We moved here to an area near Patra on the seaside. We built a home during the years 2000-2004. Since we were still in the USA it took several trips to get some things done and decided.
Our little plot of land was given to us by my father-in -law and we built on it. It is seaside on the Patras Gulf.
Summer is so nice, all the other residents come , the street is filled with cars, kids are playing, people are walking visiting talking, swimming. Then September everyone disappears.
They go to their winter dwellings for school, work and heated homes.
The peacefulness is quite a shock after each colorful summer. It is a bit depressing and lonely.
I always think about finding a place in the big city during this time, to be able to walk out my door and see people! To shop without using a car to get to the next town, to be able to buy just what I need for the day or 2 instead of a car full to the brim (to avoid shopping so often)!
Patras area is very expensive, the city is in a constant state of road repairs for the last 7 years. Earthquake damaged buildings are still being torn down, and constant excavations keep different roads inaccessible with no warning or alternate routes..SURPRISE! You can't get there from here! : > )
Gloom & Doom- visit first
I have been living here for over 30 years & all I can say is you had better have money is you want to live well. 2500 Euro a month & I have no debts. More so now than before the Euro. I live in a suburb of Athens, Halandri. As all places it has grown but is still a non violent and close to everything. I live in a very quite area close to the embassies, transport, stores & can be in the center in 15 minutes subway.
If you are used to living in the UK country side you can probably live in one of the more remote areas in Greece but is you are not don't try it.
The same goes if you have ANY health or mobility problems. God help you if you are wheelchair bound.
I have a private UK health insurance that costs us a lot but I sleep well know I can afford to go to any hospital here or anywhere in the world as I wish. IKA is a disaster. Yes you can see doctors & get operations but you will still have to pay under the table for it & most of the hospital are crowed, dirty & with very limited facilities. Most vets have better facilities in the UK. If you have a serious problem: cancer, chronic problems & such unless you have money forget it. I could write a book on the people I know that thought they would be taken care of by IKA & paid the price, sometimes with their life. If nurses & aids are not paid well & then not for 4 months at a clip what do you expect!
For example: I have many of these stories but I recently had someone with cancer, & not much money, stay in the hospital for 6 weeks prior to death. IKA pays for a nurse for 8 hours a day @ night. Who watches you for the rest of the 16 hours,hanges sheets when you dirty them, feeds & washes you & moves you, NO ONE. You have to hire private people, not registered who get min. 7 to 10 Euro an hour & more on the weekend. That's about 5000 Euro for the stay plus a LOT of extras. No free papers, creams. or even urine bags! You pay for everything. See for yourself & go to a few of them it will be full of relatives that cannot afford this amount & literally live there until the end one way or the other.
The care is as minimal as it can be. There are some nice ones but far & few between & if you problem is not specific to that hospital you WILL BE MOVED to the specialty one that is usually the worst.
I love Greece & have the finances to remain here otherwise I would go elsewhere. Nothing is cheap here anymore & except for the weather it is nearly as expensive as the UK.
Panama maybe. GREAT HOSPITAL & RETIREMENT Programs if you like the life.
I expect a lot of rants from this but the bottom line is to come here& rent for a few months, see some state hospitals, look at the living costs & ask questions.
These are supposed to be your twilight years don't make them your midnight ones!
I do still find that the food quality and prices are less expensive (for now!), especially at the laiki agora (peoples market).
I still wonder and am puzzled by many of the laws and methodology of government here. For example, to order the pump truck for our septic I have to go the the sanitation department and get the paper with the order, then go to another building and pay the fee, then go back to the sanitation department and turn in my paid receipt. Seems like so many things could be simplified and so many Gov't employees are actually redundant and do not have the attitude that they are public employees. So many of the Gov't employees I have had the misfortune to need a service from seem to act like they are doing you a special favor- just for doing their job. mmmm...
Luckily, I am very healthy only visiting a doctor for a once a year physical, but who knows what can happen down the road. I love the beach so I think I will stick with Central America because I can tell from most posts that Europe is going to be much more expensive. It is my favorite location, but we must do what we can afford. Thank you all for your posts that helped me make up my mind.
My wife & I retired and spend time in Greece when it suits us. We have a house on Aegina which is very convenient to get to from Athens Airport. Life here suits us nicely but my advice is :
1. Don't give up a firm base in UK. I've lived and worked abroad in many places in my life. UK is, actually, a great place. You only appreciate it when you leave it.
2. Life in Greece is NOT inexpensive.
3. Whatever you think your budget is - double it!
4. Always ask three people for advice on any subject and then trust your own judgement.
On the big plus side, we went for a swim today and the water was WARM!
QUOTE=dorsetknob;158386]My wife and I are approaching retirement and are looking for somewhere that our pensions will stretch further than in the UK. We've always liked the Greek Islands, so are trying to get as much unbiased practical information as we can.
Especially from anyone who has made a similar move. We are thinking of renting initially, so some idea of long term rental rates would be a help. Plus a guide to the cost of living. Health care issues. Suggestions of the most suitable islands/areas. And any more relevant information that anyone has would be greatly appreciated.
I think that you have a wealth of advice from other EPAT forum colleagues already, but just to add a little more, we moved to the beautiful island of Kefalonia in the summer and a two bed detached bungalow costs around 400 euros a month to rent with water costing next to nothing and electricity bills and heating oil costs in line with the UK. As other members say, general shopping is quite expensive with tha absence of supermarket offers except Lidl. If I offer one piece of advice it is most definately to rent a property while you settle into your new country giving you time to get to know local areas and their dynamics well before making major purchase commitments. In the current climate it also protects you from new property taxes being levied on property owners. If you require any assistance with removal to Greece then I have contacts that may be useful to you - don't hesitate to ask. I have absolutely no regrets about the move and renting for the forseeable future and love the island in which I now live which is only 3 hours by daily ferry from Patras on the mainland.
Evia people ARE more friendly and gentler than the mainland Greeks. What a difference if you compare them with Peloponnesians! However, there is one thing that you should keep in mind, in addition to the above. Eviotes (Euboeans) will not help you with any problems you may have, e.g. finding a home, or personal emergencies. They will invite you to their homes, something that the Peloponnesians do not do as a rule, but do not ask them to do something for you, even if it is an emergency. The other place I encountered this was in Puerto Rico. Really friendly people and straightforward, unlike backstabbing Americans, but do not ask them to do something for you.
Maniates (Kardamyli and the general area) are straightforward but hospitality has waned as traditions are put aside.
One common trait with Peloponnesians and Evia people is their cruelty to animals. If you are sensitive to animal cruelty stay off these places. In Evia they poisoned one of my dogs (I had three dogs), and forced me to move 4 times in 5 years, on two of those occasions threatening to kill me if I did not move out within te few hours. The police made fun of the event and went on the side of the owners.
A very recent horrifying incident of Anna, a brave horse, has shaken up animal lovers. You may read the story at
Tourists to Greece could help change some nasty traits in Greeks, who are nice and in may respects lovable, by giving publicity to objectionable behaviors, and not giving their business to these areas.
Originally Posted by mike-n
: The Greek Airforce has a pilot training base near Messini. Horrid jet sound almost daily, day and night.
I live to the west of Kalamata airport, in fact I can just see it from the balcony of my house. Training flights tend to head north-east and very seldom at night. Just 15 minutes from the venue we hear no noise at all this side......
mike-n,hello.i fully agree with you about Eviotes (Euboeans).
Have been living here for 20 years,raised my sons......
live 50 meters from sea but have no friends nor find people here grateful.
Nearing the age of 60,am also considering Syros since have read there is a hospital
on island;also,travelling to nearby islands seems fun in summer.
I do need more information about Syros before deciding.thanks for sharing levemal
Before buying anywhere,I suggest renting for a full year,to be sure you like the new move.
Once sure,then buy if you want own home.
Each country has its plus and minus and we all are unique giving us the
freedom to choose where to live to fulfill our needs.
I personally am looking at island of Syros information online before I decide
to move from euboia.
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