habits, humour, behaviour and culture still remain firmly embedded in each, despite a so called united Europe. Here’s a lighthearted look at Spain, France and Italy.
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“We’ve never looked back”: swapping the London rat race for the peace of the Languedoc-Roussillon

Diane and Kevin Sowells knew there was more to life than daily commuting to London from their Brighton home, struggling with their mortgage and yearning for warmth and sunshine. Six years ago, they realised their long-held dream when they found their perfect home in the Minervois wine region. I spoke to them about their new life in the sun.
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From neglected shell to quirky seaside retreat – renovating a property in France, part two

With little practical experience, I took on a project to renovate a sad and neglected grande dame on the quayside at the beautiful port of Barfleur in Normandy. Learning traditional skills from scratch, I managed to transform her into a quirky seaside retreat within a reasonable budget, with a mix of good luck, hard work and the help of excellent workmen.
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