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Greece, Travel

Getting a Greece Resident Permit

December 13, 2020

After several years of research and a year of living in Greece, I finally have my Greece resident permit. This was especially important this year with all the travel bans in place. If I hadn’t gotten it, I might not have been able to return home for Christmas without it. As it was, I didn’t receive it until the middle of November.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Getting a Greek resident permit is not hard, but it takes patience and persistence to get it. I am going to walk you through the steps of applying for the Greek resident permit here. This is for the financially independent resident permit. Keep in mind there are several types of permits in Greece that you can apply for.

Before you enter Greece, you should apply for a visa in your home country. Read my blog post about that if you haven’t done that yet.

Do You Need an Attorney?

One of the questions I am asked frequently is if you need an attorney to apply for the Greece resident permit. It is not required but may make the process easier for you. The lawyers in Greece have direct access to the Aliens administration to make appointments and ask questions.

If you decide to get an attorney, ask around to find one who has experience with this process. Many are not familiar with applying for the financially independent resident permit.

To use an attorney, you will need to get a power of attorney. The lawyer can write it up for you in Greek. You will then take it to your local KEP office to have it notarized. The KEP is the citizen’s services department in Greece. Take your passport with you. You may also need to have several copies of the power of attorney notarized, so do a few at once. At the time of writing this, there were no fees for the notarization.

The lawyer will tell you want they want you to do next.

Gather All Your Documents

You will need many documents to apply for the resident permit. Some of these will be similar to what you needed for your visa, so bring all those documents with you to Greece.

The documents you will need are your passport and a full-color copy of all pages, your birth certificate with apostille, a rental contract for an apartment or utility bill in your name, financial records, you will also need proof of insurance and passport photos. The passport photos will need to be digital on a CD and the four physical copies.

At the time of writing you need to prove you have €2000 a month in savings, passive income or retirement income.

All these documents will need to be translated into Greek. If you are not using a lawyer, you can have these documents translated at the Translation Service. The cost is pretty affordable at the service. There is a rush option if you need it. You will need to take your passport with you to this service as well.

Make an Appointment

Each Decentralized Administration has its own process for accepting appointments. After the events of 2020, more administrations have moved to online appointment systems for renewals. However, as of writing, the initial appointment still needs to be made via email.

The Athens administration’s email is dam_a@attica.gr. My experience with contacting them via email has been good. However, you may need to wait a day or two for a response if it is a busy time of year.

If your documents are accepted, you will be given a blue certificate that acts like a temporary Greek resident permit. Be careful with this document as you may need it to travel with while your application is being processed. You will also have to turn it in when you pick up the official resident permit.

Pay the Fee

To apply for the resident permit, you will need to pay the fee. Right now, the fee is €1000, and you can pay it online. If you can’t do this online, there is a small copy shop next to the Athens administration, and they will help you for a small fee. If you are applying outside of Athens, check with the local KEP office, and they can help you find a way to pay in person.

You will also need to pay €16 for the plastic card. This can also be done on the same website as above.

After Your Appointment

Once you have gone to the appointment, you may need to submit more documents after the appointment. You will need to send the additional documents by registered mail.

The most important thing is to follow up with them frequently. You can email them at dam_a_info@attica.gr. Keep in mind this is for the Athens administration only. You can also check the status of your application online.

I needed to submit more documents after my initial appointment. My lawyer sent the documents, and they were received. However, my attorney didn’t send a copy of the power of attorney, so they weren’t accepted. The administration never told us this, and I only found out after I emailed them.

How to Pick Up Your Resident Permit

When you get the notice your resident permit is ready, you will need to make another appointment to pick it up. You will need your resident permit number to register in the system to make your appointment. The online status system will show it to you at the bottom of the notice under remarks.

You will then go to the migration website to register and make an appointment to pick up your Greece Resident Permit. Right now, only part of the website is in English, so I recommend you use a Chrome browser and install the Google Translate extension.

Once you have registered, you can make an appointment. This part of the website is in Greek only. When you translate the website to English, there will be a section called “Performances,” which is not the correct translation. Then you will click on “Appointment for Performances.” This is also not the correct translation. However, this is where you make the appointment to pick up your plastic resident permit card.

Screenshot of Migration website to make an appointment to pick up your Greece Resident Permit

When you go to your appointment, you need to take a print out of your appointment with you, your passport and your temporary resident permit (the blue paper). You will give them the temporary permit.

They will print out a decision about your permit and all the rules to renew it. You will then sign for the permit and that is it! You are officially a Greece resident.

Other Things to Know

The financially independent resident permit is initially good for two years and can be renewed. If you are denied, there is an appeals process. Please email the administration for guidance on how to do this.

The process for getting a resident permit isn’t hard, but as you can see, there are many steps involved. Even with a lawyer, I had to follow-up with the authorities many times and with my lawyer. Be persistent in following up. I recommend checking every week in the online system and every two weeks via email. It is up to you to make sure they have all the documents they have requested.

There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have that Greece Resident Permit in hand. I was so relieved to get it. If you are in the process, I hope this helps, and if you haven’t started it yet, I hope you are now better prepared to start. If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them.

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Greece

Greek Gift Guide

November 16, 2020

This year has been a rough year for travel. Most of us have been unable to travel as we would like. Are you missing Greece or know someone who is? They might enjoy getting something from my Greek Gift Guide! Every artist or brand on this list has something I have bought something from or use on regular basis in my daily Greek life.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

The Round Button

I discovered The Round Button on Instagram and have been hooked on her products ever since. Alexandra’s inspiration is the island of Tinos. From her Tinos and Athens’ studios, she creates prints, pillows and jewelry. She began with prints and has expanded over the years. All the designs are clean and simple but no less stunning.

My personal favorites are the items she has created based on the Tinos’ dovecotes. The circle design and what it represents speak to me and really remind me of a Greek island. Greek islands are simple, beautiful places full of stunning landscapes, wonderful people, and ancient history.

The necklace above is the one I have purchased and the print I have is the same design but in simple black and white. However, I know the print is no longer sold. She has plenty of other beautiful prints available though. The Round Button ships internationally and when in Greece she items for sale in many shops all over Greece.

Ena Karo

The Round Button actually introduced me, via Instagram, to Ena Karo, a natural soap producer, also from Tinos. Ena Karo makes handmade soaps and toiletries on the island of Tinos. I bought two soaps in Athens so I could try them out and the smell is divine! They have also just released a Christmas collection of soaps that include scents such as Holy Night and 3 Magi.

All the soaps contain natural oils and herbs. This is definitely product you want to give as a Greek gift and a gift to yourself! My favorite scent is the Poppy Seed. I am dying to try more scents as well. If you want to watch some cool soap making, I recommend you watch their stories! Ena Karo’s e-shop isn’t ready yet, but you can reach out to them and they will get you sorted out!

In Athens, you can find Ena Karo at Flaneur. Flaneur sells unique souvenirs in Plaka and is worth a visit when you are here.

Aggeliki Stavrianou

Aggeliki Stavrianou is actually a friend of mine from when I lived in Naxos. She and I met while helping the local animal welfare. Her paintings of the Greek Islands will transport you! She still lives in Naxos and paints daily. Her art depicts island scenery in a realistic vivid way and you are likely to find a painting of your favorite Greek Island. This is the small painting I purchased from her earlier this year.

Aggeliki doesn’t have a shop online but you can get in touch with her to order either through her Instagram or her website. Act fast though as most paintings are one of a kind. She will ship anywhere in the world.

Olive Era

Olive Era is a Greek brand I discovered while staying at a hotel in Athens. The products have an amazing smell and will transport you to Greece just by using them. All products use Cretean olive oil! At the time of my discovery, they didn’t have an online shop. They now do and will ship internationally. If you are in Athens, they now also have a physical store to visit at Perikleous 28.

Olive Era

They have a variety of products, such as skincare, hair care and candles. I love the simple packaging of everything and the fact that it uses Greece sourced ingredients.

Apivita

While Apivita is a more well known international brand, it is no less Greek! This was one of the finds in the pharmacy that I still use today. My favorite products are the hair care products. I love that they are silicone-free and smell like Greece in a bottle. The hair products I am currently using are the Oily Roots/Dry Ends Shampoo, the Intense Repair Conditioner, and the Moisturizing Hair Mask.

Some Apivita products are available at Amazon if you can’t get them to ship directly to you from Greece. If you are in Greece, you can get Apivita products at most pharmacies. There is also the Apivita Experience Store in Kolonaki, which carries the full range of their products.

Korres

Korres was one of the first Greek beauty products I tried. They have great body washes and lotions. The scents are also some of the best I have ever tried. They also make skin care, hair care and face care products. Some Korres skin care products can be found at Sephora and on Amazon.

Most of their products are ethically sourced here in Greece. Some of the most popular products are the ones made with Greek Yogurt including their sunscreen and after sun line. Korres can be found in most Greek pharmacies if you are visiting Greece.

I hope this helps you give or receive a little bit of Greece this year for your holidays. Since most of these companies are small, you will be helping them in a year in which tourism dropped dramatically and still has not returned to pre-2020 levels. Other than the Amazon links, all the links are direct to the artist or brand and are not affiliate links. I want to support my local Greek artists and brands this year! Happy Holidays!

Food, Greece, Travel

Best Restaurants in Naxos

October 15, 2020
Greek food in Naxos restaurant

Eating Greek food is one of the main reasons I travel to Greece, and I have been in Naxos long enough to tell you about the best restaurants to eat at in Naxos! I should add that there are even some excellent non-Greek choices for restaurants in Naxos as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

Oasis

Oasis is a family run restaurant in Naxos. The restaurant is located in Naxos Town near Saint George’s beach. All of the food is homemade. Specials are offered every day and vary depending on the day of the week. My recommendations are the pasticcio, the stuffed peppers, and the pork stew.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Barozzi

Barozzi is a fine dining restaurant located not far from the main promenade of Naxos. I was invited to eat at Barozzi restaurant in September 2019. When you enter you immediately notice that this place is a bit different than many restaurants in Naxos. The manager greets you and shows you to your table. The tables are further apart from other tables unlike many traditional tavernas in Greece. The decor is elegant and simple. The waitstaff is all dress in white linen.

Barozzi in Naxos

The menu offers a variety for everyone. You can choose al la carte, or there are two pre-set menu options. One is a 5-course meal or a 7-course meal. You could also add wine for an additional cost. I chose to do al la carte as I didn’t think I could eat that much food. First, I was brought an amuse-bouche of three different items. My favorite was the tomato one, which I can’t remember what it was called.

Then I had arugula or rocket (as it is called here) salad that came with thinly sliced apples, honey dressing and fried goat cheese. Honestly, I could have had this for my meal and been totally happy. It was so good. The goat cheese was still warm and was sweet and salty at the same time.

My main course was sea bass encrusted with artisanal bread. I was a bit hesitant about this but I love sea bass so I want to try it.  I should not have been worried. It was fantastic and the bread is so thin, it is more like a crust. The best thing is knowing that the sea bass was most likely fresh fish right from the waters of Naxos.

There are only three dessert options, but I still had a tough time choosing which one. I ended up ordering the walnut pie, which was more of a cake. The cake was moist and was served with bitter almond ice cream. The cake was good, but for me, the star was the bitter almond ice cream!

Barozzi
Barozzi in Naxos

Meltemi

Meltemi is located just up the road from Oasis near Saint George’s beach. It has been around for many years, and people continue to return year after year. Meltemi’s moussaka is one of my favorites on the island. The dip they serve with bread is excellent. Most of the food they serve is traditional Greek cuisine.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Metaxi Mas

Metaxi Mas is located in the Old Town of Naxos. Here you will eat in the streets of the old town if you want or sit inside in one of the cozy interiors. Everything I have eaten here has been amazing. My favorites are the zucchini balls, pasticcio, and the spicy meatballs.

Best Restaurants in Naxos
Best Restaurants in Naxos

Faros

Not all of the best restaurants in Naxos are located in Naxos Town. Faros is located at Agia Anna beach and features organic dishes. It also offers a great view of the beach. Faros also has some of the best zucchini balls on the island. To get to Faros, take the bus from Naxos Old Town to Agia Anna and walk down past the pier and it will be on your left.

Picasso on the Beach

Picasso is also on the beach as you may have guessed. Picasso is a Mexican restaurant, and as a Texan, I am always critical of Mexican food. However, Picasso does a good job given their limited access to Mexican ingredients. The fajitas were good, and they serve a frozen strawberry after dinner drink. Picasso on the Beach is located at Plaka beach and is reachable by bus. Tell the bus driver you want to get off at Picasso.

Paradiso

Most people stop to eat at Paradiso because of the stunning view its beachside tables offer at Agia Anna. However, you should also stop because the food is outstanding! The beetroot salad and the papoutsakia (eggplant with minced meat) were terrific. So was the semolina cake we were offered on the house. If you really like the location, they also have rooms for rent.

Best Restaurants in Naxos
Best Restaurants in Naxos

Scirocco

If you need a break from the Greek food, then I recommend Scirocco for Italian food. My favorite there is the carbonara. They also serve Greek food if you and your friends are undecided! It is a nice place to people watch as it is located in the main square of Naxos Town and many Greek families gather there in the evening to socialize.

Apostolis

Apostolis is a modern Greek restaurant serving classic Greek dishes with a twist. The restaurant is located in the Naxos Chora and has a wonderful setting under paper lanterns.

Naxos Old Town

Su e Giu

Sue Giu, also known as Susanna, is another Italian option. It is located right on the promenade of Naxos harbor. It was the only place I found a pizza with pineapple on it! Yes, I am a pineapple on pizza lover. It was good, and the focaccia bread was really great. Sit upstairs for views of the harbor.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

O Giorgis

For the more adventurous type, head to the village of Melanes and eat at O Giorgis. I had some of the best food in Naxos here. The baked eggplant was so well seasoned and melted in my mouth. I was so full but still managed to finish the whole thing. Sit on the enclosed patio so you can have a wonderful view of the valley.

Coffee and Desserts

Greece is known for good coffee, and Naxos is no exception. I have spent lots of time having coffee in Naxos to see which places serve the best coffee and desserts.

Artοποιώ

This coffee shop and bakery was one of the first places I tried when I arrived in Naxos. I was up very early due to my jet lag and they were already open by 6:30 AM. The coffee is probably the best on the island. The baked goods are freshly made in the shop and it smells heavenly.

σιτάρι

Not only does this place have wonderful coffee but they also have some organic products available as well. If I am correct, the bakery is called Wheat in English. It is also open early for those of you who are morning people.

Omerta

Omerta is located on the promenade of Naxos Town and offers great views of the harbor along with great coffee. If you also want to have the classic Greek Yogurt for breakfast this place had an excellent one with plums and peaches on top!

Waffle House

This is not the American Waffle House, this is a wonderful ice cream parlor that also serves ice cream on waffles. You can get the ice cream to go or you can sit and have it brought to you by a waiter.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Aktaion

Aktaion is an upscale pastry shop located on the promenade of Naxos Town. They serve a selection of gelato, amazing macaroons and other mouth-watering desserts.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Flisvos

Flisvos is located on St. George’s Beach so not only do you get a beach front view but they serve a really amazing hot chocolate. It isn’t on the menu, but they will serve you one if you ask.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Kitron

This gem is located on the promenade as well and has a great coffee. They also serve the best Freddo Espresso I have had in Greece. Kitron also serves Kitron cocktails made from the citron plant.

Best Restaurants in Naxos

Are you ready to eat at the best restaurants in Naxos now?

PS. Some of these Naxos restaurants are only open during the tourist season from April to October, 
so please check beforehand.

Greece, Sailing, Travel

Sailing in Greece

September 28, 2020
Sailboats with sunset behind them in Athens, Greece

Sailing in Greece is how fell I in love with Greece on my first trip. Taking a sailing holiday in Greece is a great way to see several Greek islands and even some of the mainland in one trip. Not only do you get to see many places in one trip, but you can find spots that you want to revisit on your next Greece trip.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on the link and make a purchase, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

You sail from one beautiful Greek island to the next. Each will have a wonderful beach with clear turquoise or blue waters that practically beg you to swim in them. Then each night you will dock under the glowing harbor lights of a Greek village harbor and get to know the warmth of Greek hospitality.

There are several options for taking a sailing trip in Greece that can fit all types of vacations. Except for a few options, anyone can go on one of these sailing trips.

Sailing Charters in Greece

A sailing charter in Greece is probably the most common kind of sailing trip. On a sailing charter, you rent the boat, get crew, and the boat is provisioned for you. Usually, the crew and provisioning are included. Sometimes a hostess or cook is also included or can be added to the rental.

If you want a luxury sailing holiday in Greece, this is the way to go! You and your friends can rent the sailboat or yacht together to split the cost.

The other good thing about this option is that you usually have much more say in the itinerary so you can visit the Greek islands that you want or make a change if you decide to stay longer in one place. Dietary issues may also be more manageable since they will provision the boat as requested.

You can opt to have all your meals onboard or visit one of the many tavernas or restaurants in the places you visit.

Cabin Charters in Greece

A cabin charter is how I did my first sailing vacation in Greece. The cabin charter allows you to book a cabin on a charter with others. It can be a cheaper option if you can’t find enough people to charter a whole boat.

On a charter like this, the itinerary is set with mostly set in advance. Although, all sailing trips are dependent on the weather. The nice thing about this is that the captain usually knows the islands or towns very well, so you get top tips for each place.

I have done this type of sailing trip in Greece twice. Most recently, with Sailing Jollies. Although we were also doing a boat delivery and there was no hostess, and there was more responsibility. What I like about the cabin charter that usually you can learn a bit about sailing if you want.

 

Bareboat Charter in Greece

If you have your skipper’s license, you might be able to charter a yacht in Greece. Usually, this means there is no crew, and you provision the boat. This is a great option if you have a large family or group of friends already ready to go on the trip. You can make the food you want.

You also get to set your own itinerary so you can see the places you want without compromise. The only thing is having the yacht or sailboat back to the agreed-upon marina by the end date.

A bareboat charter in Greece is probably only a good idea if you have sailed in Greece before since the winds can be strong at certain times of the year. Another option is to join a flotilla of boats that may be a combination of bareboat or charter sailboats. Going on a flotilla is useful if you are confident in your sailing ability but unsure of the sailing waters. 

Day Sails in Greece

Almost every island has an option for a day sail around that island or to another island nearby. A day sail in Greece may also be possible from Athens and other major ports on the mainland. 

A day sail means that you will leave early in the morning and sail to points during the day. It usually consists of sailing to a swim stop, having lunch, and then sailing to another swim stop before returning to the port. Many times these swim stops are in spots on islands that may be unreachable by car or walking. 

Going on a day sail in Greece means that you might get to see parts of the country you may not have seen on your island vacation only.

Boat Delivery

Maybe you have some sailing experience and would like to build miles, then going on a boat delivery is a great option. The only drawback to these is that sometimes the delivery is on a schedule, and you cannot stop much for leisurely days in the ports. You may only have a few days to make the delivery.

As with some cabin charters, the trip is not going to be round trip, so you will need to find your way back to the starting point if that is where your flight leaves from. Of course, you might be able to pick up another boat delivery or enjoy the place you are in for longer.

Most boat deliveries need people with sailing experience, so this might not be an option for the casual sailor. It depends on the skipper that sail with.

Sunset Sails on the Greek Islands

By far, the most popular option for sailing in Greece is to take a sunset sail. Greek sunsets are out of this world, and unless a cloud blocks it, I have never seen a bad Greek sunset.

A sunset sail will usually leave in the late afternoon or early evening, depending on the activities involved. Some are quick for about two hours just to get out to watch the sail, usually with a drink. Others include swimming and a light meal. The boat will head back to the harbor as soon as the sun sets to avoid getting back too late in the dark, usually.

Keep in mind that the time of the sail may vary during the year for the sunset sail since the sunset changes times.

Greek Island Hopping Itineraries

Now, where should you go on one of these fantastic sailing trips in Greece? There are so many options. Of course, if you are going on a cabin charter, flotilla, or boat delivery, you may not have much choice in your sailing itinerary.

However, if you have booked the entire boat, you get to choose! If you depart from Athens, you can choose from the Saronic islands, the Peloponnese, or the Cycladic islands. For example, my first sailing trip was Athens, Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Sifnos, and Ios. The return was Ios, Paros, Syros, Delos, Kea, and Kythnos. This trip was great since we got to see both the Saronic and Cycladic islands.

If you have less time, you could leave Athens and head to Aegina, Poros, Hydra, Spetes, and return to Athens. My second trip was from Athens to Corfu. This trip was great as we saw lots of mainland villages and sailed through the Corinth Canal.

Another area to consider is the Dodecanese islands in eastern Greece. These islands are closer to Turkey so your itinerary could include Turkey as well as Kos, Kalimos, Leros, and Patmos.

Each of these areas of Greece offers something different, so you will want to do your research and see what kind of experience you would like to have.

Types of Boats

There are many options for types of boats to charter in Greece. If you know what kind of boat you want, you have already narrowed down your choices of charter companies. Some companies only do monohull sailboats and some do a mix of monohulls and catamarans. If you are only looking for motor yachts, then you can look for those as well.

Going on a monohull sailboat is my top choice. If you are unfamiliar, a monohull is a single hulled boat with sails. Many sailing enthusiasts prefer this as you get the real feel of sailing this way. When underway with higher speeds the boat will keel to one side. This is when one side of the sailboat is lower than the other. The wind whips through your hair and occasionally you will get a light spray of seawater!

Another type is a catamaran. These usually have two hulls that are connected. These offer more stability than a monohull. The cabins tend to be larger as is the saloon. These are a great option for people new to sailing or those traveling with young children.

Then there are motor yachts. There are many different kinds of these and I won’t go into them all. The ones you charter will have cabins for sleeping and it will vary on where the helm is. This may or may not matter to you if you are the skipper or not. If you are skippering your own boat, you will know what you prefer. If you going with a skipper, make sure the yacht has the features you desire.

Wondering what to pack for you Greek island sailing trip? Check out my post all about it by clicking here!

Have you been sailing in Greece? Share your experience in the comments!

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