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Visiting Greece

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Visiting Greece

Last Update January 26, 2022

Important information for 2022

Tourism to Greece was severely limited during the 2020 pandemic, but that changed in 2021 with a very aggressive government effort to balance both public safety and the passage of tourists into and out from Greece, and the result was a fairly nimble program that reacted to the wax and wane of the pandemic of 2021.

INFO FOR JANUARY 1, 2022 until February 7, 2022

Entrance to Greece

(Remember there are also specific exit rules for Greece.)

In 2022 the important rules for coming to Greece are:

[1] You must have a Passenger Locator Form  "All travellers must complete their PLF before entering the country, providing detailed information on their point of departure, the duration of previous stays in other countries, and the address of their stay while in Greece. In case of multiple stays, they are required to provide the address for the first 24 hours at least. One PLF should be submitted per family."

[2] Regardless of nationality, vaccination status or proof of disease recovery you must provide a document showing negative molecular test result (PCR) for Covid-19 performed up to 72 hours before the scheduled arrival or a negative Rapid Antigen test result for Covid-19 performed up to 24 hours before the scheduled arrival. The document showing this test result must be issued by a certified diagnostic center in Greek, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian or Russian and must include the name of the passenger as registered in the passport.

Diagnostic center testing places in Greece - Google search

Diagnostic center testing places in USA - Google search

Diagnostic center testing places in United Kingdom - Google search

Diagnostic center testing places in France - Google search

Diagnostic center testing places in Italy - Google search

[3] All travellers are subject to random obligatory molecular test (PCR) or Rapid Antigen Test for COVID-19.

Countries allowed entry to Greece via airports:

Allowed entry to nationals of EU member states and Schengen countries:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland.

Other countries allowed entry:

San Marino, Azerbaijan, Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Vatican City, North Macedonia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, United Arab Emirates, USA, United Kingdom, Japan, India, Jordan, Israel, Canada, Qatar, China, Taiwan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Belarus, Lebanon, Montenegro, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Bahrain, Brunei, New Zealand, South Korea, Ukraine, Uruguay, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Sultanate of Oman, Turkey, Chile.

List source for EU, Schengen and other countries Greek Gov't

Allowed entry to Greece via land crossing:

Entrance gates at Promachonas, Ormenios, Evzoni, Nymfaia, Exochis, Nikis, Doirani, Krystallopigi, Kipi*, Kakavia, Kastania* and Mavromatiou, on a 24h basis.

*For land borders of Kipi and Kastania, on a 24h basis, there is a limit of 1.500 passengers per week. For the Mertziani Entrance Gate entrance is allowed from 8.00 to 20.00.

Exiting Greece:

A passenger leaving must have a vaccination certificate issued by a certified authority or certificate of recovery from SARS-CoV-2 infection issued by a public authority or a certified laboratory. The certificate is issued 14 days after the day of the first positive COVID-19 test and is valid for 90 days after that.

All certificates must include the critical information (i.e. number of doses and their respective dates) in English, German French, Italian, Spanish, Russian and the person’s full name must match the name on the passport or any other recognized travel document.



Important Links for Travel

Official Greek government website: Protocol for Arrivals in and Departures from Greece

Airports of Greece - list at the Hellenic Aviation Authority

Protocol for Arrivals in Greece - Hellenic Republic Government page in English.

Moving to Greece, Living in Greece - Some helpful resources

Eurail to Greece

Airports of Greece - list at the Hellenic Aviation Authority



West Nile VIrus

What is West Nile Virus? A mosquito-borne disease most commonly spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. [Source: CDC USA page in English. For a related new article see this August 2022 piece at Outbreak News Today also in English.]

Facts:

West Nile Virus In 2021, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recorded 139 infections with wth 57 cases in Greece with 9 deaths (see the website for the EU Disease Control Center, Nov 12, 2021 here)

West Nile Virus In 2020, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recorded 143 infections with 23 deaths (see the website for the EU Disease Control Center, Nov 27, 2020 here)

There were 223 cases of West Nile Virus in 2019, and 300+ cases in 2018. This is a threatening ailment though with less than 1% of cases proving to be fatal. Spread by mosquito, the virus produces a fever and when serious, other complications (the American CDC page on West Nile is here). Health care on mainland Greece is considered very good, however the islands frequently have much more limited resources. (For reference see European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control ECDC Europa.)

Passports

For stays in Greece longer than 90 days see this Greek Government page on VISA requirements.

Passport checks increase travel time - In 2017 the Schengen Borders Code regulation EU 2017/458 began implementation, and the Greek police began enforcing these stricter border controls in April of 2019. Making sure you have the appropriate paperwork and identification with you is important. US citizens usually only need a passport with trips of 90 days or less into Greece, beyond that time frame a visa is required. For more info see:

Hellenic Embassy Washington DC web site

Hellenic Embassy London UK

Hellenic Embassy Australia

Tourism and crime

Crime against tourists - Greece has a quite low level of violent crime, and the typical issue a tourist faces is theft while using the metro subway or while using public spaces. Besides stealing valuables, passport theft is a problem, and many authorities recommend keeping the passport locked up safely at the hotel while carrying a photocopy of identification.

Why tourism is such a large business in Greece

Tourism in Greece is very important and contributes 18% [1] of the country GDP. The government and private enterprise regularly invest in making international tourism a relatively simple affair for the traveller (for example, some 51% of Greeks around Athens are rated to have some English language skills) with a high regard for the visitor's comfort and enjoyment, with an extensive focus on just getting a tourist entourage from one place to another effectively.

Each year the tourist season (heaviest May to September, though tourism flourishes all year) edges upward in total numbers of visitors such that records seem to be broken almost yearly for total number of arrivals, and 2018counted an all-time high of 33 million visitors (see this GTP article for details).

The economic crisis brought about a 26% contraction in the Greek economy between 2007 and 2013 [2] resulting in extensive turmoil in employment, business and banking, and this hurt tourism somewhat, but another result was an even sharper focus on this renewable income maker for the country, and as the Greek finances have improved, so has an explosion of activity to expand the tourist trade, in in 2019 increased construction and expansion of existing properties catering to tourism has increased.

Related: Places in Greece


EURAIL to visit Greece

The EURAIL system carries passengers into 31 different countries, and beginning in 2019 EURAIL began including 53 islands as part of their routes by using ferries, in particular Blue Star Ferries and Superfast, both part of the EURAIL system. The island pass system does not include the Greek mainland, which is a separate add-on that can be purchased for use with a EURAIL pass.

Euro Rail Lines Map

The Global Pass lets you travel in these 33 countries [source: eurail.com]:

Austria, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey.

For purchasing tickets for EURAIL, use the EURAIL WEBSITE RESERVATION PAGE.

For more info and an overview of costs, see this short but informative March 2019 article online at Travel and Leisure


Driving for yourself in Greece

Informative article on getting around under your own power 13 Essential Tips on How to Drive (Safely) in Greece - Greek Reporter


Recommended resource:

Athens Survival Guide - There's nothing like this site, it is full of photos and the personal experiences of Matt Barrett over many decades in Greece.


Online eTickets

Online etickets for archeological sites, etc. - etickets.tap.gr - managed by the Archaeological Resources and Exploitation Fund of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.


The Acropolis in Athens Greece

Santorini

Rhodes

Hydra

Corfu

Cyprus

Milos

Parga Greece

Piraeus


More Greece locations


Footnotes

1, 2 Economic contraction - Source: CIA World Fact Book


Related: Touring Greece


Archived Visiting Greece Pages

Visiting Greece highlights from 2021

Visiting Greece highlights from 2019


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International Real Estate

Buying Real Estate Overseas For Cash Flow (And A Better Life): Get Started With As Little As $50,000

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Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation - AMAZON - Published March 2020 - 600 Pages

Greece Bicentennial 2021

GREECE BY NIGHT More News - ArchivePhotos of GREECE
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Fodor's Essential Greece: with the Best Islands (Full-color Travel Guide)


Visiting Greece 2022
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