I am in the beginning stages of planning a 14 day vacation to Greece with my husband. I have family and friends who have expressed concern with us traveling to Greece with all of the refugees, election year, and general "unrest." Could anyone tell me their informed thoughts on if our trip to Greece is something we should postpone for another year?
We were in Greece earlier this year (and Turkey too.)
Don't have any doubts about traveling Greece. We had no problems of any kind there. Tourism is their biggest industry--and they're suffering with less travelers coming into that region. They need all the business they can get.
Your family and friends are reacting to overblown media reports and old information. Don't let it stop you. Greece is safe and wonderful.
Gee one could replace Greece in the OP's post with United States.
Your biggest concern should be how you will cope with the heat. Did your friends and family mention that?
Have u checked STate Dept report ?
If u have doubts opt for a country nearby i.e. Croatia
When I am un sure of a destination, safety wise that is what I do.
One can ruin a trip with worry.
I was in Greece in October and all was fine. None of your concerns were an issue at all. As someone else said, I'd worry more a bout the heat. It was HOT in October! I've been to Greece in July and swore I would never go back in the Summer, so I went in the Fall and it was still hot!
There are 23 RS tours to Greece in 2017. Already, 8 of them are full and another 6 are "filling fast." For comparison, I looked at similar RS tours (about the same price and length of time) and none are nearly as fully subscribed. That's a good indicator of how people feel.
By the way, there are no RS tours in July or August - too hot.
There are never any guarantees regarding safety when traveling anywhere, but I wouldn't hesitate to return to Greece if that ended up on my Itinerary for next year. The last time I was there, demonstrations were occurring in Athens and elsewhere, some of which involved fatalities. I had no problems whatsoever, despite all the media hype. However, I wouldn't travel there in July or August due to the heat and the fact that it will be more crowded.
The refugees are mostly on Lesbos and other locations in Greece that provide easier entry to Europe. If you're going to be on Santorini, I doubt that you'll even see one refugee. What type of "general unrest" are you referring to? Have the "family and friends" who are expressing concern, ever travelled in Greece?
If you're really concerned about the safety there, you might consider signing up for the RS Athens & Pelopponese tour, and that way you'll have a professional guide to take care of any "safety concerns" for you. Postponing for another year is not gong to resolve your concerns (as I recall, we were getting the same type of questions on the forum last year).
If you haven't already, you may find it informative to have a look at Matt Barrett's excellent Greece Travel website.
As someone else mentioned, Greece is highly dependent on tourism and they rely on that. The people, the sights and especially the food are wonderful. Enjoy!
We were in Greece last fall and felt entirely safe and welcome. Among the friendliest people I've ever encountered on a trip. We spent several days in Athens and drove to Nafplio, Corinth, and Delphi, and later visited Crete, with no incidents or problems. The country is going through terrible economic times, and last year experienced a massive flow of refugees on their way to more prosperous parts of Europe. I believe the refugee flow has dropped a great deal because of an agreement between Turkey and the European Union. We never encountered any in two weeks. While their presence may have disrupted things on some of the Aegean islands and around the northern border, they weren't and aren't dangerous people.
I wonder how many Europeans are rethinking their US travel plans in light of our immigrants, election year, and general unrest.
As in all countries, so also in Greece, you may have doubts about your safety. It really depends on where you are going to stay (areas). The city center of Athens is really safe, no matter the refugees. There are great hotels in all areas to provide you many comforts. You could try not to stay in metaxourgio area, but prefer Plaka, Syntagma or even better the beach (Faliro, Glyfada, Alimos etc). You will enjoy everything. The sun and swimming, the cafes and restaurants, the tours and the cruises. And of course, don't miss the islands. Not only the famous ones, but also the small islands which are not that crowded of tourists. Again, depends on what you prefer to do. What you like... I am pretty sure that you will love it and you won't regret it !!
Many years ago I spent a year attending College Year in Athens. I still keep in touch and I follow the school on Facebook, and it is still full of college students living in the center of Athens, roaming the countryside, having adventures, and doing just fine. The only time I would not travel to Greece would be if the school sent the students home (back to the U.S.) for safety reasons. They are still posting pics of students and classes!
Greeks take democracy pretty seriously, so no matter what is going on there will be demonstrations in the streets of Athens. I once saw nuns and monks marching in the streets and having to be held back by police. Everyone is very passionate and very vocal, but I just watched where I was going, kept my wits about me, and stayed safe.
Here in the U.S. we just had the anniversary of a night club shooting in Florida and there were riots following our elections. Not so different. It's just scary thinking about being far away, where you don't understand everything that is happening. But most Greeks are kind, and will gladly help you with anything you need.
Greece is wonderful, the people are generally amazing, and now I am tearing up because I want to go back :) !
Have fun, and tell us all about it when you get back.
My 19 yr old daughter and her two friends spent two weeks in Greece this past early May( Corfu and Santorini) , with my happy blessing .
My husband and I spent a week in Greece this past mid May, Mykonos and Naxos , and we loved it .
We felt very safe and welcomed everywhere we went , the geek people are so nice !!!! I could tell you about the family that helped us when our rent a car broke down on mountains of Naxos , how they phoned the rent a car company for us, took us in ( had to wait an hour for rescue from company) , FED us homemade snacks, gave us beer , would accept a penny!!' And , there was five of us !
I could tell you about the managers wife at the hotel we stayed at in Naxos , how on learning we had rented a car for a day to do an island tour , came to is after breakfast with a wrapped package of sweets " to take on your adventure " , the Greeks are so kind .
I would go back tomorrow !
I would encourage my other kids to go too.
I consider it a wonderful destination , and safe .
Just got back from Las Vegas a few days ago. Seriously , you worry about being unsafe in Greece???
I wouldn't worry about the heat as long as you're prepared for it. Wear a hat, drink lots of water and carry it with you at all times, try to plan your outdoor sight visits early in the day, etc. I spent 3 weeks in Greece and Turkey in July and, yes, it was hot but not unbearable. Also if you're planning any time on any of the islands July is a great time to go, they are not nearly so hot as the mainland.
As for safety, I would not hesitate to go to Greece, or anywhere else in Europe, right now. I have never felt unsafe in Europe even with the threat of 'unrest' or terrorist attack, that can, and does, happen here in the US too. I would not postpone it for a year, you never know what may happen in that year to affect your plans. Go and enjoy.
Having friends and family in Greece during all these past years TV and media have shown only the big crisis that the country undertakes the refugess camps the riots the protest. However while contacting them or being there during these period nothing like that was felt when walkign around the streets or having your souvlaki. Possibly greeks look less happy than years ago but this will not put you in danger for sure.