Please sign in to post.

Greece Honeymoon- safety concerns

My fiancé and I have always dreamed of traveling to Greece for our honeymoon. We booked the trip for end ofJuly/ early August.

We booked 1 day in Athens and 7 days split between santorini and Mykonos.

Are these areas safe?

Aside from bringing a sufficient amount of cash with us, how should we prepare?

I'm considering cancelling the first night in Athens and going straight to the islands because Athens seems the most unsafe of all the areas.

Posted by
1293 posts

Please take the time to answer your own question by googling "Greece Tourists deaths".
You should prepare by anticipating how wonderful your honeymoon shall be!
Short answers:
Safe = yes
Cash = credit cards make more sense
Athens = no reason to cancel

Posted by
2901 posts

There is NO impact on tourists in Athens due to the immigrant situation ... arriving at the port, those ships are far from any piers any tourists would use, and those immigrants/refugees are taken to a center outside the city. Furthermore, for many decades Greece has had the record of having one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. Your only concern should be the immense crowd of other tourists you'll have to cope with in Santorini & Mykonos, the 2 most-visited islands in THE most visited time of year.

And why are you asking about bringing cash? Who has told you to do this? There is NO need whatever to bring case, NO problem with ATMs anywhere in Greece ... never was, for tourists, even during 2015's debt crisis. ATMs abound at the Airport; just withdraw 400-500 Euros and that should last you for a few days' cash needs, and use your credit cards for Hotel, car rental etc. There are only a few common-sense things to know about money/cc's & other valuables abroad (NOT just in Greece, everyplace):
• lnform your bank(s) AND your credit-card(s) issuers that you'll be withdrawing money and using CC's abroad, otherwise on your first usage outside the country they'll freeze the accounts thinking there is fraud. Tell them exact dates you'll be away.
• PLease know, when you check your monthly records upon return, any fees for usage are NOT from a Greek bank -- they are charged by YOUR home bank; the biggie banks (Chase etc) charge more, Credit Unions & online accounts charge almost nothing.
• Both of you should have your own CCs & ATM cards, just as back-up. It's also just a good idea to use ATMS that are attached to a bank, either just outside the door or in a lobby. Small ATMs in a grocery or bar may carry a charge (as they do in US as u know).
• It's not necessary to carry around everything -- passport, wallet all your cash etc -- while out & about. Leave all that stuff locked in your suitcase in the hotel, just take what you'll need for the day in a "change purse". Greece does NOT require u to have passport on hand, just I.D., and in my 12 trips to Greece have never been asked for it. On the Metro, male tourists should not carry their billfold in pants pockets (on the tourist-heavy Metro lines from Airport/seaport, there are some pickpockets, 99% of them Albanians) but otherwise, just ordinary prudence.
• You'll be taking a taxi on arrival to your hotel, and again back to airport or pier. Where is the "danger"?? I myself take the express bus from /to the airport (in 12 trips to Greece) and indeed have walked at 5 am from hotel to Syntagma Square bus stop. I lived in Manhattan for 35 years and have been in most US large city plus Europe capitals ... and I've never felt safer than in Athens.
• The fear you manifest is puzzling, makes me wonder what news sources you've gotten this bad info from -- All I can think is that you are reading some stale articles from 2015, from protests during the Euro crisis, but that is a thing of the past.

Posted by
1022 posts

Just a change from the safety problem. You are considering cancelling your Athens first day. That is an excellent idea. There is no better place to get over jet lag than Santroini. You will need at least two hours to be sure to catch the connecting flight. Look at Aegeans website for flight times.
Save you last night/nights at the end of the trip for Athens. It is always best to be on the mainland at least a day (2 is better) before your return flight home. Last year our flight was delayed and several people looking for same day connecting flights home all missed their flights. We just got to our Athens hotel a few hours later than we anticipated.

Athens is a safe city. Biggest risk is pickpockets on the metro and the stations.
Have a great honeymoon

Posted by
1104 posts

We never felt unsafe in Greece, or anywhere in Europe for that matter. I feel less safe here in the US. Have a great time and congrats!

Posted by
13749 posts

According to Numbero, one of the few sites I have been able to find that tracks this sort of thing, Athens is pretty much a dead heat with NYC for crime and safety; and that's a good comparison as NYC is one of the safer cities in the US. http://www.numbeo.com/crime/compare_cities.jsp?country1=United+States&country2=Greece&city1=New+York%2C+NY&city2=Athens&tracking=getDispatchComparison

On the other hand, this was written about Athens, but could it have just as easily been written about San Francisco or Toronto?

Domestic and international terrorist groups are an ongoing concern.
... There have been incidents involving improvised explosive,
incendiary devices, and small arms weapons ranging from handguns to
military type assault rifles. ... Most recently, there was an attack on the
Israeli Embassy building with automatic assault rifles, a murder
involving an improvised explosive device (IED), and an alleged
attempted murder in which an IED failed to detonate.

Police believe the 17 November terrorist organization, responsible
for a reported 103 attacks and 23 killings (to include five official
Americans), was disbanded ...

Revolutionary Struggle, a terrorist group that gained notoriety in
2007 when it attacked the U.S. Embassy with a rocket propelled ...

Radical anarchist groups use arson, gas canister attacks, and Molotov
cocktails to promulgate their anarchist and/or leftist ideologies...

“Wild Freedom - Instigators of Social Explosions” claimed
responsibility for planting a small bomb in a prominent shopping mall
in a northern suburb of Athens and causing minor injuries to two
people. The Group of People’s Fighters claimed responsibility for a
December 30, 2013, attack at the German Ambassador’s residence and a
failed rocket attack on a Mercedes dealership ... The group also claimed responsibility for
the December 2014 shooting attack on the Israeli Embassy.

https://www.osac.gov/pages/ContentReportDetails.aspx?cid=17126

Posted by
2901 posts

James, most people won't click on your link, but I did, and I find that you quoted that govt site quite selectively, concentrating on the tiny fraction of "anarchist" splinter groups that are involved in sporadic violence (NONE of it involving tourists), and the fact that street crime reports "overwhelmingly involved pickpocketing & theft" in popular tourist areas, with perpetrators using methods to distract the intended victims. No reported increase in any violent crime stats. And report plainly states "Athens is generally a safe city" -- next time, just give the link, don't pick & choose nonrelevant parts to do a scare job.

Posted by
13749 posts

In the absence of editing out the fluf that woyld exceed the character limit on the forum the events would still remain. No matter how hard you tried you could not selectively edit a report about Dallas to read like that; and that was the point. You can't compare Athens to Dallas or Toronto; and in absolute terms at least, if you think you are safer in Athens than most of middle class US, well you are just wrong IMHO (edit) I figure if someone can say they feel safer in Greece than the US, I can point out why I don't think that is a very learned statement. Now if the statement is that Greece was safe enough for tourism, I would tend to agree. I wouldn't hesitate to go or to take my kids. I just get tired of hearing folks run down the US. Just had lunch with some friends from the middle east and they tend to agree with the idea that Americans are so busy denigrating themselves that the just don't seem to know how good they have it.

Posted by
2901 posts

James I have been to Greece TWELVE times from 1999 - 2015, for extensive 3-4 week visits each time... during those trips I have stayed in Athens 20 times, NOT in luxury hotels but in small (10-20 room) family run places. I use the metro there extensively each time. I have visited many neighborhoods outside the tourist area. I have repeatedly walked the streets in Central Athens after 11 pm, with friends and alone, and I'm a retired person. I've recently walked 10 blocks to Syntagma Square pulling my rolling bag, at 3:30 a.m. I was there the years of the most vigorous protests, 2009 - 11. I felt safe and was safe.

Before you sound off on your knowledge of Athens, please list your experience there in similar fashion. Otherwise, fermez la bouche..

Posted by
8293 posts

" Life is good". That is not a sufficient answer to Kaeleku's post nor Janet's post, about the accuracy of your facts, figures and conclusions. People depend on this forum for sensible, good, solid advice in making their travel plans. It is really unfair to play word games. Sometimes life is not good.

Posted by
13749 posts

Norma, if one were to read my post (i have added the bold to help find it) I said "Athens is pretty much a dead heat with NYC for crime and safety; and that's a good comparison as NYC is one of the safer cities in the US" and "Now if the statement is that Greece was safe enough for tourism, I would tend to agree". Not really sure what the debate is on that point. To respond further to their posts would result in an unnecessarily political thread which is in violation of the rules here. And to have a meaningful dialogue would take miles and miles of posts with open minds and understanding (that tends to be lacking at times). I accept that they have an opinion and that their opinion differs from my opinion in some aspects and in some respects from the State Department ("Terrorism Rating: High"). But I appreciate you asking. What would be best and most helpful would be everyone to accept that people may have opinions contrary to those of others but that doesn't make either side evil.

Towards the end of the state department post there is a section called "Tips on How to Avoid Becoming a Victim" which I think is good reading and good advise for any traveler; and apparently from the feedback I am getting good advise in the suburban communities many folks here live in.

Posted by
206 posts

I am going to Greece in July. I am so excited! Your money goes a long way in Greece. Keep in mind, Greece needs tourists, so it is in their best interests to make sure you are safe. As someone else said, I think pickpockets are the biggest risk. Get a money belt for valuables.

Posted by
13749 posts

Greece needs tourists, so it is in their best interests to make sure
you are safe.

Julie, I see the logic. But more importantly if it is in your heart to reach out to them and show them your support then the risk, if any, is well worth it. I tend to be a little political in my choices. There are countries and peoples that touch me and what ever risk there may be is insignificant (Ukraine Azerbaijan, Jordan, Egypt) while there are others, safer, that offend me and I avoid them with a passion. So if Greece is calling you, i understand. Go and celebrate (besides, i don't think its unreasonably dangerous - probably no worse than neighborhoods in my home town).

Posted by
11450 posts

We are in mykonos now, we spent two days here, took ferry t9 naxos for 4 days and now are back here. Wish we had more time in Naxos less here!!!!

Safety a non issue( as far as being a problem) in either island, but Naxos is cheaper and the poeple are way less tourist jaded. Its a real place, with farms and small towns with folks living their everyday lives. Still there is shopping and lovely beaches.

When we get home in 3 weeks i will write a more exstensve review, too ard on my tablet.

Posted by
5266 posts

rbarrett -- Re your original question, the places you'll be are safe. The precautions Janet recommends re money, cards, pockets etc. would apply to any international travel, I'm sure she'd agree. We were in Greece last fall, there were obvious signs of economic distress but the people we encountered, in Athens and elsewhere, were among the friendliest and kindest we've met anywhere. We never had any anxieties about personal safety, even on Hydra with all its donkeys! ;-)

I also agree with the suggestion to spend the night before your flight home in or near Athens, so you don't risk missing it because of a ferry or flight delay from one of the islands.

Posted by
31524 posts

rb,

I was in Greece in 2010 when there were some serious demonstrations taking place (including at least one that involved fatalities), and I had no concerns about safety at all. There were no incidents during the times I was in Athens, and if I had seen a large demonstration I would have just left the area. In addition to Athens and various places on the Pelopponese, I also travelled to Naxos and Santorini, and everything was beautiful and peaceful.

In all likelihood, you'll have no problems, so start planning your honeymoon. One suggestion though - if you're going to make all the arrangements yourself, it would be a good idea to get some help from one of the Greek travel agencies listed on Matt Barrett's excellent Greece Travel website. They can set up all the details such as hotels, transfers, transportation, ferry tickets, etc. which will help you to have a wonderful and problem free holiday in Greece.