Living In Crete Expectations vs Reality

OK, so today I want us to cover Crete Expectations vs reality. Most people move to Crete after they have been on vacation to the island. A couple of years ago I spoke to a couple who came to Crete for holiday and never left. Now, lets get one thing straight, living in Crete is not the same as vacationing on the island.

Crete expectations vs reality, when I asked the couple if they were happy with their decision to move to Crete permanently? They told me even though, they were happy with the decision, it was not what they expected and the first few months were challenging. The couple actually ended up selling the property they had bought and moved to a different area on the island.

Most People Decide To Live In Crete, After They Have Been Here For Holiday

Lets examine the mindset of someone who comes to Crete and decides to buy a property and settle on the island. Obviously, the main tourist season is between May And September. The island is at its best during these months, the weather is amazing, the mood is joyous. The person who is on holiday is in a relaxed and happy mood.

Then they decide you know what? I love this island, it’s so beautiful, I think I can live here, OK, I am going to live here. Then they start looking at the real estate websites. By the time they are going back home, they already have a couple of properties that they are really interested in.


After a short while, everything is set and they are moving to the island, once all the complicated paperwork is sorted out, it’s time to start the island life. This is when reality hits, depending on the area you choose to live in, you might have issues with water, internet, and also power cuts are normal especially in the winter, or when we get storms.

Living In Crete Expectations vs Reality, You Have To Be Very Careful When Choosing Where To Live


Another thing that might cause issues for you, is if you buy an apartment where there are communal area and shared swimming pools, you will find that there are people who will decide that they are not going to pay the maintenance fee, which means other people have to cover the bills of those who choose not to pay.

This happens a lot especially when the fee is not included in the purchase contract. If someone decided they are not going to pay for the maintenance of the communal area, there are no consequences, because there are no grounds to take any action. So it’s very important that you make sure there is the inclusion of maintenance fee in the contract.

That is why I mentioned in another article, you must be very vigilant in investigating the place you are buying an apartment. Read the fine print, make sure there is a clear arrangement of the shared area and pool maintenance. Make sure the other property owners have signed an agreement when it comes to the swimming pools, gardens, parking space, and driveway. Make sure the parking space is available for each apartment.

You Must Choose A Place That Meets Your Standards Or You Will Be Frustrated

Make sure that the painting of the building is covered by the maintenance fund, that way the building will look neat, I mean there is no point painting your apartment and making it look nice if your neighbors are not going to paint theirs. Or they decide to move away from the neutral colors and paint outrageous colors.

If you are planning to live in Crete Full time, meaning you are not buying a holiday home, then, make sure you are not putting yourself in a situation that will give you headaches. The whole point of living an island life, is to have a peaceful, enjoyable, happy life.

Living in Crete is about going for walks on the beach, visiting different places on the island, and even visiting neighboring islands. It’s about enjoying BBQs with friends, learning Greek, and talking to the neighbors. But if you are not careful life on Crete can be very frustrating and stressful.

Remember Timekeeping Is A Big Issue In Crete, So Be Prepared

I have covered, some of the things that might frustrate you when you move to Crete in another article, I have talked about the issue of time, like when you need things done, it takes longer than promised because the person who should come and fix something in your house, might not show up on time.

Just recently we had a situation where someone was supposed to deliver some wood to us, I called them and they assured me that they will come at 11:am I told them if they know they can’t make it, to just tell me and we can wait for them to bring the wood another day because we have to arrange with some of our friends to come and help us store the wood.

So the wood people assured me that they will deliver at 11, well, 11 came and went, I called them at 12 Oclock and asked them what is happening, they said that they were on their way. Long story short, they came at 3:pm, so there we were with wood and no one to help us. The good thing is, the guy who brought the wood helped us but still.

You Will Not Be Notified Of Change Of Plans Unless You Call To Ask

My point is, when you move to Crete, be prepared to deal with timekeeping issues, and also be prepared to not be notified of canceled appointments like if someone was to come to your house to fix something, they will not call you to inform you of change of plans. When you call to ask if they are still coming, maybe after waiting for an hour or two, that’s when you will learn that they are not coming.

And if you don’t call, then you will wait the whole day, and they will not show up, and when you manage to get hold of them, they will not apologize for wasting your time, actually, they will act as if you are being unreasonable for complaining about them not showing up when they were supposed to.

You Might Have To Be Very Creative With Your Flower Pots And Flower Beds


Another issue is that of stray animals, mainly cats and dogs, we have discussed this issue before and you can read that article here. Speaking of dogs, and cats, if you are living in a shared area, you will find that some people will not clean after their dogs, and the ones who have cats will not get them neutered, Also, the cats will of course dig up your flower pots, so the place will be full of all kinds of… well, I think you get the picture.

Despite the island having garbage bins everywhere, you will still find lots of plastic bottles, coffee cups, and even beer cans on the roadsides especially when you go for your walks. Speaking of walks, you will also see some dogs that are chained in the fields, I have covered this issue in my other articles.

At some point in the year, you will experience dust storms. This used to happen in April and some parts of May but in recent years it has been happening randomly at any time during the year, so it’s hard to predict. So, as you can see living in Crete is not the same as being on holiday.


Well, I hope I have given you a clear picture of what you can expect when you come to live here in Crete. Some of the issues I have covered in this article might not sound serious but, trust me, after a while, it gets really frustrating.

Anyway, I hope you have found the information I have shared today helpful. If you have found this article helpful, then please share, and also leave me a comment below, it helps when you comment so my article can get exposure.

Thank you for your time.


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2 comments on “Living In Crete Expectations vs Reality

  1. I am hoping to make a trip to ?? November..possibly stay 3 test the waters. I would like to try a simple rental ( retired female)do U this this reListic?? ( from US)

    1. I think testing the waters is a good idea, and 3 months is good enough time to help you get the feel of the place and see if you would like to live there. Good luck to you.

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