It is no secret that here at Brits in Crete we are one of the most popular websites covering Greece for ex-pats seeking information on settling down in the country. They share first hand experiences of those already living here through livelihood articles and professional advice. BritsinCrete.Net has dedicated pages on living on Crete. We guide you with a checklist of things you need to know when you plan to settle in Crete and the Islands of Greece, or plan a long stay. These include:
Be prepared for the new "Europa" series €10 banknote. It is now in circulation in Crete, Greece and the other 17 eurozone countries from September 23, 2014. This is the second release in the new banknotes with enhanced security features. The Europa €5 banknote, the first in the series, started general circulation in May 2013. All notes have a common design based on the Greek mythological god "Europa" after which the continent was named, and signed by Mario Draghi, Governor of the European Central Bank.
More Greeks are staying within the country for their holidays. The number one choice and therefore favourite place for Greeks in Greece to take their holiday on the island of Crete, specifically Chania in western Crete. That is according to the online travel booking system, Trivago. The travel firm researched its own database to find that Chania has come out on top of the bookings for domestic Greek tourism.
The top-10 "Destinations in Greece" list are all on islands except one - Parga (Preveza)!:
Just for reference, more than 2 million Brits and Irish visit Greece each year. About 50 per cent favour Crete and many of those choose the Chania area for their fun playground. So it is not just the Greeks that sing the praises of Chania. end
The British Government (GOV UK) is fast off the blocks to inform us at Brits in Crete of their latest Greece Travel Advisory noting the first incident of the West Nile Virus for this Summer in the country. The GOV UK's advisory said on Aug 14 that this mosquito carrying disease has claimed its first victim in Greece this year. This was just one day after Greece's own Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO) confirmed the first incident of West Nile Virus.
KEELPNO's version said the first Greek suffering from an infected mosquito bite is an 85-year-old from Attiki. He had not travelled outside his local area. His condition was not stated, just he was in hospital.
KEELPNO expresses concern at the growing threat across Greece from this disease that was first reported in 2010 in the country when 35 deaths were recorded from 262 cases. By last year 2013 there were 86 cases, of which 11 were fatal.
Left: Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defense Staff of the United Kingdom laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Syntagma Square, Athens. Photo Credit - British Embassy, Athens.
In this the 100th anniversary year of the start of the First World War (1914-1918) General Sir Nicholas Houghton, Chief of the Defence Staff of the United Kingdom visited Greece on July 16 at the invitation of the Chief of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff, General Mikhail Kostarakos.
General Houghton's visit to Athens is in keeping with the long tradition of excellent relations between the Greek and British Armed Forces and the close cooperation of the two countries within NATO. Greece's role is to guard the front line defense of the southeastern flank of Europe.
The General made a respectful point to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma Square, Athens paying tribute to the brave Greek men and women who lost their lives in action. He later had meetings at the Defence Ministry and the Hellenic National Defence General Staff.
The visit to Greece of the British armed forces chief is just weeks ahead of the upcoming major NATO gathering of military chiefs that takes place in Cardiff on September 4th and 5th. This will be the largest gathering of international leaders ever to take place in Britain and a feather in Wales' cap. (click below for full story)
Photo Credit: Arthur's Family
One month on and the campaign continues to find missing Briton, Robert "Arthur" Jones, a 73 year old from Denbigh in North Wales who was on holiday in the Chania area of Crete. He has not been seen since June 19. His son Jeff flew to Crete soon afterwards and launched a leaflet distribution campaign. With the help of £20,000 funds raised, he has since generated with the help of friends and family a spirited online effort drawing support from British national media organizations, social networks including Facebook and Twitter. The Jones' have even solicited and received support from Prime Minister, David Cameron.
A major search is already underway by the Greek and UK police. Were you on holiday on Crete on June 18, 2014 in the Chania area and met any Brits? The police continue to ask anyone to contact them, British or other nationality, if they visited the Souda War Cemetery on that day, a Wednesday as it is known Arthur paid a visit.
The search continues for Arthur but no news as of this date.
Full story of British pensioner, Robert Arthur Jones missing on Crete and full contact information if you think you may be able to help, can be found here. Aug 4th, 2014 .... Arthur has been found!
It was no joke. A real krokodilos!
A local Rethymno resident could not believe his eyes when he spotted last week from his car a 2 metre long creature swimming in a local reservoir. It had all the features of a Crocodile. Surely not on Crete?
It turns out the local Cretans knew some wild animal was taking their chickens and sheep but had not reckoned on a croc. But there it was swimmingly happily in a span of water all on its own. Crocs are not native to Greece in modern times. More details in the video and further in the story (Greek with English subtitles).
Changed Contact Info for the British Consulate in Crete.
Brits in Crete has been informed that the British Vice Consulate located in Candia Tower, Thalita Street Heraklion has revised opening hours for us, the general public for the usual consular services. To note, you can make telephone enquiries Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 15:00 hrs. If you dial the usual number 2810 224012, in fact it goes to Athens and then is re-directed to Heraklion. Now if you want to make an appointment, that is down to a choice of just three days - Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 09:00 and 13:00 hrs. There is more…..
Matala Music Festival 2014 is upon us, Friday, Saturday and Sunday - June 20, 21 and 22. No matter your age if you like the carefree life and good hard music, then this throw back gathering to the days of the hippies and flower power reprises for yet another year. More than 80,000 devotees of folk, guitar and rock are expected to descent on this south coast beach resort in Crete. The festival motto: "Today is Life, Tomorrow Never Comes". The weather forecast looks to be great - Clear Skies meaning wall-to-wall sunshine. So if you are Living on Crete be part of a week end of a total experience and meet like-minded folks of all ages. Bring your suntan lotion.
Makrigialos, Crete welcomes back the Casa dei Mezzo Classical Festival, Thursday 26 June - Monday 30 June, 2014. This year another outstanding list of invited artists are participating. These include two Brits, Northern Ireland born flautist, Eimear McGeown who is returning for a third year in a row and Scottish-born, mezzo-soprano Linda Finnie who is on her first appearance at the festival.
Eimear McGeown (Twitter #Eimearflute) has established a busy and varied career since 2005. One of the highlights was a recent invitation by Her Majesty the Queen to attend a Royal Reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate the achievements of young people in the performing arts. Eimear has also earned a reputation on the Traditional Irish Flute and Whistle and was All Ireland Champion twice and her versatility led to her performing in the West End Production of 'Lord of the Rings' in Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Both as a classical and traditional Irish flautist, she has performed for Presidents Bill Clinton, Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese, Prince Charles and Prince Edward. Eimear is grateful to Camerata Ireland, Accenture, Concordia Foundation and Arts Council NI for their continuing support in her performing career.
International mezzo-soprano Linda Finnie is recognised as one of the finest artistes of her generation. Linda was born and educated in Scotland and studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow, winning all of the major singing prizes. In 1977 she came to full international recognition on winning the Kathleen Ferrier Prize at the International Vocalisten Concour in 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. Linda has performed in all of the major opera houses in Great Britain, significantly with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and the English National Opera, and with all of the leading British conductors in concerts, at the BBC Proms and in recordings.
European clean up day for Brits in Greece turned out to be an Anglo-Greek endeavor. The British Embassy in Athens participated in the first ever European Clean-Up Day on May 10th in collaboration with the Hellenic Marine Environment Protection Association (HELMEPA) Cadets and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The three entities volunteers took part in a voluntary clean-up of Varkiza Beach on the outskirts of Athens.
Intended as a fun day, some one hundred and fifty volunteers from all three organisations, including staff, family and friends took part in the clean-up. In welcoming the volunteers, the British Ambassador stressed the importance of the commitment to the protection of the marine environment; the responsible management and recycling of our litter and volunteering.