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A Guide to Crete - The Lifestyle

Living in the Sun - International Property Sales

Information kindly provided by Living in the Sun -

The Lifestyle
Picture waking at around 8.30am in your own Crete property, slipping out of bed onto the terrace, already warm in the morning sun - sipping a chilled orange juice, you can plan the day ahead.

Imagine exploring a tiny cove framed by headlands clad in pine and cypress trees, walking to a simple taverna set on the edge of a little harbour where brightly-painted fishing boats bob on the turquoise sea, stumbling on a solitary whitewashed chapel hidden at the end of a donkey track. Think of a late supper in the old village with your new friends and neighbours, sampling the local wine whilst your meal cooks slowly over the charcoal fire. Then finally back to your Crete property, to the silence of the countryside at night, to sleep, dreaming of the next day….

In a word – Wonderful !  The days in the sun fly by.

crete property, crete properties, crete real estate

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The island of Crete is one of the most naturally healthy places in the world to live and own a Crete property, where the people incorporate thousands of plants and herbs as part of everyday nutrition. The islanders have developed a particular diet which has now been proved to be one of the healthiest in the world.
Research started in 1960 and using data from seven countries concluded in 1986 that as a result of that diet, Cretan people suffered notably fewer deaths as a result of heart attacks, various forms of cancer and other diseases compared to all the other places in the study.

The basics of this diet are bread, pulses, nuts, vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, olive oil, cheese, spices and wine. From these ingredients spring the delicious array of Cretan specialities.

From a separate study it was concluded that not only was the Mediterranean cuisine better for the heart and produced fewer heart attacks, but the Cretan diet in particular was extremely healthy. A large part is played by the island's olive oil which is produced in vast quantities on Crete and is a basic ingredient in a multitude of dishes. So not only does Crete offer a healthy climate but a particularly excellent diet.


A 10% service charge is included in most restaurant bills, so tipping isn’t necessary unless the service has been particularly good.

The local time is two hours ahead of English time. 

There are plenty of sporting activities, horse trekking is available, and all the water sports – windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, sailing and Fishing.

There are excellent diving opportunities, and the rocky coves offer good snorkeling in the clear waters.

Golf is available at 4 International courses; these are situated in Glyfada (Athens), Corfu, Halkidiki, Rhodes and Elunda in Eastern Crete. There is a new Golf course under construction close to Iraclion and there are several new courses planed.

Tennis is available in many places – and is becoming very popular in Greece.

Walking, photography and painting can all take advantage of the history, archaeology and natural beauty – a good way to see Greece as well as enjoy a hobby.

Mountain Biking is excellent by the sea or up in the Mountains. There are thousands of well-maintained trails and old donkey/goat tracks to explore. Hiking is equally good.

Skiing and Snowboarding, The Greek season starts in December till mid April, and there are 14 ski resorts to choose from.


Throughout Greece and the European continent you drive on the right hand side of the road.

Driving is fine in a car, though on two wheels you need to take care, as car drivers don’t pay as much attention to motorcyclists as they might. The main roads are pretty good, but the country lanes require care and attention. Mountain tracks will need a 4-wheel drive to negotiate.

Road sign distances are in Kilometres.

Speed limits are 50km/h (30mph) in cities and towns, 80km/h (50mph) outside cities and towns and 100km (60mph) on Highways. The Highways are toll roads charging a set amount per car.

There is no car road tax in Greece, and fully comprehensive insurance is likely to be about £310 (450 Euro). Petrol is about 58p per litre!

Private diesel cars are not allowed because the fumes destroy the ancient monuments. Foreign cars are except from this rule.

Car rental will be £20-£30 per day, depending on size and duration of hire. For 15 days plus, the smallest might cost £18, and a 4WD between £25 and £40.

Most car rental companies will provide you with a road map.


Business hours operate around a typical siesta at midday.

Opening hours in summer are usually 0900-1400 and 1700-2200, with no afternoon opening. The exception being tavernas and bars that usually stay open all day and evening till the last person goes home. In winter shops usually open from 0900 till 1400 and then 1800-2100.

Public holidays tend to be religious in origin.:-

Jan 1 st New Years Day.
Jan 6 th Epiphany.
Feb 23 rd Green Monday
Mar 25 th  Independence Day.
Apr 9 th   Orthodox Good Friday.
April 12 th Orthodox Easter Monday.
May 1 st   Labour Day.
May 31 st Whit Monday (Pentecost)
Aug 15 th Assumption.
Oct 28 th Ochi Day.
Dec 25 th Christmas Day. 
Dec 26 th Boxing Day

It’s an easy task – labelling is sometimes in English as well as Greek in the supermarkets. Local dairy products are much in evidence, and you’ll find delicious fresh vegetables, salads, fruit and fish.

The busy street markets are recommended for farm products and meat. Bargaining is not that usual, though if goods are unmarked you could try for up to 20%.


The Athens News and Athens Daily Post are both published daily in English. Foreign newspapers are pricey – perhaps £1.50 for the Times.

Local radio stations often broadcast in English.

BBC world service is at: MHz 12.10 9.410 6.195 and 3.955

Voice of America: MHz 15.26 9.760 1.197 0.792

The local TV stations do feature a lot of foreign material with its original soundtrack, so you will find English programmes. Satellite TV is available.


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