Moving to Zante - Information

Arriving in Zante

- The Journey

- Obtaining a Greek Tax number

- Telephone and Internet Installation

- Residence Permit

- Health Care in Zante

- Opening a bank account

- Driving / Buying a car

- Speaking Greek

- Entertainment

- Shopping

- Satellite TV

- Changing passport

- Useful telephone numbers

By Sue Willett 2009


Obtain Greek Tax number

A tax number is necessary for ...

- Buying land or property

- Buying a car

- Installing a telephone and internet

- Opening a bank account

- Having electricity connected


Forms are obtained from the tax office which is located between K.Lombardo (the main road along the sea front in Zakynthos town) and Filita which runs parallel. Piraeus bank is on the corner.

The office is on the 3rd floor,and we were told to return the next day to collect our tax number. We also needed to show our passports and a photocopy. The whole process took less than five minutes and the staff we dealt with were helpful ( their English was much better than our Greek I’m ashamed to say !)

Returned the following day and after a brief wait (half an hour) were given our tax numbers, with an apology for keeping us waiting!


Telephone and Internet Access

We visited the OTE telephone shop in Zakynthos Town (in St.Solomons Square, which is at the very top end of the main road next to the harbour). A very helpful young man (who was a customer) kindly explained to the shop assistants that we required a landline telephone and internet access. We were told to return the following day to discuss with the telephone engineer, the feasibility of installing a phone.

On returning we spoke to a very friendly OTE assistant (who spoke English) and we were able to apply for a landline phone and internet access. We needed to show our Greek tax number and passport. It is also helpful if you can give them a phone number of a neighbour so that they can check if service is available in that area.

The telephone line was installed within the week (and be warned it is just a line), we bought our own telephone and back box to fit it to the wall.

After a few weeks of waiting for OTE to connect our internet, a young neighbour advised us to go to PC Express computer shop in town who provided a modern, fast internet and Wi-Fi for 30 euros a month, fitted in five days !


Residence permit

This is needed for importing or purchasing a car. It is an EU requirement to register at the local police station but Greece still issues a permit.

You need :-

- 6 passport photos

- One photocopy of passport

- Passport

- Name of father and mother

- Address in Greece

- Tax number

- Date of arrival in Greece

- Two copies of European Health Card

- Proof of income or retirement pension

- Contract proving employment

The local police station is in Katastari, (the village behind the mobile home park).

If successful, you will be issued with a buff permit for 5 years then you have a blue permit for life.


Health care in Zante

Information from NHS Healthcare Greece:

General Information:

You will be treated on the same basis as a resident of Greece. Remember, each country has a different healthcare system and might not include all the things you would expect to get free of charge from the NHS. This may mean that you have to make a patient-contribution to the cost of your care. You may be able to seek reimbursement for this cost when you are back in the UK. It is important that you ensure you are treated by a state healthcare provider as you will not be covered for private healthcare.

The Greek social security institute ( IKA-ETAM) will provide information:

IKA-ETAM - office located in Zante town. We took our E106 forms into the 2nd floor where we were helped to fill in IKA application forms. We had to show passports, tax numbers and provide a passport sized photograph. Our IKA booklets were ready to collect after 48 hours. These are “health passports” and must be presented at any medical attendance.

IKA-ETAM also has a website updated regularly with useful information.

Dial 166, useful to store in your mobile phone.


Living in Greece

If you are receiving a UK state pension or in receipt of long term incapacity benefit, you may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for an E121 which you should then present to the Greek health authorities.

However, if you move to Greece to live but not work and do not receive a UK benefit, you may be eligible for up to two and a half years of state healthcare cover, paid for by the UK. In this case you need to apply for an E106.

Apply at The Pension Service

Dept for Work and Pensions

Tyneview Park

Medical Benefits

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE98 1BA


Phone: 0191 21 81999  Fax: 0191 21 87376  Text phone : 0191 21 87280  International code: (+44 191)

E-mail:   Website:


Doctors and Dentists in Zante

Dr Laura Borka (GP)

Laganas High Street


Zante 29100

TEL: (0030) 26950 52202

Dr Rodoula Spinthaki (GP)


Zante 29100

TEL: (0030) 26950 28562

Dr Dioysios Lappos (GP)

Omiron Katohis

Zante 29100

TEL: (0030) 26950 45112



Vasilos Kolios (Dentist)

Foskolou 22


TEL: (0030) 26950 28681

Vivi Pomoni-Visvarthi

16, 21st May Street

Zante 29100

TEL: (0030) 26950 44425


After registering successfully for IKA, you just need to phone them for a doctors appointment.


Opening a Bank Account

This was surprisingly easy and simple! We went to the Alpha Bank, which is situated at the Soloman Square, at the end of the main shopping street in Zakynthos town (had seen this recommended by ex-pats on internet site)

We had to show our passports, tax number and proof of address, the bank assistant (who spoke English) completed all the paperwork for us and thirty minutes later we had our bankbook in hand! Be aware that you need to confirm with the bank that you want a bank card, which involves another form!!!

We transferred funds by depositing a cheque which takes 15 days to clear into your Greek account, in the meantime we used our UK cash cards. There is an ATM available in Alykes (as in most resorts)

Alpha Bank has internet access in English so it will make organising finances that bit easier.



Driving / buying a car

We have drove abroad for many years but if you are a novice, remember drive on the right and hold your nerve!

Mopeds and scooters seem to follow a different law, be extra cautious if you see one coming! Apparently the Greek police are cracking down on non-helmet wearers, issuing on the spot fines but most locals don’t seem to bother. Its quite common to see Dad, Mum, two kids and their dog precariously perched on a moped.

As in the UK, its advisable to leave the car at home when having a drink. There is a limit of 50mg (lower than the UK limit of 80mg) and police do use the breath test, especially after an accident and occasional spot checks.

You are able to drive your UK vehicle for 6 months and then either import it or take it back to the UK, otherwise the police may impound it.

The following advice ... re: Importing a car is from “Living in Zante” website.

- Visit the Greek Embassy for a certificate of change of residence

- Drive or ship the car into Greece (keep ferry tickets as proof of date of entry)

- Get Greek Tax number

- Get a Residence Permit

- Visit customs within one month of the car arriving in Greece.

- Pay reduced Registration Tax and have an entry in the owners (and spouses) passport by Customs. Update: (Aug 2007) we have now been told that this is now zero

- Take vehicle to KTEO, the government test station for a “MOT” test

- Visit Vehicle Registration at the Transport Dept (next to the National Bank, on the 2nd floor, at the rear of the building housing, the Customs Office)

- Get Greek insurance

- Send export slip from UK vehicle registration document to DVLA. It may also be possible to get a refund on UK car tax (download form from internet DVLA V14).

There are several car showrooms on the island, we read that a residence permit was required, however when enquiring at the local Fiat dealer, he said this was not necessary.

Second hand vehicles are readily available, advertised in local bars and the free newspaper. There is also a Zante “E-Bay” just started which has had several cars for sale.


Speaking Greek !!

If you intend to stay living in Greece, it is advisable to try and learn the language (or at least some of it!) English is widely spoken, however you may use shops or services where little or no English is spoken. We have found that the locals appreciate you trying and will help you with the pronunciation.

Greek lessons are widely available. The local 'Cheers' bar (run by Linda and Stuart from Ayr) have twice weekly classes which are aimed at beginners and more advanced. The tutor charges 12 euros per couple for approximately 1hour and 30 minutes lesson.


Hello/Hi and Goodbye/bye

Ya sas(formal)

Ya soo (informal)


kherete (formal)


andeeo (formal)





Ok/that’s fine




Thank you


Thanks very much

efkhareesto polee

Don’t mention it


Good morning


Good afternoon/evening


Good night


Excuse me !/ sorry !


I am sorry


I don’t understand

Dhen katalaveno

I don’t know

Dhen ksero

How are you ?

Pos eeste


polee kala efkhareesto

And you ?


Can you help me ?

Boreete na me voeetheesete

Do you know where ……

Kserete poo

My name is

Me lene………

Whats your name ?

Pos se lene ?

I'm from England

eeme apo teen angleea





This evening




Summer season runs from May to October

Winter season runs from November to April

Askos Stone Park - open all year

Bowling alleys - some open all year

Zante Town - Shopping available all year, also has bars and restaurants

Local Radio - Zante has its own English speaking radio station 88.6 and 90.6 (

English newspapers - readily available in summer

Island Independent - free

Athens News and Athens Plus - weekly

Zante News - Inside Friday edition of the Zakynthos daily “Imera”

Boot fairs - in winter. Organised by the Animal Welfare society to raise funds to help rescue dogs and cats. A good meeting place held at different resorts each Sunday morning

Water Park - open summer only



The main shopping area in Zante town is called Alexandrou Roma. This is a road full of fashion and jewellery stores aswell as some household, stationers, book shops, supermarkets etc.

There is a farmers market, the “Laiki Agora” on Monday, Thursday and Saturday mornings where you can buy locally produced fresh fruit and vegetables, olives, eggs, herbs etc. It is located after the Port Police on the harbour road. There is also a fresh fish market in Zante town, and fish can be bought off the boats in the harbour.

DIY stores, hardware or household goods can be found on the main roads leading out of the main town. Building yards, plumbing and heating stores are all over the island

There several pet stores in Zante, and plenty of vets.

There is a small supermarket, bakery and butchers in most villages and several larger food shops.

Lidl - On the main road from town to Keri, just past the airport road.

Alfa P - located just out of town on the Keri road.

Dia - On the road connecting the two main roads out of town (near the large cemetery) They also have branches in Laganas and Tsilivi which are open all year round.

Spar - Located on the main road out of town to Katastari.

AB - located on the main road out of town to Katastari, just before the turn off to Alykes.

There is a very small delicatessen located opposite the IKA building in Zante town which sells a lot of imported goods, however we have been told its quite expensive.

There is a health food store on the road to Katastari opposite a school at Agios Kirikos. There is also one in the main town on L.Ziva.


Satellite TV

Satellite television is easily installed, we had one fitted within four days of arriving in Alykes, fitted by a local English guy. New residents will be able to connect to this system provided they bring a Skybox and card from the UK. We also had a Greek aerial fitted. There are some English programmes and films but it is also a useful way to try and pick up some Greek!

Sky Greece is available and they have the same packages that are available in the UK (see their website)

Ofcourse the best way to watch a big event is in the bar, which all have big screen TV's showing all the football!

There is a DVD rental shop in Katastari and hopefully we can arrange a DVD lending library on the campsite.


Changing passport details,renewing

If you need to change any details on your passports, or apply for a new passport you need to go to the British Vice Consulate website where application forms and advice can be downloaded.

British Vice Consulate,

Foskoulo Street



Telephone : 26950 22906

Fax: 26950 22906



Useful Telephone Numbers

Police Emergency

Zante police station

26950 22100

26950 24480

Katastari Police station

26950 83083

Fire Brigade

26950 22199

Ambulance station

26950 23166

Zakynthos Hospital

26950 31201

Katastari Health centre

26950 83208

26953 60000


26950 22358

26950 29515

Olympic Airlines

26950 28611

Bus station

26950 42656

Ferry ticket office

26950 41500


26950 48400

Post Office Zante town

26950 42418

O.T.E (telephone company)


26950 59356


Electricity company


26950 22246


Sanitation dept

26950 45179

Greek Citizens Advice

0030 26950 24567,24558

British Vice Consulate

5 Foskoulo Street



26950 22906

Fax: 26950 22906

Spiros and Margeta Patrinos

Alykes camping





Tel: 26950 83233

26950 24187

26950 24189

Fax: 26950 24188



Paradise Pizzeria (Alykes)

26950 83664 (home delivery)

Mobile Homes Abroad

584 Trentham Rd


Stoke on Trent

St3 3DH

+44 7939 123345 (sales)

+44 7939 123345 (customer services)

From UK: 0800 6 44 45 46 (sales enquiries + customer services)


The Journey

We did quite a lot of research into travelling from England to Zante. There is a lot of advice on the Zante Forum website from ex-pats who have made the journey.

I'm not saying that our journey was the right way but it worked for us! We drove over in a transit van with all our worldly goods loaded in the back.

Before setting off we ensured we had the correct equipment

- GB sticker or GB Euroflag Number plate

- Headlamp converter

- Warning triangle

- High visibility jacket

- First aid kit

- Fire extinguisher

- Spare bulbs

- Full list of belongings

- Route map

Day 1

We drove to Dover from Manchester (approx 5 hours) and took the P&O ferry to Calais. This cost £127.50 for the van and two passengers and took just over an hour.

Remembering to put our watches forward one hour we then drove to Reims (30 euros toll road) for our first overnight stay which cost 75 euros bed and breakfast. Had a walk round a nearby supermarket and just could not believe the produce on offer. A food lovers heaven! Three aisles of cheeses, live lobsters, pates, smoked hams. We found the staff to be really friendly and helpful, as was everyone else we met in France.

Day 2.To Bologna

Set off at 6.45am. Several tolls to pay on our journey through Switzerland but it was worth paying for the scenery. The Alps were breathtakingly beautiful and our spirits were lifted when a phone call from our solicitor told us our house sale had completed!!!

There are plenty of rest stops and motorway services, which again put UK services to shame.

Stopped at The Holiday Inn in Bologna,which is just at the side of the moterway. (75euros bed and breakfast) Managed to get internet connection in the hotel and sent reassuring messages to our children and friends (who I suspect thought we’re barking mad!)

Day 3

An early start again, but we wanted to make the 13.30 ferry sailing from Ancona to Patras. This cost 284 euros for the van and two passengers. Our cabin was small but comfortable. We found the food on board very tasty, although coffees and drinks can add up when your on a 22 hour trip.

Day 4

Arrived in Patras (mainland Greece) at 12 noon and headed off to catch the 14.30pm sailing from Killini to Zakynthos. The signs for Pargas lead you to Killini.

The ferry from Killini to Zakynthos cost 7.50 euros each and 58 euros for the van. The feeling as we sailed into Zakynthos harbour was amazing, hard to believe that we had come so far!

Drove to Alykes in bright sunshine and were met by Spiros, Marietta and Dionysious who made us feel very welcome. Dionysious presented us with a homemade bottle of wine. Think we’re going to like it here !!!

I hope this information package is helpful, please let us know if we can help you in any way

Sue and Steve Willett

March 2009