Disclaimer: Please note that this article contains general legal information and doesn’t contain legal or tax advice, and isn’t intended to constitute legal or tax advice.
Finding the perfect beach destination as a digital nomad, freelancer or remote worker can take a lot of effort. There are multiple factors to weigh up that are crucial not only for you personally but also for your work or business.
I’ve researched the best beach towns for digital nomads as well as the top beach cities for freelancers, and remote workers based on essential metrics. This includes factors such as cost of living, tax rates, special visa programs, coworking spaces, English speaking levels, expat community, and more.
Beach Town With the Best Location
town on the coast of the Adriatic
|Tax Rate For Freelancers||from 9% up to 15%|
|Capital Gains Tax Rate||15%|
|Corporate Income Tax Rate||from 9% up to 15%|
|Cost of Living||$1200~/month|
Budva is a historical town on the coast of the Adriatic in Montenegro. It combines well-preserved medieval sights in the old city and popular resorts along the nearby beautiful beaches.
You can access the country in roughly 2 hours with flights from most major European cities. Budva itself has a typical Mediterranean climate, characterized by long, hot, and dry summers, with mild and rainy winters.
Montenegro isn’t in the European Union (EU) but is currently an official candidate country to be a member of the EU. However, Montenegro’s many national laws, including those related to taxation, have already been aligned with some of the EU directives.
Montenegro also isn’t a member of the Eurozone. However, it’s important to note that its domestic currency is the Euro (which it unilaterally adopted in 2002). This means it has a shared currency with most EU countries & the 2nd most-used global currency.
Although it increased in January 2022, Montenegro still has one of the lowest tax rates in Europe. As a sole proprietor (self-employed individual) registered in Montenegro, your income will be taxed at a progressive scale of 9 to 15%.
|Annual Income of Self-Employed Individual||Personal Income Tax Rate|
|From €8,400.01 to €12,000||9%|
Capital gains derived by individuals are taxed at a rate of 15%.
If you operate your freelance business as a company resident in Montenegro you’ll pay corporate income tax at a scale ranging from 9% to 15%. The company is resident in Montenegro if it’s registered (incorporated) there or if the company’s central management and control are actually exercised there.
|Annual Profit of the Company||Corporate Income Tax Rate|
|Up to €100,000||9%|
|From €100,000 to €1.5 million||12%|
|Exceeding €1.5 million||15%|
The country isn’t a part of the Schengen Area, but its visa policy is similar to the visa policy of the Schengen Area. Montenegro also has a permissive visa regime that enables easy travel in and out for foreign citizens. Moreover, if you start a company in Montenegro, you can be eligible for residency.
The average cost of living in Budva is much lower than in Western European countries when it comes to everyday living expenses. This includes transportation, groceries, bills, and other necessities, as well as rental and overall property prices.
In Budva and the surrounding area, there are as many as 35 beaches, mostly rock and a little sand – many of them with lively bars and nightclubs. This combination brings Budva fame regionally as the nightlife capital of the eastern Adriatic.
Take into consideration that the town can get very busy during tourist season since tourism is the main driver of the economy of Budva.
Montenegro also made it to our 4 top countries for freelancers list thanks to its many advantages.
Expenses are rising worldwide, as the Russian war in Ukraine has been intensifying the already skyrocketing prices resulting from the covid pandemic. Russia’s war in Ukraine is also having consequences on the Montenegrin economy, including higher food and energy prices and record-high inflation.
Best Beach City for Surf Nomads
Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tenerife
2nd largest city in the Canary Islands
|Tax Rate For Freelancers||from 19% up to 47%|
|Capital Gains Tax Rate||from 19% up to 26%|
|Corporate Income Tax Rate||25%|
|Cost of Living||$1200~/month|
Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the capital and main city of Tenerife, the second largest city in the Canary Islands with nearly half of the island’s population living in or around it.
Tenerife is located in the Atlantic Ocean, in an enclave between three continents – Europe, Africa, and America. Tenerife is an autonomous region, belonging to the Spanish territory.
The island has a special status within the European Union (EU) in which it can offer lower tax rates compared to other jurisdictions within the EU. It’s important to note that Tenerife is fully integrated into the European single market and offers all the guarantees of legal security.
Generally, the corporate income tax rate in Tenerife is 25%. However, your newly created company can be taxed at a 15% tax rate for both the first tax period in which it obtains a profit and the following tax period if you meet obligatory criteria.
Moreover, Tenerife offers a low tax rate through the Canary Islands Special Zone (ZEC) which was authorized by the European Commission. The corporate income tax rate for a ZEC company is 4% instead of 25%, subject to the creation of 5 jobs and a specified minimal investment. It constitutes one of the best tax regimes in Europe, however, it requires:
- A minimum investment of €100,000 in Tenerife that must be made in fixed assets related to the activity, and
- The creation of 5 jobs in Tenerife.
These criteria may be impossible to meet for some freelancers just starting their freelance journey.
Instead, if your profit isn’t too high and there are no other incentives indicating that you should form a company, the taxation for a sole proprietor might be more optimized for you. As a freelancer you’ll be taxed at a progressive tax rate from 19% to 47%, depending on income earned.
Visas & Special Tax Benefits
If you are from any EU country, the procedure to relocate yourself (and your freelance business) to Tenerife is straightforward. To start your freelance business there, you just need to get a national insurance number for Spain (NIE) and the EU registry certificate.
If you’re a non-EU citizen, you must first get your working visa to work from Tenerife long-term.
As a rule, you’re considered a resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 183 days in a calendar year in Spain or if the center of your vital interests is located in Spain.
For digital nomads considering Tenerife for a short-term stay, a new Spanish digital nomad visa introduced in December 2022 might be an option worth considering.
The new Spanish digital nomad visa is designed for non-resident individuals, (and is mainly aimed at non-EEA nationals, British citizens included), and Spanish people who have been out of Spain for at least five years, working remotely from Spain mainly for non-Spanish clients. The visa can allow a stay of up to 5 years and entitle you to a reduced tax rate of 24%. You will pay a Spanish non-resident tax rate of 24% for the first 5 years on income up to €600,000.
The tax rate for holders of the digital nomad visa will be 24% up to €600,000. Only from €600,000.01 onwards does the tax rate jump to 47% (for income above this figure), which is substantially less than the general personal income tax rates in Spain.
Please always seek help from a local tax specialist to confirm your tax liabilities and avoid any potential fines or other sanctions.
Tenerife is the largest island of the seven Canary Islands with 342km of coastline and 67km of lively beaches with fine, golden or dark, volcanic sand and beautiful scenery. You can easily drive around the whole island in around 3-4 hours.
The official language in Tenerife is Spanish. Tenerife has two international airports with more than 200 airlines operating and just as many destinations. Direct flights to the European mainland are generally affordable and take around two to four hours.
If you have clients in the United Kingdom you’ll also be pleased to hear that Tenerife and the UK are in the same time zone.
Tenerife offers average temperatures of 20°C to 30°C year-round. It’s an island of contrasts, with desert landscapes on the coast and subtropical forests on the mid-slopes, and the 3,715m tall Mount Teide towering across the landscape.
Tenerife also boasts lively cities with black sand beaches flanked by impressive cliffs. These geographical elements of the island result in abrupt changes in altitude and temperature, as well as changing, diverse environments, landscapes, and microclimates.
With year-round good weather and great waves, Tenerife is perfect for both beginner and pro surfers, offering spots with internationally well-known quality waves.
Best Beach City for Hikers
the capital of Portugal’s Autonomous Region of Madeira
|Tax Rate For Freelancers||from 14.5% up to 48%|
|Capital Gains Tax Rate||28%|
|Corporate Income Tax Rate||14.7%|
|Cost of Living||$1400~/month|
Funchal is the largest city in Madeira – an island belonging to Portugal, located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 970km southwest of the Portuguese capital, Lisbon. The average flight time from Funchal to Lisbon is 1 hour 40 minutes, starting from around €20. Madeira also has regular short-term air connections with the main European capitals.
While Madeira doesn’t offer coconuts and golden sandy beaches, it’s heaven for hikers and lovers of more pleasant temperatures.
When operating as a sole proprietor in Funchal your income will be taxed at progressive rates varying from 14.5% up to 48% for 2022 (applicable in the whole of Portugal).
The tax rates for individuals in Funchal are quite high. However, if you decide to operate as a company incorporated in Madeira, the company will be liable to pay a reduced corporate income tax (CIT) rate of 14.7%, as opposed to the 21% rate applicable in mainland Portugal!
Funchal is the best city for freelancers when it comes to a laid-back island life, a mild climate (enjoy the spring all year round!), and a high level of safety. All of this while being in the EU and part of the Schengen Area even though the island is geographically located outside the European continent. This means living on an island in the heart of the Atlantic ocean while enjoying the protection of the EU – a dream come true for many people.
If you’re a non-EU citizen, you can apply for a Portuguese digital nomad visa. To apply for the visa, you must have a minimum monthly income of around €2,820 ($2,750~) per month. A visa can be valid for up to 1 year.
Freelancers or digital nomads wishing to relocate for an extended period of more than 183 days may be liable to pay income tax in Portugal (on their worldwide income).
The costs of living in Madeira are relatively low, including prices for real estate, goods, and services. Note that property prices and rents continue to increase in Portugal, and Lisbon remains the most expensive city to rent in across the whole country, while prices including rent in Funchal are 20% lower than in Lisbon.
Funchal is the islands’ economic, cultural, and political hub, as well as Madeira’s nightlife center. The city is also home to many coworking spaces, the crime rate is one of the lowest in Madeira, and locals are very welcoming to immigrants.
Funchal has a subtropical Mediterranean climate with similar temperatures year-round. Thanks to the spring-like climate in the warm season the average daily temperatures remain in the high 20s (°C). In the slightly cooler wet season, average daily high temperatures still remain at a pleasant 20°C.
In general, Portugal is one of the best EU countries for freelancers thanks to its high quality of life and economic growth, sustainable socio-political situation, warm climate, relatively low cost of living, and lower taxes for freelancers than Western Europe.
Remember that if you’re an EU citizen relocating to another EU country to live there for longer than 3 months, you have to register your stay. Failure to register can be an offense punishable by a fine.
Best Beach City for Taxes for Freelancers
City on the coast of the Black Sea
|Tax Rate For Freelancers||As low as 0% (1% should be expected)|
|Capital Gains Tax Rate||As low as 0% and more|
|Corporate Income Tax Rate||15%|
|Cost of Living||$1200~/month|
Batumi is one of the developing cities located in the South-Western part of Georgia. Georgia is a country bridge between Europe and Asia. Batumi itself is situated 370km from the capital city Tbilisi and 15km from the border with Turkey.
Generally, the personal income tax rate for freelancers in Georgia is 20%. However, you can obtain the special Micro Business Status (0% tax) or Small Business Status (1% tax), both granting certain simplified accounting rules and the above tax exemptions.
The Micro Business Status offers a complete exemption from personal income tax and can be granted only to individuals who receive annual gross income below 30,000 GEL (approx. 11,000 USD). The Micro Business Status is canceled for the current tax year if any of the obligatory requirements aren’t met or are violated.
The Small Business Status offers personal income tax at a rate of 1% of total gross income which increases to 3% if the gross income of a business exceeds GEL500,000 (approx. 187,000 USD). To obtain the Small Business Status you have to receive an annual gross income of no more than 500,000 GEL in each calendar year during two consecutive calendar years.
Generally, the tax on capital gains (for individuals) on sales of non-Georgian stocks/bonds is 0%, however, some specific exemptions may exist.
When operating your freelance business as a company registered in Georgia, the regular corporate income tax rate is 15%.
It’s important to note that Georgia doesn’t impose a social insurance tax which means you won’t pay any social contributions as a sole proprietor.
Find out more about business and tax benefits for freelancers in Georgia. Due to the many benefits of operating a freelance business in Georgia, Georgia also earned a place on our top countries for freelancers 2023 list.
Georgia allows citizens of 95 countries to enter and stay in the country visa-free for up to 1 whole year.
Citizens of 95 countries can enter, reside, work, and study in Georgia without the obligation to obtain either a visa or residence permit for 1 full year. Check here if you need a visa to travel to Georgia.
Nationals of European Union member states (and Switzerland) can enter Georgia with a travel document, i.e. passport, as well as with an identity card issued by an EU member state (or Switzerland). This can be really convenient, especially if you want an alternative to your passport.
Returning to Batumi – English is spoken at a basic level in a lot of places.
The city offers pebble beaches with subtropical greenery, and a humid subtropical climate – so it rains quite often. It has a comparatively warm and sunny winter and spring (up to 20°C in March and April), a hot summer, and a rainy autumn.
It’s an important port that still has that seaside resort vibe and the summer crowds to back it up!
Best Beach City in South America
the capital city of Uruguay
|Currency||Uruguayan peso (UYU)|
|Tax Rate For Freelancers||from 0% up to 36%|
|Capital Gains Tax Rate||12%|
|Corporate Income Tax Rate||25%|
|Cost of Living||$1400~/month|
Montevideo is the capital of Uruguay, known for being a modern waterfront city with the best quality of life in the whole of Latin America, according to the annual Mercer’s Quality of Living survey 2019 index.
Uruguay has a strategic location in South America on the Atlantic coast between the two biggest countries Brazil and Argentina, with the Río de la Plata river to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the southeast. It’s the second-smallest country on the South American continent.
The general personal income tax for freelancers is imposed at progressive rates ranging from 10% to 36%. As only a few expenses are allowed as deductions almost the whole gross income is subject to this tax.
When operating your freelance business as a company registered in Uruguay, the corporate tax rate is 25%.
Nationals of over 65 countries, including most of Europe, Australia, the UK, the USA, Japan, South Korea, South Africa, and most of Latin America, don’t require a visa for stays of less than 90 days.
If you decide to extend your stay, you can renew your visit with the Uruguayan migration authorities by contacting the National Department of Migration.
Uruguay itself has been called the “Switzerland of Latin America” mainly because of its free education access and well-developed banking sector. In 2021, Legatum Institute’s Prosperity Index ranked Uruguay at 37 out of 167 countries.
In the 2022 Sustainable Development Report, Uruguay ranked 41 out of 165 countries. The report assesses the progress of all 193 UN Member States. Uruguay ranks so well thanks to the fact that it generates 98% of its energy from renewable sources. The country’s use of sun, water, and wind energy makes it a major player in the sustainability and renewable energy space.
According to the United Nations, Uruguay is one of the Latin American countries with the highest alphabetization rates, lower inequity index, and highest human development levels.
English is not widely spoken in Uruguay, although it’s much more common in the main cities including Montevideo. Spanish is the main language spoken by over 99% of the population.
Uruguay’s time zone is only three to four hours behind London and one to two hours ahead of New York. This means that if you’re working with clients in the U.S., the UK, or Western Europe, you share overlapping business hours.
The climate in Uruguay is temperate and humid (averaging 17°C), with hot summers and a consistent amount of rainfall throughout the year.
Outside of the urban center, the landscape is characterized by open spaces with unique flora and fauna and clean beaches – from small isolated beaches surrounded by nature to busy hotspots full of people.
Montevideo itself has many beaches that are wide, clean, and perfect for swimming. Heading to the shore after work for sunbathing, a workout, or a late-afternoon meetup is an important part of local culture.
If you’re interested in the region overall, I’ve written about the best South American countries for freelancers and digital nomads with some great benefits, including low costs of living, unique visa programs, low taxes, and more.
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