Where are Greeks holidaying this summer?

In challenging economic times Greeks explore near and far for their summer holidays

In the realm of the Cyclades, the diversity of Paros, the beaches and nightlife of Mykonos, and the picturesque allure of Santorini take centre stage in the Australian travel market.

Escape, Australia’s currently most popular travel medium, presents and recommends the Greek islands for unforgettable getaways.

“There’s much more to Mykonos than just nightlife and DJs,” it states, further adding, “It also offers pristine beaches, captivating history, and numerous cultural activities to keep you entertained.”

Paros. Photo: Gerald Schömbs/Unsplash

Regarding Paros, it states: “This adorable small island is brimming with charm and devoid of the tourist crowds found elsewhere, making it the perfect spot for a tranquil escape to the Greek islands. Base yourself in the town of Parikia (which boasts numerous wonderful restaurants and attractions) and explore the island using the excellent local bus system, which will transport you to all the villages and beaches you wish to discover.”

Finally, for Santorini, it extols the incredible views at every turn and emphasizes that “one of the best ways to experience it is by hiking the 10-kilometre trail between the two main towns, Fira and Oia, ideally early in the morning.”

Mykonos. Photo: Massimiliano Donghi/Unsplash

But where do Greeks travel when local destinations become too expensive to access?

In a positive trend with a stabilising inclination, Greek travellers are embracing their holiday plans for this summer, both within Greece and abroad.

Estimates from Greek travel agencies indicate that August is expected to witness significant improvement compared to June and July, projecting an overall increase of around 20 per cent compared to 2022.

Nonetheless, as highlighted by Lysandros Tsilidis, President of the Federation of Travel Agencies, the industry would consider last year’s financial figures a success due to the lingering economic crisis, which has affected both European and Greek households.

Mr Tsilidis emphasises that travellers continue to trust travel agencies due to their responsible nature and adherence to consumer protection contracts, as prescribed by European regulations.

These agencies are obligated to ensure the safe return of travelers when necessary and simultaneously offer civil and professional liability coverage.

Greeks flock to Barcelona this year. Photo: Florian Wehde/Unsplash

Taking a step further, FedHatta is currently in negotiations with a European institution to establish a guarantee fund, modeled after systems in countries such as Germany, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia, aimed at enhancing traveler protection. This initiative will be finalised during the ECTTA conference in Athens on September 27.

Destinations of choice

Greek travellers have shown a preference for various European destinations, with the most sought-after locations being Central Europe, Italy, France—especially Paris—Barcelona, and the Scandinavian countries. Consequently, availability in hotels and air travel options in these regions has become increasingly limited.

Furthermore, distant destinations like the United States, Latin America, Southeast Asia, Thailand, and Saudi Arabia are also experiencing high demand.

Porto in Portugal has been a favourite for Greek tourists in July. Photo: K. Mitch Hodge/Unsplash

Domestic travel outlook

Despite the current challenges, domestic travel within Greece is expected to proceed smoothly in August, historically a popular holiday month for Greeks.

Popular domestic destinations include the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades, the Dodecanese, Crete, as well as smaller islands like Astypalea and Limnos.

Notably, travellers are opting for more cost-effective vacation choices in 2023 that often lead them abroad for more extended periods of time rather than within Greek borders where accommodation prices have skyrocketed due to high demand from foreigners. Families and especially new parents still appear to be preferring destinations within Greece.

Cost considerations

For organised packages within Greece, indicative prices range from 300 euros in Zakynthos to 330 euros in Kefalonia for four nights.

A seven-night stay in Corfu costs approximately 520 euros, while five nights in Preveza amount to 450 euros.

For international destinations, four nights in Santorini cost around 600 euros, and Paros is at 335 euros.

Six nights in Rhodes are priced at 663 euros. In the North Aegean and Sporades regions, four nights in Chios are priced at 495 euros, while Limnos is at 480 euros, Lesvos at 425 euros, and Ikaria at 505 euros.

Thailand remains a favourite for Greeks who travel outside their country’s borders. Photo: Evan Krause/Unsplash

Comparable rates for popular European cities are attractive, such as 390 euros for four nights in London, 550 euros for Paris, 490 euros for Lisbon, 310 euros for three nights in Venice, and 670 euros for Amsterdam.

For longer European trips, packages for French Riviera, Dubrovnik, Bucharest, Poland, and Portugal, ranging from six to nine nights, average around 870 euros, 445 euros, 425 euros, 795 euros, and 1,095 euros respectively.

Distant destinations also offer deals, with a seven-night stay in New York at 1,225 euros and Toronto at 2,125 euros. Destinations like Morocco, the Nile, Uzbekistan, Bali, and India offer packages ranging from 6 to 9 nights, priced at 990 euros, 1,180 euros, 1,190 euros, 850 euros, and 1,120 euros respectively.

Longer trips also feature packages for Peru, Brazil, Galapagos Islands, and Singapore, with costs ranging from 2,690 euros to 4,290 euros.

Greek travellers are embracing a diverse range of vacation options this year, with strong interest in both domestic and international destinations, each accompanied by unique cost considerations.