Copyright 2004-2014  Carol Palioudaki.  Living in Crete
Living in Crete
About Living in Crete
Living in Crete guide book
Cost of Living in Crete 2013 / 2014

The real cost of living in Crete is higher than many imagine and prices in Greece have
increased year-on-year.

Basic goods and fuel on the islands, like Crete,  tend to be a little more expensive than
on the mainland due to transportation costs.

Those living in Crete on a fixed income from the UK, such as pensioners, are feeling
the pinch strongly as the pound - euro exchange has dropped considerably since 2008.

The Greek government's austerity measures include increased VAT on goods and
services, the current top VAT rate being 23%, although there is a lower 13% rate for

New taxes  for Greece house owners include the 'emergency'  
property tax, which
means property owners have an added tax burden of around 400 to 500 euros per
year on average, for 2/3 years.

So is it all doom and gloom?

Although the cost of living has definitely risen dramatically, those who live in Crete can
make their euros go further with thrifty shopping. Savings can be made at the large
supermarket chains such as Carrefour and Lidl by buying their own brand goods. Buy
local fresh fruit and vegetables only when they are in season, imported goods are far
more expensive, and shop at the local farmers markets, the 'laiki' - every town in Crete
has one (ask locally for the location and days of the laiki in your nearest town).

The overall prices of consumer goods are fairly competitive. Shop around or buy in the
sales (mid January to end February and in August), particularly for larger items such as
electrical goods and furniture.

Eating out in Crete is still relatively cheap, particularly away from the main tourist
areas and local 'in' places. Village tavernas usually offer the best value.

Guide to basic costs 2013 / 2014

Long term rental
Varies depending on location, facilities and age of property. Prices in most areas have
fallen slightly in 2012/2013 due to the economic crisis, and start from around 220€ per
month for an unfurnished one-bedroomed property in a village. A three-bedroomed
house or apartment in town is like to cost anywhere between 300€ per month (older
property and unfurnished) to 600€/650€ per month (newer property/villa, furnished).

An average of around 50€ to 80€ per month for a 2/3 bedroomed property with air con
in the summer, electric cooker, water heater, family of four.  The electricity bill also
includes local taxes.
The 'emergency' property tax is also collected via the electric
bill and the suggested costs here do not include this tax.
Tenants are NOT liable to
pay the emergency property tax on the electricity bill, this is the house owner's

Telephone & Internet packages
Landline plus fast broadband Internet packages start from  around 20€ per month -
Vodaphone and OTE .

Prices in 2013 average between about 1.70€ and 1.79€ per litre, across Crete

Going Out

with local wine from 12€ per person. Average 3 course meal with local wine
20€ per person.
Coffee from 1.00€ (cafeneon or fast food place) to 4€ (smart cafe in town/resort)
Beer from 1.50€  (cafeneon or fast food place) to 4€ (smart cafe in town/resort)
Cinema ticket 7€ to 8€

Further details about current costs re housing, insurance, pools etc in Crete & Greece
can be found on the forum thread (thanks to Brian C):
cost of living in Greece

Details of food costs etc for Chania, Crete can be found on
Index  > Greek Life > About Living in Crete
About Living in Crete -
Live in Crete
Index  > Greek Life > About Living in Crete
Back to:          

Home/Index                       Greek Life
Retiring in Crete

Crete is a popular retirement
destination for Greece lovers and
many Brits and others have
made the move to retire to live in

The largest of the Greek islands,
Crete has much to offer for
year-round living. The capital city
of the island, Heraklion, has a
resident population of
approximately 135,000 people
and is the fourth largest city in
Greece. The total population of
Crete (last census 2005) is
623,666 inhabitants. This figure
swells in the summer when
migrant workers and tourists
stay on the island.

There are many beach, mountain
and village locations which are a
short distance from one of the
main towns so that year round
living in Crete is easy and varied.

heallth care is available in
Crete for British and EU
pensioners under the
reciprocal arrangements

Pensioners should be aware that
exchange rate fluctuations can
affect their income and decisions
based on factors today could
have a different outlook in five
years time. Consider taking
professional financial advice
before a move.
About Life in Crete and this Website
Crete may be one of the latest holiday and property hotspots for those seeking to escape the rat race but for me it has been
home for more than 20 years.

After exploring mainland Greece I first arrived in Crete in 1984 and fell under the island’s spell immediately. It’s such a
beautiful and diverse island…   just ten minutes drive from the bustling towns are fabulous beaches, spectacular mountains
and countryside, while the hospitality of the Cretan people is renowned.

It takes time to settle into a foreign country and learn the ropes. Information is hard to come by, even harder when you have
little grasp of the language when the simplest task can become a nightmare. I have experienced this many times over the
years I have spent living in Greece and had nowhere to turn to for information. Of course it is out there somewhere, but
finding it is the hard part and once you have found it, it’s all Greek!

Today, with the Internet, mobile phones and frequent flights you never feel that far from anyone or anywhere. Back then it
was much harder;  when working in remote Cretan mountain villages it was always a major expedition to get into town to
find an international  phone line to call home.

Still, Cretan culture is unique and can take a little getting used to, while the laid-back Greek lifestyle is not without its
frustrations.  Bureaucracy, for example, seems to have been refined into an art form and often requires endless patience.  

This website offers
impartial information and aims to answer many of the basic questions
about everyday life in Crete, Cretan culture and bureaucratic procedures. Some of the
information is based on extracts from my book
Living in Crete. A Guide to Living, Working, Retiring & Buying Property in Crete

If you are seeking further detailed information the Living in Crete book covers in depth all that
you need to know before or after a move or property purchase.

Whether you are moving to Crete or are already living, working or studying in  Crete or Greece
this informative guide book will help make your stay as painless  and trouble-free as possible
and can be used time and again as a reference book.
You can purchase a copy of the book
here online

The information contained in these web pages is based on personal experience and that of other Crete residents, plus
research from government departments.  New rules and regulations are updated on the site as they become known.

You will find that the official line in some cases can vary depending on whom you speak to; literally which particular police
officer or clerk, for example, happens to deal with your case in question. The documents listed on this site will cover most

The information contained in these pages is intended as a guide only. Individuals should always consult the relevant
authorities, a Greek lawyer or accountant about legal and taxation issues relating to their personal circumstances.

TIP: photocopies of your passport (+ copies of residence certificate, tax return, IKA stamps if you have them)  and a few
photographs should be carried with you on any visit to any government office, then if you are lucky you may get the job done
in one or two trips instead of  three or four!  

Enjoy your stay in Crete.

Carol Palioudakis