Last Update February 8, 2024
What's impacting travel into Greece in 2024? Inflation continues to effect the pricing of nearly everything, of course, but now "overtourism," a word that heralds the success of one of Greece's most important economic centers in the post-pandemic era, is also a word that reveals the downside of that success.
One of the results of this increasing number of visitors is a new tax ("climate crisis resilience fee") on tourists for 2024, which it will be used to help pay for last year’s forest fire disasters.This tax replaces the old "bed tax" or "stayover tax" that applied to overnight stays in hotels, apartments, and other accommodations.
IF YOU ARE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN:
If you are planning to visit Greece and you are an American citizen, you will need the following documents:
- A valid U.S. passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Greece. It is recommended that you have at least six months of validity remaining on your passport.
A visa: Americans do not need a visa for short-term tourist stays in Greece of up to 90 days in a 180-day period. If you plan to stay longer, you will need to obtain a visa. Depending on the duration and purpose of your journey to Greece, you may apply for a short-term “Schengen visa” or a long-term “national visa” for a stay of longer than 90 days.
To obtain an extended visa you must appear in person by appointment to a Greece Consulate office. In the Untied States those offices are:
Consular Office in Washington DC
2217 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Consulate General in San Francisco
2441 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94123
Consulate General in Boston
86 Beacon St, Boston, MA 02108
Consulate General in Los Angeles
12424 Wilshire Blvd #1170, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Consulate General in New York
69 E 79th St, New York, NY 10075
Consulate General in Chicago
650 N St Clair St, Chicago, IL 60611
Consulate General in Tampa
400 N Tampa St, Tampa, FL 33602
Consulate in Atlanta
Tower Place 100, 3340 Peachtree Rd NE #1670, Atlanta, GA 30326
Consulate in Houston
2401 Fountain View Dr #850, Houston, TX 77057
- Proof of onward travel: You may be asked to provide evidence of your return or onward travel arrangements.
- Travel insurance: It is not required, but it is highly recommended to purchase travel insurance to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation or interruption, and other unexpected events. International Travel Insurance
- COVID-19 requirements: Currently there are no special requirements regarding vaccinations or Passenger Locator Forms.
- Driving an automobile in Greece: you will need an IDP International Drivers Permit and you should look at this list of tips and rules for Driving in Greece.
It is always a good idea to check with the Embassy of Greece in the United States or the Greek consulate nearest to your location for the most up-to-date information on entry requirements.
IF YOU ARE AN UK CITIZEN:
As a UK citizen planning to visit Greece for a vacation, you need the following documents:
A valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended stay in Greece. It is recommended that you have at least six months of validity remaining on your passport.
A visa: UK citizens do not need a visa for short-term tourist stays in Greece of up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
Proof of onward travel: You may be asked to provide evidence of your return or onward travel arrangements.
COVID-19 requirements: Currently there are no special requirements regarding vaccinations or Passenger Locator Forms.
If you plan to drive in Greece, you will need to carry your UK driving license or an International Driving Permit, along with proof of insurance and vehicle registration.
Temperatures: Averages for Greece throughout the year
Related: Real Estate in Greece
Related: Moving to Greece
OLDER INFO FROM 2022:
On the official Hellenic Republic web site regarding entry:
See the official Greece gov't list of countries requiring (and not requiring) a VISA for entry to Greece: mfa.gr
From 15 March 2022 onwards, travellers visiting Greece are no longer required to fill out the Passenger Locator Form (PLF). Additionally, as of Sunday 01.05.2022 and for as long as the epidemiological data allow so, all travellers arriving in Greece, regardless of their country of origin, are no longer required to display a valid certificate of vaccination or recovery from COVID-19, or evidence of a negative test result from SARS-CoV-2 infection (PCR or Rapid Antigen test). However, a simplified PLF remains in operation, the completion of which is OPTIONAL, for th
Related: Moving to greece e sole purpose of enabling the traveller / family to issue an EU Certificate of negative or positive COVID-19 test result. Travellers, who decide to fill out the simplified form, will receive the PLF with their unique Quick Response (QR) code via email (the QR code will be provided in a link in the email). The PLF can also be found on the Visit Greece app and at travel.gov.gr. It is strongly recommended that all visitors download the Visit Greece app (GDPR compliant) for free, prior to their arrival in Greece.
Travellers entering Greece do not need to show proof of Covid vaccination, a negative Covid test or a certificate of recovery from Covid. You do not need to complete a passenger locator form. – Nottingham Post July 12, 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. With 2022, the effort is to cautiously back-off from the more restrictive measures, loosening up steadily as tourism season starts. At present, high-hopes for a smooth season s ruling the predictions put out in the press and by the government, and the prevailing hope is for 2022 to have 80% of 2019's record breaking year of 33 million visitors to Greece.
As of June 1: the requirement to wear face masks remains for public transportation, indoors of ships, taxis, hospitals and care facilities for the elderly. The legal requirement to wear a mask in all other indoor/outdoor settings no longer applies.
Entry options for 2022 summer tourist season May 1 to August 31
- European visitors must show an EU Digital COVID Certificate (EUDCC)
- Visitors from UK, USA, Australia and Canada are no longer required to show proof of a negative COVID test to enter Greece but must have a vaccination record showing vaccination or booster shot within last nine months.
- Without a valid vaccination record, a visitor is then considered unvaccinated and must take an approved test to prove they don’t have the virus: i.e., PCR test taken within 72 hours of arrival, or a rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours.
- Also, you can show a recovery certificate which can show 14 days after the day of the first positive COVID test (PCR or rapid antigen), this is valid for 180 days.
Some other points for the 2022 season:
During tourist season of May 1 to Aug 30, no requirement to present coronavirus vaccination or illness certificates for indoor areas (e.g., restaurants) or open spaces.
On June 1, indoor masking requirements will end, though there may be some exceptions, this to be decided later.
A complete lifting of the requirement of an EU digital COVID certificate to enter the country may end, to be decided later.
News article: US News World Report, April 13, 2022 [English]
News article: UK Scottish Sun , April 13, 2022 [English]
USA Embassy in Athens information [English]
Greece remains with Category 4 travel warning from American CDC
April 6, 2022: Story at USA CDC GOV [English]
Passenger locator forms (PLF) to no longer be required for travel into Greece come March 22
Meanwhile, a health expert has reportedly indicated on Thursday that the vaccination certificates would have no meaning by end of April. Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Thessaloniki, Dimosthenis Sarigiannis spoke to iatropedia about the possibility to abolish the vaccination certificates even before Easter, April 24, in case daily infections fall below 1,000 and due to society pressure
Story at Skai [Greek]
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:
 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."
 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.
 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 EUSchengen, 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.
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
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.]
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.)
Central Macedonia and West Nile virus
December 16, 2022 – story at Imerisia [Greek]
August 2022: West Nile infections in the EU numbering at 188
39 in Greece – Story at Brussels Times [Greek]
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:
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%  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  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
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.
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
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 for archeological sites, etc. - etickets.tap.gr - managed by the Archaeological Resources and Exploitation Fund of the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
1, 2 Economic contraction - Source: CIA World Fact Book
Related: Touring Greece
Archived Visiting Greece Pages
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International Real Estate
Published by Wiley, 1st edition August 11, 2020, 240 pages
Greece: Biography of a Modern Nation - AMAZON - Published March 2020 - 600 Pages