Greece is an exciting mix of sunny islands, big mountains, busy cities, and timeless traditions. Big and diverse, Greece is very welcoming and full of surprises. There are many reasons as to Greece has so much appeal, but when it comes to moving for a longer period of time, there might be some other things you’d want to consider. In this blogpost, we’ll go into some of the pros and cons!
Greece is a nation that is proud and places an emphasis on family and traditions. Tourism plays a very large role in the Greek economy, and so English is spoken in many parts of the country. This also means that the country’s infrastructure caters well for locals and visitors. The Greek cuisine is a dream for those who love food. Some of the fresh sea food specialties you have to try are lobster pasta, fried anchovies, grilled octopus, and crab salad. The other amazing thing that comes with living in Greece, is the gorgeous Mediterranean weather. With cooling, ocean breezes in the summer, bright, mild days in the winter, and near perfect weather conditions in autumn and spring. If you have a fixed retirement income, you will find Greece nice and affordable. However, a con of living in Greece is that seeking employment might be quite challenging – especially if you don’t speak any Greek.
Cost of living
Greece is quite affordable, especially compared to western Europe. Throughout Greece, you can save money by using public transport, avoiding touristic spots, shopping at local markets, and eating where the locals do. However, the closer you get to popular touristic center, the higher the prices will be. The prices that you spend are highly dependent on the location and choosing to settle on a lesser-known island will lead to a much more affordable lifestyle than living in the heart of Santorini or Athens.
The quality of healthcare in Greece is quite good, especially in the major cities. However, in the more remote areas of the country, you might struggle with the level of English the doctors speak and the standard of care might not be as good. Emergency healthcare is free no matter your nationality. A lot of expats opt for the private health insurance, which provides better quality care and shorter waiting times. However, patience and diligent research are the 2 key factors to dealing with Greece’s social healthcare system, which is immersed in bureaucracy.
Greece has a Golden Visa program which is was created to intrigue the interest of the foreign investors and move forward from the financial crisis the country struggled with. This program encourages non-EU expats to take advantages of getting quick residency in exchange for financial investment. Those who are qualified get a renewable, 5-year residency permit. However, if you are not qualified for this program, you will need to be sponsored by a Greek employer for a standard work permit.
Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe and has a relaxed and easy going feel to it. Of course, basic precautions are necessary when it comes to watching your personal belongings to prevent petty theft.