Moving to Thassos island A guide for preparing your move to Thassos

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Thassos has become a popular island over the past few years. Not just for a vacation, but for permanent living too. Many people have bought a second home here to spend longer periods of time. Some come to Thassos to start a business, others to work as digital nomads or to enjoy their golden years. Here are some of the reasons why Thassos is such an attractive destination for a vacation home or a retirement.


With incredible beaches, beautiful turquoise waters, and perfect weather, Thassos is a natural paradise. Thassos is ideal for families and for older people who are looking for a relaxed retirement. Kids can play safely on the sandy beaches and the warm shallow sea is easily accessible for young and old. There are no mega-resorts or big party scenes on Thassos. Instead, you will find quiet mountain villages and charming seaside resorts with businesses run by families. On Thassos, life is calm and ideal for people who are looking to slow down.

The island is especially suitable for those who want to permanently live on a Greek island without giving up the luxuries of the mainland. Unlike some other Greek islands that have a limited number of daily ferry crossings, Thassos has dozens of crossings every day year-round. The city of Thessaloniki is only a 2,5-hour journey away, while the city of Kavala is only a 1,5-hour journey (including the ferry time of 40 minutes). This means that you can live in an unspoiled and laid-back place all year round, but be sure you have all the important facilities nearby.

In this guide, you will find practical information about moving to Thassos. From legal requirements such as visa regulations, buying a house, and step-by-step instructions for your household removal. This guide is for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, retirees, and returning residents or citizens of Greece.

Some questions to consider while reading...
  • Do you want to make your dream come true and move to Thassos permanently?
  • Will you buy a vacation home on Thassos and move your personal belongings?
  • Are you buying a house in Thassos to spend longer or shorter periods in your golden years?

What you will find in this guide

Do you want to make your dream come true and move to Thassos permanently? Will you buy a vacation home on Thassos and move your personal belongings? Are you buying a house in Thassos to spend longer or shorter periods in your golden years?

In this guide, you will find practical information about moving to Thassos. From legal requirements such as visa regulations, buying a house, and step-by-step instructions for your household removal. This guide is for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, retirees, and returning residents or citizens of Greece.

Finding your dream home

Experience Thassos in all seasons

Thassos in All Seasons 1
Wait, what!? Thassos isn't always warm and sunny??

If you are planning to buy a home in Thassos, we recommend that you first rent a temporary home for a year. This is very important because you will get a better image of the island and experience it in all seasons. Some people only visit Thassos in the summer, when the island is in its best form. Everything is open, and the weather is perfect.

But the winter period in Thassos is different. It is quieter and some businesses close for a period of time. The weather from December to mid-March is pretty cold: the maximum temperatures normally hover around 8/9 °C (46/48 °F), but they may remain at certain times below 5 °C (41 °F). In addition, the wind chill can make it feel colder. Before you make your final decision and buy a house or move your belongings, check if this is what you like.

Thassos in All Seasons 2
Snow on Thassos... yes, that happens!

Rent before buy

It is not easy to find a rental house in Thassos for an entire year. Because of the high demand in the busy tourist season, many apartments are rented out during the summer. In order to find a place, it’s crucial that you connect to the local community and make personal contact. Word of mouth is very important. Unlike in other countries where you would search online, in Thassos you will need to ask around, speak with the locals, and contact your local social network such as Thassos Facebook groups.

Go-Thassos recommends Thassos Holiday Rentals , a local and reliable agency offering long-term, fully-furnished home rentals on Thassos.

Locations on Thassos

During this trial year, you can also decide where you want to buy a house. Many of Thassos' beautiful village houses are surrounded by an amazing green landscape, each with its own architecture and characteristics. The picturesque settlements of Theologos, Kazaviti, and Panagia are examples of the typical stone architecture and elegant mansions of Thassos. Here you can find properties like houses with wooden balconies or walled yards with flower gardens. Further, in Limenas and Limenaria, you’ll see more neoclassical three-storey houses. Finally, many coastal settlements of Thassos resemble a labyrinth of small streets and different-sized houses. If you are planning a removal, this beautiful island architecture may present its challenges.

Buy a home in Greece

Buying property in Greece can be easy for some. While EU residents will run into almost no restrictions on purchasing property in Greece, non-EU residents may need to prove both their connections to the country and their intent for property use.

To buy a home, you will need an AFM (tax identification number) and a Greek bank account.

Buying property in Greece for UK citizens

Now that the UK has officially left the EU, buying property in Greece is a little more difficult than before. You still have the right to buy and own property, but you may also face restrictions and a few more administrative processes. On the other hand, as non-EU citizens, British buyers are now eligible for the Golden Visa scheme.

Real Estate Office

In any case, and from whatever country you are moving to, an important step for anyone buying a home in Thassos, should be hiring an Engineering and Real Estate Office and a real estate attorney.

Finding a reputable real estate agency with local knowledge and experience working with Thassians is vital which is why Go-Thassos recommends Thassos Properties.

Visas and Residency Permits

When you have decided to permanently live in Greece, there are some important steps and documents involved.


The most significant aspect of your stay in Greece is your visa. Research your eligibility and visa requirements well before you make the move.

The best starting point for information about visas and other related documents is at the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Golden Visa Scheme

The Golden Visa scheme grants a five-year residency permit to foreigners investing in property in the country. You’ll need to spend at least €250,000 on your home, and meet other criteria such as having health insurance and no criminal record. Once granted, the holder of a Golden Visa and their immediate family members can legally live and work in Greece.

As these programs may change in the future, we refer you to the official Greek government website for more information: Golden Visa
FIP: Financially Independent Persons Visa Scheme

The residency for FIP applies to citizens of non-EU countries who have enough resources at a fixed annual income level to cover their living expenses in Greece. The FIP residency permit is issued for a period of 2 years. It can be extended, on the condition that the holder of the residency permit maintains his/her income. In this scheme, however, the residents are not allowed to work or have any independent economic or investment activity in Greece.

Residency Permits

Residency permits for EU citizens

Because Greece is part of the EU, European citizens who are planning to stay longer than 3 months need to register and apply for a residency permit.

For EU citizens, the application for a residency permit is relatively easy. You will do this at the local police station with a set of necessary documents. EU citizens are obliged to get a residency permit if they stay longer than 3 months in Greece. If you don’t work, you will need to show proof of support by having 4,000 euros in a Greek bank account. If you are self-employed or have a work agreement, you can prove that you can support yourself with your contract or tax returns. You will get a short-term residency permit first. After five years, you can apply for a permanent residency permit.

Residency permits for non-EU citizens

Non-EU citizens need to apply for a visa before their arrival in Greece. If you are from a country outside the EU, you need to apply for your work and/or residence visa as soon as possible. Since Brexit, British nationals also belong to that group. If you have a Schengen visa to visit Greece as a tourist, you can stay here for 90 days within each 180-day period.

If you are not moving to Greece from the EU, you need to speak to the embassy in your home country to find out exactly what paperwork is needed and what your residency options are. Generally, these are the following: Golden Visa Route (with an investment of 250,000 Euro in property or stocks), if you are self-employed and have proof of 2,000 Euro income per month, Greek heritage route, proof of employment contract in Greece or via a spouse/partnership with a Greek national.

Rules can be specific to a region

Please note that the procedures of the residency and the conditions for bank deposit or income can change per location and immigration office. For Thassos, you will need to direct yourself to the immigration office in Kavala.

For more information on visa and residency, please read: Residence

Planning your move to Thassos

Moving to Thassos 1

When you have found a house on Thassos, it's time to plan your removal to get your personal belongings to the island.

Here are 5 important steps for planning your household removal.

  1. Choose a reliable international moving company

    Moving abroad involves lots of paperwork and procedures, and an international removal company will help you with that process. Make sure that your moving company is trustworthy by getting referrals and checking review websites. A good moving company has professional accreditations and industry memberships, such as Euromovers International.

  2. Insure your belongings

    We recommend insuring all your goods for their full replacement value while in transit or in storage in Greece. Have as much written information about your high-value items as possible for the underwriters of your moving company. We advise photographing these items, printing them out, and adding the signed prints to your inventory before your move.

  3. Consider storage

    If you move to an unfurnished place on Thassos, you need to bring your furniture along, and you may need to store them before you move into your new place. Not all moving companies have their own storage facilities, therefore check this in advance. If you plan to store your belongings for an extended period of time, ask the moving company (at the receiving end) if the storage place provides climate control. The humidity in Thassos may cause damage to your packed goods.

  4. Find a moving company specializing in the Greek islands

    Some properties on Thassos are difficult to access. The island has steep ascents, narrow roads, and tiny lanes. Some roads are in poor condition or too narrow for big trucks. To safely transport your household and previous family items, it is important that you hire a local specialist who knows the island well and has expertise in removals to Thassos.

    For more information on moving to the Greek islands, please refer to KAE: Moving to the Greek Islands.
  5. Budgeting the costs of your removal

    Shipping your items to Greece depends on many factors, the most essential are the volume and how quickly you want your belongings to get there. The volume will help you choose the method of transport

    1. Air Transportation,
    2. Road Transportation,
    3. Ocean Freight,
    4. Rail Transportation
    Always ask for quotes and compare. That way, you will be able to make the right decision about which transport method best suits you.
Moving to Thassos 2

What documents do you need to move to Thassos?

Depending on the shipments, whether originating from the EU or not, there are certain customs requirements involving documentation that is implemented on household goods. Your moving company will prepare the necessary documentation to be submitted to customs authorities. Then it will be your responsibility to have the paperwork stamped at a notary or a police station that witnesses and authenticates your signature, which allows the customs clearance process to proceed. You must pay a fee to the Customs Agency before the goods are released. Your professional moving company will assist in this process.

Bringing your car to Thassos

Bringing your car to Thassos

You can bring your car or motorcycle to Greece for up to 6 months. But after that, the vehicle must either:

  • Be imported into Greece and may not be used until it is on Greek plates
  • Be re-exported from Greece
  • Be sealed (bonded) with customs for at least six months (but no more than 24 months). After this period, the owner must be able to prove that they have been out of the country for at least 12 months in order to be granted another six months of use in Greece
There are several exceptions to these rules where you can import a vehicle for private use for longer than six months, without paying import duties and taxes. For these exceptions, and everything you need to know about importing your car, visit: How to import a new or used car to Greece...
For everything further (from the custom procedures for EU and non-EU, import and export, shipments of your household goods and car to the temporary import or the certificate of repatriation) please read: KAE International Movers: Moving to Greece, the ultimate guide for preparing your relocation

Living on Thassos

Connections with the mainland

Thassos' connection to the mainland

Thassos is very close to the Greek mainland at a distance of only 10 km from the port of Keramoti in Kavala. There is no airport on Thassos. The nearest airport for Thassos is the regional Kavala International Airport (Alexander the Great - KVA), promising you the shortest and most direct route to Thassos island. Although there are only a few direct flights here, it's a mere 15-minute drive to the ferry port in Keramoti. So you can fly to Kavala, then hop on a ferry to reach Thassos.

Thessaloniki International Airport (Makedonia - SKG) is the second and much bigger airport servicing Thassos. There is no ferry connection from Thessaloníki to Thassos.

You can take the bus or a taxi to Kavala and catch the ferry from there. You could also drive from Thessaloniki to Keramoti and take the ferry to Thassos from there. By car from Thessaloniki to Keramoti, it takes you around 2 hours.

There are two ports on Thassos, connecting the island with the mainland. The smaller of the two ports is in the village of Skala Prinos with daily connections to Kavala. The bigger of the two ports is in the island's capital, Limenas, with frequent connections to Keramoti. Both routes operate year-round, with expanded itineraries in the tourist season (from May to October).

For more information on getting to Thassos, please visit: Go-Thassos: Getting To Thassos


Healthcare on Thassos

There is a good public health center on Thassos island. Besides this public facility, you will also find private health clinics on the island with private doctors. Due to the fact that the island is so close to the mainland, there are many private specialist doctors who have opened their own practices such as an endocrinologist, pulmonologists, and cardiologists.

Prinos Public Health Center
Public Health Center (Clinic) in Prinos, Thassos

Healthcare for retirees

Retirees, especially, can rest assured that Thassos has the necessary health services and get good care without the requirement to leave the island. In case of serious health issues that cannot be treated on the island, people can divert to the public and private hospitals in Kavala and Thessaloniki. There is emergency care on Thassos, but there is no intensive care unit with beds.

Kavala hospital

Kavala public hospital is about an hour away from Thassos including the ferry boat ride. Thessaloniki has the best hospitals in the area, both public and private. They are a 2 hours drive away once you get across to the mainland. Thus, a total of 2,5 journeys. Airlifting (with the right type of insurance) can also be arranged in very serious situations.

General Hospital In Kavala
Kavala General Hospital

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

In some cases, depending on where you are coming from and what type of insurance you have in your home country, you are eligible for the public Greek healthcare system. European citizens can apply for an EHIC card. This is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 27 EU countries.

For British citizens, the rules are slightly different. You can check them here: Healthcare for UK nationals living in Greece

Private health insurance

If you live in Greece, you can apply for state healthcare. Note that this is not completely free because you need to pay contributions to participate in the healthcare system (there are some exceptions). The Greek health system doesn't always cover everything, and it often subjects patients to long waiting times for surgeries compared with private healthcare. That is why it's recommended that you find a comprehensive private health insurance plan.

A combination of both public and private health insurance is truly the best solution for older seniors because private insurance does not cover all of their medications, which they must pay out of pocket. Public insurance covers most medications and pays the majority of the costs.

For more information about private insurance plans that are available, Go-Thassos recommends reaching out to a local insurance broker, Mr. Thanos Anagnostoudis. You can find him on Facebook.


Greece is a bureaucratic country and it is important that you take lots of time to arrange your administrative setup. Applying for a tax number, the healthcare system, or setting up a phone line, takes more time in Greece than you may be used to in your home country. Before you arrive, translate and authenticate/apostille all your personal documents, such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, or diplomas. This will make things much easier for the authorities.

If you're coming from the USA, it's important to know that each state has its own guidelines for the authentication procedure, you want to check the requirements of your particular state. See example: How to obtain an Apostille or Certificate of Authentication

House bills

Electricity, water, heating, and your phone and Wi-Fi are the most important bills that you will have to deal with when living in Greece. If you are living in an apartment building, you will also receive a monthly bill for maintenance expenses that you share with the other tenants or homeowners.

Unlike some other places in Greece, Thassos has a steady power network with few power outages. If you buy your own home, you will obtain electricity by signing up at the local DEI (ΔΕΗ), the electricity provider office. You will need your passport and AFM number to do that. The same applies to the local water company. Here you will also bring your meter number.

When you rent a home, it is important that you arrange for the bills to be issued in your name. That means that you change the name of the previous tenant on the bills.

Make sure to cancel your utilities contracts at the end of your lease. If you don’t, the next tenant could move in and use electricity and water while the accounts are still in your name, making you responsible for paying someone else’s bill!

AFM (tax identification number)

To rent or buy a house, to apply for electricity, or to open a bank account, you need a personal tax identification number in Greece. This is called the AFM (ΑΦΜ). It is, therefore, essential to arrange your AFM as soon as you arrive in Greece.


If you are going to work for a Greek employer, spend more than 6 months in Greece, or are self-employed, and you make money in Greece, you will need to pay taxes in Greece. If you belong to one of these categories, you need to verify if your home country has a tax treaty with Greece. Because double taxation regulations between Greece and other countries prevent you from paying tax in two different places for the same income. Greek taxes for small businesses and the self-employed are relatively high. If you are going to pay taxes in Greece, it’s wise to hire a local accountant.

US citizens need to be familiar with the US IRS requirements. One good example is: The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)

Bank account

To open a Greek bank account, you’ll go to the bank in person with your passport and AFM tax number. Whatever Greek bank you’ll choose, do check the conditions because all Greek banks charge administration fees for international transfers and third-party ATM withdrawals.

AMKA number

Another important number to apply for is the AMKA, the Greek Social Security Identification Number. You receive an AMKA number if you are going to be employed by a Greek company or claim Greek benefits. You do not need an AMKA if you are a retiree and receive your pension from another country.

You need a temporary AMKA number to get your free Covid-19 Booster shots in Greece

You also need an AMKA number for subsidized (through public insurance) medication.

Driving license

If you have a driving license from an EU or EEA state, you can use your license without any restrictions. Third-country nationals (including UK citizens) need to switch to a Greek driving license.

For more information and where to do that, please read: Non-EU driving licenses — Exchange & recognition

Greek phone number

Getting a Greek sim card is very easy. Just visit a phone provider with your passport. The rates between the different phone providers in Greece are comparable. Depending on your needs, you can buy a monthly plan or choose a top-up card. COSMOTE has the biggest and most reliable network coverage on Thassos with better mobile signal and higher 4G speeds.

Set up Wi-Fi

Once you settle in your new home, you will be able to set up Wi-Fi. This may take a while so be patient. There are a wide variety of providers in Greece, the 2 active players on the island are COSMOTE (best, most reliable) and FORTHNET.


Education on Thassos

If you are moving with your family to Thassos, you should know that there are several public schools in Thassos located in the North and South of the island. These primary and secondary state-run schools offer free education, including tuition and textbooks. There are no private schools or international schools in Thassos.

Learn some Greek

It is wise to take a Greek language course before you come to Greece. Greeks generally speak good English, but to really integrate into society and find work or friends successfully, knowledge of the Greek language is indispensable.

Join the Online Community

There is a local community Facebook Group for Thassos. Join this group for questions, information and support.

Stress-free relocating with KAE International Movers

KAE International Movers has many years of experience in dealing with the logistical challenges on the Greek islands including removals to Thassos. In fact, the company specializes in relocations to mainland Greece and the Greek islands. From tiny villages to homes on the edges of cliffs, from remote villas to historic town- or city houses, they’ve seen it all. Some properties on Thassos require specialist skills due to the density of the housing and the difficulty involved in safely transporting fragile possessions inside the homes. The team of KAE International is well-equipped to access any property.

Due to the condition of the roads, trucks (including container trucks) often cannot easily reach some places on Thassos. For that reason, they use shuttle vehicles to guarantee safe delivery at the door and all the way into the new home.

Get in touch as soon as possible with the moving company affiliate/partner at the departure point if you have specific requirements, e.g. free-standing wardrobe boxes instead of lay down wardrobe boxes for certain items of clothing.

If you are ready to transport your personal goods and follow your dream to Thassos, then speak to the KAE International team of specialists. Whether you are permanently moving to a new home or simply going to your vacation home for a prolonged holiday, Kae International Movers will assist you at every point of the journey.

Have you found your dream house? Be assured that your shipping experience with KAE International Movers will be the most stress-free part of your immigration to sunny Thassos!

Abbreviations used in this article

English Greek Meaning
AFM ΑΦΜ Tax Identification Number
AMKA ΑΜΚΑ Social Security Number
DEI ΔΕΗ Public Electricity Provider
EHIC ΕΚΑΑ European Health Insurance Card