With so many potential destinations in the world to choose between, finding that ideal retirement option can certainly prove to be daunting. After all, not only are there literally hundreds of countries to consider, but there are often dozens and dozens of resorts and towns within each country to work your way through—talk about an absolute nightmare! Greece is no exception to this rule: what with there being so many different islands to consider and that is even before you look at the mainland and Halkidiki.
So, in order to save you some considerable time in this regard, how about we just cut to the chase here and state that the island of Crete is highly likely to be a great place to retire to as it offers so much more than the other, always smaller islands in the archipelago. This article aims at setting-out some of the things you should know about Crete in order for you to determine whether this island would be the most ideal for you.
1. A Great Way-of-life
The Greeks are very well known for their relaxed way-of-life and this can definitely be yours if you look to retire to Crete. This means you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life back in your home country and choose a lifestyle that would enable you to grab the peace and tranquillity you crave in later life.
2. A Good Choice of Towns and Resorts
Being the largest of the Greek islands, this means you have a huge choice of potential towns and resorts to retire to. If you tend to prefer an area that has a real buzzing vibe you will find plenty of resorts to cater to such requirements. However, if laid-back peace and quiet is more your thing, there are dozens of areas on Crete that fall in well with these criteria, as well.
3. An Excellent Road Network
A main motorway runs across the entire length of Crete and this means it is always easy to get around the island. You will tend to find that the vast majority of larger towns and resorts are all concentrated in the north of the island—including the capital, Heraklion—and development has been rather linear on Crete. The interior of the island is very mountainous and this can mean journeys down to the south are a little longer as you venture along high mountain roads. Nevertheless, even here, the road network is perfectly adequate on Crete.
4. Spectacular Scenery!
The mountains which run along the entire spine of Crete mean that this is one truly awesome part of the world if you like spectacular scenery. Often, you might find a lovely beach with a mountainous backdrop: this type of scene really is synonymous with what to expect on the island of Crete. The mountains in the interior can reach heights of well over 2,000m and this means they will often be draped in snow during the main winter months.
5. Reasonable Housing Prices
The average cost of buying or renting a property on Crete is actually quite reasonable when compared with other smaller islands in Greece. The general rule-of-thumb seems to be pertinent on Crete: in that if you head a few miles inland, you will tend to find that average house prices and rents will fall accordingly. However, if you are after a property with an amazing vista, you should be prepared to pay a premium for this. The same is true for properties with sea views.
If you were to compare the cost of living on Crete with countries in the north of Europe and Australia, you would find that it is definitely cheaper in Greece. Food prices are generally quite reasonable but you should expect to pay a little more for your favorite foods if they have been imported. Drawing a comparison with living expenses in the US, the rate would be quite similar on Crete. It is definitely possible to enjoy a good standard of living on Crete with a few meals out each week and every comfort you had back home at a monthly figure that is a smidge below what you may have been paying in your home country.
Many people who travel to Crete find that they fall in love with the island straight away. If you are contemplating the possibility of retiring to the largest Greek island, make sure you book yourself a couple of weeks first to find out if this destination is right for you to settle in.