Is Greece travel safe?
Absolutely. Travel to Greece is safe for two very important reasons: first of all, Greece is among the few countries in the world to have managed to keep Covid-19 infection rates and deaths down. Secondly, Greece introduced very stringent precautionary measures for hotels last summer when the country welcomed thousands of travelers who vacationed in safety and returned to their homes in good health. With a year of experience, they are well equipped to meet the new demands and needs.
When is Greece opening for travelers?
Greece has officially announced that it is opening to all travelers on May 15. Visitors who have completed vaccination (both doses) against Covid-19 or hold a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival will be allowed into the country without self isolation. Domestic measures still apply.
I’m American, can I travel to Greece?
Starting April 19, travelers from European Union or Schengen countries, the United States, the UK, Serbia, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates can enter Greece through the airports of Athens, Thessaloniki, Heraklion and Chania on Crete, Rhodes, Kos, Mykonos, Santorini and Corfu, and via two border crossings without being required to quarantine for seven days which applies to other countries. United Airlines announced that it was adding a direct flight from Washington Dulles International to Athens.
You will however be asked to provide proof that you have completed (two doses) Covid-19 vaccination or a negative PCR test result taken 72 hours before arrival. It should be noted that domestic lockdown restrictions apply to all travelers.
The US State Department is still advising US citizens against travel abroad.
Should I book a trip to Greece?
Yes. Greek authorities have announced a tentative opening date for May 15. Book your trip for June, July or August, when vaccination campaigns will be close to completion. In that time, the European Union is also expected to have introduced a “digital green certificate” which will allow holders to travel to any European country restriction free. The certificate is like a health passport of sorts validating that you have been vaccinated against Covid-19, have recovered from Covid, or have a negative Covid test result.
Greece will be accepting all visitors as long as they can provide proof of vaccination or negative PCR test results. When booking make sure to ask whether your country has restrictions in place and whether you will be required to test again or quarantine when you return to your homeland.
Should I book my trip to Greece with a travel agent?
I strongly believe that now – post-Covid – is the best time to book with a travel agent or advisor. Local agents know the ropes, know the rules and regulations, and know where your needs will best be met. If you are among the older crowds, a travel agent will ensure stress-free holidays, plus you have a go-to person at all times for questions and guidance.
Can US citizens visit Greece?
For the time being, American travelers cannot visit. Greece is only allowing admission to EU citizens and residents, and nationals of third countries with which it has special travel agreements such as Israel and Cyprus.
According to the US Embassy in Athens, Americans traveling to Greece will not be allowed admission into the country. At the same time, the CDC is advising even fully vaccinated US citizens to avoid travel unless necessary.
So you should wait until the State Department gives a clear go-ahead.
Do I need vaccinations to go to Greece?
No. Though Greek authorities encourage travelers to be vaccinated, the country’s tourism minister said Greece is open as of May 14 to all travelers as long as they present a negative PCR test result for Covid-19. Once here, you will be required to adhere to all measures, including mask-wearing at all times and social distancing.
When does Greece open to tourists?
Greek authorities have set a tentative opening date for May 15. Greece will be accepting all travelers who:
a) provide proof of vaccination (with both doses if applies) b) have a negative PCR test result conducted 72 hours before arrival.
Can I visit Greece by cruise?
Currently, Greek company Celestyal has announced it will resume sea journeys.
Celestyal Cruises said it will resume operations on May 29 with embarkation at Piraeus for its seven-night itineraries to Kusadasi, Rhodes, Santorini, Lavrion, Mykonos, Milos and Crete or from Lavrion for shorter trips.
International cruise company Celebrity announced that it will launch round-trip cruises to Greece, Cyprus, and Israel destinations with boarding from Athens (Piraeus) only for vaccinated passengers.
Europe’s MSC Cruises also announced that it will be accepting passengers for cruises to Greece and Italy with boarding in Athens (Piraeus) with a negative PCR test result 72 hours before boarding.
Royal Caribbean also announced voyages to the Greek islands departing from Limassol in Cyprus, starting July 10. Bookings will open April 7.
Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) will also be sailing to the Greek islands this July.
Other companies are expected to launch cruises including Greek destinations in the coming months.
For American nationals visiting Europe can take a cruise out of Athens.
Can I travel Greece without a car?
Definitely. There is no need for a car in Greece unless you want to take a road trip, in which case you can rent a car for a fairly decent price. Small islands like Donoussa, Symi, Kalymnos, Serifos, Sifnos, Kimolos are perfect choices for those of you who love to walk. And I should add that larger islands or mainland destinations usually have good public transport services.
How to go/do island hopping in Greece?
One thing that makes Greece a great vacation choice is that you can visit several islands in a short period of time. The Cyclades are the ideal place to start your “a Greek island a day” holiday. You can start from any island in the Cyclades and then hop to the next on the passing ferry. Go to Folegandros and from there to Sikinos, Milos and Kimolos. Or to Ios and from there to Santorini and Anafi. Or to Naxos and from there to Donoussa, Koufonissi, and Amorgos. There are dozens of choices depending on the ferry routes. But you can also arrange for local boats to take you to the next island. Or even rent a sail boat.
What are the best months to travel to Greece?
The best months to travel to Greece this year are end of July, August, September, and October. I believe that by July, travel worldwide – which means flights – will be restored. Most governments having vaccinated large parts of their populations are also expected to ease travel restrictions.
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Which Greek island is gay friendly?
Having for more than half a century been a leading destination for travelers, Greece and its islands welcome all tourists. It is after all Greek hospitality that has made the country a top choice for travelers from across the globe. Islands that are more LGBTQ-oriented include Mykonos, Folegandros, Santorini, Antiparos, Lesvos, Rhodes, Zakynthos, Skiathos, Crete, Astypalaia, and Tinos. This, of course, doesn’t mean that you can’t visit other islands or mainland destinations and feel at ease. Learn more about LGBTQ travel to Greece here.
What Greek food is vegan?
For the most part Greek cuisine is vegan and/or vegetarian. These dishes are called “ladera” and are usually fresh vegetables cooked in extra virgin olive oil and tomato sauce. There are literally dozens of options and a vegetarian or vegan will never go hungry in Greece. There are also many sweets made with olive oil such as Lenten halvas, baklavas, or fruit and vegetable spoon sweets.
Are ouzo and raki the same thing?
No. Ouzo and raki are two very different Greek spirits. Ouzo can be anise or mastic-flavored or without any flavoring. It is distilled several times to reach a 37.5 to 50% alcohol content. Ouzo is usually mixed with water and ice and becomes cloudy white. If you visit Lesvos, leading ouzo-makers, go to the ouzo museum in Plomari.
Raki – aka tsikoudia – is made on the Greek island of Crete and is a pomace brandy made of twice-distilled grapes which contains 40% to 65% alcohol by volume. A similar strong distilled spirit is made in mainland Greece known as tsipouro. All three Greek drinks are Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) products.
What Greek food to order?
Unlike other cultures, Greeks like to have all dishes on the table and rarely do course meals. Instead, they order a wide variety of dishes and eat together with friends. You can order appetisers such as Greek salad, eggplant dip, tzatziki (garlic-yogurt dip), and a “ladero” (vegetable in olive oil and tomato sauce) dish, and a meat-based dish such as chicken with potatoes, moussaka, pastichio, pork with greens.
What is a typical Greek lunch?
Greeks usually have lunch at around 1.30 to 2.30pm (in the past this was the main meal of the day). A typical Greek lunch may consist of a “ladero” (vegetables cooked in extra virgin olive oil) dish, Greek cheese, and bread. A lighter version may include a tyropita (cheese pie) or spanakopita (spinach pie).
Is Greece family friendly?
Greece is a wonderful destination for families and this is in large part due to the sense of safety offered in the small island or village communities. Kids still play outdoors in Greece. Most destinations are child-friendly with many hotels offering besides child care services, kiddies’ playgrounds and pools. Additionally, there are hundreds of long, sandy, car-free beaches to be found across the country. Top destinations include Rhodes, Crete, Halkidiki, Pyrgos, Messinia (Gialova), Naxos, and Tinos.
I am a senior citizen and I want to visit Greece. Can I?
Greece is an ideal destination for senior travelers, who are also the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19. So if you have your vaccinations and follow precautions (hand-washing, mask-wearing, social distancing), you can enjoy a great holiday in Greece. Make sure to ask your hotelier anything that may concern you before your trip. Chose a larger island like Crete or Rhodes or mainland like Halkidiki.
Is Greece dangerous for tourists?
Definitely not. Greece is one of the safest countries in the world. This, of course, does not mean you can do anything you wouldn’t do in New York, Paris, or London.
I am a traveler with disabilities can I visit Greece?
In some instances, Greece may be more disability-friendly than other leading destinations. For instance, the Athens Acropolis and Parthenon as well as the Acropolis Museum and other main museums are accessible to people with disabilities. Many large hotels and resorts also have disability access and adapted rooms or suites. My suggestion is visiting larger islands such as Crete, Rhodes, Zakynthos, or mainland destinations such as Halkidiki, Messinia, and Athens. Make sure to book at larger hotels which have the capacity to meet your needs and ask to see photos of the rooms before you book. Greece still has a long way to go but efforts are being made to create an inclusive travel experience.