This Historic, Greek Island Wants to Pay Young Families to Live and Work There
A lot of people have fantasized about running away to an idyllic island, but very few actually get the opportunity. Until now, that is.
Much like the various towns in Italy, Sicily, and Sardinia that have launched special programs to entice new residents to come to live there, Antikythera has suffered from underpopulation for the last several years.
This is why the local diocese of the Greek Orthodox Church is currently sponsoring some families to move to the island, according to Lonely Planet, and they’re still looking for more potential residents. Although precedence is given to Greek citizens, anyone chosen to be part of the program will be given some land, a house, and a monthly stipend of €500 (about $565 USD) for the first three years they live there.
Despite its natural beauty, including crystal clear waters and quaint harbor towns, Antikythera’s population is officially listed at 20, according to the Los Angeles Times.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Antikythera is much like the rest of Greece, which is in need of young families to keep the population and economy healthy. Local businesses supported by local people are the best way to keep Antikythera alive as well since it’s not a popular place for tourists to travel. The island is very hard to get to, though there is a ferry to the harbor town of Potamos, which runs between Antikythera and Crete, according to Lonely Planet. The weather, however, can greatly affect how often the ferry runs.
But besides the lack of tourism (which could be a huge plus, depending on who you talk to), the island is quite self-sustaining, according to the Los Angeles Times. It has its own power station and its own source of water, and it’s a hotspot for geologists and climate scientists.
Plus, its historical significance is immeasurable. Not only is Antikythera the site of the discovery of the world’s oldest analog computer (a mechanical gear used to predict astronomical positions called, the Antikythera Mechanism), it’s also the site where skeletons from an ancient shipwreck were found.
According to the Los Angeles Times, four families are already in the process of moving to Antikythera. More candidates may be approved in the future, but the selection and approval process may take the government a very long time, perhaps as long as five years before anyone can definitively start packing.
But perhaps waiting is a small price to pay for starting a new life in a Greek paradise.