CRETE : Greece


What It Is Like to Retire in CRETE

Crete is the largest and most populous (over 600,000) of the Greek Islands in the Mediterranean Sea.  It was the center of the Minoan civilization, the first in Europe.  The capital city is Heraklion. The island is quite mountainous with one peak well over 2000 meters. It is also one of the most popular vacation destinations in Greece.  First photo is taken from space by NASA (public domain). Photo of Matala beach courtesy of Wikipedia and Nikater, photo of Palace of Knossos courtesy of Wikipedia and Olaf Tausch, Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0/


Where to Retire in CRETE and Home Prices

There are several cities such as the capital, Heraklion. The Venetian old city and port of Chania attracts many retirees from the UK and around Europe.  Many others favor the picturesque villages. Small apartments and homes in some areas start around 50,000 Euros and go well over 1 million for large and luxury properties.


What Is Special about CRETE

This is a beautiful island with great beaches and picturesque mountains and gorges. There are some excellent nature preserves.  It is large enough to have cities and infrastructure, but small enough to have charm.


What Is Not Special about CRETE

Living on an island can have its drawbacks. The Greek debt crisis and its relationship with the rest of the EU is problematic, although Crete's economy is much stronger than the rest of the country's.


Who Will Like Retirement in CRETE

Greeks and Europeans looking to retire in a lower paced place will like it here, as will those who love the outdoors.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Although tourism has always been the mainstay, there is a lot of agriculture and some manufacturing. The economy seems quite independent from the rest of Greece; the unemployment rate is a fraction.


Climate and Physical Environment

Set in the warming influence of the Mediterranean, Crete has a nice year round climate. Summertime averages are in the 20s and 30s (C.) (over 80 F), and wintertime temps are generally mild.  Some mountain tops remain snow covered year round.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

As a tourist destination you can be sure there are many good restaurants. Heraklion has an Archaeological Museum, and there are many sites of ruins throughout the island. The University of Crete has a Natural History museum.



Crime is generally low except for tourist related crime in some spots.


Medical Facilities

There are medical centers around the country as well as the University Hospital in Heraklion.



Many tourists arrive at the main airport in Heraklion, although others come by the extensive Greek ferry system.


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