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2 Ermioni Marina 25,000 m2

Papers have been signed and approved by the government offices in Athens for the go-ahead of the planned super-yacht Marina, which should commence late Autumn 2017 and will take approximately 18 months to complete. Ermioni marina will then be operational for the Summer 2019.  Located at the Limani outer harbour, opposite the Ermioni football ground and alongside the road leading up to the church of Aghios Gerasimos and the Milos Cafe bar. So far the area has been fenced off.  Operated by the marina specialists, Camper & Nicholsons, the plan includes the accommodation of more than 127 yachts, up to 65m in length.   Visiting smaller yachts and flotillas will also have numerous places to anchor within the inner harbour of Limania, or, on the Southern side of the peninsula, along the Mandrakia harbour front.  This new marina is well placed for the extensive cruising waters of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Located in the Peloponnese, about 50NM south of Athens, Ermioni is very close to the Argo-Saronic islands of Hydra, Dokos and Spetses.  This region is one of the most beautiful cruising grounds in Greece. A site of unparalleled natural beauty and a naturally safe harbour, the super-yacht marina is set to establish a new benchmark for marina excellence in Greece, blending discretely with its surroundings.

The marina can be reached by road or sea in just over two hours and this marina will provide a much needed five-star facility for villa owners in the area to berth their yachts. For Athens-based yacht owners Marina Ermioni will save time and money otherwise spent travelling from Athens to reach these island-studded cruising grounds. The marina will have its own bars, restaurants and shops as well as a swimming pool and chandlery.

Camper & Nicholsons collaborated on the design of the marina with the owner and developer, Ermioni Marina S.A. whose management is highly experienced in development within Greece. It intends to bring world class marina standards to the stunning town of Ermioni, focusing on a design that will blend with the environment and services normally associated with marinas in other world class destinations.

The completion of the marina will naturally increase property prices within this sought after region.  Now is a good time to consider investing in this great affluent region of Ermionida before the property boom.  Further details about property development opportunities, please click.

LenaMarie hotel 2Adapting to the climate in Greece?  What a silly question, but in reality that has been the case for many.   Not with adapting to the heat of the Mediterranean climate, but adapting to the cold.  When we moved to Greece a number of years ago, we envisage the country as being just hot- hot- hot during summer  and mild in the winter, with lovely blue skies.  However, our first winter came as a total shock to us.  It was bitterly cold and unusually wet, and we felt frozen, to say the least.  It didn’t help that the house we had just moved into had old wooden doors, windows and shutters that allowed the wind and rain to come straight through to the inside.  One  of our rooms provided us with an indoor swimming pool!

Greece does have a Mediterranean climate with long, hot summers, but it also has winters that can be unexpectedly cold and often wet, with snow on the mountains. Many people visit Greece during the hot summers, very few visit during winter, so are pretty much caught off guard when the weather turns.  However, the cold doesn’t last for long, but it is well worth while taking precautions if you are going to spend the winter months in Greece.

The big rage in winter heating is ‘energiaká tzákia’ or ‘super-efficient wood stoves’.  They keep the houses really warm and are not hugely expensive.  Their prices range from about €400 to whatever you have to spend, however, a truck-load of wood could cost anything in the region of  €150 depending on locality.

As summers in Greece are usually very hot, the Greek idea of a daily mid-afternoon siesta is a must as temperatures can rise to 30° or 35°C, with unusual highs up to the low 40°s C.  During July and August, the hottest time of the year, a wind known as the ‘meltemi’ can sometimes offer the much-needed relief from the heat; the downside is that this wind can also disrupt ferry and boat services to the islands, so plan accordingly and leave yourself a few days if you need to get somewhere by sea.

01Now is the time to take advantage of ESPA government funding for tourism in Greece.  Anything between 50% – 90% of funding could be granted.  Never has there been a better time to invest in Greece, regardless of the economic turbulence.  Greece was once voted the most popular tourist destination worldwide, yet sadly due to the economic climate, many have boycotted Greece and many have chosen to ignore the wonderful investment opportunities that are available.  However, it is a safe country for holidays, and relies on tourism. It is the tourism sector that is the main source of Greece’s national wealth; it creates jobs and plays an important role in the development of the periphery.   The wonderful scenery, the mild climate, the beautiful beaches, the culture and its unique historical heritage, as well as traditional Greek hospitality, are some of the values that have made Greece an attractive destination for visitors and tourism.

Grants for tourism include everything: excavation, earthworks, concrete, brick, plaster, electrical, plumbing, garden, trees, flowers, pool, appliances, furniture, and even bed sheets, pillows, dishes, glasses, everything.

The fee for ESPA grant applications for tourism can vary between 3,000 – 5,000 Euros.  The higher figure represents the bigger offices in Athens.

An illustration on how the ESPA government funding for tourism in Greece works:

Buy an old house, land or whatever you fancy in terms of operating as a small business for tourism.   The first procedure would be to create a small company which would operate as a business for tourism.  The cost for this application would be approximately 1,000 Euros per year.

There are two types of funding available.  The first grant has a limit of 300,000 Euros and the second grant has a limit of 150,000 Euros.  Once these 2 run out, there are a further two  funding schemes that will commence June ’13.  Potential investors have the opportunity of securing anything between 50% – 90% grant funding for tourism.

Greek Property Experts are the professionals and will deal with all your requirements.

personalOne important aspect to consider when you buy your Greek property in Greece is how much time you are likely to spend there, and whether this means that you will need to apply to become a resident.  If you are an EU national, you may live and work in Greece without a work permit as long as you have a valid passport or identity card. There is no entry visa requirement.  However if you are staying longer than three months, you need to apply for a residence certificate, as immigration officials no longer stamp EU passports on entry into Greece.  Therefore they have no way of telling how long you have been in the country.  With this, it is worth requesting a stamp in your passport to show your date of entry, if you are planning to get a residence certificate.

To enable you to get a residence certificate, you will need to provide health insurance details, also you must be able to prove that you have an income that ensures that you will not become dependent on the social assistance system in Greece. You must report in person to the Aliens Bureau in Athens at: 173 Alexandras Avenue, 115 22 Athens, telephone: (210) 64 68 103, (210) 77 05 711 Extension: 379, or the nearest police station in other locations, where a residence certificate will be issued.  The residence certificate confirms your right to stay in the country: it is issued for five years and may be renewed. It is free and certificates are usually issued on-the-spot. After five years of continuous and legal residence in the host EU member state, you are entitled to permanent residence.

Documents required for a residence certificate are:

Passport or ID document
Evidence that you (and your family if applicable) have health insurance and sufficient funds
Three colour photographs
A European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) issued by your country of origin.

Until recently, the amount of  ‘adequate funds’ was equivalent to the minimum social security pension, which equates to about €8,000 annually, but this may have changed recently, so do check. In some cases, officials may ask for a bank statement showing a balance of at least this amount.

Each resident is given a personal tax registration number (AFM) for dealings with the tax authorities and a social insurance number.

Should you require help in this area, please do feel free to contact Greek Property Experts.

IMG_9852The deadline for  legalising any illegal building in Greece, has once again been extended to 31 May 2013.  It is important for all property owners to compare property details with original planning applications.  You have a couple of choices to consider if you do have an illegal additions to your Greek property.  The first option is:  Pay the fine and legalise your property.  Pretty much straightforward and peace of mind.  The second option, which is one that we strongly don’t recommend, is ignoring this deadline and hope that your illegal builds are not identified by the authorities.  Sadly Greek Property Experts has learnt over the months, that when things are OK in Greece, nobody is interested in your affairs, or what you have built with your Greek property.  However, when the economy is in such situations as now, then other Greeks will report you.  This is a fact!!!

The advantage of the new legislation is that there is only a one-off charge, not an annual fee, and costs are far less than before. It also means that connection to mains electricity and water is then possible for previously illegal builds.

Take note and act before the deadline, as more and more, inspectors from town planning offices are going to be checking and imposing fines on anyone not declaring their illegally converted areas. It has even become evident that the Land Registry and Ministry of Agriculture are using aerial photographs to identify Greek properties illegally constructed, or with illegal additions and alterations!

The amount of the fine will be calculated according to the size of the area in question, whether the home complies with zoning regulations, the value of property in the area and whether the house is the owner’s main residence.

Another point to be aware of and that is as of  January 2012, one cannot sell, buy, rent or mortgage a property without a certificate of legality issued by certified architects or engineers. Also, properties that are not legalised can now only be transferred to, or inherited by, one family generation. After that, if still not legalised, they can be claimed by the Greek state.

What exactly can be legalised?

The list is extensive, but here are a few examples:

• new buildings or extensions to existing buildings that were built without a building permit;
• buildings that were built bigger than specified on the authorised building plans;
• buildings erected at a different location specified on the building permit or at a differing distance from the property boundary;
• swimming pools installed without a permit;
• balconies or roofed terraces converted into living spaces;
• basements and garages converted into rooms;
• loft conversions not on the original plans.

There are, of course, still a number of alterations to plan or illegalities that are not allowable under the new dispensation. These include:

• buildings or structures built on public municipal or state property;
• buildings on or too close to public roads;
• buildings on forestry land, on beaches or too close to the sea shore;
• buildings within protected areas, such as archaeological sites and protected national parks.

So how do you set about legalising your property?

In brief, you appoint an authorised architect or engineer who visits your property and does an assessment. They gather all necessary documentation, assess the fine to be paid (worked out with a formula provided), complete the application form and submit it digitally to the Technical Chamber. On payment of the fine, you will be issued with a unique code and a certificate of submission for the property and this will be required for any future legal transaction related to the property.

The fine starts at approximately €500 depending on the size of the property, and the architect’s or engineer’s fees as recommended by the Technical Chamber which are approximately €1,540,  plus VAT. The cost of legalisation is significantly lower than before, and the procedure does not incur an annual fee for retaining an illegal structure as it did previously.

Alternatively, we at Greek Property Experts have a time who will only be too happy to assist you with all your concerns.

00 BeachesWhether you like the islands or the mainland, a picturesque village or the big city, the sea or the mountain beauties, visiting Greece is a wonderful experience praised by many.  The hospitality of the people and the abundant natural beauties offered by the Mediterranean country, is such an experience in itself.  So do not worry if you cannot travel to Greece during the high season because hotels are overbooked and prices may rise.  The rest of the year offers some wonderful vacations, and times which many tourists should consider.

The summer months of July and August attract many tourists from around the world, and especially Europe, Russia, the USA and Australia. The warm sunny weather usually reaches 38 degrees Celsius, (100 degrees Fahrenheit) the crystal clear beaches of the Greek coasts and islands and the vibrant nightlife are a must for many who chose to come to Greece this particular time of the year.

Cruises in the Ionian and the Aegean Seas are an absolute delight, while islands such as Santorini, Mykonos, Corfu and Crete top the list of preferred places for incoming and domestic visitors. There are hundreds of islands to chose from, hundreds of beautiful small villages and towns to spend your time exploring the sites and culture, while you can always pick a more mountainous area that will give you a bit of a breeze during these two hot and low-humidity months.

From September onward,  things change, with the high seasoning coming to an end and the fall in temperatures are much more pleasant than during high summer. Some shops, restaurants and taverns may shut down, but the prices drop considerably as well, which is very attracting to those who cannot afford expensive vacations.

This time of year, is usually preferred by students, couples and the elderl.  There are chances of showers or a little rain that could deter you from visiting the archaeological sites, or walking through the countryside, but nonetheless you have the chance of enjoying your time with less traffic and noise. If the weather is good, do not miss the chance of going for a swim; the waters are still warm, right up until November,  and there are many people swimming in Greece all year long.

The months from November to March are what is called the low season, with most tourist businesses shutting down around Greece. The weather is unsteady and rain, or even snow could fall at any time. On the other hand, this is the best time for winter sports enthusiasts and families with children, who can visit one of the numerous ski centers around the Greek mainland.  Although it seems like a rather dead time of the year, various cultural events make up for the unpredictable weather while spring is about to commence.

From March to June, Greece has been described by many as one of the most beautiful places on earth. Springtime in the country is a heaven to they eye, with flowers and trees blooming and the temperature rising steadily as the days grow longer. Heavy rains are always part of the Greek spring, but the warm sunny weather starts after the rain.

The Greek Easter celebrated during April or May is a wonderful experience to live, and a time which should be in everyone’s diary.  Perhaps this is the best time to go to Greece and simultaneously, enjoy all the beauties it has to offer.

Greek-RussianAbout 50 Russian tour operators attended a Greek-Russian tourism forum in Athens on Sunday 10th of February, at the Acropolis Museum.  The invitation was sent by the organization of the hotel chambers, and according to Capital’s sources, the number of tour operators that finally accepted the call was a “pleasant surprise”.  The purpose of the forum was to attract a larger share of tourists from Russia.  Prospects appeared to have been very positive, since arrivals from Russia in 2012 increased around 23.7%, compared with the previous year.

Visitors from Russia are among the three biggest spenders in Greece, as it is estimated that every Russian tourist, spends 20 percent more money on average than the next highest ranked tourist, by country of origin.

Flag of a country of the European UnionTourism Minister Olga Kefaloyianni, in continuing her approach to try to get more visitors to Greece visited Israel, to meet government officials and also try to boost investment for Greece.  Ms Kefaloyianni met with her counterpart Stas Misezhnikov at the start of a two-day conference, where the two discussed options for attracting Israeli business interest in Greece and more tourists to the country.  The meeting took place during the IMTM 2013 international travel fair in Israel, and led to the strengthening of cooperation between the two countries’ tourism authorities, it was reported.

“For Greece, Israel constitutes a significant market that we want to develop further, as 400,000 of its citizens come to Greece and we want this number to grow in the coming years,” Kefaloyianni said after meeting Misezhnikov.

Speaking at the travel fair, Kefaloyianni called the Israelis “friends and allies” and stressed that visitors to Greece have nothing to fear.  The country is perfectly safe for any visitor.  She also mentioned the growth potential for special forms of tourism, such as cruising, maritime, medical and diving tourism.   Ermioni does have one of the best International Diving Schools, which attracts many divers at all levels.

 

11 ActivitiesGreece consists of a mountainous and craggy mainland, extending out into the sea at the southern end of the Balkans. The peninsula in the Peloponnese, which is separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal of the Isthmus, and about 2,000 islands, which  include Crete, Euboea, Lesbos, Chios, the Dodecanese and the Cycladic groups of the Aegean Sea as well as the Ionian Sea islands. Greece has the tenth longest coastline in the world with 16,000 km, with its land boundary being 1,160 km (721 miles).

Four-fifths of Greece consist of mountains or hills, making the country one of the most mountainous in Europe. Western Greece contains a number of lakes and wetlands and is dominated by the Pindus mountain range. The mythical Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in the country, located in the southwestern Pieria prefecture, near Thessaloniki. Mytikas in the Olympus range has a height of 2,920 metres (9,570 ft) at its highest peak. Once considered the throne of the Gods, it is today extremely popular among hikers and climbers who deem its height as a challenge.

09 MandrakiaGreece(Hellas), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country in south-eastern Europe, situated on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. It is bordered by Albania, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria to the north, and Turkey to the east.   The Aegean Sea lies to the east and south of mainland Greece, while the Ionian Sea lies to the west. Both parts of the eastern Mediterranean basin feature a vast number of islands.    Greece is heir to the heritages of classical Greece, the Byzantine Empire and nearly four centuries of Ottoman rule. Regarded as the cradle of western civilization and being the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, western literature, political science, major scientific principles and drama, Greece has a particularly long and eventful history and a cultural heritage which has been fundamentally formative for the culture of Europe and what is now called the West.

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