consider carefully the practicalities (i.e. essential to drive, plan ahead for shopping, learn the language to communicate or if you simply couldn’t live without the familiar “city” conveniences). There are many small towns within the region that are home to an eclectic mixture of foreigners and locals alike. A good option is to rent for a short period of time prior to purchasing in your desired location to really make sure. The larger towns of Ag. Nikoloas, Ierapetra and Sitia have all the amenities such as hospitals, dentists, major supermarkets and cinemas and in Heraklion many major UK department stores can be found – Marks & Spencer being a firm favourite. In most of the larger areas group activities are held such as exercise classes within a gym or independent dance studio, coffee mornings with other foreigners, ballet, scouts, music and art clubs for our younger ones. Maybe your relocation would be a great time to start a new hobby such as painting or walking.
Crete has a wonderful array of things to enjoy. With it’s geographical diversity, beautiful coastline and dominating mountains, varied flora and fauna, choice of larger towns for cultural experiences and a traditional way of life still occurring in the villages, you have the luxury of being exposed to a wide choice. If you really want to make a new life in Crete, it helps if you understand the people who live there. Find useful and interesting information about their culture, history, traditions, customs and learn, at least, a little of the language before arriving.
Traditions are many and varied. The Greek Easter is probably the biggest celebration of their calendar but there are many smaller festivals held throughout the year. These are sometimes spectacular events to witness and very enjoyable to be part of. It is a great way to learn the customs and appreciate your new surroundings.
Food is wonderfully fresh, grown and produced locally resulting in culinary delights that are the highlight of many a visitors trip to Crete. Take time to savour all the traditional dishes of the region - following suit with the locals to eat seasonally – purchasing vegetables from local markets and trying the different cheeses, meats and fish available. Greeks and in particular, Cretans, are amongst the world’s healthiest people. It is attributed in a large part to their diet which includes lots of olive oil, garlic and red wine.
The climate is a huge positive with more than 300 sunny days in the Lassithi region and mild winters, it makes for a very comfortable residence. This aspect alone provides the opportunity to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. Take time to explore the surrounding countryside by foot. This way you will meet and converse with the locals and enjoy the wonderful nature that is abundant.