Thinking of moving to Greece? Here are the pros and cons!

Moving to Greece marked the start of a new type of travel for me and my digital nomad journey.

I began travelling slower, basing myself in one place – and one apartment! – for at least two months at a time.

And that’s how I found myself living in Greece!

Making the digital nomad lifestyle work isn’t easy, and I wanted to be able to travel better and work better.

Big ask? Maybe, but staying in one ‘base’ – such as Crete, Greece – and living a relatively normal life while there, helped oodles with productivity.

It also meant I could enjoy the travel days fully without stressing about finding work time.

When it came to choosing somewhere to live, Greece was a fantastic choice. However, living in Greece didn’t come with its challenges – and there were lots of them. 

Whether you’re looking for your next digital nomad base or are thinking of living in Greece for much longer, I hope this will give you a good idea of what to expect!

Still unsure about moving to Greece? Save this post so you can come back to it:

Pros and cons of living in Greece

Just to let you know… This post (probably) contains affiliate links, including Amazon Associates links, and I may receive a small commission if you click one. This is at no extra cost to you and allows this site to keep running.



Why we chose to live in Greece

Lots of people have asked why I settled on living to Greece. The short answer is… I don’t know.

The long answer is I knew I wanted a summer base in Europe.

With Brexit approaching and the family plans I wanted to be able to make, I wanted to make the most of being able to live in the EU.

We umm-ed and ahh-ed over several European countries – mostly Bulgaria, Ukraine and Romania – before throwing Greece out as an option.

We were getting off a plane in the Philippines. It was hot and we were tired.. And a quick baggage carousel browse of Airbnb found us a super cheap apartment in Crete.

And so Greece it was!

There’s just something about Greece. It’s dreamy, attractive and, in many ways, seem idyllic. 

While living in Greece was in many ways a dream come true, it wasn’t always nightmare-free. Below,

That’s why I’m going to be brutally honest about the pros and cons of living in Greece – both as a digital nomad and as a regular human being in search of a happy life.


GET YOUR FREE GREECE PACKING LIST

I’ve put together a downloadable packing list for Greece so you can make sure you don’t miss anything.

It’s interactive, too, so you can print it off or check it off on your laptop as you pack. 

Click here to download yours for free.


Living in Greece as a Digital Nomad

As a digital nomad, there were certain things I needed from Greece that I might not otherwise. More than anything, I need to be able to do my work. And while I only need a few basic essentials to get the job done, having a good WiFi connection and a comfortable work space are still important.

Even though it wasn’t a well-thought out destination, Greece turned out to be a great place to live. Living in Crete was surprisingly easy, with  pretty much everything we need in easy distance. And did I mention just how beautiful the Greek islands are?


Working in Greece

The difference between being a digital nomad vs a regular traveller is that we prioritise the less exciting things.

Practicalities like good WiFi, work spaces and business opportunities come before opportunities for paragliding off mountains, experiencing the nightlife and other truly unique travel experiences.

That’s especially true when you’re establishing some sort of base. Here’s how Greece shapes up in terms of all the digital nomad necessities.


Wifi

Possibly the most important part of all, Greece was a little hit and miss with WiFi. If anything, it’s the only thing that really let it down.

Even though the coffee shop culture there is INCREDIBLE (more on that in a minute!) the WiFi speeds aren’t always great.

The main issue we faced with WiFi was upload speeds. If you only need the internet to browse and download, you’ll be absolutely fine with the set-up in Greece.

In fact, the download speeds are pretty speedy most of the time!


TRAVEL TIP

Stay connected throughout your trip with SkyRoam pocket WiFi.

This handy little device will give you unlimited data so you’ll never be without maps, emails and a way to contact home.



Coworking spaces in Greece

Coworking isn’t completely alien to Greece, but it’s not a common practice.

Whether it’s because the self-employment rates are low or people just prefer working from home, there’s a distinct lack of places to work.

You’ll still find a couple of coworking spaces in the main towns and cities. They’re not going to come cheap and you won’t get much more than a desk for your money, though.

I avoided using them and instead chosen to set-up a little home office space and make use of all the great coffee shops. Greece sure knows how to do coffee!


Events & Community

If attending networking events and meeting other digital nomads is important to you, you might want to skip the Greek islands.

As wonderful as they are, you’ll be hard pressed to find any like-minded souls.

On the mainland, however, there seems to be plenty of regular events and meet-ups. 


living in greece driving a car

Travelling in Greece

By far one of the best things about living in Greece was having the time to really travel Greece.

Greece is such a fascinating country with loads of areas to explore – some very well-known and others undiscovered.


Getting around Greece

You’ll probably spend most of your travel time in Greece hopping around the Greek islands.

The Greek Island ferries make it easy to travel between them so you can pick and choose your destinations as you please.

Many of the islands are small enough to get around mostly by walking or by taxi. The main areas are all well-connected by bus, too.

But, if you want to get to see some of the more remote spots and treasures, hiring a car is your best bet. Car hire in Crete, where I was living, is essential to see the island’s best bits. Check out Rental Center Crete to find a vehicle.

International travel from Greece

There’s so much to see and explore in Greece that travelling anywhere else might not even be on your radar.

But, if you’re thinking of staying in Greece for longer than a couple of months, it might be important.

The easiest places to get to are, as you’d expect, Italy and Turkey.

There are regular ferries between the main ports in each country, meaning you don’t have to deal with airport security or waiting in the departure lounge for hours. Bonus!

If you do want to fly, some of the Greek islands are surprisingly well connected.

I thought we would have to fly via Athens to get anywhere and, although that will give you more options, there are lots of direct flights.

Crete even has two airports, with direct flight to everywhere from Georgia and Ukraine to Israel and the United Kingdom.


Syros Greece living on the Greek islands

Cost of living in Greece

Each of the Greek islands is so different that it’s hard to give straightforward examples of the prices in Greece.

The cost of living in Santorini, which is notoriously expensive, will be very different to the cost of living in Crete or Athens.

The good news, then, is you have options. If budget is an important factor for you, you might to start by researching the cost of living on different parts of Greece before thinking about anything else.

Here are the general prices and trends I’ve noticed:


Accommodation

This will be the biggest expense for most digital nomad, but there’s a good amount of affordable accommodation in Greece.

If you’re willing to forego air conditioning and being in the heart of a touristy place, you can find somewhere to live on the Greek islands for as little as 200 Euros per month.

The other thing to consider is the season. The price of accommodation in Greece seems to skyrocket in August.

If you can wait until September, there’s a good chance the cost of accommodation will be only a quarter of what it would have been in August.

We found our studio apartment on Airbnb and the cost of August was more than double what we paid in September.


Cost of food in Greece

Even though Greece is generally one of the more affordable European countries to live in, the cost of food isn’t as cheap as you might think.

That’s probably because the tax rate is set at a massive 24%, but there are some more budget-friendly options.

The good thing is the prices are pretty consistent, so you can plan ahead easily. A typical meal in the Greek islands will set you back around 6-9 Euros for an appetiser or salad, and about 7-12 Euros for a main.

Soft drinks are expensive, but water is dirt cheap. Grocery stores aren’t especially cheap, but shopping at stores like Lidl will help keep costs down.



What’s it like living in Greece?

Weather

One of the best things about living in Greece is the weather. It’s dry most of the year and doesn’t get excessively cold in the winter months.

The summer months can get very hot, so you might want to avoid moving to Greece in July or August.


Gyms

One of my favourite things about living in the Greek islands is just how easy it is to live a healthy lifestyle there.

Greeks love going to the gym, so it’s easy to find somewhere to get a good workout.

There are also plenty of health stores and diet-friendly menus, as well as protein products and such.

Plus, it definitely helps that Greek food is pretty healthy – speaking of which…


Greek food

The food in Greece may just be my favourite food in the world. (Well, after Vietnamese.)

Salads are standard and many Greek dishes are very protein heavy. Everything is chock full of flavour.

Discovering different Greek food is really fun, too. Each of the Greek islands has its own local specialities, so make sure you try some of them when you visit!


Lifestyle

The Greek lifestyle is fairly laid-back. That makes Greece a great place to live if you want a relaxing, easygoing pace of life. 

That said, adventure lovers won’t have a hard time in Greece. Behind those pristine beaches, around 80% of the country is covered in mountains.

That means there are plenty of desolate rural landscapes to discover, as well as plenty of history, food and culture to enjoy.


Flogeres Greek food in Syros island

What you need to know before moving to Greece

Moving to Greece isn’t as complicated as some countries, especially if your home country is in the UK.

But, wherever you’re from and however long you plan to live in Greece, here are some things to consider.


Buy anything you won’t be able to get

I never really worry about packing most things because I know I can get everything in most countries.

That’s even more true in Europe, but living on a Greek island turned out to be a bit of a struggle.

While the islands are incredibly well stocked with most things, finding technology isn’t easy.

Camera gear in particular isn’t easy to come across. I really needed a second (and third!) battery for my vlogging camera while I was there, but nowhere seemed able to get hold of one – even in Heraklion, the capital of Crete.

If you need any gear or other electronics to do your work, it’s best to bring them with you.

Know how long you can stay

I absolutely loved living in Greece. So much that I think I could probably settle down here for life – and right now I can.

As long as the United Kingdom and Greece are both part of the European Union, I can stay in Greece as long as I like… but I guess that’s about to change.

Soon I’ll probably have to live by the same rules as Canadians, Americans and many other nationalities.

If you’re from a non-EU country, make sure you check the government website so you know exactly how long you can stay.


Check your insurance is up to date and valid

Wherever you’re from, having insurance is a must.

I use World Nomads because it’s designed for digital nomads and covers everything. Plus, you can renew it without going back to your home country.

My guide to long term travel insurance will help you decide what insurance you need.


The verdict

Living in Greece was a FANTASTIC experience. Yes, there are pros and cons to living in Greece, but overall it was a fantastic place to spend a couple of months.

The Greek Islands are particularly great if you want to buckle down and work on projects while enjoying a laid-back lifestyle.

Plus, it makes sense to spend a long time here since are so many islands to see.

If you have any questions about living in Greece, Crete or the Greek islands in general, drop me a tweet or Instagram message!

And if you want to meet other digital nomads and travel lovers, come and join the Facebook community.


LIVING IN GREECE Pros and Cons for Digital nomads

Alajode UK travel blog and vlog by a female digital nomad
Jodie Marie Dewberry

Jodie has been travelling the world full time since 2017, sharing the most unique places in the world along with tips for living as a digital nomad. She is a passionate wildlife photographer and has worked with a number of prominent travel brands, including airlines, tourism boards, hotels and tour operators.

All author posts
shares