This is one man's guide to
Crete, whether you are holidaying; intending to or
already to living here is meant to give a clear and
blatantly biased account of the joys and sorrows it can
involve. Albeit through the eyes of a converted English
Grecophile building a new home in retirement.
The possibility of
living in Crete, judging by the number of different
nationalities who have realised their dream into Bricks
and mortar, or more commonly concrete and steel, has a
common appeal. Our experience is that most originate from
Northern Europe. It is by no means uncommon to meet
French; German; English; Swiss; Danish and even Irish
people living here on both a temporary work or permanent,
sometimes in retirement, basis. Even in fairly remote
Many of the
younger residents who originate from outside Greece are
working in the tourist industry on seasonal contracts. Or
have followed or preceded the now famous Shirley
Valentine and become Greek by marriage. The male of this
species seems an unknown entity. Probably because
traditionally men take their wives back to their own
One of my occasional and intentionally humorous declarations is that - "If I had wanted to be surrounded by Englishmen I would have chosen to live in England!" My wife and I did not seek and still do not seek to live among an expatriate community and do not do so. Our neighbours are for the most Cretans. Most speak only Greek. Having said that, Crete is a very welcoming and
beautiful island. It's people must be the warmest on earth. It would be selfish to expect to keep it to ourselves.
At the same time I believe that it would be wrong to expect the Cretans to have to adapt to my lifestyle. Or to allow expatriates to outnumber the local populations, driving up property prices so that the younger generations here cannot afford to buy what is in fact their heritage. I asked to be part of this particular community and am doing my level best to be the one doing the adapting.
here in 1994 we have practically completed our own home.
In doing so we we had to learn how. In doing that we
gained much valuable experience and gained many contacts
and new friends who have helped us along the way. Our
website is an attempt to make as much of our experience
as possible available to anyone who is interested, or who
might be contemplating a similar course of action. We
hope that it will help those who make the same moves to
avoid the pitfalls which can, and sometimes do, break
arms; legs; hearts; and bank balances!
Since our own
experience began with a holiday, we make no apology for
including our own brief guide. Had our first holiday on
Crete been a failure we would in all probability have
never returned. Our loss would have been inestimable.