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Greek economic situation should i plan a 2016 trip to Santorini?

Worried about the Greek financial mess and wondering if it going to be a detriment to travel next year? Thinking Santorini, Crete, and one other island.???? Also problems with immigration?

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Posted by
5269 posts

There's really no way to tell about next year, but we're going ahead with our plans for next month, which include Crete. The Greeks will have elected a new government by then but we don't see any reason not to go there. We'll be hitting ATMs in Amsterdam airport on the way over to provide a ready cash supply (in the money belts) in case there's any trouble with ATMs in Greece. Some went dry for short periods in July, a recent traveler told me.

Greek culture prizes hospitality, plus they're looking for all the tourist revenue they can get. I expect next year will be a good time to go there, as this year is. Pay attention to the news and any advice from recent travelers on this forum. Right now it wouldn't be a good idea to visit Kos or Lesbos or other Aegean islands right off the Turkish coast, where so many refugees have been arriving and local services are stretched thin. But I wouldn't be concerned about Santorini, Crete, or most other islands.

If the sky somehow falls on Greece's tourist industry next year, which would be a great shame for everyone, you can change your flights for a little money, or just cancel the connection to Athens, and make other plans for your time in Europe. After all, you're flygirl, right? :-)

Posted by
13733 posts

I'm afraid that there's no crystal ball to predict what the situation will be that far into the future. The only answer, really, is to go ahead with the trip or choose another country. If you're going to be very uneasy about potential complications, then a different choice may be the best idea...although no one can ensure that there won't be some complications anywhere at all.

Posted by
2905 posts

The immigration situation is unlikely to be evident in any place you are likely to go. And if you have been following the news at all, for the past 3 months, you will note that the currency situation had no effect on travellers and tourists (except for the "upside" of a very favorable exchange rate!) ... the impact was almost totally on the Greek population.

Posted by
4535 posts

The Greek islands are largely a tourist industry and therefore somewhat isolated from the severe economic results of austerity. Hotels, restaurants and beaches will all be open and welcoming for business unless there is some sort of civil war. Refugees are not staying in the same hotels that you will be.

The main issue for tourists to be on the watch for is cash. ATM withdrawls were not limited to tourists previously, but some machines would run out of money. If Greece did go off the euro, it would have significant effects on the cost of everything. But so far they seem to have avoided that scenario.

So there really is no reason now to avoid planning a Greek island vacation. Keep a watch on developments as you get closer to your travel dates and take reasonable steps at that time to adjust for any issues.

Posted by
976 posts

The economic situation with the EU seems to be evolving with Greece getting the aid it needs. However, there are elections planned for Sept. 20(?) that may or may not affect the agreement. I doubt whoever wins will make any changes to the agreement. I think the Greek People want to stay in the EU and get aid but they also want to be treated with respect. Next year is next year. Who knows what will happen in Greece or anywhere else. I don't foresee tourists having any issues now or next year. ATMs are working and non-Greeks can withdraw whatever amount they want. Tourism is a main provider for the Greek Economy so I doubt tourists will be affected much now or in the future. I would recommend watching events in Greece and possibly more research on where to go in Greece. Your choices of Santorini & Crete are main tourists islands, especially Santorini. There are many other islands that will give you more of a real Greek experience. It all depends on what you want out of your Greek Island trip.

Posted by
2788 posts

When you determine what the economic situation will be in Greece next year please let me know as soon as possible so I can make some financial investments, one way or the other. I have a heck of a time figuring out what the economic situation will be here in the US next week let alone next year. Knowing what things are going to be like next year in Greece would certainly help me know where to make my investments.

Posted by
5 posts

We returned from 2 weeks in Greece on 9/11/15, we visited Santorini, Naxos, Mykonos and Athens and I can tell you first hand, the financial crisis is not very evident when you are there, ATMs are functioning and abundant, the shops, tavernas and tourist industry folks are fully stocked with everything you will need for a wonderful vacation. We took 2,000 Euros with us and paid cash for most everything and honestly, really didnt need too, practically every vendor was happy to accept credit cards.

By the way, Santorini was magnificent and we had heard from so many locals about how amazing Crete is but I want to suggest another location to you - Naxos ! We went there on the recommendations of the Rick Steves podcast (where he is talking with a couple of tour guides) and it was hands down my favorite island, I could easily see spending an extended amount of time there. This island is known for the local products, Cheese, Olive Oil and Honey plus its such an easy place to get around. We rented a 4x4 quad bike and rode around the entire island, all of the back roads and it was amazing. We went to a town called Appolonas which was on the coast, a quaint dockside town with tavern tables dockside and a smaller beach with all of the locals, absolutely picturesque and crystal waters. Next time I go, I will stay there for a couple of days.

As far as the Immigration problem, you wont see any signs of that in your destinations, and hopefully by 2016 it will be better managed by then.

Have a great trip !

Posted by
67 posts

Can't vouch for next year, but we've heard no stories of trips being ruined on account of it so far. It would probably be best to have a back-up plan and try keeping an eye on the news before making any solid decisions.

Posted by
33 posts

I agree with tink that Naxos is great. We spent 3 nights Athens, 2 nights Naxos and 4 nights in Santorini. While Santorini is beautiful, Naxos has the charm and is the real Greece. The Greek people will be happy to help you spend your money next year! Go! Life is too short

Posted by
672 posts

I can only speak about Greece right now and the tourist industry seems to be thriving. I've been in the country since September 25 (Athens, Paros, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and, now, Thessaloníki) and have faced no difficulties as a tourist . ATM machines work fine for my US debit card and my chip and signature credit card has been accepted every time I've used it. We've seen many signs welcoming refugees, but no actual refugees. The Greek people have been warm and welcoming and the country is beautiful! Go for it!!!

Posted by
11450 posts

We are planning on visiting Naxos next May, I haven't hear/ read/ or seen anything that alarms me at all.

Posted by
31530 posts

fly,

There's no way to predict what conditions will be like in 2016, but I suspect things will be reasonably stable. The government of Greece has received their latest bailout, they've just had an election and it seems to be "business as usual" there right now.

I assume the "problems with immigration" you're referring to are the refugees from the middle east? I very much doubt that will be a problem with the places you'll be visiting. Most of them seem to be arriving on Kos or Lesbos and it's unlikely that you'll see any refugees on Santorini.

You didn't say how long your trip will be, but be sure to allocate lots of time for Crete. It's a large island so will require more time than some of the others. For the "other island", you might consider Naxos as it's an easy ferry ride from there to Santorini.

Posted by
976 posts

Just returned from an Oct. 7-21 stay in Greece: Athens, Astypalea & Amorgos. Absolutely no problems with the economic "situation". Was able to withdraw unlimited funds from ATMs, had no issues with public transportation, demonstrations, protests, or the like. Everything was up and running, tavernas, shops, markets, businesses all open like there was no problem with the economy. Obviously as a tourist you won't be affected like the locals, but everyone was kind, polite, courteous and ready to help. The islands of Amorgos & Astypalea are gems, "real" Greek islands and hardly any tourists that time of year, the weather was sunny, mild, was able to walk around in short sleeve shirts daily, a light jacket a night or two and were everything people who want to experience smaller, less touristed Greek Islands should seek out.

There is no way to predict what the future will hold but it appears Greece & the EU will work out arrangements for more assistance to keep Greece thriving. Hopefully they can get back on their feet and get the economy going. Go to Greece, spend some Euros and help the Greek people!