Moving To Crete Things You Should Know
Today we are going to talk about moving to Crete and the things you need to know before you make the move. Crete is a wonderful place to live if you chose the right area, so in this article, I will share with you things you need to consider before buying a property in Crete.
So Let’s get started, the first thing you need to do before moving to Crete permanently, is you need to find the area you think you might like to live in, and you need to find an apartment and rent it for a while. You need to try it out before you commit and I will get deeper into that in a second. The thing is, people come to Crete on holiday, they fall in love with the Island and buy property on impulse.
And then later they regret the decision and they start searching frantically for someone to buy the property from them. And they end up losing money because they are so desperate to sell, that they don’t even wait to find a buyer who will at least buy the property at a price close to what they paid for it.
Reasons Why You Need To Try Out The Area
So back to what I was saying about trying the area out before buying. The first thing you need to consider is, do you want to live in an isolated area or do you want to live in an area where you are close to the nearest town? If you want to live in a small village, then you need to get a car because most places in Crete don’t have public transportation.
This means you will need your own car. You also need to investigate what kind of village it is, because there are some villages in Crete that are seasonal villages, meaning everyone who lives in those villages only have holiday homes. And that means as soon as the summer is over, everything closes.
So if you buy a home in an area like that, and your intention is to live there all year round, things could get very complicated for you. So to avoid this problem, I suggest you rent a home in that area and make sure to stay through winter just to see how it is in the winter.
Things In Crete Don’t Work Like In Other European Countries
There are some things that you will find irritating when you move to Crete, things move at a slower pace in comparison to other places in Europe. For example, tomorrow does not always mean the day after today. What I mean is, if you have an appointment with someone, Let’s say you need something fixed in your house, if they say they will come tomorrow, you need to call them again the following day and make sure they are indeed coming.
And the same goes for the afternoon, if someone says they will come over in the afternoon, you need to ask the specific time because for me the afternoon is from 1 pm to maybe 3 pm, the Cretans afternoon can be anywhere between 5 pm to 10 pm.
Driving In Crete Can Get Pretty Interesting To Say The Least
Another thing that people get annoyed with, is the driving here in Crete. If you are used to driving in the other European countries where drivers follow traffic laws, then you might get frustrated when you drive in Crete because things can get very interesting on the road. So you have to be alert at all times and expect anything.
Expect the driver in front of you to indicate left and then turn right instead or not indicate at all. In Small villages when you are driving behind a farmer, be careful because he could stop in the middle of the road to shout at his friend who is working in the field, or they just might decide to have a little chat right there.
We were driving the other day when we met two farmers in the middle of the road having a mini-meeting, they had gotten out of their pickup trucks and they were having a chat, so we had to wait for them to get back in their vehicles and make room for us to pass. For more driving tips click here
You Need To Start Learning Greek
If you intend on moving to Crete permanently, then you need to start learning Greek because it will make life easier for you if you can speak a bit of Greek. The language is not easy especially the grammar but you should be able to master basic Greek after being in Crete for a while. It all depends on your ability to capture languages and your interest in learning.
You can start taking lessons on the internet and you can also have an app like Duolingo which will help you learn basic Greek. Then when you move to the island, there are many language schools where you can take lessons and there are even private teachers that you can hire to teach you Greek one on one.
One tip I will give you, when you start learning Greek, try not to concentrate so much on written Greek because that could take lots of time, I say start with spoken word and once you get the basic, then you can concentrate on the grammar and writing and reading.
You Must Practice Speaking Greek, It’s The Only Way To Get Goot At It
And don’t be afraid to practice your Greek. Speak to your neighbors, they will help you learn because when you don’t say things correctly, they will tell you how to say it. Generally, Greeks are very happy with a foreigner who is trying to learn their language and they do understand that Greek is not an easy language to learn so they will help you.
I have gone to places where I didn’t know anyone but when I speak the little Greek I know, they have helped me and even corrected me when I mispronounce a word or say the wrong word. For example, I was in Heraklion and was speaking to a lady I met at a Taverna and I told her that I am just visiting Heraklion, but the way I said it was not the right way to say it, even though she understood what I meant, she told me how to say it the right way.
Things To Look For When Considering A property In Crete
When you are considering buying a property in Crete, there are some things you need to consider. For example, you need to survey the area and see if it has telephone lines. Because that will determine whether you will be able to be connected to a landline and get an internet connection at a reasonable price.
Because if there are no telephone lines, then you will have to get your internet and phone services from private companies that charge lots of money. Getting your internet from a company like Cosmote will be the best because their plans are not so bad when it comes to the internet. And you can even get a package where you get phone, internet, and cable TV at an affordable monthly fee.
You need to make sure that the property is near a water station because some areas are connected to agriculture water which means the water is not treated and therefore not safe for consumption. Plus water disconnections can happen at any time, and you really don’t want to deal with that.
Many Stray Dogs And Cats in Crete
If you are an animal lover, you could get very sad in Crete because of so many stray cats and dogs, and you can’t take all of them home with you. There are many animal shelters in Crete, but they are overwhelmed by the big number of animals that they have to take care of. And so, you will find it very difficult if you try to contact a shelter about a stray animal because they have no room.
I have covered this issue in detail in my next article but, I just wanted to mention that this is something to be aware of. There are many homeless cats and dogs in Crete. And the ones that have homes some of them are in chains so when you go for a walk you could get very sad when you see those animals.
Many National Holidays
Because the governance of Greece is still very much connected to the Greek Orthodox Church, there are many national holidays in a year depending on the religious holy days, basically, there is a holiday almost every single month of the year.
January 1st New Year’s Day.
January 6th Epiphany Day.
March 11th Clean Monday.
March 25th Independence Day.
April its Easter Month depending on the Greek Orthodox Calendar, there will be Good Friday and Easter Monday, but sometimes the Easter can be in March it really depends on the Church calendar.
May 1st labor day/ Awakening of nature
June 17th Holy Spirit Monday
August 15th assumption Day
October 28th National Day ( Ohi Day)
December 25th Christmas day
December 26th Synaxis of the Mothe of God
So as you can see, there are many National holidays in Greece so don’t be surprised.
Moving to Crete can be very exciting, especially if you are moving from cold countries like the Scandinavia region. But before you make the big move, make sure you are moving into an area where there is life all year round especially if you intend to spend all seasons in Crete.
And also make sure the house you are moving into has some kind of heating system because believe it or not, it can get really cold in Crete during the winter months. Especially now when the weather is changing so much all over the world.
So I will leave it there, for now, if you have questions please leave them below and I will be more than happy to answer you the best I can.
Thank you so much for your time
7 comments on “Moving To Crete Things You Should Know”
I am finding it hard to get any info on how to stay in Crete for more than 90 days after Brexit. I plan to rent for 6 -12 months starting next year while I look at buying a property to live in. I am from the UK, do you have any info on long term permits or visas?
Hi Angela, at the moment there is no info about long term visas for British people because it all depends on what happens with negotiations between the EU and the UK.
I think there will be more info after the new year.
Thank you for your comment, if I learn more on this I will let you know.
Hi Angela, I have been on the lookout for info on living in Crete or moving to Crete from the UK after Brexit and I think this article offers lots of info, so please check it out. Living In Greece Guidance for British National http://www.gov.uk
I think about a move to Crete from the United States I’m looking for possibly a small Villa to rent while I look for a permanent place I want something near the ocean I do not want a tourist town.
Well, there are many places by the sea to move to. So all you have to do is decide which side of Crete you want to move to and then contact real estate agents in that area to see what kinds of apartments are available.
I am planning to move to Creete with my family. I have two daughters one is 5 and the other 9 years old. We don’t speak Greek. They need to continue with the school and that is ny concern. So I guess I will have to choose Heraklion or Chania because of schooling. What are your thoughts on that.
Thank you very much.
Hi Goran, thank you for your comment when it comes to English schools, I think it’s better to move to Heraklion because that’s a bigger city than Chania, actually, Heraklion is our capital and the third biggest city in Greece, so your children will have better opportunities there.
I wish you all the best on your move and a happy new year to you and your family.