Moving to Crete from UK

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Moving to Crete from UK

Postby Clanline » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:35 am

Hello All,

We are planning on retiring to Crete next year and are wondering if we should sell virtually all our possessions here apart from the personal things of course and buy out there or ship the lot out!

We plan to rent at first until we are sure of the area we wish to buy in and the type of house.

We have already made several trips and know the price of washing machines,fridges,ovens etc and all those sort of things we would leave here.

We would still need to find a way of shipping personal stuff over(my wife's shoes could probably fill a container)! and see several people advertising monthly service to Crete on this forum which I have yet to look into.

Part of me says bring the lot and possibly sell what we don't need out there and the other part says the opposite!

Would the price of shipping stuff out be more or less the same as buying new out there?

What do we do with the stuff if we have a rented furnished place, are there storage facilities available?

We would appreciate any advice from people who have done both?

Thanks in advance,


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Re: Moving to Crete from UK

Postby Kilkis » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:03 am

Clanline wrote:
Would the price of shipping stuff out be more or less the same as buying new out there?

That's virtually an impossible question to answer but as a general rule, since shipping cost is largely based on volume, something small and expensive is worth shipping and something large and cheap isn't. Even moving to Crete from northern Greece we left several large items behind because the cost of shipping was more than they were worth. You do, however, need to factor in the personal value to you. We shipped several large items that we particularly like and which we wouldn't have been able to replace with equivalents.



Postby latsida » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:13 am

Came out here 5 years ago with just two suitcases having sold up in england and disposed of all our possessions except for personal items which we left with friends and family,and when they visited us they brought a few things with them each time.We rented for a while and bought a house here which was fully equipped and furnished apart from a TV . many homes here are sold fully furnished.As far as I know there are no storage facilities here.A friend of ours towed over a caravan and left his belongings in that while they looked for somewhere to live.If you really need to keep some furniture items I think the door to door service advertised is your best bet. Containers can cost quite a lot and there is a lot of bureaucracy this end with the customs .It will cost quite a lot to bring everything and if you don't need some items who would you sell them to?Cretans don't buy secondhand.Get some quotes from hauliers and decide what you really need to keep.
Good luck :P

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Postby filippos » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:53 am

When we moved here we already had some furniture as the house had been rented out for a couple of seasons so we didn't bring any large items of furniture - a couple of coffee tables (dismantled) was about all.

With everything else we were very strict with ourselves, determined to transport only items of genuine sentimental value, essential clothing and things we couldn't possibly live without. We were ruthless with what we gave away to friends, relatives and charity shops followed by many trips, with a fully loaded, large hatch-back, to the local tip. Nearly six years on we still have unopened boxes!

Furniture here is available in all qualities, prices and styles from hand made traditional to modern "chrome and glass" and much the same is true of other items like light fittings etc. Also, will the style of things you bring fit in with the house or apartment where you finally settle. Bear in mind, too, that things like lamp shades probably won't fit without some adaptation.

Storage facilities are available in Crete, certainly in the Xania area but I don't know about the rest of the island. Storage charges are cheaper than the UK but, personally, I regard it as money wasted. Combine shipping and storage expenses and you could buy quite a lot with the money especially when you consider that most shippers base costs on weight and volume. Furniture takes up a lot of space and is often heavy.

As for renting for a period when you first arrive you may find many properties (mainly Greek owned) that are available unfurnished and that would reduce or minimise the need for storage.

If you bring stuff with you with the intent of selling what you don't need you may find it difficult to dispose of. There are occasional "for sale" or "wanted" advertisements on various forums (fora, for the pedantic) but my observation is that most items for sale don't attract much interest and only sell if very cheap. Of course, there are exceptions but ....

From this you'll probably gather, rightly, that if I were to do it again I'd be inclined to bring what I could carry and leave the rest.

For rental properties you can go through an estate agent as most have some rental properties on their books but they tend to be owned by non-Greeks. Many are holiday properties not really suitable for year-round living and, in any case, many are available for winter only. If your Greek is up to it (there aren't many words to look up and learn) you could always try local newspapers like, e.g. Haniotika Nea [ and click on ΜΙΚΡΕΣ ΑΓΓΕΛΙΕΣ at top right], which have pages of rental properties. Other large towns have equivalent papers.


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Postby paulh » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:00 pm

There is a storage facility near to Chania airport but as I understand it from others it is a tad expensive and you have to make appointments that fit in with when the facility is open.

In general I would say buy your electrical stuff here in the country it was made to be sold in and where you can go back to the shop in case of problems. Having said that I am not really a tv or DVD or satellite user and they could be different. If you buy the lot when you come over there is the downside that things will more or less wear out at the same time.

Shipping, I had mine containered to Athens and then they came over on the ferry from Athens. Not a single problem or customs man and I saw next to no paperwork. I used a UK company who move American forces personnel all over Europe and they know the paperwork side backwards so that probably smoothed things.

In general I would say the idea of bring it over here and then sell what you don't want is flawed. Theres not really that much of a market.

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Postby Boudica » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:01 pm

It's down to choice really. Moved to Crete 3 years ago & we shipped everything from the UK in a 40 foot container. But we had already bought a newly finished house which was completely empty. Most of our furniture in the UK was fairly new and we had bought it with Crete in mind anyway.

Didn't bring white goods, cooker etc, it makes more sense to buy them here in case they get damaged in transit.

Have to say that the quality & choice of furniture available here has improved greatly in the last couple of years. When we started looking in shops around 6 or 7 years ago you could only seem to find Cretan style dark furniture, wooden sofas with pads on etc. Now you can get all styles.

Don't plan on selling anything out here - I simply don't think there's any demand for second hand items.

Also, from a personal point of view - I would stock up on new clothes & shoes (and books, CDs) in the UK before you move here (much greater choice, cheaper)!! And don't think you can throw away all your warm winter clothes - you will certainly need them here!

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Postby lshall05 » Mon Oct 29, 2007 12:08 pm


We're moving next year and when we first decided that we were definitely going to move, we said that we'd take furniture over with us. However, having spoken to friends over in Malia, they told us that a lot of rental properties come furnished so we have now decided that all we're going to bring over now is our personal possessions and will 'declutter' long before the move!! We're going to sell the furniture we do have so hopefully that will go a long way towards paying for everything else to be moved over!

When we asked for quotes to get an idea of costs one company quoted nearly £4,500 (incl VAT) for a luton van (16 cubic metres) and another quoted just under £1,500 (incl VAT) for 107 cubic feet (I think that's about 3 cubic metres but could be wrong). Both were door to door. I haven't looked at containers because we don't have that much stuff to take over now...

I suppose at the end of the day, what works for one person doesn't suit someone else...
Living in Crete!!

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Postby andheath » Mon Oct 29, 2007 10:25 pm

Now I have noticed there a quite a few people with the "Move to Crete with nothing" point of view, but I just can't buy that one on simple economics.

We shipped a 20' container in August/September. Cost £3700 plus vat.

I am assuming all your stuff is not crap because if it was you wouldn't ask the question. Agreed you can have a pretty good days shopping with 4.5k but start adding up what you have got. New replacement values, you have to do this anyway if you are going to insure it.

I got this far, 3 piece suite 2.5k, 2 double beds 2k.......
The total I got to was 30K and I couldn't buy it in Crete if I tried anyway.

Admittedly there are other factors like what are you going to buy in Crete and will it look right, new stuff in old stone house, old stuff in modern concrete box, etc, etc.

Get somewhere to go first and then ship it, storage in the UK is cheap and you won't have the humidity, insect problems you might have in Crete.

I looked at three overland carriers, all expensive when you factor in, they don't supply packing materials, you have to pack it yourself and you will also have to help load the vehicle.

Shop around, my most expensive quote was 2k over the price above. Also watch the insurance, most removal companies quote 3% of replacement value. I got 1.25% direct from a maritime insurance broker.

Let me know if you want contacts.

Head out West, East Crete is crap, nothing here, not even worth a visit.

Good luck
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

Retired in Crete

Postby Retired in Crete » Mon Oct 29, 2007 11:16 pm

andheath wrote:I looked at three overland carriers, all expensive when you factor in, they don't supply packing materials, you have to pack it yourself and you will also have to help load the vehicle.


We used an overland carrier (Nomad) in March '05. at a total cost of £2,068.00 (£1760 plus £308 VAT) for a ten cubic meter container.

Their quotation included:
Packing materials, 4 weeks free storage (additional storage if reqd £12.50 per week), Goods in transit insurance, Export packing of furniture.

They packed everything, loaded the container and sealed it while we watched. In Crete they asked us to watch as they broke the seal, they put everything where we asked them to and unwrapped it as well. All we did was to provide refreshments!

Other than the above, I agree with everything that Andy has said. In our case we had a number of items which, to us, were irreplaceable. Also being surrounded with familiar furniture makes a new place much more of a home.


(added later) PS
We bought a Dell laptop before we left. Bad mistake, even though we got an enormous discount through my wifes work. Dell will not supply parts to anyone for repairs, machine has to go back to Dell for repair. So buy a laptop in Crete and make sure it can be serviced/repaired here!

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Postby andheath » Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:14 am

I have heard Nomad are very good, unfortunately never heard of them till it was too late. I don't know cubic meters in a 20' container but I suppose if you work it out it is on a par. Fact remains you brought your stuff over.

John. Dell. Really. I bet you had an eight track cartridge for the car and a Betamax video in the house.
This Cretan Adventure thing is way beyond a joke.

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Postby Nita » Tue Oct 30, 2007 8:56 am

My own experience was pretty much as John's (Retired in Crete) and for a 20' container I paid around 4,500 pounds over 3 years ago. In addition to the 4 weeks free storage I needed a further 10 days storage, but the company I used only charged for one week (I used a local company based in Norfolk). The only problem was the paperwork at this end to get the container released from customs in Iraklio. Suggest you read through the following thread: Cretan Adventure part 2 - 42 days to go.

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Postby moggieman » Wed Oct 31, 2007 10:47 am

The Creten flyer also stores goods moved by him.

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Postby moggieman » Wed Oct 31, 2007 11:05 am

Sorry forgot to say

I purchased a computer here on Crete was assured it was english compatable NO it wasnt Greek only

Ended up going back to U.K. to buy one. And computers now do not have internal modems (no good if you are on dial up ).

Found an end of line at Comet that still had one in.

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Re: computers

Postby filippos » Wed Oct 31, 2007 4:01 pm

moggieman wrote:Sorry forgot to say

I purchased a computer here on Crete was assured it was english compatable NO it wasnt Greek only

Ended up going back to U.K. to buy one.
You must have gone to the wrong place, moggieman. I bought my current PC here (in Kalyves) and just asked for an English language version of Windows XP which I got with no problem BUT I later discovered it was a "hookey" version that I couldn't update so I went to a computer shop in Xania and bought an English language version off the shelf and installed that. No problem since then.

As for the internal dial-up modem I've just looked at one web site and they're showing a couple of V92 56K internal modems for under 10 Euros or you could probably pick one up off e-bay. Alternatively, there are several 56K external modems to choose from at about 17 Euros.

There are several helpful computer shops in Xania and the one I prefer is Inter@ctive Computer Centre in Apokoronou.


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moving to Crete

Postby OrientalE10 » Wed Oct 31, 2007 6:45 pm

Just sent you a PM


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