Travel Safety and Advisories for Greece

1. What are the current travel safety advisories for Greece?

As of September 2021, the current travel safety advisories for Greece vary based on the country or region you are traveling from. However, some general safety tips and advisories for travelers to Greece include:

1. COVID-19 Precautions: Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to follow local health guidelines and regulations, including wearing face masks in indoor public spaces, practicing social distancing, and frequently washing hands.

2. Demonstration Awareness: Greece has a history of sporadic demonstrations and strikes, particularly in major cities like Athens. It is advisable to avoid large gatherings and monitor local news for any potential unrest.

3. Petty Crime: Like any tourist destination, Greece has its share of petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft, especially in crowded tourist areas. Travelers should remain vigilant of their belongings and avoid carrying valuables in public.

4. Natural Disasters: Greece is susceptible to earthquakes, particularly in the southern part of the country. It is recommended to familiarize yourself with emergency procedures in case of a natural disaster.

5. Transport Safety: While Greece has a relatively safe transportation system, travelers should exercise caution when using public transport and be aware of road safety if renting a car.

Overall, Greece is a popular and relatively safe destination for tourists, but it is essential to stay informed of any travel advisories and take necessary precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip.

2. Are there any specific safety concerns for solo female travelers in Greece?

Solo female travelers in Greece may face some specific safety concerns, as in any destination around the world. To enhance safety while traveling in Greece, it is advisable for solo female travelers to:

1. Be cautious when walking alone at night, especially in less crowded or poorly lit areas.
2. Avoid accepting drinks or food from strangers, and be mindful of your surroundings in social settings.
3. Keep your personal belongings secure, and be vigilant against pickpockets and petty theft, especially in popular tourist areas.
4. Research safe transportation options and consider using reputable taxi services or public transportation.
5. Dress modestly and respectfully, especially when visiting religious sites or local communities.
6. Stay connected with family or friends by sharing your itinerary and regularly checking in with them.
7. Trust your instincts and avoid situations that make you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

By being proactive, aware, and prepared, solo female travelers can enjoy a safe and fulfilling experience in Greece.

3. How safe is it to travel to Greece right now in terms of COVID-19?

Traveling to Greece right now in terms of COVID-19 safety is generally considered safe, with certain precautions to keep in mind. Here are key points to consider:

1. COVID-19 Situation: As of now, Greece has implemented strict measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, including mask mandates in indoor spaces and public transportation, as well as social distancing guidelines.

2. Vaccination and Testing: Greece has been actively vaccinating its population, and visitors may be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test result upon entry. It is important to stay updated on any changes in entry requirements.

3. Health Infrastructure: Greece has a well-developed healthcare system, which can provide assistance to visitors in case of any medical emergencies related to COVID-19.

Overall, with proper precautions and adherence to local guidelines, traveling to Greece can be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is essential to stay informed about the latest developments and adhere to health and safety protocols to protect yourself and others during your trip.

4. Are there any areas in Greece that are considered dangerous for tourists?

Yes, there are some areas in Greece that are considered potentially dangerous for tourists due to various factors. These areas include:

1. Athens: While the majority of Athens is safe for tourists, certain neighborhoods, particularly around Omonia Square and Exarchia, are known for higher levels of crime. Visitors should exercise caution and be aware of pickpocketing and theft in these areas.

2. Certain islands: Some popular tourist islands, such as Mykonos and Ios, are known for their vibrant nightlife which can sometimes lead to excessive drinking, rowdy behavior, and petty crime. Tourists should be cautious, especially when out late at night or in crowded areas.

3. Border regions: The border regions of Greece, particularly those near Turkey and North Macedonia, can sometimes experience tensions and occasional spikes in migrant activity. While this doesn’t usually pose a direct threat to tourists, it’s advisable to stay informed about the situation and avoid any potential conflict areas.

It’s important for tourists to stay informed about their surroundings, follow local news and advisories, and take common-sense precautions to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit to Greece. As with any travel destination, being aware of your surroundings and practicing good situational awareness can go a long way in staying safe while exploring this beautiful country.

5. What are the common scams and tourist traps to be aware of in Greece?

When traveling to Greece, it is essential to be aware of common scams and tourist traps to protect yourself and your belongings. Some prevalent scams and tourist traps in Greece include:

1. Pickpocketing: Pickpocketing can happen in crowded tourist areas, public transportation, and busy markets. Be mindful of your belongings, keep your valuables secure, and avoid flashing expensive items in public.

2. Fake police officers: Scammers may impersonate police officers to ask for your ID or search your belongings. Always ask for official identification before providing any information or handing over your belongings. If in doubt, seek assistance from a nearby authentic police officer or contact the local police station.

3. Overcharging: Some restaurants, taxis, and shops may overcharge tourists, especially in popular tourist areas. Always confirm prices beforehand, check your bill for discrepancies, and be prepared to negotiate if necessary.

4. Fake designer goods: Avoid purchasing counterfeit products sold on the streets or in unauthorized shops, as it is illegal and supports criminal activities. Stick to reputable stores and markets to ensure the authenticity of your purchases.

5. ATM scams: Be cautious when using ATMs, especially in tourist areas, as scammers may tamper with machines or use skimming devices to steal your card information. Use ATMs located in secure areas, cover your PIN when entering it, and regularly check your bank statements for any unauthorized transactions.

By staying vigilant, practicing situational awareness, and being cautious of your surroundings, you can minimize the risk of falling victim to common scams and tourist traps in Greece.

6. Is it safe to use public transportation in Greece, especially in bigger cities like Athens?

1. Using public transportation in Greece, particularly in bigger cities like Athens, is generally considered safe. The public transportation system in Athens, which includes buses, trams, the metro, and trolleys, is well-developed and efficient. However, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind:

2. Pickpocketing can be a common issue on crowded buses and metro trains, so travelers should remain vigilant and keep an eye on their belongings at all times.

3. It is also recommended to avoid using public transportation late at night, particularly if you are traveling alone.

4. Be aware of your surroundings and try to stay in well-lit areas when waiting for public transportation.

5. Overall, using public transportation in Greece is a convenient and safe way to get around, but taking necessary precautions can help ensure a smooth and secure journey.

7. What are the emergency numbers to call in case of an incident in Greece?

In Greece, the emergency number to call in case of any incident requiring police, ambulance, or fire services is 112. This single universal emergency number can be dialed from any phone, free of charge. Upon calling 112, your call will be directed to the appropriate response services based on the nature of the emergency. It is important to note that English-speaking operators are available, making it accessible for foreign visitors in need of assistance. Additionally, it is wise to have the following numbers readily available in case of specific emergencies:

1. Police: 100
2. Ambulance: 166
3. Fire Department: 199

By keeping these emergency numbers handy and understanding when to use each one, you can ensure a quick and effective response in times of need while traveling in Greece.

8. Are there any cultural customs or norms that travelers should be aware of to stay safe in Greece?

When traveling to Greece, it is important for visitors to be aware of certain cultural customs and norms to stay safe and respectful during their stay:

1. Dress code: Greece is a relatively conservative country when it comes to dress. It is important to dress modestly when visiting churches and religious sites, covering shoulders and knees. In beach areas, it is acceptable to wear bathing suits, but it is polite to cover up when leaving the beach.

2. Respect for local traditions: Greeks are proud of their cultural heritage and traditions. It is important for travelers to be respectful of local customs, such as not raising one hand with an open palm (considered an insult) and not stepping on a Greek flag.

3. Punctuality: Greeks tend to have a more relaxed sense of time, so it is important for travelers to be patient and not get frustrated if things do not always go according to schedule.

4. Personal space and interactions: Greeks can be very warm and friendly, often engaging in physical gestures like handshakes, hugs, and cheek kisses. It is important to reciprocate these gestures respectfully.

By being aware of and respecting these cultural customs and norms, travelers can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Greece.

9. How safe is the tap water in Greece for drinking and bathing?

Tap water in Greece is generally safe for drinking and bathing in most urban areas. The quality of tap water is regulated by the Greek government and meets European Union standards. However, in some remote rural areas or islands, it is recommended to stick to bottled water for drinking to avoid any potential health issues. Here are a few points to consider:

1. The tap water quality can vary depending on the region and source of the water supply. In popular tourist destinations and major cities like Athens, Thessaloniki, and Heraklion, the tap water is safe to drink.

2. In some islands or smaller towns, the water may have a different taste due to high mineral content but is still safe for bathing and cooking. It is advisable to check with local authorities or your accommodation provider for specific information about the water quality in a particular area.

3. If you have a sensitive stomach or are unsure about the water quality, sticking to bottled water for drinking and brushing your teeth is a safe precaution.

Overall, the tap water in Greece is considered safe for drinking and bathing in most areas, but it’s always a good idea to exercise caution, especially in rural or remote regions.

10. Are there any health concerns or vaccinations recommended for travelers to Greece?

Yes, there are certain health concerns and recommended vaccinations for travelers to Greece. Here are some important points to consider:

1. Routine Vaccinations: Ensure that your routine vaccinations are up to date before traveling to Greece. This includes vaccinations for diseases like measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, and influenza.

2. Hepatitis A: It is recommended to get vaccinated against Hepatitis A as it can be contracted through contaminated food or water in Greece.

3. Hepatitis B: Travelers who may come into contact with blood or body fluids, have sexual contact with the local population, or require medical treatment during their stay should consider getting vaccinated against Hepatitis B.

4. Rabies: If you are planning outdoor activities or staying in rural areas where there is a risk of animal bites, consider getting vaccinated against rabies.

5. Mosquito-borne Diseases: During the warmer months, there is a risk of mosquito-borne diseases such as West Nile virus in Greece. Be sure to use insect repellent and take other precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

6. Food and Water Safety: To prevent gastrointestinal illnesses, stick to bottled water, avoid consuming tap water, and be cautious with food hygiene practices.

It is always best to consult with a healthcare provider or travel medicine specialist before your trip to get personalized advice based on your medical history and travel plans.

11. What safety precautions should be taken when renting a car in Greece?

When renting a car in Greece, there are several important safety precautions that should be taken to ensure a smooth and secure driving experience:

1. Verify the reputation of the rental company: Make sure you rent from a reputable and established car rental company to avoid any potential scams or issues with the vehicle.

2. Inspect the car thoroughly before driving off: Check for any existing damages, dents, or scratches on the car and make sure everything is documented to avoid being held accountable for pre-existing damages.

3. Familiarize yourself with Greek traffic laws and road signs: It’s essential to understand and follow local traffic laws and signs to stay safe on the roads in Greece.

4. Be cautious of aggressive driving: Greek drivers can be known for their sometimes aggressive driving habits, so it’s important to remain alert and drive defensively.

5. Secure your belongings: Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight inside the car to deter potential break-ins.

6. Always wear a seatbelt: Seatbelts are compulsory for both drivers and passengers in Greece, so make sure everyone in the car is properly restrained.

7. Avoid driving at night in unfamiliar areas: It’s generally safer to drive during daylight hours and to avoid remote or less populated areas, especially at night.

8. Be cautious on rural roads: Many roads in Greece, especially in rural areas, can be narrow, winding, and without guardrails, so drive with caution and be mindful of your surroundings.

9. Use GPS or maps: Ensure you have reliable navigation tools to help you navigate through unfamiliar areas and prevent getting lost.

10. Stay informed about weather conditions: Greece can experience sudden weather changes, especially in mountainous regions, so stay updated on weather forecasts before embarking on your journey.

By following these safety precautions, you can help ensure a safe and enjoyable driving experience while exploring the beautiful country of Greece.

12. Is it safe to hike and explore the Greek islands on foot?

Hiking and exploring the Greek islands on foot can be a wonderful and rewarding experience, but it’s important to keep safety in mind. Here are some tips to ensure a safe hiking experience in the Greek islands:

1. Research trails beforehand: Make sure to research the trails you plan to hike, including their difficulty level and any potential hazards along the way.
2. Stay on designated paths: Stick to marked trails to avoid getting lost or wandering into unsafe areas.
3. Wear appropriate footwear and clothing: Wear sturdy hiking shoes and comfortable clothing that protects you from the sun and elements.
4. Stay hydrated and carry essentials: Take plenty of water, snacks, a map, a flashlight, a first aid kit, and a fully charged phone with an offline map or GPS.
5. Check the weather: Be aware of weather conditions before setting out, as sudden changes can occur.
6. Let someone know your plans: Inform a friend or family member of your hiking itinerary and expected return time.
7. Respect local flora and fauna: Be mindful of the environment and avoid disturbing wildlife or damaging plants.
8. Be cautious near cliffs and steep areas: Exercise caution near cliff edges and steep terrain, especially in windy conditions.
9. Be wary of wildlife: Be aware of potential encounters with snakes or other wildlife and know how to react safely.
10. Be prepared for emergencies: Know the emergency numbers in Greece (112 for general emergencies, 100 for police, 166 for ambulance), and have a plan in case of injury or other emergencies.

By following these safety tips and using common sense, hiking and exploring the Greek islands on foot can be a memorable and safe experience.

13. Are there any specific safety tips for visiting historical sites and archaeological ruins in Greece?

When visiting historical sites and archaeological ruins in Greece, there are several safety tips to keep in mind to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience:

1. Stay on designated paths and respect any barriers or signs that indicate off-limits areas.
2. Watch your step, as many archaeological sites may have uneven terrain, loose stones, or slippery surfaces that could cause accidents.
3. Stay hydrated, especially during hot summer months, by carrying water with you and taking regular breaks in shaded areas.
4. Be cautious of your belongings and valuables, as crowded tourist sites can be targets for pickpockets.
5. Follow any guidelines provided by site staff or tour guides, especially regarding photography restrictions or prohibited actions.
6. Wear appropriate footwear with good traction to navigate potentially rocky or uneven surfaces.
7. Be mindful of your surroundings and respectful of the historical significance of the site by refraining from touching or climbing on ancient structures.
8. Check the weather forecast before visiting, as certain sites may become slippery or dangerous during rainy or windy conditions.
9. Be aware of potential wildlife in the area, such as snakes or insects, and take precautions to avoid encounters.
10. In case of any emergency, know the location of the nearest emergency exits or first aid stations.
11. Consider purchasing travel insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies and trip cancellations.
12. If you are planning to explore remote archaeological sites, inform someone about your itinerary and expected return time.
13. Lastly, be mindful of your own physical limitations and pace yourself to avoid overexertion or fatigue while exploring historical sites in Greece.

14. How prevalent is petty crime, such as pickpocketing, in tourist areas in Greece?

Petty crime, especially pickpocketing, is relatively prevalent in tourist areas in Greece. Tourist hotspots such as popular archaeological sites, public transportation hubs, crowded markets, and nightlife districts are particularly targeted by pickpockets. The bustling crowds and distracted tourists present easy opportunities for thieves to operate. To mitigate the risk of falling victim to pickpocketing, it is advisable to remain vigilant and exercise caution, especially in crowded places. Below are some tips to protect yourself from pickpocketing while visiting Greece:

1. Keep your valuables secure by using anti-theft bags or money belts.
2. Avoid keeping all your important belongings in one place.
3. Be cautious of your surroundings and keep an eye on your belongings.
4. Do not leave your bags unattended or hanging on the back of a chair.
5. Consider using a RFID-blocking wallet to protect your credit card information.
6. Avoid displaying large amounts of cash or valuable items in public.
7. If you are carrying a backpack, wear it on the front in crowded areas.
8. Be wary of distractions, such as someone bumping into you or causing a commotion.
9. Report any suspicious individuals or activities to local authorities.
10. Consider purchasing travel insurance that covers theft and loss of belongings.

By staying alert and taking necessary precautions, you can reduce the risk of falling victim to pickpocketing during your visit to Greece.

15. Are there any safety concerns for swimming and water activities in Greece?

Yes, there are safety concerns to be aware of when engaging in swimming and water activities in Greece. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Rip currents: Some beaches in Greece, particularly those with strong currents or sudden drop-offs, can be prone to rip currents. Swimmers should be cautious and always heed warning signs from local authorities.

2. Drowning: Accidental drowning is a risk for swimmers of all skill levels. It is essential to never swim alone, always supervise children, and avoid alcohol consumption before entering the water.

3. Jellyfish and sea urchins: Some coastal areas in Greece may have jellyfish or sea urchins, which can deliver painful stings. Wearing protective footwear and paying attention to warning signs can minimize the risk of encounters with these creatures.

4. Unsupervised beaches: In more remote or less popular beach areas, there may be no lifeguards or rescue equipment available. It is important to exercise caution and take responsibility for your own safety in such locations.

By being informed about these potential hazards and taking necessary precautions, visitors can enjoy swimming and water activities in Greece safely.

16. What are the general safety tips for staying in hotels and accommodations in Greece?

When staying in hotels and accommodations in Greece, it is important to prioritize your safety and security. Here are some general safety tips to keep in mind:

1. Choose reputable accommodations: Opt for well-reviewed and established hotels or rental properties with good security measures in place.
2. Lock your doors: Always secure your room or apartment door with the provided locks, and use the safety deposit box for your valuables.
3. Be cautious with strangers: Avoid sharing personal information or room details with strangers, and be wary of anyone who may seem suspicious.
4. Stay aware of your surroundings: Familiarize yourself with the emergency exits and procedures of the building, and report any concerning activities to the staff.
5. Keep emergency contacts handy: Save the local emergency numbers and contact information of the hotel or accommodation in case of any unforeseen incidents.
6. Mind your belongings: Do not leave valuables unattended in your room or common areas, and be cautious with your belongings when moving around the hotel.
7. Follow hotel guidelines: Adhere to any safety protocols or guidelines provided by the accommodation to ensure a secure and enjoyable stay.

By following these safety tips, you can enhance your overall security and peace of mind during your stay in hotels and accommodations in Greece.

17. How reliable is the healthcare system in Greece for tourists in case of emergencies?

The healthcare system in Greece is generally reliable for tourists in case of emergencies. Here are some key points to consider:

1. Quality of Care: Greek healthcare facilities, especially in major cities and popular tourist destinations, offer a high standard of medical care.

2. English-speaking Staff: Many doctors and medical professionals in Greece speak English, making it easier for tourists to communicate their needs and understand their treatment options.

3. Emergency Services: Greece has a well-established emergency response system. In case of a medical emergency, tourists can dial the European emergency number 112 for assistance.

4. Public and Private Healthcare: Greece has both public and private healthcare facilities. Private hospitals and clinics typically offer faster service and more amenities, but they can be more expensive.

5. Health Insurance: Tourists are advised to have travel insurance that includes coverage for medical emergencies while abroad. This will help mitigate any potential high costs associated with medical treatment in Greece.

Overall, tourists can feel confident that they will receive adequate and timely medical care in case of emergencies while visiting Greece. It is important to familiarize yourself with the local healthcare system and have the necessary insurance coverage to ensure a smooth experience in case of unforeseen medical situations.

18. Are there any specific safety concerns for LGBTQ+ travelers in Greece?

While Greece is generally considered a progressive and tolerant country towards LGBTQ+ individuals, there are some specific safety concerns that LGBTQ+ travelers should be aware of to ensure a safe and enjoyable trip:

1. Public Display of Affection: While attitudes towards LGBTQ+ individuals have improved in recent years, public displays of affection between same-sex couples may still attract unwanted attention or disapproval in some areas, especially in more conservative or rural areas.

2. Legislation: Same-sex marriage is legal in Greece, but discrimination based on sexual orientation is not explicitly prohibited in all areas of life. LGBTQ+ travelers should be aware of their rights and the legal protections available to them.

3. Attitudes and Stereotypes: LGBTQ+ travelers may encounter certain stereotypes or biases, particularly in more traditional communities. It is advisable to exercise discretion and sensitivity when discussing personal relationships or LGBTQ+ issues with locals.

4. Safety Precautions: Like any traveler, LGBTQ+ individuals should take common-sense safety precautions, such as avoiding isolated areas at night and being cautious when using dating apps or meeting new people.

Overall, while Greece is generally a safe destination for LGBTQ+ travelers, it is important to remain aware of the local culture, laws, and attitudes towards the LGBTQ+ community to ensure a positive and safe travel experience.

19. What are the rules and regulations for drone usage in Greece for tourists?

In Greece, tourists are required to adhere to specific rules and regulations when using drones to ensure safety and compliance with local laws. Here are some important guidelines to keep in mind:

1. Registration: Drones weighing more than 250 grams must be registered with the Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority (HCAA) before flying.

2. Zones: Respect no-fly zones, which include airports, military installations, and archaeological sites.

3. Altitude: Do not fly your drone higher than 120 meters above ground level.

4. Line of sight: Always keep your drone within your line of sight while flying.

5. Restrictions: Do not fly over crowds of people, near sensitive areas, or during nighttime.

6. Permits: Special permits may be required for commercial drone use or filming purposes.

7. Privacy: Respect the privacy of individuals when flying your drone and avoid recording without their consent.

8. Insurance: Consider obtaining liability insurance for potential accidents or damages caused by your drone.

It is essential for tourists to familiarize themselves with these regulations to ensure a safe and enjoyable drone flying experience in Greece.

20. Are there any travel insurance recommendations for visitors to Greece to ensure safety and coverage in case of emergencies?

Yes, I recommend that visitors to Greece consider obtaining comprehensive travel insurance to ensure safety and coverage in case of emergencies. Here are a few key points to consider when selecting travel insurance for Greece:

1. Medical Coverage: Ensure that your travel insurance provides adequate coverage for medical expenses, including emergency medical treatment, hospital stays, and medical evacuation in case of a serious illness or injury.

2. Trip Cancellation and Interruption: Look for a policy that includes coverage for trip cancellation and interruption due to unforeseen events such as illness, natural disasters, or political unrest.

3. Baggage and Personal Belongings: Choose a plan that offers coverage for lost, stolen, or damaged baggage and personal belongings, including valuable items like electronics or jewelry.

4. Emergency Assistance Services: Opt for a policy that includes 24/7 emergency assistance services, such as a helpline for medical emergencies or help with replacing lost travel documents.

5. Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) Coverage: Consider adding a CFAR option to your policy, which allows you to cancel your trip for any reason and receive a partial refund of your prepaid expenses.

It’s essential to review the policy details carefully, understand the coverage limits and exclusions, and ensure that the insurance meets your specific needs and travel plans while visiting Greece.