Greece has tightened the entry requirements for tourists. A small mistake can lead to exclusion from the trip - this is what happened to a German family.
- Greece is again open to tourists from numerous countries.
- However, holidaymakers have to consider something when entering.
- A family from Germany made a mistake and was not allowed to start the expensive trip.
- What you need to know about your summer vacation *.
Greece only with QR code: Family Rhodes vacation breaks due to formal error
Update from August 7, 2020 : The case of a German family from Castrop-Rauxel has shown that the Greek government is serious about its tightened entry regulations. According to an RTL report, the family wanted to start their € 3,000 trip to Rhodes at Düsseldorf Airport when they were suddenly not allowed to get on a plane. The reason: The entry form , from which a QR code is generated that all tourists must show, was filled out incorrectly. The father's name had been put in the wrong column . That's why the airline wasn't allowed to take the family with them.
“The Greek government has instructed all airlines not to take guests with incorrect documents. We are basically talking about a visa here, ”explained the tour operator concerned, Ltur, at the request of travel expert Ralf Benkö. When checking the process of the family from Castrop-Rauxel, the error clearly arose when filling out the entry form. Nevertheless, Benkö also sees the tour operator's duty: “As a contractual partner, the tour operator is the main point of contact for vacationers and often has to answer for mistakes made by others insofar as he has to provide the flight for such package tours. He is not responsible for the requirements of countries on entry, but may have to be liable if there were errors on his side in this context. "
In the meantime, Ltur is said to have made the offer to the family to start the trip at a later date, or to have the price refunded.
When entering Greece: German holidaymakers from Berlin have to pay 500 euros
Update from July 17, 2020 : Since July 1, holidaymakers have to show an electronically completed form when entering Greece, which can be used to locate the tourists. Anyone arriving by plane must do so at least 24 hours before arrival. Two passengers on a flight from Berlin to Crete had not made this electronic pre-notification and now had to pay a fine of 500 euros .
The holidaymakers concerned told reporters at Heraklion airport that no one had pointed out these entry requirements , as the German Press Agency writes. According to Greek state television, this is the first case in which the Greek authorities have imposed the announced fine. So far, the travelers could fill out the form after arriving at the Greek airport, it said.
Holidays in Greece: There have been stricter entry requirements for tourists since July 1st
Update from July 1, 2020 : Despite the corona pandemic, Greece is again allowing tourists from 29 countries to enter, including German vacationers. However, as of July 1st, the entry requirements were tightened for a short time. As the government in Athens announced on Monday, all travelers - whether by plane, ship or car - must register online and fill out a form at least 48 hours before arrival. Among other things, it asks:
- Flight number
- ID number
- Contact details at home and in Greece
- Visits to other countries
Then vacationers receive a QR code that they have to show when entering Greece. An algorithm should then calculate whether a corona test has to be done after arrival. If so, the person concerned must isolate themselves at the vacation address until the outcome is known. So tourists only find out on site whether they need to be quarantined.
Incidentally, from July 1st, the other regional airports in Greece will open again - initially, flights from abroad could only go to Athens or Thessaloniki.
Vacation in Greece: Air traffic resumed
Air traffic between Athens and destinations in Germany resumed on May 18, 2020. For example, travelers can get to Frankfurt with Lufthansa or Aegean Airlines to Munich and Frankfurt. "There are other flight connections from Athens to other European destinations with onward travel options to Germany," writes the German Embassy in Greece on its website.
Greece opens gastronomy.
© picture alliance / Socrates Baltagiannis / dpa
Travelers should be aware, however, that people entering Greece from abroad must expect to undergo a COVID-19 test upon entry and, for this purpose, after about 24 to 72 hours until the test result is available be accommodated in a hotel by the competent authorities . "Entrants must in any case go into a 14-day house quarantine. This measure applies until May 31, for the time being. Different regulations may apply to vehicle drivers in the movement of goods," says the German embassy. In addition, there is still a worldwide travel warning.
Read here : TUI boss on Mallorca trip: "Millions of vacationers have the certainty that summer vacation is possible".
Ferries go back to the Greek islands - café and hotels open
In Greece ferries have been going to the islands again since Monday and the terraces of taverns and cafes have reopened , as the AFP reports. In Athens, many people were enjoying their frappé in the morning sun again. The innkeepers are only allowed to set up half as many tables as before the pandemic. The café owner Vangelis Daskalopoulos also complained about other strict requirements: "We have to constantly disinfect everything. We'd have to hire someone, but we can't."
© Discover Greece
So far, the country has managed to contain Covid-19 infection to 2,878 cases and 171 deaths. Athens Mayor Kostas Bakoyannis said the reopening of the food and catering sector marks the start of the summer holiday season. "Greece is open and safe. It is a destination where you can enjoy your vacation and stay healthy at the same time, " he said, as the New York Times reported.
The country is now preparing to reopen its hotels all year round on June 1, 2020 . The season hotels should open from June 15th.
In these places, Greece is like something out of a picture book
For everyone who wants to experience Greece like a picture book , the Discover Greece portal has put together the best known and unknown insider tips.
Unknown pearls in the Aegean
Amorgos: Hollywood in the southern Aegean Sea : The island is particularly known for its untouched nature, the cozy little fishing villages with the authentic white and blue taverns and the spirituality of the locals. As early as 1988, the director Luc Besson recognized the acting potential of the secluded island - and shot the action film "In the intoxication of the deep" on the island. In addition to its inviting lagoons, the thousand-year-old monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa is the historical heart of the island. There are almost 300 narrow stone steps to the entrance door of the monastery. Once at the top, an overwhelming panoramic view over the Aegean rewards the sweaty climb.
Astypalea: First smoke-free island : Some time ago the 96.42 km² large Greek island in the Aegean Sea set clear accents in terms of environmental protection: In order to prevent the contamination of the beaches with cigarette butts, smoking is prohibited on the entire island. Today, golden yellow beaches like Livadi are the ideal place to go for a relaxing day at the beach with the family. On the other hand, it is exciting under water: the flat sandy bottom of the lagoons offers ideal conditions for a snorkeling game to discover the filigree underwater world. Astypalea is particularly popular with climbing enthusiasts: around 20 routes with different degrees of difficulty cross the reliefs of the white limestone cliffs and provide all kinds of variety.
White chalk cliffs Astypalea.
Sifnos: Mecca for art lovers : the local artists were already famous in ancient times for their filigree works, gold and silver from their own mines were the preferred materials. Even when the mines have dried up, the art of pottery attracts many visitors. In the villages of Vathi and Kamares in particular, small, traditional pottery shops nestle between the lovely alleys and offer high-quality pottery. The long white sandy beaches around the two artist metropolises also promise pleasant cooling. The rocky coastline of Pnagia Chryssopigi is a special highlight: the cliff divers plunge into the water with acrobatic stunts. It is different on the remote Fykiada Beach - its bright white dunes with their azure blue water are a refuge for anyone looking for a break from the hectic everyday stress.
Holidays in Greece: Mystical Mainland
Epirus: In the footsteps of Hades : The entrance to the underworld is not far from the small village Glyki in the western Greek region of Epirus: this is where the “river of the dead”, the turquoise-blue Acheron, rises. According to Greek mythology, it is one of the five rivers of the underworld and its 56 kilometers lead directly into Hades - that's why particularly brave people conquer its wild waters with a guided rafting tour or make a pilgrimage along the idyllic floodplains to the ice-cold but healing springs of the Dead River. It is more comfortable during the crossing to the exotic island of Antipaxi. The picture-book island offers inviting bays with lonely sand and pebble beaches and emerald green water. Modern or old Greek wooden boats leave daily in the small stone harbor of Parga. The silvery white cliffs and green olive groves - make them up to 5000 years old - frame the picturesque coastal town with its fine sandy beach.
Pelion: Time travel through the seasons : Time leap on the Pelion peninsula: If you come in winter, you will discover lonely beaches with fine, white sand - only to then sink knee-deep in fresh powder snow. At first glance, the land of the Olympic gods has little to do with winter sports. But there are 197 kilometers of slopes on the 2,000 meter high mountains. Skiing with a view of the deep blue sea - no problem on Pelion. A total of five ski lifts serve the 49 hectare ski area of the Pelion Ski Resort. Of course, sea views are included on the various runs. The peninsula also knows how to inspire in summer: then young and old go on a journey of discovery to find the centaurs, half human, half horse. According to legend, the mythical creatures have their origin in the dense forests of Pelion.
Kavala and Thassos: Two like bad luck and sulfur : Kavala is considered to be a melting pot of modern, worldly influences and traditional Greek lovers. A stroll through the lively old town is the best way to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle. Small shops and local bazaars are hidden in the narrow streets. Here traders and tourists haggle for souvenirs from the charming port city. Only a small boat trip separates Kavala from the island of Thassos. Covered in shades of blue and green, it is a popular excursion destination and offers a variety of outdoor opportunities - especially water sports such as diving, water skiing or classic boat trips to remote stretches of beach are popular. Thassos also knows how to convince in culinary terms. We recommend the fruity, virgin olive oil of the local Throuba olive, ideally served with oven-fresh white bread and freshly chopped garlic.
Kavala and Thassos.
© Discover Greece
Holidays for the palate - Greek delicacies
Kefalonia: Fine white wine from the ions : West of mainland Greece is the charming island of Kefalonia. It impresses with its sandy bays, rough mountain ranges and lots of sunshine: ideal conditions for wine growing. The island's trademark is Robola, a grape variety that grows almost exclusively here. The white wine obtained has a fruity taste with a pronounced citrus note and is one of the most expensive and best Greek wines. Kefalonia also has a lot to offer to the eye. Originally, the Melissan stalactite cave was considered a cultural site, which was dedicated to the nymphs. Now the magical place attracts dozens of visitors every year: part of the roof collapsed due to an earthquake - the penetrating sun rays reflect the blue of the water in all shades and are reminiscent of the shimmering scales of the Greek mythical creatures.
Corfu: "On a fatal mission": Although the island off the Greek Northwest coast is one of the most popular holiday regions, it offers some unknown treasures. From the top of the Pantokrator Mountain there is a far-reaching panoramic view of the authentic Greek villages with their white facades and lush flower gardens. Even Hollywood gets a taste for Corfu: The 007 actor Roger Moore even renounced the legendary Martini in the James Bond film "In tödlicher Mission" in favor of a fine regional white wine. The tasty olive oil from the traditional mills also invites you to a comprehensive tasting. Among other things, the oils have been awarded the coveted “Health Calim Olive Oil” seal and inspire with their nutty aroma.
Corfu old town.
© Discover Greece
Rhodes: The Colossus of Rhodes : Even in antiquity, Rhodes was known beyond Greece's borders: the 30-meter-high, handmade, bronze statue of the sun god Helios welcomed newcomers from afar. Even if the giant in 200 BC Died in an earthquake, the medieval knight roads around the Grand Master’s Square bear witness to the craftsmanship of the islanders to this day. In the meantime, Rhodes has made a name for itself among wine lovers: Fine varieties such as the white Athiri and Muscat grapes or the red Mandilaria and Amorgiano delight fine palates all over the world. The aromatic wines can be tasted excellent in the many small, cozy taverns or combined with a shady picnic in the Rodini Valley Park not far from the old town.
Wine growing in Rhodes.
© Discover Greece
Also interesting : opening of hotels in Germany and Europe - experts believe in summer tourist season.
fk / sca / AFP
* Merkur.de is part of the nationwide Ippen-Digital editorial network.
List of rubric lists: © dpa / Santi Palacios