Living in Crete People - Where are you and why? (Part 2)

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Living in Crete People - Where are you and why? (Part 2)

Postby Cashey » Sun Sep 18, 2011 8:08 pm

Sorry everyone!

I really should have made this question all one, but I guess I was suffering from depression after getting back to the UK!

Thanks again for all your answers, what I should have bolted on the end was, why did you move to the part of the island that you live?
Was it on recommendation, did you go around every place on the island before deciding or did you just have a gut feeling for the 1st place you went?

As I mentioned, we had just come back from Georgioupoli and thought that was the most perfect place we have been too, what with me being a big nature lover and all, I have never had so many close encounters with so much wildlife in such a short space of time.

Hopefully you can all be as kind as you were before and give me some great answers.

The heating is now officially on!

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Location: Kambani, Akrotiri

Postby Topdriller » Sun Sep 18, 2011 9:13 pm


We went to Ag Nic in 1988 and did the night life but little else. In Feb 2000 we were sitting in a wet and cold Aberdeen and decided to come back that summer and have a more grown up holiday. My wife pulled out a map of Crete and to took a pin, closed her eyes and hit the Akrotiri.

Once again we had a drinking holiday but fell in love with the place and ended up buying 4000sqm of land and building a house here. In 2007 we moved here full time and have never looked back.

We need men who dream of things that never were.

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Location: Rethymnon area

Postby Kimsie » Sun Sep 18, 2011 10:45 pm

Hi Cashey

the first time we visited Crete was early October & we were looking for somewhere we might still find some sun. We stayed in Malia, only on the basis there should still be a few places open at that late part of the season. We figured (rightly) that the 'party bars' would have already closed but that we'd still find some life.

Our next visit was to Georgeopolis with a group of 16 friends. We loved the place & it planted a serious seed of trying to find a property in Crete.

In 2005 we went on a property hunting trip. Having already decided we wanted to be on the North coast, we made Bali our base for it's central location. We travelled west & east but preferred the scenery & general feel around Rethymno. One of the properties we looked at (though it was just a field then) was in Panormo. We fell in love with the village, the local people & the development. The rest, as they say, is history.

We're heading back for a short holiday during this week & can't wait. We still think the central location is great for getting out & about exploring the island while the pretty little village is a perfect base for lazier days closer to home.

We've found each area of the island really quite different so I guess the answer is, if you've found somewhere you love & it feels right - go for it!
Hope that helps.

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Postby Kilkis » Mon Sep 19, 2011 11:51 am

For us the exact location was not important. We looked at properties from Sitia to Chania.

My advice would be to write down your criteria for a property in order of importance and then search for somewhere that comes closest to those criteria. Recognise that you will probably need to compromise on some items.

Our top recommendation would be to rent for a year if you can. That way you see what a place is like all year round. We live not far from Platanias, west of Chania. In summer it is a packed lively place full of tourists. In winter it is a ghost town with many premises boarded up and collecting rubbish.

High on our list was the desire to be in a town or large village that was fundamentally non-touristy, i.e. would change little from summer to winter. We wanted it to be big enough that there would be all necessary facilities, e.g. banks, post office, shops tavernas etc within walking distance. Neapoli was one of our preferred locations but we couldn't find any suitable properties there. In the end we settled on a large village near Chania because that is where we found a location that met most of our requirements.

We found lots of houses that we liked but in locations that we didn't and locations that we liked but with no suitable houses. We bought a plot of land and built a house to our own design. When we started the exercise we hadn't even considered that as an option but it was the only way we could get what we wanted. Don't rule anything out at the beginning.


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Postby Cashey » Mon Sep 19, 2011 12:15 pm

I am so impressed by your story, to have the guts to do that, I have a couple of situations (won’t bore you with the details) that stop me from doing that, but I am so close to breaking and finally saying sod it!

Again another great story, notice that you are in the same county, I would love to ‘grill’ you about everything to do with Crete!

The fantastic ‘Cashey Masterplan’ does involve us doing some long term renting, that is a given as far as we are concerned, thanks for your input, really helpful. I can assure you that my thoughts have never been whimsical in any way, we ARE going to do this, it is a matter of timing.

I promise everyone on this forum that there is going to be a hell of a party once we do this, and everyone will be invited!

Thanks again guys for your input, I really do appreciate it.


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Location: Kalives

Postby Al » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:10 pm

Hi Cashey

It's been a long story but I'll be as brief as possible. We were in love with Greece, first as an idea then only within the last 20 years or so as a reality for holidays. We had holidays on Rhodes, Halki, Crete and Halkidiki and eventually in Marathi on the north side of Souda bay.

In 2003 we put our names down for a small apartment in Almerida and had our first holiday there in 2004, followed by many more. When we both retired in 2006 we decided to live here, but the apartment wasn't really big enough so we bought a big maisonette off plan in Kalives - excellent house - moved in in Feb 2007. Had a round the world trip in 2007-8 and when we came back we realised that we missed having a garden so looked for a plot with the help of every agent in Kalives and a few others too.

Found one, too quickly for comfort, planned a house, chose a builder and borrowed some money to build intending to sell the maisonnette. Perfect timing - the market crashed and, though we managed to sell the small apartment which made life easier, we still possess the Maisonette and a bank loan. Luckily we have a long term rental on that!

So life has been exciting and a bit worrying at times. However we now have a wonderful bespoke house with its own pool, around 60 olive trees and a burgeoning garden. Having visited for twenty years and lived here for five, we find it very difficult to envisage going home to Scotland, especially with the crap weather there.

We have put down roots, we have many good friends both northern European and Greek - also some Greeks returning from their emigree lives in the South Africa, US and Canada.

Our children are in Scotland, New Zealand and America, so there is no imperative to "return" for family reasons - which would we choose? However they all give us a great excuse to travel the world, ostensibly to visit them.

We are both fitter, eat better, are happier (sometimes quite euphoric!) and busier than we would expect to be in the UK and we love living by Kalives which is a vibrant centre of business with many shops and businesses, much the same in winter as in summer except for cooler weather and fewer tavernas.

Hope this is helpful.

By the way, this isn't heaven; there are bad bits too, but we prefer not to dwell on them - it's a near heaven as anyone should reasonably expect!!

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Postby Cashey » Mon Sep 19, 2011 3:26 pm


Thanks for the story, to be fair I could listen to it for hours, honestly!
Both me and my wife have been coming to Greece since the 80’s, and we too love it!

I know what you mean about being happier, in our week we had recently both me and my wife were so much happier, and not because of it being a holiday, we love the food, the people, the way of life and the heat makes my wifes condition so much more bearable, and me being who I am love running in it, I do love watching peoples faces as I go pounding past them!

As for the bad bits, no funny coloured specs here, I know it’s not perfect, before going to Georgioupoli I was really looking forward to meeting the (for me) local hero, Christianos the pelican, however he was subsequently beaten up, which initially made me very angry, however the wildlife I found more than made up for it.

Thanks again Al for your story, I hope one day someone will ask me the same and I can post my version.


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Postby Jeffstclair » Tue Sep 20, 2011 10:01 am

Hi Cashey ,
this is the short version of our story
We had been coming to holiday in Crete for a few years, got it down to a fine art you know the style, grab two weeks, cheap flight,hirecar at the airport, the only real desision we made was do we turn left or right when we get out of the airport.. did this for a few years had some great times.
Then we thought ,why don't we buy a little two room house simple , paint it white, put in a shower and a loo,and just hang out for the summers.
The main thing was that it was'nt gonna cost real money we'd do it all out of ready cash.
Anyway cut to the chase.. we ended up buying a ruined house with 6 rooms with a fair sized garden in a very small village that we just fell in love with.
so for a few years we came over and spent time sorting the house out,everthing needed doing new roof ,floors,plastering, plumbing, etc etc...
then 5 years ago we said why are we going back to the UK ? sold our house , sold most of our stuff apart from books , music and tools,jacked in our jobs and now we live here full time ... and it's great..... Jeff..

moved 2 crete
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Location: Kolimbari, Chania

Postby moved 2 crete » Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:08 pm

went to Herssonisos year on year then went on a best of the west coach trip and saw the green part of the Chania region and decided to retire here in that region ,never looked back love it here,criteria was land and near to a hospital as we are not getting any younger, got both in Kolimbari from a small local builder Minoan Homes. Now 6 years on no change no going back. swimming in our pool and growing our own fruit and veg, heaven.
Dave H

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