Copyright 2004-2016  Carol Palioudaki.  Living in Crete
Living in Crete
About Living in Crete
Living in Crete guide book
Cost of Living in Crete 2016

Although the cost of living in Greece has risen over the years, prices have steadied
somewhat with the economic crisis of the last six years. 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).

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

Taxes  for Greece house owners include the  
property tax (ENFIA) which means
property owners have an added tax burden of around 300 to 500 euros per year on
average (amounts vary according to house size and location).

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 2016

Long term rental
Varies depending on location, facilities and age of property. Prices in most areas have
fallen slightly 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 likely to cost anywhere between 300€ per month (older property
and unfurnished) to 600€ per month (newer property/villa, furnished).

A very general 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 council taxes (a minimal amount).

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

Prices in early 2016 average around 1.40€ 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 1.20€ (cafeneon or fast food place) to 4€ (smart cafe in town/resort)
Beer from  2.00€  (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
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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 25 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.  Rules and regulations change frequently so you are advised to double check with
government departments for any changes.

However, you may 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 should cover
most eventualities.

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