In the Netherlands, we were so used to it. Need something quick? Bol.com. Need a Christmas present? A quick google search and you could order it online in no time. Buying books? Amazon.co.uk. And everything is always at home within 1-4 days. Now that we live on an island, things are a bit different, but as we found out: certainly not impossible. You can read how we do everything in this blog.
In the beginning when we just moved here and wanted to order things for the first time, we immediately ran into a problem: we don’t have addresses here. Mail is not (with exceptions) thrown through your letterbox and packages are not delivered to your door by DHL.
We received a tip from Renate (Art and Walk) that it was best to enter your phone number as your ‘street name’. That way, your number will definitely be on the parcel and most couriers will call when the parcel is with them.
This brings me straight to an important point: make sure you have a GREEK phone number. After all, they don’t call foreign numbers. Because it is handy for various things anyway, we now have a Greek number. And so our address actually looks like this the moment we order something:
Afiartis X( = our telephone number)
When you are required to enter a separate house number, we simply enter a ‘1’.
Picking up your package
Deliveries take a bit longer, because although a parcel is still fairly quick in Greece if it comes from another European country, it also has to take the boat to Karpathos.
When your parcel is delivered to one of the local couriers, you usually get a neat phone call. Sometimes I must say that we are a bit impatient and already know where it is and we then drive by quickly haha.
Ah well, not all people who call from courier services speak good English so we often always check carefully which company they are from. Although I must say that sometimes by the phone number or depending on the package, we already know where it is.
Our packages are usually at the following locations on Karpathos:
- Elta courier
- Γεωργουσάκης Μεταφορική (Google it)
Our packages are usually with the following Vincent ordered weights for sports a while back. After a few days, we got a call that they had some discs out of stock. They had sent the rest and the amount we got back (40 euros) they had added in the box!on Karpathos:
Where to order?
We actually have a few regular companies where we order with some regularity, and there are many others that just ship online to islands. It’s often indicated if it can’t be done, but so far we haven’t had any problems.
Greece itself does not have Amazon, but through Amazon.de (the German Amazon) you can generally get anything delivered to Greece. Shipping costs are not too high and depend on the weight or type of product. When a product cannot go to Greece, it is indicated.
If you want anything from Greece locally, you can check out the website Skroutz. This is a Greek website that offers products and compares them in terms of price. Think of a kind of ‘Kieskeurig’ like we have in the Netherlands. Among other things, this is where we bought our dining table and chairs for our house.
Kave Home is a brand you can buy in several European countries. They have beautiful (and expensive haha) furniture. We got our living room chairs, lamps and rug from here, among others. What’s extra nice about this company is that big items do actually get delivered to your home. When it is on the island, you are called to ask where and when they can bring it. Very nice!
Ikea is of course everywhere and so is Greece. You can also have this delivered to your home, but since it costs extra and we are often perfectly capable of driving back and forth ourselves, we collect it ourselves. Whoever orders from Ikea has to be local here to collect it. You get a call when it’s ready.
Clothing at Asos & Na-kd
In the Netherlands, I often ordered clothes online from Asos or Na-kd. Until the beginning of this year, I used to take piles of clothes with me every time I visited the Netherlands. But I found out that Asos and Na-kd just deliver here and also ship for free (from a certain amount, but that was the same in the Netherlands). Delivery takes a bit longer, but that’s okay. Returns were free in the Netherlands, but now also only cost something like 5 euros. Fortunately, so far I got my right size every time, but should I have to return it once, that’s not too bad either.
Sometimes it is just nice to eat pepernoten, Kerstkransjes or Unox smoked sausages, even if you no longer live in the Netherlands. And some products they just don’t have here and we are so used to them from the Netherlands. That is why we occasionally order a package via the Dutch Expat Shop. Delicious Affligem beer, peanut butter & sauce. Oh and now that it’s December, icing sugar and oliebollen mix again too!
When you’re moving abroad
For those who are moving and want their belongings transported from the Netherlands to Greece, contact Speedy Con Salis. We have used their service several times and it was always very nice. These items are also delivered all the way to your home by a local company in the end.