Santorini Greece Blue Top

When Greece said the country planned to reopen for international travel on May 17th, skeptics were everywhere.

As with many subjects these days, self styled ‘experts’ tend to come out of the woodwork during major announcements, and just about every one said it would be impossible, no way, no chance. Well, the impossible is now happening, and it’s actually happening weeks earlier than expected, thanks to positive data.

From next week, Greece plans to open to travelers presenting a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination, for travelers from a number of countries, including Europe and the United States. This may be one of the most precious windows of opportunity to enjoy the fabulous Greek islands without crowds, since the 1960’s!

a flag on a building

Greece Updates Tourism Plans

Greece embarked on a massive vaccination drive in recent weeks, and the country is feeling good about its prospects for safe and prosperous summer travel.

So good, in fact, it’s opening up from the “beginning of next week” with quarantine free travel once again allowed for visitors from the European Union, Israel, Serbia, United States of America, UAE and the United Kingdom, according to senior Greek tourism officials speaking to Reuters.

During this initial ‘early’ opening period, all air travelers will only be able to arrive via: Athens, Chania, Corfu, Heraklion, Kos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini and Thessaloniki.

More eligible visitors from other countries will be able to enter from the previously announced tourism reopening date of May 17th, but these lucky countries get early dibs. All inbound travelers will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative covid-19 test.

With few ways to prove vaccination status at this point, depending on your country of origin, many travelers may find submitting a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of departure to be the best solution for entry – and peace of mind. Both is always nice!

Greece: An Ideal Solution To Covid-19 Era Travel?

Greece ticks many boxes right now as a great choice destination, without much effort. Well, Mykonos club nights aside of course.

It’s not only warm, it’s so beautiful you actually want to be outdoors, and most hotels and villas are of a smaller nature than some other destinations, rife with mega resorts. It wouldn’t be hard to socially distance or isolate yourself, just about anywhere you go.

Sitting six feet (or more) from anyone else at a beach or plunge pool overlooking the Mediterranean sounds pretty good right now, does it not?

Greece is a destination that’s been flooded with over tourism in recent years and that’s yet another positive justification for considering a trip, ASAP. This early window, before everyone else can or will go, will offer a far less crowded experience, undoubtedly with better rates too. It’ll be as close to the “real thing” as many will see, perhaps even for decades.

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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  1. Just wondering what kinda vaccination proof is acceptable. Here in UK, all we get is an NHS vaccination card with bare minimum details.

    1. That’s supposed to be accepted, but with PCR test costs going down and easier to achieve, it might be worth biting the bullet and having that as well, as a secondary accepted proof.

  2. Hi Gilbert, thanks. Which low cost options are you referring to for the PCR? Can’t see my vaccination card carrying much weight. Still not even showing on my NHS or GP apps.

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