It’s all Greek to me…..


Well it shouldn’t be, buying a home whether in your own Country or abroad can be as easy as your ABC when you go about it the right way.



A – Well A being the beginning that’s where we’ll start, and the start of a search for property in Crete will always begin with the question of the Greek crisis and its effect on the property market.  The property market in Crete saw a huge boom back in early 2000 up until around 2008.  The slump that took hold was seen across the Country in every corner of every marketplace.  Property prices started to take a dive and many companies/builders closed their doors.  Fortunately quality has prevailed, but the few companies that have survived, especially here in Northern Crete, have had to slash their prices by approximately 40%.  It is at this time a buyers market, a piece of Crete can be yours for as little as 79,000 for a 1 bed semi detached bungalow near the sea, 148,000 for a 2 bed detached home, or a 3 bed Villa for 200,000. 

But beware…

B – Buying – before you make your final decision – make sure you have done your homework.  When buying either a re-sale or a new build off-plan property make it your business to find out who the builders are.  A good construction company will have a record of the build, photographed material of every stage of construction and generally a good track record.  Asking locals or even expats that live in the area will give you a fairly good idea of who is who, and asking people who have already bought from the same company will enhance your vision.  Cheap re-sales can be very alluring, but be wary of shoddy workmanship covered over by a lick of paint.  Use the common sense that you would use when buying in your own country.


C – Crete and its people – look up hospitality in any dictionary and you will find Crete and Cretans.  Even through the depths of the crisis Cretans haven’t forgot their basic instinct to be friendly and welcoming.  A second visit to any hotel, bar or taverna will make you a family member!  You will be welcomed with open arms, handshakes and kisses, raki and mezes and quizzical faces wanting to know about your travels and your family since the last time they saw you.  Its quite usual when living here to open your front door of a morning to find a bag of fresh eggs or a water melon left by one of your neighbours, small gifts of kindness and neighbourliness that have long since been forgotten in most other parts of the world.

So with the time now being a buyers market, your homework done and a taste of Cretan hospitality lingering on your senses, make that move – you won’t regret becoming part of the Cretan lifestyle….


A stroll down Halidon Street

Today I’d like to take you for a wander down Halidon Street, one of the busiest streets in Chania especially in the evening, and introduce you to some of the wonderful little shops Imageand some of the people that own them.  Halidon Street is the main street that runs from the 1866 Plateia down to the beautiful Venetian Harbour, through the years that I have lived here in Chania I have not only wandered along here like a tourist enjoying all the ‘fares’ on offer but I have also had the pleasure of working here.

At the very top of Halidon on the left side as you walk down is the best (my independent and personal opinion) Kreperie shop in Chania, the tiny Roxanis Kreperie is on the corner – you’ll miss it if you blink.  Image

They serve savoury and sweet krepes, our favourite  – the crushed biscuit and merenta chocolate… definitely worth tasting, but I wont for now because further along is another delight that I dont want to ruin my appetite for…. the Tasty Souvlaki shop just opposite the entrance to Leather lane – or the ‘Stivanadika’.

The Stivanadika is famously known for its traditional leather boot makers, Stivania is the name of the boots that Cretan men wear as part of their cultural ‘outfit’ and along this street you can see them being made my hand.Image

But back to Tasty …and a two kiss greeting to Niko one of the owners before a quick bite to eat, a mouthwatering gyro plate with all the trimmings to give me some energy for the rest of our stroll


Crossing over the road we’ll stop to say hello to Mr Manoli or Emmanuel in his Gold boudoir.  This is where I had the pleasure of working some 15yrs ago, many a late night opening saw us enjoying a raki or two with customers before we closed up and headed home – Emmanuel has a lovely range of jewellery for all tastes and of course I would recommend him and his wonderful way of bargaining but then again in all honesty I am prejudiced here. 🙂Image

and off we stride, with our Cretan boots, a fully tummy and gold a jangling to continue our walk towards the harbour, maybe we should stop off and feed the fishes in one of the many fish pedicure/massage parlours?  No, I think thats for another day.  As we come half way down Halidon the street opens out into a ‘Plateia’ or square on our right, with the grand Church of ‘Trimartiri’ – Three martyrs, and funnily enough on our left side is the Catholic church, although you would have to know where it is to find it!  On the square in front of the church there is a wonderful ‘frozen yoghurt’ shop, with seating outside if you need to take a break and cool off.   Also on the square is the Meze/bar Typografeio well worth a visit of an evening and behind the church is the Metropoliton Cafe/bar, where quite regularly you can find the exhibits of local artists like Kostas Spanakis on show.


Kostas Spanakis is a local born and bred artist with an adoration of his city that is second to … mine…  – I think we’ll dedicate a separate blog to Mr Spanakis, out of pure respect for his works.


Well here ends our stroll down Halidon for today, got stuck at Metropolitan enjoying cold beers and Cretan mezedakia….more food!!!!!

So let’s begin at the beginning,

“‘Where shall I begin, please your Majesty?’ he asked.  ‘Begin at the beginning,’ the King said, gravely, ‘and go on till you come to the end: then stop.”’

Lewis Carroll


… and so we shall, well almost, actually we are continuing on from our old blog on posterous that we hadn’t reached a stop with.  So welcome to the beginning of our new and newly positioned blog, that will go on until it comes to an end.

Greek Crisis & the New Greek Mythology [Interview with Guy Vayens & Rita De Vijlder from Belgium]

Recently there has been a lot of unfair and negative publicity about Greece and its people.  We believe that we are friendly, peaceful, family oriented, hardworking, relatively low paid, taxpaying citizens unfairly labeled with stereotypes easily handed out to Greeks today by the international media.  But let’s see what other people believe about us and our country.  These are the people that have chosen to move to Greece from their home countries in order to improve the quality of their lives.

We asked them a few simple questions and waited for their honest replies.  Let’s see what they have stated in favor of or against the “New Greek Myths” written by the international media. 

Guy Vayens & Rita De Vijlder, Valley Rise No 8, Darmarochori, Kolimbari, Chania, Crete.

19 March 2012  

So, we are from Belgium.

The first time on tour in Crete (in 2002) and we were immediately in love with the country and its people. We felt just at home.

The more we went to Crete, the more in love we were.

We decided to look for houses and prices, not intend to buy something immediately but within a few years.  But we saw a house of Minoan Homes (in Kolymbari) and it was directly our dream, in terms of location, size and price and neighbours! 

So we bought our dream house (in 2010).

Now we have a dream to work for and we hope as soon as possible to move! And now we are very interest in everything about Greece.  

Our dream is not changed! For us it is still a great country with the incredible dear people!!! Even now!!!



Myth No. 1:  “Greeks are lazy.  They just lie on their beaches.”  What do you think? 

Not true! Maybe they work a little bit slower but that comes through the hot weather.

Myth No. 2:  “Greeks are corrupted.”  What do you think?

Maybe some, but that is everywhere, certainly not the ordinary people.

Myth No.3:  “Greeks are receiving high salaries X 14.”  What do you think? 

Not true! Their salaries are about one third less than us (Belgium).

Myth No. 4:  “Greeks are retired when they reach the age of 50.” What do you think? 

Not true, but I don’t know when.

Myth No.5:  “Greeks are trouble makers.  All they do is rioting!”  What do you think?

Not true! Individuals who always and for all creating riots, but also that you have anywhere in the world.

Myth No.6:  “Greeks have the highest public debt in the world.”  What do you think?

For the moment, in Europe, yes, not in the world!

Myth No.7:  “Greeks don’t produce anything and if they do it is of low quality.”  What do you think? 

They have the best olive oil of the world!!! Delicious olives, oranges, lemons and a delicious cuisine!


The interview has been carried out by the Minoan Homes staff on 19 March 2012.  If you need to ask Mr. Guy Vayens and Mrs Rita De Vijlder more questions about their life in Greece, please contact Minoan Homes at



Rodopou Village, Kolimbari greater area [Chania, Crete, Greece]

Rodopou is a traditional mountain Cretan village, not yet touched by tourism but totally independent. In the heart of the village there is a large square and all around it one will find bakery, butcher’s, mini markets which are open all year round and the local cafes “Kafenion” where a shot of the local drink “tsikoudia” is always at hand. The narrow alleyways and historic buildings bring a picturesque note to the village. The locals are extremely friendly too and will take great pride in introducing you to their village and trying to teach you a bit of Greek. 



Rodopou could be your gateway to the genuine Cretan living!  Please click on the link below to learn how:

For more photographs of this beautiful genuine Cretan village please click here.