charlier - 7:36 pm on Aug 28, 2010 (gmt 0)
Thanks for the replies on Ireland and the Canary Islands, since someone mentioned Malta I will say a bit about it. I lived there for a year programming website back ends for a company in the UK. I just had a tourist visa and had to pop out of the country for a day every 3 months. The pluses are that the people are very friendly and most speak English, in an EU poll a couple years ago Malta was rated the happiest country in the EU. The infrastructure is good, I had DSL which seem pretty fast, however, it is quite a small island (40x80 mi) so don't expect any huge shopping malls, there are pretty good sized grocery stores. Wine is very cheap and very good (locally made) around $2 a liter. You don't need a car, and that is a good thing, the law abiding drivers in Malta are the ones that slow down at stop signs. It is very hot in the summer in the daytime but you always get a nice breeze off the sea at night. People stay out till late at night on the sea front sitting on public benches and on outside seating at cafes etc. If you like fireworks then you'll love Malta as you have them every night in one village or another. All in all I very much enjoyed my year there. The big negative for me is how small, dry and rocky it was, I am from rural western PA and I love the rivers and the green fields and trees. That's probably what attracts me to Ireland.