So the island I live on Karpathos is a lovely unspoilt island if a bit windy for most ! Luckily in winter the wind drops a lot but keeps us pretty cool all summer.
Let me give a bit more information:
I am 70, a bit hippy in life style, ex DJ, competition windsurfer, well travelled. I now write a small magazine and have a web site for the ski resort of Meribel in France.
My house here on Karpathos is an simple old stone house that I converted some years ago.
It has a very small studio / office with traditional Karpathian bed with steps (small double). Wall mounted flat screen TV – BBC or Euronews only by free satellite. It would be possible to subscribe to Sat TV but I do not watch TV normally. With wifi you can watch anything on line nowadays.
Normal size bathroom with mains water, toilet, bath/shower – hot and cold & washing machine.
Hot water is by solar panel with electric back up if no sunshine.(not often).
Office is the small area in main house.
L shaped Desk – office chair, wifi - printer. Wifi is fairly trustworthy and speed is about normal for a greek island. The nearest wifi cafe if it goes down is a 20 minute scooter ride (The main town of Pigadia)
Lovely large terrace now renovated with mosaic tiles completely closed in with double glazed windows , glass doors, giving lovely sea view. The terrace gets the sun all day long so even if a bit cold outside , warm inside if sun is shining. Normally the sun shines most days even in winter.
The small oven room has a traditional hand built old bread oven and now has fridge , electric cooker / oven, microwave , toaster,and all utensils etc. All simple stuff but all working ok.
The washing up sink is on the terrace next to this oven room with hot/cold water.
Again, very simple but functional and all under cover now in case of bad weather.
I am at this moment adding a new gas cooker and a large new fridge Freezer. This means the terrace will now have a fully functioning well equipped kitchen.
I am also ordering a corner sofa unit.. dinng table..so the enclosed terrace will become the main living room.
Behind this is the very large garage with 50cc moto scooter stored. Plus all my windsurfers and garden stuff and lots of other junk too !!
When I am here in summer I often live in my caravan, down the garden. This has it's own sun terrace too and is quite cool in our hot summer.
The garden :
Large 3000 m2 and loads of work for me each time I arrive in April. Normally arrive to 3ft of weeds.
So it would be great to have it looked after during winter. I have a rotovator. Easy work. 2 or 3 times each winter.
Takes 2 whole days each time to dig up the whole garden. I do it before I leave. So probably 2 times more in winter would suffice.
You can grow anything here organically. The earth is good quality as I am in a fertile valley. My water well is sadly dry now but I have mains water and we get sunshine nearly every day of the year.
I have a water timers for my younger trees but big ones would need a good overnight water every week. However I will try to fix timers to these too. Otherwise just my long hose pipe, so very easy. I have mulberry, lemon, orange, mandarin, apricot, nectarine , fig trees and of course olive trees and some grapes.
Occasionally it will really rain heavy for some days but not usually consistently. I spent a winter here once from early Feb and was in shorts and T-shirt most of the time during the day – same in November if sun is out. But it can get chilly at night when the sun goes down.
In winter it goes down very early behind the mountain – 5pm approx so long dark nights in winter. Be prepared. A bit boring after the lovely long summer evenings we get.
Some people swim all year but for swimming in winter I would recommend a shortie wet suit at least ! Water temp is about 60 F in winter I think. We have lovely beaches nearbye. Very quiet in winter of course.
Heating is just a simple electric heater but very efficient in the small house.
They tell me that December and January can sometimes be quite chilly if windy outside and no sun but rarely goes below 50f.
Here is a link to Karpathos weather: looks like about 20+ sunny days per month in winter.
I have helped rescue puppies and cats on the island for some years. I have 2 cats that just pitch up. I feed them and they seem to keep away any field rats or mice.
I rescued 1 puppy dog from a rubbish bin 2 years ago. Her name is “trouble”. She was adopted luckily by a guy on the island but in 2016 before she could have the operation she had 3 puppies. 1 went to Meribel (ouzo) 1 went to Scotland (Metaxa) and we kept one to stay with the mother (raki).
They have both had the operation now so no more puppies.
He now has he says problems with the new landlord ! He has given back the dogs ! They are very friendly , well behaved if a bit lively, and affectionate. Photos coming soon when they have had a haircut . They are very shaggy at the moment and are off to the vets for a cut and check up in a few days. At this moment I have another dog and 2 puppies. However the puppies are off to Holland on 13th July. I am not sure yet about the mother who was abandoned when pregnant! But all 3 get on fine. So this explains the house sit situation.
My whole garden is fenced in and very big. 3000 m, so dogs can be left free all day. I am preping outside kennels for them but if really cold in winter they can sleep on the closed terrace at night I think. I take them for walks morning and evening so they make their toilet at those times normally.
The idea came to me that maybe an old couple living in miserable Uk in winter might like to spend 5 months here instead.
I am 10 km from the town, 15 minutes walk to the beach, but it is VERY quiet here. For me an ex Londoner using the M25 every day , I love it away from noise and traffic and pollution, but some might find it boring. The road up is un made and a bit rough but normally ok for a car or motorbike etc.
I have 1 neighbour who could give a lift to town sometimes for shopping etc. It is 1 hour each way on my mountain bike (s). Up and down mountain roads. , good for the waistline and fitness!
However last summer I bought a 50cc scooter. Does about 40 mph. Old but works ok and will be insured for anybody with a licence. Takes 15 minutes to town on it. Great fun, unless it is very windy !! So a car is not really necessary. If you wanted to tour the island you can rent one cheap in winter.
Seems like a local mini market now stays open all winter. Sells basic stuff – Milk – Bread etc. Eggs I get from a local lady.
One little restaurant nearby (10 minutes) stays open. Airport is nearby also - but very few planes in winter. Otherwise NOTHING really here except peace and quiet!
The main town is lovely. Quite busy and lively in winter actually with restaurants and cafes of course. The island has about 5000 people in winter.
Electric , wifi and water are paid automatically. I will leave all the cat food and dog food. I will cover any natural house repairs or vets bills of course but hopefully not needed. You would be expected to cover any breakages or accidental damage.
You would just need food, beers maybe and wine, all fairly cheap. Food is about the same cost as the UK here, but much is locally grown and plenty of fresh fish of course. I buy from a local fisherman in town the day he catches it.
Free range eggs from a local lady. Bread from the small town bakery. It freezes well.
Just fresh vegetables and fresh fruit entail a trip to town each 1 or 2 weeks.
So who would this situation suit ? I think a couple that want to escape a cold and miserable winter. Someone who would like growing loads of organic stuff in the garden and has work to do on internet to keep themselves occupied.
I can try to start off your winter vegetables and you would start off later my potatoes, tomatoes, zuchinis, melons , peppers etc etc for my arrival. This would be fabulous for me as I am normally a bit too late for this. I am really in to organic food. I use a local guy for goats poop fertilizer. It works great . They just roam wild here all over the mountains.
If you could sort the garden and rotovate and maybe some painting and stuff also , would be great. Every year because of the hot sun , things need re painting etc.
I have an old wayfarer dingy..boy does that need some loving attention !! Sadly it has been neglected for years now. My fault entirely..too busy windsurfing in past years.
Also someone who loves peace and quiet and does not mind being in a remote location. Obviously, someone who loves animals. The dogs are easy and just need feeding and a walk in the morning and evening as the garden is so large. By next winter I have no idea but maybe I will have rescued another. I managed to get 3 puppies re housed last year in Europe.
The cats just need feeding each morning if and when they show up.
Please note again that unless you have a european or UK passport normally the schengen visa is for 3 months only. I really need a 5 month period and this time I want to have contact in person or at the very least skype with any potential sitters. I would prefer a face to face meeting if possible.
I will also need references, ID, and proof of address. Sorry for this but having had last years plans turned upside down I have to be more careful in future. Finally I will only commit when I see the sitter(s) have booked flights / ferries etc.
So please now feel free to ask more questions etc.
Thanks again for your reply. Much appreciated.
Looking after the 2 dogs (easy as large garden) , feeding 1 cat, or whoever turns up each day...and the garden (most important). Growing lots of organic vegetables for themselves in winter and for me when I arrive end of April. Some painting of the outside house - & terrace might be possible. If I get time I shall do it this summer.
VERY quiet..and remote.. lovely sun terrace , lovely sunny weather (mostly) .lovely sea and beaches.. Wifi , TV (BBC World Service only + DVD player and many DVDs.
Free use of 50cc scooter+ 2 mountain bikes. An old Gold Multi Gym for keeping fit !Scooter takes 2 but probably 130 kilos maximum weight for 2. . Best just for one person to do the shopping and put a basket on the back as I do.
It will suit somebody very keen on gardening and organic produce. Someone who wants to escape the miserable winter of the Uk or Europe.
All bills here paid, electric,wifi,water and 50cc Motor Scooter provided. 3 party insurance only so any damage would be the riders responsibility. Occasional car rental maybe possible cheap out of season to tour the lovely island in one day ! Food of course needed, similar price to UK but better quality vegetables for sure and loads of fresh fish.
The main shopping is in town but there is a local mini supermarket 10 minutes stroll away open all year.
My kitchen will have a large fridge Freezer..with a 2nd chest freezer in the garage so I can stock up with loads of stuff to save big shopping trips.
But note this is a very simple old stone house and my personal caravan is further down in the garden. Not luxury living but here on Karpathos we live outside in most of the time. It will suit an older couple that want a sunny winter ..but are happily self contained. My preference is for a 100% reliable retired couple from the UK if possible. I was let down last year last minute by a French internet couple (40's) and a young couple (20's) from Estonia. So I am going to be very fussy who I give the house to this year. Excuse me if I want lots of references and know a lot about you !
We do have a new hospital opening up at Xmas but you would need private insurance ideally in case of emergency. Also if there is any possibility at all that you would both have to leave the island together due to family problems in the UK / bereavement etc then please do not apply. The dogs have to come first with me. Sorry !
I have 2 neighbours (Greek & German) who are happy to help with any problems that might occur. There are very few English on the island. A bit of a hippy or country style of life would help.
Feel free to e mail for any more information.
1) FLIGHTS FROM LAP TO KARPATHOS VIA ATHENS BY AGEAN AIR.
2) EASY JET TO ATHENS THEN OLYMPIC OR SKY EXPRESS TO KARPATHOS. ATHENS TO KARPATHOS IS 1 HOUR.
3) EASY JET TO RHODES THEN OLYMPIC OR SKY EXPRESS TO KARPATHOS. RHODES TO KARPATHOS 15 MINUTES.
4) DRIVING TO VENICE OR ANCONA. THEN FERRY TO PATRAS. THEN FEERY ATHENS TO KARPATHOS. ALLOW 1 WEEK ! ABOUT 1000 MILES DRIVING LONDON TO KARPATHOS.