By Angelos Anastasiou
A head-to-head comparison of Cyprus and Portugal as options for people wanting to own a second home found that Portugal fares better in cost of living, ease of access, and number of blue-flag beaches, while Cyprus wins on climate, seawater temperature, and citizenship-by-investment rules.
According to a report presented by UK realtors AB Property Marketing, which pitted a popular Portuguese holiday resort with one exhibiting similar characteristics in Cyprus, Portugal’s Algarve is “Europe’s cheapest beach resort”, whereas Cyprus “offers a summer average of 26˚C”.
“According to the Post Office Worldwide Holiday Costs Barometer 2015, Portugal’s Algarve is Europe’s cheapest beach resort,” the firm said in a press release.
“In terms of overall holiday cost, Portugal took the number two spot in this year’s survey, while Cyprus was in ninth place.”
However, while cost of living is an important consideration for second home owners, a host of other factors also come into play, the report said.
Ease of access for UK holidaymakers favours Portugal, with a host of budget airlines offering regular, year-round flights of around 2.5 and 3 hours in duration. The same applies to Cyprus, except the flights take 4 to 4.5 hours.
The Mediterranean island boasts 57 blue-flag beaches, according to the last round of awards, whereas Portugal netted 299. (Political considerations relating to the status quo in Cyprus were not addressed.)
“Climate-wise, both Portugal and Cyprus have long, hot summers,” AB Property Marketing said.
“Cyprus’ popular city of Paphos averages 26˚C in August and 13˚C in January and February, while Portugal’s Algarve averages 24˚C in July and August, with a low of 12˚C in January. So Cyprus just takes the lead when it comes to climate – an important consideration for weather-obsessed Brits.”
But the island’s slight advantage is solidified when sea temperatures are factored in.
“Cyprus’ Mediterranean waters enjoy an average sea temperature of 27.8˚C in August (Paphos area), while Portugal’s Atlantic temperature averages just 20.8˚C – a big difference for those who enjoy splashing around in the waves,” it said.
Although both countries offer a citizenship-by-investment (or ‘golden visa’) programme, allowing wealthy foreigners essentially to buy the right to residency and free travel within the Schengen Area, Cypriot citizenship costs €300,000 in real estate purchases, whereas Portugal requires an investment between €350,000 to €500,000, depending on the location of the property being purchased.
The report concluded that, overall, differences between the two resort destinations are small enough to be considered negligible, and the decision will most likely come down to personal preference. “With so much to offer, the two countries are neck and neck when it comes to offering the ideal location for a second home,” it said.
“Keen surfers might prefer to opt for the heavy rollers of the western shores of the Algarve,” AB Property Marketing said.
“Windsurfers may prefer to head to Cyprus.”