Vida Hospitality Team

Retire in Greece

All you need to know for your retirement in Greece

How to retire in Greece

At this article, we will present you all you need to know before you decide to retire in Greece. Well, relocating to another country is not that easy but at the same time not that difficult. As everything in the life requires some commitment, some research in order to gain all the information needed that make it look easier and some action from your side!

Vida Hospitality team nafplio

My name is Panagiotis Totsikas, I am based in Nafplio and I am operating with my brother Vasilis, serviced apartments in the city for both short and long term stay. I wrote this article because we are getting often inquires from people who are interested in relocating in Greece – either for a living and working here or to enjoy their retirement. So, I thought that this article can be a base for those of you who plan to relocate in Greece, for any reason!

Retire in Greece - Find all you need to know

Retire in Greece. Below you will find information about visa requirements, the cost of living, the health system in the country, taxes, criminality, how to open a bank account and the cultural change that you should expect when you will visit the country.  In case of you feel that you need more information and you need further directions or you have any kind of question, feel always free to live chat with us. It will be our pleasure to support you. (I apologize in advance for my English!)


Retire in Greece - Visa

Well first and foremost the most important question that you need to answer is how long can you stay in the country as a non-resident and what are the options for you in case you want to stay longer.

If you plan to stay less than 90 days in the country then no matter where you come from you can easily do it with the standard tourist visa that will be obtained to you at the border once you arrive in Greece or will automatically be connected to your passport upon arrival with no other preparation or action required. You will just have to leave the country or Europe in general before the expiration of the 90-day period for all the EU citizens and the non-EU citizens respectively.

Now if your plan is to stay longer than 90 days in the country, then you will have to follow a different procedure depending on the country of your residency as Greece is a member of the European Union. So, the two main categories that we will separate it is, first if you are a resident of one of the other countries that are also members of the European Union and second if you are resident of a country outside of the European Union.

If you are resident of another European Union country and you wish to stay in Greece for a period longer than the 90 days then at the end of the 90 day period you need to physically present at a local authority department (depends on the area of the country that you are at the time but in most cases the police station belongs to these departments) and apply for the permit. The required information and documents for all the retired people who apply for the permit are listed below:


  • Proof that you have enough income from legal activities (2.000€ liquid income per month + 400€ liquid income for the spouse)


  • Proof that you have enough funds at a bank institution in Greece or a foreign bank institution that legally allows money exchanges with Greece (24.000€ for stay of one year + 4.800€ for your spouse).
  • Full health insurance from an institution that fully covers you in Greece for all the period that you wish to stay in the country
  • A valid ID card or a valid passport
  • The address of your residence in the country


The authority will run the procedure and give you the certification that will contain your full name, the address of your residency and the date of the application. This should be given to you at the time you apply as you have all the documents needed and should cost no more than 100-200€ per application. You should always carry this document along with your id card otherwise you might get a fine. Just for you to know not carrying the documents with you all the time, by itself is not an important reason to send you back to your country. The certification document does never expire but you should report to the authorities any change at your address of residency in the country so to update your certification.


Keep in mind that for all the above required documents that you will have you will probably need an official translation from the official language of the documents to Greek. If you google it, you will find many companies-lawyers that translate in Greek but as we do not have experience with them, we will only provide you information for the official governmental institution that translates documents in Greece. (You need to know that usually there are delays – Just to be safe we would recommend you to visit them a month in advance).

Official Institution in Greece for translation HERE.


Below is the information for the immigration department in Greece:

Phone number: +30-213-152-0427

Email address:


In case you face difficulties with the permit you can submit an enquiry or complaint HERE.

For all of you who are non-EU citizens and wish to travel and stay in Greece for a period longer that 90 days out of the 180-day period, you will first have to get a long-term visa (D) from the consulate and once in Greece you then can apply for the residency permit. The basic requirements to see if you can be approved for the visa are the same as the EU citizens:


  • Proof that you have enough income from legal activities (2.000€ liquid income per month + 400€ liquid income for the spouse)


  • Proof that you have enough funds at a bank institution in Greece or a foreign bank institution that legally allows money exchanges with Greece (24.000€ for stay of one year + 4.800€ for your spouse).
  • Full health insurance from an institution that fully covers you in Greece for all the period that you wish to stay in the country
  • A valid ID card or a valid passport


If you meet the above basic requirements then you will have to contact the Greek/Hellenic Embassy and/or Consulate in your country and get the most up to date information about the procedure that you have to follow in order to get a residency permit. You can find the Greek Embassies around the world HERE. Find the country of your residency and at the bottom of the page you can find the one located closest to you and once you click on it, it will open you a new page with information about the location and contact details of the Embassy-Consulate.


The most common documents that they will additionally require from you are listed below:


  • Passport photos
  • A clear criminal record from all the countries that you have lived in from a period longer than 6 months. Keep in mind that the criminal record should be dated no more than 6 months before the application process.
  • Medical clearance-certificate that shows that you do not have any serious health problems.


The application will typically cost you 100-200€ and you will be required to have at least some blank pages at your passport in order for the visa to be obtained on it. In addition, typically the Greek Embassy will interview you. Once the visa has been approved you will have to book your tickets for flying to Greece and let the Embassy know (send them copies of the tickets) so to date your visa.


Upon arriving in Greece, practically you have up to the date of the expiration of your visa to apply for a residency permit but we would highly recommend you to apply once you arrive because usually there are delays when dealing with governmental departments in Greece in general!


There are different departments in Greece that deal with the residency permits depending on which part of the country you will stay but in general the local police station has a specific department that deals with it.


At the police department they will probably require again the same documents (and they need to be up to date) as at the consulate plus the address of your residency in Greece. Once your application has been filed in order to be sent for examination, the officer will give you a certificate that shows that you already have applied and you should always carry this document with you along with a piece of ID, usually your passport. In order to be aware of the process of your application, you should often follow up with the police station as they might not call you to give you the official answer. Once your residency permit has been approved you will be given a card that lasts for two years and can be renewed every three years.


In general, all the information given above contain the details about the process that you will have to follow in order to obtain a residency permit in Greece. For the most accurate and up to date information you will have to contact the Greek/Hellenic Embassy-Consulate in your country and they should inform you in detail.


We would highly recommend you to consult an immigration lawyer who will be able to guide you properly and help you with all the process. You can find a list of immigration lawyers based in Greece HERE.


In addition to the information above you should be aware that there is a new law that applies to the European countries for non-EU citizens and welcomes the “rich” , the Golden Vida Program where if you invest 250.000€ in a piece of Real Estate or if you rent a holiday apartment for a period of at least 10 years and invest again 250.000€ in Greece you can get a residency permit. Each European country has its own amount that is required to be invested.


Retire in Greece - Cost of living

The second important question – regarding your decision to retire in Greece –  that you will have to answer is what is the cost of living in Greece? How much passive income should I have in order to live nicely in Greece?

Well, the answer of course cannot be just a number. It all depends about the lifestyle that you desire to have and the area that you will decide to relocate in. On the one hand there are families in Greece that live with 800€ per month and feel that they have everything they want – and on the other hand, in Greece you can also find families that feel that 5.000€ is less than enough to enjoy the lifestyle they want and trust me both families are right! In Greece you can enjoy a lifestyle with as little as 800€ per month and you can find things to do were 5.000-10.000€ per month is not enough.

In general, I would say that with 2.000-4.000€ per month you can enjoy a nice lifestyle without actually missing anything. History has shown that the highest expense of a family after taxes is the cost of housing and the cost of the supermarket. The same applies in Greece.

Let me tell you a story first.

The majority of the properties in Greece, were constructed in the period between 1960-1990 because during this period it was very common that the “constructors” that had the plan to build in order to sell, were actually trading the land of the owner with one or two apartments of the newly constructed building. Nothing bad about that, the problem starts when we scan the “constructors”. Except from some real professional companies that are full-time real builders and know exactly what and how to do it, the majority of the “constructors” were people who had a different job and decided that they can evolve part-time in the industry of the construction in order to achieve the high profits! As a result, in Greece you will find a lot of cases were the entire building or a big part of it, is illegal and doesn’t appear to the governments city plans, properties with very poor quality of materials made, architecture and design. The biggest problem according to me is that all the aforementioned situation led to a big portion of the real estate in Greece being buildings with low insulation, buildings with high levels of moisture, buildings that need to consume high quantities of energy in order to live in and this is a problem that everyone can see at the utility bills especially the energy (and at the bone pain – LOL). In addition, the main heating system in most of the Greek properties works with oil, and oil is a high taxable commodity in Greece so even if the winter in most parts of Greece is mild, still if you really want to have a warm house, it might cost you a lot (The winter of 2019 in order to warn the house that I rent, I spent approx. 200-250€ per month at the oil bill– I feel comfortable only if the temperature is above 22 oC – or the property manager was stealing from me – LOL). I forgot to mention that there might be a chance not to be able to have access to oil, as the oil in Greek properties is charged through the common area expenses and if the tenants argue about it, the property manager will not refill it so you have to base your heat only at the A/C or if the building policy allow it you can, at your own cost, install the system to have your own independent heating system. The good thing is that there were a lot of people feeling the same as I feel and in Athens the infrastructure is ready so a lot of properties have switched gas with oil and the bill is a way lower but at the most parts of the country the infrastructure is not ready yet! Anyway, I said all that because I want you to be aware of possible problems that might affect your stay.

So, let’s go back to the cost of housing. Regarding the rent, it depends on the area that you will decide to live. The increased tourism activity along with the Airbnb that allows a lot of small landlords take advantage of the industry, has raised the rents, especially in the tourist areas, including Athens. I would say that a safe rent for a newer nice built house would be between 400-600€ for a unfurnished one bedroom (60-70 sq.m. / 650-750 sq.ft), and 600-900€ for an unfurnished bigger 2-3 bedroom house in a normal area including Athens. I would like to make a point here. When we say unfurnished in Greece, we mean that the house will not have neither furniture nor electric devices (oven, fridge, washing machine etc.). If you choose to stay in most high-end areas or if you prefer a furnished apartment the price will be higher. The price above is only for the rent. In addition, you should have to pay the common area expenses – cleaning of the building, common area electricity and water bills, property taxes. So, the cost for the cam varies from building to building and also sometimes it depends on the floor that you live / usually it will be between 20-60€ per month. On top of that you probably will pay for the internet and phone aprox 25-60€ depending on the plan and the provider. The nice thing comparing to other countries is that the cable is free of charge! Last you will have to pay the utilities (water and electricity bills). It all depends with the consumption but as an average I would say that 10-30€ per month for the water bill and 40-80€ per month for the electricity bill for a normal use including the daily use of the oven and the washing machine would be safe.

Overall check at the table below the cost of housing in Greece:

*Rent:                          1 bed = 400-600€.                               2-3 bed = 600-900€

*Cam:                                         20-60€ 

*Internet:                                    25-60€

*Water:                                       10-30€

*Electricity:                                40-80€  


 Unfurnished Apt.                1 bedroom                                  2-3 bedroom

*Total housing:                      495-830€                                    695-1170€

Maybe the above costs will seem a little higher than the cost of living from some other websites, but just to make it clear my calculations are for a normal-good quality house. Trust me and if you see that I am wrong keep the extra cost as a gift for yourself! If you are willing to discount the quality of the house that you will live you will get a better price.

When it comes to searching for a rental property in Greece there are some good websites with a lot of properties listed such as HERE, HERE and HERE. Keep in mind that most of the properties that are listed at the above websites are unfurnished. In case you want to find some furnished apartments, you can search HERE, or another good option would be to contact the owner through Airbnb and ask him/her if he/she offers a long term stay!

Well, in the country there are based some huge chains of supermarkets such as AB Basilopoulos, Sklavenitis, Lidl, My Market and there are some smaller grocery stores – mini markets. The majority of the locals will go to the chains once or twice a week to buy most of the products needed for the household and they will use the mini-markets for some small staff that they forgot or run out during the week. The mini-markets usually are a little more expensive due to the less competitive buying advantage but a good thing about them is that they buy groceries from local producers that gives them an advantage to the quality of the products. Again, it all depends about the quantity and the quality of the products that you want to have in your house and also it depends about how much do you eat but in general I would consider that somewhere between 350-500€ per month would be a safe number for a couple. At the above cost I include meat 2-3 times per week and the cleaning staff!

You can find the catalogue of the chain supermarkets HERE, HERE and HERE.

One major industry that brings a big portion of the GDP of the country are the cafes and the restaurants. During the decades between 1990-2020 a lot of people decided to enter the industry and open a café or a snack bar or a delivery coffee shop or something similar. As a result, in every part of Greece, especially at the tourist areas you can find a variety of places where you can enjoy a coffee or have dinner. Some of them have amazing location right next to the water, some other are located in a corner building in downtown and some of them in the square of a small village somewhere in Greece. In general, I would say that due to the quality of the Mediterranean products, most of them will offer a good meal or coffee. I wouldn’t actually say exactly the same thing about the service, as the economic contraction in the country the last decade has led a lot of the owners to the need to reduce the labor cost and as a result reducing the quality of the offering services. Do not take me wrong, there are some places with exceptional service and quality but usually they are a little more expensive than the others.

In addition, when Greeks will go for a coffee, usually they will keep the table of the store for 2-3 hours and this is another factor for which you will see higher prices at the coffee stores comparing to the other European countries where people mean 10-20 mins the coffee break.

As a result, I would say that a normal price for a cup of coffee or tea at a store would be 3-4€, a bottle of water 0,5€ and a snack between 3-6€.
Regarding the dinning, I would consider 15-25€ per person for a mid-range restaurant, including appetizer, main curse and drinks, 5-10€ per person for a fast food. Regarding the high-end restaurants, I can safely tell you that there are some of them but I cannot guarantee you the bill. I would highly recommend you to check the menu before choosing a high-end restaurant to see if it is in your budget range.

Also keep in mind that when it comes to the tip, the waiters are used to a small portion of the bill, nothing compared to a 10-20%. Usually the Greeks will round the bill so at a 4,5€ the 0,5€ tip is enough and at a 98€ bill the 2€ again is enough. If you leave a 5€ tip at a 100€ bill the waiter will be more than happy and if he/she remembers you the next time, he/she will treat you in a better way! Now if you are more generous no-one will say no to a higher tip!

The best source when it comes for recommendations for restaurants is HERE, where you actually can see the estimated cost per person and reviews from other customers as well.

*Fast Food:                             5-10€ per person

*Mid-Range Restaurant:         15-25€ per person

*High-End Restaurant:           


*Cup of Coffee-Tea:               3-4€

*Bottle of Water:                     0,5€

*Snack:                                   3-6€

Again, you can find a range of qualities and prices available. The e-commerce has increased its share in the market the recent years and as a result consumer can find good products at better prices. In the country there are limited places where you can find the high-end retail stores that have presence only in the major cities, Athens-Thessaloniki and maybe at the most elite tourist islands, Mykonos-Santorini. The leader as a discount retail store in the country are big retail stores that supply products from China. You can find them all across the country even in the smaller cities. Over there you can find a t-shirt or a dress or a pair of sandals for as less as 5-10€. A safe price range for the retail stores would be 40-70€ for a pair of shoes, 30-80€ for a dress, 60-120€ for a jacket, 25-60€ for a t-shirt, 50-120€ for a shirt.

The leader that has all the retail stores with e-commerce and as a result you can use as a good source of information for finding stores and compare prices as well is HERE. Unfortunately, the website is only in Greek but I assume most of the retailers will have the English version as a secondary language so you might want to use the auto translate.

*Dress:                        30-80€

*Jacket:                       60-120€

*Pair of Shoes:            40-70€

*T-shirt:                      25-60€

*Shirt:                         50-120€

For those of you who want to use a gym, you can find a lot of them available around the country. Most of them are smaller than what you are probably used to, but there are some huge gyms as well. A normal price range for a monthly subscription would be 30-50€ per month, but usually the biggest gyms have seasonal offers such as 100-120€ per year.

Also, in most cities of Greece, you will find the municipal gyms that are usually located next to the main stadium of the city and are free and in some areas, there are some outdoor gyms as well that belong to the municipality and are free as well. You can find the Gyms for Nafplio HERE, the discounted one HERE and HERE, the municipal gym HERE and the outdoor gym HERE. For Athens the most well-know one that usually has a lot of seasonal offers is HERE.

Monthly Subscription to a regular Gym:                     30-50€ per month

Monthly Subscription to a discounted Gym:               100-120€ per year



Retire in Greece - Healthcare

What will I do if I get sick in Greece?

Well, in Greece there is the public and the private health systems. To be honest with you, I would describe the public health system in Greece, the system for the lower income families. And, I say that because my personal feeling is that whoever could easily afford the private health system, they would definitely choose it. Do not take me wrong, at the public health system are working some of the best and most experienced doctors that you will find in Greece. The problem comes when the system is very slow sometimes and also the maintenance of the hospitals most of the times is not the best. The good news is, that if you have some money, you are totally free to use the private system as well and this makes things a lot easier. Especially when you have a health insurance that in your case will be asked from the government, the access to the private sector is easier. Usually when we get sick and we need to see a doctor, we will visit our family doctor who usually is a pathologist or a general doctor. Most of them have their own office somewhere in the country and they might do private visits at home if necessary. If we need a specialist then the family doctor will direct us and after some time, we will know some basic doctors (such as a dermatologist etc) so the next time we will go directly to the specialist if we are sure about the nature of the sickness. Also, the other good thing is that all across the country, especially at the bigger cities, there are plenty of all kinds of doctors so no matter where you will decide to stay, you can find them. Usually the cost will be somewhere between 30-60€ per visit depending on the doctor.

I would highly recommend you get a referral from whoever you know in the area that you will stay and ask them to suggest you a family doctor from when you can start.

If you need medication then the doctor will prescribe you whatever is necessary and you will go to a pharmacy and take it. Some medicine is available without prescription and most pharmacists will be able to help you for simple issues. There are plenty of pharmacies located across the country. At the normal business hours (8:30am-2:30pm and 5:30pm-9:00pm) all of them will be open and everyday there is an emergency one that will be open till midnight or 2:00am and after that they will have a phone number that you can call and they are obligated to service you. You can find all the pharmacies in Nafplio HERE. Regarding the emergency one, you can visit any pharmacy and they will have a notice at the front door with all the information you need.

Keep in mind that walking clinics the way that they work at some countries abroad do not exist in Greece and family doctors replace them but this doesn’t mean that there are not clinics at all. At most of the big cities and especially at the major cities of Greece there are clinics that replace the public hospitals. I would not recommend tho to visit them if you do not have insurance as they will be expensive without meaning that the cost will be forbitten.



Retire in Greece – Is it safe in Greece? What do I need to be aware of when it comes to safety in the country?

Well, I would generally consider Greece as a safe place to live. I say I would generally because I do not match Greece with Dubai where you can forget your laptop at a coffee shop and the next day to go and find it at the same place. It is not like that but at the same time it is not a bad place to live when it comes to safety. Let me take it from the other side. Will I leave my phone at the table and turn on the other side to discuss with a friend who is sitting next to me? No. If yes I will keep an eye to my phone. Will I lock the door in the night or leave the  window open in the summer time at night while I am sleeping? Personally, I will do it because first of all I cannot sleep when it is very hot and I believe that whoever will try to steal me will at least know if I might have anything valuable in the house that I do not have. (I keep it in the bank!). Most of the people that I know tho usually lock in the night. Will I go to swimming and leave my belongings at the sand? Yes, I will, but I will cover them and I will always keep an eye to my belongings. Am I afraid that I will go to my car and someone will kill me to take my car? I remember in my entire life (30 years old) only once or twice happening something similar and both times it happened at the worst reupdated neighborhoods of Athens. Am I afraid that I will go to the bank and I will face an armed robbery? Again, the last 15 years of my life that banks have changed their safety system in the front door I haven’t heard anything similar happening.

beaches in nafplio greece, nafplio town

In general, petty thefts are happening in Greece. Mostly in the big cities and in general where there are a lot of people you should be careful with your belongings. But regarding strong crimes, no it is very uncommon to see it in Greece. In most of the cases that we see at the news something similar happening, usually later on the police will figure out that it was a personal difference between each other and they knew each other for a long time. So, my advice. Be careful with whom you argue with but do not be scared in Greece! LOL


Retire in Greece –  the main categories of the taxes that the government in Greece charges the people are direct and indirect. Direct taxes would be income tax, the property taxes, social security taxes etc. Indirect taxes would be the VAT/HST (FPA in Greece) and some other type of taxes.

Regarding the VAT/HST/FPA in Greece it has changed very often the last years depending on who is the governor and how much does the government need for its balance sheet. For the most common products that a household buys the VAT is 24% and for some of them is 13% but keep in mind that at the price on the menu as a customer you see the final amount owed that includes all the taxes. In general, as I described at the cost of living section the prices are not too high so never mind.

If you become a permanent resident in Greece, or if you stay in the country for more than 183 days including short periods of presence abroad since your first day of presence in Greece, the law says that you need to file the taxes and pay income tax as well. You never pay tax twice on the income from another country while you file taxes in Greece, but you pay tho taxes on the income received reduced by the taxes that you paid abroad for this income only.

*The tax rates for the income from pensions are below:


  1. (0-20.000€) –  22%
  2. (20-30.000€) – 29%
  3. (30-40.000€) –  37%
  4. (>40.000€) – 45%

So, if your pension from back home is for ex. 35.000€ and you paid 5.000€ income tax, then in Greece you should pay taxes for the 35.000-5.000 = 30.000€.

And you belong to the brackets below:          

0-20.000€.                               – 22%. –                      Taxes Owed = 4.400€

20.001-30.000€                       – 29%. –                      Taxes Owed = 2.900€

                                                                        (30.000-20.000 = 10.000 X 29%)

Total Taxes Owed in Greece = 7.300€.

*The tax rates for the income from dividends/interest/royalties are below:

Source of Income                    Taxes owed – % of income

Dividends                                            10%

Interest                                                15%

Royalties                                             20%

*The Taxes for the income received from passive income from Real Estate is below:

  1. (0-12.000€) – 15%
  2. (12.001-13.000€) – 35%
  3. (35.001+) – 45%

 In Greece you should submit the tax declaration by 30 June of the following tax year. The payment shall be made in 3 equal bi-monthly installments as below:

1st Installment              by the last working day of July

2nd Installment             by the last working day of September

3rd Installment             by the last working day of November


After the economic situation the last decade there are four major bank institutions operating and located in Greece. National Bank of Greece (NBG), Alpha Bank, Eurobank, Piraeus Bank. In order to be able to open a bank account in one of these banks you will be required to have the Greek “AFM”. AFM is a number that you get from the Tax office in Greece and this 9-digit number is used by the government in order to identify you for tax and other purposes. Also, the second mandatory will be your up to date passport. Some of the banks might require extra documents including your recent mobile phone bill, recent utility bills, last tax return, latest monthly salary slip, a bank statement and a copy of your Birth certificate.

Keep in mind that still today there are a lot of people in Greece who are not familiar with the web and mobile banking and this is the reason that they visit personally the branch when needed and this might cause delays to your visit. I say that in order to inform you that you might face some more waiting time when visiting the branch and be prepared.

nafplio argolis greece, karathona beach

Since 2015 almost all the daily transactions in Greece were taking place in cash. People used to visit the ATMs and take cash to almost every expense they had. On 2015 tho, the then government came to a strong argument with the European Union and this led to the capital controls. Since then almost all the business that are operating in the country were introduced to the pos system and the same happened to the people. Today you will see a lot of people using their debit cards and pos systems are available everywhere. Still tho you can find a lot of ATMs across the country.

Retire in Greece – As a newcomer in Greece you need to know that you can use your debit card to buy anything or to take cash from an ATM. The money exchange and the cash that you will take tho will be in Euro, so if the currency back home is not Euro you will have to pay bank fees and, in most cases, it will cost you a lot. The most affordable way that I would do it, would be first of all to bring some cash into the country (Just for you to know when travelling with airplane the limit should be 10.000€ for each person) and exchange them into Greece in order to pay less fees (at the airport it will be more expensive) and I would open a virtual bank account where the cost for the exchange is smaller than the national banks. I personally use Revolute but I know that there are a lot of options. If I had to I wouldn’t mind to open more than one virtual accounts.


What should I expect to be different than in my country that might affect my daily life?

Well the main one thing that will probably be different than in your country and might affect you, will come from the interaction with the locals. So, the best thing that I can do is to explain you at my best, how is the Greek culture and the way Greeks do things.

Greeks are Mediterranean people with high contempt. You will very often hear Greeks saying that Greece is the best place to live in (even if they have never visited any other place in the world), that they are the smartest people in the room, that they have the best product, that the other person did something wrong and not them. They also know about almost everything that they have heard of. Just to give you an example when we in Greece get sick, the first thing we do instead of calling our doctor is to call our mom and get advised on what medicine will help us feel better! Also, another characteristic that we reap is that our hospitality is the best from all over the world.

Before living abroad, I had the same beliefs and some similar behaviors with a lot of things about Greeks. After three years in Canada, I will describe Greeks the way I see it now, and do not take me wrong this is my personal point of view (Almost everyone who has or had lived abroad agrees!). I would personally describe Greeks with a moto – It doesn’t matter “More”, Don’t worry!

The good thing about Greeks is that they will treat you the way you treat them, at least in most cases. The bad thing is that the way a Greek moves around daily in general, gives you the feeling that he/she has in his/her mind, that he/she is smarter than you. Let me give you an example.

You go to the supermarket and after shopping you wait in the line to pay. Your chart is full because you want to buy the staff for the entire week. Another Greek is coming from the side from the next isle behind you, sees the gap between you and the person in front of you, and stands for a while next to you. He holds only four products and you can hear that he argues on the phone with his wife because she forgot some staff from yesterday that she was again at the supermarket and he has now to be there. You feel (At least as a Greek I do) that it is ok to let him pass because of course there is no reason for him to wait as your chart is full, but at the same time you feel that as a sign of respect to you, he should at least kindly ask you. He continues standing there on your side, a little in front of you now, and he avoids eye contact with you. You have clearly understood that his intention is to pass you but still you are waiting that he will kindly ask you. As the line in front of you moves and as you just checking your phone, you turn your eyes in front of you and suddenly you see him standing right in front of you, as it would be if he was there before you. If you do not say anything, he might see you with the corner of his eye without saying anything. If instead you are angry and your face has this ugly shape and he understands it with the corner of his eye again, he might ask you with a surprise that would persuade almost everyone. Are you waiting here? Did I take your turn? No matter what your answer will be, in case you tell him to go behind you because it was your turn, he will then turn to the cashier and say can I come first as I only have couple things and at the same time at the one hand he will be holding his card while with the other hand he might be scanning by himself the first product so now in case the cashier says that it is not his turn he will reply that it will take more time to cancel the already scanned product and let’s do it. (I made the description too extreme just for you to understand the intention!). In any way you say to yourself, its ok, it was only four products, he might have something very important to do and he could not wait, so it doesn’t matter. You continue on, you pay, you load the bags at your car, and you start driving to go home. As you have stopped as the light is red and you have already forgot the incident at the supermarket, you turn your eyes at the corner building that is a coffee shop, you see the guy sitting at the corner table, have already ordered and received his coffee and giving hugs to his wife!

I think that with the story described above, I say everything about the way a Greek moves around. The good thing is that a lot of the millennials do not follow the same behaviors and instead calling all these babyboomers  – “ELLINARAS” meaning the Great Greek! Now you will ask me. Should I be aware of anything else that might affect me in a more difficult way?

Well, I would advise you to adapt a more defensive way of driving because the same behavior applies to the road as well. So you might see someone passing from you right, you might hear the horn with no reason, you might see a car stopped in the middle of the road and a guy running to the coffee shop, you might see the road in front of you blocked because one guy stopped from the one side and the other guy stopped on the other side of the road to buy something and in general staff like that. Now will the behaviors that I describe will affect you? I can tell you that it affects me but after sometime you will be able to manage it. Sometimes tho, if you face an extreme behavior you might argue with yourself, what am I doing here, but at the same time you will see the sun and the ocean next to you and there is that you say to yourself, it’s ok, at least I do not want any more cloudy days in my life! Ohh, I forgot to mention that you need to be careful while crossing the streets because in most parts of Greece, cars have priority from pedestrians (the law is the same as in your country, but no one cares)

Ahh, last thing that I would like to mention is that sometimes you might go to buy something and get the feeling from the cashier that you should feel proud that he is serving you so he has the right to leave you waiting there because he now wants to speak on the phone with his friend to arrange what they will do in the night at the club! LOL.

The weather is one of the things that I feel blessing of, for living in Greece. I would safely say that 320 out of the 365 days of the year are sunny! (Maybe more). I will speak about the climate at the northern part of Greece. I am based in the Peloponnese region at the first capital of Greece in Nafplio. Here the weather is amazing. Let me be more specific.

End of November till February: The temperature during the day will be +10 to +15 and during the night +5 to +10.

March to April: The temperature during the day will be +15 to +25 and during the night +10 to +15

May to June & September to October: During the day +25 to +30 and during the night +18 to +25

July & August: During the day it might go up to +35 to +40 and during the night +25 to +32.

Out of the 45 days of the year that it is not sunny, half of them might be rainy and half just cloudy. Also, the recent years in June there are sometimes after lunch that it might rain for a while and then be sunny again. At the mountains tho that might be located as close as 20kms from Nafplio in the winter time usually it snows, so we as locals go there as a trip to enjoy the snow!


I hope that my article was useful for you. In case of you need more information or any kind of assistance regarding your decision to retire in Greece, please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to support you!

In case of you will take the decision to relocate in Greece and you plan to rent in different places before to choose your base, we will be more than happy to support you with our apartments in Nafplio!

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