Your Piece of Grecian Paradise

A new residential project by South African developers on Skiathos, Greece, offers EU residency for those seeking a viable second home or migration option.

By Debbie Hathway

For almost four decades, Shirley Valentine has entertained theatre and cinemagoers with the title character’s story of turning a life of drudge in a lonely marriage into an investment in self-care and vitality. All it took was a spontaneous trip to Greece. The impact of Willy Russell’s 1986 play has not faded, nor has the draw of the Greek isles for those who yearn for an irresistible blend of laidback charm and vibrant café culture.

Ella Pienaar also fell prey to this appeal after a 1965 visit which led to her falling head-over-heels for the island of Skiathos, its people, and their language, and ultimately the establishment of the first villa of its kind – Villa Ella. This small, mountainous island in the Sporades archipelago soon became well known to South Africans following in her footsteps. “Ella put it on the map, particularly for Capetonians, as she used to move between her Hermanus getaway, Hamewith, and Skiathos to get the best of the South African and European summers,” says Chris Immelman, Head: Pam Golding International.


The local connection continues with Pam Golding International’s recent launch of a Skiathos residential project bolstered by a solid South African development team with previous experience in Greece. “We’ve got some strong ingredients on the island of Skiathos to say this is a good one, and South Africans are going to like it,” says Chris on combining the talents of Stratford Property Ventures, Karapanos Construction, and MWP Property Services with the award-winning real estate agency. “One buyer has already taken the top floor of one of the blocks, and they’re designing a bespoke penthouse for him.”

The Skiathos residences comprise 48 apartments under freehold title, with two bedrooms en suite, a 72sqm floor area, 12sqm balconies, dedicated parking, storerooms, a clubhouse, and a pool. “All of them have views and are within walking distance to town and the nearest beach – it’s just gorgeous,” says Chris.


Greece’s warm Mediterranean climate, desirable lifestyle, cosmopolitan cities, and vital industries have inspired many wealthy individuals and families to make this country their second home. “We see somebody buying this not for pure investment. They will want to spend three months of the year there outside the peak season in July and August, or have it available for their kids wanting a getaway from studies abroad. For the rest, it will be for Airbnb. We are projecting very attractive rentability with yields between six and eight percent per annum,” says Chris.

“The shoulder seasons are wonderful in Greece, and there are many restaurants and bars in the town open year-round. The airlift is good too. The international airport connects this beautiful green island to Athens, London and Zurich, among others. Skiathos is easily accessible from Athens, Volos, and Thessaloniki by ferry. Priced from €298 000, which secures EU Residency, we think it’s brilliant value.”


Greece is flagged as one of the countries attracting South African centi-millionaires in their large-scale migration towards elevated safety standards, outstanding educational prospects, resilient healthcare alternatives, and a reliable adherence to the rule of law. The inaugural Centi-Millionaire Report produced by citizenship and residency by investment experts Henley & Partners and wealth intelligence firm New World Wealth notes further incentives such as financial concerns, crime, lifestyle factors (climate, nature, and scenery), work and business opportunities, taxes, and standard of living.

If you’ve never been to Greece and are considering buying a second home there, visiting first is a good idea. Spend some time in your destination’s version of Little Venice, people-watching, socialising, enjoying a meal at a seaside taverna, and savouring the moment.

Contact international@pamgolding.co.za for more information.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and don’t miss out on regular updates from the YourLuxury Africa team on all things luxurious, beautiful and inspiring.