Moving to Kefalonia
If you are considering moving to Kefalonia (and most visitors dream about it at least once) there are, unfortunately, a lot of practicalities to weigh up first. More than anything else the current economic hardships the country is going through might give you pause before purchasing a house and moving your life over there. But even in more stable times such a move should be considered very carefully. Visiting is one thing, and you can do it again and again, but could you live there in winter when everything closes up and there are only locals around? How is your Greek? Have you stayed there for long periods before or just visited on holiday? Perhaps your best bet is to rent a place for a while and see how it feels to be out there for a long period. If you are still as in love with the island after a winter there, then you can move on to the next step. Those who are considering such a move should start in the south of the island. Houses are cheaper and rentals are easier to find and the main expat community is centered around Argostoli.
Another consideration is whether you need to find work there. Because there isn’t a great deal of work going about on the islands. There is occasionally the odd bit of summer bar work and there might be the odd job teaching English as a foreign language but that’s about it. Even teaching English doesn’t pay that well – most jobs in Kefalonia offer very low rates of pay.
There are a number of expats out there who work online, either freelancing or running their own websites – there is average broadband connectivity in Argostoli and a couple of the big resorts are also connected, but the rest of the island is not ideal for getting online (although you can get mobile internet connections these days which offer up to about 3mbps). Otherwise moving to Kefalonia probably suits those who have a lot of disposable income and are either retired or financially comfortable. Indeed a residency permit for those arriving without work requires that you transfer a large amount of money to a Greek bank or prove that you have ongoing income of some sort.
All of this should be weighed up very carefully. More so if you have family. How would the kids feel about moving to another country? How would they fit in at a new, Greek school? When it comes to schools, on Kefalonia a lot of expats send their kids to the secondary school at Keremies (As well as the school in Keremies there is another secondary school in Sami.) You will have little choice in this if you move there – sending kids to school is compulsory on the island and you are not allowed to home school. Primary school begins at six years old in Greece.