Future expats who may rely on public transport are being urged to consider transport links when researching locations as services can vary considerably from country to country.

Bus services in rural areas can be unreliable in many popular expat locations where routes can be regularly changed or dropped and in urban areas costs vary depending on age and routes taken, according to research from the Overseas Guides Company.


The research shows that in the UK, bus routes are a constant focus of improvement and invaluable to large sections of communities, in both rural and urban areas, but in France the number of services is limited.

Frequency of buses can be poor in much of rural France with many parts served by just one or two buses a day. ‘Although the train services are excellent in France, some villages are quite a way away from the nearest train station and larger supermarkets are usually located on the outskirts of towns,’ said Alexis Goldberg of the France Buying Guide.

In Cyprus it varies according to each district with services being operated by different companies. In the popular Paphos District there is an extensive network of routes, however, the times and frequencies are quite limited. Daily, weekly and monthly passes are available, with a one way adult ticket being €1.50.

‘School children, Cyprus soldiers and children up to the age of six travel free,’ said Lucie Robson of the Cyprus Buying Guide. ‘People holding a Cyprus Social Security card and university students get 50% off. Pensioners used to travel for free until this spring, when the bus companies island wide claimed that use of services had risen owing to the financial crisis and people wishing to budget,’ she added.

Expats in Turkey's many coastal resorts will hop on a minibus, otherwise known as a dolmus to get around, with local routes covering several kilometres and costing about 2.5TL.

‘Most run to a timetable schedule which for central areas amounts to one dolmus every 20 minutes, while further outlying areas of a town or city will normally run to a half hourly schedule,’ said Andy Probert of the Turkey Buying Guide.

In rural Italy, most villages have bus services that run throughout the day to the nearest town but there are different timetables according to the time of year. Users need to be aware that it can be cheaper to buy your bus ticket beforehand. For example fares bought at ticket machines or in the newsagent coast €1.50 but paying when you get on the bus costs €2.50.

Newcomers should also be aware that the ticket lasts for a fixed time duration of 90 minutes and you can use another bus immediately after only if it is within the 90 minute window.

Bus services in Spain, between towns, are regarded as efficient and inexpensive, although they meander through villages, so a journey by bus will usually take considerably longer than by car.

‘In my town there are a few bus stops but it is often quicker to walk and the climate is generally friendly enough to encourage me to go on foot. You will notice young and old pulling shopping trolleys along,’ said Sally Veall of the Spain Buying Guide.

In Greece, there is a vast bus system with a network connecting to even the smallest villages. ‘I have personally travelled very frequently by bus, both on the mainland and on various islands. I have found the bus system to be punctual, the driving safe and good, the buses of a high quality and the prices very reasonable,’ said Carol Dunning of the Greece Buying Guide.