The top 5 Greek villages for retirement

  • Greece
    Shutterstock.com
Article
Published 9 months ago

European countries such as Spain, Portugal, and Malta are popular among pensioners, though many are unable to afford to retire there. Greece, however, offers a similar quality of life at a lower cost.

Spending one’s retirement years abroad in a location with a better climate and living conditions is a consideration for those who can afford it, but many desirable European destinations are not affordable for many pensioners. However, moving to Greece is quite a different matter as the country offers a similar quality of life but at a lower cost.

Why Greece?

Greece is the perfect place for pensioners to retire comfortably. This is partly due to its geographical location: the country lies in the south of the Balkan Peninsula and islands in the Ionian, Mediterranean, and Aegean seas. There is a short warm winter, during which the temperature rarely falls below 10 °C, and dry hot summers (26–29 °C).

Greeks also live long lives, largely because of the Mediterranean diet, which is known to regulate cholesterol levels and prevent the development of heart disease. Fruits, vegetables, potatoes, whole grains, rice, beans, nuts, chickpeas, lentils, herbs, and olive oil are the main components of this diet.

One of the advantages Greece has over other retirement destinations is its affordability. Greek real estate prices plummeted after the 2008 crisis and are currently much lower than most European countries. According to the German web portal Statista, at €2,846/m2, property in Greece is 20% cheaper than in Malta, 25% cheaper than in Portugal and 35% cheaper than in Spain.

While the Greek islands and Athens have a constant flow of tourists, small towns only a few hours away from Athens are great places to live for those seeking seclusion as one can combine a simple and relaxed lifestyle with days off in the city or on the coast.

Kyriaki

Kyriaki
Shutterstock.com

The village of Kyriaki, with a population of only 2,000, is located on the western slope of Mount Helikon, two hours by car from Athens. It is picturesque, and is only seven kilometres from the Corinthian Gulf. Attractions in or around the village include the Church of St. John the Baptist in the central square, the old chapel of Agios Nikolaos, and Aravnica Park. It is believed that a walk in the coniferous forest there brings relief from insomnia and fatigue.

Goura

Goura Greece
Shutterstock.com

The picturesque settlement of Goura was built at the foot of Mount Zireia in the Olvios river valley, a 2.5-hour drive from Athens. According to visitors, the town recalls the atmosphere of early-19th century Greece. Zireia's hills are dotted with fir trees and make a great place for hiking or road trips. Doxa Lake is within walking distance from the village (a walk takes about two hours). People come to the village to visit is a three-storey monastery of St. George, which has windows overlooking the stunning mountain landscapes of Corinthia. At the same time, they are treated to sweets made from pink petals prepared by the monks .

Chryso

Chryso
Shutterstock.com

The village of Chryso, with a population of just over 700, lies at the foot of Mount Parnassus, 2.5 hours by car from Athens. Traditional stone churches are preserved in Chryso, and the village itself is surrounded by beautiful olive groves. The monuments of Delphi, which are on the UNESCO heritage list, are just three kilometers from Chryso. According to myths, it was here that two eagles, sent by Zeus from opposite ends of the Earth, met to find the "navel of the Earth".

Polydrosos

polydrosos
Shutterstock.com

Polydrosos is another village built on the slope of Parnassus, but located a little closer to Athens. The journey to the capital takes about two hours. Today, about 1,000 people live in Polydrosos. A few kilometres from Polydrosos are the small settlements of Lilea and Ano Polidroso, as well as the famous Byzantine monument – the temple of Paleopanagia. People who like long walks can visit the village of Arahova on foot by taking a path that goes through a large national park. The largest ski resort in Parnassus, which will please those who enjoy winter sports, is within a 30-minute drive from Polydrosos.

Steni Dirfys

steni dirfys
Shutterstock.com

The village of Steni is located on the slopes of Mount Dirfys on the island of Evia. Two bridges that connect Greece’s second-largest island with the mainland make the journey from Steni to Athens shorter than two hours by car. Steni is a paradise for fans of mountain hikes. One can go walking, climb mountains, and ride bicycles in the woods surrounding the village. Less than an hour from Steni on foot is the Agali Gorge – a place of stunning beauty that is included in most of the local tourist routes. Hiliadou beach, where people often spend sunny days with their families, is 40 minutes away by car.

About the author: Olga Anisimova is a real estate writer and content strategist at Tranio.com