Holidays in Greece: What you want to visit on holiday right now

Holidays in Greece: What you want to visit on holiday right now

Vathia, Greece (CNN) – If you’re wondering how the coronavirus has affected, holiday dreams in Greece with the blue skies, the brightest blues, the bright sun, and the most delicious fresh salad you’ve ever tasted, it’s not.

Greece has worked hard to adapt its tourist offer in a time of infection. Now at least this seems to be bearing fruit, even when a second wave of infections threatens other European destinations.

Thanks in part to the fact that so far few cases have been seen, visiting many parts of Greece right now is almost like visiting a country where Covid-19 never happened.

There are some reassuring precautions in place, but the empty beaches, crystal clear seas, and beachfront taverns remain the 100% authentic Greek relaxation needed to cure the onslaught.

Visitors must complete the formalities before departure, giving details of where they will be staying. Upon arrival, they are subjected to random tests and could, if someone in their positive flight results, be quarantined for 14 days.

Airport hatches

Blue skies, clearer seas: the Greece of holiday dreams is still here.

Barry Neild / CNN

Despite pre-flight nerves during a trip to Greece on July 16, one of the first flights between London and Athens after the ban on arrival in the UK was lifted a day earlier, the trip was smooth.

Passengers behaved mostly wearing masks throughout the British Airways flight. During immigration there were paperwork checks, but it was not indicated that anyone was granted caps on the Covid-19 tests.

It does not mean that they are not being carried out. While it accepts that travelers will inevitably import some infections, Greece desperately needs to contain them to keep its vital tourism industry in business for the rest of the summer.

Once outside the airport, Greece is all there waiting.

Rugged mountains, covered by cypresses, olive trees and citrus orchards, descend to beaches of soft sand and navy blue waters. Almost every afternoon, a liquid sunset bathes the sky and landscapes in a relaxing spectrum of the soul of oranges and pineapples.

covida of Greece 8

Hotels do their best to keep things safe and clean for guests.

Barry Neild / CNN

Hotels and guest houses do their best to make guests feel safe. The desks have been placed behind screens, staff wear masks and sometimes gloves and guards full of plastic, even if uncomfortable.

“I feel like I’m about to go diving,” says Takis Zotos, who runs the directory Pension Marianna guest house in the tourist port city of Nafplio, in the south of the Peloponnesian peninsula of Greece, sweating heavily behind its plastic protection.

Hand sanitizer is everywhere: in the hotel lobbies, in the exterior rooms, in the bedrooms and even in bottles in the bathroom, next to the free shower gel and shampoo. Sometimes the TV and air conditioning controls are wrapped in plastic.

Land signs and markings try to carry a pattern of social distance of two meters that is not always practical. Arduous portions of one-off breakfasts per person, instead of the traditional buffet, still seem like a logistically complicated job in progress.

A traditional welcome

covid Greece 1

Hand sanitizer is everywhere.

Barry Neild / CNN

If hoteliers are worried about their guests being able to pack coronavirus along with their beach shorts, they don’t prove it.

The reception, even to visitors to virus hotspots such as the United Kingdom, seems genuine. Greek hospitality has apparently been underestimated by Covid-19, although some restrictions need to be demonstrated.

“For the Greeks, not being able to shake hands is like having a severed arm,” says Zotos, who runs his guest house scrupulously clean (a Covid-19 training certificate is proudly displayed at reception) with his two brothers.

Restaurants also take precautions. The tables are thickened with disinfection among the diners, and sometimes the hand sanitizer bottles sit next to the salt and pepper.

Waitress Vasiliki Besiou wears a face mask while waiting for the tables at the Takis Taverna in the beautiful coastal village of Limeni.

Waitress Vasiliki Besiou wears a face mask while waiting for the tables at the Takis Taverna in the beautiful coastal village of Limeni.

Suzanne Plunkett / CNN

The staff mainly serves masks or a mini plastic protection that is under the mouth. Sometimes, the masks are missing or worn under the nose or as chin decorations with no effect in tourist places.

However, even in remote mountain villages, you can see the staff of the small road taverns carrying all the stuff in the midday heat.

Low risk

Many historical attractions, such as the ancient theater of Epidaurus, are largely empty.

Many historical attractions, such as the ancient theater of Epidaurus, are largely empty.

Suzanne Plunkett / CNN

Certainly, there is a certain degree of confidence in some gastronomic experiences, but given that it is mostly fresh and that so far Covid-19 cases have been minimal, the risk seems very low.

On the streets, there is little evidence of a global pandemic. Few pedestrians who walk in and out of shops, whether in tourist areas or in common areas of cities, wear face masks or observe social distancing. The shopkeepers are mostly, though.

In Greece’s historic attractions, face mask rules apply to indoor exhibitions. The irony here is that because tourism has been so affected by the coronavirus, these places are largely empty.

While this is tragic for the Greek travel industry, it is quite magical for visitors to explore ancient wonders that would normally crawl with people.

In the old theater of Epidaurus, an acoustically perfect old structure that has been organizing shows for over 2,000 years, a small number of tourists enjoyed the unexpected delight of being able to direct their own performances in a completely deserted amphitheater.

Masks are needed on all public transportation, including the numerous ferries that connect the islands. There are also additional documents to travel this way.

Empty beaches

It is not difficult to find your own stretch of coastline on the Mani Peninsula.

It is not difficult to find your own stretch of coastline on the Mani Peninsula.

Suzanne Plunkett / CNN

No masks are needed on the many beaches in Greece. And currently, with the number of visitors well below the seasonal norm, there is very little concern about social distancing.

This can become a problem in some of the smaller islands or destinations in Greece with more intensive package tourism scenes, but around the Peloponnese, most of the coasts were occupied mainly by only a few Greek bathers.

This area of ​​mainland Greece, easily accessible by a fast motorway from Athens, is probably one of the best tourist destinations of the Covid era. It is traditionally less visited than the islands of Greece, but has a wealth of historic beaches and attractions.

With imposing mountains, green landscapes, dramatic driving roads and splendid inland and coastal towns, it has all the ingredients for the perfection of road travel.

Highlights include the historic Byzantine fortress town of Mystras, the paradisiacal shores of Elafonisos Island, the beautiful port city of Gythio, the medieval castle town of Monemvasia and the Mani – a wild peninsula with stunning coastal roads, secluded bays and hilltop villages. being a very long way from problems.

Greece can still witness the agglomeration of beaches seen in Spain and other parts of Europe. There may still be a new expansion in virus cases as a result of opening borders and being forced to cut back on summer.

But right now, with the scars singing in the warm olive trees, the sun is melting on the mirror surface of the Mediterranean, and the condensation coming down the side of a cold bottle of Mythos beer ice is the perfect way out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *