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Winter Living in Crete

Living as an Ex-pat in Crete - Greece 

Wintertime Weather and Household Living Costs



Crete's weather - It's Great! You already know that, otherwise you wouldn't be considering to relocate to Crete in the first place but be prepared for log fires and or central heating in winter.


Four Seasons on Crete

Weather does have a direct bearing on running costs of a home though in the Mediterranean. There are four distinct seasons in Southern Greece. So let's take the rose tinted spectacles off for a moment. The weather in Crete from May to September is glorious every day almost guaranteed! There is a brief Autumn running through to November and a Spring in March and April. But, during these periods and through the winter from sometime in November, or even early December, the Crete climate can be more changeable, particularly in the mountains but rarely (touch wood) as bad as a winter in the UK. Crete's average temperature in wintertime is around 12-14°C. When the sun shines it can be hot, even in winter. Visitors from UK and Ireland would find it "shortsleeves" weather. But when it rains, it rains bucketfuls and it can go on for a few days too! The worst months consistently are in February and March.

Heating Costs in Winter

While Crete does not usually have 'four seasons in a day' type conditions, temperatures can rise and fall dramatically within a few hours. The compensation in winter when the outside conditions are inclement, is the cosy warmth and smell of a log fire burning inside the house.

A supply of logs of Olive (Olea europaea L) or Carob Tree (Ceratonia siliqua L) for about 6-8 weeks can set you back between 160 - 200 euros (Winter 2009 - 2010). Carob burns hotter, while Olive lasts longer. Central heating is a very personal choice. But the costs can run between 4,000 to 7,000 euros per installation. Then there is the question of the ever increasing cost of oil (or gas) and where to store the supply securely.

Eating, Cretan Style in Winter

The winter food intake includes a greater use of fat in the diet. Pulses are more evident as is rice in oil-soaked pork or lamb stews and soups. Hunting is permitted so game, rabbit and hare appear more in the dishes. Cheese such as the rich and very high fat content soft, creamy mysythra, and the hard gravera cheeses are at their best. The products go hand in hand with the fattening of the sheep and goats for the traditional feasts of Epiphany (January 5th/6thth - the 12th Day of Christmas) and Easter.
The "off season" (non-tourist period) is also the best time to experience Crete at its most earthy and traditional. Although eating out becomes highly selective, due to many closed premises, the eating places that remain open are mainly for the local people and the offerings always fresh with the home cooked touch.



Other Useful Reference Pages on Ex-pat Living in Crete:

Schools for Foreign Children
Being part of the EU, Greece through state organisations has sponsored Schools for Foreign Children, including the EU, European School Heraklion. A true experience of bringing the kids over in "Making the Leap with Kids".

Public Utilities
Public Utilities - Electricity and water. Explanation of billing.

Living in Winter is Different
Crete - you know the weather is good that is why you come to Southern Greece but Crete also has a winter climate and its house heating implications.

Healthcare :: Public and Private 
Essential reading, including the private Cretan Medicare Centres.

Cretan Culture
Retaining language and customs yet making foreigners feel inclusive along with choices in local TV Viewing.

Cost of Living 2016 Update
More important direct feedback from those experiencing settling in Greece or who have been there awhile. In the chatter, they mention the differences in supermarket prices and where to obtain favourite goodies, edibles and household products from "back home". All in all, it is a good barometer of the cost of living when on a fixed monthly income when resident in Greece.

Save Water When Staying on A Greek Island
Water is a scarce resource that dwindles each year. Our helpful page on conservation of water lists a number of invaluable tips, ones that are common sense in reality. These tips show how easy it is to make the water that you use go further without investment or extra effort. The tips go a long way to help keep your garden and plants well watered thus ensuring they are green and healthy in a Mediterranean setting.

Stores and Supermarkets Grocery Shopping
From small village stores, to large supermarket chains, like Carrefour and Lidl, Crete has it all. A Quick guide to what is available.

Citizens Advice Bureaus in Greece (K.E.P.)
Your short cut to the Ministries and who is responsible for what.

Weather in Crete

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